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The UK is so bullheadedly pro-GMO, they are field testing GMO wheat! Do you know what happened last time this was tried? Do you know the lame and crazy excuses they’re using to pretend there’s benefits?
GM Freeze’s Liz O’Neil shares these answers and more with Jeffrey Smith. This is serious stuff.
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Notes for this week's Podcast
This week's Transcript
Speaker 2: (00:07)
Liz. O'Neill my goodness. You have been on the global anti GMO non-GMO movement on my team for years. And we're meeting for the first time. You thank you for the work that you do over at the UK. And, um, I think the only good thing about the genetically engineered wheat trial that we're going to talk about is that it has brought us together. Face-to-face,
Speaker 3: (00:30)
Uh, Jeffrey. Yeah. It's really nice to be doing this and reaching out. Um, I will say good evening because that's where we are on my side of the world. Uh, the want to get up to date wherever you are. Um, but yeah, it's great to connect. I think one of the wonderful things about, um, you know, that the movement for raising concerns about TM is that we do all connect and we do work together because we all facing the same problems in slightly different forms.
Speaker 2: (00:59)
Yeah. Oh yeah. And the talking points that you deal with were written by the same people who circulated them in the United States and send them to Indonesia and et cetera, et cetera. Now, we have an interesting thing that people in the UK think, oh, we're a small country. It won't much matter if we create genetically engineered wheat. I'm going to talk about after you've introduced this crazy idea with the crazy science and the crazy excuses, and people will want to hear about this. I'm going to share what's at risk. Cause what happened in Canada and the United States when there was threatened genetically engineered wheat, when there was found field trial contamination. I mean, these guys are playing not just with dynamite. This is global global implications for economics, but also for environment. And I, my particular opinion, most especially human health, which could be a disaster. Why don't you tell everyone what the story is about? What is this genetically engineered wheat? What was the decision by the government and what's going to happen?
Speaker 3: (02:02)
Yeah, absolutely. So, um, I think also last week, it's almost certainly not what's going to happen as well. It has already happened in that. I'm pretty sure this stuff will be in the ground by now. Um, so, um, although the UK has now left the European union and, uh, there's a big movement to change our rules. We are still operating under the same rules that we had within the EU. They will burst into UK law. So that's just a bit, a bit of a, you know, to the legal framing. And, um, we don't have any GM crops grown here. We don't have any one that's authorized. So, you know, there isn't a lot of GM in the ground at one level, but what the UK hasn't done a lot of for the past several years is field trials. So these are, um, open air trials. They're, you know, they're not farm scale, but they aren't a field. You know, they're at a decent size. And, um, this is the latest of many. So there are quite a large number of trials running. And, um, this one is run by an organization called blossom set research who are doing several of the other trials along with a couple of other organizations. And, um, this is this year's new toy. Uh, we are referring to it, burnt toast, GM wheat
Speaker 2: (03:26)
Toast. I love by the way your messaging was great. I was like, burnt toast. Everyone burnt toast to GM. Wait, let's find out why this is, I love your wording.
Speaker 3: (03:36)
That's the whole point of this is to do with this third such a problem, you know? And, um, you know, I'll, I'll tell their, their story first to some extent, to know they are those who put this stuff in the ground will say is that they have reduced, um, the amount of asparagine that's produced by the suite. So it's, it's um, free asparagine it's, which is one of the amino acids. Um, and when wheat potatoes and few other things are cooked at very high temperatures, some of this ferreting gets converted into a mind. And, um, what they're doing is producing wheat, which apparently is going to have low acrylamide levels so that your burnt toast will be healthier. And there's a lot to unpack there. I have to say, I start with, could you not just learn to use a toaster? No. This stuff seems somewhat easier.
Speaker 2: (04:46)
It's like, it's like a GMO wheat. Let's poison the world for the toaster challenged. Okay, go ahead. Yeah,
Speaker 3: (04:52)
Absolutely. Yeah, yeah. You know, you know, don't get me wrong. I quite dyspraxic. So I do burn tests, but do you know what you can do? You can get a knife and he gets like the puppets off all done it. And then you can learn to turn the 10 step down a little bit. So, you know, my teenagers connect types without burning it now. So it's
Speaker 2: (05:16)
And bird toast is not tasty. So if someone says, oh, it's genetically engineered, wait, I can burn my toast and eat it too. It's like, do you really want to anyway, so this is like creating a genetically engineered apples that don't turn brown when sliced, that was their big release of GMO apples in the United States, which could reprogram human DNA according to the technology. Anyway.
Speaker 3: (05:43)
Well, do you know, it's funny, it's interesting you bring up the apples. Cause I think there is an interesting parallel here in that, you know, it's not that the apples don't age it's that they don't brand, right? It's like, you know, there's various non Browning things, you know, it's not that they're not damaged it's that they don't show their natural response to damage. So,
Speaker 2: (06:08)
But my friend, Andy Kimbrell told me they call it the Botox apple cause it had,
Speaker 3: (06:12)
Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, it's not quite the same thing with this week, but you know, burning food is going to destroy lots of nutrients. Burning food is not a good idea for many, many reasons. And you know, it's this idea they picked up on this one thing. Now, do you know what they're referring to is that there are 10, if there are various considerations around acrylamides, it is possible, but it's in some way associated with cancer risk, but you know, cancer research UK. So this is by far the biggest cancer charity ever on this side of the Atlantic say, did I really overtly on their website? Burnt food does not give you counts. So you do not need to avoid, you know, cooking food to a higher degree in order to, but you know, what you need is a healthy, balanced diet. You know, it's the boring message, isn't it? And that's, I think that's the problem is that actually we all know what you need to do to be healthy. We know how to reduce cancer risk, you know, have a healthy people, healthy weight, eat a healthy, balanced diet, lots of food bed. Don't smoke. It's been the same for a long time and it's quite boring because you know what, that's actually what it really is. That's why it's been the same for a long time, because it's the truth,
Speaker 2: (07:38)
You know, it's kind of like golden rice. It's like, if you put on the plate, all these things with high vitamin, a sweet potatoes, this thing, this thing, amaranth, all these things, right. It says, oh yeah, you want vitamin. They do that. Um, if you are needing supplementation for a a year, you can take two pills every six months for one pill every six months. But let's take rice, which doesn't have vitamin a and genetically engineer it and make a pathway that's changed. That's linked to birth defects and we'll call it golden rice, feed it to the world without proper human feeding trials and say, you need to feed this to the world to save children from going blind. Actually it's only people that aren't looking that would support this.
Speaker 3: (08:19)
I think what I find extraordinary though, as you've brought up the goldmines thing to me, there is just, there's something awfully morally department about that whole positioning. The thing that is wrong in that scenario is that people are living on life. That's the only thing that's wrong at the start of that. And so instead of addressing the root causes of poverty, addressing the distribution of food, addressing access to healthy, balanced diet, they go, oh, I know let's, biofortified, let's make that make that rice that people really want on timing. We need it better for them.
Speaker 2: (09:02)
And it's only if they eat plants at the same time because you can't, you can't digest the beta carotene unless you have fats. And oops, the people who live on rice don't have fats in their diets. So it's all a boondoggle, but it doesn't matter because the beta carotene will degrade over time while it's stored and then provide if it does work less than what they would need. Anyway, I was at the Norman Borlaug, um, talks with the world food prize in Des Moines years ago. And they're they like put, you know, Norman Borlaug on a pedestal as kind of a deity. Um, and they talked, you know, he created the, the types of wheat and rice that require lots of chemicals. And then they can grow a large amount in a small area and they claim it saved India. Well, now everyone who's done any research knows actually it didn't save India.
Speaker 2: (09:55)
There wasn't a, it didn't reverse famine. It was a complete, um, marketing hype. But these researchers in the belly of the beast with all these Borlaug war chippers reported that malnutrition dramatically increased after the Borlaug grains came because now people are buying the inexpensive grains and not the complete and balanced diet. So as the inexpensive grains were made available, the malnutrition went up. So it not only didn't save it actually damaged the nutrition levels. So I think you're absolutely right about it's like I remember right before the world food prize in Des Moines, there was a meeting among the world's experts in feeding, feeding the world. Um, the people that wrote the UN i-STAT report that determined that GMOs have nothing to offer to feed the hungry world or Medicaid, poverty wage, sustainable agriculture. I interviewed the co-chairman. I interviewed all those people and like, I'd ask them simply does GMO help, uh, feed the world. And it's like, no, no. Over 400 scientists wrote that report. And it was again, this narrow minded, soundbite science that doesn't take into account. The reality, it doesn't take into account systems. You see GMOs requires such a narrow focus of not paying attention to systems that everything about it, the marketing, the purpose, the safety assessments also put those blinders on, but it's not the real world. So tell me, um, what are some of the objections you raised to the government that they ignored when they allowed this wheat to come through?
Speaker 3: (11:37)
So, I mean, we do Jim please put, put in a, you know, a substantial objection and that was signed off by a number of other organizations. And we also supported individuals to do the same. Um, we, we, they have about 90 responses, which is a lot for this kind of thing. It's very technical and the consultation period is six weeks. So, you know, that's not very long to deal with two documents that are sort of 30, 40 pages each and then it makes sense to them and respond. So, you know, wheat does always get a storm response. And I think we did, we always talk about, you know, the primacy of wait, we really is such a staple. You know, I think that's probably very similar in the states and certainly, you know, UK, you know, bread is absolutely central to our diet. Do you know?
Speaker 3: (12:33)
I mean, I have, uh, I had a, uh, Phil bagel for my lunch and I had some pasta for my, my team. You know, it's, this is perfectly normal behavior. You know, we eat a lot of wheat and we feel very connected to it. So I think there is, there is a greater objection to messing with me at all, and that it's multiplied just thousands fold by the leakiness of wheat. We know that when we have the trial, when GMV has been trialed, it hasn't got out. And I think, you know, you probably have lived more of that experience in music and probably talk more about that. So we, you know, we, we base a lot of that stuff, but we also looked at, you know, the fine molecular points with this project. And I'm going to share a quote from somebody who will go, maybe because I haven't asked them first, but somebody threw in some technical support on, on assessing this particular trial.
Speaker 3: (13:33)
And she said, this is like a school project, this unfinished school project. And that was on first reading. Now, interestingly, I understand that the lead researcher actually did use this work for her PhD. So our friend's assessment was accidentally on the money because she didn't, did she know that at the time now, you know, people can do great things, but PhDs, but most don't most of hallway part way through their learning. At that point, you know, it's just a staging post. And you know, this, this tile is nowhere or is this experiment is nowhere near ready for field trial that the genetic mutations are not stable. They're very open about that. And they are, um, it's being portrayed as, you know, the first gene edited trial in the UK, which is itself a bit weird because we had one a couple of years ago, um, uh, which there's a whole other story about which we can get through if we have time, if not the next time.
Speaker 3: (14:43)
Um, but you know, uh, much is being made about in the press, but I actually it's transgender. So, you know, the changes that are, have, have happened have involved the insertion of DNA from other species and the aim, the idea is that that will be bred out by the end of this trial, but it hasn't happened yet. They're still doing that. They've still going through that process, but you know, my absolute favorite part of this is that, so they're, they're reducing the, um, the disparity in the freest NRG in the wheat, um, in order to, you know, have less, less of that available to be converted into acrylamides they discovered, and this is this, isn't just a little paragraph. If they're efficient, they discovered that, um, it didn't germinate very well. And what do you think they did to improve the germination? What do you think they put on it? A topical application of as far as James.
Speaker 3: (16:01)
Okay. So you found out that the thing you're trying to reduce obviously does other, other stuff, because I don't know, nature's quite smart and things don't tend to be in an organism, so don't do a job. You know, everything is pretty much there for a purpose and, you know, they discovered that that's, you know, it, wasn't there just to, to make your bread toast a bit controversial. It's actually, they're doing a job. Um, so, you know, Hey, that's great science they've discovered one of the things that it does, probably just one of the things, but because that's a problem that they're going to overcome the lack of authority that they created with the genetic modification, by having a topical application of disparaging. And they also haven't done any testing to see whether that disparity and still be in the grain when it's milk and whether it will then convert to color. This is exactly what I would expect of a university project. You know, you know, it's working this stuff out. It's kind of interesting, but don't put it in a field, don't grow it and have it pollinate and spread on the wind.
Speaker 2: (17:27)
It's, it's a disaster by the way. Is it true that asparagine helps male sexual performance?
Speaker 3: (17:33)
I couldn't possibly comment. I've been married for 19 years.
Speaker 2: (17:38)
The thing is, if it did, you can just say the, the bread that makes you impotent. I don't know. That's, that's another angle we can do.
Speaker 3: (17:44)
I've heard something. I haven't, I haven't looked at that in detail. We didn't put it in our, in objection
Speaker 2: (17:50)
Where I made me to be on social media darn soon. Um, so let me, let me put a little, this outdoor release into context. Okay. I'm going to start with, uh, one of my favorite examples of an unexpected outcomes from outdoor releases, which actually isn't genetically engineering. It's releasing rabbits. They took, you know, a lot of Brits were in Australia and they're used to hunting rabbits. And so a in 1859, someone released 24 rabbits. So the visiting Brits would feel more at home. Well, rabbits multiply like rabbits. And by 1920s, there was about 10 billion of them, which had destroyed the environment. They're in a big way. Um, and that's an example of just not paying attention to the system. Now, originally, when GMOs were being contemplated for release and executive from one of the GMO companies, Syngenta testified that you would know more likely decontaminated, a G a non GMO crop would no more likely be contaminated by a GM crop than someone getting pregnant from a toilet seat.
Speaker 2: (19:00)
This was her media, you know, statement that it could be broadcast around the world with that level of definitiveness. And now everyone knows that GM crops pollinate and contaminate non GM crops. So now it's like inevitable, but it doesn't matter. So it doesn't matter in the following ways. First of all, it's permanent. Once you release it, if it gets out there, you can never recall. Second it's unpredictable. You already said that it wasn't stable. It can mutate. It's possible that it can change their transfer genes, especially the microbes, but even, even the wheat and plants can transfer genes to other related species and to microbes and fungus. So now you created a new genetic combination to the new trait, and you now have put it into ecosystems and plants that you never anticipated. Then you have this little thing called economic consequences. We'll get to the health.
Speaker 2: (19:56)
And just a minute. So I used to work at a GMO detection laboratory 22 years ago, and I was like the second person in the world. Cause the lab called me. I was the vice president of marketing communications called me and said, um, we just discovered Starlink corn in craft, taco shells for our client. And I said, don't tell the client yet tested again. Make sure make double sure they tested it. They sequence that. It was absolutely sure. Then we released it to our client who told the world, and it costs a billion dollars because Starlink was not proved for human consumption and the EPA, the brain cell at the EPA said, oh, we'll just release it for animal feed and not for human consumption. I'm sure that the farmers could deal with sorting it out. And it's like, this was so stupid. It got into the human food chain.
Speaker 2: (20:59)
It was more than 300 products were subject to recall. And what happened was very interesting. It was the first major contamination. This was in 2000, every major corn import market from the U S shut its stores. The cost on the industry was devastating and you'd think they'd learn their, their lessons, but then genetically engineered corn that wasn't approved in China cost about $2 billion. Genetically engineered flax that wasn't approved anywhere was being grown throughout CA Canada. It closed their markets. The canola market for Canada was closed here. All these different markets shut their doors because certain products were not approved. So there was this little wheat in a field, I think in Oregon or Washington state, one of those two where they discovered it, that it was genetically engineered and it was announced, and there was this preparation to shut down all export markets for us and Canadian wheat because they kind of like, it's a region.
Speaker 2: (22:03)
We gotta be careful. And they checked and they checked and they couldn't find any. So it was like a disaster verdict. There might've been a disruption just for a few days, but if it gets out and it contaminates wheat in a particular country, and it doesn't have to necessarily be the UK, it could be the UK we production, which is probably the, not very profound, but it ends up going somewhere else that it could, it could destroy an economy to give an example. When the wheat industry in north America was considering accepting, uh, not, I think Roundup ready wheat years ago, there was a analysis done about export markets and they determined that if they introduced to GM wheat, anywhere in Canada, they'd lose 86% of their export markets and people in the United States looked at what happened with the introduction of GM corn, the reduction of markets and the need to increase the subsidies of the corn that no one wanted.
Speaker 2: (23:06)
And they figured if it happened, if they introduced GM wheat, there'd be such a decline in the cost of wheat. If they didn't get the subsidies, they'd be using maybe 30% of their harvest to feed animals. It's not normally fed animals, but it would be so inexpensive because it would be a disaster. And so all of the wheat industry said, okay, we're not gonna, we're not going to have this happen. Then documents that I've seen from Monsanto. Some secret documents just laid out their plan to infiltrate the weed industry. And over years they courted and input infiltrated and gave money to organizations so that they had champions inside the wheat growers so that the wheat growers association would say, we need this wheat because it's going to save the wheat. And this is what they do. It's the same kind of battle cry. This happened in a, for canola, genetically engineered canola in Australia.
Speaker 2: (24:01)
I met with health ministers of all these different states. And I said, if you do this, if you release it, you will lose markets. The price will go down. It will contaminate. And it did exactly what we predicted because it happens that way every, every year that happens every, every region. So it turns out that if, and now there's people in, in the weed industry claiming that they want GM wheat. And if they did, it could have that same kind of disaster. So they really want way to go everywhere. So people have no choice and they're forced to take it. My friend, Don Huber, who, uh, is a professor emeritus from Purdue university. He tested Roundup on wheat and it creates headlight, a fungal disease cause round it promotes fungal based pathogens or fungal pathogens. And so it could be a disaster, but Roundup has also sprayed on wheat just before harvest to dry it down and, and to promote ripening.
Speaker 2: (24:59)
And that's linked to us all sorts of diseases, Roundup in the food. There's a correlation between celiac disease and the amount of Roundup sprayed on wheat. People think that it's not just the, the wheat itself that's causing celiac and other types of gluten sensitivities, but there's evidence suggesting that glyphosate based herbicides can increase the sensitivity. We can talk about that another time I've written a paper about it, and there's other papers now that are published. So what we're talking about is way beyond a release of rabbits in Australia, it's a release of a new organism that has never been tested that can have new allergens, new toxins can have different growing patterns, can mutate and destroy the wheat or the ecosystem. And there are some PhD students that got the ear of those trying to push GMOs. And because it's something like, oh, this is innocuous. Isn't this great it'll prevent cancer from burnt toast. Let's scare everyone, create a problem that doesn't exist and create a solution to solve it. And we'll just do this in a small field trial because it's like the rabbits that make Britta Britton, visitors feel more comfortable. This is a time bomb over to you.
Speaker 3: (26:13)
Absolutely. And I think kind of one of the things that's quite interesting, um, sort of relating to that is the response that, that deference, but rather the committee gets a different his department environment due to board affairs. That's in the UK government. The stuff gets a little bit complicated because we have the developed nations within the UK who, who look after some of this stuff for themselves, but there's a committee of, of difficult acre, um, the advisory committee on releases to the environment. And they are the people who assess these tiles, um, because of Brexit. They are also in likelihood going to be the same people who will assess any applications for commercial growing. So the way they respond to these trials is it's, it's spinning all the more important, and I've done a lot of trial objections in my time in this, this job.
Speaker 3: (27:14)
I've been director Jim breeze for seven years. Um, it's, it's a kind of occurring theme within my work that I do. We have a whole process for it. Now I have a lovely gap chart to get it organized. I do love the chart, um, because believe me, six weeks is not long to get these objections in. Um, and there's a real pattern to that. You know, what's wrong with the trials that we raised and what Aker says in response. And one of the most common things that they say that they said a lot with this one is that's not relevant because it's a trial that's not relevant because it's a trial. And there's just this extraordinary faith in the idea, scale is a safety measure. And if you know, maybe that would be the case with rabbits. Yeah. Rabbits breed. But you know, you only grow with however many happy, really did just start with two and you, you kept them in a pan of a certain size.
Speaker 3: (28:19)
Then they would probably stop after some point. That would be brilliant for a start, but, you know, genetics isn't like that DNA is like that. It takes one, it is a one escape. Do you know one thing, one green Poland, it's not, you know, scale is not a protector obviously to know growing at greater scale brings other ways, but you know, just being relatively small scale does not mean it won't escape. It's all down to the sort of playing the numbers game, playing the chances. Um, and it, it's not good enough, you know, and then not, they also, you know, they, they refuse to engage. W we, we keep making wider points because we think it's important that they are made, but, you know, they say, well, it doesn't matter whether or not it's actually addressing a real problem. One of the things we used, I'll just I'll find it here.
Speaker 3: (29:20)
And I'll quit probably when said, you know, the proposed field trends, I'm likely to provide any public benefits because genetics are unlikely to be an effective means of reducing disparity levels. And [inaudible] levels will not provide any significant public benefit because cancer research UK says it's not a problem. So, you know, we raise as issues. And the response back is that's out of scope for the trial. All that we assess is, you know, is this trial in this space on the assumption that it won't be escape going to do direct harm, and that's not how the world works. You know, a, you can't prevent a scape and B once something is allowed at one scale, if they got over that first hurdle, it's easier to get through the next, at what point will these issues be addressed? When will they be in scope? And we never get an answer to that.
Speaker 3: (30:19)
Um, I think another thing to bear in mind is that we've, we've seen, that's been a really interesting thing with the, the UK press in the last few weeks. Um, the sort of high brown newspapers, um, have carried letters from various scientists, various genetic modification, you know, promoters of in both institutions, um, talking about slightly different aspects, but always mentioning this trial and how great it is. And really it really isn't back. I tie it really either eat. There's a lot that you're kind of thinking it doesn't seem ready to me. And it's really not the norm for, you know, a senior scientist at institution a to write to the newspaper, says they have greater his institution be who they compete with for research funding has got a filter running. So, you know, ways is with me, the question of what's the purpose of this trial, is this about breaking down barriers? This is about, you know, making people feel more positive about yeah, because that's what it seems like to me, you know, it doesn't seem like a genuine piece of science. It doesn't seem like a genuine endeavor. It seems like a chance to get yet another thing into the ground.
Speaker 2: (31:41)
I'm going to go on a limb here, which is not too, not too risky. And put this in the context that you and I both know. Um, the introduction of GM wheat could be a catastrophe. It could theoretically be an irreversible contamination of a staple food product given time it could travel around the world and be a disaster. I mean, imagine if it creates some kind of new disease, because we didn't talk about the massive collateral damage that occurs as a result of the process of gene editing and the possibility that there's new allergens and toxins and anti-nutrients that have never been properly characterized. And it sounds like given the terrible science behind the wheat, they certainly didn't do the, the genome and the transcriptome and the proteome and the metabolome. And I mean, it's like, they're just ignore all the things that can go wrong.
Speaker 2: (32:34)
Pretend that it's the only change is what they intended it to, to be, and putting everyone at risk that might be eating it. So the disaster is potentially enormous, but it pales in comparison to the disaster brewing by your DEFRA government department, as they are about three months behind in the expected statement is whether they're going to quote, deregulate mean completely turn the other way around all gene edited organisms, the biotech industry, they had a big meeting. I think it was in Bulgaria many years ago. And they said their number one goal is to try and get the new gene editing technologies to be accepted by governments and consumers. And so they're lying about it. They're lying and saying it's safe and predictable and just like breeding and it's natural and it shouldn't be regulated. And they're trying to get the UK government to say that now the UK government, if, if they release as we think they may Hey saying, okay, we're going to abdicate our responsibility that I can say it that way of reviewing any Jeanette gene edited organism, you can release microbes, plants, animals, whatever you want.
Speaker 2: (33:52)
You can do it out of your basement. You can do it in a high school lab. It doesn't matter because it's just that it's just natural. It's not going to make any changes once they release that if they do, this comes along as an example at around the same time, or everyone's trying to say, squirrel pointing over there saying, it's not real. It's not real. It's just these, it's just like this bread, which will help you not get cancer. If it burns in your toast, that's what we're talking about. It's very simple. So it becomes the, the excuse to divert the conversation to the potential for gene editing, to replace nature, to eliminate the products of the billions of years of evolution and replace virtually everything with DNA, with a technology that's so cheap and easy, you can buy a, do it yourself kit on Amazon for $169.
Speaker 2: (34:45)
So there, this is, this is so much more dangerous, so much more dangerous because they've already convinced the UK government is, would just be following suit from Japan and also Argentina and Australia and the U S and in large part. And then in Brazil, where they basically don't look at gene editing, they say, oh, we don't have anything to do with that. You know, a gene edited, uh, non Browning mushroom. The USDA said not our problem. The FDA says always, it's never, our problem. EPA says, Nope, not our problem. So that means you can gene edit things and put it in the food supply or in the environment. And it's not the government's problem. It's just the problem of all future generations and all living beings. So I think what we're facing here is a very conscious, um, media example, kind of like golden rice that makes no sense it doesn't solve a problem. It raises potential catastrophes, uh, and it takes money away from more appropriate uses of, of real money that can, they can nourish and save the world.
Speaker 3: (35:52)
This is like,
Speaker 2: (35:56)
No, save your toasters. Wow. This is really great. There's, I'm so glad we got to this stage because this sort of lands with it. It's like, there's so much that doesn't make sense. It's like, are the people in acre stupid? And it's like, well, if they were told that they have to assume that there's no release in the field trial, that no animal will come and eat it, that no bird will eat it. And then poop the seeds that the wind won't blow it, that there's no wheat within any appreciable distance where the pollen can travel. And so they're making this stupid assumption that it's actually contained. They're forced to be stupid. We can't say that the people making these decisions are stupid. The people making the assumptions that are forcing them to make these determinations, they are probably not stupid. They are probably manipulating the science.
Speaker 2: (36:52)
There's the liars in the light too. There's the people that go in there and say, let's dumb down all assessments using assumptions that we know aren't true, but then we don't have any protocols or precedents established that we have to do really any work. This is how GMOs are assessed now around the world, because people dumbed down the assessment so much, it couldn't possibly find anything wrong. And so now you can just get them on the market pretty quickly. So anything Liz you want to share before we wrap up here? I think we, we beat this wheat into flour.
Speaker 3: (37:25)
Yeah, I think we have, I mean, I think just really to pick up home on this issue of, of the different consultation, I think, you know, in case some of, of watching this are not aware, so this is the UK government that have, um, control over farming in England. So they are the UK government there. They, they do have jurisdiction in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but actually I'm farming there. And we have jurisdiction in England and they are proposing to remove from GM regulation forms of gene editing that could have been produced through natural suit to traditional breeding. You have the pricing, which means nothing. If they eat it, it's not a scientific definition at all. Of course, it's not a scientific definition. It was written by politicians. And very few politicians actually have a scientific education. You know, it's really rare for scientists to go into politics and maybe we need some more bio scientists to do that.
Speaker 3: (38:39)
Um, but you know, it's quite the most extraordinary proposal because it doesn't make scientific sense. It doesn't make political sense for the UK because Scotland and Wales are much more GM skeptical than the Westminster government and Northern Ireland has to do with muscle size. So, you know, that that's all quite bonkers, the minute, the size of the UK, where they were pretty small, certainly compared to the states, you know, that there are many border and cross border farms. So, you know, and that this, the food supply chains are absolutely integrated across the UK. So it doesn't make sense politically, you know, it is not popular. We are no different going to say when they issue their report and the consultation. But I have seen a lot of submissions that went into it. And so probably surprising voices have raised concerns about the model. You know, lots of the GM scientists have actually said that this could have been produced through natural or through traditional breeding.
Speaker 3: (39:46)
Doesn't make sense. You know, nobody likes what the government says. Maybe that's, that's where we United. We all dislike it for different reasons, but we won't dislike it. Um, so, you know, whether it was put there as a straw man to be pulled apart and the government's going to hope to find something to rescue from it, I don't know, but we live in, you know, we do live in fear of what they're gonna, what they're going to come up with next, because it's just an extraordinary proposal put forward in an extraordinary and really, you know, unacceptable consultation format where really, you know, they're pretty much saying, yeah, we've decided we like this. We're right. Aren't we know though you're not. Um, so yeah, I think, you know, keep your eyes open on what's happening here. It's, you know, there's that, that person isn't there, but we live in interesting times. They do. Um,
Speaker 2: (40:48)
Yeah. It's, you know, it's like the people who are listening to our conversation may or may not have, um, a lot of experience hearing the GMO activists talk amongst themselves. And we have been, you know, studying the science and we have our scientists that we go to the, do the evaluation and it's like, we are actually pretty like basically a hundred percent confident that this stuff is dangerous. A hundred percent confident that we can't, that this is stuff is unpredictable, uh, can change. In other words, the science actually is on the side of precaution. The science actually is. And so we end up like just shaking our heads on the incredible inanity that the ridiculousness nature really nature of the regulations. But that's why I spend a lot of my time exposing the approval process and the captured regulatory agencies to explain how it is that shuts stupidity can be systematized because in the U S it's not the politicians who actually write those bills it's industry that writes the bills and sends them to the, to their Congress person or Senator that they're supporting financially, um, through campaign donations and whatnot that they've lobbied.
Speaker 2: (42:13)
And so they get to write it in such a way that gives them the greatest freedom. And then they create, um, ways of marginalizing opposition saying, oh, those who are calling for more science, they're anti science. You know, it's not, it doesn't make sense. So it gives an insight for people watching to what we go through all the time, looking at the science and the one hand comments and some of the other and way over there is regulation. An unrelated to reality. I think we'll leave it there. Liz, I want to say you are the director of GM freeze in the UK and you're in Manchester. Is that right? And can you tell everyone the website?
Speaker 3: (43:00)
Yes, we are www if we're still saying, oh, I quite like saying it like the old days, G M free.org. We're very, very basic And easy to remember.
Speaker 2: (43:14)
And we have put links. I believe our, our team of social people have put links in the description also to the GM wheat articles that you had very much to do with. In fact, I tracked you down with your burnt toast. I loved it. Yeah. Well, thank you, Liz. And we, and make sure everyone to like the, the, the Institute for responsible technology, his Facebook page, because we're going to return with the results from the DEFRA consultation to see if they in fact are going to put the world at risk, and then maybe we'll see the EU saying, well, if you're going to do that, we're going to close the doors to all produce, because if you're not going to indicate what's genetically and what's gene edited, we don't want any of your produce. And then we go to think about that. Anyway. Thank you so much.
Speaker 3: (44:06)
Thank you, Jeff. It's been lovely.
Speaker 1: (44:11)
Speaker 2: (44:18)
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