Global Risk Assessment of GMO’s – paper

The paper:

Excerpt: “In a new study, which is still in draft form, this professor of risk engineering from New York University uses statistical analysis to make the case that GMOs, by their very nature, will disrupt the ecosystems of this planet in ways that mankind is only just beginning to comprehend. Because they represent a systemic risk rather than a localized one — GM traits are known to spread unconstrained throughout the environment — GMOs will eventually breach the so-called “ecocide barrier,” leading to catastrophic ecosystem failure.

“There are mathematical limitations to predictability in a complex system, ‘in the wild,’ which is why focusing on the difference between local (or isolated) and systemic threats is a central aspect of our warnings,” Taleb is quoted as saying by, noting that it’s essentially impossible to contain the inevitable spread of GMO traits far and wide.

“The [precautionary principle] is not there to make life comfortable, rather to avoid a certain class of what is called in probability and insurance ‘ruin’ problems,” write Taleb and his colleagues in their paper. “For nature, the ‘ruin’ is ecocide: an irreversible termination of life at some scale, which could be the planet.”

GMOs are not ‘scientific,’ and nearly every argument used in their defense is flawed

Besides using math and risk-based analysis to show that GMOs simply cannot coexist with nature as is commonly claimed — GMOs will eventually contaminate the natural world around them — Taleb also deconstructs many of the “arguments” used by GMO advocates to defend the commercial use of untested transgenic materials, including the oft-repeated lie that GMOs are no different than natural organisms.

“Genetically Modified Organisms, GMOs fall squarely under [the precautionary principle]… because of their systemic risk on the system,” explains Taleb. “Top-down modifications to the system (through GMOs) are categorically and statistically different from bottom up ones (regular farming, progressive tinkering with crops, etc.).”

“There is no comparison between the tinkering of selective breeding and the top-down engineering of taking a gene from an organism and putting it into another. Saying that such a product is natural misses the statistical process by which things become ‘natural.'”

Taleb also draws attention to the deceitful strategies of biotechnology companies in trying to legitimize the continued use of GMOs through fear. Claiming that famine, starvation and widespread crop failures will occur if we all fail to adopt GMOs is no different than playing Russian roulette in order to get out of poverty, claims Taleb — such an approach is hardly scientific or logically sound, and yet these and other tactics are the basis of the pro-GMO agenda.”

Ash Comment: it continues to amaze me how arrogant all these large businesses are, and also how little they seem to care for the lovely world we all live in. They are what are called ‘asuras’ in the buddhist six realm cosmology, people aspiring to be gods living a life of perfect ease, delight, unbroken happiness, stress free etc. but not being so, hence they are involved in perpetual achievement struggles, either clambering over those below in order to get to the top, or pulling down those they see as higher up, they are continuously and forever paranoid, greedy, selfish and essentially humourless – unless laughing at another’s misfortune or lack of asura skills. So although their goal is peace and stillness, their means to achieving that goal perpetually engenders the opposite – strife and stress.

GMO’s, quite simply, should be banned. Monoculture and agribusiness farming should be banned. As organised societies with governments for which ultimately we are responsible – not matter the system – we should do better at preventing this asura mentalility from dominating our cultures and ruining our beautiful world. They are heartless and do not deserve the degree of influence and control our complacent naivity has been affording them this past century or so.

Will it ever end? I keep hoping that young people all over the world will rise up and overthrow the old order we have given them. Peacefully if possible, of course, but thoroughly and without compromise. Maybe if more of us prayed for that every day, it was magically unfold.

Well, I for one will start praying every day, and maybe soon will offer such a prayer here on the blog….


GM Cotton series

Last night at Allegro’s delicious International Dinner (Indian), I was seated next to a friend (and neighbour) who has been suffering from a bad rash on her hand, and similar rashes and puffiness around the eyes, and also some sinus problems – for over a month now. It seems that after some difficulty, and trying several therapies both alternative and conventional, that she has found a good GP who is giving her helpful salves.

But as she was unwrapping her birthday present, which included a pair of cotton track pants, something jogged in my memory about GM cotton and rashes, which I blurted to my other neighbour at the table, a senior medial professional, who (rightly) regarded my comment as a little bizarre because it was seemingly out of context. When I mentioned how there had been reports of terrible rashes in India due to the proliferation of Monsanto-derived GM cotton crops, and also tens of thousands of suicides, he reasonably asked for a connection between the rashes and the suicides at which point, on further reflection, I confessed that I had no clear memory of the topic and left it at that. However this morning I decided to research this a little on the internet, and a Google search for : “gm cotton rash india” revealed the following article, which contains many other links, some of which I have also pasted in. Not surprisingly, it confirms what I only vaguely remembered, but just to clarify the above paragraph before the reader delves into the longer articles below – should you so choose – the rashes were not causing the suicides, rather the indebtedness of the farmers using GM crops. And although I doubt that my neighour’s rash has anything to do with GM cotton, still it is interesting to note in one of the linked articles entitlded ‘More illnesses linked to Bt crops’:

“Those who had more severe symptoms of the skin tend also to have associated allergies of eyes and respiratory tract. Eye irritation, involving itching, redness, swelling and watery eyes affected 11 of the 23 individuals; 9 had upper respiratory symptoms of watering from the nose and excessive sneezing. Three had mild symptoms, while 10 each had severe and moderate symptoms respectively.”

Very similar to my neighbour’s symptoms in that her most obvious bad rash on on the right hand between thumb and forefinger (around the He Gu LI 4 Master acupuncture point on the Large Intestine meridian which is the brother/mate of the Lung meridian) and skin eruptions are connected with Lung organ in that the skin is the ‘exit’ of the Lungs, but also she has reddened swollen skin around the eyes, mainly on one side, indicated liver / toxin issues in that the eyes are the main sense organs of the liver. And this rash of problems (pun intended) began, if I remember correctly, with sinus issues. Maybe these sorts of symptoms are common with a whole family of allergic or toxic or whatever disorders; not being a doctor I have no idea.

But in any case, I was more or less right in my vague memory about the GM cotton in India, rashes and mass suicides, though it should be noted that there were mass suicides before GM cotton in India, albeit they accelerated.

Of special interest is several reports about how the solution to this is simply going back to organic production: soil heath returns, yields increase, pests decrease, debt is eradicated. Basically, large corporations have succeeded in using junk science to scare people into thinking that they need products and services which they don’t, and for which they pay with lifetimes of servitude to their banker masters (debt). It’s an increasingly common story in all fields.

The main article is the second line below ” Farmer suicides etc.”

GM Cotton Series
gm cotton rash india – Google Search
Farmer Suicides and Bt Cotton Nightmare Unfolding in India
Organic Cotton Beats Bt Cotton in India
More Illnesses Linked to Bt Crops
Deadly gift from Monsanto to India
Return to Organic Cotton & Avoid the Bt-Cotton Trap
GMO alert: top 10 genetically modified foods to avoid eating
Cotton – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Later addition: this article is pro-GM, challenging what it regards as inaccuracies/hyperbole in most of the coverage claiming that GM cotton (and other crops) are harmful etc.