As a skeptic, I can’t help but taking an interest in conspiracy theories. The reason, of course, is because behind virtually every commonly accepted pseudoscientific and antiscience ideas there is conspiracy theory. For instance, in the case of the antivaccine movement, the conspiracy theory is that some combination of the CDC, big pharma, and the FDA is conspiring to hide the truth—excuse me, The Truth—that vaccines cause autism, brain damage, autimmune disease, diabetes, sudden infant death syndrome, shaken baby syndrome, and whatever other disease, injury, or condition that antivaxers like to attribute to vaccines. The same is true with alternative medicine in alternative cancer cures. Inevitably, if you get into discussions with believers, sooner or later (usually sooner) they’ll tell you that The Man (a.k.a. big pharma and/or the FDA) is keeping the cures from the people in order to protect profits from low cost “natural” cancer cures. The same goes for GMOs, in which the all-powerful Monsanto is “suppressing” evidence of all the alleged harm they do. Yes, be it 9/11 Truthers, Moon Hoaxers, or even Bigfoot hunters, behind every significant bit of pseudoscience is a conspiracy theory, or at least conspiracy theories inevitably crop up to “explain” why the pseudoscience isn’t accepted.

Sometimes, these conspiracy theories reach ridiculous levels, so much so that they can even become entangled with larger stories. In this case, antivax conspiracy theories have impinged on the tragic story of Justine Damond, the woman killed by a Minneapolis police officer less than two weeks ago. Before I get to how the tragedy of what happened to Justine Damond is getting more tragic, I need to review some background.

Perhaps the strangest conspiracy theory I’ve ever come across popped up around two years ago, when the body of antivaccine autism quack (but I repeat myself) Dr. Jeff Bradstreet was found in the Rocky Broad River in mountainous North Carolina with a bullet wound to the chest. The local law enforcement authorities determined that it was a suicide, and within a month it came out that the day before his death Bradstreet’s clinic had been raided by the FDA for selling a “wonder cure” in the form of a compound known as GcMAF, as I discussed at the time. Not surprisingly, Bradstreet’s family, as well as many antivaxers, didn’t believe that Bradstreet committed suicide. His family even raised $33,000 to hire private detectives to “find the truth.” Two years later, no convincing evidence has been found that Bradstreet died other than by suicide.

Not long after that, there emerged a conspiracy theory in which “holistic medicine” practitioners were supposedly being targeted for murder, starting with Dr. Bradstreet. It started when cancer quack Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez died suddenly of what, as far as I could gather from the news reports, sure sounded like a sudden heart attack, something all too unfortunately common in older men. Basically, Erin Elizabeth, who runs an alternative medicine website (Healthnutnews.com) and also happen to be über-quack Joe Mercola’s girlfriend, started looking for “holistic” doctors who died under mysterious circumstance. Not surprisingly, she was able to find some, and as a result spun a wild tale of a “conspiracy” by The Man to kill alternative medicine practitioners based on the thinnest of gruel. Basically, she spun a tale of filthy pharma lucre buying hit men to eliminate those pesky “holistic healers.”

To be honest, I hadn’t paid attention to this truly silly conspiracy theory since maybe early 2016, but the story of Dr. Justine Damond brought it back again. If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you know that Damond, an Australian, called 911 to report what to her sounded like a rape happening in the alleyway behind her home. What happened next is something that never should have happened. Here is the reported timeline:

11:27 p.m. — Justine Damond calls 911 to report hearing sounds of distress from a girl or woman behind her house. She says it may be a rape. A dispatcher says officers should arrive soon.

11:35 p.m. — Damond calls 911 again to ask why police haven’t arrived yet. She gives the dispatcher address again.

11:41 p.m. — Officers Matthew Harrity and Mohamed Noor arrive and drive south down the alley behind Damond’s house. Harrity, who is driving, is startled by a loud noise near his squad car. Damond approaches the driver’s side window immediately afterward, and Noor fires his gun past Harrity, striking Damond through that window of the vehicle, according to Harrity in an interview with state investigators.

11:42 p.m. — Radio report of one person down, starting CPR.

11:50 p.m. — Radio report of police doing CPR for “last four minutes.”

11:51 p.m. — Damond is pronounced dead in the alley at the south end of her block. A medical examiner later says Damond was shot once in the abdomen.

This case is yet another example of a police shooting of an unarmed civilian, with a twist: The victim was not black and not male. Not surprisingly, though, there has been a huge backlash over this, leading to the resignation of Minneapolis police chief Janeé Harteau.

You probably see where this is going. The unexpected twist? Damond was an Australian “holistic healer, cancer researcher and trained veterinarian surgeon.” To give you an idea, here’s a video she did:

I didn’t watch the whole thing, but there is a lot of stuff about “quantum fields,” information, and “universal intelligence.” And here’s her website, as found in late 2016 on Archive.org. As you can see, it’s fairly typical New Age woo. There’s no reason for me to dwell on it, other than as evidence of her bona fides as a “holistic healer.” That was enough to get Erin Elizabeth to do her ghoulish thing and take advantage of yet another tragedy to plant the seed of adding this unfortunate woman to her imagined hit list, noting that we’ve “lost so many holistic healers and doctors in just two short years.”

It wasn’t long before stories with titles like Holistic Doctor, Working Against Big Pharma, Shot Dead By Police:

Australian holistic healer and former veterinarian, Dr. Justine Damond, has been shot dead by Minneapolis police, as the community of physicians seeking to operate outside the confines of Big Pharma continues to be decimated.

Dr. Damond, 40, was killed while standing in her pajamas outside the Minneapolis house owned by her partner. She had previously called 911 to report an intruder in the alley outside the house, however when police arrived they shot several times at the holistic doctor and killed her.

According to reports, the police who arrived (including the one who shot her) had their body cameras turned off.

The well-known health and lifestyle coach, who was actively campaigning for people to take control of their lives and reject Big Pharma’s crippling products, joins the long list of holistic doctors and healers who have been killed in suspicious or unsolved circumstances during the past two years.

Of course, with Justine Damond, as with Jeff Bradstreet, as with Nicholas Gonzalez, as with the 60 other “holistic healers” in the list compiled by Erin Elizabeth, there is no evidence that any of the deaths are related or in many cases (like Dr. Gonzalez) that there was even any sort of foul play involved. Also, as was noted on Snopes.com, arguing against Damond’s death as being due to assassination was how rapidly the officers got out of the car to administer CPR and call EMS. Also, remember that the incident that started the chain of events leading to the tragedy of Damond’s death was her herself calling 911 because she heard what she thought was a woman being attacked in the alley behind the house she shared with her fiancé. No noise, no phone call, no police coming to investigate, no shooting. I’m surprised Elizabeth or someone else hasn’t insinuated that the noise of the attack was an intentional ploy to frighten Damond, to get her concerned enough to call 911, so that the pharma-controlled Minneapolis police could carry out their hit. The case of Justine Damond is truly sad, but whatever her death was evidence of, lack of adequate training of police or being too eager to shoot first, it wasn’t evidence of some sort of massive pharm conspiracy to murder holistic healers.

As I’ve said before, ever since the death of Jeff Bradstreet, it appears that anyone associated with any sort of “alternative” or “holistic” medicine who dies under any but the most obvious and easily verified circumstances will become a victim of the conspiracy. That’s the beauty of the conspiracy. Anyone can be part of it. Worse, the more publicized the death, the more likely it is that the person who died will be portrayed as yet another victim of the conspiracy. Damond is only just the most publicized death of all. The funny thing is, this conspiracy theory is so wacky, that even Mike Adams hasn’t thought to latch on to it since the shooting.

You know you’re really being a despicable conspiracy-monger when even Mike Adams won’t touch the story. Of course, by the time this article posts, I could be proven wrong by Adams doing just that and publishing one of his patented screeds. It’s how fake news works.

Comments

  1. #1 Dorit Reiss
    July 25, 2017

    A. Ms. Elizabeth has a video complaining about Snopes’ explanation that her assertions are wrong. Apparently, it’s retaliation for her complaints about Snopes’ success in fundraising: another conspiracy.

    B. Tragic story.

  2. #2 Zach
    July 25, 2017

    I mean, given the world’s population, you can find a “long list” of people dead under “mysterious circumstances” in any field. As long as you apparently include natural causes under the category of mysterious, that is. This woman’s fuzzy logic could apply to accountants, writers, or professional poker players if we really wanted.

  3. #3 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    July 25, 2017

    At the end of Dr. Justine Damond’s video, she describes the personal experience/feeling of saving eight ducklings that were stuck in a drain.

    With all due respect, Dr, Justine Damond, DVM was the Steve Irwin (a.k.a., Crocodile Hunter) of “holistic” medicine.

    Rest In Peace

  4. #4 Panacea
    July 25, 2017

    Ugh. Despicable.

    This lady’s family has enough grief to deal with without this.

  5. #5 Ren
    July 25, 2017

    Just google obituaries for physicians who have died, and you can turn it around on these nuts. You could say that physicians are being killed for supporting vaccination, or some other ridiculous thing like that.

    Also, the word “decimation” keeps being misused. That confuses me. :-p

  6. #6 Christine Rose
    July 25, 2017

    There are probably a hundred holistic healers in Minneapolis. Can you imagine how inefficient it would be to wait for them to call the police and have a “sleeper” agent show up in a patrol car? Not to mention that the officer didn’t know who she was, and that’s a big part of why he panicked.

  7. #7 Lawrence
    July 25, 2017

    @Ren – it appears that only a few of us students of history have any concept of what “decimation” actually means….

  8. #8 Panacea
    July 25, 2017

    Lawrence: clearly. I have no doubt Elizabeth has no idea what decimated really means. Otherwise she’d use a word like “massacred.”

  9. #9 MI Dawn
    July 25, 2017

    @Christine Rose: the fact he panicked at all is not a good sign in a police officer (and yes, I actually discussed this with my PO brother in law. He was disgusted that the officer pulled his gun with no reason. He works in Detroit area, so knows all about bad areas).

  10. #10 Chris
    July 25, 2017

    Someone has put up a warning sign that Twin Cities cops are easily startled:
    http://www.citypages.com/news/after-another-police-shooting-sign-warns-twin-cities-cops-easily-startled/436285843

  11. #11 Todd Stonewall
    United States
    July 25, 2017

    They tried to kill the Food babe. They locked her in an airplane with only 21% oxygen! She’s lucky to be alive.

  12. #12 Chris Hickie
    July 25, 2017

    You could put the whole universe through the holes in health nut’s “theories”.

    That being said, I suspect what health nut is doing compares to that list of AVers have of research articles “showing” vaccines cause autism (which Liz Ditz has nicely refuted article by article). Even though this list of articles by AVers is a farce, it will still convince a few people out there because, well–all those articles!. If health nut can get a big enough list together of “murdered” holistics, it will convince a certain percentage of the non-critically-thinking part of the population that Big Pharma is out to kill woo-meisters. Those convinced also probably make good future customers for all the crap peddled by health nut and her quack spouse, which is of course their ultimate goal.

  13. #13 JeffM
    Alphonsus
    July 25, 2017

    Conspiracy theories…I love ’em.

    Chemtrails, anyone?

  14. #14 Dangerous Bacon
    July 25, 2017

    It’s fun to see woo conspiracy mongers end up as the targets of conspiracy theories at least as bizarre as anything they dreamed up.

    Thus we have Albert Stubblebine, alt health “leader” and previously star of a military psy-ops program, labeled as a government stooge out to discredit the alt health movement. Erin Elizabeth of Holistic Doctor Murder Conspiracy fame has been “exposed” as really being out to compile information on wooists and scare them away from criticizing the Medical Establishment.

    “Applied in the Mercola-Finn natural health products enterprise, Erin’s deception is a goldmine. Together, with their team of computer accomplices, the couple has effectively “obtained information with . . . the use of technology” that includes the names, addresses, demographic data, and e-mail contacts identifying Big Pharma’s main adversaries–millions of citizens inclined to oppose vaccinations, water fluoridation, GMOs and every other controversial issue in healthcare; and all through the “Art of Deception.”’

    It’s pretty complex stuff and rather nasty (to paraphrase Jay Gordon), but those wishing to delve deeply into the conspiracy shouldn’t miss this fabulous investigative report:

    http://www.waronwethepeople.com/sex-drugs-internet-fraud-the-secret-life-of-erin-elizabeth-finn-and-dr-joseph-mercola/

  15. #15 Idran
    July 25, 2017

    @7: I know, right? That’s almost as ridiculous as using “appear” to mean the 14th century sense of “seem to be” instead of the pure original 13th century sense of “come into physical view”! Or using “only” as an adjective; who would dare to do that when the word was originally an adverb? So many people that ignore original etymology of words and use them in different ways than they were first historically used. It’s shameful. 😛

  16. #16 Ren
    July 25, 2017

    “It’s shameful.”

    It’s not shameful. It’s hilarious.

  17. #17 Mrs Woo
    Southwest of Wooville
    July 25, 2017

    I have yet to meet a conspiracy theorist who only loved one theory. Most frightening in current US events is the obvious lack of critical thinking and how the echoes in various rabbit holes amplify each other. After having dialed back Mr Woo’s suspicions about vaccination, links curated by his favorite alternative website and YouTube channels have him convinced they are lethal poison again.

    He regularly reads the HealthNut, and her continuing updates of these “assassinations” are part of his “evidence” of the corruption and reach of the nefarious New World Order.

  18. #18 sadmar
    Department of Dark Humor
    July 25, 2017

    Elizabeth has managed to come up with a CT less plausible than David Icke’s lizardian shape-shifting aliens plotting the New World Order. Surely, though, the sign of a functional CT is that any attempt at debunking just drives it to deeper levels down the rabbit hole to account for the apparent ‘flaw’.

    For example, it occurred to me to ask why a Big Pharma hit squad would target a small fry competitor like Justine Damond when there are so many more prominent and successful evangelists for The Truth of holistic healing. Surely the assassins would be working closer to the top of the list, eh? But then I realized there’s an explanation…

    The corrupted cop mistook Damond for Gyneth Paltrow.

    • #19 Orac
      July 25, 2017

      There’s just one problem with that scenario: What would Gwyneth Paltrow be doing in a house in Minneapolis, rather than one of her properties in Southern California or NYC?

  19. #20 Denice Walter
    July 25, 2017

    @ Mrs Woo:

    It must not be fun to deal with that amount of woo on a daily basis:
    I only read and hear it.

    Interestingly, today Ann ( AoA) asks what happens to a country when you ‘shave a few IQ points off children…

    Should we tell her?

  20. #21 Narad
    July 25, 2017

    Also, the word “decimation” keeps being misused. That confuses me. :-p

    Hey, I’m a prescriptivist when I think there’s something to preserve, but that particular ship sailed a long time ago.

  21. #22 Narad
    July 25, 2017

    There’s just one problem with that scenario: What would Gwyneth Paltrow be doing in a house in Minneapolis, rather than one of her properties in Southern California or NYC?

    Why would your partner discharge his weapon right in front of your face? You’re thinking too far inside the box.

  22. #23 Tim
    July 25, 2017

    Vaccines are very powerful given their intimate access to a biological system. It is not hard to imagine that some *conspiracy* to slip some property into them that degrades an individual will happen at some point or another.

    Already this year we’ve vaccinated more mares with birth control than the bureau did all of last year.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/21/opinion/wild-horses-land-management.html

    One of the big fears is that people or animals co-infected with a seasonal flu virus of humans and a virulent avian flu virus like H5N1 will act as a mixing vessel… when co-infecting a cell they can mix and match (reassortment), thus producing new hybrid bird-human viruses. Baxter put both viruses in the same vial, presumably for use as a vaccine. Baxter is calling the mixture an “experimental virus material,” whatever that is. All we know is that a nasty live virus cocktail of human and bird influenza virus was made (Baxter says accidentally). Exactly to whom it was given, if anyone, is not being publicly divulged.

    http://scienceblogs.com/effectmeasure/2009/02/28/baxter-bird-flu-botch/

    ^^I know, right??

    Another nepharious thing I fully expect (if it has not already happened) is that components of mandatory vaccines will be employed to modify the brain to *guard* against addiction/pleasure from illicite drugs — also blocking off natural dopamine/cannabinoid pathways. What can be done, will be done. Do we really want to be vaccinated against pleasure?

  23. #24 Rich Woods
    Behind the tinfoil sofa
    July 25, 2017

    @Orac #19:

    What would Gwyneth Paltrow be doing in a house in Minneapolis, rather than one of her properties in Southern California or NYC?

    The Minneapolis hit was a dry run, obviously.

  24. #25 Narad
    July 25, 2017

    Another nepharious thing I fully expect (if it has not already happened) is that components of mandatory vaccines will be employed to modify the brain to *guard* against addiction/pleasure from illicite drugs

    Remember when your father put a hit out on you?

  25. #26 herr doktor bimler
    July 25, 2017

    His family even raised $33,000 to hire private detectives to “find the truth.”
    They started out aiming for $25000 with the GoFundMe account, which jumped up to $50000 when the first goal was met. Eventually the donations reached $44000. Every six months or so the family would add updates along the lines of “Investigations have reached the critical point, expect dramatic announcements soon, police are obstructing our work, send me money”.
    https://www.facebook.com/candice.leebradstreet/posts/10209347031286807

    Bradstreet’s widow became a Person of Interest.
    https://www.facebook.com/candice.leebradstreet/posts/10210295883327515

    Then the GoFundMe page just disappeared, cached in and folded up, with no word of what happened to the accumulated total! — leaving only the version at Wayback Machine
    https://web.archive.org/web/20170411111920/https://www.gofundme.com/xscefs
    (which does not record the entire trail of hilarious messages left by credulous numpties).
    Though the family did take credit for the Investigation Discovery TV program.

    Nor should we forget the $8000 that Erin raised from gullible numpties to fund an Indie Film reconstructing / dramatising the assassination story:
    https://www.facebook.com/HealthNutNews/videos/1273294962685688
    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-power-to-cure-feature-film#/

    It all seems an appropriate way of commemorating Bradstreet’s fraudulent career.

  26. #27 Rich Bly
    Ocean Shores
    July 25, 2017

    Narad,

    How about the shooter was really trying shoot his partner but was such a great shot that he hit Damand instead. No matter what, the training of these police officers is defective at best.

  27. #28 Panacea
    July 25, 2017

    @sadmar: speaking of lizard aliens taking over the world, you’ve seen this, right?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-0TEJMJOhk

    Wait for the end if you haven’t. It’s worth it.

  28. #29 Lenina Crowne
    July 25, 2017

    I don’t get what all the fuss is about. Just about every disentangling of a mystery begins with a conspiracy theory, just like every science experiment starts with a hypothesis. Is the author claiming all scientific hypotheses are bogus too? If not, why not? After all, a hypothesis isn’t proven fact, just a suspicion based on limited evidence so why would anyone bother to investigate a hypothesis?

    People that disparage conspiracy theories often do nothing more than make themselves look guilty of being involved in one.

  29. #30 Tim
    July 25, 2017

    Remember when your father put a hit out on you?

    Yes, Narad. There was a better offer from the Yakuza which amortized the deal thereof into perpetuity.

    You might have attended to, you know, the actual words.

  30. #31 JustaTech
    July 25, 2017

    Tim @23: I believe that what the vinter who wrote that opinion piece meant was “injected” rather than “vaccinated”, given that there are several injectible hormonal forms of birth control available for humans and other mammals. None of those are true vaccine, involving the immune system.

    But thank you for repeating one of the oldest vaccine conspiracy theories of the developing world.

  31. #32 Narad
    July 25, 2017

    es, Narad. There was a better offer from the Yakuza which amortized the deal thereof into perpetuity.

    You might have attended to, you know, the actual words.

    Poor Mitzi Dupree.

  32. #33 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    July 25, 2017

    What would Gwyneth Paltrow be doing in a house in Minneapolis, rather than one of her properties in Southern California or NYC?

    Preparing to attend a performance of A Prairie Home Companion? Trying to get on blueberry season? Searching for the headwaters of the Mississippi? Exploring the possibilities of a The Prince and the Pauper scenario*?

    * Far better than the The Man in the Iron Mask scenario.

  33. #34 shay simmons
    July 25, 2017

    Nepharious?

  34. #35 Old Rockin' Dave
    July 25, 2017

    I can see it now: The chiropractors, naturopaths, and reiki practitioners turning out in the streets en masse, chanting and holding signs that read “Quack Lives Matter”.

  35. #36 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    July 25, 2017

    Orac (#19) asks,

    What would Gwyneth Paltrow be doing in a house in Minneapolis…

    MJD’s response,

    Providing free samples of product from the (Eco) Diaper Company which appear to be more cute than cutesy.

    http://goop.com/parasol-the-cutest-new-eco-diaper-company/

    This is an example of forward-thinking products made in the USA!

  36. #37 Chris Hickie
    July 25, 2017

    There was a better offer from the Yakuza which amortized the deal thereof into perpetuity.

    Never do a pink promise with the Yakuza.

  37. #38 herr doktor bimler
    July 25, 2017

    chiropractors, naturopaths, and reiki practitioners turning out in the streets en masse, chanting and holding signs that read “Quack Lives Matter”.

    ORD is BANNED.

  38. #39 CJTX
    July 25, 2017

    Lenina Crowne, #29

    Except that conspiracy theories, as we’re using htem here, persist LONG after evidence is mounted against them and/or they’re disproven.

    They continue even though they’re ridiculous on their face, as noted in these comments, and sometimes not even close to being feasible.

    I’m not a scientist, but I don’t think this is quite how hypotheses are formed or explored.

  39. #40 Dangerous Bacon
    July 25, 2017

    “People that disparage conspiracy theories often do nothing more than make themselves look guilty of being involved in one.”

    How can our dastardly plot be unraveled with such ease?

    Sadly, the Genius Fool Principle decrees that conspiracies of devilish intelligence and complexity (in this case, the massive conspiracy to mock conspiracy theories) are inevitably found out by the ignorant unwashed. 🙁

  40. #41 weirdnoise
    July 26, 2017

    In some of his more esoteric posts, Orac has spoken on Bayesian probability, where the prior expected probability (e.g.the unlikelihood of some oddball woo) is incorporated into subsequent evaluations of likelihood. Although there is still a bit of controversy over the math (frequentist vs Bayesian statistics — though the latter appears to be winning), it does explain conspiracy theorists whose prior probability seems weighted entirely by a paranoid world view. Thus even from a mathematical viewpoint disproving them looks difficult.

  41. #42 Alain
    July 26, 2017

    Do we really want to be vaccinated against pleasure?

    Could you please hand me the bottle of vodka? pretty please?

    Al

  42. #43 Gray Falcon
    July 26, 2017

    “People that disparage conspiracy theories often do nothing more than make themselves look guilty of being involved in one.”

    Are you sure you want justice done your way? Because if we did, I could get you tried and executed for causing the Great Chicago Fire.

  43. #44 Politicalguineapig
    July 26, 2017

    Lenina: Just about every disentangling of a mystery begins with a conspiracy theory,

    You haven’t actually read any mystery novels, have you? I can only think of one or two where the protagonist actually encountered a conspiracy, and most of them amounted to ‘let’s kill this one dude so we’re all guilty and all get satisfaction.” The few real life ‘mysteries’ I can think of are mostly John Doe cases, or the Jacob Wetterling case which were always the result of actions carried out by ONE person, not a group.

  44. #45 Christine Rose
    July 26, 2017

    @weirdnoise, #41

    In IMHO the correct response to conspiracy theories is falsifiablity. No matter how much evidence you dump on a conspiracy theory it keeps on burning because their is always a possible new arm to the sinister web of deceit. But if you can’t define a point where the theory *could* be proven false, then the theory should be rejected out of hand..

  45. #46 Politicalguineapig
    July 26, 2017

    Also, does anyone else wonder if those parasol diapers actually work? They look cute, but I really have to wonder about their durability.

  46. #47 rs
    July 26, 2017

    “Although there is still a bit of controversy over the math (frequentist vs Bayesian statistics — though the latter appears to be winning)”

    No, no, no. Both are perfectly valid statistical methods. The problem is when the wrong method is applied to a particular problem. That some (including scientists who ought to know better) persist in wrongness does not make for a valid debate.

  47. #48 Mrs Woo
    Southwest of Wooville
    July 26, 2017

    @Denice Walter #20

    Listening to his version of reality on webcasts and Christian radio is almost painful (one of the new defenders of the president has his own radio show, and another radio host apparently gets to visit the Oval Office at least weekly; if anything the president knows who to manage). I am beginning to feel cognitive dissonance myself.

  48. #49 sadmar
    Bde Bwahahahaha
    July 26, 2017

    There’s just one problem with that scenario: What would Gwyneth Paltrow be doing in a house in Minneapolis, rather than one of her properties in Southern California or NYC?

    [Just ONE? I take it Orac hadn’t had his coffee yet when he gave that reply.]
    You say “problem”, I say evidence of how powerful and insidious this conspiracy is, and how deep it runs. But then everyone knows this is a fake news site run by a pharma shill, so, Mr. Bl;inking Box, while your so-called debunking may satisfy the un-thinking sheeple who’ve been taken in by the Pharma Overlords, those of us who are woke and can do our own research know what’s what.

    Obviiously, Goop has been infiltrated by someone who leaked to the conspiracy that Gwynnie’s personal astrologer had warned her she was on the hit list, and she had decided to hide out in Minneapolis just because no one would think she’d be there, and there are enough pretty blondes with a hip fashion sense in town that she wouldn’t stand out. Also obviously, and fortunately, she picked up warning vibes from her Tuned Cosmic Energy Crystal Self Protection Amulet as she was about to board her private jet and stayed home instead. Unfortunately, obviously, the leaker didn’t get that info to the hit man in time, and to the grunts of the conspiracy one holistic healer looks like another, so Damond was martyred instead.

  49. #50 JP
    July 27, 2017

    I don’t know where to put this, and I’m sorry for off-topic, but one of my best friends since second grade just killed himself.

    We always were two peas in a pod, and it runs deep in ways I will not document here; a little over a year ago he was doing very poorly, he had just tried to kill himself, had to quit grad school, moved in with his parents, etc. He had struck me lately as doing pretty well; he had gotten a job he liked a lot (he was working for an organization supporting homeless youth, he was always a giving, gentle, and generous soul) and had moved out. He was dating a girl. And so on.

    He texted me at like 5 am yesterday to say I love you, but I guess I didn’t put two and two together.

    None of us saw it coming.

    If I had my druthers, I’d be out riding a horse in crazy directions and yelling and crying up at the sky. I don’t even know how to deal.

    Perhaps the next time I see him we won’t need legs to stand.

    Right now I certainly wish for a loving G-d and a gentle afterlife.

    F***.

  50. #51 JP
    July 27, 2017

    Perhaps I’ll get another rose tattoo.

    “With pride I’ll wear it to the grave for you.”

  51. #52 Renate
    The Netherlands
    July 27, 2017

    @ JP,
    So sorry to hear this. Some people I’ve known have committed suicide, but never someone really close. Several years ago a woman my dad and I knew, jumped off our appartmentbuilding and killed herself that way. And a few years ago someone else (but no-one knew who, though I heard the rumor it was my dad, who is still very much alive to this day) also jumped.
    When I was in my 20s a friend of mine jumped from her window on the second floor and broke her elbow.

    But I think the regular people on this blog will try to give some support.

  52. #53 JP
    July 27, 2017

    So sorry to hear this.

    Thanks.

    Some people I’ve known have committed suicide, but never someone really close.

    My dad shot himself when I was 11, so that was pretty awful.

    Several years ago a woman my dad and I knew, jumped off our appartmentbuilding and killed herself that way.

    I gave it (another) try myself a little over a year ago, but not that way. I won’t go into details.

    Thanks for writing. I’m worn out from crying but I can’t sleep. Maybe I’ll take one of those Ambiens or something.

  53. #54 Opus
    Just north of the buckle on the bible belt
    July 27, 2017

    JP: Words are all that I can send you. I hope these give you the comfort and support that they have given me since my wife’s death last fall.
    .
    https://youtu.be/ZfvS2LYbZLQ

  54. #55 MI Dawn
    July 27, 2017

    Oh, JP. Many internet hugs to you. It’s so tough when someone you love does that. All I can say is that we are here if you need us.

  55. #56 Alain
    July 27, 2017

    JP,

    I’m sorry, I know that it can hurt. I’ve been there too, having peoples close to me dying through suicide. Let me know if I can help.

    Alain

  56. #57 Alain
    July 27, 2017

    help == staying alive that is.

    Alain

  57. #58 Politicalguineapig
    July 27, 2017

    JP: Oh, crap, I’m so sorry. I wish there was something I could do, but all I can offer is a virtual hug and a hope that you’ll be good to yourself. Do what you need to do to stay afloat.

  58. #59 Rich Bly
    Ocean Shores
    July 27, 2017

    Sorry is never enough. You have many friends here who’ve you have never met accept in virtual space.

    If you have any artistic native American friends have them make you a dream catcher. A dream catcher, catches and saves your good dreams and memories and fends off bad dreams and memories. Yes, it maybe all hocus-pocus but it is a tool to use to preserve the good parts of life and move the bad to the sidelines.

    Again sorry is never enough but remember that you have many friends here and I am sure elsewhere to help as well as they can,

  59. #60 Renate
    The Netherlands
    July 27, 2017

    I’m to far away, as I’m to far away from most online friends, but I’m sure there are people here, who are closer and might be of some support. Virtual hugs are the only ones I can send your way. Stay strong and yes, I know it can be hard, but you are a loved member of this online community.
    It’s hard to find the right words, but wish you all the best and hope to keep reading from you.

  60. #61 shay simmons
    July 27, 2017

    JP, I’m sorry.

  61. #62 Narad
    July 27, 2017

    We always were two peas in a pod, and it runs deep in ways I will not document here; a little over a year ago he was doing very poorly, he had just tried to kill himself, had to quit grad school, moved in with his parents, etc. He had struck me lately as doing pretty well; he had gotten a job he liked a lot (he was working for an organization supporting homeless youth, he was always a giving, gentle, and generous soul) and had moved out. He was dating a girl. And so on.

    Depression is brutal, Jamie, as you, I and others know. This is not the case.

  62. #63 Denice Walter
    July 27, 2017

    @ JP:

    That is awful.

    Although there is not anything that you can do to change the situation there are things that you can do that either provide distraction, relief or tribute as well as other real world functions…

    when my father died although I saw it coming at me like a freight train ( I’m sure that Mr Zimmerman will forgive my appropriation of his metaphor) I IMMEDIATELY – within an hour or so ( before they closed up shop for the weekend)- set upon the task of informing people, agencies and companies about his demise ( he had pensions, stocks and bonds,insurance, lawyers etc) and someone took me up to the cliffs that night where people were gathered with candles because it was only three days after 9 11. I’m glad I did that

    For months I had a stack of papers and letters on a kitchen chair as my work proceeded with guidance from legal. Your tasks will of course vary from mine.

    There were some symbolic actions as well/

    You’re an artist and writer I’m sure that inspiration will come

  63. #64 JP
    July 27, 2017

    Thanks, everyone. Your kind words mean a lot.

    I IMMEDIATELY – within an hour or so ( before they closed up shop for the weekend)- set upon the task of informing people, agencies and companies about his demise

    Yeah, I’ve had to break the news to several school friends who got in touch with me to ask wtf happened. It’s not fun, but I can only imagine it’s nothing compared to what his mom is going through.

  64. #65 Chris
    July 27, 2017

    “… but I can only imagine it’s nothing compared to what his mom is going through.”

    No, it is not easy. We went through that in our extended family a few years ago. There were tears all around, especially when we helped the mom clear out the relative’s possessions.

    I am so sorry for your loss. One of my kids has depression and I worry all the time for their mental health.

    Please take care of yourself, I know this is a trying time.

  65. #66 Se Habla Espol
    July 28, 2017

    For JP: {{{hugs}}} and [[[tissues]]] as needed and/or wanted. There’s more where those came from, too, as many as it may take.

  66. #67 Helianthus
    July 28, 2017

    @ JP

    Please accept my condolences as well.

    Yeah, I’ve had to break the news to several school friends who got in touch with me to ask wtf happened. It’s not fun, but I can only imagine it’s nothing compared to what his mom is going through.

    It’s cold comfort, but perhaps think of it this way: any news sharing, any social task you do with your friend’s friends is something his mom does not have to do herself, thanks to you being here.

  67. #68 squirrelelite
    July 28, 2017

    I’ll add my condolences as well.

    I don’t know you, but I’ve learned to care about you from your many sharings on this blog.

    When you reach those dark points, please remember there are those who care and reach out to someone.

  68. #69 Interrobang
    In telecommunications hell
    July 28, 2017

    JP: May you be comforted among the mourners of Jerusalem and Zion. Baruch dayan emet.

    My deepest condolences. You must feel as though a part of you is missing. Take care of yourself, and ride that horse if you can.

  69. #70 JP
    July 28, 2017

    You must feel as though a part of you is missing.

    Yeah. I keep going for the phone to call him. I was doing the same thing when another really close friend of mine (we met during my first year in college) died last year, but that was somehow different. I guess I sort of already knew by the time I found out; I couldn’t get in touch with him, he wasn’t responding to emails, etc., which was totally uncharacteristic. And then one day I called and his phone had been disconnected. I was asking mutual friends if they had heard anything; my friend Robin eventually came upon his obituary.

    Also, he was 80 years old and had been in increasingly poor health, so it… made some kind of sense, I guess.

    Take care of yourself, and ride that horse if you can.

    I’ll do my best.

    Sadly, we are no longer significant land owners, and the cousin who had the horses moved to Idaho quite a while back. (Fittingly, she lives on a horse ranch; she married a ranch about two decades her senior, but hey, whatever floats your boat. She came home for a belated wedding reception (they eloped) a few weeks ago, and it was good to see her.)

  70. #71 Emma Crew
    Seattle-ish
    July 28, 2017

    Oh, JP, I can’t imagine how that must feel. All the virtual hugs.

  71. #72 Elwyn
    Sydney
    July 29, 2017

    I don’t think you should call her a doctor unless she finished a recognised medical doctor degree or a doctorate of philosophy. I doubt she did because that is more effort than most pseudoscientists do.

  72. #73 JP
    July 29, 2017

    Thanks again for all the kind words and hugs and tissues, everybody.

    His family has said that they want to make it clear that nobody could have stopped him, he planned it that way; otherwise any one of us obviously would have. And he was suffering terribly for a long time; this was not his first attempt, or his second.

    His mom told me that I “challenged his soul and heart in many wonderful ways,” and that he loved me, and that she misses me. (She and I actually grew pretty close as I grew up as well.)

    We were evenly matched, I guess you could say. He once said that I could look right through him; for a while he was paranoid that I could read his mind. (Like we would be on the phone, and I would start humming a song absent-mindedly, and he would say, “WTF, that song has been stuck in my head for a week.”)

    We were not siblings, we were not lovers, we were something else.

    I have many vivid and intimate memories with Miles that I will not detail here.

    He will swim like a salmon.

    (I once threw myself in white water like the river under that bridge…)

  73. #74 herr doktor bimler
    July 29, 2017

    That is a beautiful tribute, JP. And I know (because of who you are) that you told him similar things while he was still here to hear them.

  74. #75 Panacea
    July 29, 2017

    Elwyn: are you referring to Justine Damond? If so, she did finish such a program: DVM. She was a veterinarian who graduated from the University of Sydney. So she did have every right to call herself “Doctor” even though she didn’t work as a vet here in the US (I’m not sure if she even bothered to try and get a US license though she may have been studying for one), and it’s perfectly appropriate to continue to refer to her that way.

    Sadly, vets are just as prone to woo as some medical doctors (eg Andrew Wakefield, Bob Sears, Jay Gordon).

  75. #76 Old Rockin' Dave
    July 29, 2017

    JP, I have never known what it feels like to lose someone to suicide, but I do know what sorrow and grief, bereavement, regret,impotent anger, and true heartbreak feel like.
    Remember as you go through this that when you feel these things, they are the things you are supposed to feel. Don’t let anyone tell that the things you are feeling are not deep enough, or too deep, or too prolonged. Something bad has happened in your life and it’s appropriate that you feel bad.
    If you re in danger, it’s okay to feel frightened. If you win the lottery or fall in love, no one has to tell you to be happy. Just do and feel what feels natural to you.

  76. #77 Mrs Woo
    Southwest of Wooville
    July 29, 2017

    JP – my horses still aren’t broke yet, but if you were close I would invite you to visit them, anyhow (it would be an excuse, though, I would invite you even if I didn’t have them). There are three Arabians, a friendly donkey, cows, Nubian goats, chickens, the dogs, the cats… a bit of a menagerie, and the wetlands are full again.

    My heart hurts for you, and everyone touched by his life.

  77. #78 ScienceReviewer
    July 29, 2017

    So GMO food is all so safe, eh? Even saying that doesn’t make sense. What does one think happens to the herbicide that is sprayed in ever-increasing amounts onto RoundUp ready soy and corn crops?

    It is in the food. And it is in humans. We’ve known that for years. To treat evidence of GMO harming humans as woo is a statement of pseudoscience.
    http://www.ewg.org/agmag/2014/04/extreme-levels-herbicide-roundup-found-food

  78. #79 Chris
    July 30, 2017

    Science “Reviewer”, what does your comment have to do with the actual content of the article other than “GMO” was used once in an early paragraph?

  79. #80 Narad
    July 30, 2017

    Science “Reviewer”, what does your comment have to do with the actual content of the article other than “GMO” was used once in an early paragraph?

    But, but . . . the Environmental Working Group says so!

  80. #81 Se Habla Espol
    July 30, 2017

    It is in the food. And it is in humans. We’ve known that for years. To treat evidence of GMO harming humans as woo is a statement of pseudoscience.

    Where is the credible evidence of actual harm?

  81. #82 Chris
    July 30, 2017

    Narad: “But, but . . . the Environmental Working Group says so!”

    Based on that link, a group that totally failed freshman statistics. Just like “ScienceReviewer” failed basic reading comprehension.

  82. #83 Dangerous Bacon
    July 30, 2017

    ScienceReviewer: “So GMO food is all so safe, eh? Even saying that doesn’t make sense.”

    It makes sense to a great number of scientific organizations and agencies responsible for oversight of the food supply, most recently the National Academy of Sciences.

    http://www.siquierotransgenicos.cl/2015/06/13/more-than-240-organizations-and-scientific-institutions-support-the-safety-of-gm-crops/

    “What does one think happens to the herbicide that is sprayed in ever-increasing amounts onto RoundUp ready soy and corn crops?”

    Actually, use of herbicides with concerning toxicity profiles has declined markedly since the advent of Roundup-Ready crops (Roundup itself has a relatively benign safety profile). Overall pesticide use has been reduced by GM technology.

    http://theconversation.com/genetically-modified-crops-shrink-farmings-pesticide-footprint-3004

    I would much rather have a low parts-per-billion of glyphosate in food than considerably larger amounts of arsenic (commonly used in pre-modern agriculture) or the stuff sprayed on organic crops, which is by no means harmless to humans and the environment.

  83. #84 Jane Ostentatious
    July 30, 2017

    JP, I’d like to add my condolences.

    I had a close relative attempt suicide. For a long time afterwards they were in a negative space i couldn’t reach or understand. But they finally escaped.

    I hope that you emerge from that yourself into a new life.

    Difficult to put into words.

  84. #85 Old Rockin' Dave
    The immoral high ground
    July 31, 2017

    The anti-GMO faithful have attacked the addition of Bt genes to crops.
    Bt is Bacillus thuringensis, a microorganism that produces a natural insecticide that happens to attack some of the insects that commonly prey on crops. Since the organism has been sprayed on crops for years and there is no evidence of harm to humans, other animals, or beneficial insects. It’s a natural insect control that reduces the need for synthetic pesticides. But it’s a GMO, so right off the bat it must be evil. The anti-GMO faithful don’t even recognize the potential of GMOs to benefit farmers and consumers.
    I won’t even go into the golden rice saga.

  85. #86 Scottynuke
    August 4, 2017

    JP —

    I’m sorry for many things regarding your loss, mostly my inability to voice my condolences until now. I take no comfort in realizing you certainly still need good thoughts and Internet hugs at this point, and for some time to come.

    May your good memories of Miles help you through this toughest phase of grief.

  86. #87 Bert
    Gold Coast Australia
    August 6, 2017

    JP. He will be with you. Always. He will appear whenever you have need for him. And often when you don’t. Welcome him. He is now a part of you and those who loved him. Memory is a magic place. Love and www’s hugs.

  87. #88 sadmar
    August 6, 2017

    Whatever the toxicity of glyphosate may be, that’s not an issue with the safety of GMO food per se. Farmers used plenty of RoundUp with conventional seed crops, and if they were using so much RoundUp now that it posed a safety issue in the food, the answer would be to use less RoundUp and suffer the consequences in reduced yields, regardless of whether the crops were genetically modified or not.

    That said, in practice the safety of GMO seed is so intertwined with other aspects of agribusiness practice that a rational person may choose to avoid GMO products on the basis of those other practices operating around the principle of GMO technology. This would be more like the old NFW lettuce boycotts. There was no objection to the lettuce as lettuce, just the means of its production.

    I’m convinced GMO based foods are safe to eat, and make no effort to avoid them. But when the food I like has a ‘No GMOs’ label, I don’t mourn, either, because I have real concerns about some of the agribusiness practices within which Monsanto has placed GMO production, or have just been exacerbated by the GMO trend. For example, an increase in monopolization has some with the move to GMO seed, and “the price of an 80,000-kernel bag of seed corn rose to $300 from $80 in the last decade, as the companies that produced them consolidated.” Yield increases or not, the production of commodity crops now so exceeds demand that prices have been ih sharp decline, and one farmer told the NYT “he expects to lose $100 an acre this year.” Consolidation in the pesticide business may have environmental consequences as well, including the spread of glyphosate into bee habitats being one of the suspected culprits in colony collapse.

    Has anyone else seen the TV ads recruiting plaintiffs for a class action suit on behalf of farm workers and others with heavy glyphosate exposure who have developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancers? The NYT had a story a couple months ago about Monsatan engaging in some sketchy cover-up-ish doings about glyphosate and cancer. (Afaik, this is just a concern for the folks who work with the stuff, not consumers.) About 9th months ago the NYT also reported “genetic modification in the United States and Canada has not accelerated increases in crop yields or led to an overall reduction in the use of chemical pesticides.”

    Of course, none of these legitimate issues justify hysterical fear of GMO technology per se. It would be a shame for this hysteria to quash prospects for research in the GMO field. However, it would likely be much better for science if that research was publicly funded, rather than guided by the business agendas of Monsanto and Syngenta.

  88. #89 Narad
    August 6, 2017

    including the spread of glyphosate into bee habitats being one of the suspected culprits in colony collapse

    You’re not going to slip that one is so esily, sir. Let’s have the “suspected by whom” part.

  89. #90 Chris
    August 6, 2017

    sadmar: “The NYT had a story a couple months ago about…”

    While I love the New York Times, especially for Science Tuesdays, you cannot take every article at face value. They printed an editorial which was a total hack job about Dr. Kevin Folta:
    http://scibabe.com/folta/

    And while I really hate that they hired Bret Stephens, I am very glad they have both Paul Krugman and Nicholas Kristof on their editorial pages. Plus I really love that they have Science Fridays and Karl Zimmer.

    And yeah, even if it is in the NY Times… check PubMed. Despite the hatchet job on Folta written by Paul Thacker and Charles Seife, which was retracted (but it was out there, none the less):
    http://retractionwatch.com/2015/08/24/following-criticism-plos-removes-blog-defending-scrutiny-of-science/

    And I really liked Seife’s Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea book.

  90. #91 sadmar
    August 7, 2017

    @ Narad:

    By the leading bee entomologist in the country, Maria Spivak of the U of Minnesota:

    We grow Roundup-ready plants, which allows us to apply a lot of herbicide to kill of all the weedy flowers in the field without killing the crop. But many of those weedy plants have flowers that bees depend on for their food, and so the dramatic increase in herbicides is killing off the food for bees in many locations.

    Spivak is a careful and respected researcher, and she doesn’t suggest RoundUp is the cause of colony collapse, just one of a number of factors that may,/i> be involved.

    @ Chris:

    I know what goes into news sausages and how the contents get processed, so I’m the last person to take any,/i> news article at face value, including both the NYT story (not an editoeial btw) on Folta and Science Babe’s response. As for the NYT, yeah they have Paul Krugman, who’s great, but they had Judith Miller who’s… not. I don’t regularly read the NYT. The link just came up when I Googled “glyphosate cancer’ after forgetting which type of cancer was cited in those class-action ads. I forgot to paste it in the comment: http://tinyurl.com/jq3fsc8
    I should have put quotes around ‘Monsatan’ as i didn’t mean that seriously. But I lived in the farm belt most of my life, and had issues with Monsanto long before I ever heard of GMOs or Kevin Folta. By “issues” here I mean unsettled questions, ‘maybe’s not ‘definitely’s. While I am convinced the GMO technology yields safe foods, I remain skeptical that Monsanto is worthy of un-critical embrace. And I’d suggest that anyone who buys into the “Monsanto GMOs will feed all the starving people!” propaganda doesn’t know squat about farming. Afaik, corn and soy are the big GMO crops, and only a fraction of those are grown for consumption by humans, and even less if you exclude the corn sweetener in soft drinks.

  91. #92 Helianthus
    August 7, 2017

    @ Sadmar

    including the spread of glyphosate into bee habitats being one of the suspected culprits in colony collapse.

    Insecticides (rather than herbicides), parasites and viruses are equally, if not more likely suspects. At least some data is starting to creep out with insecticides.
    The list of potential culprits is so long, we are veering into “usual suspects” lists.

    It would be a shame for this hysteria to quash prospects for research in the GMO field. However, it would likely be much better for science if that research was publicly funded, rather than guided by the business agendas of Monsanto and Syngenta.

    My boss has a GMO plant on a shelf in his former public lab. With no realistic prospect for field testing, due to ambient public reluctance, the public-funded project was abandoned.
    Self-righteous hysterical tree-huggers devastated a field of GMO grapewine plants, tested by the INRA (French agency for agronomic research) for resistance against parasites. The activists were afraid of gene dispersion, even though the grapewines were cultivated in a confined space and anything leaving the field was scheduled for incineration. The public-funded project was abandoned.
    A similar group of tree-huggers did an encore in a field of GMO cereals, tearing all plants from the ground. Except that, those were not GMO cereals, after all. Oops. Well, better safe than sorry, eh? I don’t know if the farmer was compensated in any way. Or if any of the GMO vigilantes faced jail time.
    That was just in my country. The list can go on.

    All of this was a decade ago. The quashing has already been done, leaving the six Big Seed producers in a situation of monopoly regarding GMOs.

    Anti-GMO activists – and the public who is following them – are heavily against public-funded research on GMOs, because 1 – don’t you know that academic scientists are all sellouts to Big Agro, and 2 – allowing the production of GMO organisms by public-funded labs is only going to provide a Troyan horse for Monsantan to bring its own seeds into Europe’s markets.

    tl;dr: your sentiments are nice, but I’m afraid they are almost two decades too late.

  92. #93 sadmar
    August 7, 2017

    @ Hellianthus

    As I understand Spivak, it’s less a case of culprits being more or less likely but more one of culprits being more or less problematic, that is making larger or smaller contributions to something like a ‘perfect storm’. So yes, neonicitinoid insecticides are getting more attention than herbicides.

    Here in the US, using the epithet “tree hugger” aligns you with a very nasty anti-environmentalist politics, the sort of folks who scoff at AGW, and would dismantle the EPA. Maybe you could just call the hysterical anti-GMO vigilantes ” hysterical anti-GMO vigilantes”?

    I said it would be better for science if GMO research was publicly funded, not that that was likely to happen. Single-payer national health insurance isn’t likely to happen either, but that not going to keep me from saying it’s the right thing to do. Oser lutter, oser vaincre… or something like that.

    • #94 Orac
      August 7, 2017

      Here in the US, using the epithet “tree hugger” aligns you with a very nasty anti-environmentalist politics, the sort of folks who scoff at AGW, and would dismantle the EPA.

      I’d second that. When I read the bit about “hysterical tree-huggers,” my first reaction was, “WTF? Is Helanthus a right-wing anti-environmentalist nutjob? How did I miss this?” Yes, that’s what using that term signals here in the US.

  93. #95 Dangerous Bacon
    August 7, 2017

    sadmar: “…it would likely be much better for science if (GMO) research was publicly funded, rather than guided by the business agendas of Monsanto and Syngenta.”

    This is like saying that vaccine research lacks credibility since it’s beholden to Big Pharma.

    Fact: there is a vast amount of GM food research that’s been conducted by independent researchers, covering topics including basic genetics, safety and feeding studies (according to one estimate I’ve seen, such independent papers are close to a thousand in number). One recent study:

    “…an article was published in the Journal of Animal Science, that reviewed the impact of genetically engineered (GMO) feedstuffs on livestock. Given that livestock consume 70-90% of genetically engineered foods, it’s like a giant clinical trial of GMO foods. Geneticist Alison Van Eenennaam and research assistant Amy E. Young, both from the University of California-Davis, systematically analyzed nearly 29 years of livestock productivity and health data prior to and after the introduction of genetically engineered animal feed.

    The study examined data from nearly 100 billion livestock (which represents trillions of GMO meals), a robust amount of data by any classification. According to the authors,

    ‘Several recent comprehensive reviews from various authors summarize the results of food-producing animal feeding studies with the current generation of GE crops. Studies have been conducted with a variety of food-producing animals including sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, quail, cattle, water buffalo, rabbits and fish fed different GE crop varieties. The results have consistently revealed that the performance and health of GE-fed animals were comparable with those fed near isogenic non-GE lines and commercial varieties .'”

    https://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/trillions-data-points-gmo-foods-safe-no-debate/

    sadmar: “”I’m convinced GMO based foods are safe to eat, and make no effort to avoid them. But when the food I like has a ‘No GMOs’ label, I don’t mourn, either, because I have real concerns about some of the agribusiness practices within which Monsanto has placed GMO production, or have just been exacerbated by the GMO trend.”

    Beyond the questionable claims made in sadmar’s post (such as the “monopoly” allegation, which disregards the popularity of selected few high-yielding hybrids before GMO seed ever entered the marketplace), I have to wonder about political justifications for GMO food labeling. I don’t recall demands for mandatory labeling of non-UFW lettuce back in the day. Anti-GMOer angst over labeling seems largely driven by Luddite fears and the kind of crap health reporting we see from NN, and only secondarily as a protest about corporate practices (if that was so important, these folks could just stick to organic veggies from their local farmer’s market or co-op and bypass the whole Corporate Food System).

    Sure, buy food labeled organic non-GMO gluten-free and packed by earth-friendly Spirit Children if one prefers, just don’t demand that everyone kowtow to one’s pet cause.

  94. #96 sadmar
    Stop the presses!
    August 7, 2017

    I trust Orac will not make agreeing with me on anything a habit! 🙂 🙂

  95. #97 Helianthus
    August 7, 2017

    Sorry about the loaded term.

    I really stopped trusting political environmentalists a while ago.

    Let me put this the other way: in my country, the anti-GMO, along José Bové and Séralini, won. GMO is non-debatable.
    And there was nothing about being environmentalist about that.

    I’ll try another time, for emphasis: I’m talking about people who decide to go in some poor farmer’s field and cut or rip out whatever plant he was growing, on suspicion of these plants being GMO.
    I’m deadly fearful of mobs on a witch hunt, and that’s exactly that these people are.
    Could I use the term “vandals”, instead?

  96. #98 Helianthus
    August 7, 2017

    After allowing my head to cool down, I further realize it was a really loaded term. I could have written something better.

    For me, anti-GMO activists are false ecologists, hence my scorn. For all their fight, all they managed to do is to make Monsanto & Bayer & Syngeta stronger.

  97. #100 Dangerous Bacon
    August 7, 2017

    Improper (and stupid) as it was for Henry Miller not to disclose assistance from Monsanto in writing his article for Forbes, it was an opinion piece – not research. The IARC position statement on glyphosate’s alleged carcinogenicity has been roundly criticized in the scientific community, and it was recently disclosed that a leading scientist on the IARC panel failed to disclose key research evidence to his colleagues prior to their releasing the statement – evidence that glyphosate was _not_ a carcinogen.

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2017/06/monsanto-roundup-glyphosate-cancer-who/

    Danny Hakim’s N.Y. Times’ article also attempts to portray the editor of Food and Chemical Toxicology as a Monsanto shill for the journal’s having retracted a study purporting to show that GM feed caused cancer in rats. What Hakim doesn’t mention is that was the infamously bad Seralini study, which has been widely refuted and overwhelmingly condemned for poor methodology and unsupportable conclusions.

    https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/press/news/121128

    Hakim has a known anti-GMO agenda. That doesn’t disqualify him from writing for the Times, but it also shouldn’t excuse his distortions and omission of crucial facts.

  98. #101 JP
    August 8, 2017

    Sorry to interrupt the GMO flow, but thanks again very much, everyone, for all the kind words and condolences (especially the new folks I haven’t thanked yet); it really does mean a lot.

    Current mood is this.

    “I’m taking the cure so I can be quiet
    Whenever I want.”

  99. #102 DLC
    In the Desert where it's raining.
    August 13, 2017

    This conspiracy theory reminds me a lot of the infamous “Clinton Death List” conspiracy theory. If you actually trace back the deaths (As I did with the Clintons) it turns out most of them are accidents, ordinary natural causes deaths or suicides.

    For JP : I am sorry for your loss. My condolences.
    About GMOs : The Anti-GMO crowd is every bit as evidence free as the anti-AGW crowd.

  100. #103 Tim
    August 14, 2017

    BOTTOM LINE – Monsanto has long noted that independent scientists have vouched for the safety of its Roundup herbicide. Court data show its employees edited some of those reviews.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-09/monsanto-was-its-own-ghostwriter-for-some-safety-reviews

  101. #104 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    August 14, 2017

    What’s the problems with Roundup? It’s safe and effective when used as directed, and a pint will last me 2 or 3 years, maybe 4 if we don’t get much rain, so it’s cheap, too. It’s good stuff.

  102. #105 Chris
    August 14, 2017

    I suspect Tim is actually Travis.