Thursday, November 1, 2012

Why Aren't GMOs a Campaign Issue?

By Bill Maher

According to a poll done a few years ago, over 90 percent of Americans in all age groups and income levels think genetically modified food should be labeled. Seems like a no-lose campaign issue for either Romney or Obama. So why aren't they talking about it?

Back in 2007, Obama said he supported food labeling; but since he's been president he's been silent. And so has Romney, even though there's evidence both Romney and his wife eat mostly organic food, which suggests to me that they have at least some concern about what they put in their mouths. Or maybe they're just trying to counteract the daily campaign diet of photo-op corn dogs.

Actually, I can see why Romney would be hesitant to talk about GMOs, because in his early days as a consultant he helped convince the company Monsanto to shift its focus from chemical manufacturing to biotech.

Leaving aside the question of whether genetically-modified crops are good or bad (and since some studies have shown feeding it to rats gives them giant tumors, I vote for "bad"), it’s a simple issue of you have the right to know what you're eating.

Conservatives are constantly having freakouts over the phony notion that Obamacare gives government bureaucrats control over their bodies. But Monsanto already has control over your body, unless you spend eight hours a day researching every item sold at Trader Joe's. Scientists can't even do studies on Monstanto GM seeds unless Monstanto gives them permission first.

It reminds me of how when you buy the new Taylor Swift album on iTunes you don't actually own the music. You only own a license to play the music file.

Corporations are able to arbitrarily make the rules and we just have to suck it up and accept it. That is, if we want to eat and listen to music.


John McNeil said...

unrelated- just a commentary on your most recent show- in response to Segal- if you were to do the 'right things' you would fail. The 'Right Thing' is bound to fail. Romney wins, so do you. Expedience of incompetence is almost always more worthwhile than truth. And i double dare you to pretend that you don't give a shit, or truly know the way of sheep... i double dare you....

John McNeil said...

dares being what they are, of course....

John McNeil said...

fuck you, btw, why do you fold so easily?

John McNeil said...

you have the upper hand and you fold- just curious why

John McNeil said...

as a neuroscientist, a geneticist, i feel compelled to ask why you do what you do? not a rhetorical question. What do you think you might accomplish??? and as a neuroscientist and a geneticist, i really want to know if you really want to know.

John McNeil said...

and thank you, btw

John McNeil said...

and if you think you know what St Thomas was about, i would argue otherwise.

John McNeil said...

i would argue that you do not have any opinion, but hope that you had more than i

Anonymous said...

This blog post is just patently stupid. I agree with Bill Maher on virtually every issue, but I just have to shake my head in disgust that someone so witty can buy into this pseudoscientific anti-GMO nonsense. Anyone with even the most rudimentary understanding of toxicology and genetics can see that everything the anti-GMO people are saying about the dangers of GM foods just doesn’t make any sense. To top it all off there is a pending population driven food crisis in the midst with huge decreases in arable land projected well into the future due to global warming. Organic agricultural methods in contrast can’t even come remotely close to the yields necessary to feed the present world’s population let alone the extra 2 billion people in 30 some years. I can understand why people would want detailed food labels, but it’s quite scary to think that a new consumer demand for non-GMO foods would decrease the number of high yielding GM crop farmers in the future. The supermarket shelves are packed in the USA at present, but the future agricultural projections sure look bleak without GM foods.

Anonymous said... I love your show. I don't agree with everything you say, but love your intelligent mockery of the system we have in place. I also love the documentary and whole-heartedly agree. At the end of the day, I have mostly democratic beliefs. I judge politicians in the only way i know how...I vote largely on perceived character. I think if you've had ups and downs, friends from very different walks of life, and or lived a relatively worldly life, you have this sense. Right or wrong. But I think this article says a lot. About character. What a shame. I do very well financially and am happy to pay my share for the greater good. Rather than suck the life out of the people that have no way to fight back.

Anonymous said...

You and your koolaid drinkers (remember Jim Jones in Guyana) are pathetic. The statement you made last night about blacks going after Romney supporters, I say bring them on. In fact I got something special for you. You ever watch sniper. You are the representative of what is wrong with this country you and your liberal freak leaches should be rounded up, executed, and then dump at sea. Since you don't believe in God (which means you have no soul, therefore no morality, the world would not miss you). Or you could just do everyone a favor and eat a bullet.

Anonymous said...

You and your koolaid drinkers (remember Jim Jones in Guyana) are pathetic. The statement you made last night about blacks going after Romney supporters, I say bring them on. In fact I got something special for you. You ever watch sniper. You are the representative of what is wrong with this country you and your liberal freak leaches should be rounded up, executed, and then dump at sea. Since you don't believe in God (which means you have no soul, therefore no morality, the world would not miss you). Or you could just do everyone a favor and eat a bullet.

Anonymous said...

Suck dick Bill. I will rip your head off and shit down your throat. I am not worried about niger or anybody else that does not like my Romney vote. Most of us crackers own an arsenal. So they might want to think twice before they fuck with any Romney supporters bitch! I'm not worried at all. In fact I hope they do come. Would be some decent target practice. Bitch!

Anonymous said...

Two things we don't know but it is probable that Monsanto now maybe the owner of the shell company that bought (XE) black water.

second point is the Monsanto's pseudo slavery.

Monsanto is crazy scary Corporation that uses influence harmful ways.

Thanks Bill!

Helium3 said...

Were you really attempting to draw a correlation between Sandy and global warming? In the midst of hurricane season (i.e. when hurricanes form) you mean to tell me your research unequivocally concludes that Sandy was caused by global warming? Latent heating is the primary driver which fuels the hurricane season. Happens every year and has been since the EPICA ice cores were deconstructed. The EPICA ice cores give us the most accurate depiction of weather patterns for the past 600K years.

Latent heating occurs naturally. Man does not impact latent heating. Man cannot impact latent heating. Take some time and research the number of volcanic eruptions that occur between the end of fall to early spring which is prior to the hurricane season. Then do the simple math calculating the average percentages of ozone depleting effects from those volcanic eruptions. Compare that to the estimated percentages of man made ozone depleting gasses within the same time period. Volcanic eruptions beat mankind 10 to 1. 10 to 1! Now explain to me how even if we were magically able to snap our fingers and immediately cease the burning of fossil fuels and the release of CFCs into the atmosphere we would somehow impact global warming? Mankind's impact on the atmosphere compared to that of nature is the equivalent of an ant attempting to move a grain of sand from a beach to make it somehow make it smaller.

Mankind influenced global warming is a joke because it does not exist. Ironic how someone who does not believe in the existence of a benevolent being is so willing to believe in a similar non-existent and non-provable thing such as mankind influenced global warming.

Anonymous said...

Helium3 you can say they aren't caused by one another that's a weak argument but you cannot say the don't correlate that's a crazy argument.

look at these graphs:
carbon in the atmosphere

Then look at this one:
global average temperature

Anonymous said...

Sir, I think you are so vicious and cruel in life because you get attention that way. You used to be funny now you are just another backside in humanity. You do not care what you say , who you humiliate, you have no family and really nothing going for you but this insanity you display. Do you not realize politicians are cut from the same cloth, it does not matter on which side they reside.

Anonymous said...

Sir, I apologize for calling you a backside. What I meant to say is sometimes you act like a backside. I know you can be better though, there is hope until last breath in this life. I hope you come to realize a man with your position has the power to do good and great things, this can be helped by the words you speak. To much is given much is expected. Call it karma, fate, or whatever you wish. I want you to be doing good in life and have the power within yourself to leave the vicious commentary and move on to better ways.

Sarah E. Villicana said...

Hi. I don't know how to submit an absolutely horrendous newspaper editorial for the writers of the show to consider, so I'm just going to post it here. This was published recently in my hometown paper in Central California which promotes a Libertarian philosophy. You will be picking your jaw off the floor by the end, I promise you. The link is The text: Charging racism is serious allegation
October 28, 2012 9:28 PM

This week a good number of residents of this community got charged up over what they felt was racism in what actually turned out to be a bad case of miscommunication.

On Wednesday, the social media sites, the Recorder’s phone and, we are certain, phones in the Burton School District and at Changala’s Pumpkin Patch, were afire with activity.

A misguided letter sent home by kindergarten teachers at Summit Charter Academy that hinted at racism stirred up a good number of parents and others.
Fortunately, it was not a case of racism.

A request by the owners of Changala’s that teachers in the dual immersion program be able to speak with them in English if needed got taken out of context and led to the teachers cancelling a planned field trip for approximately 100 kindergartners to the pumpkin patch.
According to the business owner Liz Changala, and verified by school officials, the whole incident was a misunderstanding and could have been cleared up with a phone call, which apparently did not occur. Reportedly, when the teachers said they could only speak in Spanish, the business owner said it was a concern and asked them to be able to speak in English.

The teachers then sent out a letter to parents telling them the trip was cancelled because the owners would not allow them to speak in Spanish. That started the firestorm that led to charges of racism, acts of vandalism and even death threats for the owners.

Charging racism is akin to yelling fire in a crowded theater. It can have grave consequences and even though the teachers did not call the business owners racist, they certainly insinuated as much. Many people did use the term racists.

The teachers were wrong in sending out the note without first going through the channels to rectify the situation. The Changalas have been in business too long to be racists. Racism has no place in Porterville or our nation, but especially in Porterville where more than 60 percent of the population is Hispanic. Being a racist here would mean a short term business venture.
Hopefully, everyone will realize it was a misunderstanding and go along with their lives. The kindergartners certainly did that during their visit to the pumpkin patch the next day.

Anonymous said...

Completely unrelated but a point all of that all Americans have been kept in the dark about!!!!!
Paul Ryan's hidden relative!!!!
Goober from Mayberry RFD on the Andy Griffin show. When you put the picture of Ryan with his baseball cap on backwards lifting weights next to Goober.....the resemblence is undeniable. WHY has no one noticed this....WHY is the Romney/Ryan campaign keeping this relative out of site and hidden?? Are they ashamed??? Is Goober part of the 47%? Does Goober believe in climate change and that the seas are rising?Or better yet is Goober gay???

Michael said...

Why isn't the 1872 Mining Law? Oh yeah, Harry Reid. You guys have to check out this book "Boom, Bust, Boom" by Bill Carter. I want to see him on your show as a panelist:

Helium3 said...

Bill - why won't you invite Thomas Sowell to be a panelist on your whiny bitch show? Because you know he will systematically dismantle your whiny "opinions" with actual facts? Imagine that...presenting the people with actual information versus opinions.

Helium3 said...

Quote: "Helium3 you can say they aren't caused by one another that's a weak argument but you cannot say the don't correlate that's a crazy argument."

Proof that dems are too stupid to comprehend an intelligent argument.

Anonymous - re-read my post and COMPREHEND what the message is. Mankind somehow having a dramatic influence on global warming as proposed by the hidden agenda liberals is the equivalent of you thinking you can increase the depth of the ocean by adding a drop of water to it.

Anonymous said...

Two things:

1) I am a highly educated person that considers the lack of peer-reviewed research on GMOs dangerous and irresponsible. Not all scientists think like you do, Anonymous (11:53PM). If GMOs are safe, test them.

2) Bill, are you able to cite your comment that scientists are not allowed to test GMO seeds without Monsanto's permission? I would like to know more about this.

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Unknown said...

Morality has nothing to do with religion moron. Religion got morals from humans. Just like how the god in the bible is just a reflection of us. Even other animals have rudimentary morals. Wake the fuck up and read some nonfiction and science. Idiots everywhere. Just like anti GMO anti vaccine folks. Pseudoscience at its best.

Unknown said...

I know. It's strange. There are a decent amount of smart liberals who have their own antiscience bias. It's different from the right but still dangerous. It seems to be more the ideologues with little understanding of science. A good portion of my fellow liberals including Bill need a dose of Chris Mooney, Michael Shermer, and Michael Specter.

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James Moore said...

It seems to me all about the money power. Monsanto is making huge profits which is like double the last year in millions on the cost of human race. FDA is allowing us to eat unregulated GMO contaminated foods, no wonder so many people are mentally and physically ill. Leaky gut, inflammation and allergies have all been affected. These problems affect everyone and everything. GMO documentary films like "Seeds of Freedom", "The World According to Monsanto", "Bad Seed: The Truth About Our Food", "Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives" , "Genetically Modified Food: Panacea or Poison?" and "The Future of Food" are amazing eye openers on GMO food debate.

Let's all reject GMO foods and use organic food instead!

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