tv Consider This Al Jazeera September 2, 2013 10:00am-11:01am EDT
>> today president obama continues his efforts to rally support in congress and strike on syria. it has been less than 48 hours since the president said he needs congressional approval. he mans to meet with john mccain and lindsey graham, lawmakers who have pushed the white house to take a stronger stance against syria. suspected taliban fighters have launched an attack on a military base this morning. three of those attackers are now dead. the gunfight prompted the closure of a main road used by n.a.t.o. supply trucks.
afghan and american responded with nato helicopters joining the fight. just before 4:00 a.m. eastern time, a swimmer was roughly ten miles away from key west. this is her fifth attempt to complete the swim without a cage, wetsuit or flippers. she pants to prove that 64-year-olds still got it. "consider this" is next. and as always you can find us 24 hours a day at al jazeera.com. us again at 7:00 eastern.
offense used in foods and defined as dna that's altered in a way that doesn't occur naturally. as the use of gametically-modified food as increased over the past few decades, so has questions and skepticism. but is the criticism justified in the fight is well funds. california's prop 37 would have forced retailers to label products named with g.m. o. $44 million was spent to win the vote. the bill's supporters raised about $7 million. prop 37 was defeated by a little less than 3% at the polls and similar bills are popping up across the country, so questions about both the industry and its critics are not going away. john joins us from cincinnati, he is the executive director of the gentleman met i can literacy product at george mason university. patty is in d.c., the assistant director of food and water watch i thank you both for joining us tonight. patty let's start with you.
by some estimates 70% of food on supermarkets she feels have some sort of g.m. o. in them. given that it's so common why there is is there a reason to be concerned about gametically modified food. >> this feud foo i food is diffe crops are different. because it's in a large amount of properties it's a manageable number of crops and we could label them and that's the most efficient way to do this so it's in corn -- we have a lot of gametically modified corn, soy, sugar beats, things like that, and those crops end up in lots of foods so that's why we get to this big number, people don't realize they are eating them . we think the a right to know. they are patented and charge farmers more to grow seeds, if it's that different it's different enough that consumers have the right know it's in the food that they are buying . >> john you said there is no scientific studs i saying they are bad. why are they resisting the
labeling of what's in the products? >> there are a lot of issueses in play here, i want to underscore every major international science organization, united states, our, china, australia, france, germany, brazil, everyone where, has come up with statements saying that gametically today md foods are saf safe, either as safer as do conventional and organic foods and far more healthy than even organic foods. we have a whole new generation of vitamin enhanced genetically modified products bench i think there is a bit of disingenuousness in the argument that it's a right to know. there is no interest by activists, anti-biotech organizations for right to know. if we want ed i right to know, there are labelings, genetically
modified corn is modified to prevent micro toxins, carcinogen micro cock tinses wit toxins we. genetically modified golden ricin creases betacarotene which could save a million lives a year, that's information. what these groups wants is a skull and cross bones which will sen shall i demonize these products, that's what happened is europe. she wants to cut out choice, if we label we will not have any choice on these things because scare organizations are trying to demonize perfectly safe products that the science community has overwhelmingly already evaluated. >> patty, aren't those two important points? the scientific literature overwhelmingly favorable to the safety of g.m. os and put account baseballs on might it not scare people away away. >> those are two different
issues. much of the signs come from the companies want to go sale the crops into the marketplace, so our regulatory system isn't offering consumers an independent value of safe it and i there are a lot of issues that should be looked at. in the meantime he mentioned other countries there is some scientific authority that says it's fine, many of those country as how their consumers allow the choice and require labeling. many states, over half the states this year had a bill in their state legislature to require labeling, none of them mentioneddal skull and cross bones and they said they would have required basic things like saying this contains genetically modified ingredients or something like that. if the industry can prove to consumers that is -- >> isn't the argument. [speaking at the same time] >> warning out there? if you put any kind of warning out there that the immediate reaction i am sure john was he can am rating with the skull and cross bones, you see a warning the reaction is i shouldn't eat it because there is a warn on the ground this there? >> i don't think disclosing an important
fact of how it's raise second degree a warning. we already tell them ingredients, facts about knew trips, our organization has fought for years along with farming groups to disclose what country food comes from. we think consumers if given this information will make the right choice for his them. it's not squashing choice it's given consumers an informed choice, withholding information is not providing consumers choice it's asking them to make decision without everything they need to know. >> john, the use of g.m.o.s has greatly increased over the past couple of decades, during that time there has been a rise in food allergies and autism in children, and opponents of g.m.o.s have tried to link those. if these products have only been around for a fairly short period of time, how do we know that the science and in the long run won't so maybe there was some problem to them? >> first of all, i want to loop back to something that she said which will help inform the answer to your question that you
just asked. she makes a claim that the research has been done by industry, it hasn't been going on very long. that's what research organizations have based their judgments on. that's absolutely false. patently false, there has been about a thousand studies of g.m.o.s, about 350 of them are totally independent another 300 are independent, but financed by industry, required by the government to make sure that the public does not pick up the cost. so about a third of the studies are industry-based studies. when talk big the world health organization, the national academy of sciences, the european food safety authority, the european -- i mean, the german academy of sciences. the french academy. they are not depending on monsanto they are doing their own evaluations, g.m.o.s are safe. >> let me ask patty no studies have found any serious problem with the g.m.o. >> there have been.
>> no study has shown serious. >> serious study pea peer revie. >> we can sit here and bick are about studies i disagree with almost everything he said about that. what we do know is when our regulatory agencies in this country decide to approve it it's based on proving approval very often and saying it's in a different form we'll approve it. and that many of those are based on studies and information that come in from the company that wants to get the crop approved. and i think that most average consumers with a common sense approach don't think that's independent enough. we have seen the effects that have in the drug industry. we have the same problem with precipitation drugs where the studies are coming in, done by folks who want to sale something and unlike drugs we don't have the ability to track any negative health effects because we don't tell people what they are eating we don't label which foods have it and which don't. we talk the fda if there was a problem we'll figure it outpost market. we would do post market surveillance, we can't do that because we don't label the
foods. >> we have viewer questions coming in. let's go to our social media produce fore that. >> thanks antonio. john, referring to what you might say is the generally public's anything at this miss con investigation of g.m.o.s, we have a question do you see this being a part of a larger problem with science journalism or something that's unique to g.m.o.s? >> i think actually, groups like food and water watch, these are really anti-technology companies, these are groups that are fear of the of innovation, they take pretty much a position that all chemicals are bad. pesticides are bad. these are -- we have a green revolution that started in the '50s, the reason we have a green revolution is because of gentleman met i can modification genetic modification, some through al culture, some technology and the use of pesticides. these organizations want to stop technology and the saddest situation we have an example that happened just a few weeks
ago in the philippines, where sands littlvandals, desecrated,d rice crops of golden rice that produced betacarotene that could save about a million lives a year developed by nonprofits, foundations with no corporate involve. and it was destroyed by these vandals and support bide green peace and organizatio organizate certainty for food safety and others who really want to stop the technology because if this technology is are on leased and approved, it's a death blow to the carping by these groups that these g.m.o.s are unsafe. they really have an anti science message, i think that's what is really driving the currents situation. kind of a right wing view of innovation buys these groups. >> patsy, to that point, aren't there lots of benefits to g.m.o.s especially i for people in poor countrys? >> we have yet to to see that actually happen.
we have heard the promises and the p.r. about the benefits of the cons. u.s. is the biggest a develop ter of the crops what we have seen over the 15 years or so that they have been widely induced in corn, soybean and do the unwe have seen increase in herb side use, specifically roundup the weeds are resisting it so now we are escalate to go tougher more toxic chemicals like 24d. so a lot of -- and we are not seeing the yield increases promises and we are talked to farmers all over the place saying that that is true. we have a lot of marketin marked p.r. and not a lot of actual proof at that will do the things that the proponents claim and there is a reason that small farmers, family farmers around the world protest these crops. they do not want to farm in the model that's being promote bide this technology which has radically changed a lost the things about the food system in the united states and farmers around the world who don't want to get caught in that same cycle are objecting to this. >> go ahead, jon. >> could i interject something here.
>> please. >> g.m.o. crops was introduce introduced by corporations 15, 20 years ago, as of 2012. 90% of the apartments that use this are developing world, more than half of the crops being grown in the developing world. farmers are not about to choose growing a crop that yields them less money, that is a bad crop forcing them in to a system that somehow en slaves them. the very growth of this in the developing world which is the en i think engine, what she is saying is pure hoke up, the requests that it doesn't increase yields i implore the audience to go to sign testifying america look at their september issue it has an article about why they oppose mandatory labeling. the reason is because it's an unscientific view . it's increased yield as much as 20 fever%.
if we ban g.m.o.s it will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars every year there billings. these gripes are being very disingenuous they know a labeling initiative will scare consumers and food companies that don't wants he want to be sued bice the groups that woman represents. [speaking at the same time] >> this is a figure leaf this right to know. >> if g.m.o.s are are so good for us and everybody is eating them every day, why do polls show that most americans are still concerned about them? a recent new york times poll showed that three-quarters of americans are concerned about the number of gametically modified foods and 93% support labeling . is it the initial technology,
calling them frank en foods. >> 67% of the population don't believe in evolution . how many people don't believe in climate change, a fair majority of the population doesn't believe it. i don't think science is open to poles, we havpolls. we have to stick to groups . the american medical association. the groups, the third world groupings, every major organization says we have evaluates this, there are hundreds of independent studies. it's safer. they all have come out against labeling because they know that labeling as this woman is suggesting it, we have it, will in some way scare people and lead to the kind of disinformation campaigns, these women are perfectly willing to hype to scare people and the
science is somehow undecided. if you don't believe the national academy of sciences and the american medical association and the world health organization. then you are anti science there is no other way to describe your position. >> patty i have to give you the last word. we don't have much time. please go ahead. >> there is so much there i am not sure where to start. we are not anti-science. we think that the science has been politicized in this case and i think that there are thousands of example where his that happens ranging as far back as people saying smoking was good for you for how many years, the signs is not pure. the politics can influence that we into he it time and time again. which the comes down to the food industry, it is fascinating i think it's one of the few industries that regularly calls its customers stupid and says that they are not able to handle information about what they are buying. you know, the industry is happy to put labels on food telling us it's new and improved. when they change fancy ingredient and give it a new name but they are no willing to tell us this basic fact. if it's so great and there are all these advantages then they
millions who need assistance now. we appreciate you spending time with us tonight. up next is the golden age of hollywood going golden but elsewhere. why l.a.'s mayor has declared a state of emergency for the entertainment industry there. next. the young folks. >> what are the laws going to begin to take effect? >> reporter: the laws do not go same champs as englç]
deserve to be examined. now joining to us share some of the most powerful immaterial questions from the march on washington please welcome bob the collector of a beautiful book. we are joined from washington, by lynn french, university of virginia ahead junction profess for who teaches the history of civil rights and also by annie a wash post distributor. you chose on your own to cover the civil rights movement? you were a free-lance photographer and had covered it before the march on washington. was that one of the most special days of your life? >> yes, of course. but i was a volunteer and try to go break in to magazines at that time. but i had no assignment, i just came there as a volunteer and because, well, the -- it's hard to remember this, but the movement at that time was a few
hundred, maybe a few thousand people. doing very specific and very often very dangerous things. the movement was confronting segregation, which sounds like the separation of the races, but it was really enforced by terror, and it was very dangerous work. and i was -- i came there, we had a saying in the movement, when the spirit says move, you move . this was the day we were protesting the fact that only weeks before. president kennedy had announced legislation and he was the first president to ever say that segregation, which, you know, demeaned and was a violent system, was wrong. no president, in 100 years -- >> i want to move on and see some pictures they are beautiful and powerful immaterial jess. let's start with the first one in which we see martin luther king as he's beginning his
speech and he's looking down at the papers this was because started reading from a pre -- a preordained script and then we saw a picture of mahalia jackson, lynn i want to get to you. what's the story behind mahalia's importance to that speech that day? >> speeches evolve as a leader or speaker goes around from place to place speaking. and dr. king had been talking about this dream for a while. and i guess people had advised him to make this speech entirely different and not talk about the dream. and he had written a different into even and he was in to that speech and mahalia jackson, his favorite singer, turned to him and said, martin, tell them about the dream. and that's when he cut loose and started talking about it. >> i want to go back to those pictures if we can. you can see the transition, you can see exactly what happened. you see him very serious looking at his paper there, but then in just a moment after she called out to him, and he started
improvising and using that speech that he had used before, you see him almost with a different level of energy and then you see him ending triumphantly. annie, what was going through your mind as you watched this unfold? >> well, remember i was insofar back, as this was unfolding, that a small gesture, leaning forward saying martin remember the dream, was zoloft on me. but whatever the spirit was that moved him, it was just really an electrifying moment. it was just quite extraordinary. >> and, bob, here is the picture you took of the congressional delegation that was there. and that was significant because you had people like adam clayton-powell, jake yo jacob se leaders important to the civil rights movement in congress and it was very important that they be there. >> yes. well, of course the whole purpose of the march was to get
congress for pass legislation and these congressmen were on our side. but we also knew when so many people showed up, we were only a small band of people comparatively. hundreds of thousands of people showed up, we all knew something was in the air and something might happen. >> let's look at another picture of a very important figure who was there. bob, you photographed rosa parks that day, you had photographed her before. what was your impression of here? >> well, rosa parks was a great heroin and, by the way, contemporary to earlier information, both she and i think miss height spoke at the rally at the washington monument. so there were women speaking there. but rosa parks appeared in every one of doc's events and i
photographed her at the -- at his funeral and i must have taken maybe two or three rolls of film, that would be 60 or 80 photographs and she was crying in every one of them. >> beautiful picture of her. now we have a picture of the one man who spoke in 1963, and spoke today, there is john lewis looking very, very young. lynn, you said that john lewis' speech was railroad important to you. >> it was. he was not much older than i and just hearing him speak out in the spirit that that i believed in of really stepping forward and agitated and making sure that what was needed would happen. he -- i think he spoke to the young people that day. >> we have some hour questions let's go to her mel a for those. >> anna this question is directed specifically to you. do you feel different about yourself as an american for having.
participated in the march and what still needs to change in the united states? >> i do feel different . i had a serves optimism. the news clips and headlines those days were horrendous when i went to the march then and today the takeaway is we have made progress but not close to being where they wei need to be. half a dozen people said to me over and over, we are still fighting the voting rights act battle. how can that be? so i think we have to work harder at it. i think we have made progress but we are not home. >> i want to leave you with one last picture. there is a big celebrity contingent today at the march. and there was also one back then, there we can see ozzie davis who was one of the masters of ceremonies of the he defense.
joan baez who sang back in 1963. marlon brando was there. there were a number of celebrities, surprised me, charleton heston was there. sammy davis, jr., pete are, paul and mary. they had an important part of that day. jails baldwin the author, we had a very strong presence of very famous people there that day . i wanted to show some of mottes picture, bob thank you very much. the book is now available. and i would like thank lynn and annie for joining us tonight for this interesting discussion and celebration of the 50th anniversary of a very important day in american history. thank you. the show may be over but the conversation continues on our website. or on our facebook or google plus pages or on twitter at a.j. consider this, we'll see you for our next show. ♪ ♪
takeaway is our company emerges from a time of war that i was elected in part to end. buzz we really want to turn away from taking appropriate action in the face of such an >> welcome to al jazeera, i'm del walters. these are your headlines at this hour. >> this is why i think the international community can't just stand idle by seeing hundreds of people being killed by the use of chemical weapons. >> n.a.t.o. general secretary telling the world not to ignore syria as russia asks for more dialogue. the taliban claiming attack for the attack on u.s. base in afghanistan. and new york city bouncing back