Friday, July 18, 2014

David J. Brown - Dept. of Crop and Soil Sciences | College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

David J. Brown - Heavy NoOn44 article commenter.

David J. Brown

Environmental Scientist

Associate Professor

Curriculum Vitae (pdf)
EducationPhD/MS Soil Science/Biometry, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2002 MS Geography, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, 1997 BS/BA Electrical Engineering/Rhetoric, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1988
Research InterestsMy research group is focused on measuring, modeling and explaining the spatial variability of soil properties and processes at hillslope to regional scales.  In pursuing this research, we make extensive use of digital terrain modeling, optical remote sensing, spatial statistics, and proximal soil sensing techniques (e.g. VisNIR spectroscopy).

Biotech's Losing Game of Whack-A-Mole

Rick North, you can't really be intellectually honest and cite earthopensource as a credible source for science. Cherry picking a handful of poor studies in weak journals is advocacy, not science. Highlighting a handful of scientists who have doubts about GMOs does not balance out the vast majority who believe they are as safe as conventionally bred crops.

And you completely misunderstand the comparison of anti-GMO folks with climate change deniers. They are clearly not the same people. The argument is that they are equivalent in how they operate in a hermetically sealed world, reading only their own websites with carefully cultivated truth. And they are both clearly anti-science. But the anti-GMO folks are almost entirely on the left while the climate change deniers are almost entirely on the right.

On this forum, there have been multiple links provided to independent research, but clearly you haven't taken the time to explore this information seriously. It hasn't been an honest dialog. Instead you fall back on the giant conspiracy that all scientists have been corrupted by the 197th largest corporation in America. This is exactly analogous to the climate change deniers who believe that there is a vast government-academic conspiracy on climate science. Those on the right distrust government. Those on the left inherently distrust corporations. Both put their fingers in their ears and shut out the vast body of science on the GMO and climate change issues, respectively, by simply asserting that the academic enterprise has been corrupted by the enemy (government or corporations, take your pick).

If someone wants to get a balanced, informed, and accessible take on this debate from a science writer who actually supports labeling, spend some time reading Nathanael Johnson at Grist. I don't agree with everything Nathanael writes, but he is honest and informed, something we certainly need more of in this discussion.

David Brown ·  Top Commenter · Associate Professor at Washington State University
The claim that there is no independent research on GMOs is a wildly false internet meme. For the formal approval process for ANY new food or drug, a company must pay for the science to document their submission (either done in house or more often by private firms). But that doesn't mean that academics haven't conduced research as well.

The European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) recently released a report based on thousands of academic studies.
"EASAC also sought to placate green critics who claim that the majority of scientific studies on GMO safety are biased because they are carried out by researchers who are paid for by industrial lobby groups.

“We estimate that around 90% of the literature on which the conclusions of the report are based is on non-industry funded, peer-reviewed research,” said Sofie Vanthournout, head of the Brussels office of EASAC."

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