We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Scientists condemn journal editor’s retraction of Séralini study on GM maize and Roundup

Click here to access article which is a press release issued by End Science Censorship

Here is a summary of the reported facts on which this press release is based:
  • In September 2012 Prof Gilles-Eric Séralini and his team at the University of Caen, France, authored a study which found that rats fed the GM maize and/or low levels of Roundup in their diet suffered severe organ damage, particularly to the liver, kidneys and pituitary gland. Additional unexpected observations were higher rates of large tumours and mortality in most treatment groups. The study was published in Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT), a science journal published by Elsevier headquartered in Amsterdam. 
  • FCT’s editor, Dr A. Wallace Hayes, retracted the paper over a year after it was published. The decision came after a nontransparent, second review by a panel of unnamed persons of unknown professional competence and with undisclosed potential conflicts of interest.
  • Just months before the retraction was announced, Dr Richard E. Goodman, a former Monsanto scientist, was appointed to a newly created editorial position in biotechnology at FCT. 
I think that this incident is only another illustration of a widespread phenomenon: whenever truth conflicts with the interests of capitalists, the latter will always win. This, of course, is true of every ruling class that ever existed. (Think about the early scientific discoveries of Galileo and how his findings were censored and he was persecuted by the Catholic church.) 

The major point I wish to make, and the whole point of my blog is: Why tolerate ruling classes? Given that the common practices of capitalists are to ravage the environment and workers in their mad pursuit of profits and power, and given the fact that these practices are not only threatening to contaminate the food we eat, but the very stability of our biosphere, why should we tolerate their existence? And, why should we tolerate the existence of any ruling class any longer?! Isn't it about time that humanity overcame this childish tendency to be ruled by tiny sections of their populations when it has become so dramatically clear that this tendency always harms the rest of us? Are we humans so biologically inadequate that we are unable to create a better organization of our societies? You know what happened to other species who couldn't adapt, don't you?