Menstuff® has information on genetically modified organisms (food). After years of assurance that genetically engineered (GE) crops are the answer to pesky pest problems, corn rootworm is now turning into a nightmare for America's agricultural biotech companies. These insects have developed resistance to an inserted gene in the genetically altered corn crop that is designed to kill them. And Monsanto and other chemical companies want to use consumers as the guinea pigs instead of guinea pigs.
The genetically engineered food industry is based on lies. Genetically engineered foods are NOT substantially equivalent to conventional foods. They do NOT produce increased yields. And they are NOT more nutritious. On the contrary, theyre substantially different from anything mankind has ever consumed before; hundreds of studies have demonstrated organic farming out produces genetically engineered crops by as much as 100 to 1; and genetically engineered foods have been shown to be significantly devoid of valuable nutrients
According to survey's, more than 90% of Americans support labeling genetically engineered foods, according to a New York Times poll. Also, 64 countries around the world already require labeling of GE foods, including all the member nations of the European Union, Russia, Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand.
House Passes Bill to Ban GMO Labeling
your Congressperson TODAY!
Pro-GMO Forces Spent Nearly $64 MILLION on Lobbying This Bill to Pass the House
According to a report5 by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), food and biotechnology companies spent $63.6 million in 2014 to lobby specifically for this kind of anti-labeling legislation. Thats nearly three times the amount spent on anti-labeling lobbying efforts in 2013.
Of the $25.4 million spent by the Grocery Manufacturers Association for GMO related lobbying last year, nearly half ($13.3 million) came from Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. These numbers dwarf those of the pro-labeling lobby, which spent a mere $2.6 million in 2014.
The report also notes that between 2012 and 2014, labeling opponents spent $105.8 million to defeat GMO labeling ballot initiatives in California, Washington, Colorado, and Oregon, and that doesnt even include funds used to lobby state legislatures.
HR 1599 Eliminates State Rights
In addition to barring states from creating their own food labeling requirements for genetically modified organisms (GMOs), HR 1599, introduced by Rep. Pompeo, also preempts any and all state and local regulation of GE crops, and further weakens federal oversight.6
Moreover, rather than simply labeling foods containing genetically engineered (GE) ingredients, the bill calls for the creation of a USDA non-GMO certification program similar to its National Organic Program essentially shifting all of the costs over to those who want to declare that their foods are not GMO.
This system is as backwards as it gets. If GMOs were labeled, as they rightfully should be, there would be no need for GMO-free labeling, which was originally nothing more than a workaround to give consumers what they want the right to make an informed purchasing decision.
The basic premise and purpose of general food labeling is to inform you of whats in the food youre buying; its basic ingredients and additives not whats NOT in the food (unless it relates to a known health risk, such as peanut allergy or gluten intolerance).
Due to industry manipulation aimed at hiding controversial and potentially hazardous ingredients and residues, weve seen this shift in burden, starting with non-RBGH labels for dairy products using milk from cows not given synthetic, genetically engineered recombinant bovine growth hormones, which have been linked to cancer.
Now any food that does not contain a man-made genetic experiment will be forced to declare that theyre normal on the label, or be assumed to contain GMOs. Its completely nonsensical and the only beneficiaries of such a convoluted, backward system are the biotechnology and the processed food industries.
GMO Salmon Labeling OKd
Interestingly, just days before HR 1599 was passed by the House of Representatives, a provision was added to a Senate spending bill for the Agriculture Department and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that requires genetically engineered salmon to be labeled.
As reported by AgriPulse:7
The... biotech salmon labeling requirement are not in the House bill. The Senate committee approved both provisions without a roll-call vote. Differences between the two bills will have to be worked out later between Senate and House negotiators.
The salmon labeling requirement proposed by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, would add a wrinkle to the congressional debate over labeling for genetically engineered crops.
Murkowski told colleagues that farmers shouldn't be concerned that the salmon labeling would set a precedent for labeling biotech crops. Corn doesn't swim from one field to another and propagate with other corn in another state. Fish move. Fish escape, she said.
The labeling of GE salmon is a perfect example of everything thats wrong with HR 1599, and why the Senate should not pass it when the time comes. Whose responsibility is it to label their fish? Should traditional salmon suppliers be forced to certify theirs as non-GMO, which HR 1599 would require, or should the transgenic fish (which has been engineered with eel genes to make it grow three times faster) be labeled as genetically engineered?
The cost and burden for proper identification really belongs with the transgenic species, which has never existed in nature before; not the traditional fish you would expect to purchase when buying a package labeled salmon.
Would GMO Labeling Really Raise Food Prices?
Theres little doubt that the House of Representatives was swayed by false and deceptive propaganda. The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), which was one of the hidden architects of HR 1599, managed to convince many of the representatives that GMO labeling would increase food prices on average by $500 for a family living in New York.8
However, whats so contradictory is that food makers are so nervous about denying their customers transparency that theyre willing to print a QR code on the box instead of the four words: Produced with Genetic Engineering. QR stands for Quick Response, and the code can be scanned and read by smart phones and other QR readers. It provides details about the product and may be linked to a coupon or other marketing ploys.
In a July 16 article for PoliticoPro, Jenny Hopkinson discusses the implementation of company-supported QR apps for your smartphone, noting that the program is being coordinated by the GMA. Hersheys will likely be the first company to try out the QR code, with a wider rollout by the middle of next year.
However, there are still issues to be resolved before the smart-label program can begin. Ingredient names need to be standardized, and adding the QR codes to packaging will take time. Whats not addressed is that it will also, most likely, cost money. As reported by Hopkinson:
The bar code idea is a way of finding that balance, because it creates a process by which a great deal of info can be supplied to a consumer who is interested but it doesnt indicate that there is anything wrong with a product like a label does, (Agriculture Secretary Tom) Vilsack said.
Rep. Collin Peterson, the ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, supports the idea too. Peterson told POLITICO in May that such a system would mean that: [I]f someone wants to know whats in these products they can read it on their smartphone and that solves the problem without cluttering up the label.
Changes to Food Labels Have Never Impacted Price of Food
How can printing a QR code on food packaging be cheaper than adding four words? Wont adding a QR code also increase the cost of food? And why this focus on avoiding the suggestion that there might be something wrong with the food, or that four more words will clutter up the label? The only way to interpret this run-around is that theyre liars trying to hide the facts from their customers.
Their willingness to add QR codes defeats the argument that adding a few words to the label would raise food prices. Theres also no guarantee that companies will actually tell the truth about GMOs on these voluntary online labels, so promises of voluntary transparency through this system should probably be taken with a big grain of salt.
On the whole, it seems their chief aim is to keep the information about GMOs out of direct sight of the consumer. It really is not about the cost of a label. As noted in a Boston Globe Op-Ed by Rep. Jim McGovern (Massachusetts) and Rep. Chellie Pingree (Maine):9
Supporters of the bill (HR 1599) claim that GMO labeling will increase food prices. While plenty of things impact the prices we pay at the grocery store including transportation costs and ingredient costs GMO labeling is not one of them. In study after study, we have seen that a simple GMO disclaimer on food packaging will not increase prices.
Food companies change their labels all the time to make new claims, and all food companies will soon have to change their labels to make important changes to the Nutrition Fact Panel. Adding a few words to the back of the food package about genetic engineering will not have any impact of the cost of making food.
Opponents of updating food labeling made the same bogus arguments when they fought nutrition labeling in the 1980s. Back then, they claimed that disclosing the presence of calories, salt, fat, and sugar would require costly reformulations. But those much more significant changes to foods labels adding the Nutrition Facts Panel and including more information about ingredients didnt change the price of food at all. [Emphasis mine]
GMOs Another Too Big to Fail Enterprise?
In a recent article published in The New York Times,10 Mark Spitznagel, senior economic advisor to Senator and Presidential candidate Rand Paul11,12 (son of the well-known libertarian, Texas congressman, and former Presidential candidate Ron Paul) addresses the inherent risks of promoting GMOs without safeguards.
Before 2007, when the financial crisis began, Spitznagel and co-author Nicholas Taleb, a scientific advisor and professor of risk engineering, warned that the financial system was fragile and unsustainable, contrary to the near ubiquitous analyses at the time. Now the pair is issuing another warning, noting that:
The GMO experiment, carried out in real time and with our entire food and ecological system as its laboratory, is perhaps the greatest case of human hubris ever. It creates yet another systemic, too big to fail enterprise but one for which no bailouts will be possible when it fails.
Back then, Spitznagel and Taleb predicted a collapse of the financial system. Now theyre predicting a collapse of the global ecosystem. In both instances, the same set of false arguments is used to dismiss the call for more prudent action:
1.Critics accuse those concerned about GMOs to be anti-science, and invoke scientific consensus claiming safety and being in favor of forging forward. But, as noted by Spitznagel and Taleb: Had science operated solely by consensus, we would still be stuck in the Middle Ages. According to scientific practice, scientific consensus is used in telling us what theory is wrong; it cannot determine what is right. Nor can it apply to risk management, which requires much greater scrutiny.
The oft-repeated mantra claiming theres a scientific consensus that GMOs are safe is in fact a lie. Scientists have become so concerned about this fallacy having taken root that 300 scientists, researchers, physicians and scholars signed their name to a statement published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Sciences Europe,13 asserting that there is no scientific consensus on the safety of GMOs.
According to this paper, the claim of scientific consensus on GMO safety is in actuality an artificial construct that has been falsely perpetuated. It also states that such a claim is misleading and misrepresents or outright ignores the currently available scientific evidence and the broad diversity of scientific opinions among scientists on this issue.
2.The salvation through technology argument. In fact, only a small minority of technologies end up sticking; most fail because of some flaw identified over time, they note. The technological salvation argument we faced in finance is also present with GMOs, which are intended to save children by providing them with vitamin-enriched rice. The arguments flaw is obvious: in a complex system, we do not know the causal chain, and it is better to solve a problem by the simplest method, and one that is unlikely to cause a bigger problem.
3.The no-reward-without-risk argument. According to Spitznagel and Taleb: We were told that had ideas such as ours prevailed in the past, they would have hindered risk-taking. Yet, the first rule of risk-taking is to not cross the street blindfolded.
4.Relying on primitive risk models. What is most worrisome, is that the risk of GMOs are more severe than those of finance. They can lead to complex chains of unpredictable changes in the ecosystem, while the methods of risk management with GMOs unlike finance, where some effort was made are not even primitive.
5.Relying on prediction models without taking into account or preparing for prediction errors
GMOs Are Less Safe Than Conventional Foods by Design
The claim that GE foods are materially comparable to conventional foods, and therefore inherently safe, falls flat when you consider that GE crops are designed to be different. Among crops, two primary GE modifications have taken place: so-called Roundup Ready crops are designed to withstand the herbicide Roundup, which would normally threaten the survival of the crop if sprayed too liberally.
Another example of these kinds of herbicide-resistant crops include Dow Chemicals Enlist Duo 2,4-D and glyphosate resistant corn and soy. Other GE crops are designed to produce their own internal pesticide; these are the so-called Bt-crops.
With the advent of Roundup Ready crops, use of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, has significantly risen, with about one billion pounds being sprayed on crops each year. GE crops are far more contaminated with glyphosate than conventional crops, courtesy of their inherent design, and this fact alone blows a massive hole in the safety claim.
Glyphosate was recently classified as a Class 2A probable human carcinogen by the World Health Organizations (WHO) research arm on cancer, and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) admits foods are not tested for glyphosate residues due to the high expense of doing so.14 So, GE corn, soy, cottonseed, and sugar beets are known to contain higher levels of a probable carcinogen, which the government does not test for, andthat in and of itself is cause for labeling GMOs not hiding it on some website that you can only get to by scanning a QR code and hoping the company is completely transparent in its reporting.
We Only Have a Limited Time to Set Our Senators Straight
Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan) introduced a bill that would preempt states' rights to enact GMO labeling laws. It would specifically prohibit Congress or individual states from requiring mandatory labeling of GMO foods or ingredients. It would also allow food manufacturers to use the word "natural" on products that contain GMOs.
Unfortunately, the bill has been passed in the House and now heads to the Senate. There needs to be an extra push to put an end to the absurdity. It's imperative you contact your senators today urging them to not support HR 1599. Tell them this bill is an attack on consumer rights and states' rights, and you expect your elected officials to protect you.
You can find your senators' contact information by clicking the button below, or by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. To set up an in-person meeting with your senators, contact their district office.
It's really imperative to concentrate our efforts on our
senators right now, and to inform them accurately. They're
being deceived by industry lobbyists, and this is our last
chance to preserve our right to know what is in our
According to a recent paper by South Dakota State University researchers, grasslands in the Western corn belt is being converted to grow corn and soy at a rate "comparable to deforestation rates in Brazil, Malaysia, and Indonesia
This trend may have a significant impact on global climate change, and subsequently, our ability to secure our food supply long-term. According to another research paper, converting sections of Midwestern corn fields into pasture for cows could reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture by as much as 36 percent
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently released a report titled: "Climate Change and Agriculture in the United States." According to the report, our current agricultural system, which is dominated by corn and soy, is unsustainable in the long term. Should temperatures rise as predicted, the US could expect to see significant declines in yields by the middle of this century
By Dr. Mercola
Corn and soymuch of which are genetically engineeredare rapidly overtaking native grasslands in a number of US states. This is a trend that may have a not-so-insignificant impact on our environment and subsequently, our ability to secure our food supply long-term.
As discussed in a recent Mother Jones article,1 this conversion of grasslands to crop fields is the exact opposite of what might be in our best interest.
...we should push Midwestern farmers to switch a chunk of their corn land into pasture for cows, the featured article states.
The idea came from a paper2 by University of Tennessee and Bard College researchers, who calculated that such a move could suck up massive amounts of carbon in soilenough to reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture by 36 percent.
In addition to the CO2 reductions, you'd also get a bunch of high-quality, grass-fed beef... Turns out the Midwest are doing just the opposite.
Federal Policy Worsens Environmental Concerns
According to a recently published paper3 by South Dakota State University researchers, grasslands in the Western corn belt, which includes North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska, is being lost at a rate "comparable to deforestation rates in Brazil, Malaysia, and Indonesia."
Between 2006 and 2011, nearly 2 million acres of friendly native grasses have been lost to corn and soytwo of the staples in processed foods that are driving chronic disease rates in an ever steepening upward incline. The same thing is happening in South America, where native forests are leveled in order to plant soy.
The researchers claim the land being converted into corn and soy fields is actually much better suited for grazing than crop agriculture, as it is characterized by high erosion risk and vulnerability to drought." So why would farmers opt to use such risky land for their crops?
According to the featured article:
Simple: Federal policy has made it a high-reward, tiny-risk proposition. Prices for corn and soy doubled in real terms between 2006 and 2011, the authors note, driven up by federal corn-ethanol mandates and relentless Wall Street speculation.
Then there's federally subsidized crop insurance, the authors add. When farmers manage to tease a decent crop out of their marginal land, they're rewarded with high prices for their crop. But if the crop fails, subsidized insurance guarantees a decent return.
Essentially, federal farm policy, through the ethanol mandate and the insurance program, is underwriting the expansion of corn and soy agriculture at precisely the time it should be shrinking.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently released a report titled: "Climate Change and Agriculture in the United States." According to the report, our current agricultural system, which is dominated by corn and soy, is unsustainable in the long term. Should temperatures rise as predicted, the US could expect to see significant declines in yields.
Unfortunately, the USDA failed to analyze how reliance on monoculture might heighten our vulnerability to devastating crop loss. As a general rule though, the more crop diversity you have, the greater your food security, as different crops are affected differently. Our dependence on two primary crops is a recipe for disaster.
MonocultureA Tremendous Threat to Global Food Security
The "faster, bigger, cheaper" approach to food is slowly draining dry our planet's resources and compromising your health. The Earth's soil is depleting at more than 13 percent the rate it can be replaced, and weve already lost 75 percent of the world's crop varieties over the last century.
In the words of Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and a number of other bestsellers: "Mother Nature destroys monocultures." What is a monoculture? Monoculture (or monocropping) is defined as the high-yield agricultural practice of growing a single crop year after year on the same land, in the absence of rotation through other crops. Corn, soybeans, wheat, and to some degree rice, are the most common crops grown with monocropping techniques. In fact, corn, wheat and rice now account for 60 percent of human caloric intake, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.4 According to an article on GreenFudge.org, monoculture is detrimental to the environment for a number of reasons, including the following:
By contrast, polyculture (the traditional rotation of crops and livestock) better serves both land and people. Polyculture evolved to meet the complete nutritional needs of a local community. Polyculture, when done mindfully, automatically replenishes what is taken out, which makes it sustainable with minimal effort. Unfortunately, government subsidies and fervent lobbying to favor patented seeds drive the monoculture train; the goal of which is to maximize profits as quickly and for as long as possible... At stake is our entire food supply, not to mention farmers who dont want to use patented seed.
Monsanto: Why We Sue Farmers Who Save Seeds
In a recent article in CropLife,5 Monsanto provides the justification they use to explain why they are forced to protect their innovation.
Patents are necessary to ensure that Monsanto is paid for its products and all the investments it puts into developing products. This is one of the basic reasons for patents. A more important reason is to help foster innovation. Without the protection of patents there would be little incentive for privately-owned companies to pursue and re-invest in innovation. Monsanto invests more than $2.6 million per day in research and development that ultimately benefits farmers and consumers. Without the protection of patents, this would not be possible, the article reads.
Contrary to the law of nature, when you purchase patented seed, such as those sold by Monsanto, you have to sign an agreement confirming you will not save and replant seeds produced from the seed you buy. This means you have to repurchase new seed from them each season, opposed to the ancient practice of saving seed from one seasons harvest to plant the next. However, patented crops dont know theyre not supposed to spread like natural ones... Farms can easily become contaminated by wind- or insect-carried pollen from GE fields, thereby opening farmers up to patent infringement lawsuits.
Monsanto has aggressively waged war against farmers whose only crime was to grow crops out in the open... According to a report6 by the Center for Food Safety (CFS), Monsanto had, as of December 2012, filed 142 patent infringement lawsuits against 410 farmers and 56 small businesses in more than 27 states. All in all, Monsanto has been awarded a staggering $23 million from their mafia tactics so far.7
According to Monsanto, only nine cases have gone through full trial, and in each of those cases, the jury or court decided in Monsanto's favor. Im sure it helps to have some of the most high-paid legal firms in the country representing them, and also to have insiders in the halls of justice... Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas,8 appointed to the Supreme Court in 1991, is in fact a former Monsanto attorney. And he has yet to rule against his former employer.
Monsanto vs. Bowman
Not all cases are related to contamination however. On February 19, the US Supreme Court began hearing the appeal of 75-year old Indiana soybean farmer Vernon Bowman, in which he disputes Monsanto's claim that his farm used the patented seeds without authorization. The central issue in this case is the extent that a patent holder can control its use through multiple generations of seed.9 According to a recent press release:10
Farmer Bowman legally purchased seeds at a grain elevator, which bought them from farmers who had, with Monsanto's authorization, used the genetically modified Monsanto seeds to grow their soybean crops. Monsanto claims that Mr. Bowman infringed its patents on herbicide-resistant plants and seeds by using the grain elevator seeds to grow his soybean crops. Mr. Bowman asserts that Monsanto's sales of the original seeds to authorized purchasers exhausted Monsanto's patent rights and therefore Monsanto cannot enforce its patents against second-generation and later seeds that resulted from planting the original seeds.
So far, none of the Justices have been impressed with Bowmans appeal. In fact, just seconds into Bowmans attorneys opening arguments, Chief Justice Roberts interrupted him by asking why anyone would ever patent anything if Bowman were to prevail? And just moments after that, Justice Breyer openly stated that Bowman had infringed on Monsantos patent, as if the case was already decided. In a summary of the case, patent attorney and founder of IPWatchdog, Gene Quinn, writes:11
Justice Breyer, harkening back to the words of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, said: 'There are three generations of seeds. Maybe three generations of seeds is enough.' Justice Breyer acknowledged that it was a bad joke. Certainly a politically incorrect joke. The 'joke' referred to Holmes 1927 decision in Buck v. Bell,12 which was a case of forced sterilization. Holmes concluded in that case: 'Three generations of imbeciles are enough.'
Indeed, making light of the governments right to sterilize mentally handicapped people is not just a bad joke, its a sick one when you consider that the case in question (Buck vs Bell) basically concluded that its okay for the federal government to sterilize whomever they wantprimarily those they consider 'imbeciles.' In Buck vs Bell, Holmes made the case that so long as government can force vaccination, it can force sterilization. If they can force medical procedures on your body, what rights do you really have? Now they are establishing that corporations have a right to patent not just one life, but the future generations as well
We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, in order to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind.
The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes... Three generations of imbeciles are enough.
But, it is said, however it might be if this reasoning were applied generally, it fails when it is confined to the small number who are in the institutions named and is not applied to the multitudes outside. It is the usual last resort of constitutional arguments to point out shortcomings of this sort. But the answer is that the law does all that is needed when it does all that it can, indicates a policy, applies it to all within the lines, and seeks to bring within the lines all similarly situated so far and so fast as its means allow. Of course so far as the operations enable those who otherwise must be kept confined to be returned to the world, and thus open the asylum to others, the equality aimed at will be more nearly reached.
Jokes aside about governments rights to do with life as it pleases, the Court appears sold on protecting patent rights for seeds through multiple generations. The judges' decision will come by the end of June 2013. My guess is the Supreme Court only took this case to clearly protect the future of genetic engineering, and the rights to their products and of future generations. Justice Breyer and Justice Holmes appear to have a lot in common, and Americans can expect another moral injustice to our laws.
Keep Fighting for Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods
While California Prop. 37 failed to pass last November, by a very narrow margin, the fight for GMO labeling is far from over. The field-of-play has now moved to the state of Washington, where the people's initiative 522, "The People's Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act," will require food sold in retail outlets to be labeled if it contains genetically engineered ingredients. As stated on LabelitWA.org:
"Calorie and nutritional information were not always required on food labels. But since 1990 it has been required and most consumers use this information every day. Country-of-origin labeling wasn't required until 2002. The trans fat content of foods didn't have to be labeled until 2006. Now, all of these labeling requirements are accepted as important for consumers. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also says we must know with labeling if our orange juice is from fresh oranges or frozen concentrate.
Doesn't it make sense that genetically engineered foods containing experimental viral, bacterial, insect, plant or animal genes should be labeled, too? Genetically engineered foods do not have to be tested for safety before entering the market. No long-term human feeding studies have been done. The research we have is raising serious questions about the impact to human health and the environment.
I-522 provides the transparency people deserve. I-522 will not raise costs to consumers or food producers. It simply would add more information to food labels, which manufacturers change routinely anyway, all the time. I-522 does not impose any significant cost on our state. It does not require the state to conduct label surveillance, or to initiate or pursue enforcement. The state may choose to do so, as a policy choice, but I-522 was written to avoid raising costs to the state or consumers."
Remember, as with CA Prop. 37, they need support of people like YOU to succeed. Prop. 37 failed with a very narrow margin simply because we didn't have the funds to counter the massive ad campaigns created by the No on 37 camp, led by Monsanto and other major food companies. Let's not allow Monsanto and its allies to confuse and mislead the people of Washington and Vermont as they did in California. So please, I urge you to get involved and help in any way you can, regardless of what state you live in.
Jeffrey Smith, featured in the video above, is 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 (genetically modified organisms) to rid them from our food supply. In this short but important video, he points out some of the most glaring problems with scientific research, and that is the discrepancies you get depending on the source of the funding.
Dr. Mercola Recommends...
Every "Like" Helps Support This CauseIn terms of reliability, there's a big difference between:
As Smith points out, Monsanto, one of the primary players in the field of genetically modified (GM) foods, wants you to simply trust them because they're "experts" and their studies "prove" their GM foods are safe. But these same experts also told you PCB's, Agent Orange, and DDT was safe, and we now know those claims were far from accurate.
Why Profit-Motivated Research Cannot Be Trusted
I've previously written several articles detailing the various methods employed to create desired, but false or misleading, outcomes in scientific studies. Such tactics include using:
In the video, Smith gives some excellent examples of how Monsanto twisted their science to fit their own needs. For example, to "prove" that pasteurization destroys the bovine growth hormone (rBGH) left in milk from treated cows, their scientists pasteurized the milk 120 times longer than normal. Clearly, the results from that experiment in no way relates to the pasteurized milk sold on the market
Simply withholding negative results is another common tactic.
Last year, I interviewed Shiv Chopra on this topic. Chopra is a former drug company insider and also worked for what is now Health Canada; the Canadian equivalent of the FDA. While producing a department ordered report on rBGH in 1997, called the Gaps Analysis Report, his team discovered that the trial data he'd requested from Monsanto nine years earlier had in fact been produced, but he had for some reason never been granted access to it, even though he was tasked with approving rBGH for use in Canada.
That research, performed by Monsanto, confirmed his fears, showing rBGH increased insulin-like growth factor in rats, increased thyroid activity, and produced ill effects in the testes.
Similarly, when Monsanto wanted to prove that their GM soy was substantially equivalent to non-GM soy, they left key data out of their study that showed the GM soy contained more than seven times the normal amount of a known allergen.
And, when they wanted to introduce their genetically modified high lysine corn, Monsanto claimed that has a history of safe use in the food industry because it's a naturally occurring protein in soil, and that therefore it will not pose a threat to health. However, an independent scientist decided to double check these facts and what he discovered was rather shocking. Based on the amount of lysine the average American would get from eating this high lysine corn, you'd have to consume 22,000 pounds of soil, every second, 24 hours a day, to get the same amount of lysine in your diet.
Talk about misleading!
Yet, they got away with it.
The Health Dangers of GM Soy and Corn
Genetically modified soy and corn are two of the most prevalent GM foods in the US food supply, and both have been linked to potentially serious health effects.
For example, one 2009 Brazilian study discovered that female rats fed GM soy for 15 months showed significant changes in their uterus and reproductive cycle, compared to rats fed organic soy or those raised without soy. This finding adds to a mounting body of evidence suggesting that GM foods can contribute to a number of reproductive disorders, including:
Another disturbing study performed by Irina Ermakova with the Russian National Academy of Sciences, reported that more than half the babies from mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks, while the death rate in the non-GM soy group was only 10 percent. Additionally, the babies in the GM group were smaller, and, worst of all, could not reproduce. In a telling coincidence, after Ermakova's feeding trials were completed, her laboratory started feeding all the rats in the facility a commercial rat chow using GM soy. Within two months, the infant mortality facility-wide reached 55 percent...
Unfortunately, you have no way of knowing whether the soy you're eating is genetically modified or not, because GM foods do not have to be labeled as such in the US. However, when you consider that 94 percent of all soy grown in the United States is genetically modified in one way or another, you can be virtually guaranteed that if a food product contains soy, it's probably genetically modified, unless it's labeled "100% USDA Organic."
The identical problem exists with GM corn, which accounts for about 88 percent of all corn grown in the United States. The safety of GM corn recently came under scrutiny again when a study published earlier this year discovered that Bt toxin, which is present in many GM crops, is now showing up in human blood!
Bt toxin makes crops toxic to pests, but industry has claimed that the toxin poses no danger to the environment or human health because the protein breaks down in the human gut. Alas, the presence of the toxin in human blood is evidence that this is yet another false assertion that doesn't hold up under closer scrutiny...The GM insecticide toxin is also showing up in fetal blood, which means it could have an impact on future generations, which is exactly what safety advocates like Smith have been warning about.
Your Health Depends on Your Food Choices
Hopefully, this information will cause you to think a little deeper about the process of the scientific model in general, and how to evaluate scientific evidence in particular. It's quite clear that in order to get closer to the truth, you need to look at independent studies done by independent scientists that aren't trying to prove a predetermined point of view, and aren't financially motivated to uphold any particular corporate claim of safety or efficacy.
Additionally, this information further highlights the need to carefully consider the foods you buy.
There's no doubt in my mind that if you want to maintain good health, you simply must educate yourself about how the foods you eat are produced. When you compare unadulterated, organic foods to conventional processed foods (many, if not most, of which contain GM ingredients), there's simply no question that one is real food, and the other is anything but!
Yes, you may spend more money on organic food today, but your payoff of good health should more than make up for it and reduce your health care costs in the future.
I recently found a helpful aid, which shows that feeding your family organic food doesn't have to cost a fortune. The web site, 100 Days of Real food , offers a free 'real food meal plan' (for summer), using typical in-season organic foods. The meal plan includes both shopping lists and recipes for three square meals a day for an entire week for a family of four.
The estimated cost? About $167 per week.
To help you find organically-grown, wholesome food in your area, check out these helpful resources:
1. Alternative Farming Systems Information Center , Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
2. Local Harvest - This Web site will help you find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies.
3. USDA Farmer's Markets database
4. Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals -- The Eat Well Guide is a free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns, and hotels, and online outlets in the United States and Canada.
5. Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) -- CISA is dedicated to sustaining agriculture and promoting the products of small farms.
6. FoodRoutes -- The FoodRoutes "Find Good Food" map can help you connect with local farmers to find the freshest, tastiest food possible. On their interactive map, you can find a listing for local farmers, CSA's, and markets near you.
How You Can Help Others to Avoid GMO Foods
Since the US government prevents the labeling of GM foods, it's imperative to educate yourself on what they are, and to help spread awareness.
First and foremost, avoid most processed foods, unless it's labeled USDA 100% Organic. You can also avoid GM foods that are not found in processed foods, if you know what to look for. There are currently eight genetically modified food crops on the market:
Sugar from sugar beets
Cottonseed (used in vegetable cooking oils)
Some varieties of zucchini
Canola (canola oil)
The free Non-GMO Shopping Guide is a great resource to help you determine which food brands and processed food products are GM-free. Print it out for yourself, and share it with everyone you know. If you feel more ambitious you can order the Non-GMO Shopping Tips brochure in bulk, and bring them to the grocery stores in your area. Talk to the owner or manager and get permission to post them in their store.
At this point, there's really no shortage of excellent information on the hazards of genetically modified foods. I highly recommend Jeffrey Smith's books, Seeds of Deception, and Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, which provide overwhelming evidence that GM foods are unsafe and should never have been introduced in the first place.
Additionally, there are a number of films and videos available for viewing, including:
Your Action Plan
To recap and add a few more suggestions for how you can get involved during this GM Awareness week, here is a list of Action Item for you to pick and choose from:
You can also order the Non-GMO Shopping Tips brochure in bulk and give it to your family and friends.
The Latest News on GM
Genetically Engineered Rice is a Trojan Horse: Misled by Bill Gates and Monsanto Study Found Toxin from GM Crops is Showing up in Human Blood
Why Did Officials Approve this Toxic Corn Chip that Creates a Pesticide Factory in Your Gut?
This company has single-handedly created some of the most destructive products known to man, including polychlorinated biphenyls, known as PCBs, and dioxin (Agent Orange). They are also the world leader in genetically modified (GM) seeds -- and if we don't take action soon, the entire planet could soon become contaminated with these toxic seeds, leading to the complete destruction of the natural food supply.
United States Chooses to Ignore the Precautionary Principle, Embrace Monsanto's GM Foods
Dr. Philip Bereano has spent the last three decades looking into genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in foods, crops, animals, and humansboth nationally, here in the United States, and internationally. His work led him to participate in the negotiation of two international treaties under the United Nations that dealt with issues relating to GMOs.
"First of all, we need to understand what we mean by the word safe. Actually, in terms of the academic literature, "safe" refers to "an acceptable level of risk." It doesn't refer to situations where there is no risk. Most of us drive in cars all the time and consider it to be safe even though we know that people are killed and injured in automobiles frequently. We have to understand that safe equals acceptable risk.
The problem with calling genetically engineered organisms safe is that there are no valid risk assessments being done on them. There is no research, really, being done into the health or environmental effects of a genetically engineered organism. Certainly no work that is published in the open peer-reviewed literature, or that isn't proprietary. Corporations promoting these things claim that they have done research, but you can't get any information on it because it's all claimed to be proprietary.
Under what is known now as the precautionary principlewhich is what your grandparents used to teach you about "looking before you leap"the only prudent course of action is to NOT proceed with something which has potential risks and only potential benefits until you know a little bit more about it."
The United States is one country, however, that has fully embraced GM foods on a regulatory level, and does not appear to have any intentions of following the precautionary principle. GM corn, soybeans, canola, and sugar beets have made their way into approximately 80 percent of current U.S. processed grocery store items, now that up to 90 percent of several U.S.grown crops are grown with genetically engineered seed.
So if you live in the United States, you have most certainly already been exposed to GM foods -- most likely a lot of them.
Meanwhile, GM seeds are banned in Hungary, as they are in several other European countries, such as Germany and Ireland. These countries have chosen NOT to allow their land to be used as a testing ground in a massive uncontrollable experiment, which is essentially what the introduction of GM crops is.
Not surprisingly, according to information from Wikileaks, there are also indications that the U.S. State Department has been active in defending Monsanto in other countries, particularly in response to the French documentary, "The World According to Monsanto," which condemned Monsanto's criminal behavior.
Do You Know the Risks of GMOs?
GM foods are, from my perception, one of the most significant threats that we have against the very sustainability of the human race. Why? In a nutshell, these toxins are being linked to a growing repertoire of assaults against human health and the environment and they are already migrating into fetal blood, which means future generations are now at risk.
Some GM crops, such as GM sugar beets and certain varieties of GM corn and soy, are engineered to withstand otherwise lethal doses of Monsanto's herbicide Roundup. Other GM crops, such as Bt corn, are designed to produce their own pesticide internally.
Earlier this year, Cry1Ab, a specific type of Bt toxin from GM crops, has for the first time been detected in human and fetal blood samples. It appears the toxin is quite prevalent, as upon testing 69 pregnant and non-pregnant women who were eating a typical Canadian diet (which included foods such as GM soy, corn and potatoes), researchers found Bt toxin in:
According to Jeffrey Smith:
"There's already plenty of evidence that the Bt-toxin produced in GM corn and cotton plants is toxic to humans and mammals and triggers immune system responses. The fact that it flows through our blood supply, and that is passes through the placenta into fetuses, may help explain the rise in many disorders in the US since Bt crop varieties were first introduced in 1996.
In government-sponsored research in Italy, mice fed Monsanto's Bt corn showed a wide range of immune responses. Their elevated IgE and IgG antibodies, for example, are typically associated with allergies and infections. The mice had an increase in cytokines, which are associated with "allergic and inflammatory responses."
As you may know, chronic inflammation is at the root of many increasingly common diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. Food allergies are also skyrocketing, as is infertility, which could also be a potential side effect of GM foods, based on results from animal studies. Monsanto insists that GM foods are no different from conventionally grown varieties, but the research does NOT support this claim. Here is just a sampling of the unsavory findings associated with GM foods:
GM pea protein caused lung damage in mice
GM pea protein caused lung damage in mice
GM potatoes may cause cancer in rats
Male mice fed GM soy had damaged young sperm cells
Bacteria in your gut can take up DNA from GM food
The embryo offspring of GM soy-fed mice had altered DNA functioning
GM foods lead to significant organ disruptions in rats and mice, specifically the kidney, liver, heart and spleen
Several US farmers reported sterility or fertility problems among pigs and cows fed on GM corn varieties
Bt corn caused a wide variety of immune responses in mice, commonly associated with diseases such as arthritis, Lou Gehrig's disease, osteoporosis, and inflammatory bowel disease
Investigators in India have documented fertility problems, abortions, premature births, and other serious health issues, including deaths, among buffaloes fed GM cottonseed products
Have You Heard of rBGH?
You may be aware that many corn and soy crops in the United States are GM, but it may surprise you to learn that a significant portion of U.S. milk is actually genetically engineered, again thanks to Monsanto. This milk, and the ice cream, cheese, and myriad of other dairy products made from it, contains genetically engineered bovine growth hormone, or rBGH.
U.S. milk producers treat their dairy cattle with rBGH because it boosts milk production. But this artificial growth hormone also increases udder infections in cows, leading to pus in the milk along with excessive use of antibiotics in the cows, which is triggering the creation of antibiotic-resistant superbugs and leaving residues of antibiotics in your dairy. Worse still, milk treated with rBGH also contains higher levels of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), a hormone linked to breast, prostate and colon cancers in humans.
Monsanto's Environmental Damage Continues
First came Agent Orange and PCBs, and now we have glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's nonselective broad-spectrum herbicide Roundup. Massive acreage of soybeans, cotton, and corn grown in the United States contain the GM Roundup Ready gene -- and all of these crops receive numerous applications of Roundup each and every year.
But Roundup is proving to be no match for Mother Nature. 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. In fact, its getting progressively worse. Extremely hardy Roundup-resistant weeds are already boosting costs and cutting crop yields for U.S. farmers. And with world food stores already strained, diminished crop production is a serious problem.
According to an article in Scientific American:
An estimated 11 million acres are infested with "super weeds," some of which grow several inches in a day and defy even multiple dousings of the world's top-selling herbicide, Roundup... The problem's gradual emergence has masked its growing menace.
Now, however, it is becoming too big to ignore.
... "I'm convinced that this is a big problem," said Dave Mortensen, professor of weed and applied plant ecology at Penn State University, who has been helping lobby members of Congress about the implications of weed resistance. "Most of the public doesn't know because the industry is calling the shots on how this should be spun," Mortensen said.
But the environmental impact doesnt end with the emergence of superweeds threatening our crops. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is also contaminating our soils and waterways, posing great risk to plant- and wildlife. A couple of years ago, a French court found Monsanto guilty of falsely advertising its herbicide as "biodegradable," "environmentally friendly" and claiming it "left the soil clean." The truth is that Roundup is anything BUT environmentally friendly. Monsanto's own tests showed that only two percent of the herbicide broke down after 28 days, which means it readily persists in the environment! This chemical is now showing up in air and rain samples across the United States.
Further, researchers have linked glyphosate to Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS), a serious plant disease, in many fields around the world. Numerous studies have shown that glyphosate is contributing not only to the huge increase in SDS, but also to the outbreak of some 40 different plant and crop diseases! It weakens plants and promotes disease in a number of ways, including:
The herbicide doesn't destroy plants directly; instead, it creates a unique "perfect storm" of conditions that activatesdisease-causing organisms in the soil, while at the same time wiping out plant defenses against those diseases. So the glyphosate not only weakens plants, it actually changes the makeup of the soil and boosts the number of disease-causing organisms, which is becoming a deadly recipe for crops around the globe.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finally looking into the damaging effects of glyphosate on humans and the environment and plans to make a decision regarding its future by 2015. At that time, Roundup could either continue to be used as it is now, be required to have some modifications to its use or be banned from use entirely in the United States.
Monsanto Forces Farmers to Buy New Seeds Every Year
One of Monsanto's biggest assaults to your food supply is what's known as terminator technologywhich they hope to deploy soon. These are seeds that have been genetically modified to "self-destruct." In other words, the seeds (and the forthcoming crops) are sterile, which means farmers must buy them again each year.
The implications that terminator seeds could have on the world's food supply are disastrous: the traits from genetically engineered crops can get passed on to other crops. Once the terminator seeds are released into a region, the trait of seed sterility could be passed to other non-genetically-engineered crops, making most or all of the seeds in the region sterile.
If allowed to continue, every farmer in the world could come to rely on Monsanto for their seed supply!
As TakePart.com reported:
"By peddling suicide seeds, the biotechnology multinationals will lock the world's poorest farmers into a new form of genetic serfdom," says Emma Must of the World Development Movement. "Currently 80 percent of crops in developing countries are grown using farm-saved seed Being unable to save seeds from sterile crops could mean the difference between surviving and going under.""
Monsanto's History of Deception and Drive for Power
There's a reason why Monsanto has sponsored attractions with Disney they need to do all they can to maintain a positive corporate image. But even a cursory look beneath the surface reveals why Monsanto is top on my hit list of evil corporations.
How Can You Fight Back Against Monsanto's Corruption?
By boycotting all GM foods and instead supporting organic (and local) farmers who do not use Monsanto's GM seeds, you are using your wallet to make your opinions known. This means abstaining from virtually all processed food products (most are loaded with GM ingredients) and sticking to fresh, locally grown, organic foodstuffs instead.
There are currently eight genetically modified food crops on the market. In addition, GM alfalfa is now approved for use as animal feed.
Sugar from sugar beets
Cottonseed (used in vegetable cooking oils)
Some varieties of zucchini
Canola (canola oil)
Your Action Plan
The simplest way to avoid GM foods is to buy whole, certified organic foods. By definition, foods that are certified organic must never intentionally use GM organisms, produced without artificial pesticides and fertilizers and from an animal reared without the routine use of antibiotics, growth promoters or other drugs. Additionally, grass-fed beef will not have been fed GM corn feed.
You can also look for foods that are "non-GMO verified" by the Non-GMO Project.
Fortunately, we now have a practical plan to end this disaster. By educating the public about the risks of GM foods through a massive education campaign, and launching a ballot initiative in California for 2012, which will require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods and food ingredients, our plan is to generate a tipping point of consumer rejection to make GMOs a thing of the past. Several organizations, including Mercola.com, the Organic Consumers Association, the Institute for Responsible Technology, and even the Environmental Working Group (who produced the Dining in the Dark video above) are getting actively involved. But we do need your help.
Heres how you can get involved during this GM Awareness week:
Source: TakePart.com News & Blogs August 12, 2011
Source: Scientific American September 19, 2011
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