Tuesday, January 20, 2015

How to be an activist based on Good Science

1) Get a little Geeky.  Learn how to recognize "good science":  learn how to find peer-reviewed studies.

2) Quote good stuff. When you quote, quote "good science" rather than the words of other activists.  Quote scientific studies rather than internet articles.

3) Footnote like Fury.  Include footnotes or hyperlinks so that others can follow the breadcrumbs back to the sources of your information.

4) Consider the contents.  Don't go just by the title alone!  Read the study, particularly the conclusion.  Make sure it really discovered what you think it discovered, before you quote it.

5) Tell the Truth:  tell the public that "the jury is still out", that there are scientific studies on both sides of the argument.  Neither side has been conclusively proven yet.  GMOs have not been proven safe, nor effective.  But honestly, the scientific community has not yet proven GMOs to be completely evil either; they're still working on it (list of studies), so meanwhile that evilness is merely your own opinion. 

Now, whether we should go ahead full-scale as a society and bank the future of our entire food supply, the future of our environment, and the health of several generations, on an unproven technology ... that is a question of wisdom.

Good Science vs. Bad Science - How do you tell the difference?

Within activism it is common to hear one side dissing the other with claims of "bad science."  The truth is, there are "good science" studies on both sides of the GMO argument.  Meanwhile, we activists have some homework to do, so that our statements are founded in "good science" rather than mere opinion.

All science is rooted in exploration: a basic curiosity about how the world works.  In the past few hundred years, modern science has developed certain tools so that humanity's investigation of how the world works is a bit more systematic and organized, so that humanity can build a cumulative body of knowledge.

Some of these tools are the Scientific Method (which you learned about in middle school), controlled experiments (which you tried out in high school), and peer-reviewed studies (which you encounter in college).  There are established methods for researching the historical body of science, and for building upon that cumulative knowledge.

Peer-reviewed studies mean the work of the authoring scientists was looked over by another group of scientists, typically experts in a particular field.  Peer-reviewed studies are published in special scientific journals.  This is the highest level of science ( = "good science")

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Science of GMOs

Biotech propaganda falsely states that there is somehow a "scientific consensus" on GMOs.

But increasingly, scientists in multiple disciplines -- from health to environment to sociology -- are reporting on the undesirable effects of GMO technology.

See our new page "The Science of GMOs" for a listing of these studies.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Biotech Lobbyists Pressure LA City Council

"Three days before Los Angeles lawmakers voted on a proposal to ban genetically modified crops, the world's largest biotechnology trade group hired three top City Hall lobbyists to stop it.

"The matter had sailed through a meeting weeks before with only one City Council member expressing doubt.

"But when a council committee sat down to vote again this month, three of the five members came out strongly against it ..." Read the full story

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

What happened?

LA City Council chose not to vote on GMO-Free LA today. Here is what happened:
  • Three highly-paid lobbyists representing the pesticide industry influenced a number of the Councilmembers and stopped the bill from moving forward today. 
  • The bill has been kicked back to the Arts and Parks Committee, but is still alive.
  • Around 50-75 concerned citizens were at LA City Hall today. However, the item was pulled from the agenda and citizens were not allowed to speak before the Council even under general comments once the item was pulled.
While it is sad to think that months and years of effort invested by the People into GMO-Free LA did not today result in an ordinance, and while it is frustrating that a few paid lobbyists can thwart the efforts of hundreds of concerned citizens, there is still much to be hopeful and thankful for.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bill of Rights for Seeds

We the Peoples of this Earth
Gratefully Honor the Ancient Knowledge of Seeds that Nourish and Sustain All Living Beings

1. Seed is the source of life. It is the yearning of life to express itself, to renew, multiply and evolve. We recognize the right of seeds to maintain their vital cycles.

2. We respect the right of seeds to retain their unique identity as distinct, self-regulating organisms.

3. Seeds shall enjoy the right to clean water, the essential element for all life.