Saturday, September 17, 2016

Bayer Purchased Monsanto (And We Are All Screwed)

Bayer Purchased Monsanto (And We Are All Screwed)


  1. looks like it really dropped the ball on this one in terms of editorial oversight. It's just a typical anti-Monsanto hatchet job.

    I'm one of the most Liberal guys you'll run across in the US who isn't an actual Marxist, and this kind of anti-GMO Yellow Journalism is annoying. It makes it harder to convince people that causes that do have science backing them up that are advocated by the left are legitimate, like Climate Change mitigation. When Neil de Grasse Tyson and Bill Nye agree that a position is full of crap, that ought to tell you something.

    Cracked is theoretically supposed to have every claim backed up by links to two outside media organizations, in this case they just went with one from Mother Jones where the headline explicitly contradicts the claim they are making.

    It then goes on to imply (via graphic) that Roundup Ready corn or Roundup are cancer causing, which is bullshit, and repeats the claims about Monsanto intellectual property legal actions that are misleading. (All seed supply companies will sue you for trying to replant seeds your harvest, including the ones who make hybrids through conventional breeding.)

    The first half the article is a lot of corporate character assassination that attacks Monsanto and Bayer for stuff that previous incarnations of the corporate brands did decades ago. The current Monsanto is a GMO seeds only subsidiary of the chemical corporation which was spun off from original when it was acquired in the late 1990s because the new owner wasn't interested in the business. The modern Bayer has almost nothing to do with pre-War version of the company with the same name. Casting it as a sinister Pro-Nazi cabal makes as much sense as boycotting Daimler-Chrysler and Volkswagen because their 1940s incarnations built German tanks.

    Is there potentially a problem with Monsanto having a patent on all the corn and cotton seeds used? Yes, but the thing about patents is that they don't last. The last patents on Roundup (glyphosate) itself expired in 2000, and Monsanto no longer has a monopoly on its production.

  2. Agree. The anti-GMO position is a great Achilles heel for the American left. As you point out, you can't make a case as the defender of science in the climate change debate when you are the attacker of science in the GMO debate. Science isn't the menu from a Chinese restaurant, where you only order the items you like.

    (The left had similar problems in their support of that ridiculously unscientific Super Size me, Morgan Spurlock's anti-McDonald's presentation with the results obviously faked, staged, obfuscated and misleading - results which have failed to be reproduced in exactly 100% of the times anyone tried to replicate the experiment, and have often produced the exact opposite results with and without minor tweaks. Sigh! As with the GMO arguments, the left loved it because it confirmed their anti-corporate preconceptions.)

    Neil Degrasse Tyson has been the strongest voice of reason in this debate, and has not been afraid to tell the left that they can't expect to win the Climate Change debate by defending science if they choose to ignore science elsewhere.

  3. Is it just me, or has Cracked gone from a comedy site that was fun to read, to a very politically minded site that just isn't that fun anymore?

  4. I think it depends on the author and the subject.

    Their system definitely has problems when they have to evaluate claims requiring technical expertise, but that's true of ALL journalists, not just dick joke oriented ones.

    The most egregious example I remember was an article about misconceptions in historical anthropology which endorsed the fringe "Solutrean Hypothesis" for Native American origins, which claims they were originally a Trans-Atlantic colony of the old stone age Solutrean culture from what is now Spain.

    It turned out that the author was a 19 year old college kid whose writing was "fact checked" by his anthropology professor, who is presumably a devotee of the fringe theory. None of the editors thought to get an independent opinion.

    The kid hasn't written for them since, but Cracked has never acknowledged the screw up or issued a retraction.

  5. Lollar - it's not just you. I find myself getting irritated by them much more often than I should get annoyed by a humor site. I can handle it when people have an axe to grand, no matter which wing it comes from, but it still has to be funny, dammit! They once seemed capable of being the National Lampoon. Now they seem more like Mother Jones.