-23 votes

Confession from a paid shill for Monsanto and Big Pharma

Just kidding. I'm not a paid shill. I earn exactly as much money by defending the principles of molecular biology and pharmacology as I make by defending free-market libertarianism- $0.

In every thread or post about GMO's or pharmaceuticals or medicine, I am inevitably accused of being a paid shill, often by more than one person. I'm not exaggerating when I say HUNDREDS of people have made this baseless, childish accusation. It is ubiquitous, and pathetic.

Why is this happening?

Are people so convinced of their beliefs that they can't even fathom that someone would have a genuine, educated, and opposing scientific viewpoint? Just because someone criticizes the mythology of the church does not mean they are possessed by the devil.

It is incredible to me that so many of a group of people who pride themselves in being "awake" are so quick to stoop to primitive anti-intellectualism. The "natural" health/alternative medicine movement has become a hivemind united in the lowest common denominator of sensationalism and logical fallacy.

I can't even estimate how many times I've been told to "keep drinking the fluoride, man." It is a brainless, meaningless, hypocritical insult, and as a dentist I will keep brushing my teeth with fluoridated toothpaste because it hardens enamel and makes it more caries resistant. I will also keep using my limited influence to stop public water fluoridation, because I strongly oppose the practice for both ethical and scientific reasons. People aren't even attempting to understand the mindset and perspective of the strangers (who are often allies in liberty) they are insulting.

Ultimately the blame comes down to each individual, but there are influential leaders in the natural health/alternative movement who are spewing anti-science disinformation, and they have a legion of followers who parrot their style of demagoguery and spam their propaganda everywhere. The worst example of this, of course, is Mike Adams of Natural News. His propaganda is so distinctly emotional (and unscientific) that I can often not only recognize his work instantly, but whether someone else has been influenced by his work. With the possible exception of Alex Jones, he is unrivaled in his ability to create an alarmist frenzy out of non-existent, minimal, or even conflicting information. There are Natural News disciples who have more confidence in the pseudoscience of the Natural Fallacy than Einstein did in the principles of physics. I mean this literally. Einstein had doubts about physics, while many NaturalNewsers have no doubt whatsoever that GMOs, pesticides, vaccines, psychiatric and other pharmaceutical drugs, nuclear power, et cetera are going to destroy the human race.

Is this what people prefer to believe? Chemophobia?

This has to stop. I'm sick of the fear-mongering. I'm sick of getting accused of being a paid shill in every conversation. I'm sick of getting blasted with pseudoscience alarmism. Defending the claims of Natural News by linking to a different Natural News article, which is defended by a different Natural News article, which is based on a documentary by an activist film maker who based his work on Greenpeace research, mixed in with angry name-calling and false allegations, is NOT debating.

We don't live in a black and rainbow fairy tale. Don't be that anti-intellectual who is manipulated by demagogues. Science is often counter-intuitive and complicated. Scientific evidence and mechanisms should not be angrily and immediately dismissed because they conflict with preconceived notions, superstition, and speculation. Corporations, including Monsanto, and the government are NOT always wrong, particularly in the case of science. Opposing a government program like NASA does not mean that the principles and accomplishments in astronautics are lies and conspiracies. This is analogous to the FDA and EPA in medicine and agriculture.

I AM NOT A SHILL. So please stop accusing me and the other defenders of modern medicine/science as such.



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It's not the content of your posts that gets you downvotes.

It's your tone. If you are trying to convince people of something, don't talk down to them like they are total idiots.

“Although it was the middle of winter, I finally realized that, within me, summer was inextinguishable.” — Albert Camus

TY Delysid!

Keep the info coming :) I am very interested in the political bioengineering issues but lack the understanding --- there is so much out there and, with limited time and capacity for biochemistry, I try to read all posts that present clearly both sides of the issue and I simply can't take a side --- For now, I teach my kids to feed themselves with good real food as much as possible and stay away from sugar & processed food while getting outside to run around and exercise!

I have a question for you if you care to look at it - I have been drinking CAW water (Willard's water) for over a year on the advise of an healthy old lady-friend of mine and like the results --- am I experiencing a "placebo affect" or is there any good science to it?

http://drwillard.com/

I had never heard of Willard's water.

But the description of it was total gibberish from the first paragraph. Water is the most well studied and understand molecule. Without knowing anything about Willard, you could safely bet your life that one man hasn't found secrets about water that no one else understands (or in this case they don't even understand).

It seems highly probable that you are experiencing the placebo effect.

However, if you are drinking a lot of this water, that means you are drinking a lot of water. The postive feeling of being well hydrated (as opposed to dehydrated) is not a placebo effect.

thanks

:)

You know what's really

You know what's really fascinating about this thread? It redirects me from the main website and invalidates my password. I can only presume that Monsanto doesn't like the fact that I found their little nicotine-in-the-Roundup secret.

I never accused you of being paid.

You are just stupid and can't seem to let your failed arguments lay. It's like you actually think that if you keep spouting your ignorance then everyone will just turn stupid also and agree with you. You are living proof that just because someone goes to college doesn't mean they become more intelligent.

I have tried to give you the benefit of doubt in that you may be pushing GMO because you have some stock interest in Monsanto or some other biotech corporation buy you are determined to make your idiocy irrefutable.

So be it Mr Mark Lundgren. Perhaps you should change your name again and then people will listen to you. LOL

You just implied I have monetary interest

Right after saying you never called me a paid shill. That is pretty much the same thing.

I changed my name during the Boston Bombing whackjob crisis so that my name was not associated with the lunacy.

Also, I think you are quite stupid as well. I guess religion did not help you out either.

You make my point quite well

Getting paid to champion something and having a monetary interest in something are not "pretty much the same" yet you twist and construe to make your false point just as you do with your GMO stance. Also you are lying again because you changed your name and removed your drunken picture way before the Boston bombing. Are you a compulsive liar? Do you think people don't have powers of observation and memory? You are showing yourself to be a joke.

LOL! My "drunken picture" was me having a beer as a groomsman

So now who is twisting and construing to make a false point?

You are such a hypocrite. Thanks for making me laugh.

And by the way, I consider downvotes in threads attacking the NaturalNews herpaderps to be a mark of honor.

I stand corrected about the Boston Bombing. It was during the Sandy Hook period I changed my name. Sorry, there have been so many periods psychotic conspiracy idiocy that they are running together.

Ok. I'm sorry

I'm sure that you didn't get drunk at the wedding just like I didn't get drunk at my ex best friends wedding. wink wink nudge nudge. But that was many many years ago.

And just for the record I did down vote this post but I have not down voted any of your subsequent responses. It's more your condescending attitude and efforts to group those who disagree with you than it is the mere fact of your skewed and apparently self serving position on the issue. I've never read NaturalNews so I can't comment on their material but I am pretty sure you are the top herpaderp in this crowd. Yep, I just looked it up and sure enough there you were holding that beer that you didn't get drunk off of. LMAO

You mentioned you're a dentist...

But I'm not so sure. I'm sniffing traditional pharmacy training in there somewhere...Regardless, I especially enjoyed this sentence, "...and as a dentist I will keep brushing my teeth with fluoridated toothpaste because it hardens enamel and makes it more caries resistant. I will also keep using my limited influence to stop public water fluoridation, because I strongly oppose the practice for both ethical and scientific reasons."

Why is brushing with fluoride any safer than drinking it (taking into account the obvious greater ingestion by drinking)? Is it really just a matter of degree, or is fluoride bad for you? Why would I want to poison my children, even if it's just placed in their mouths?

The ethical case against water fluoridation is stronger

There are scientific arguments to be made against drinking fluoridated water but none of them are strongly conclusive (including the oft cited Harvard IQ study). There is no reason to deliberately drink fluoride, as the mechanism for fluoride therapy is topical, not systemic,. Realistically you will inevitably swallow a small amount as you brush, even if you expectorate, so functionally it is the same really outcome, but it is the principle of the matter. Alternative medicine advocates have a tendency to greatly exaggerate the dangers of low doses of fluoride. This is why I concentrate on the ethical case against water fluoridation.

Fluoride strengthens children's teeth. It is not essential to use fluoride, especially if children have excellent hygiene, but that is no easy task. Children's hygiene tends to be terrible.

Personally, I think it has less to do with hygiene

and more to do with nutrition. Fluoride is one neuro-toxin that I choose to keep from my children's bodies. Thankfully, I have that choice.

Nutrition? Kind of, but not really.

I'm assuming you are a follower of Weston Price, the man who removed tens of thousands of healthy teeth because of pseudoscience and superstition. He was right about some nutrition issues, but way off base and debunked on a lot of his claims. There are alternative medicine advocates who don't seem to realize that he died 80 years ago, and a lot of research has been done since. (understatement of the year)

Nutrition matters in that if you are giving the bacteria in your mouth a constant source of fructose (aka the Mountain Dew diet) the bacteria will thrive. Once they form a biofilm, and plaque, (and in adults calculus) nutrition stops playing so much of a role.

The only thing you can really do is physically remove the bacteria through good hygiene and strengthen the enamel using fluoride to make it more bacteria resistant.

Genetics plays a role as well, as does tooth morphology.

You don't have to use flouride

to bust up biofilms. There are lots of natural ways to do this without using a neurotoxin to do so.

So, if a kid

has a diet of lollipops but brushes his teeth after every one, we can expect no cavities? Is that your point?

See here is my problem

For someone who claims they are very fact driven, you don't seem to provide any kind of empirical evidence to support your claims.

I'm always willing to here both sides of an argument, but only if you have facts to support your side of the argument.

"Scientific evidence and mechanisms should not be angrily and immediately dismissed because they conflict with preconceived notions, superstition, and speculation. Corporations, including Monsanto, and the government are NOT always wrong, particularly in the case of science."

I have two issues with this statement. The first one being what I had mentioned earlier, in which you don't list any examples to support your evidence about being wrong. In reality, they probably have done at least one thing right, but again facts should never be assumed.

My second issue is you claim scientific evidence and mechanisms should not be angrily and immediately dismissed, yet here you are angrily and immediately dismissing peoples claims about organic food being healthier.Just because the people who you are debating don't have there facts straight doesn't me there aren't any in general to support what they are saying. It just seems a little hypocritical don't you think?

I am in no way saying either or for artificial vs organic food or whatever category of things you are comparing. I am merely pointing out that your post seems very subjective and opinion orientated rather than facts

Democracy is like two wolves and a sheep deciding whats for dinner- Benjamin Franklin

A great place to start?

wow

This is besides the point

You provide facts when you are making your case, not after

Democracy is like two wolves and a sheep deciding whats for dinner- Benjamin Franklin

I wasn't making a case.

I was criticizing the hivemind fir immediately labeling us as paid shills. What claims did I make? D id you even read my post?

No you clearly are making a case

You are saying that these people who have an opposing view from yours about this artificial stuff base their facts/opinions off of biased sources.

Yet hear you are dismissing their claims without any kind of source of your own to disprove them.

What? We are just suppose to assume everything you are typing is based off of pure scientific fact with no bias what so ever? That everything you ever looked up was just 100% right and we just nod along with it with no questions asked? Hell no. No REAL scientists would take you seriously unless you can actually prove what you are saying is correct.

My point is that no were in this did you cite any sources that showed that the organic crowd was wrong with what they were saying due to their bias news source.

Its pretty much just an opinion, and opinions mean jack shit in science.

Democracy is like two wolves and a sheep deciding whats for dinner- Benjamin Franklin

As a PhD in metabolic

As a PhD in metabolic engineering I can say this. All GMO is not bad. The politics and science of GMOs should be regarded separately.
Insulin is a classic example of how genetic engineering is beneficial. Insulin, previously extracted from bovine and porcine sources was not effective because it was different from human insulin. The genes of human insulin were genetically inserted into E. coli or yeast and from then on we have been able to produce insulin perfectly suited to humans. We have been able to make it better even by changing a few amino acids here and there to make it fast acting or slow acting.
In the same breath I will also say this. There was a recent scientific article (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691512...)that demonstrated a diet of GMO corn in rats caused cancerous tumors. But this was largely attributed to the use of glyphosate i.e roundup, rather than the genetic engineering of plants to be glyphosate resistant.
Essentially there are several factors involved in judging a GMO crop and we should dig deeper before jumping to conclusions. Because as a person working in biotech, I can tell u that this is the beginning of the biocentury. We are going to see more and more products that are genetically modified. Be it food, fuel, fibre or medicine.

You contradicted the hivemind

The manipulators of the conspiracy crowd made pictures with scary pictures and scary language and declared genetic engineering and Monsanto as the destroyers of nurtrition, health, bees, and possibly mankind itself.

Never,ind that millions of people have safely consumed GM food for decades. Nevermind dozens of FDA and EPA safety studies, freely available. Nevermind common sense about molecular biology. A few politically motivated studies by Seralini and the Russian government that support the evil GMO narrative are the only trusted sources around here.

People want a black and white enemy to blame. genetic engineering is an easy target. Pictures of rats + scary description + appealing to nature fallacy= fearful populace.

By the way that Seralini study you linked to was ridiculed worldwide as fraudulent.

Still not citing your source

Still not citing your source

Democracy is like two wolves and a sheep deciding whats for dinner- Benjamin Franklin

Do me a favor.

Take off your tin foil hat, and go look around outside. You will notice that contrary to the terrifying hell portrayed by alarmists, people are not walking around with tumors like the political sensational studies.

People are fat. This is because people are getting too much nutrition. Genetically modified food is too cheap, too tasty, and too nutritious. Our society is suffering from too much of what only kings used to have. We evolved to take in and store nutrients. Only in very recent history (last few hundred years) have we had the problem of too many calories. Only very recently (last few decades) has being fat been considered unhealthy.

Do you want proof? Try thinking for yourself. I do not have a childish meme with happy pictures to link to you.

deacon's picture

question

on obesity
could it possibly be that there isn't enough
vitamins/minerals in them plants,so the people eat more and more trying to
fill that craving from the body?
I get cravings for things when my body needs/lacks something
deacon

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence

Only calcium and iron have been experimentally demonstrated

for "specific appetite."

It is possible that we learn to crave foods that give us some relief. I find myself craving fruit when I'm hungover. This is speculative, though.

The problem is that most nutrients don't have a taste, and a lot of foods have a lot of different nutrients.

Michael Nystrom's picture

I think the jury is still out on GMOs

What is going on is a giant experiment, and no one can say with authority what the outcome will be.

I am not a "trained scientist" - none of my degrees are in the scientific field. But my wife is a doctor and we have lots of discussions about science and the scientific method.

There are many factors to consider with GMO crops. For humans, there is nutrition and health. Yes, Monsanto may be feeding millions of people, but if that means feeding them high fructose corn syrup, is that an improvement? It may be an improvement over starving to death, but it is not an ideal outcome.

What are the long term impacts of eating GMO diets? Our bodies weren't designed for this stuff so who knows what kinds of interactions there will be over time?

The scientific method asks questions and looks for answers. There may have been studies on lab animals, but there have been no long term studies on humans. This is the ongoing experiment.

Then there is the whole issue of the environment, and the increasing weed resistance to Monstanto's Round Up. This leads to an escalation in pesticide strength. What will this do to the environment over time? If we end up killing off helper species en masse, like the honeybees, will we be better off? In the short term, possibly - as more people will be able to eat. In the long term? Unlikely.

So to go back to science - there is a huge experiment going on with GMOs. The outcome remains to be seen.

As for me, as much as possible, I like to refrain from being a subject in that experiment.

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. - Alan Watts

Michael you fell for the typical nutrition myths

Yes our bodies were designed to metabolize genetically engineered food. They are identical except for one or two genes from the specimen they were modified from. This differs from selective breeding where one tomato, for example, might differ from another by tens of thousands of genes. The modified genes are inserted in an empty area of the genome, so to speak, and it codes very specifically for whatever trait is desired. Scientists have the ability to splice genes to a specific codon. They are not randomly guessing. It is very controlled. The herbicides being coded for are the least toxic to man known to science. So called organic farmers often use far more toxic herbicides and pesticides in certain situations. Genetic engineering also allows us to use less amounts pesticides.

The jury is not out. The science is overwhelmingly on the side of genetic engineering. Unfortunately there is going to be a long hostile battle against antiscience populism.