August 27, 2013 TACKLE Event – GMO – – in full on YouTube!

You can now view our August TACKLE with TAC4 event on GMO in full on YouTube! Watch it here:

Thanks to Jennifer Elwell (Kentucky Corn Growers Association) and John Moody (Farm to Defense Legal Defense Fund) for their excellent panel discussion.

The results from pursuing their Needs, Fears, and Concerns are:

Jennifer Elwell


  • Ability to choose food
  • Ability for farmers to choose what to grow
  • Need for food production to be maximized to feed growing population
  • Reduce pesticide use (inputs)
    • Because of costs and health
  • Recognizing GMO is not the only scientific research going on
  • A better job of education about how GMOs work
  • Safety of farm workers through less chemical contact


  • If we block all GMOs, dramatic return to increase in inputs
  • Labeling would cause more consumer fear


  • Open conversation between neighboring farmers on planning seasons to prevent cross-pollination
  • Industry open to labeling
  • Continue/expand research into all available options
  • Third party studies

John Moody


  • Ability to choose food
  • Ability for farmers to choose what to grow
  • To differentiate hybridization and genetic modification
  • Level playing field
    • Subsidization tilts toward GMO crops
    • Government regulations favor monoculture farming
  • Need to protect against development of new allergies


  • Genetic drift
  • Health harm possibility
    • At a minimum, there are significant health concerns
  • History of false safety claims continue


  • Reduce amount of GMOs being planted
  • Ban GMOs until safety and benefits are clearly established
  • Designating portions of USA for organic farming and buffering areas
  • Level subsidy playing field

Audience Concerns


  • See details of studies – transparency
  • Labeling
  • Full disclosure as to what subsidies and companies are involved in studies
    • Adhere to what science says
    • Pass science laws
  • A stable land base with people working on land
  • Recognize that without GMOs we can reduce inputs with economic and health benefits


  • That the science is contaminated
  • Some illnesses that could come from GMOs might not be obvious in short-term tests
  • Corporate control of seeds and inputs will erode agricultural land base, viability, and prices
  • Suicide seeds


  • Remove all subsidies

Political Discourse – Ground Rules 6 & 7

The last 2 Ground Rules:

#6 – Outline reaslistc action steps for your views

  • Always close political discourse with personal actions to take

–         Do NOT suppress your concerns – SOLVE them

–         The Seven Ground Rules are NOT about being “positive”, “polite”, or getting along

–         The Seven Ground Rules are about finding solutions and taking action until our world is better

  • Not everyone’s actions will be the same

–         They may even be opposing

  • Do something about your complaints!

#7 – Hold yourself and others accountable to words and commitments with consequences

  • Be accountable for your own actions
  • Respectfully challenge others on your team when their actions violate the ground rules

–         Clarify exact ground rule being broken, without blame

–         Model how to improve

  • Give feedback humbly

–         Must be given with a full underlying acceptance of the person as a competent comrade with good intentions

  • Accept feedback graciously

I suppose if people actually saw politicians showing respect and taking responsibility for their actions, then the general public might be motivated to take action and hold themselves accountable.  But are there really enough people in the Louisville, KY area that would embrace this concept?  My fear is that people are too tied to either their opinion that they are right or their resistance to getting involved.   To be painfully honest, my fear is that I might be too tied to being right to openly embrace these principles.

Political Discourse – Ground Rules 3, 4, & 5

Now for Ground Rules 3 through 5:

#3 – Blame the process, not the person

  • Blaming makes people defensive and keeps them from joining your problem solving team
  • Blaming seemingly lets you off the hook from doing whatever is necessary to solve the problem
  • BE ACCOUNTABLE for your own efforts to solve the problem, even in the absence of others doing their part
  • Not blaming also involves considering the possibility that you do not have the absolute truth in the situation – what works for you may not work for them, and vice-versa

#4 – Clarify opinion from fact

  • Speak in researched facts as much as possible
  • No spreading false information as fact
    • Inaccurate information leads to bad solutions
  • When stating an opinion, announce it as an Opinion
  • Definitions
    • A fact: something that has actual existence
    • Objective reality
    • Example:
      • The words physically written in the Constitution – FACT
      • A specific idea being Constitutional – OPINION
    • Example:
      • The raw data from a survey – FACT
      • ANY interpretation of what the data means – OPINION

#5 – Where there are moral philosophical differences, clarify without accusation and move on

  • Political solutions are rooted in a world view, often regarding human nature and moral philosophy
  • Do not accuse of a lower moral standard
  • Do not assign a moral stance to another without their agreement
  • Clarify moral definitions
  • Admit and clarify where moral philosophies are different
  • Clearly relate future discussions to differences in that moral philosophy, without accusation of the moral code

Don’t blame others? State facts as objective information and don’t just read the surveys and sources I agree with? No judgment on morals? How would this work?