Open Letter to the Associated Press

The Kokomo (IN) Tribune published an article from the Associated Press on April 7th about genetically modified (engineered) foods. The headline in the KT was “Food of the future?”; New wave of GMOs: pink pineapples, purple tomatoes.
In my opinion, the article was very biased toward genetic engineering in food. It was completely inadequate in coverage of the risks and concerns about this technology as it applies to crops, feed, and foods. This includes risks for human and animal health and for the environment. The article did not mention there had been no long term testing of the safety of GE foods and that they had simply been declared safe by government decree beginning in the early 1900s. This was over the objections of the scientists within the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It did not mention the several lab studies, mostly from outside the United States, that resulted in adverse health conditions in lab animals. It did not mention that 64 nations require labeling of GE foods and several ban them altogether.
Further, there was no mention of the pesticides typically used on GE crops including glyphosate (Roundup) and soon to be dicamba and 2,4,D (a component of Agent Orange). Glyphosate has just recently been designated a “probably human carcinogen” by the WHO: International Agency for Research on Cancer. Glyphosate has been detected everywhere.
In short, you did not do your homework. As the past publisher of the Kokomo Tribune (20 years there) and a holder of a MS Aquatic Toxicology and a PhD in genetics from Purdue, I can tell you the party line from big seed/chemical and food industry is not the whole story by far.
So, please do not drink the Kool-aid from big seed/chemical and food corporations. Do your homework and present a complete picture from both sides. As both one who spent his primary career in newspapers and as a scientist, I conclude this technology, the way it was introduced and the way it is used in agriculture, is both risky and reckless. I strongly believe the public has a right to know what is in food and how it is produced. The industry wants to keep secrets and will spend millions to keep it so.
I go back a long way with the Associated Press and with its once competitor, United Press International (UPI). We depended upon accurate, unbiased, and complete stories.
Regards, Kent Blacklidge Ph.D.

Only in Kokomo

This just could not be passed up. I have gone by this little “Mom and Pop” restaurant hundreds of times. Every time I smile. I know from where the neon sign came. There used to be a craftsman in Kokomo near the restaurant that from a small, very old shop created neon signs. I don’t believe he his still there, but Kokomo is blessed with his work.
I have never stopped for a “sandwitch“. Always have wondered what would be served to me. Honestly, Kokomo is full of such miracles and this is one.

Agriculture Factories

There is a TEDx video that all should see. It is about factory animal production (CAFO: concentrated animal feeding operation); what they are and what they have done to agriculture.

CAFO buildings and urine/feces pits
CAFO buildings and urine/feces pits

The speaker, Michele Merkel, was an attorney that worked for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Her assignment included dealing with the problems of environmental pollution that resulted from CAFOs. She saw first hand the plight of people who lived near such animal factories. Water was polluted, air was made unfit to breathe, land was contaminated, and people were harmed. The animals were treated in ways that would horrify most people. She fought to correct those things.
That is until the George W. Bush administration came into office. She describes what happened. In short, the EPA was shut down regarding any pursuit of environmental violations by CAFOs. As a result, she quit. For over 15 years, she has opposed the EPA; she sues them over what they are not doing to protect people, the environment, and the animals.
One point made is that CAFOs are NOT agriculture as people generally think of farming. Corporations and their minions that treat animals as bioreactors are not farmers. They are corporation factory operators. Large agriculture corporations have usurped the terms “farmer” and “farming” and “agriculture” to hide behind knowing people would not support what is being done if they knew the facts. This is exactly the reason behind “AG-GAG” legislation that criminalizes the taking of photos and videos without permission of the animal operation. In some states, the laws even apply to photos taken from public locations. The corporations want absolute control and want to operate out of sight and out of mind.
In a State of the Union address as long ago as 1888, President Grover Cleveland said this:

Corporations, which should be the carefully restrained creatures of the law and servants of the people, are fast becoming the people’s masters.

Think about this. We are fast moving there with agriculture. Animal “production” and patented seed/chemicals are in the hands of giant corporations. The only stopping is for people to become aware and to then act.
Link long address is