Just The Facts, Ma’am
Loyal Pencillistas know I’m a defender of Genetically Modified Organisms, AKA GMOs. That puts me in a distinct minority in this food fetishist town. People here know me as a liberal-bordering-on-radical and so are aghast when they discover I don’t see GMOs as the tools of the devil.
They say: But what about Monsanto? To which I reply: Sure, Monsanto’s about as evil as, say, Halliburton or Academi (the former Blackwater.) Monsanto makes tons of dough on its patented GMO seeds and uses the most bullying tactics possible to make certain every farmer, every gardener, hell, every kid who plays in the dirt buys its product. Plus, Monsanto actively squashes competition, infringes on free speech, impedes investigations, harasses critics, and literally writes laws that legislators on its payroll can then obediently introduce and pass.
Monsanto is, in short, a bad guy.
A Monsanto Corn Sprout [photo by Peter Newcomb/Reuters]
The ways Monsanto is forcing GMOs upon the world may be despicable but that that doesn’t mean their new species per se necessarily spell the end of civilization. That’s my position.
That said, it was my good fortune to meet Dr. Martha Crouch, better known as Marti, at the Book Corner Monday. “Hey,” I nearly shouted as I read the name on her credit card, “you’re you!”
“Indeed I am,” she replied, smartly.
Marti Crouch, Surrounded By Green, Naturally
I explained how I’ve heard about her through countless folks who’ve taken me to task for defending GMOs. I then asked her to educate me. “I’d be more than happy,” I said, “to change my mind if you’d take the trouble to persuade me — and I buy your argument.”
Marti Crouch is the “real thing” — so sez Pencillista Nancy Hiller. She’s earned herself a national rep. Here, for instance, is a description from a short piece about her appearing in Mother Jones magazine back in 2000:
Martha Crouch, a biology professor at Indiana University in Bloomington and once a pioneering biotechnologist, studied her entire life to reach the pinnacle of her profession. She earned a Ph.D. in developmental biology at Yale before landing at Indiana University, where she teaches and once ran a lab dedicated to cutting edge plant research. In 1990, her lab made the cover of The Plant Cell, the leading journal in the field of plant molecular biology. Instead of launching Crouch into professional nirvana, however, the article marked the end of her research career.
Crouch had tenure and was well-known in her field. But she had awakened one day to the realization that her research was being co-opted by corporations which hoped to apply the science for profit. Further, the manner in which those firms used her discoveries was destroying the natural processes that attracted Crouch to the study of biology in the first place.
In the piece, Crouch is quoted as saying, “You are basically treating the agricultural environment as if it was a factory where you are making televisions or VCRs.”
She’s no longer teaching science because she stopped doing research (IU looked askance at her public denigration of the commercial exploitation of her research.) If anyone can sway me, she’ll be the one.
Marti Crouch has sent me the first of what promises to be a long series of info-packed articles and tracts. It’s an excellent introduction to GMOs from the Union of Concerned Scientists. Consider it GMOs 101. Here it is.
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Even if you think you know all you need to know about GMOs, you should read these pieces. Hey, you may learn something! I know I’m hoping to.
Let the conversation begin.
h/t to both Chuck Rogers and Jerry Boyle for this one:
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Need I even tell you how much this disgusts me?
Wahoo, Drew & Cool Kat
Congrats to Drew Daudelin, the new news reader/producer over at WFIU.
Daudelin (r) With Teller of Penn & Teller
I met Drew at WFHB where he volunteered five days a week to edit each Daily Local News script. The kid was good, I’m telling’ ya. He brought the writing level up dramatically while he was there.
Now, apparently, he’s making real dough. Good for him.
You may also have caught Kat Carlton reading the news during local breaks on Morning Edition the last few months as well. She, too, prepped at WFHB, in fact writing up news stories right next to me on several occasions. Just watching the way she carried herself, I could tell she was going places.
That Alycin Bektesh, WFHB’s redoubtable News Director, she’s got a nose for talent, no? A thought: Maybe WFIU should become a major contributor to WFHB, considering the latter is now the talent pool for the former.
Remember the teenaged girl in Texas who survived the massacre of her family a few weeks ago? The one who gave a heartfelt speech at her family’s memorial? The latest poster child for gun sanity?
Cassidy Stay (center) At Her Family’s Funeral
Her name was (and is) Cassidy Stay. The shooter, if you don’t recall, was searching for his ex-wife and held her sister’s family hostage until they told him where she was. They refused to and as a result were executed, Nazi-style, with bullets to the backs of their heads. Cassidy survived the carnage.
At the memorial Cassidy (who played dead during the gunman’s rampage) said:
I really like Harry Potter. In “The Prisoner of Azkaban,” Dumbledore says, “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times.” I know that my mom, dad, Bryan, Emily, Becca and Zach are in a much better place and that I’ll be able to see them again one day. Thank you all for coming and for showing support for me and my family. Stay strong.
Gun control advocates, naturally, lauded Cassidy to the skies and asked, for the zillionth time, why we have to endure yet another firearms atrocity.
Just as naturally, gun nuts on the far end of that particular spectrum didn’t look as kindly upon the teen girl and those who hero-ized her. In fact, a certain number of people believe Cassidy never was shot at all and that her family was killed in that old reliable trick of the jack-booted gov’t, the false flag job. Not only that, the gun control crowd, acc’d’g to this train of “thought,” works hand in hand with purported “victims” of gun crimes merely to make money. Want detail? Check this vid out. It just may be the most cynical thing you’ve ever seen or heard:
A reminder, kids: There aren’t two sides to every question.