As ME/CFS is a neuro-immune disorder with altered gene expression, it's important to learn that these foods need to be avoided to avoid exacerbation of symptoms.
- A recent science-based investigation into the claims of genetically engineered foods concludes that the scientific evidence does not support the safety and efficacy claims made
- There are three potential sources of adverse health effects from genetically engineered foods: the genetically modified (GM) gene product (for example, the Bt toxin in crops that generate its own internal insecticide); the genetic transformation process; and changes in farming practices
- Results of genetically engineering crops include toxicity, increased allergenic potential, mutagenic effects, alterations in biological structure and function, reduced nutritional value, increased toxic residues
- Russian scientists recently announced evidence of “very serious health risks for animals given genetically modified feed.” A number of pathological changes were discovered, including a delay in development and growth; a distortion of the sex ratio in the offspring; and a progressive reduction in the number of offspring up to complete infertility by the third generation of offspring fed genetically engineered feed
The Lies You’re Told about Genetically Engineered Foods
July 03 2012
By Dr. Mercola
The Atlantic recently reported on the findings of new research into the claims made for the safety and efficacy of genetically engineered foods.
The authors of the report GMO Myths and Truths took a science-based approach to evaluating the available research, and came to the conclusion that most of the scientific evidence regarding safety and increase yield potential do not support the claims made at all. In fact, the evidence demonstrates that the claims for genetically engineered foods are not just wildly overblown; they simply aren't true...
The featured article summarizes the evidence presented, which shows that genetically engineered (GE) crops:
The authors of this critical report include Michael Antoniou, PhD, who heads the Gene Expression and Therapy Group at King's College at London School of Medicine in the UK. He's a 28-year veteran of genetic engineering technology who has himself invented a number of gene expression biotechnologies; as well as John Fagan, PhD, a leading authority on food sustainability, biosafety, and GMO testing.
- Are laboratory-made, using technology that is totally different from natural breeding methods, and pose different risks from non-GE crops
- Can be toxic, allergenic or less nutritious than their natural counterparts
- Are not adequately regulated to ensure safety
- Do not increase yield potential
- Do not reduce pesticide use but increase it
- Create serious problems for farmers, including herbicide-tolerant "superweeds", compromised soil quality, and increased disease susceptibility in crops
- Have mixed economic effects
- Harm soil quality, disrupt ecosystems, and reduce biodiversity
- Do not offer effective solutions to climate change
- Are as energy-hungry as any other chemically-farmed crops
- Cannot solve the problem of world hunger but distract from its real causes - poverty, lack of access to food and, increasingly, lack of access to land to grow it on
If you want to get an in-depth understanding of genetically engineered foods, I highly recommend reading their report, which covers the ins-and-outs of genetic engineering and the disturbing findings of a large number of scientific studies.
Three Sources of Adverse Health Effects from Genetically Engineered Foods
According to their reportiv, there are three potential sources of adverse health effects from genetically engineered foods:
I've already written quite extensively on all three of these. You can locate all previous articles written on genetically engineered foods on my dedicated GMO page. To give you an example of these adverse health effects, when Monsanto's genetically engineered Bt corn was approved, Monsanto and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assured everyone that only insects would be hurt by the Bt toxin produced by these plants. The Bt-toxin, they claimed, would be completely destroyed in the human digestive system and would not have any impact at all.
- The genetically modified (GM) gene product – for example, the Bt toxin in GM insecticidal crops – may be toxic or allergenic
- The GM transformation process may produce mutagenic effects, gene regulatory effects, or effects at other levels of biological structure and function that result in new toxins or allergens and/or disturbed nutritional value
- Changes in farming practices linked to the use of a genetically modified organism (GMO) may result in toxic residues – for example, higher levels of crop contamination with the herbicide Roundup are an inevitable result of using GM Roundup Ready® crops
They were proven wrong when doctors at Sherbrooke University Hospital in Quebec found the toxin circulating in the blood stream of pregnant women and their babies, as well as in non-pregnant womenv. Shockingly, the toxin was identified in 93 percent of pregnant women, 80 percent of umbilical blood in their babies, and 67 percent of non-pregnant women tested.
The Bt crop varieties were first introduced to the market in 1996, and since then, many of the disorders that have subsequently been linked to Bt crops have risen exponentially. The fact that the toxin is flowing through our blood supply and passes through the placenta is a potent indicator that the Bt crop varieties cannot be considered harmless at all. For example, government-sponsored research in Italyvi showed a wide range of immune responses in mice fed Monsanto's Bt corn. The specific cytokines (interleukins) that were elevated are also found to be higher in humans who suffer from a wide range of disorders as indicated in the following chart.
IL-6 - Rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, various types of cancer (multiple myeloma and prostate cancer)
IL-13 - Allergy, allergic rhinitis, ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease)
MIP-1b - Autoimmune disease and colitis.
IL-12p70 - Inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis
Syngenta Charged for Covering up Livestock Deaths from GE Corn
Over the years, genetically engineered crops have proven disastrous for animals, although the conventional media has done a remarkable job of keeping such details from the public. Most recently, the Swiss biotech company Syngenta had criminal charges filed against it by a German farmer. Sixty-five of his cows died after he fed them Syngenta's genetically modified Bt corn. He alleges the company not only knew the corn could be lethal to livestock, but was also covering up deaths that occurred during clinical trials.
According to a recent press release by GM Watchvii, the lawsuit asserts that Syngenta committed a grave criminal offense by deliberately withholding the results of a feeding trial in which four cows died in two days. The deaths prompted the company to halt the test. No health problems or deaths were reported in the control group, which was not fed the genetically engineered Bt 176 corn.
Other health ramifications from the Bt 176 corn have also been found. In April 2004, Spain banned Syngenta's Bt 176 corn on the grounds that it may confer resistance to the antibiotic ampicillinviii. As of December that same year, the EU decided to prohibit genetically engineered crops with antibiotic resistance genes, and cultivation of Bt 176 crops were subsequently discontinued in the EU in 2007. However, similar varieties, such as Bt 11 sweet cornix are still cultivated for both animal and human consumption...
The Health Effects of GE Feed on Livestock
As reported by Institute of Science in Societyx, mysterious animal deaths are not limited to Syngenta's Bt 176 corn. Thousands of livestock deaths have been reported across India as a result of grazing on genetically engineered Bt cotton, for example.
"Shepherds' own observations and post-mortem analysis carried out in the laboratory revealed abnormal liver, enlarged bile ducts and black patches in the intestine. The shepherds said that the sheep became "dull/depressed" after 2-3 days of grazing, started coughing with nasal discharge and developed red lesions in the mouth, became bloated and suffered blackish diarrhea, and sometimes passed red urine.
Death occurred within 5-7 days of grazing. Sheep from young lambs to adults of 1.5-2 years were affected.
One shepherd reported getting diarrhea from eating the meat of an affected sheep. The vets declared that the toxicity could be due to the Bt toxin but this could not be proven as results were confounded by additional pesticides used on the fields. The shepherds were however, advised against letting the sheep graze on any more Bt cotton plants," Institute of Science in Society writesxi.
The Philippines have also reported cases of villagers suffering health effects from surrounding Bt crop fields. In 2006, the blood of 38 individuals was analyzed and all tested positive for antibodies specific to Cry1Ab, suggesting an immune reaction to the Bt toxinxii.
GE Crops Seriously Threatens Reproductive Health
According to Dr. Don Huber, an expert on the toxicity of genetically engineered plants, a new organism linked to GE crops appears to be the cause of high reproductive failure in livestock. The organism was initially identified by veterinarians around 1998—about two years after the introduction of Roundup Ready soybeans, which is one of the staple feeds. The vets were puzzled by sudden rates of miscarriages. While sporadic at first, the phenomenon has continued to increase in severity.
In an interview last year, Dr. Huber stated:
"We [recently] received a call from a county extension educator, indicating that he has a dairy that has a 70 percent [spontaneous] abortion rate. You put that on top of 10 to 15 percent of infertility to start with, and you're not going to have a dairy very long. In fact, a lot of our veterinarians are now becoming very concerned about the prospects for being able to have replacement animals."
According to a recent report by the European GM Watchxiii, Russian scientists have also jumped into the fray, proving the existence of "very serious health risks for animals given genetically modified (GM) feed." This announcement was reportedly made during a press conference of the National Association for Genetic Security (NAGS). As a result of the findings, the Russian Parliament is considering a new veterinary law, which could potentially include a ban on genetically engineered animal feed.
"According to the authors; a number of pathological changes were discovered in the experimental animals that consumed the GM feed," GM Watch reports. "A delay in development and growth was detected, plus a distortion of the sex ratio in breeds with an increase in the proportion of females, reducing the number of pups per litter, up to their complete lack in the second and third generation...
According to the President of NAGS Alexander Baranov, the main negative impact of GM feed, which was discovered during the investigation, is a "ban on reproduction," making it almost impossible to obtain third-generation animals."The results of our study confirmed the findings of European scientists who pointed out the negative impact on the health of animals from the GM ingredients in feed of animals," Baranov, said. "We used soybean meal, which is widely used in Russia for fattening livestock. Soya of the line 40-3-2, contained in extracted meal, which is allowed in Russia. It is also for use in human food." he added."
Engineering Washington Politics
Why do American politicians and government health, environmental, and agricultural officials seem to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to all these concerns? In short, they've sold their souls and the future of this planet. They're paid to not give a damn...
A recent article in the GMO Journal addresses the profound influence of biotech lobbying on our political processxiv. The article lists a number of facts showing how companies like Monsanto manipulates Washington to pass laws and regulations wholly in their favor. This includes preventing much-needed legislation to label genetically engineered foods. Thousands of ingredients must be listed on food labels, and yet genetically engineered ingredients, which have never been proven safe, do not need to be specified. Certainly, it is NOT because they are proud of their product and convinced it is superior to conventional or organic products. And it's not because it would be cost-prohibitive.
Again, countless other ingredients and health claims have been added to labels through the years, without sending prices soaring. I'm not sure what it'll take to make them grow a conscience and realize the dangers they've unleashed, and continue to support. As suggested in the GMO Journalxv, it's time to realize that this industry is based on profit alone, at the expense of everything and everyone else.
"To borrow a phrase from Bill Maher, here's a New Rule: anytime a GMO advocate gushes about the benefits and safety of genetically engineered products, someone must recite the following statistics from Food & Water Watchxvi:
How to Protect Your Health
- Since 1999, the 50 largest agricultural and food patent-holding companies and two of the largest biotechnology and agrochemical trade associations have spent more than $572 million in campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures.
- Lobbying expenditures for food and agricultural biotechnology more than doubled between 1999 and 2009, rising 102.8 percent from $35 million in 1999 to $71 million in 2009.
- Food and agricultural biotechnology PACs made more than $22 million in campaign contributions since 1999.
- Food and agriculture biotechnology firms employ more than 300 former congressional and White House staff members as lobbyists.
- In addition to in-house lobbyists, the food and agricultural biotechnology firms employed more than 100 lobbying firms in 2010."
Until genetically engineered foods are labeled, your BEST strategy is to buy USDA 100% Organic products whenever possible, as these do not permit genetically engineered ingredients, or buy whole fresh produce and meat from local farmers.
The majority of the genetically engineered ingredients you're exposed to are via processed foods, so by cooking from scratch with whole foods, you can be sure you're not inadvertently consuming something laced with altered ingredients. When you do purchase processed food, avoid products containing anything related to corn or soy that are not 100 percent organic, as any foods containing these two non-organic ingredients are virtually guaranteed to contain genetically engineered ingredients, as well as toxic herbicide residues.
Please Continue Supporting California's Ballot Initiative to Label GMO's!
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 ban 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.
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 nationwide, 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. So if you have the ability, I strongly encourage you to make a donation.
They also need more volunteers, because that's how we're going to win this battle. The biotech industry may outdo us in funding ability, but we as consumers still outnumber them. Pamm Larry, the California grandmother who created the initiative, is correct when she says we need to reach every single California community—large and small. 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.
By Ronnie Cummins
It has been a year since the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) joined with Mercola.com, National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), Fluoride Action Network (FAN), Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT), and Consumers for Dental Choice to form a new non-profit coalition, Health Liberty.
Over the past 12 months this alliance has proven to be a brilliant merging of talent, networks, resources and passion around consumer rights and protection.
Each of us in this coalition brings the knowledge gleaned from years of research on health and environmental issues, combined with strong track records of activism and successful campaigning for consumers' right to know what the potential risks are – to their health and to their communities – of food and other products they buy.
And each of us is committed to fighting on behalf of consumers everywhere for the right to make an informed choice about whether or not to avoid those risks. When it comes to genetically engineered foods, the risks to your health come from multiple angles. The genetic alteration itself can cause significant problems in animals and humans consuming the food, but the potential hazards of the chemicals sprayed in large quantities on such crops are just as great...
Genetically Engineered Foods: The Right to Know
With the help of our new coalition partners, and many other concerned organizations and individuals, the OCA has focused this past year on what we believe is the most critical threat to the health of consumers and our planet: genetically modified organisms (GMOs), also referred to as genetically engineered (GE) seeds and food.
With little or no regulatory restraints, labeling requirements, or scientific protocol, bio-engineers since the 1990s have been creating hundreds of new genetically engineered "Frankenfoods" and crops. The research is done with little concern for the human and environmental hazards and the negative socioeconomic impacts on the world's several billion farmers and rural villagers.
Since the advent of GMO testing, the OCA has relentlessly gone to bat against the biotech and agribusiness industries, Food Inc., and the FDA and the USDA, in an effort to protect human health and the environment from the potential hazards of these genetically modified organisms.
Over the years, we have fought the battle on numerous fronts, using every tactic in the book. Our latest and potentially most successful strategy has been to fight for consumers' basic right to know what is in their food – and to take that battle directly to voters, through citizens' initiatives.
This two-pronged strategy – demanding the basic right to know through the use of direct democracy tools - is our best chance at winning the fight against genetically engineered foods.
We believe that once food manufacturers are required to label any and all genetically modified ingredients in their food products – which will finally give consumers the ability to choose whether or not to buy those products – consumers will stop buying them, and manufacturers will stop making them.
That strategy has been successful in Europe and more than 20 other countries that require labeling of genetically engineered foods. Consumers in those countries have spoken clearly: We don't want those products. And manufacturers have responded by reformulating their products to be GMO-free.
Using Direct Democracy to Force GMO Labeling
The notion that consumers have the right to know about genetically engineered foods has gathered steam, culminating this year in an unprecedented number of state – and one federal – campaigns to require GMO labeling. The OCA has supported individual legislative efforts this past year in Washington State, Vermont, Hawaii, and Connecticut.
In all, 18 states tried and failed to pass popular GMO labeling legislation this year, watching cowardly Governors and state legislatures back down under the weight of massive lobbying efforts on the part of Big Biotech and in some states, threats of lawsuits from Monsanto.
But now we are on the verge of what we believe will be our first major victory – a citizens' ballot initiative in California that, if passed, will mark the single biggest victory in the GMO right to know battle, and will finally change the direction of food and farming in our country. Forever.
On May 2, campaign volunteers representing a broad and unprecedented health, environmental, and consumer coalition, spearheaded by the Organic Consumers Association, Mercola.com, Food Democracy Now LabelGMOs, Natural News, and scores of other groups, filed ballot petition papers signed by almost a million California registered voters to place a Citizens Initiative on the Ballot in November 2012 that will require labeling of genetically engineered foods and food ingredients, and ban the routine industry practice of labeling and marketing such foods as "natural."
This battle has not yet been won – we are stepping up efforts to educate California's voters on the dangers of genetically engineered foods, mobilize them to spread the word, and get out the vote.
To fund the campaign OCA, the Organic Consumers Fund (our grassroots lobbying ally), Mercola.com, and our allies have been forced to raise over $4 million dollars thus far, with another $4-6 million needed before November, to counter the anticipated $50 million dollar war chest of Monsanto, the biotech industry, and the Grocery Manufacturers Association. The good news is that although we may be outspent 10 to one, polls show that 80-90 percent of California voters support labeling of genetically engineered foods. In other words we are confident that we can win.
Scientists Warn about the Potential Health Hazards of Genetically Engineered Foods
An increasing number of scientists are warning that current gene-splicing techniques are crude, inexact, and unpredictable—and therefore inherently dangerous. Yet, pro-biotech governments and regulatory agencies maintain that genetically engineered foods and crops are "substantially equivalent" to conventional foods, and therefore require neither labeling nor pre–market safety-testing.
This Brave New World of Frankenfoods is frightening. Today, nearly 80 percent of all processed foods containing corn, soy, or canola oil contain unlabeled genetically altered ingredients. This, despite a long list of potential health hazards, including:
GE Crops and Farming Techniques Threaten the Planet
- Toxins and poisons: GE products clearly have the potential to be toxic and a threat to human health. In 1989, a GE brand of L-tryptophan, a common dietary supplement, killed 37 Americans. More than 5,000 others were permanently disabled or afflicted with a potentially fatal and painful blood disorder, eosinophilia myalgia syndrome (EMS), before it was recalled by the FDA.
- Increased cancer risks: In 1994, the FDA approved the sale of Monsanto's controversial recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH). This genetically engineered hormone is injected into dairy cows to force them to produce more milk. Scientists have warned that significantly higher levels (400-500 percent or more) of a potent chemical hormone, Insulin-Like Growth Factor (igf-1), in the milk and dairy products of rBGH injected cows, could pose serious hazards such as human breast, prostate, and colon cancer. A number of studies have shown that humans with elevated levels of igf-1 in their bodies are much more likely to get cancer.
- Food allergies: The alarming rise in childhood allergies in the past two decades has been linked by scientists to the arrival of genetically engineered foods in the 1990s. In 1996, a major GE food disaster was narrowly averted when Nebraska researchers learned that a Brazil nut gene spliced into soybeans could induce potentially fatal allergies in people sensitive to Brazil nuts. Animal tests of these Brazil nut-spliced soybeans had turned up negative. People with food allergies whose symptoms can range from mild unpleasantness to sudden death, may likely be harmed by exposure to foreign proteins spliced into common food products. Since humans have never before eaten most of the foreign proteins now being gene-spliced into foods, stringent pre-market safety-testing (including long-term animal feeding and volunteer human feeding studies) is necessary in order to prevent a future public health disaster.
- Antibiotic resistance: When gene engineers splice a foreign gene into a plant or microbe, they often link it to another gene, called an antibiotic resistance marker gene (arm), that helps determine if the first gene was successfully spliced into the host organism. Some researchers warn that these arm genes might unexpectedly recombine with disease-causing bacteria or microbes in the environment or in the guts of animals or people who eat genetically engineered food. These new combinations may be contributing to the growing public health danger of antibiotic resistance—of infections that cannot be cured with traditional antibiotics, for example new strains of salmonella, e-coli, campylobacter, and enterococci
- Damage to food quality and nutrition: A 1999 study by Dr. Marc Lappe published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that concentrations of the beneficial phytoestrogen compounds thought to protect against heart disease and cancer were lower in GE soybeans than in traditional strains. These and other studies, including Dr. Pusztai's, indicate that GE food will likely result in foods lower in quality and nutrition. For example, the milk from cows injected with rBGH contains higher levels of pus, bacteria, and fat.
From the decimation of the planet's critical honeybee and monarch butterfly populations, to the creation of superweeds and superinsects, to the depletion of valuable nutrient-rich farming soil, genetic engineering poses a dangerous, and potentially irreversible threat, to planet Earth.
Among the dangers of GE crops, are:
Most Commonly Used Herbicide Found to be Carcinogenic
- Increased Pesticide Residues: Contrary to biotech industry propaganda, recent studies have found that US farmers growing GE crops are using just as many toxic pesticides and herbicides as conventional farmers and in some cases more. The "benefits" of these herbicide-resistant crops are that farmers can spray as much of a particular herbicide on their crops as they want-killing the weeds without damaging their crop. Scientists estimate that herbicide-resistant crops planted around the globe will triple the amount of toxic broad-spectrum herbicides used in agriculture. These broad-spectrum herbicides are designed to literally kill everything green.
- Damage to Beneficial Insects and Soil Fertility: In 1999, Cornell University researchers made a startling discovery. They found that pollen from genetically engineered bt corn was poisonous to Monarch butterflies. The study adds to a growing body of evidence that GE crops are adversely affecting a number of beneficial insects, including ladybugs and lacewings, as well as beneficial soil microorganisms, bees, and possibly birds.
- Creation of GE "Superweeds" and "Superpests": Genetically engineering crops to be herbicide-resistant or to produce their own pesticide presents dangerous problems. Pests and weeds will inevitably emerge that are pesticide or herbicide-resistant, which means that stronger, more toxic chemicals will be needed to get rid of the pests. Herbicide resistant "superweeds" are already emerging. GE crops such as rapeseed (canola) have spread their herbicide-resistance traits to related weeds such as wild mustard plants. Lab and field tests also indicate that common plant pests such as cotton bollworms, living under constant pressure from GE crops, are evolving into "superpests" completely immune to bt sprays and other environmentally sustainable bio-pesticides.
This will present a serious danger for organic and sustainable farmers whose biological pest management practices will be unable to cope with increasing numbers of superpests and superweeds.
- Genetic Pollution: "Genetic pollution" and collateral damage from GE field crops already have begun to wreak environmental havoc. Wind, rain, birds, bees, and insect pollinators have begun carrying genetically-altered pollen into adjoining fields, polluting the DNA of crops of organic and non-GE farmers. An organic farm in Texas has been contaminated with genetic drift from GE crops grown on a nearby farm. Because they are alive, gene-altered crops are inherently more unpredictable than chemical pollutants-they can reproduce, migrate, and mutate. Once released, it is virtually impossible to recall GE organisms back to the laboratory or the field.
- Genetic "Bio-Invasion": By virtue of their "superior" genes, some GE plants and animals will inevitably run amok, overpowering wild species in the same way that exotic species, such as kudzu vine and Dutch elm disease have created problems when introduced in North America. What will happen to wild fish and marine species, for example, when scientists release into the environment carp, salmon, and trout that are twice as large, and eat twice as much food, as their wild counterparts?
As if the health hazards of genetically altered food crops weren't bad enough, glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, has also been deemed a major health hazard both to the environment, and to animal and human health. It is toxic to human cells, and according to a French research team, it is also carcinogenic. The team has studied the herbicide extensively, and published at least five articles on glysphosate's potential for wide-ranging environmental and human harm. Their research shows that glyphosate:Causes cell cycle dysregulation, which is a hallmark of tumor cells and human cancers
It doesn't matter that the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health recently published "research" to the contraryii, the French team says―the world needs to know the truth about who did that "safety-finding" research. It was funded by none other than Monsanto itself! Is it any wonder they came to the conclusion that:
- Inhibits DNA synthesis in certain parts of the cell cycle—the process by which cells reproduce that underlies the growth and development of all living organisms
- Impedes the hatchings of sea urchins. (Sea urchins were used because they constitute an appropriate model for the identification of undesirable cellular and molecular targets of pollutants.) The delay was found to be dose dependent on the concentration of Roundup. The surfactant polyoxyethylene amine (POEA), another major component of Roundup, was also found to be highly toxic to the embryos when tested alone, and could therefore be a contributing factor
"[T]he available literature shows no solid evidence linking glyphosate exposure to adverse developmental or reproductive effects at environmentally realistic exposure concentrations."
The new Monsanto-funded safety research actually used the French team's original research to debunk the evidence that Roundup could have human or environmental safety issues. And that didn't sit well with the French team, which was so angered they wrote a detailed response to Monsanto's article, accusing the researchers of minimalizing the French group's work and publishing misleading information.
What Lies Ahead: The Food Fight of Our Lives
Monsanto and Food Inc.'s stranglehold over the nation's food and farming system is being challenged in a food fight that will largely determine the future of American agriculture. Genetically engineered foods have absolutely no benefits for consumers or the environment, only hazards.
After 20 years of biotech bullying and force-feeding unlabeled and hazardous genetically engineered (GE) foods to animals and humans, a critical mass of food and health activists have decided it's time to move beyond small skirmishes and losing battles and go on the offensive.
It's time to move the food fight over labeling GE food from the unfavorable terrain of Washington DC and Capital Hill, where Monsanto and Food Inc. exercise near-dictatorial control, to California, the heartland of organic food and farming and anti-GMO sentiment, where 90 percent of the body politic, according to recent polls, support GMO labeling.
Monsanto and their allies understand the threat that truth-in-labeling poses for the future of genetically engineered foods. As soon as genetically engineered foods start to be labeled in the US. millions of consumers will start to read these labels and react. They'll complain to grocery store managers and companies, they'll talk to their family and friends. They'll start switching to foods that are organic or at least GMO-free. Once enough consumers start complaining about GE foods and food ingredients; stores will eventually stop selling them; and farmers will stop planting them.
If you are willing to volunteer or donate money to this campaign visit the Organic Consumers Fund website or call the OCA office at 218-226-4164. It's time to stand up to Monsanto and win the Food Fight of our lives. Please join us!
About the Author
Ronnie Cummins is the founder and Director of the Organic Consumers Association. He has been a writer and activist since the 1960s, with massive expertise in human rights, anti-war, anti-nuclear, consumer, labor, environmental, and sustainable agricultural areas. He is the author of several published articles, a children's book series called Children of the World, and Genetically Engineered Food: A Self-Defense Guide for Consumers.
About the Organic Consumers Association
The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots 501(c)3 public interest organization promoting health, justice, and sustainability. It prides itself as the only organization in the United States focused on promoting the views and interests of the country's estimated 76 million organic and socially responsible consumers.
The OCA participates in the important issues of food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, children's health, corporate accountability, Fair Trade, environmental sustainability, and other key topics. The Organic Consumers Fund, a 501(c)4, is the OCA's grassroots action and lobbying arm.
- i  Marc, J., Mulner-Lorillon, O., Boulben, S., Hureau, D., Durand, G., and Belle, R. 2002. Pesticide Roundup provokes cell division dysfunction at the level of CDK1/cyclin B activation. Chem. Res. Toxicol. 15: 326–31
 Marc, J., Mulner-Lorillon, O., Durand, G., and Belle, R. 2003. Embryonic cell cycle for risk assessment of pesticides at the molecular level. Environnemental. Chemistry. letters. 1: 8–12
 Marc, J., Belle, R., Morales, J., Cormier, P., and Mulner-Lorillon, O. 2004a. Formulated glyphosate activates the DNA-response checkpoint of the cell cycle leading to the prevention of G2/M transition. Toxicol. Sci. 82: 436–42
 Marc, J., Mulner-Lorillon, O., and Belle, R. 2004b. Glyphosate-based pesticides affect cell cycle regulation. Biol. Cell. 96: 245–49
 Marc, J., Le Breton, M., Cormier, P., Morales, J., Belle, R., and Mulner-Lorillon, O. 2005. A glyphosate-based pesticide impinges on transcription. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 203:1–8
- ii Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health 2012: 15(1)
A new study is causing fresh doubts about the safety of genetically modified crops. The research found Bt toxin, which is present in many GM crops, in human blood.
Bt toxin makes crops toxic to pests, but it has been claimed that the toxin poses no danger to the environment and human health; the argument was that the protein breaks down in the human gut. But the presence of the toxin in human blood shows that this does not happen.
India Today reports:
“Scientists ... have detected the insecticidal protein ... circulating in the blood of pregnant as well as non-pregnant women. They have also detected the toxin in fetal blood, implying it could pass on to the next generation.”
India Today May 11, 2011
Reproductive Toxicology February 18, 2011
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
Cry1Ab, a specific type of Bt toxin from genetically modified (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:
Writing in the journal Reproductive Toxicology, the researchers noted:
- 93 percent of maternal blood samples
- 80 percent of fetal blood samples
- 69 percent of non-pregnant women blood samples
"This is the first study to reveal the presence of circulating PAGMF [pesticides associated with genetically modified foods] in women with and without pregnancy, paving the way for a new field in reproductive toxicology including nutrition and utero-placental toxicities."
This GM insecticide toxin is already showing up in fetal blood, which means it could have an untold impact on future generations.
Bt Toxin is a Built-In Pesticide
Upwards of 85 percent of U.S. corn crops contain a special gene added that allows them to produce an insecticide. This way, when bugs attempt to eat the corn they're killed right away (specifically their stomach is split open) because the plant contains an invisible, built-in pesticide shield.
The particular gene added to most corn crops is a type of Bt-toxin -- produced from Bacillus thuringiensis bacteria. Genetic engineers remove the gene that produces the Bt in bacteria and insert it into the DNA of corn (and cotton) plants.
They claim that Bt-toxin is quickly destroyed in human stomachs -- and even if it survived, it won't cause reactions in humans or mammals ...
But studies are now showing that this is not the case, as Bt toxin is readily passing into the human bloodstream and animal studies have already shown that Bt-toxin does cause health effects in animals, including potentially humans. As Jeffrey Smith, executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, wrote:
"Mice fed natural Bt-toxin showed significant immune responses and caused them to become sensitive to other formerly harmless compounds. This suggests that Bt-toxin might make a person allergic to a wide range of substances.
Farm workers and others have also had reactions to natural Bt-toxin, and authorities acknowledge that "People with compromised immune systems or preexisting allergies may be particularly susceptible to the effects of Bt."
In fact, when natural Bt was sprayed over areas around Vancouver and Washington State to fight gypsy moths, about 500 people reported reactions—mostly allergy or flu-like symptoms. Six people had to go to the emergency room.
… The Bt-toxin produced in the GM plants is probably more dangerous than in its natural spray form. In the plants, the toxin is about 3,000-5,000 times more concentrated than the spray, it doesn't wash off the plants like the spray does, nd it is designed to be more toxic than the natural version.
In fact, the GM toxin has properties of known allergens and fails all three GM allergy tests recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and others."
GM Insecticide Poisons Also Showing Up in Waterways
Given that Bt toxin has now been confirmed in the human bloodstream, it should come as no surprise that it has also infiltrated the environment. According to one study, 50 of the 217 streams, ditches and drains near cornfields that researchers tested were found to contain Cry1Ab above six nanograms per liter.
The protein is getting into the waterways via corn stalks, leaves, husks and cobs that blow into the water -- a phenomenon that's incredibly common since farmers often leave such material in fields to help minimize soil erosion.
Eighty-six percent of the streams tested contained various corn material with the potential to transmit Bt-toxin into the water. Further, because the study was conducted six months after crops were harvested, it indicates that the GM protein lingers in the environment. Now that this GM toxin is showing up in waterways, it has the potential to devastate aquatic life and continue to spread, uncontrolled and unrestricted, across the entire United States and world.
GM Foods May be Leaving GM Proteins in Your Body
In case it's not clear, I want to reiterate that this new study in Reproductive Technology has confirmed that if you eat GM foods that contain the insecticidal Bt toxin, it appears likely that it will be transferred to your bloodstream.
As I mentioned earlier, as of right now about 85 percent of the corn grown in the United States 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 GM components unless it's certified organic by the USDA.
There's very convincing evidence that eating these genetically modified foods spells nothing but trouble for your health. As Smith discusses in this interview, scientists have discovered a number of health problems related to genetically modified foods in general, however these studies have been repeatedly ignored by both the European Food Safety Authority and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In the only human feeding study ever published on genetically modified foods, seven volunteers ate 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.
However, the GM-friendly UK government, who funded the study, chose not to fund any follow up research to see if GM corn -- which contains the BT toxin -- might also transfer and continue to create insecticide inside your intestines. Now the evidence has come through nonetheless, as the study in Reproductive Technology shows that it does transfer, at least to your bloodstream (and the bloodstream of your baby if you're pregnant).
This is extremely concerning, as in this interview Smith also 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:
I've gone on record saying that due to the amount of GM crops now grown in the United States, EVERY processed food you encounter at your local supermarket that does not bear the "USDA Organic" label is filled with GM components. So you're eating GM foods, and you have been for the last decade [since 1996], whether you knew it or not. You can thank Congress for this, and the USDA and Monsanto. What ultimate impact these GM foods will have on your health is still unknown, but increased disease, infertility and birth defects appear to be on the top of the list of most likely side effects. How to Say "No" to GMOs If you don't already have a copy of the Non-GMO Shopping Guide, please print one out and refer to it often. It can help you identify and avoid foods with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Also remember to look for products (including organic products) that feature the Non-GMO Project Verified Seal to be sure that at-risk ingredients have been tested for GMO content. You can also download the free iPhone application that is available in the iTunes store. You can find it by searching for ShopNoGMO in the applications. If you're feeling more ambitious, you can also order the Non-GMO Shopping Tips brochure from the Institute of Responsible Technology in bulk and give it to your family and friends. When possible, buy your fresh produce and meat from local farmers who have committed to using non-GM seeds and avoid non-organic processed foods as much as possible, as again these are virtually 100-percent guaranteed to contain GM ingredients. Related Links: GMO Poisons Found in Indiana Waterways
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Various types of cancer
- Lou Gehrig's disease
Why Did Officials Approve this Toxic Corn Chip that Creates a ‘Pesticide Factory’ in Your Gut?
Enjoy Pesticides in Every Bite of GMO Food?
A new paper demonstrates that consuming genetically modified (GM) food leads to significant organ disruptions in rats and mice. Researchers reviewed data from 19 studies and found that parameters including blood and urine biochemistry and organ weights were significantly disrupted in the GM-fed animals.
The kidneys of males were the most affected, experiencing 43.5 percent of all the changes. The livers of females followed at more than 30 percent. Other organs may have been affected too, including the heart and spleen, and blood cells.
According to the Institute for Responsible Technology:
"The GM soybean and corn varieties used in the feeding trials 'constitute 83 percent of the commercialized GMOs' that are currently consumed by billions of people. While the findings may have serious ramifications for the human population, the authors demonstrate how a multitude of GMO-related health problems could easily pass undetected through the superficial and largely incompetent safety assessments that are used around the world."
Further, the biotechnology firm Monsanto is only an FDA approval away from its latest monstrosity -- soybeans that have been genetically modified to produce omega-3 fats. That FDA approval is expected this year.
Monsanto plans to include GM soybean oil in every product it can -- baked goods, baking mixes, breakfast cereals, cheeses, frozen dairy desserts, pasta, gravies and sauces, fruit juices, snack foods, candy, soups, and more.
According to Forbes:
"Monsanto is so despised by environmentalists that Google's first suggested search term for the St. Louis company is 'Monsanto evil.' Readers ... voted Monsanto the world's most evil corporation in a January poll, giving the corporation a whopping 51 percent of the vote."
Scientists have also introduced human genes into 300 dairy cows in a process that they say will cause the cows to produce milk with the same properties as human breast milk. They believe that this could provide an alternative to formula milk for babies.
Critics of GM technology questioned the safety of milk from genetically modified animals, and also its potential effect on the cattle's health.
According to the Telegraph:
"The researchers used cloning technology to introduce human genes into the DNA of Holstein dairy cows before the genetically modified embryos were implanted into surrogate cows ... [T]he researchers said they were able to create cows that produced milk containing a human protein called lysozyme."
- Environmental Sciences Europe March 1, 2011
- Institute for Responsible Technology April 7, 2011
- Forbes April 11, 2011
- The Telegraph April 2, 2011
- PLoS One March 16, 2011; 6(3):e17593
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
In the latest review of genetically modified organisms (GMO) -- an analysis of 19 animal studies -- it was revealed that nearly 10 percent of blood, urine, organ and other parameters tested were significantly influenced by GMOs, with the liver and kidneys faring the worst.
The studies involved animals fed GM soy and corn, which comprise more than 80 percent of all GMOs cultivated on a large scale, and exist in virtually every processed food sold in the United States.
Clearly the danger posed by GM crops is no longer theoretical, yet because GM foods are patented inventions that are protected under copyright and proprietary information laws, the corporations controlling the seeds only allow them to be studied under very limited conditions.
Rarely (if ever) do they permit them to be studied for safety by anyone but the USDA (who hasn't yet seen the need to conduct rigorous long-term studies), and rarely are they studied beyond 30 or 90 days.
The GM Foods You're Eating Have Only Been Studied for 90 Days – at Most!
As Jeffrey Smith, founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology states:
"Only two studies reviewed in this new publication were over 90 days—both were non-industry research."
In order to obtain the raw data from the 90-day studies, the researchers had to take court actions and make official requests, and the results suggested that the beginnings of chronic disease may have been starting in the animals' liver and kidneys. What would have occurred in six months, a year or five years down the line remains unknown, as the studies have never been done.
The researchers noted:
"The 90-day-long tests are insufficient to evaluate chronic toxicity, and the signs highlighted in the kidneys and livers could be the onset of chronic diseases. However, no minimal length for the tests is yet obligatory for any of the GMOs cultivated on a large scale, and this is socially unacceptable in terms of consumer health protection."
Further, when the data was reviewed in its entirety, the researchers found serious cause for concern that appeared to be overlooked by regulatory authorities:
"Some of these tests used controversial protocols which are discussed and statistically significant results that were considered as not being biologically meaningful by regulatory authorities, thus raising the question of their interpretations."
Given the obvious organ disruption that occurred in animals fed GM corn and soy for just 30-90 days, it is downright terrifying to think about what might happen to humans who eat these foods for a lifetime. The researchers state outright what the regulatory agencies have failed to acknowledge:
"We can conclude, from the regulatory tests performed today, that it is unacceptable to submit 500 million Europeans and several billions of consumers worldwide to the new pesticide GM-derived foods or feed, this being done without more controls (if any) than the only 3-month-long toxicological tests and using only one mammalian species, especially since there is growing evidence of concern.
This is why we propose to improve the protocol of the 90-day studies to 2-year studies with mature rats."
Why You Need to Think Twice Before Eating GMOs
There's very convincing evidence that genetically modified foods spell nothing but trouble for your health. As Smith discusses in this interview, scientists have discovered a number of health problems related to genetically modified foods in general, however, these studies have been repeatedly ignored by both the European Food Safety Authority and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In the only human feeding study ever published on genetically modified foods, seven volunteers ate 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 is 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.
In this interview, Smith also 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:
In addition, Smith has documented at least 65 serious health risks from GM products of all kinds. Among them:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Various types of cancer
- ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease)
Beware of New GMO Products: Omega-3 Soybean Oil
- 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
GM crops have already invaded our food supply, and more GM –foods are in the pipeline, but you'd never know it because GM foods are unlabeled.
One of the latest creations from GM giant Monsanto is a genetically modified soybean that produces omega-3 fats. " Stearidonic acid (SDA) soybean oil, as the new product is called, is only one FDA approval away from becoming a reality, but although omega-3 fats are clearly healthy, omega-3 from GM soybean oil most likely certainly is not.
Not only do you need to get animal-based omega-3 fats in your diet for the most benefits, but also soybean oil is not a food you want to consume, especially if it has been manipulated to contain omega-3 fats. GM soy has been linked to an increase in allergies, as well as has the potential to cause infertility in future generations, It's also one of the polyunsaturated vegetable oils you need to cut down on in your diet if you want better health.
Unfortunately, as Forbes reported;"Monsanto plans to include SDA soybean oil in just about everything: "baked goods and baking mixes, breakfast cereals and grains, cheeses, dairy product analogs, fats and oils, fish products, frozen dairy desserts and mixes, grain products and pastas, gravies and sauces, meat products,
… milk products, nuts and nut products, poultry products, processed fruit juices, processed vegetable products, puddings and fillings, snack foods, soft candy, and soups and soup mixes, at levels that will provide 375 milligrams (mg) of SDA per serving."
It's unclear whether the new SDA soybean oil will be listed on labels, but if you see "stearidonic acid (SDA) soybean oil" on a label, now you'll know what it is so you can avoid it.
The Latest Creation: GM "Breast Milk" From Cows
Researchers are also trying to produce "human" breast milk using genetically modified cows.
Scientists used cloning technology to introduce human genes into dairy cows to produce milk they say has the same properties as human breast milk and could provide an alternative to formula or human breast milk for babies in about 10 years.
Producing GM food for babies is alarming, as the process of moving genes around carries unpredictable risks. One study that looked at the insertion of a single gene into a human cell found that up to 5 percent of the genes had significantly changed their level of output.
This means that hundreds or thousands of genes could change their levels of protein expression when a single gene is inserted -- and even one change can be dangerous. As The Telegraph reported, already there were signs of trouble with the GM "human" cow milk studies:
" … During two experiments by the Chinese researchers, which resulted in 42 transgenic calves being born, just 26 of the animals survived after ten died shortly after birth, most with gastrointestinal disease, and a further six died within six months of birth."
Do You Know … You're Probably Eating GMOs?
I've gone on record saying that due to the amount of GM crops now grown in the United States (over 90 percent of all corn is GM corn and over 95 percent all soy is GM soy) EVERY processed food you encounter at your local supermarket that does not bear the "USDA Organic" label is filled with GM components.
So you're eating GM foods, and you have been for the last decade, whether you knew it or not. You can thank Congress for this, and the USDA and Monsanto. What ultimate impact these GM foods will have on your health is still unknown, but increased disease, infertility and birth defects appear to be on the top of the list of most likely side effects.
As was recently stated in the NY Times:
"A majority of our foods already contain GMOs and there's little reason to think more isn't on the way. It seems our "regulators" are using us and the environment as guinea pigs, rather than demanding conclusive tests. And without labeling, we have no say in the matter whatsoever."
Are You Ready to Avoid GMOs?
If you don't already have a copy of the Non-GMO Shopping Guide, please print one out and refer to it often. It can help you identify and avoid foods with GMOs. Also remember to look for products (including organic products) that feature the Non-GMO Project Verified Sealto be sure that at-risk ingredients have been tested for GMO content.
You can also download the free iPhone application that is available in the iTunes store. You can find it by searching for ShopNoGMO in the applications.
If you're feeling more ambitious, you can also order the Non-GMO Shopping Tips brochure from the Institute of Responsible Technology in bulk and give it to your family and friends.
When possible, buy your fresh produce and meat from local farmers who have committed to using non-GM seeds and avoid non-organic processed foods as much as possible, as again these are virtually 100-percent guaranteed to contain GM ingredients.
Genetically modified foods are, from my perception, one of the most significant threats that we have against the very sustainability of the human race, so everything you can do to avoid them is a step in the right direction for humankind.