Science Moms

2018, Science  -   33 Comments
Storyline

There's a lot of misinformation out there. Just ask the "Science Moms", a group of conscientious women who happen to work in various fields of scientific study. Fed up with ill-informed celebrity spokespeople and fear mongering alarmists, these women came together to educate other young mothers on the science behind safe and responsible parenting. This lively and informative short documentary traces their efforts to dispel the fear-based propaganda revolving around a string of relevant topics including vaccines, GMOs and alternative medicine.

For many decades, our vision of scientists has been clouded by a repetitive reliance on stereotypes. We expect them all to be geeky men who don white lab coats and horn-rimmed glasses. That's why our first glimpse of the subjects in "Science Moms" might be alarming. The molecular and plant geneticists, the neuroscientist, and the science communicators profiled in the film are just like you and me - real, "normal" women who care deeply about their roles as scientists and mothers.

They begin by tackling the controversies surrounding genetically modified foods. In recent years, this hysteria has benefited the organic food industry enormously. According to the film's panel of scientists, however, there are no proven benefits to switching to a strictly organic diet. It's most substantial success is in lining the pockets of those who work in the emerging organic industry. In fact, the scientists insist, there are a myriad of benefits associated with GMOs, including the protection of our crops from drought and disease, a decreased need for pesticides, enhanced productivity and profitability for our farmers, and profound contributions to end the scourge of global hunger.

The scientists address other avenues where they believe mass misinformation has placed the lives of children at risk. They direct their full-throated support behind the use of childhood vaccines in preventing chronic disease and life-threatening illness. Their next target is homeopathy, the wildly popular form of alternative medicine that attempts to cure an ailment through the use of the natural substances that cause that ailment.

Filled with infectious good humor and strong informed arguments, "Science Moms" is entertainingly light in tone, but heavy on substance.

Directed by: Natalie Newell, Brian Newell
55
8.13
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Ratings: 8.13/10from 312 users.

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33 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Thomas Bolton

    Great video. If it wasn't for scientists we could not even watch this video, there would be no electricity. Science works for our benefit. Have you ever taken a pain killer, an antibiotic or had surgery, we owe scientists so much. A simple scientific fact is empty vessels make the most noise,, and it is the empty headed anti scientists here who have commented so noisily.

    1. Jimbo

      Ludicrous. So, if the science establishment produces anything of value, then it's not to be questioned? Are things really that black and white for you? Does it occur to you that science might be affected in some measure by commercial, political or other interests? For example, do you think that the prescription drug industry and all those who benefit from its revenues, directly or indirectly (e.g., doctors, media conglomerates, research journals), are going to welcome scientific opinions or research that threaten their golden goose?

      Earlier, I made numerous, specific criticisms of this documentary. Are my criticisms baseless? If so, please share with me the scientific evidence that proves I am incorrect.

  2. Rajt

    Several huge lies in this documentary. Off course GMO and vaccines are not harmless. Far from it actually, especially GMO. I can`t even.

  3. Julia Lee

    What in the world is a "science communicator"???? Sounds like a made up position, yet they want to dog celebrities for voicing their opinions.

  4. Jimbo

    Wow! The second half of this stinker may be even worse than the first…

    The sweeping dismissal of any concerns about vaccine safety isn’t surprising, but the extremism is shocking.

    One of the science moms claims there is no scientific basis for any of the following reasons people give for limiting or forgoing vaccination:
    1. There are too many, too soon;
    2. There are dangerous chemicals in the vaccine;
    3. I prefer to fight off disease naturally;
    4. It’s a Big PhRMA conspiracy;
    5. These diseases aren’t actually that dangerous.

    None? Really? Let’s look at the above, one-by-one:

    1. When vaccines carry risks - the package inserts and VAERS reports show that they do - and include toxic adjuvants, it is simply prudent to recognize the possibility that the risks may be multiplied if many vaccines are given in a short time period. There are more than a few studies that suggest that excessive and repeated vaccination disrupts normal brain development, and some that suggest that it can cause neurodegeneration. So, to normal people who aren’t protecting a multibillion dollar industry, limiting the number of vaccines given in a particular timeframe makes sense;

    2. I don’t see how anybody could seriously claim that Thimerosal or aluminum are harmless. Dr. Christopher Exley, perhaps the foremost world authority on the health effects of aluminum, claims that there are no known uses for aluminum in the human body, that the metal is toxic, and that it accumulates in our tissues and eventually harms our health. Moreover, when proteins are injected directly into the bloodstream, they bypass the respiratory and digestive systems, and normal immune activity. Can we assume that antigens and other foreign proteins delivered intact to the bloodstream are safe?;

    3. There is substantial research indicating that the unvaccinated accrue significant lifetime health benefits from combating some of these infectious diseases, e.g., measles. Plus, infants and young children depend on immunity passed from their mothers, because their immune systems aren’t developed enough or experienced enough to mount much of a defense against infectious diseases. It is becoming apparent that vaccinated mothers aren’t passing as strong of immunity to their children as did mothers in previous generations, when mothers naturally contracted and fought off these diseases. Thus, for example, we are seeing measles, once a disease of childhood, becoming a disease of infants and adults;

    4. It’s obvious that the drug companies, and their toadies in government, conspire to quash inconvenient science about vaccines, and to make sure that media - who depend greatly on drug company advertising - sing from the approved hymn sheet The drug companies also bribe physicians to vaccinate at a high rate. Dr. Paul Thomas, author of “The Healthy Vaccine Plan,” estimates that vaccinating his pediatric patients at about half the rate as prescribed by the CDC schedule, has cost his practice $1,000,000 over a couple decades. So, when your doctor berates you for not going along with the program, there may be more than his or her clinical judgement involved;

    5. In truth, mortality from all of these diseases plummeted once water supplies were cleaned up, general sanitation was improved, and we stopped letting people starve to the point where their bodies would succumb to almost anything. Public health data show this clearly, with vaccines - in every case - having been introduced AFTER a precipitous decline in mortality from the target infection. Look it up. The vaccine industry dishonestly takes credit for defeating these killer diseases, and its handmaidens even went so far as to cynically manipulate numbers to make polio vaccination look like a miracle. Really, what happened was that, in concert with introduction of the national polio vaccination program, the authorities redefined polio, stripping out a number of other ailments - e.g., aseptic meningitis, cocksackie virus - from that diagnosis and tabulating them separately. They also changed diagnostic criteria so that paralytic symptoms had to be laboratory confirmed and persist for 50 to 70 days, rather than 24 hours (the previous standard). Unsurprisingly, polio incidence and mortality crashed, defeated by administrative fiat.

    The attack on homeopathy was gratuitous and hilarious. The genetic engineer made fun of the fundamental principle of homeopathy, that like cures like. Think about that. What are they doing with the vaccines? They’re using attenuated, killed, or otherwise modified versions of infectious agents to stimulate an immune response that will protect against the real thing, without the patient having to encounter the real thing. So, in a very obvious way, vaccination is doing something similar to homeopathy, although as a preventive rather than a treatment (however, homeopathic prophylaxis has been used in lieu of vaccination in a number of countries, including India, with excellent results). This scientific genius also claimed that to accept homeopathy and its idea that water has memory, we would have to reject everything we know about chemistry and physics. Really? Wouldn’t we just have to extend our understanding to encompass additional properties of water that go beyond what is currently recognized in these disciplines? Certainly, the landmark study by Benveniste and his colleagues - successfully repeated by 3 other labs prior to publication, a fact the drug companies don’t want the public to know - strongly suggested that water does indeed have memory. The paper was retracted, but that was political and nothing to do with science. What matters more, demonstrated reality or dogma (and profits)?

    Just because people are scientists doesn’t mean that their arguments are scientific. What I saw in this film were confident pronouncements about the safety of controversial but profitable technologies, baseless attacks on alternatives, and dripping condescension toward those who are rightfully concerned. There was little to nothing offered beyond opinion. Pathetic and disgusting.

    1. Jimbo

      More information about vaccines that you didn't get from this video:
      - Adverse events are fantastically underreported. Harvard Medical School conducted a study designed to find ways of improving on the existing Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), which is passive and known to underreport adverse events from vaccines. The study, which was done within Harvard’s Pilgrim health system, between the summer of 2006 and the fall of 2009, involved a great deal of interaction between the researchers and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). However, once the researchers disclosed their results, indicating that VAERS captures less than 1% of adverse events (which means there are at least 100 times as many adverse events as are recorded in VAERS), the CDC cut off all communication. Even if there weren’t many other reasons to question vaccine safety, this study alone would provide a sound basis for anyone to refuse vaccines for themselves or their children (and actually, people should be free to do as they wish with their bodies, and parents should be free to choose or reject medical treatments for their children, without having to justify themselves to authorities).
      - The herd immunity concept is only dubiously applied to vaccinated populations. This is why the percentage of a target population that must be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity is constantly revised upward (e.g., in 1966, the U.S. Public Health Service recommended a vaccination rate of 55% to achieve protection from measles; now the recommended rate is 95%). Yet, we’ve had outbreaks now in 100% vaccinated populations.
      - According to immunologist Tetyana Obukhanych, many vaccines aren’t designed to, and don’t, prevent transmission. Such vaccines include everything in the DTaP combo vaccine, as well as the IPV and the Hep B vaccines. In addition, the Hib vaccine has shifted strain dominance away from type b so that the vaccine is of very little value. This makes the pressure to get these vaccines (based on herd immunity) even more absurd.
      - Vaccine proponents will split legal hairs with you over whether the Supreme Court considers vaccines unavoidably unsafe, but that’s a red herring, because the whole point of the 1986 law that gave drug makers legal immunity from harm caused by vaccines, is that vaccines are unavoidably unsafe - it’s right in the language of the law (see 42CFR6A.2, notably 300aa-22(b)(1)). As a result, the costs of vaccine injury are overwhelmingly borne by the affected families, and to the extent that they’re compensated at all, it’s by taxpayers. Of course, the drug industry wouldn’t need legal immunity if their vaccines were actually safe.
      - Vaccine testing is far from rigorous, and drug companies typically use previously approved vaccines or toxic adjuvants as placebos (in complete contravention to the meaning of a placebo), to mask problems.
      - Live vaccines are shed by the body, and may infect others. Indeed, there have been outbreaks in 100% vaccinated populations.
      - Infants don’t have a mature enough immune system to respond properly to a vaccine, so it is absurd and dangerous to schedule 22-25 vaccines during infancy, as does the CDC. An immunologist was recorded at a conference, stating that the only reason vaccines are scheduled for the first year is to train the parents to bring their kids into the pediatrician, so they won’t miss any subsequent vaccines.

    2. Julia Lee

      Thank you! You saved me from viewing that.

  5. Jack

    Since the introduction of Glyphosate in 1974, GMO's in the 1980's and the ever increasing frequency of vaccine use in the early 1990's. There has been a logarithmic rise in Autisum, Allergies of varied sorts. Fibromyalgia, Leaky Gut Syndrome and varied Auto Immune disorders. A statistical anomaly??? I don't think so. Let's include Nano particles used in the food industry. Titanium Dioxide is one of a very long list. Extremely toxic to marine and Human life. Let's take one example from the Geoengineering sciences. Nano particulate Aluminum used in Climate Engineering. Which has a huge impact on all things living. Humans, plants and animals. All the pine trees over large portions of the Northern global latitudes. The USA, Europe and Asia. The insects, including the Bees. This is the short list of why to avoid GMO's, vaccines and the like. Chemistry and Medicine has it's place, but be absolutely sure of what you consent to. Credible knowledge is your best friend.

    1. Jimbo

      Well put. Thanks

  6. Gabrielle

    Why are you so angry?
    Glyphosate is a "GMO" but not all "GMO" are glyphosate. This documentary had a message about modern day parenting which has eluded you all. My hope is that none of you are actively parentjng young children.
    You are not whistleblowers or activists. Common sense let us and Johnson know that roundup should be used cautiously. ("I figured if it could kill weeds, it could kill me,"- Johnson).
    Sigh. Why do we do this to ourselves over and over? Witch hunts- The war on (fill in the blank). The more we try to kill evil the more we create.

    If I organize my ideas and write .... eh nah I'm over it.

  7. Daniel Friesen

    Considering Monsanto lost a large court case and damned themselves with their own
    internal documents/emails/memos in a case in the EU, one may ask ..who are these
    "conscientious" science moms? This is garbage, pure propaganda a la Monsanto et al.
    Perhaps the book "Altered Genes, Twisted Truth" by Steven Druker rings a bell? An
    attorney who brought a lawsuit against the FDA and received over 40,000 pages of
    documents detailing the bad science, lies , corruption, collusion, and all out assault
    on the truth behind the smoke and mirrors that the large chemical companies have
    engineered and are still doing even more so today.
    This is interesting that these outfits are putting forth a piece of garbage out like this
    employing sellout women with their feel-good message about the safety of Gmos,
    knowing full well the toxicity of glyphosates, RoundUp et al.
    Reminds me of Pink Ribbons, Inc., the documentary about cancer fundraising and how
    the corporations co-opted that . Nobody ever mentions CARCINOGENS. The multitude
    of chemicals the FDA and EPA happily rubberstamp.
    Amerika is seriously being undermined environmentally, healthwise, mentally, emotionally
    and spiritually. This IS your reality show, and under Trump The situation is deteriorating
    at an alarming rate.
    The good news is the general population is moving to non-Gmo and organic foods. The
    big food companies aren't stupid. They know where the trend is headed.
    Science is most certainly NOT on the side of Monsanto and their Gmo nightmare.
    Smiley moms on a piece of garbage like this won't help Monsanto win more converts.
    They just got the worst press they could get...and there are tons of lawsuits still in the
    pipeline. No doubt this got a high rating due to bots and/or ignorance.

    1. Jimbo

      Amen. On your last point, I think they're using bots to keep up the ratings, because they never go much below 9.2, yet the vast majority of comments are negative.

  8. Lulu

    Science communicators?? Ha ha! Sorry, but one very important reason to promote organis is simply ‘taste’. Beyond that, if science truly does not substantiate harm from Genetic modification, it definitely does not substantiate enhancement. Then of course there is the issue of farming getting caught in the addictive cycle of GMO use with seeds and weed and pest killers. All bad. Consequences are mind, body and environment altering. That is ok though as long as there is power and profit.

  9. Ton

    What a "Load of HogWash".
    There are so many issues that are completely ignored and/or "glanced over".
    For instance, Selective breeding (Hybridisation) is NOT GMO! Whilst it is (Extremely Forced/Guided) natural breeding the genes utilised are compatible and accept the interaction without external "Forceful implementation". That said, hybridisation generally breeds for increased quantity and ignores the nutritional aspect of the food.
    GMOs are injected with INCOMPATIBLE genes from lifeforms which are NOT compatible at genetic level. The additional problem with GMOs is the inherent level of Glyphosate contained in such foods as glyphosate wrecks the microbiome in our intestines.

    The case is nowhere near as simple as this movie entices us to believe. Scientific – NO!!!!!

  10. John

    Just a question. How much they got paid?

  11. Chris

    Jimbo - well said!!

  12. Jilan

    This reinforces my need to Stay Away from GMO’s. Nice try Monsanto

  13. teresa smith

    The sun doesn’t cause cancer. People’s choice to overexpose themselves to it plays a big role. I couldn’t go any farther as these women appear condescending.

  14. Cern

    ive got to agree with jimbo here, this one stinks of bullshit. anytime I come across a real gem of disinformation like this ive got to ask myself 'whos the one pushing this shite?' so Natalie Newell was reading a post on groundedparents.com and told her husband Brian “We need to make a documentary about these women" and 10,541 kickstarter doll hairs later, we have 'science moms.' im not going to point-by-point this one, as other comments here (and more to come, im sure!) have already done a good job of that. rather ill leave you all with the word of caution- theres a LONG standing tradition of using scientists/doctors to propagate the agendas of big business (the ones who finance your university/medical institute) and rule number one in mainstream science/medicine is you do NOT rock the boat...

    1. Jimbo

      Yeah, the kickstarter campaign looks like a smokescreen to hide that this stinking pile of s*** was hatched in a corporate boardroom. And you're so right about the historical corruption of science.

  15. Devil Travels

    Yea. The problem with GMOs isn't the process or the food, itself. It's how they are used and regulated politically and financially. and just like organic, it's the weed and pest control methods being used that is left as residue on the store shelf.
    And that topic was given only the most minor hand wave in this documentary.

  16. Miha Žemva

    Isn't the great mayority of GMO used in agriculture based on producing seeds of plants that are resistant to certain chemicals (eg pesticide) and then "we" spray this chemicals without fearing of loosing crop and provide support for large plantacions of monoculture? Of course this chemicals are... Thank you for your answer.

  17. Jimbo

    Maybe the most dishonest documentary I've ever seen. Incredibly awful.

    Here's my take on the first half, covering GMOs ...
    What this film does is use weak critics of dangerous technologies (like GE), as well as straw-man arguments, to make dissent look silly. Of course, the standard GE industry technique of pretending that GE is akin to traditional selective breeding is also employed. And all this is delivered with a touching soundtrack.

    What isn’t revealed is that the science establishment has massive conflicts of interest and does not relentlessly pursue the truth, wherever it may lie, as we are led to believe. Any scientist who threatens profits or military/intelligence agendas will find that their career is destroyed. It doesn’t matter what credentials a person has, or how diligent and careful they are in their research, they will be targeted for destruction.

    Moreover, many scientists don’t realize the extent to which their views have been shaped by repetition combined with various carrots and sticks employed by authorities. They think they’ve rationally come to believe the establishment positions, on their own, using their own critical faculties; but really, they’ve been carefully guided to accept these points of view. The moms in this documentary say they want to present a “science-based approach” to certain issues (implying that critics can’t offer science-based arguments), but they are only presenting science that supports establishment priorities, and leaving out any inconvenient science. Certainly, their careers would be in jeopardy if they granted any legitimacy to critiques of GMOs or the national vaccine program.

    With respect to the GMO issue, there are many, many good reasons, supported by a significant body of scientific studies, to be wary of genetically modified foods. For example, forcing of introduced genes into a recipient organism always causes novel proteins to be produced, with unpredictable health impacts. For another, transgenic plants are unstable, that is, their genes tend to undergo rearrangement in subsequent generations, again with unpredictable effects. Roundup, the favored herbicide for GMO crops, poses serious health risks for consumers, in that laboratory and epidemiological studies have linked it to endocrine disruption, DNA damage, cancer, birth defects, and neurological disorders. Plus, glyphosate (the main ingredient in Roundup) can cross the placental barrier and reach the unborn fetus. Furthermore, widespread use of Roundup has created super-weeds that are now being attacked with outdated pesticides formerly considered too toxic to use on our food supply, and too risky in terms of agricultural worker exposure. Moreover, almost every item on the list of “Benefits of Genetic Modification” presented in the film is highly dubious. Certainly, there is strong evidence that GMOs don’t increase crop yields (in part, from those celebrity-following ninnies at the Union of Concerned Scientists), and increase rather than decrease pesticide usage. One of the science moms says that GE doesn’t involve injecting plants with syringes - the truth is, that would be less disturbing than the reality of artificial plasmids and gene cannons, that force foreign genes into an organism, defeating natural barriers that ensure proper sequencing and exclude foreign DNA. It’s absurd for these “science moms” to assert that celebrities are the only ones whose views are being heard in media. To the contrary, the average person is bombarded by articles and broadcasts proclaiming that GMOs are wonderful and organic foods are a waste of money. The reason it appears that the only critics are celebrities is that the establishment doesn’t want the masses to hear from articulate, well-informed, credentialed critics, because that would threaten profits as well as the control of the food supply enjoyed by a few corporate giants. So, celebrities are featured as the anti-GMO voice, and selective editing employed to make them look as irrational as possible. Instead of taking easy shots at Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the science moms would have shown much more integrity by confronting formidable, scientific critics like Denise Caruso, Dr. John Fagan, Dr. Michael Antoniou, Michael Hansen, or Dr. Samuel Epstein.

    The film takes a ridiculous shot at organic foods, claiming that there’s no evidence that organic foods are healthier than other (conventional and GMO) foods. Many studies have shown that organic foods have less pesticide residues, less heavy metals, more omega-3 fatty acids (in animal products), more antioxidants, more vitamin C, less antibiotics, and less synthetic hormones. Do you think that might be healthier? Organics are attacked on the basis that they are marketed as pesticide-free, and thus good for the environment and consumers, when in fact copper sulphate is approved for application to organic crops. Okay, some compromises were made in establishing an organic standard, but it’s absurd to claim that organics aren’t significantly better with respect to pesticides, simply because one questionable pest treatment is allowed. Would you rather have a little copper sulphate residue on your food, or whatever deadly neurotoxins Dow and Dupont supply conventional farmers, or Monsanto’s (now Bayer’s) papered-over disaster called Roundup (and its breakdown products)?

    Regarding the statement that everything is made of chemicals, that may be true, but colloquially, when people talk about chemicals, they generally mean synthetic chemicals. The latter tend to be toxic at a higher rate than natural chemicals, because they’re unknown in nature.

    Perhaps the most extraordinary assertion in this film is that GMOs have never harmed anyone: “There hasn’t even been a sniffle associated with consuming an ingredient or product derived from a GMO.” We’re not talking about something that’s going to drop you like a left hook, but rather, long-term, drip, drip, drip damage. Since human testing generally isn’t allowed, for ethical reasons, studies are done with animals, and these - except for rigged studies paid for by the industry - show plenty of disturbing health results for animals fed GMOs.

    I don’t know if GMOs have anything to do with autism, but I take issue with the genetic engineer’s claim that autism has only gone up because it’s being diagnosed more frequently. I knew many, many people and their families growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, and I didn’t know of a single person with the symptoms and behaviors we now associate with autism. I’ve asked many other older people for their impressions about this, and I haven’t had a single one say they knew anyone with what we would call autism, when they were growing up. Now you can’t swing your arms without hitting somebody who’s family has been affected by autism.

    So, certainly, as these science moms suggest, take celebrities’ opinions on science matters with a grain of salt, but you may want take the opinions of scientists with an extra grain of salt, because their jobs are on the line when they give an opinion.

    1. Jimbo

      Oops, should have been whose instead of who's in the 2nd to last paragraph.

    2. Dallas

      Did you know the reality of nature doing GMO games long before man existed on this planet? The GMO technology you are going crazy over is just using genes from one species in another (horizontal gene transfer) with is not much different than random mutations that is part of normal selective breeding that has domesticated our food animals and plants.

      Your very existence depended upon genes transferred from parasitic wasps who protect their developing larva from their host immune system with gene sets from virus, proto-virus or living bacteria that shut down part of the host immune system. These gene sets allowed mammals to evolve and allowed the foreign tissue of a developing fetus not to be recognized as foreign and the fetus being killed by the females immune system (the system doesn't work perfectly as seen by the RH incompatibility issues). These genes were transferred horizontally into our evolutionary line of all mammals and we are GMO.

      In fact, about 5% of all our genes are the result of GMO type gene transfer (also using plasmids and virus) not our "bloodline" of evolution and the tree of life.

      If you also reject nature and an understanding of observed and measured reality, you become incapable of rational thinking.

    3. GlenColello

      JImbo nailed it! I would pay to have anyone of these GMO eating scientist debate Jeffrey Smith or Dr. mercola...

    4. Antisandman

      Well written and comprehensive. I quibble with the idea that celebrity opinion is any less reliable than scientists or any one else for that matter. Even though scientists are trained in the scientific method few use it out side their field. Scientists need funding and have mortgages. Their funding comes directly or indirectly from corporations and they know it. A celebrity or lay person has no skin in the game and is only susceptible to propaganda. Their opinions may or may not be based on scientific evidence. You demonstrate a high level of actual scientific knowledge. I didn't waste my time watching it though I was attracted by the title. There is a lot of good information out there from mothers who are scientists--grandmothers too. Stephanie Seneff comes to mind.

    5. Dallas Weaver Ph.D.

      I entered a comment on this silly comment before and it went missing.

      I just pointed out that about 5% of Jimbo's genes are the result of horizontal gene transfer where nature was doing the GMO actions with virus, plasmids and similar GMO technologies. I went on to explain that the gene set that allows mammals to not reject the fetus are related to the gene sets used by parasitic wasps to prevent their victims from rejecting their developing larva that is eating the host alive.

    6. Jimbo

      Dallas, it seems that GE proponents, having failed to convince anyone with a modicum of knowledge on the subject that GE is akin to traditional selective breeding, have adopted a new approach, saying, “Oh, viruses do the same thing.” Of course, viruses are simply reacting to their own needs, the stresses they’re confronted with, and the immediate opportunities available to them. They’re not purposely combining genes from different species, environments, and even kingdoms, and conniving to defeat normal genetic defenses.

      Yes, Dallas, Nature engages in genetic engineering, but much more subtly, with far more controls, and without the demonstrated problems we see with artificial GE. The latter disrupts what has been characterized as a choreographed genetic dance between an organism, its neighbors, and its environment. Nature doesn’t throw together completely foreign genes along with the cauliflower mosaic virus,, into the agrobacterium binary vector- human engineers do that. And they do it with only a minimal understanding of the complexities of genetics, and little to no idea what the downside ramifications might be. Moreover, Nature doesn’t use electric shock or gene cannons to force acceptance of foreign DNA. And as I noted above, GE always produces novel and unpredictable proteins, and transgenes are unstable.

      Perhaps this is why we’ve seen so many problems with GMOs. For example, a feeding study with rats found that GMO corn stunted their growth and caused kidney and liver toxicity. Another study showed that GMO potatoes caused pre-cancerous lesions of the intestinal lining, as well as toxic reactions in multiple organ systems. Indeed, since the early, intermediate and long-term feeding studies were conducted and showed serious problems with GMOs, the industry has learned to favor only short-term feeding studies. Furthermore, transgenic crops, with their instability and unsuitability for many environments, have shown a marked tendency toward long-term failure. Many highly touted projects in the 3rd world have been portrayed as godsends for poor farmers, but followup by researchers and journalists has exposed most of these as disasters. For example, it was claimed that GM, virus-resistant sweet potatoes doubled yields in Kenya, but it turned out that the GM tubers were out-yielded by non-GM controls, and the GM tubers actually died at the hands of the virus they were designed to resist. The failures of Bt cotton are legendary. A project in Makhatini, South Africa, began with over 100,000 hectares of Bt cotton being planted, starting in 1998. By 2002, the area planted had crashed to 22,500 hectares, an 80% reduction in four years. The much-hyped Golden Rice, claimed by the “science moms” to be stymied by ignorant ninnies who hate progress, has in fact been a commercial failure because it can’t compete with locally-appropriate rice varieties produced by conventional means. Worse than such failures, horizontal gene transfer sometimes wreaks havoc with other plants. In the mountains of southern Mexico, where ancient landrace maize varieties have been carefully maintained for countless generations, farmers started noticing something unprecedented - significant portions of their crops getting sick and deformed. DNA testing by a team from UC Berkeley found that the deformed crops had been contaminated by GMO corn.

      Besides problems stemming from the GMOs themselves, there is abundant evidence that Roundup is harming people. Clinical data from Argentina, a country overrun with GMO, Roundup-Ready soy, show that exposure to spraying of Roundup causes increased risk of miscarriage, infertility, cancer, developmental problems in children, kidney failure, and respiratory problems, among other things. There are also plenty of reports of deaths associated with reckless spraying of Roundup in rural areas of Argentina and Paraguay, unrecognized by authorities because the victims are poor. No doubt you’ve heard about the California groundskeeper who was just awarded about $290 million for damages related to Roundup exposure. We know from the Monsanto Papers that the company purposefully avoided testing Roundup as a whole because they feared such tests would reveal toxicity far greater (thanks to adverse synergies) than that associated with glyphosate alone. The papers also document efforts to produce comforting studies that appear to come from independent authors, and to quash any inconvenient research. On top of risks to humans, Roundup appears to devastate both terrestrial and aquatic environments - check out the disturbing studies conducted at the U. of Pittsburgh, revealing catastrophic effects on amphibians. In addition to constituting a health and environmental nightmare, Glyphosate/Roundup also causes other problems for farmers, by making soil nutrients unavailable to crops, and making the impact of plant diseases more devastating. Moreover, the wind doesn’t respect patents, and farmers whose fields have been contaminated by GM crops are typically shaken down by Monsanto - many convert to GM crops to avoid these conflicts. I have already noted that there is no evidence that GE technology is increasing yields, and plenty of evidence that it is increasing rather than minimizing pesticide use.

      So, you can claim all you want that GMOs are safe, that GE technology mimics Nature, and that GMOs are a boon to humanity, but the record says otherwise.

  18. Pyra

    Total disinfo. These women are just parroting mainstream lies and propaganda. I can hear same crap as this documentary watching FOX news. Not only that, but they talk in circles and never say anything meaningful.

    I give this doc zero stars if it will let me.

    1. Ton

      I would grant it NEGATIVE stars as - indeed - it is totally misleading!

  19. D

    Propaganda pure and simple - 'Science Moms'? Like how mothers ~100 years ago were used as a pro-prohibition voice? Same shit, different century. Unfortunately, mothers are the most susceptible people to propaganda and take the role of useful idiots (they have children to look out for, after all, and upsetting the status quo challenges that hard-wired biology).

    1. Ton

      Totally agree!