Not to enjoy , but to learn…..
Scientists in Norway have released results from experimental feeding studies carried out over a 10-year period, and the verdict is in: If you want to avoid obesity, then avoid eating genetically engineered (GE) corn, corn-based products, and animals that are fed a diet of GE grain.
As reported by Cornucopia.org1, the project also looked at the effects on organ changes, and researchers found significant changes that affected weight gain, eating behaviors, and immune function.
“The results show a positive link between GE corn and obesity. Animals fed a GE corn diet got fatter quicker and retained the weight compared to animals fed a non-GE grain diet. The studies were performed on rats, mice, pigs and salmon, achieving the same results.
… Researchers found distinct changes to the intestines of animals fed GMOs compared to those fed non-GMOs. This confirms other studies done by US researchers. Significant changes occurred in the digestive systems of the test animals’ major organs including the liver, kidneys, pancreas, genitals and more.”
Their findings (which were published July 11, 2012 in Norway by Forskning.no, an online news source devoted to Norwegian and international research3) showed that animals fed genetically engineered Bt corn ate more, got fatter, and were less able to digest proteins due to alterations in the micro-structure of their intestines.
They also suffered immune system alterations. The impaired ability to digest proteins may be of particular concern as this can have far-reaching implications for your health. If your body cannot digest proteins, your body will be less able to produce amino acids, which are necessary building blocks for proper cell growth and function.
“This not only may relate to a rise in obesity, but to increases in many modern diseases. These diseases include diabetes, digestive disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, colitis, autism spectrum disorders (ASD) (ADD), autoimmune diseases, sexual dysfunction, sterility, asthma, COPD and many more.
…[Lead author] Professor Krogdahl explains: “It has often been claimed that the new genes in genetically modified foods can’t do any damage because all genes are broken down beyond recognition in the gut. Our results show the contrary; that genes can be taken up across the intestinal wall, is transferred to the blood and is left in the blood, muscle and liver in large chunks so that they can be easily recognized… The biological impact of this gene transfer is unknown.”
Bt Toxin Found in Blood of Women and Fetuses
This is not the first time scientists have revealed significant biological impacts and related health problems as a result of eating a diet of genetically engineered foods. More often than not, unless the research is tainted by industry ties, studies into the effects of genetically engineered foods demonstrate that it is anything but safe. This isn’t so surprising when you consider that simple logic will tell you it’s probably not wise to consume a plant designed to produce its own pesticide, for example.
So-called “Bt corn” is equipped with a gene from the soil bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which produces Bt-toxin—a pesticide that breaks open the stomach of certain insects and kills them. This pesticide-producing corn entered the food supply in the late 1990’s, and over the past decade, the horror stories have started piling up.
Monsanto and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) swore that the toxin would only affect insects munching on the crop. The Bt-toxin, they claimed, would be completely destroyed in the human digestive system and would not have any impact on animals and humans. The biotech companies have doggedly insisted that Bt-toxin doesn’t bind or interact with the intestinal walls of mammals, and therefore humans.
The featured research proves all such claims false.
Prior findings have already shown that Bt corn is anything but innocuous to the human system. Just last year, doctors at Sherbrooke University Hospital in Quebec found Bt-toxin in the blood4 of:
•93 percent of pregnant women tested
•80 percent of umbilical blood in their babies, and
•67 percent of non-pregnant women
Bt-toxin breaks open the stomach of insects. Could it similarly be damaging the integrity of your digestive tract? If Bt-toxins can damage the intestinal walls of newborns and young children, the passage of undigested foods and toxins into the blood from the digestive tract could be devastating to their future health. Scientists speculate that it may lead to autoimmune diseases and food allergies. Furthermore, since the blood-brain barrier is not developed in newborns, toxins may enter the brain causing serious cognitive problems. Some healthcare practitioners and scientists are convinced that this one mechanism for autism.
If Bt genes are colonizing the bacteria living in the digestive tract of North Americans, we might expect to see an increase in gastrointestinal problems, autoimmune diseases, food allergies, and childhood learning disorders since the advent of Bt crops in 1996, and that’s exactly what’s being reported. For example, between 1997 and 2002 the number of hospitalizations related to allergic reactions to food increased by a whopping 265 percent. One out of 17 children now has some form of food allergy and allergy rates are rising.
Genetically Engineered Foods Trigger Adverse Immune System Responses
There’s plenty of evidence showing that the Bt-toxin produced in genetically modified Bt crops like corn and cotton plants is toxic to humans and mammals andtriggers immune system responses. For example, in government-sponsored research in Italy5, mice fed Monsanto’s Bt corn showed a wide range of immune responses, such as:
•Elevated IgE and IgG antibodies, which are typically associated with allergies and infections
•An increase in cytokines, which are associated with allergic and inflammatory responses. The specific cytokines (interleukins) that were found to be elevated are also higher in humans who suffer from a wide range of disorders, from arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, to MS and cancer
•Elevated T cells (gamma delta), which are increased in people with asthma, and in children with food allergies, juvenile arthritis, and connective tissue diseases.
Rats fed another of Monsanto’s Bt corn varieties called MON 863, also experienced an activation of their immune systems, showing higher numbers of basophils, lymphocytes, and white blood cells6. These can indicate possible allergies, infections, toxins, and various disease states including cancer. There were also signs of liver and kidney toxicity.
USDA Clears Roundup Ready Sugar Beets
So-called “Roundup Ready” crops are another type of genetically engineered crops. While Bt crops contain a gene that produces a pesticide inside the plant itself, Roundup Ready crops are designed to withstand otherwise lethal topical doses of glyphosate—a broad spectrum herbicide, and the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup as well as hundreds of other products.
This way, the crop survives while all weeds are theoretically eliminated from the field. I say ‘theoretically’ because the overuse of the herbicide has led to the rapid development of glyphosate-resistant superweeds. It’s estimated that more than 130 types of weeds spanning 40 U.S. states are now herbicide-resistant, and the superweeds are showing no signs of stopping.
Roundup Ready crops have also been linked to serious health problems—particularly relating to fertility and birth defects—as has glyphosate itself, which is why the latest news regarding the deregulation of Roundup Ready sugar beets is all the more disappointing.
A number of organizations challenged the USDA approval of Roundup Ready (RR) sugar beets in 2008, arguing that the beets would contaminate related organic and non-GE crops such as table beets and chard. Further, they said that the pesticide-resistant beets would increase pesticide impacts on the environment and worsen the current epidemic of pesticide-resistant superweeds.
A lawsuit was filed against the USDA in 2009 for failure to complete an Environmental Impact Study. A federal judge agreed, temporarily suspending all planting of RR sugar beets. The suspension was later overridden by the USDA, ostensibly to prevent a sugar shortage. After a number of additional legal twists and turns, the USDA has now announced its decision to deregulate Monsanto’s Roundup Ready genetically modified sugar beets7. According to a July 19 press release by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)8:
“After completing both a thorough environmental impact statement and plant pest risk assessment, holding three public meetings and considering and analyzing thousands of comments regarding its analyses, APHIS has determined that, from the standpoint of plant pest risk, Roundup Ready sugarbeets are as safe as traditionally bred sugarbeets.”
GM Companies Threaten Food Security and Sovereignty
A landmark speech delivered during the 2011 SEMEAR conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on how genetically modified (GM) seed companies threaten food security and food sovereignty has resulted in a call to action by an unlikely source who is a key player in the soy industry. Pierre Patriat, President of APROSMAT, the association of seed producers of Mato Grosso, Brazil, does not oppose genetically engineered (GE) crops, but he does recognize the unprecedented threat to food security that GM seeds pose.
Saying that the GM industry is rapidly taking away Brazilian farmers’ freedom of choice, he asked for “immediate mobilization and action on the part of concerned industry members, government, lawmakers, farmers, and civil society to avert the threat to food sovereignty posed by the GM industry’s control of markets through their patented seeds,” according to a recent report by GM Watch9.
In his speech, which I recommend reading in its entirety to learn more, Patriat wisely says:
“… [T]oday, people think everything can be resolved through the seed. If soybean rust occurs they say, “Just wait, this can be resolved with genetic engineering!” A problem with nematodes? – “We’ll change the seed directly!” They want to solve all problems that way… But as long as we have alternative solutions we don’t need genetic engineering to get rid of all problems.
Today we have a big problem with nematodes for a simple reason, not least because of the lack of a medium-term agricultural policy. There is a solution known to every agronomist: Crop rotation! That is how weeds and pests are weakened. It is so simple! Another way is soil management and measures to correct the soil – fundamental things nobody pays attention to anymore because everything has to be resolved through the seed.
No one does rotation any more – everyone does succession [planting same crop in succession]. These are problems that are not resolved by biotechnology. The man who is going to spend 150-200 Brazilian dollars per hectare would do much better to invest it in the [quality of the] land. The profitability in the medium term will be much better for sure. This does not mean that constant seed improvement will not bring solutions. But we ought to cooperate and define the base for new regulations, so that everyone may collaborate harmoniously without abusing their economic power.
Because today there are no brakes on the abuse of economic power over seed, and even worse, this affects the sovereignty of a country, because it is a matter of food security and food security is national security.”
The issue of food sovereignty is certainly not restricted to Brazil. It’s becoming a serious threat to every nation on this planet as genetically engineered crops spread. These seeds are owned by private companies, and it’s imperative to understand that once a country allows GE crops to monopolize their agricultural sector, it becomes completely beholden to and dependent upon a corporation for the ability to grow food and feed its citizens!
Support California’s Ballot Initiative to Label Genetically Engineered Foods!
In the video above, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont speaks about proposed amendments to the U.S. Senate Farm Bill and Nutrition Programs with regard to genetically engineered foods.
Unfortunately, due to lack of labeling, many Americans are still unfamiliar with what genetically engineered foods are. We now have a great opportunity to change that, and I urge you to participate and to continue supporting the California ballot initiative—which will require labeling of genetically engineered foods and food ingredients, and eliminate the routine industry practice of labeling and marketing such foods as “natural”—in any way you can. The voting takes place in November, so we still have a few more months to go, and we need “all hands on deck,” so to speak, until then.
Remember, since California is the 8th largest economy in the world, a win for the California Initiative would be a huge step forward, and would likely affect ingredients and labeling nation-wide, as large companies are not likely going to label their products as genetically engineered when sold in California, but not when sold in other states. Doing so would be a PR disaster.
But it’s an enormous ongoing battle, as the biotech industry will outspend us by 100 to 1, if not more, for their propaganda. Needless to say, the campaign needs funds, as there are no deep corporate pockets funding this citizen’s initiative. So, please, if you have the ability, I strongly encourage you to make a donation.
Some good news: the California “Yes on 37” Right to Know campaign recently received the endorsement of the California Labor Federation and U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer and Mark Leno.
“Senator Boxer said… “California consumers have the right to know if their food has been genetically engineered. This basic information should be available for consumers on the label the way it is in nearly 50 other countries around the world.” The Digital Journal reported on July 2710.
State Senator Mark Leno said, ”The people of California want to know what’s in their food. More than half the people in the world live in countries that already require labeling of genetically engineered foods. Californians deserve to have this information too.”
Steve Smith, Communications Director for the California Labor Federation, said, “Working people deserve the right to know what is in the food we are feeding our families. Prop 37 is a commonsense measure that ensures our families are able to make educated choices about the food we purchase. We’re proud to join with millions of Californians in supporting the right to know what’s in our food.”
I urge you to get involved and help in any way you can. Be assured that what happens in California will affect the remainder of the U.S. states, so please support this important state initiative, even if you do not live there!
•If you live in California and want to get involved, please contact LabelGMOs.org. They will go through all volunteer requests to put you into a position that is suitable for you, based on your stated interests and location.
•No matter where you live, please help spread the word in your personal networks, on Facebook, and Twitter. For help with the messaging, please see LabelGMOs.org’s “Spread the Word!” page.
•Whether you live in California or not, please donate money to this historic effort, either through the Organic Consumers Fund.
•Talk to organic producers and stores and ask them to actively support the California Ballot. It may be the only chance we have to label genetically engineered foods.
•For timely updates, please join the Organic Consumers Association on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.
The first-ever lifetime feeding study1 evaluating the health risks of genetically engineered foods was published online on September 19, and the results are troubling, to say the least. This new study joins a list of over 30 other animal studies showing toxic or allergenic problems with genetically engineered foods.
The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, found that rats fed a type of genetically engineered corn that is prevalent in the US food supply for two years developed massive mammary tumors, kidney and liver damage, and other serious health problems.
The research was considered so “hot” that the work was done under strict secrecy. According to a French article in Le Nouvel Observateur,2 the researchers used encrypted emails, phone conversations were banned, and they even launched a decoy study to prevent sabotage!
According to the authors:
“The health effects of a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize (from 11% in the diet), cultivated with or without Roundup, and Roundup alone (from 0.1ppb in water), were studied 2 years in rats. [Editors note: this level of Roundup is permitted in drinking water and GE crops in the US]
In females, all treated groups died 2-3 times more than controls, and more rapidly. This difference was visible in 3 male groups fed GMOs.
All results were hormone and sex dependent, and the pathological profiles were comparable. Females developed large mammary tumors almost always more often than and before controls, the pituitary was the second most disabled organ; the sex hormonal balance was modified by GMO and Roundup treatments.
In treated males, liver congestions and necrosis were 2.5-5.5 times higher… Marked and severe kidney nephropathies were also generally 1.3-2.3 greater. Males presented 4 times more large palpable tumors than controls, which occurred up to 600 days earlier.
Biochemistry data confirmed very significant kidney chronic deficiencies; for all treatments and both sexes, 76% of the altered parameters were kidney related. These results can be explained by the non linear endocrine-disrupting effects of Roundup, but also by the overexpression of the transgene in the GMO and its metabolic consequences.”
Folks, if this doesn’t get your attention, nothing will.
Does 10 percent or more of your diet consist of genetically engineered (GE) ingredients? At present, you can’t know for sure, since GE foods are not labeled in the US. But chances are, if you eat processed foods, your diet is chock full of genetically engineered ingredients you didn’t even know about.
The study in question includes photos and graphs. I highly recommend taking the time to actually read through this remarkable study,3 and look at the documented evidence. They really are not exaggerating when they say it caused massive tumors… They are huge! Some of the tumors weighed in at 25 percent of the rat’s total body weight. This is the most current and best evidence to date of the toxic effects of GE foods.
Why Aren’t Americans Dropping Like Flies?
Rats only live a few years. Humans live around 80 years, so we will notice these effects in animals long before we see them in humans. The gigantic human lab experiment is only about 10 years old, so we are likely decades away from tabulating the human casualties. This is some of the strongest evidence to date that we need to exercise the precautionary principle ASAP and avoid these foods. Naturally, the study is already under heavy fire. According to Monsanto spokesman Thomas Helscher:4
“Numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies performed on biotech crops to date, including more than a hundred feeding studies, have continuously confirmed their safety, as reflected in the respective safety assessments by regulatory authorities around the world.”
However, it’s critical to understand that the longest feeding study was a mere 90 days long – a far cry from two years! In the featured study, the true onslaught of diseases really set in during the 13th month of the experiment, although tumors and severe liver and kidney damage did emerge as early as four months in males, and seven months for females.
Is it any wonder then that feeding studies lasting just a few weeks or even three months have failed to corroborate these horrific findings? Reuters quotes Mark Tester, a research professor at the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics at the University of Adelaide as saying:5
“If the effects are as big as purported, and if the work really is relevant to humans, why aren’t the North Americans dropping like flies? GM has been in the food chain for over a decade over there – and longevity continues to increase inexorably.”
Although there are clearly many variables that contribute to cancer, GE foods are a new candidate as they have been in our food supply for over a decade. Interestingly, cancer was just declared as having overtaken heart disease as the number one killer among American Hispanics,6 and according to 2009 CDC statistics it’s now also the leading killer in 18 states.
I believe it is crucial that we implement the precautionary principle as rapidly as possible as this study confirms it is difficult to predict precisely what GE foods might do to the youths of today, as many are eating a fair amount of GE ingredients practically from day one. (Yes, some infant formulas actually contain GE ingredients!) What will their health be 10 or 20 years from now? Most adults simply haven’t been eating GE foods long enough to tell what the real ramifications are.
Do we really wait 50 years to see what GE foods will do to the human health and lifespan?
GE Foods’ Connection to Breast Cancer
This newest study provides clear and convincing evidence that GE agriculture is contributing to cancer in exposed populations. The timing of this new study – two weeks before Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) – is therefore all the more fitting, as GreenMedInfo.com recently commented on this study:7
“…in female animals, 93 percent of the tumors found were in the mammary glands. They also ‘…observed a strikingly marked induction of mammary tumors by R[oundup] alone …even at the very lowest dose administered.'”
Generational gene transfer is yet another issue. A frequent claim has been that new genes introduced in GE foods are harmless, as they would theoretically be broken up in the intestines. But researchers have now discovered that genes can be transferred through the intestinal wall into your blood. GE crop genes have been found in sufficiently large amounts in human blood, muscle tissue and liver to be identified.8 And the biological impact – especially the generational impact – of this gene transfer is completely unknown, and cannot be known for at least a human generation or two. Unless we take notice of the results from animal feeding studies, that is…
10-Year Feeding Study ALSO Found GE Foods Cause Severe Health Problems
This news comes on the heels of another experimental animal feeding study carried out over a 10-year period in Norway. It was published earlier this summer, and in this study, genetically engineered (GE) corn and corn-based products were found to cause obesity, and alter the function of the digestive system and major organs, including the liver, kidneys, pancreas, and genitals.9 Animals fed genetically engineered Bt corn ate more, got fatter, and were less able to digest proteins due to alterations in the micro-structure of their intestines. They also suffered immune system alterations.
The impaired ability to digest proteins may be of particular concern as this can have far-reaching implications for human health. If your body cannot digest proteins, your body will be less able to produce amino acids, which are necessary building blocks for proper cell growth and function.
Monsanto’s GE Corn is Already Losing its Effectiveness, Giving Rise to Superbugs and Superweeds
Related news also sheds light on the massive devastation brought on the environment by GE crops, and how soil destruction ends up affecting your health by decimating the nutrient content in the foods you eat.
In response to a scientific study that determined Western corn rootworms on two Illinois farms had developed resistance to Monsanto’s YieldGard corn, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made an admission about genetically engineered crops: Yes, there is “mounting evidence” that Monsanto’s insecticide-fighting corn is losing its effectiveness in the Midwest. Last year, resistant rootworms infested corn fields in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Nebraska.
According to Bloomberg:10
“The agency’s latest statement on rootworm resistance comes a year after the problem was first documented and just as U.S. corn yields are forecast to be the lowest in 17 years amid drought in the Corn Belt. Corn is St. Louis-based Monsanto’s biggest business line, accounting for $4.81 billion of sales, or 41 percent of total revenue, in its 2011 fiscal year.
…The EPA’s focus is Monsanto’s YieldGard corn, which is engineered to produce the Cry3Bb1 protein from Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt, a natural insecticide.
The EPA expects to get data on the performance of YieldGard from Monsanto within two months and complete its analysis by year-end the agency said in its statement, which was e-mailed by Stacy Kika, an EPA spokeswoman. The evaluation will include a review of scientific studies, it said.
…The agency may implement ‘strategies’ to reduce the threat of resistance to Cry3Bb1, it said. Kika said she couldn’t comment on what those strategies may include.”
Considering the fact that YieldGard was introduced less than a decade ago, in 2003, this could be very bad news for farmers growing genetically engineered Bt crops everywhere. It really is just a matter of time before resistance sets in, and it doesn’t take very long. Naturally, Monsanto disagrees – more data is needed to prove their insecticide-fighting corn is failing, the biotech giant claims.
Roundup-Ready Crops Pose Even Greater Resistance Problem
But YieldGard is just one of Monsanto’s problems. Roundup-Ready crops are creating super-resistant weeds that no longer respond to the herbicide. In fact, the problem is so bad that 20 million acres of cotton, soybean and corn have already been invaded by Roundup-resistant weeds.11
To combat the problem, the EPA requires farmers to plant non-modified corn next to their Bt corn, in the hopes that unexposed bugs will mate with the resistant rootworms and create a new generation of hybrids that are again susceptible to the Bt toxin.
However, one has to wonder whether or not it might also work the other way around. The hybrids may just as well incorporate the resistance… Still, that’s the prevailing logic the EPA is running with at the moment.
Unfortunately, resistant weeds are not the only, or the worst, side effect of Roundup-Ready crops, genetically engineered to withstand otherwise lethal doses of glyphosate – the active ingredient in Roundup.
Mounting evidence tells us glyphosate itself may be far more dangerous than anyone ever suspected… Earlier this month, Purdue scientist Dr. Don Huber again spoke out about “the woes of GMO’s” and the inherent dangers of glyphosate in an article published by GM Watch.12
“Corn used to be the healthiest plant you could grow. Now, multiple diseases, pests, and weak plants are the common denominator of ‘modern’ hybrids,” he writes.
“Over three decades ago we started the shift to a monochemical glyphosate herbicide program that was soon accompanied by glyphosate- and insect-resistant genetically engineered crops.
These two changes in agricultural practices – the excessive application of a strong essential mineral chelating, endocrine-disrupting chemical for weed control and the genetically engineered production of new toxins in our food crops – was accompanied by abandonment of years of scientific research based on the scientific precautionary principle. We substituted a philosophical ‘substantially equivalent,’ a new term coined to avoid accountability for the lack of understanding of consequences of our new activities, for science.”
The Environmental and Human Health Hazards of Glyphosate
I previously interviewed Dr. Huber about the dangers of glyphosate, and if you missed it, I highly recommend taking the time to listen to it now. It is indeed sobering, as this broad-spectrum herbicide adds its own health risks to an already stacked deck of health hazards related to genetically engineered foods, whether it be Bt- or Roundup-Ready.
Total Video Length: 00:58:12
Download Interview Transcript
The problem stems from the way glyphosate persists in and alters the soil, which has wide-ranging ramifications. As a potent organic phosphate chelator, glyphosate immobilizes micronutrients that are essential for normal physiological functions not only in soils, but also in growing plants and in those who eat the plants, namely animals and humans.
The nutritional efficiency of genetically engineered (GE) plants is profoundly compromised. Far from helping improve nutrition, micronutrients such as iron, manganese and zinc can be reduced by as much as 80-90 percent in GE plants! Glyphosate also decimates beneficial microorganisms essential for proper plant function and high quality nutrition, while promoting the proliferation of disease-causing pathogens.
“Glyphosate is a very powerful selective antibiotic that kills beneficial, but not pathogenic, microorganisms in the soil and intestine at very low residual levels in food,” Dr. Huber writes.13 “Residue levels permitted in food are 40 to 800 times the antibiotic threshold and concentrations shown in clinical studies to damage mammalian tissues.
By genetically engineering plants with the insertion of certain foreign bacterial genes, glyphosate can be applied directly to crop plants without killing them. There is nothing in the genetic engineering technology that does anything to the glyphosate that is applied to the plant – and that accumulates in it. Both the toxic proteins produced by the foreign bacterial genes and the glyphosate chemical are now present in the feed and food produced for animal and human consumption.
Genetic engineering has introduced other genes for insect resistance where additional toxic proteins accumulate in plant tissues consumed by animals and man. These toxins are found in the blood and readily transferred across the placenta to developing babies in the womb.
Genetic engineering is more like a virus infection than a normal breeding process and results in a multitude of mutations and epigenetic effects as genetic integrity in the plant is disrupted.
These ‘foreign’ bacterial genes are highly promiscuous and easily transferred by wind or insects to other plants; to soil microorganisms during plant residue decomposition, or to intestinal microflora during food digestion where they continue to direct the production of toxins and allergenic proteins. Epigenetic effects are manifest in GMO plants as a yield drag, poor nutrient efficiency, increased disease, and reduced stress tolerance.”
As Dr. Huber warns, scientific studies demonstrate that the assumptions about genetically engineered crops relied upon by the biotech industry and ignorant regulators are invalid. The truth of the matter can be clearly seen in the following effects:
Development of resistant “super-weeds” Development of resistant “super-pathogens” and brand new GE-related organisms
Loss of natural biological controls of pathogens (plant, animal, and human) Degradation of soil quality
Reduced crop yields Reduced nutrient content
Increased disease and more virulent pathogens Exponential rise in infertility and birth defects
Why We Don’t Need Genetically Engineered Foods
As stated by Dr. Huber:
“Future historians may well look back upon our time and write, not about how many pounds of pesticide we did or didn’t apply, but by how willing we are to sacrifice our children and future generations for this massive genetic engineering experiment that is based on flawed science and failed promises just to benefit the bottom line of a commercial enterprise.”
The saddest part about the GE debacle is that there’s no real need to take the wild risks we’re currently taking with our food supply and our future. For years, genetically modified crops have been sold as the solution for feeding the world. But mounting evidence shows the way to feed seven billion plus inhabitants on this planet is by increasing biodiversity and sustainable agriculture.
In fact, the most authoritative evaluation of agriculture, the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development,14 determined that the genetically engineered foods have nothing to offer the goals of reducing hunger and poverty, improving nutrition, health and rural livelihoods, and facilitating social and environmental sustainability.
The report was a three-year collaborative effort with 900 participants and 110 countries, and was co-sponsored by all the majors, e.g. the World Bank, FAO, UNESCO, WHO. In reality, genetic engineering reduce yields,15 increase farmers’ dependence on multinationals, reduce biodiversity, increase herbicide use, and take money away from more successful and appropriate farming methods.
Hans Johr, a high-ranking executive at the Nestle Company recently went on the record saying GE food is not only unnecessary, but that the food industry would be better off employing other techniques.
According to GM Watch:16
“Jonathan Foley, director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota and co-author of a study… on water management and yield production, agrees with Johr that GMOs are not the answer to food security. ‘I don’t think GMOs have contributed, or will likely contribute much, to food security. Most of the GMO traits are focused on pest and herbicide resistance, which is arguably a good thing, but are not improving yield characteristics all that much (at least compared to conventional breeding, or better yet, marker-assisted breeding).
Furthermore, there are other approaches to managing pests and weeds that would be equally (or more) effective, like not planting such large monocultures in the first place…’ Johr also went one step further, and addressed the issue of labeling. ‘We [Nestle] have a very simple way of looking at GM: listen to what the consumer wants. If they don’t want it in products, you don’t put it in them…'”
Passing Prop 37 is Key to Expanding Sustainable Agriculture in North America
Despite Johr’s stated view, Nestle has donated nearly $1.17 million to the “No on 37 Coalition,” which is working to prevent the labelling of GE foods in California. So much for listening to consumers…
Although many organic consumers and natural health activists already understand the importance of Proposition 37, the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Foods Act, it cannot be overemphasized that winning the battle over Prop 37 is perhaps the most important food fight Americans – not just Californians – have faced so far. Once food manufacturers can no longer label or market GE-tainted foods as “natural” or “all-natural,” and once all GE ingredients are clearly marked, millions of consumers will demand non-GE alternatives, and organic and non-GE food sales will dramatically increase.
But in order to win this fight for the right to know what’s in our food, we need your help, as the biotech industry will surely outspend us by 100 to 1, if not more, for their propaganda.
Please remember, the failure or success of this ballot initiative is wholly dependent on your support and funding! There are no major industry pocketsfunding this endeavor, which was created by a California grandmother. In order to have a chance against the deep pockets of Big Biotech and transnational food corporations, it needs donations from average citizens. So please, if you have the ability, I strongly encourage you to make a donation to this cause.
It’s important to realize that getting this law passed in California would have the same overall effect as a national law, as large companies are not likely going to label their products as genetically engineered when sold in California (the 8th largest economy in the world), but not when sold in other states. Doing so would be a costly PR disaster. So please, I urge you to get involved and help in any way you can, regardless of what state you live in.
Whether you live in California or not, please donate money to this historic effort through the Organic Consumers Fund.
If you live in California and want to get involved, please contact CARightToKnow.org. They will go through all volunteer requests to put you into a position that is suitable for you, based on your stated interests and location.
No matter where you live, please help spread the word in your personal networks, on Facebook, and Twitter. For help with the messaging, please see CARightToKnow.org.
Talk to organic producers and stores and ask them to actively support the California Ballot. It may be the only chance we have to label genetically engineered foods.
For timely updates, please join the Organic Consumers Association on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.
Jeffrey Smith has written two books about the significant danger genetically modified (GM) foods pose to your health, and the health of the entire planet.
His first book, Seeds of Deception, is the world’s bestselling book on the topic. His second, Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, provides overwhelming evidence that GMOs are unsafe and should never have been introduced.
He’s also the executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, whose Campaign for Healthier Eating in America is designed to create the tipping point of consumer rejection of GMOs, forcing them out of our food supply. As a major force riling against GM foods, Smith is responsible for limiting the spread of GM crops in the US, just like others have successfully done in Europe.
In addition to his books he has also created two videos: Hidden Dangers in Kids’ Meals, and Your Milk on Drugs, Just Say No.
Genetically Modified Foods = Toxins in Every Bite?
Corn chips, or tortilla chips, are quite pervasive. Perhaps you’ve had some yourself this week? Well, let’s see how you feel about buying them again once you realize what you’re risking by eating them.
In the only human feeding study ever published on genetically modified foods, seven volunteers ate so-called Roundup-ready soybeans. These are soybeans that have herbicide-resistant genes inserted into them in order to survive being sprayed with otherwise deadly doses of Roundup herbicide.
In three of the seven volunteers, the gene inserted into the soy transferred into the DNA of their intestinal bacteria, and continued to function long after they stopped eating the GM soy!
There are serious medical implications to this finding. However, the GM-friendly UK government, who funded the study, chose not to fund any follow up research to see if GM corn — which are engineered to produce an insecticide called BT toxin — might also transfer and continue to create insecticide inside your intestines.
These kinds of studies are sorely needed, and fast, because as of right now, about 85 percent of the corn grown in the US is genetically engineered to either produce an insecticide, or to survive the application of herbicide. And about 91-93 percent of all soybeans are genetically engineered to survive massive doses of Roundup herbicide.
What this means is that nearly ALL foods you buy that contain either corn or soy, in any form, will contain GMO unless it’s certified organic by the USDA. Other major GM crops include cottonseed and canola.
When trying to avoid these GM crops, you’d also have to avoid all the derivatives of them, which would include items such as maltodextrin, soy lecitin, and high fructose corn syrup.
Other common GM products include:
• Some varieties of zucchini, crookneck squash, and papayas from Hawaii
• Milk containing rbGH
• Rennet (containing genetically modified enzymes) used to make hard cheeses
• Aspartame (NutraSweet)
How Genetic Engineering Works
Many are under the flawed assumption that genetic engineering is a very precise, refined science.
Not so, explains Smith.
“… in order to understand the risks associated with GMOs, I’m going to back up and talk about the process of creating a genetically modified organism because if we understand that, then a whole host of things that can go wrong all of a sudden become clear.
… The biotech industry gives you this impression that it’s a very clean process. We just take a gene from a species and carefully splice it into another, and the only thing that’s different is it’s producing some new beneficial protein to produces some trait.
This is far from the truth.
What they do is – let’s say you want to create a corn plant that produces a pesticide. So you go to the soil bacterium called BT for “Bacillus thuringiensis” and you change it so it’s more toxic, and you make millions of copies of the gene.
You actually put a piece of a virus there which turns it on, it’s called the promoter. It’s the “on” switch that turns this gene on, 24/7, around the clock.
You make millions of copies and you put it in a gun and you shoot that gun into a plate of millions of cells, hoping that some of the genes make it into the DNA of some of those cells. Then you clone those cells into plants.
Now the process of insertion and cloning causes massive collateral damage in the DNA that could have higher levels, and do have higher levels, of allergens and toxins.
… Anti-nutrients of soybeans that are genetically engineered have as much as seven times higher the amount of a known allergen cold trypsin inhibitor when compared to non-GM soy, in their cooked state.
There is a new allergen in genetically modified corn. There is a new anti-nutrient in the [GM] soy which blocks the absorption of nutrients.
They don’t look for these things. These are found after they’re on the market by some few of the independent researchers that are doing their work.”
Farmers have long used BT spray on crops, and because it’s a natural bacterium, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the biotech companies claim it is safe for human consumption.
However, this too is clearly misguided optimism.
“Based on peer reviewed published studies, animals like mice that were fed BT had damaged tissues and immune responses as powerful as if they’ve been fed cholera toxin, and then they became multiple-chemically sensitive to where they started to react to formally harmless compounds.”
Genetically Engineered Health Problems
It’s important to realize that when the BT is spliced into the corn, it’s thousands of times more concentrated than the spray version.
According to Smith, thousands of farm workers who harvest BT-cotton in India are complaining of rashes all over their bodies. And animals grazing on BT cotton plants after harvest have died, sometimes within a day or so.
This should tell you something.
Now, some will point out the fact that humans are not dying like flies from eating GM foods. But the death of grazing cattle is likely the result of an acute reaction to large exposure. So, as Smith states, it’s still an indicator for what might be happening in the human system, albeit at a much slower rate.
For example, Smith mentions an Italian study where they fed BT corn to mice. As a result, the mice expressed a wide variety of immune responses commonly associated with diseases such as:
* Rheumatoid arthritis
* Inflammatory bowel disease
* Various types of cancer
* Lou Gehrig’s disease
In addition, Smith has documented at least 65 serious health risks from GM products of all kinds.
* Offspring of rats fed GM soy showed a five-fold increase in mortality, lower birth weights, and the inability to reproduce
* Male mice fed GM soy had damaged young sperm cells
* The embryo offspring of GM soy-fed mice had altered DNA functioning
* Several US farmers reported sterility or fertility problems among pigs and cows fed on GM corn varieties
* Investigators in India have documented fertility problems, abortions, premature births, and other serious health issues, including deaths, among buffaloes fed GM cottonseed products
Genetically modified foods are, from my perception, one of the most significant threats that we have against the very sustainability of the human race.
Although Monsanto doesn’t believe (or admit) this is a possibility, their shortsighted focus on profits is blinding them to the very real threats that this technology is posing to the viability of the human race.
How Conflicts of Interest May Be Destroying Health of Millions
In this interview, Smith discusses some of the political intricacies involved with GM food labeling, and some of the more shocking conflicts of interest that may be harming literally millions of people.
Back in 1992, the FDA authority responsible for the decision of whether or not to label GM foods turned out to be a former attorney for none other than Monsanto. His name is Michael Taylor.
He went from being Monsanto’s attorney to serving as their vice president, and after that he became a policy maker at the FDA.
At this point in time, Taylor serves as the US food safety czar!
Taylor claimed that the agency was not aware of any information showing that GM foods were significantly different than conventional foods, and therefore no testing and no labeling were required.
Since then, documents made public from a lawsuit showed that it was a lie that the policy was clearly fictitious.
In fact, the overwhelming consensus among the FDA’s own scientists were that genetically modified foods were inherently dangerous and could create allergies, toxins, new diseases and nutritional problems, and of course they should be labeled because they are a food additive and new food additives must be labeled.
However, Smith explains, the FDA was directed by the White House to promote the biotechnology industry, and they knew that if they labeled GM foods, most Americans would avoid it like the plague. So, true to form, they supported the economic interests of the biotech companies at the cost of long-term human and environmental health.
It remains to be seen whether or not this type of blatant conflict of interest will be perpetrated again, allowing genetically modified alfalfa to be brought to market.
There’s currently a grassroots movement underway demanding that the Chief Justice force Clarence Thomas to recuse himself in the April Supreme Court consideration of GM alfalfa.
As it turns out, Thomas is also a former Monsanto attorney, who served the biotech giant from 1976 to 1979.
What You Can Do NOW!
The silver lining in all of this, however, is that we actually don’t NEED policy changes to kick GMO’s out of the market!
The only requirement is getting enough people to consistently avoid buying anything that contain GM-derived ingredients, and the food manufacturers will do the rest.
They WILL respond to market demands, because if they don’t they go out of business.
For a helpful, straightforward guide to shopping Non-GMO, please see the Non-GMO Shopping Guide, created by the Institute for Responsible Technology.
In addition, the natural food industry has decided to turn October of this year into “Non-GMO Month,” and October 10th (10/10/10) will be “Non-GMO Day.”
I encourage you all to prepare for October by spreading the information about GM foods. Together we CAN make a major difference!
You can also help by donating money to ResponsibleTechnology.org. Your donation will help preserve access to healthy, whole foods for you and for future generations. Let’s stop this disaster from happening, and stop this insanity from being coerced upon us.