Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The road to hell is paved with GMO corn and suicidal shrimp

As you've probably noticed, Jones' biggest bugaboos these days are not false flag terrorism, martial law, or even Obama's secret identity as the Kenyan-born AntiChrist. No, he's currently more worried about tapwater, chicken nuggets, MSG, vaccines, and other forms of depopulation-by-food-and-healthcare. On yesterday's broadcast, he ranted for a good twenty minutes about suicidal shrimp. The way he told the story, shrimp are so stoned on fluoxetine (Prozac) that has made its way into the ocean from wastewater runoff that "they just don't care anymore!" and have "lost their inhibitions" (if shrimp even have inhibitions, that is). I pictured thousands of shrimp hurling themselves into nets, or maybe just floating around obliviously while they're scooped off into scampiland. It reminded me a little too much of Disney's suicidal-lemming hoax, but here's the deal: University of Portsmouth researchers have found that shrimp exposed to the same concentration of fluoxetine found in treated wastewater are five times more likely to swim toward light rather than away from it. This would be a dangerous habit in nature, of course, because shrimp are more easily detected by predators in the light.
But this is one study, and its results don't exactly make me tremble for the future of our oceans. If fluoxetine made shrimp 15% more likely to swim towards light, then maybe we'd have a problem. But wait, we already have a problem when it comes to shrimp: People are killing more shrimp than wastewater fluoxetine could possibly kill. Thanks to our hugely increased consumption of shrimp in the past decade, we've created overfishing, wasted shrimp catches, and the incidental killing of other marine life by trawlers' nets. Not to mention the human toll of shrimp fishing. Then there's the oil. The only good news for shrimp is that with oil-induced prices soaring, many people are backing away from buying shrimp. If these trends resume, however, we'll never have to worry about shrimp being too stoned to evade capture - there won't be any shrimp.

Maize and Monsters

When I saw that Jones had reviewed the film version of Cormac McCarthy's The Road, I flashed back to his bizarro review of Watchmen (in which he declared that Allan Moore is a Freemason and that "Ozymandian" [sic] was supposed to be the hero of the film, among other absurdities) and I cringed. But there was no need to cringe, after all - Jones gets The Road. It's just that he tries to liken nuclear holocaust (or whatever happened in The Road) to things like HIV as an engineered bioweapon, the deaths of bees from GMO corn, and mercury "deliberately" put into high-fructose corn syrup. "Folks, that is even much more horrific than this nightmare dystopic film."

Oh wait, I spoke too soon about Jones understanding the film. After talking about the horrors of GMO corn, he states that the film had some "global warming propaganda" in it. Apparently the cinematic destruction of the atmosphere, along with the landscape, is "propaganda" now. May have been caused by nuclear war, but it's still NWO fake environmentalism in Jones' book. Then he launches into a random litany of complaints about spider-goats, depopulation, and the destruction of the family.

At the very end he somehow brings himself back to the movie that he's supposedly been reviewing, calling it "truly the greatest masterwork in filmmaking that I have ever seen."

Now I agree that The Road, both book and film, are brilliant and strike at the heart of what makes us human. Highly recommended if you're not too squeamish. But what about the terrors of GMO food, sterile cattle, and some of the other stuff Jones talks about in his "review"?

"[T]hey're feeding GMO crops to animals that is causing them to become sterile. "
The rumour that GMO foods is causing sterility in cattle and other animals comes primarily from a single Russian study. Please keep in mind that the Russians have also produced studies documenting the "reality" of things like artificial reincarnation and torsion physics; the problem of pseudoscience in Russia has been troubling true Russian scientists for quite some time, and many of them have taken a stand against it. But let's put that aside for a moment. The Russian study was conducted by biologist Alexei V. Surov and his Institute of Ecology and Evolution at the Russian Academy of Sciences, in collaboration with the National Association for Gene Security. Their results have not yet been published, but Surov has claimed that three generations of hamsters fed Monsanto soy suffered sterility, increased infant mortality, increased oral hair, and slower growth rates in comparison to control groups that were not fed any Monsanto soy.

By this point in our history, we should know better than to base any belief on a single scientific study, particularly one that hasn't even been published yet. How many times has the mainstream media jumped all over the results of a new study, only to backpedal or retract their alarmist statements when it comes out that, oops, that particular study was deeply flawed and about a dozen other studies have contradicted its findings? I've lost count.
A 2005 study, also conducted by a scientist at the Russian Academy of Sciences, concluded that rats fed GMO corn had reduced birthrates and higher mortality. This study was never published, and its reported results have been nullified not only by other scientists, but by half a dozen prior studies that showed no differences between animals fed GM soy and animals fed organic soy (Marshall, 2007; Brake and Evanson, 2004; Teshima et al., 2000; Zhu et al., 2004; Hammond et al., 1996; Cromwell et al. 2002).

That's not to say there isn't cause for concern. A Baylor study found that corncob bedding made with GM corn increased estrogen levels in rats, leading to reduced sex drive and reproductive cancers. A 2008 Austrian study showed that mice fed GM corn had reduced birth rates and lower birth weights. These results are alarming, but they're a far cry from declaring that GMOs are causing widespread sterility. To date, there have been no reports of increased sterility in livestock.

"[T]he BT corn that grows its own natural pesticide is wiping out the bees. In all the studies, it's causing massive organ failure in lab rats."
Jones ran these two things together, but I'll deal with them separately because one statement is supported by (guess what?) a single recent (and controversial) study, and the other isn't supported by any studies at all.
Last year, the International Journal of Biological Sciences published the results of a study by a French team led by Gilles-Eric Séralini (already a vocal critic of GMOs). The study supposedly found that rats fed Monsanto corn with pesticide had more signs of liver and kidney toxicity than control groups. The "study" was not actually an experiment, but a re-analysis of the data from an earlier study conducted by the same team, and the authors themselves concluded that they did not find toxicity, but signs of possible toxicity.
Google "GMO organ failure" and you will find many scientific critiques of the French study. Do what you will with this information. Personally, I think corn is one of the least nutricious and most overused food sources in the world, and I avoid it whenever possible. This means staying away from just about all processed foods and beverages.

Now, on to the corn. Bt corn is corn that has been genetically modified to create Bacillus thuringiensis, a bacterium that acts as a natural pesticide. A 1999 study published in Nature concluded that the pollen from Bt corn could harm Monarch butterfly caterpillars, despite the fact that Bt does not concentrate in the pollen. This study has been nullified; rather than declining precipitously, Monarch numbers actually increased.
Next, researchers began to wonder if Bt corn was responsible for the mysterious decline in honeybees. A March 2007 report by the the Mid-Atlantic Apiculture Research and Extension Consortium revealed that there is no evidence that pollen from Bt corn has contributed to this decline. Furthermore, bee deaths are occurring in areas of Europe and Canada where Bt corn isn't grown. If Jones still believes that GM corn is the culprit, then he's about three years behind in his research. The cause(s) of "colony collapse disorder" remain unknown.

"Then when you read the globalist plans, where they openly want to destroy the family and basically mechanize humanity and turn us basically into biological androids, you realize that the threat in the short term isn't asteroids, it's not global warming, but that it is the elite with their open-air genetic engineering."
For my entire life, I have heard conservatives and fundamentalist Christians warn that They are going to dismantle the traditional family. Some say it's part of the "homosexual agenda". Some say it's a Communist plot. Some say it's both. (Weirdly, no one seems to point any fingers at the divorce industry.) Some, like Jones, say it's a key part of the New World Order/UN takeover of the planet. But where, in writing, do the globalists make this plan clear? Jones' vague references to white papers and "a Pentagon study I read years ago" aren't helping me find the literature that lays out The Plot to Destroy the Nuclear Family. I need less invective and way more information, Mr. Jones.

Rather than airing legitimate concerns and solid research about the problems of genetic engineering, or the breakdown of the family, Jones refers to the least credible (and most alarming) information out there, then ramps up the fear factor tenfold by tying these issues to one of the grimmest post-apocalyptic films ever produced. Hmmm. Isn't this kind of how the mainstream media operates? Wild generalizations, cherry-picked data, over-hyped results, vague warnings of doom? Only instead of villifying religious extremists or trans fats, Jones is trying to get you to fear science itself. The lesson, as usual, is "Science is really freaking scary and only crazy evil bastards use it." Let's face it, he despises just about every technological innovation of the past century (except the Internet, of course). Robots terrify him. Inoculation infuriates him. Thumbscanners and RealID cards horrify him. Anti-depressants depress him. Universities drive him to the brink of homicidal rage. Would he prefer that our society return to a pre-intellectual state? Or maybe a post-scientific one? Wouldn't those societies look a little bit like... The Road?


Anonymous said...

Its not just one single study dealing with how marine life is affected by human wastes/pharmaceuticals.

Philanthropy as presented might refer to the mugal response to the nasty reputations they got after the excesses of the gilded age/robber barons era...The Ludlow massacre made Rockefeller look like Shat on a repair their image, the robber barons started to create foundations, found libraries, galleries, etc.

S.M. Elliott said...

I'm not trying to imply in any way that marine life isn't affected by our wastewater. I just don't think the shrimp study warrants full-scale panic.

Rockefeller's philanthropy began a good 30 years before the Ludlow Massacre, after which he made only one major contribution.

Russell said...

The Uninhibited Shrimp... isn't that the name of a punk rock band?

I knew Alex was rather anti-technology, but when did he become so interested in environmental issues? It's funny to note, I've heard extreme environmentalists say exactly the same things Alex says here. It's ironic (and, I think, hilarious) to hear the same words coming from Alex, who (AFAIK) is still a climate change denier.

S.M. Elliott said...

Yep, fossil fuels and pollution are just fine, but damn you New World Order for making our shrimp not care anymore!

This is why I call Jones a Jacksonian Democrat: He can't decide if he's right or left. So he tries to convince himself (and the rest of us) that there is no right and there is no left. Meanwhile he pulls wool from both sides and knits some serious crazy in the middle.

Anonymous said...

Environmentalism is Left? Is that why they pull up trees in Afghanistan?

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