Practical Intelligence over a civil, yet spirited, conversation on politics, culture, and civil society. Episode #44 we discuss sound science, economic growth, and terrorism.
Click here to join the best political talk anywhere … Andrew and I discuss Jonathan Gruber, and how “Gruberization” impacts the national discussion and demeans our politics. We then tackle the issues of energy independence, the #FailMary vote on the Keystone XL pipeline, GMO science, and crony capitalism.
The Langer Cast is BACK! Episode 29: Turnip… For What??!!
We start with a word of thanks to our listeners, with a word about our “adequasivity” from Bill McNeil. Andrew tells his tale of Howl O’ Scream expectations gone horribly awry, coupled with a note about doing the right thing for a friend. And I talk a little about being Unfriended on facebook because of Columbus Day.
Julie, taking advantage of a break in DC’s tornado warnings, joins us in the second segment. We talk about food policy, GMOs (of course, with a tip o’ the hat to Jimmy Kimmel), and chat about Cook’s Country and America’s Test Kitchen’s Chris Kimball.
We then preview and discuss the curious case of Michelle Obama and a turnip (for what?).
Finally, we talk speech – the horrible “star chamber” at Fordham University, the lunacy of Houston’s iron-fisted mayor subpoena-ing sermons, and have a discussion of whether objectivists are uncomfortable defending people of faith.
Colorado Food Fight
By Jerry Rogers
For years now, American farmers have reported the numerous advantages of using genetically modified (GM) crops. What’s more, roughly 2,000 studies have confirmed that genetically modified organisms (GMO) are as safe as or safer than conventional or organic foods. For thirty years, the science has remained unchanged. Yet, the anti-GMO activists continue their disinformation campaign.
Ronnie Cummins, national director for the anti-GMO Organic Consumers Association (OCA), wrote that the “turning point in the anti-GMO Movement in the U.S. came in 2012-13 when organic and anti-GE organizations … decided to bypass the federal government and launch high-profile, multi-million dollar state ballot initiative campaigns for mandatory labeling of GMOs in California and Washington State.”
Mr. Cummins knows that the campaign for state-based labeling has nothing to do with a consumer’s right to know, and everything to do with using mandatory labeling to drive GMOs off the market. He admits that “state legislative battles in Vermont, Oregon, and other states will likely reach critical mass in 2014, forcing industry and the federal government to finally adopt EU-type regulations and practices on GMOs.”
Over four dozen pieces of legislation have been introduced in nearly 30 states to require GMO labeling. This death-by-a-thousand-cuts campaign has traveled to Colorado with a GMO labeling question on that state’s November ballot.
The good news is that some in the mainstream media are paying attention to the science and benefits of GMOs. Just last week, the Denver Post editorial board urged its readers to vote “no” on the GMO labeling measure (Proposition 105)—writing that it is “a badly flawed measure that will hurt Colorado farmers and food producers without providing any health benefit to consumers.”
The politics of GMOs need to catch up with the science. There is federal legislation that may be a good first step in doing just that. Introduced by Reps. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.) and G.K. Butterfield (D., N.C.), the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014” would preempt unsound efforts like Colorado’s Prop105 and create national standards for food labeling under the sole authority of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
This week, Andrew and I are live from the studios of One America News! A special message goes out to one of the LangerCast’s most-dedicated fans. Andrew talks about slugging, and the dumbest things he’s ever read. We talk about the mishandling of the global Ebola crisis, and I expose the myths in the latest US unemployment numbers. Then we talk about why we are of two minds regarding the video ambush of Lois Lerner, and how to think about politics and policy as if we’re playing in the post-season.
It’s Episode 27 of the LangerCast: GMOs, Jeter and GoGos vs. the Bangles! Andrew Langer and I are joined by Michi Iliazi from the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA), live from the offices of Americans for Tax Reform.
We break down the State Policy Network annual meeting in Denver last week, talk about the Derek Jeter era coming to an end. We discuss my new op-ed in The Daily Caller on GMOs. Michi gets us up to date on what the TPA is doing!
We talk trademark destruction – government interfering in intellectual property rights by mandating plain-wrapper packaging to deciding which trademarks are offensive and therefore nullified. We then tie this all into Operation Choke point and the overall war on free speech.
Then we re-ignite the GoGos vs. the Bangles debate, as Michi shows off his 80s trivia skills.
PLEASE TAKE A LISTEN, SUBSCRIBE, AND LET YOUR FRIENDS KNOW ALL ABOUT THE LANGER CAST!
By Jerry Rogers
The Journal of Animal Science has published in its October issue a new study confirming all other GMO science. It is one of the most important and comprehensive reviews on the topic.
My piece (below) takes a look at the science v. ideology challenge of GMO policy, and I offer a simple idea on how to reset the debate.
“You might think that environmentalists who make up the bulk of the anti-GMO movement would support GMO cultivation, with its greater yields and efficient use of farmland, as a great ecological victory. The key is that GMO science stands in the way of their Malthusian/anti-wealth ideology. More food produced on less land will only help to feed a larger and increasingly more affluent global population.” Read the rest here:
Yet Another Study Confirms GMOs Are Safe, So Why Are Bans Still Spreading, The Daily Caller, 9/30/2014
It Can be Declared that the Scientific Debate Over GMO is Closed.
By Jerry Rogers
The scientific debate over the risks associated with genetically modified organisms (GMO) is over; the science is absolutely settled.
For anti-GMO activists to say otherwise—i.e., that GMO are not adequately tested, or that they are harmful—they have to either cherry pick the data from politically tainted, scientifically-challenged sources, or these (scare) activists are simply denying the science.
There have been 2,000 studies documenting that GMO science does not pose a risk to our health and GM foods are as safe as or safer than conventional or organic foods.
Yet, the activists still ring the anti-GMO alarm. The failure of these anti-GMO activists to consider science when advocating policy betrays their true motive: kill bio-science and disrupt the market.
The sad truth is that the activists have an ulterior agenda centered on discrediting and banning GMO science. They believe that what we eat and drink is their business. They are seeking to disrupt the free market and destroy biotechnology by ignoring the science and scaring people about what’s in their food.
Well, now we have more science to confirm all the rest of the science. Writing in the October issue of the Journal of Animal Science, in the most comprehensive study of GMO ever conducted, University of California-Davis Department of Animal Science geneticist Alison Van Eenennaam reviewed 30 years of livestock productivity and health data from both before and after the introduction of genetically engineered animal feed.
What does the science say? The science says (again) that GM feed is safe and nutritionally equivalent to non-GM feed.
Considering the size of the dataset, it can convincingly be declared that the scientific debate over GMO is closed.
No Food Surveillance in the Next Congress
By Jerry Rogers
After the National Security Agency (NSA), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and Department of Justice (DOJ) scandals, polls show little support for expanding government surveillance.
However, some in Congress – looking ahead to 2015 – support the scheme of a food surveillance program run out of the Department of Agriculture.
Just last year, Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) introduced an amendment to the Farm Bill requiring food surveillance in the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The legislation would have mandated that retail food stores collect, and report to the Secretary of Agriculture, detailed information that identifies food items purchased with benefits provided under the supplemental nutrition assistance program. Big Brother watching what we purchase at the grocery story.
SNAP food surveillance would be an enormous, governmental undertaking with far reaching implications for all Americans, not just SNAP recipients. How much would mandated surveillance cost supermarkets? How will store clerks distinguish between food purchased through SNAP or with cash? Why should we trust that the surveillance would not spread to all food purchased by all Americans?
Thankfully, the Republican majority rejected the Marino proposal, but some Members want to revisit the idea in the next Congress.
Whether it’s under the guise of entitlement reform or public health, some politicians may favor food monitoring and restrictions because it’s an easy way to show voters that they’re being good stewards of taxpayer money. On the contrary, food restrictions in SNAP will create a food code mimicking the complexity of the IRS tax code.
Government food surveillance will not make people healthier; it will not save taxpayer money; and it will not reform entitlements.
Food surveillance could have its start in SNAP, but will end up impacting all Americans.