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

August 1, 2016 Biotechnology, Commentaries, Health 29 Comments

My name is Robert, and I am a Cornell University undergraduate student. However, I’m not sure if I want to be one any more. Allow me to explain.

Cornell, as an institution, appears to be complicit in a shocking amount of ecologically destructive, academically unethical, and scientifically deceitful behavior. Perhaps the most potent example is Cornell’s deep ties to industrial GMO agriculture, and the affiliated corporations such as Monsanto. I’d like to share how I became aware of this troubling state of affairs.

Throughout my secondary education, I’ve always had a passion for science. In particular, physics and mathematics captured my fascination. My sophomore AP physics teacher, Mr. Jones, became my main source of motivation to succeed. He convinced us students that our generation was crucial to repairing humanity’s relationship to science, and how we would play key roles in solving immense global issues, such as climate change. Thank you Mr. Jones! Without your vision, I would have never had the chance to attend such an amazing university.

Robert Schooler Cornell

Robert Schooler Cornell

I came to Cornell as a freshman, deeply unaware of our current GMO agriculture paradigm, and my university’s connection to it. After two years of school, however, I was reluctant to continue traditional study. I never felt quite at ease, jumping through hoops, taking classes and tests that didn’t inspire me, in exchange for a piece of paper (degree) that somehow magically granted me a superior life. I know many undergraduates fit right in with the university education model, and that’s fantastic. I certainly didn’t, and my mental and physical health began to suffer as a result. I was left with no choice but to take a leave of absence, and pursue another path.

Instead, I began to self-study nutrition out of pure necessity. Luckily, I found Cornell Professor Emeritus T. Colin Campbell’s legendary epidemiological research on nutrition and human disease. His evidence was so clear that I quickly transitioned to a plant-based diet. This personal dietary shift had profound benefits, dispelled my depression, and led me to a deep fascination with the precursor to nutrition: agriculture. I became particularly interested in agroecology. I was astonished to learn that there existed alternatives to chemical-intensive, corporate-controlled models of agriculture, and that they were far safer, more effective, and more sustainable. During my time away from Cornell, I participated in three unique seasons of agroecological crop production, with incredible results. I am immensely grateful for these experiences.

It’s impossible to study and practice agroecology without becoming deeply aware of the other end of the spectrum: the genetic modification of our food supply, ruled by giant agribusiness corporations.

Currently, the vast majority of US commodity crops (corn, soy, alfalfa, sugar beet) are genetically engineered to either withstand Roundup herbicide or produce Bt toxin pesticide. These “technologies” are ecologically damaging and unsafe. The majority of these crops go to feed animals in factory farms. The remainder generally gets converted into corn syrup, white sugar, vegetable oil, or biofuels — you know, good stuff! This combined approach of growing GMO commodity monoculture crops, and feeding them to factory-farmed livestock, is one of the most ecologically destructive forces our planet has ever seen. It’s also a leading contributor to climate change. In fact, some experts believe it to be the leading cause.

As Professor T. Colin Campbell will tell you, the foods that come from this system (animal products and processed foods) are responsible for causing the vast majority of chronic disease. That’s a story for another day.

Cornell’s GMO Propaganda Campaign

I came back to Cornell a changed person, with a drastically different perspective. I was in for quite a shock, however: I sat in on a course entitled “The GMO Debate”. I was expecting members of an intellectual community coming together, with proponents and critics of GMO food each giving the best verified evidence they had to support their cause. Given all that I had learned about GMO agriculture, I was excited to participate for the “GMO skeptic” side.

The GMO Debate course, which ran in the fall of 2015, was a blatant display of unscientific propaganda in an academic setting. There were a total of 4 active professors in the course, and several guest speakers. They took turns each session defending industrial agriculture and biotechnology with exactly zero critical examination of GMOs. In spite of the course’s name, there was a complete lack of actual “debate”. Here are some of the more memorable claims I heard that fall semester:

  • GMO food is necessary to feed the world
  • there is no instance of harm from agricultural GMOs
  • glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, is safer than coffee and table salt
  • if you believe in science, you must believe in GMO technology
  • the science of genetic engineering is well understood
  • “what off-target effects?” … when asked about the proven biochemical risks of GE technology
  • Vitamin A rice is curing children of Vitamin A deficiency (even though the IRRI, the research institute responsible for rolling it out, says it won’t be ready for some years: http://goo.gl/mHcsoJ)
  • Current pesticides and herbicides don’t pose an ecological or human health risk
  • Bt is an organic pesticide, therefore Bt GMO crops are safe and pose no additional risk
  • Bt crops work just fine — but we are now engineering insects as a complementary technology — to make the Bt work better
  • “Are you scared of GMO insects? Because you shouldn’t be.”
  • GMO crops are the most rigorously tested crops in the history of food
  • “If [renowned environmentalist] Rachel Carson were alive today, she would be pro-GMO”

It gets better. During the semester, emails were released following a Freedom of Information Act request, showing that all four of the professors in the class, as well as several guest speakers, the head of Cornell’s pro-GMO group “Alliance for Science, and the Dean of the College of Arts and Life Sciences were all copied in on emails with Monsanto. This was part of a much larger circle of academics promoting GMO crops on behalf of the biotech industry. Jonathan Latham PhD, virologist and editor of independentsciencenews.org, documented this in an article titled The Puppetmasters of Academia. I highly recommend giving it a read, for further context.

Perhaps saddest of all was the inclusion of several visiting African agriculture-academics in the course. They were brought here by the “Cornell Alliance for Science”. This organization was completely funded by a $5.6 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and appears to espouse only pro-GMO rhetoric. For those of you who are unaware, Bill Gates is a proponent of using agricultural biotechnology in Africa, India, and other developing regions. So in essence, a group of African representatives got indoctrinated into the industrial and GMO agriculture framework, and were sent home to disseminate this information … after all, who could question the expertise of an Ivy League powerhouse such as Cornell?

I then learned of Cornell’s deep historic ties to the biotech industry, which explained what I witnessed in the “GMO Debate” course. Notable examples include the invention of both the controversial bovine growth hormone, and the particle bombardment (“gene gun”) method of creating GMO crops. Both of these cases are connected to Monsanto.

To say the least, I was completely stunned.

What I’m going to do about all of this

You didn’t think I was just going to complain about a pro-GMO, industry-sponsored Cornell all day, did you? Good, because I have come up with a plan to create actual, lasting change on campus.

A student-led, expert-backed, evidence-based GMO course

I have decided to host an independent course on the current GMO paradigm, in response to Cornell’s course. It will be held on campus, but will have zero influence from Cornell or any biotech organization. Every Wednesday evening, from September 7th to November 16, we will host a lecture. This lecture series is completely free, open to the entire Cornell community and broader public, and will be published online (for free, forever) at my project, gmowtf.com.

There will be several experts and scientists coming in to lecture for this course. Frances Moore Lappé, of “Diet for a Small Planet” and “World Hunger: 10 Myths” fame, will be introducing the course on September 7, via video presentation. She will be speaking on how GMO agriculture is unnecessary to end world hunger.

Steven Druker is a public interest attorney and author of the powerful book “Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public”, which Jane Goodall (in her foreword) hails as “one of the most important books in the last 50 years”. He will be giving two lectures that elaborate on the themes in the book’s subtitle and demonstrate that the GMO venture has been chronically and crucially dependent on deception, and could not survive without it.

Jonathan Latham PhD will be giving two lectures, on the dangers of Roundup Ready and Bt crops, respectively. He will also be participating in our special October 5 debate, representing the anti-GMO panel, alongside Michael Hansen PhD, a senior scientist for the Consumers Union. Jonathan has direct experience genetically modifying organisms, so his expertise is guaranteed.

Allison Wilson PhD is a geneticist and editor/science director of the Bioscience Resource Project. She will be giving a lecture on how GMOs are actually created, to dispel any industry myths of precision, accuracy, or deep genetic understanding.

Belinda Martineau PhD is a geneticist with an interesting history — she was on the team of genetic engineers that created the first commercial GM food crop, the Flavr Savr Tomato. She authored a book on her experience, titled “First Fruit: The Creation of the Flavr Savr Tomato and the Birth of Biotech Foods”. Her lecture will be a historical and personal account of the science, regulation, and commercialization of genetically engineered foods, effectively giving context for today’s GMO paradigm.

My personal scientific hero, T. Colin Campbell, who started me on this whole journey years ago, will not be speaking on GMOs per se … but will address some critically important, related topics: academic freedom and scientific integrity. He began his Cornell career over half a century ago, and has “seen it all”. He has fascinating anecdotes that will illuminate these campus-wide issues beautifully.

Jane Goodall, if you’re reading this, you are personally invited to take time out of your busy schedule to come and give the final capstone lecture. I know how passionate you are about saving our species, our planet, and all of its beautiful inhabitants. Your wise presence in this project would take it to the next level. Alternatively, please consider a short video interview. This offer stands indefinitely. Same for you Vandana Shiva!

All in all, our independent GMO lecture series will focus on real threats and real solutions to our current ecological crisis … and perhaps most importantly, will feature 100% less Monsanto influence than Cornell’s course! Sounds good to me.

Taking it further

I’m on my second leave of absence from Cornell to work on this project, and due to my experiences, I have somewhat given up on a Cornell degree … not that I was ever intensely focused on attaining one. This GMO course is by far the most important thing I can do with my Cornell “career”. However, it is just the beginning of my plan.

Remember the $5.6 million Bill Gates gave Cornell through his foundation, to push the pro-GMO propaganda? Well, to coincide with our course, we’re launching an initiative to raise the same amount of money or more to sponsor more appropriate forms of agriculture, educational outreach, and activism. Go to gmowtf.com for more information, but in essence, this would finance:

  • Continued grassroots educational activism at Cornell, and similar programs in other compromised universities (UC Davis and Berkeley, University of Florida, etc.) across the country.
  • A plant-based, NON-GMO independent dining hall for Cornell students. It would source as close to 100% organic and local food as possible. Ideally, it would be cheaper than Cornell’s plan (plant-based eaters won’t subsidize expensive meat and dairy for omnivorous eaters).
  • gmowtf.com as a permanent, free, independent, constantly updated resource for GMO science, policy, news, etc. … also the GMO course would remain online
  • My dream: a research farm focused on rigorous analysis of agroecological practices. There is an infinitum of fascinatingly effective agroecological techniques that are underrepresented in the scientific community (in favor of faddist, ineffective GMO “technology”).
  • Completely paying off student debt for a group of 10-15 undergraduates who are willing to help spread this message to the Cornell community.

Mr. Gates, if you truly care about feeding the world in a safe and sustainable manner, and if you are truly dedicated to science and to the kind of open, fact-based discourse on which it depends, I implore you to learn the important facts about which you have apparently been misinformed — and which are being systematically misrepresented by the Cornell organization you are funding. You can easily gain illumination by reading Altered Genes, Twisted Truthby Steven Druker, one of the key contributors to our independent GMO course. You might find Chapter 11, on the ramifications and risks of altering complex information systems, of particular interest. You are, after all, the world’s most famous software developer!

As the chapter demonstrates, biotechnicians are significantly altering the most complex yet least understood group of information systems on earth — the ones that undergird the development and function of living organisms. Yet, they fail to implement the kind of safeguards that software engineers have learned are imperative when making even minor revisions to life-critical human-made systems. Can this be legitimately called science-based engineering?

Bill, feel free to reach out to any of the experts in our course, and don’t be hesitant to update your views on GMO agriculture in light of new understanding. A genuine scientist lives by this principle.

I Invite you all to go to gmowtf.com and explore my proposals more. Please bear with the construction of the site in the coming weeks, in preparation for our amazing GMO course!

We live in somewhat of a scientific dark age. Our universities have become extensions of corporate power, at the cost of our health, livelihoods, and ecology. This has to stop, yesterday. We cannot afford to spread lies to our undergraduate students. Cornell, please reconsider your ways. Until you do, I will be doing everything in my power to counter your industry GMO propaganda efforts with the facts.

With love,

Robert Schooler

contact (at) gmowtf.com

Currently there are "29 comments" on this Article:

  1. Philip Litrel says:

    This is most encouraging. I have been waiting for a solution to this problem we all (humanity) share. Having read all the books you mention here I await an update on the Drucker lawsuit against the USDA for one thing. I was also amazed at the Bill Gates submission.
    My only hope for you Robert, is that you don’t experience the same treatment as your mentor T. Colin Campbell, which as you know was to eliminate the course he was asked to teach at Cornell soon after his book was published, torpedoed by “Big Ag”.
    Good luck, I will follow events closely.
    Philip Litrel Sr

  2. Jessica Denning says:

    Dear Philip,

    Bravo! As a science teacher, I applaud you for your integrity, honesty and inspiring courage.
    Your apt phrase exactly nails our time and place: the “Scientific Dark Age!” ….

    When the Vice President of Monsanto was appointed to oversee our FDA (Food and Drug Agency), that was the blatant example of the death of our organic food as we know it.. your voice gives me hope that we can reclaim our food system from the grips of these pesticide-delivery systems marketed in our corrupt media as food. How can we put the genie back in the bottle when, according to Baker Creek Seeds, half of corn is now contaminated with GE corn?

    When the US Congress passes a law, the DARK Act, to UNLABEL genetically engineered foods, you can see the depth of the sale of not only our regulatory system, but of our lawmakers, to the poison companies. It is truly a Scientific Dark Age for America.

    Citizens of 64 other countries who enjoy labels and growing bans on genetically engineered organisms, puzzle that America can wear the mantle of a free country, when we are not even free to know what we is in the food that we eat and feed our families. Truly, the ’emperor has no clothes.’

    I give you an A+ Phillip.

    I’d be most happy to assist you in any way.

    Best,

    Jessica Denning, West Coast Director of Moms Across America – Empowered Moms, Healthy Kids –

    and Legislative Director, Label GMOs.
    [email protected]
    ‘Just Stop Poisoning Our Food.’

    • Jessica Denning says:

      Dear Robert,

      I should have addressed my comment, preceding this, to you, not Phillip.
      You am so proud of you.

      Best,
      Jessica

  3. Tracy Frisch says:

    Dear Robert,

    I was most heartened to read your critique of the misnamed Cornell course and your empowered response, as well as to learn about way you addressed your personal crisis during your leave of absence. I love that Cornell radicalized you and you’re creating a vehicle to share your side of the debate with others as a result. You are a great example to all of us.

    Your story also demonstrates how far we have come in developing alternatives to “Big Ag”, despite the chokehold the industrial GMO model continues to exert on the land grant/ag science establishment. While alternative paradigms like organic remain pretty marginalized in the belly of the beast, we should be very proud that there now exists a critical mass of farmers, scientists and citizens who share a different (independent science/ecological) worldview and are collectively working to realize its promise. That is a big change from a few decades ago, and the shift seems to be accelerating.

    I say this as someone who spent 3 alienated years as a Cornell grad student some 30 years ago (1985-88). Back then, in the infancy of genetic manipulation, critical perspectives weren’t very well articulated (I think the critique of Bovine Growth Hormone came first) and there was not much of a movement to turn to. I arrived after interning on an organic farm, full of ideas and questions, but I didn’t find any room for that in my studies. My first week at Cornell I was warned by a classmate not to use the “O” word, and my experience went downhill from there. I did find opportunity though to gain an understanding of how the system works and why it kept farmers captive, and that was very useful for my future endeavors.

    After grad school, I wanted to create a New York/regional farming organization that embodied progressive social/economic and ecological values, but I discovered that the conditions weren’t yet conducive to my vision and people weren’t receptive. (Eight years later, in 1996, I was able to found such a group, riding on the wave of local and sustainable, even though my concerns went deeper.)

    Since my time at Cornell, the movement has gained so much in depth and breadth, visibility, and credibility. It’s really exciting for me to see you dive in and find the support and resources to engage effectively. It reminds us how important it is to maintain the momentum and nurture new leaders and activists. Rock on!

    In solidarity,
    Tracy Frisch
    independent journalist
    Greenwich, NY

  4. Julie Pittman says:

    Aloha, Robert This is absolutely wonderful ! Thank you so much for being this smart and brave. As you may or may not know Maui, Hawaii is ground zero for Monsanto’s seed development including all the horrible toxic poisons they test and spray on them. Five very brave people started the Shaka Movement and thousands of concerned citizens fought long and hard against the Monsanto corrupt machine to place a GMO Moratorium on the ballot here in November 2014….which we amazingly won !! It passed by a large margin ,especially in this low voter Island, but was quickly shelved by our Monsanto friendly Mayor and immediately blocked in court by Monsanto’s high powered lawyers. This past July we finally had our turn with the Ninth Circuit Court and are anxiously waiting a decision. Please check out the Shaka Movement web site for updates. I and many of us will be looking forward to these talks by a group of the top educators on this controversial and increasingly important subject. Many Mahalo’s for bringing out the Truth ! Julie Pittman, Maui, Hawaii, Ground Zero Monsanto

  5. Pennie Newman says:

    Robert, I applaud your initiative and courage, and I hope your class goes as well as you are planning, but do have a back up plan, another venue to hold the classes at, because I predict Cornell finds a reason to refuse you a classroom to hold your class in, and will likely do all in their power to prevent it from happening. You are taking on a very big monster-Monsanto-and they have very deep pockets and overwhelming influence. Don’t underestimate the lengths they will go to, to prevent something like the classes you are planning, in fact, take care for you very life.
    Wishing you the best of luck in this venture!!

  6. Brian Caldwell says:

    Congratulations Robert on your courage, and best wishes on your well thought out campaign. I will be glad to help.
    Brian Caldwell

  7. Art Weaver says:

    We’ve been honored to have Rob Schooler working as an intern this summer at Weaver Wind Energy in Freeville NY – just a few miles NE of Ithaca. His passion and commitment are evident to Twitter followers of @WeaverWind and to our Facebook audience. With energy as with food, the goal must be the same… get it out of the hands of giant corporations and bring it back home to our communities. It’s a daunting task but it feeds one’s spirit. Like Rob, we all need to work on several fronts to make our world ours again. Thank you Rob. ~art

  8. This article excites and depresses me at the same time. That Robert Schooler (love the irony in that name) has taken it upon himself to challenge the status quo at one of the world’s most prestigious universities (nothing but a shill for the nefarious Monsanto Corporation) and to lead an educational campaign to dispel the falsehoods being inculcated makes me want to whoop and holler. But at the same time, that he, a student, has to fight the richest and most powerful people and institutions the world has ever known in order to safeguard our inviolable organisms from “corporate takeover” makes me want to reach for my revolver. This is one of the great crimes of the century, and one that has already been exposed (by Rachel Carson), yet it seems we refuse to properly evolve. It’s called “greed.” I do wonder as time goes by whatever happened to Bill Joy? In 2000 he wrote that paradigm-shifting essay “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us,” eschewing advances in the three transformational sciences e.g., biotechnology, nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence. The dangers, he averred, were too great. No one has heeded his warning; rather, to the contrary, we’ve sped things up. But where is he? Anyway, thank you Robert Schooler. I will be at these lectures this year with bells on (I have just moved to Ithaca, NY). For anyone reading this, you can also do your part by buying organic. avoiding red meat and fossil fuels, and continually voting with your purchases.

    Richard Horan, author, Seeds; Harvest

  9. Darin Wiseman says:

    Wow! You are very eloquent! It is so refreshing to hear someone from basically “the inside ” tell it like it is! I just wish I had the cash, I would donate millions to your AND my cause! On a sad note, I do not feel your class will make it. IT will be terminated, and you will be banned to some desert island (There’d still be prescription drugs in the water though). Hire a bodyguard, because people with our torch to bear are winding up dead. disclaimer: this is NOT a threat… I’m on your side.

  10. Wastrel says:

    Robert, welcome to the world of B.

    The Story of B. Read it.

  11. JoAnn Farb says:

    Robert:

    I have watched with frustration and horror as my daughter who just graduated with a biochem degree from a selective, highly rigorous liberal arts school, has shared with me the sort of, “group think” that has taken hold of the minds of too many in her generation. It seems that the sort of honest thoughtful questioning that I was educated to believe was FOUNDATIONAL to science, is now simply dismissed with the label of, “anti-science” in order to shut down conversation that might challenge the interests of global companies, while a mob-mentality propels students who see themselves as, “pro-science” to jump on board criticizing those who don’t join the group think — essentially ending constructive discourse on issues that profoundly impact all of us.

    Thank you for what you are doing! You give me hope for the future!

  12. Bravo, Robert. As an alumnus of the Cornell CALS I share in your chagrin over the issues class. Please consider a few scientists who are represented in the presentations available on You-Tube from http://www.endofite.com and http://www.soilcursebuster.com.

    They put the science foundation into your planned course of study.

  13. Alex Brown says:

    Robert, greetings and congratulations from a Cornell alumnus of an earlier era! Good luck with your independent course offering — it’s in a great Cornell tradition of personal research and self education. You can find support among faculty, I’m sure, although I don’t have any contacts to suggest.

  14. Mike Labare says:

    Good initiative. However, your course has the same problem the Cornell course had. You have stacked it with the anti-GMO argument. Plus, they sell books and receive lecture funds for speaking. Somehow, independent speakers and experts should be sought out. Always remember, you could be wrong.

  15. Mathius says:

    Dear Robert
    Thank u very much for the work well done, Here in Africa gmos are going viral mostly because of naiveity and corruption, people haven’t really gotten to the realization that if they go on with this soon these seeds will become the currency and it will create over dependency on monsanto for survival, the scariest thing is that they learned pro GMO’s, meanwhile I’m looking-out for opportunities to study more about organic agriculture and better the livelihood of humanity and you’ve given me a whole lot of inspiration,thanks..#Uganda

  16. Kris Monzel says:

    Nicely done, Robert! Please, the world needs your continued passion and commitment to these issues. Academia needs changes agents like you, so please consider completing your education – otherwise they will never consider you a peer and can too easily dismiss your ideas.

  17. rgdavis says:

    What happened to these two scientists connected to Cornel?
    David Pimentel and Lockeretz (first name?) I used these professors for many an article on organic farming.. along with
    Altieri, Rosset, Gliessman… Where were they buried?

  18. rgdavis says:

    Corrections: Spell: Cornell and William Lockeretz

  19. I agree with most everything in this article, except this:

    “As Professor T. Colin Campbell will tell you, the foods that come from this system (animal products and processed foods) are responsible for causing the vast majority of chronic disease.”

    Please consider that it’s FACTORY FARMED animals & processed foods that are the problem, not sustainably/traditionally raised animals:

    http://kellythekitchenkop.com/cowspiracy-farce/

    http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/abcs-of-nutrition/the-china-study-myth/

    Kelly

    • Tom says:

      In fact, I think you have to take it even further with two points:

      1) Healthy saturated fats from (good, organic, grass-fed) animal sources like butter and eggs are very healthy and a great source of energy. If people ate more good fats, they would be more satisfied and wouldn’t crave the sugary junk foods and refined carbohydrates that have taken the place of good fats in the junk-food era. Of course there are some good plant-based saturated fat sources like coconuts and avocados as well. Note that rancid, processed Omega-6-rich polyunsaturated vegetable oils and trans-fats are extremely unhealthy (not to mention GMO in the case of canola, corn and soy, and also rich in pesticides).

      2) Herbivores are the cornerstone of truly sustainable, ecological farming. Herbivores (like cows) cycle grass (which we can’t eat) into nutrients that feed the soil (and store carbon and moisture in the soil), and in turn feed our food crops. The American prairies had such nutrient rich (and carbon-sequestering) soil because of the buffalo – prairie grass dynamic over many many years. Humans managed to turn it into a ‘dust bowl’ pretty quickly with conventional ‘farming’ practices. Anyone interested in sustainable agriculture (and carbon sequestration for combatting climate change) should research grass-fed grazing practices and how to fit that into growing vegetable crops for humans.

      But it is also a fact that far too much meat is eaten in the ‘developed’ world. Maybe if the ‘smart’ people will stop demonizing healthy fats, we could go back to getting most of our energy from fat and stop with the heinous factory farms and the GMO soy and corn that feed them (in the case of conventional meat and dairy) and the GMO corn, soy, and canola (among others) that form the building blocks for sugary carbohydrate-rich junk foods.

      Also it’s really important to realize that the US government subsidizes the growing of GMO corn and soy. This demented system that pays farmers extra to grow as much as possible of the most toxic foods is a root of the problem. But the Monsanto / pesticide / corporate farmer / junk food / factory farm interests that profit from this suicidal system buy the politicians and legislators who give the subsidies and also the ‘regulators’ like the EPA, FDA, and USDA that supposedly protect the public, so the corrupt US political system needs to be fixed… somehow.

      Anyway, a note to Robert: Please look into how herbivores fit into ecological farming, and if you want to round out your understanding of nutrition, please look into the work of Weston Price almost 100 years ago regarding healthy animal fats. But overall it’s great what you’re doing going up against such a source of mis-education about GMOs. Good luck!

      The only real hope we have in the US, I’m afraid, is for each person to learn about the harms of GMOs, pesticides, factory farms, etc and make the choice to stop buying the toxic junk. One person at a time… You’ll be doing a great service educating people to allow them to make that change.

      • As a college professor of holistic studies at a smaller institution, and doctoral candidate researching the lived experience of mothers who follow a “traditional diet for the health of their babies” I I also strongly echo Kelly in her above comment:

        ” I agree with most everything in this article, except this:

        “As Professor T. Colin Campbell will tell you, the foods that come from this system (animal products and processed foods) are responsible for causing the vast majority of chronic disease.”

        Please consider that it’s FACTORY FARMED animals & processed foods that are the problem, not sustainably/traditionally raised animals:

        http://kellythekitchenkop.com/cowspiracy-farce/

        http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/abcs-of-nutrition/the-china-study-myth/

        And … Tom who commented further.

        Robert, you will feel better initially with a totally plant based diet, because you are eliminating the wrong sources of much of the animal based foods, and giving your body a chance to heal from inflammation. But ultimately, you will flourish if you follow your own version of the nutrient dense principles of an an ancestrally informed diet. Notice my use of the word principles, as I am not being prescriptive here, talking about one selection of foods over the other.

        Hope you take time to research the above links.

        Spectacular work and courage taking on big industry and big ag. big academia.
        I will follow your work as I can.

        You might enjoy Caitlin Shetterly’s new book,” Modified”, one woman’s journey through the maze, told in a great narrative. Took on Monsanto her own way, when they wanted to discredit her initial article in Elle magazine, Go Caitlin!

  20. Donna says:

    Bravo! What a wonderful mission. Thank you! Every day it’s one more sickening story after another about how our institutions, politicians and media just completely sell out. I’m also often shocked that in the “debate” no one calls these proponents out on their claims by simply demanding that they cite the science. They are quick to tout safety, but I’m still waiting for one study – independent, long term and controlled – that backs up just one of their claims. Maybe there should be a hashtag – #CiteTheScience in response to everyone who uses the one that I think is “realscience” to discredit anyone who disagrees with the propaganda.

  21. Alice says:

    Robert –

    Good on you. We all must hold out and speak out for what we feel is true and healthy. How about doing your course online so more folks can partake and you don’t have to be in a potential line-of-fire, so to speak? There have been GMO awareness summits online, though of course yours offers its unique slant, roughly: addressing the collusion of science/fake science and academia with corporate ag.

    Thanks.
    Alice

  22. mat says:

    What a good self motivated initiative!
    For further support or inspiration contact our Swiss Bio pioneers at
    http://www.fibl.org/en/homepage.html
    they do lot of good work!

    peace and good luck with your project, mat

  23. Geoff says:

    You Sir, are a legend.

  24. Bravo to you – A YOUNG PERSON- making a difference.. we need so many more of you out there.
    I know so many people going gluten free these days and often wonder if the reaction to gluten is more related to GMO agriculture methods and processing than actual grains..

  25. I am so happy that research for another article (about a woman who wrote poems for an e-book to benefit the endangered animals of Nepal) brought me here. I, too, am a graduate of CALS, (2000), and remember sitting in Dairy classes and An. Sci, when the BST debate was happening. The professors all were very ‘pro-BST’, but I would go home and talk with my former dairy farmer husband, who was very much against BST, and just be confused. Until I found out how much influence Monsanto has over Cornell; its a real love affair – all the way to the bank.

    Good work on this article, and I applaud the way you approach your education and your lifestyle. As for me, I am on a mission to raise all my own meat, and I have always been an avid gardener, home canner, etc. I hope that someday, America will straighten up and have, first, accurate labeling on our food, and then ban all GMO food entirely.

    Write on!

  26. Vegijen says:

    Great article. I found it while trying to find the connection Bill Gates had to Monsanto in regards to his funding the Cornell Alliance for Science. We have a local vegan here that attended one of the groups “strategy” session and calls himself a fellow even though he has no scientific training and I’m not even sure if he has a degree. He runs the VeganGMO group and website with other “science enthusiasts” and has convinced gullible vegans and non vegans here to vote against labeling GMOs and that anyone who is critical of GMOs and the control of food resources is anti-science. I’ve debated with him often and he starts out with his talking points, “I think you and I have a lot in common, we think that food security is important…” I have very reasonable rebuttals that eventually set him over the edge. What I would like to find out is if he’s receiving any funding from the Gates Foundation or big chemical companies. He doesn’t seem to have a job and pops up quick if there’s any post that he sees an opening to talk about how GMOs are going to save the world. His most recent one was an assertion that Round-Up/Glyphosate was safer to drink than vinegar. Since Bill Gates is spending millions on this propaganda program, we need some type of counter. It would be great if this class was available on-line for those of us who would like to have more information and rebuttals to the corporate shills. I hope you are able to record some of the lectures. Wishing you the best on your noble journey and I will be donating.

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