An open letter to the synthetic ag lobby:

So, mouthpieces for transgenic modification and synthetic chemicals in food, tell me again how the disruption of the shikimic acid pathway doesn’t disrupt the human or soil microbiome, how the chelation of manganese is harmless, and how all evidence to the contrary is false.

And how about the C1 metabolism?  Explain how we shouldn’t be concerned about the accumulation of formaldehyde and depletion of glutathione?

Tell me again how soil doesn’t need micro-nutrients that are available to the plants, how human health is not impacted negatively by what your products do to the gut biome and how every researcher and physician who claims otherwise is lying or ignorant or, my favorite, “out to get farmers.”

Explain to me why anyone would be “out to get farmers” and why your behavior of lying, trapping, polarizing and suing keeps you from being the aggressors in this scenario.

Tell me how what you do to what we eat doesn’t affect us and how the nutrient value of produce hasn’t been in constant decline since the 1950’s.

Tell me how it is okay to feed livestock a diet comprised almost exclusively of grains.

Tell me again how an industry whose PR firms openly mock the faith community also shirks evolutionary principles and treats the human body as though it can adapt at an unprecedented rate, all while also claiming, contrary to current evidence, that DNA isn’t mutable. Of course, you rely on its ability to be manipulated while claiming your products don’t affect human DNA.  So, apparently, you can have it both ways.  How exciting that you understand what no one else on Earth has figured out yet.

Tell me how reductionist science only selectively affects the whole and, somehow, never when it would be bad for your sales.  How is it, again, that you’re exempt from the law of unintended consequences and all the predictions about and reality of resistant weeds, insects and viruses are both not your fault and unavoidable.

Tell me how there is no such thing as proving something safe so, hell, let’s just consider everything safe.  Why test anything?  Tell me you can say that to the face of a parent whose child has lead poisoning or a farmer with pesticide poisoning.

Tell me again how producing “food” unfit for human consumption is helping feed the world.  

Either the garbage corn and soy counts toward consumable calories and we can feed 9 billion people right now, (in a world where population growth has slowed) or we cannot feed everyone.  Which is it?

Tell me again how you can’t release your own testing methods and findings and because of proprietary information, won’t consent to independent studies.  

Explain why your negative results negate prior positives and why you can dismiss something by attributing it to “inherent contaminants” as if that shouldn’t be considered part of your product.

Tell me how transgenic crops can be simultaneously inherently equivalent to traditional crops and a proprietary invention worthy of patent.

Tell me how your numbers are the only ones that claim your methods reduce the amount of spraying on our land and our food.

Tell me how we aren’t getting sicker and how food and synthetic chemicals don’t have anything to do with that anyway.

Why are people able to be both overweight and undernourished?  I want to hear all about how you feed humans with dent corn but are not responsible for the fact that it has to be highly processed to be remotely usable to the human body.   

Explain why you can remove the diversity from a farm and claim to increase yield, despite the fact that total output doesn’t change.  Do tell how more inputs are better for farmers, in spite of how it tethers them to you.  And how it is great that you only sue around 140 family farms a year.

Tell me again how it is ethical when you strong arm governments or dump chemicals in small towns.

Tell me again how defense trumps liberty and how capitalism doesn’t require transparency in order to have a true demand/supply relationship.

Tell me why food labels can change with every cartoon movie or added “nutrient” but it would cost too much to disclose certain other ingredients, even though it is already done in other nations.

Tell me why I should trust you with my body.

Keep silencing anyone who doesn’t agree to follow your playbook.  

Keep claiming consensus by selectively excluding data and researchers who don’t pander to you.  

Keep making sure even the cartoonists are punished when they mention you.

Keep making a mockery of the scientific method, the people on the front lines, and our government.

All the ad time on the Sunday morning political shows can’t fix your dilemma because your PR problem is a symptom of systemic failure.  It is the result of an open source world, a world where the global population is more and more educated.  What makes our world modern is not the amount of tech in our soil and in our stomachs, it is the ability of information to flow to all corners of the globe.

I’ve seen how you mock farmers, researchers and scientists.  I’ve watched your attacks via your very own spin doctors.  I’ve met people you have bullied.  I’ve read your rationalizations in trade magazines and editorial pages.  

I’m not impressed.  I could argue your point better than you do.  Instead of taking the grain of truth and blowing it up, you manipulate the truth into something completely different and then rely on lies to win the battle.  It is the tactic of those who lose big.  When you fall, it will be epic.

The beauty of it all is that you really cannot continue indefinitely.  The future belongs, for the better of humanity, to the true sustainability innovators, not those who throw the word around as part of their greenwashing campaign.  Yes, we are on to you about that, too.  For the current generations, the damage is done, but nature will rebound in many ways and with it, the health of future generations can improve.

It is nice to see conservatives and liberals unite, slowly, on issues of food.  You read that correctly, the political right is catching on.  It is gradually going to cost you more and more to stay in bed with the government.  Your old guard is expiring.  

That isn’t a fair assessment, as it costs the government to stay in bed with you, as well.  You two duke it out with our money while we fix your mess.

While you are doing anything to make a buck, farmers are rebelling.  Many have changed methods, few really trust you and, in the end, they rule the fields, not you.  They will continue to innovate and you will lose your grip on their throats, wallets and minds.  How long can a system rely on personal debt?  The clock is ticking.

Because, here is the thing, if even one of the concerns raised is accurate, that is enough.  Even one would mean there is no excuse for unleashing your wares on the public and the environment.

So you keep doing what you do and silly little me, with my tiny brain and my inability to understand food, business, national defense, economics, farming or science, will keep reading through journals and learning all I can.  Maybe, someday,  when I’m not such a simpleton, I’ll go back to being “smart” enough to buy into all you claim. Go ahead and hold your breath.

After all, only a biochemist should know what they are eating.  

Very sincerely,


Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.-Einstein