Just Say No to GMO’s
Sowing the Seeds of Deception - Part 1
By Jeffrey M. Smith – Extraordinary Health Article
Jeffrey M. Smith is the international bestselling author of Seeds of Deception and Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods. He is at the forefront of the debate on GM crops. In the first of this two-part special series, he reveals the shocking truth behind GM foods and the huge effort by governments and biotech corporations to keep information out of the mainstream media—and outside of your awareness.
Big Biotech claims that genetic engineering is a necessary step towards feeding the world’s growing population, yet debate still rages as to whether genetically modified (GM) crops actually increase yields at all. In fact, the United Nations recently stated that 30,000 people a day were starving to death, but not because of underproduction of crops. They’re starving due to lack of access to food.
The GM foods debate is nothing new. Independent scientific studies raised serious questions about the safety of GM foods over a decade ago. While this made front-page headlines in European newspapers, the North American mainstream media were uncannily silent.
They look the same—the bread, pies, beverages, and even corn on the cob—but so much of what we eat every day only looks just like it did 20 years ago. They’re not the same, though, because our food has been unhealthily altered without our knowledge or consent. Leading doctors have expressed their concern about this food overhaul. They say that what we don’t know may already be hurting us big time.
In fact, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) has publicly condemned genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our food supply, saying they pose “a serious health risk.” As a result, they called on the U.S. government to implement an immediate moratorium on all genetically modified (GM) foods and urged physicians to prescribe non-GMO diets for all patients.
Perhaps not everyone is familiar with GM foods. For starters, genetic engineering is quite distinct from selective breeding because it involves taking genes from a completely different species and inserting them into the DNA of a plant or animal. The long term effects of this for our health and our planet’s biodiversity are unknown— and that’s cause for concern.
Fortunately, in the past, there have been institutions tracking unhealthy trends. For example, AAEM, an “Academy of Firsts,” was the first U.S. medical organization to describe or acknowledge Gulf War Syndrome, chemical sensitivity, food allergy/addiction, and a host of other medical issues. Unfortunately, the potential for harm from GMOs dwarfs anything they have identified thus far. The harsh reality is that GMOs can impact anyone who eats—in other words: everyone.
Here’s part of what we’re all facing: More than 70% of the foods on supermarket shelves contain derivatives of the eight GM foods on the market—soy, corn, oil from canola and cottonseed, sugar from sugar beets, Hawaiian papaya, and a small amount of zucchini and crook neck squash. It doesn’t stop there, though.
The biotech industry hopes to genetically engineer virtually all remaining vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, and even animals.
You will be interested to know that there are two primary reasons why plants are engineered: to allow them to either drink poison or to produce poison. The poison drinkers are called herbicide tolerant. They’re inserted with bacterial genes that allow them to survive otherwise deadly doses of toxic herbicide.
Biotech companies sell the seed and herbicide as a package deal, and U.S. farmers use hundreds of millions of pounds more herbicide because of these types of GM crops. The poison producers are called Bt crops. Inserted genes produce an insect-killing pesticide called Bt-toxin in every cell of the plant. Not surprisingly, both classes of GM crops are linked to dangerous side effects.
Doctors and Patients: Just Say No to GMOs
“Now that soy is genetically engineered,” warns Ohio allergist Dr. John Boyles, “it is so dangerous that I tell people never to eat it.” So, how dangerous are GM foods? World renowned biologist Pushpa M. Bhargava, PhD, believes they are the major reason for the recent rise in serious illnesses in the U.S.
The range of what GMOs might do to us is breathtaking and mortifying. The AAEM reveals a long list of disorders associated with GMOs: “Several animal studies indicate infertility, immune dysregulation, accelerated aging, dysregulation of genes associated with cholesterol synthesis, [faulty] insulin regulation, cell signaling, and protein formation, and changes in the liver, kidney, spleen and gastrointestinal system,” they say.
“There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health,” says the AAEM position paper. Based on established scientific criteria, “there is causation.”
Difficulty Tracing GMO Damage
Outside the carefully controlled laboratory setting, it is more difficult to confidently assign GMOs as the cause for a particular set of diseases, especially since there are no human clinical trials and no agency that even attempts to monitor GMO-related health problems among the population. “If there are problems,” says biologist David Schubert, PhD, of the Salk Institute, “we will probably never know because the cause will not be traceable and many diseases take a very long time to develop.”
We do know, however, that GM crops were widely introduced in 1996. Within nine years, the incidence of people in the U.S. with three or more chronic diseases nearly doubled—from 7% to 13%. Visits to the emergency room due to allergies doubled from 1997 to 2002, and overall food-related illnesses doubled from 1994 to 2001, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Obesity, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, and autism are also among the conditions that are skyrocketing in the U.S.
The Lyme Induced Autism (LIA) Foundation, a patient advocacy group, is not waiting for studies to prove that GMOs cause or worsen Lyme, autism, and the many other diseases on the rise since gene-spliced foods were introduced. Like AAEM, the LIA Foundation says there is more than enough evidence of harm in animal feeding studies for them to “urge doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets” and for “individuals, especially those with autism, Lyme disease, and associated conditions, to avoid” GM foods.
Another patient group—those suffering from eosinophilia myalgia syndrome (EMS) — is more confident about the GMO origins of their particular disease. It was caused by a genetically engineered brand of a food supplement called L-Tryptophan in the late 1980s. It killed about 100 Americans and caused 5,000 to 10,000 people to fall sick or become permanently disabled. The characteristics of EMS made it much easier for authorities to identify the epidemic and its cause. It affected only those who consumed the pills, symptoms came on almost immediately, and its effects were horrific—including unbearable pain and paralysis. There was even a unique, easy to-measure change in the white blood cell count. Interestingly, even though EMS was practically screaming to be discovered, it still took the medical community more than four years to diagnose the disorder—and it was almost missed.
What may be the most troubling is that humans are being forced to take part in this GMO deception. Renowned Canadian geneticist David Suzuki sums it up this way: “The experiments simply haven’t been done and we now have become the guinea pigs.”
If that’s not enough to disturb your thinking, consider this: What if the GMOs throughout our food supply are creating common diseases which come on slowly? In that case, it would be nearly impossible to confirm GMOs as the cause. “Physicians are probably seeing the effects in their patients,” says AAEM president Dr. Jennifer Armstrong, “but need to know how to ask the right questions.” What’s more is that we might be allowing GMOs to shortchange the next generation because the people at greatest risk are the very young. “Children are the most likely to be adversely affected by toxins and other dietary problems related to GM foods,” says Dr. Schubert. They become “the experimental animals” — sadly, our collective canaries in the coal mine.
Warnings by Government Scientists Ignored and Denied
The onset of GMOs have not gone without warning, though. Scientists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent up the flare about all these problems back in the early 1990s. According to secret documents made public from a lawsuit, the scientific consensus at the agency was that GM foods were inherently dangerous and might create hard-to-detect allergies, poisons, new “super” diseases and nutritional problems. Scientists urged their superiors to require rigorous long-term tests, but the White House ordered the agency to promote biotechnology. The FDA responded by recruiting Michael Taylor, Monsanto’s (a biotech company’s) former attorney, to head up formation of GMO policy. That policy, which is in effect today, denies knowledge of the scientists’ concerns and declares that no safety studies on GMOs are required. It is up to Monsanto and the other biotech companies—who have a long history of lying about the toxicity of their earlier products—to determine if their own foods are safe.
After overseeing GMO policy at the FDA, Mr. Taylor worked on GMO issues at the USDA and then later became Monsanto’s vice president. In the summer of 2009, he went through the revolving door again: Taylor was appointed by the Obama administration as the de facto U.S. food safety czar at the FDA.
Dangerously Few Studies; Untraceable Diseases
“Where is the scientific evidence showing that GM plants/food are toxicologically safe, as assumed by the biotechnology companies?” This was the concluding question posed in a 2007 review of published scientific literature on the health risks of GM plants, showing that the number of studies and available data are “very scarce.”
To reiterate, Canadian geneticist David Suzuki emphasizes that experiments have not been done and that we—humans—are the proverbial guinea pigs in this GM foods venture. Suzuki adds, “Anyone that says, ‘Oh, we know that this is perfectly safe,’ is either unbelievably stupid or deliberately lying.”
When consumers realize the dangers of GM foods and that the FDA has abdicated its responsibility to protect us, they usually want to opt out of this massive feeding experiment. In fact, most Americans already say they would avoid GMO brands if given a choice.
The good news is that it wouldn’t take a majority of us to kick GMOs out of our food supply. Kraft and other food companies wouldn’t wait until half their market share is gone before telling their suppliers to switch to the non-GM corn, soy, etc. By using GM ingredients, they don’t offer customers a single advantage. The food doesn’t taste better, last longer or have more nutrients. Thus, if even a tiny percentage of U.S. consumers—say 5%, or 15 million people— started avoiding GMO brands, the millions in lost sales revenue would likely force brands to remove all GM ingredients, like they already have in Europe.
But the FDA doesn’t want to give us the choice. They ignore the wishes of nine out of ten Americans for mandatory GMO labeling in order to promote the economic interests of just five biotech companies.
The Shocking Evidence of Harm from GMOs
Genetically modified (GM) foods have not been scientifically tested on human beings. (The only published human feeding study had ominous results, which you’ll see in part two of this series.) Instead, animals are used as our surrogates; but, the few published animal safety studies are generally short-term and superficial. In fact, industry funded research is widely criticized as being designed to avoid finding problems. You might say they’ve got bad science…down to a science. Even still, the accumulated evidence of harm is compelling people to read ingredient labels and avoid brands with genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
See Part 2 of this article below to learn more about the dangers of GMO foods and what you can do to protect your health— and the health of your loved ones. Meats, dairy products, farmed fish, and eggs are usually from animals fed GM feed. To avoid GMO’s buy CERTIFIED ORGANIC foods.
Sowing the Seeds of Deception - Part 2
By Jeffrey M. Smith – Extraordinary Health Article
In our previous issue, we looked at the shocking truth behind GM foods and the huge effort by governments and biotech corporations to keep information out of the mainstream media—and outside of your awareness. This time, let’s peer into some of the health risks associated with GM foods:
Infant Mortality and Reproductive Disorders
It’s rather appalling. When GM soy flour was given to female rats, most of their babies died within three weeks. For those that survived, they were smaller and had future fertility problems. Likewise, male rats fed GM soy or corn experienced testicular discoloration, damaged sperm cells, DNA function alterations, fewer offspring and smaller babies.
Some U.S. farmers say that thousands of their pigs, cows, or bulls experienced reproductive complications including infertility or sterility after GM corn consumption. In India, most buffalo that ate GM cottonseed also had reproductive issues, including premature deliveries, abortions, infertility or prolapsed uteruses. Additionally, many calves died.
Interestingly, in the U.S. population, the incidence of low birth weight babies, infertility, and infant mortality are all escalating. That coincides with increased GM food intake.
From infant mortality and reproductive disorders to killing animals, allergen-containing, liver- and intestinal-affecting “food as pesticide” that can stay in our systems—GMOs can take a toll on health, says Jeffrey M. Smith.
Jeffrey M. Smith is the international bestselling author of Seeds of Deception and Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods.
Food: A Registered Pesticide?
Did you know that when insects bite GM Bt corn and cotton, they get a mouthful of a built-in toxin, produced by every cell of the plant? (Inserted genes produce an insect killing pesticide called Bt-toxin in every cell of the plant.) The poison splits open the insects’ stomachs and kills them. Here’s the kicker: The GM plants are registered as pesticides with the Environmental Protection Agency.
Biotech companies claim that Bt-toxin has a history of safe use, since organic farmers and others use Bt bacteria spray for natural insect control. Genetic engineers, however, insert genes from the bacteria into the DNA of the corn and cotton, so the plants themselves do the killing.
The truth is that the Bt-toxin produced in GM plants is thousands of times more concentrated than natural Bt spray; is designed to be more toxic; has properties of an allergen; and, unlike the spray, cannot be washed off the plant. Even the less toxic natural bacterial spray is harmful, though— as evidenced by 500 people who reported allergy or flu-like symptoms when exposed to it, and the Indian farm workers who handle Bt cotton and report similar symptoms.
The Bt cotton (and corn) has other implications: killing animals.
If GM crops kill animals, how safe are they for us to eat?
When sheep grazed on Bt cotton plants after harvest, thousands died. Post mortems showed severe irritation and black patches in their intestines and livers. Investigators said preliminary evidence “strongly suggests that the sheep mortality was due to a toxin. . . .most probably Bt-toxin.” In a small feeding study, 100% of sheep fed Bt cotton plants died within 30 days, while those grazing on natural cotton plants in the adjoining field had no symptoms.
Similarly, buffalo that grazed on natural cotton plants for years without incident are reacting to the Bt variety. In one village, they allowed their 13 buffalo to graze on Bt cotton plants for a single day in January 2008. All died within three days. Bt corn was also implicated in the deaths of cows, horses, buffaloes, and chickens. Even Monsanto’s (a GMO biotech company’s) own 90-day rat feeding study showed evidence of poisoning in major organs due to their Bt corn.
GMOs Contain Allergens
Then there’s the problem of allergens. Immune system problems in GMO-fed animals are “a consistent feature of all the studies,” according to GM food safety expert Dr. Arpad Pusztai. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine specifically notes an increase in cytokines, “associated with asthma, allergy, and inflammation.” While all three conditions are on the rise in the US, it is the upsurge in food allergies among children that has generated the most alarm nationwide. There are many reasons why GMOs might be the cause:
- The GM proteins produced in GM soy, corn, and papayas have properties of known allergens and fail the allergy screening protocol recommended by the World Health Organization.
- Creating a GMO can introduce new allergens or elevate existing ones. Both GM soy and corn contain new unintended allergenic proteins, and GM soy has as much as seven times higher levels of a natural soy allergen.
- Herbicide tolerant GM crops have considerably more residues of toxic herbicides, which may provoke reactions.
- Allergy tests confirm that some people react to GM soy, people react to GM soy, but not to non-GM soy.
Soon after GM soy was introduced to the UK, soy allergies skyrocketed by 50%. Research shows that consuming GM foods—including Bt toxin-tainted foods and GM peas—may provoke sensitivity to other, non-GMO foods.
GMOs and Liver Problems
The liver is a primary detoxifier, but the livers of mice and rats fed GM feed were smaller, partially atrophied or significantly heavier—possibly inflamed—and some showed signs of toxicity from eating GM food.
GMOs Remain Inside Us!
The only published human feeding study revealed that the genes inserted into GM crops transfer into the DNA of bacteria living inside our intestines and continue to function. So, long after we stop eating GMOs, we may still have potentially harmful GM proteins produced continuously inside of us. Although scientists tested this only on soy, if Bt genes from corn chips also transferred, they could transform our intestinal bacteria into living pesticide factories—possibly for the rest of our lives. The bottom line? GM foods might be colonizing the gut flora of North Americans.
Even if GMOs helped combat global hunger—which they don’t—it would be hard to justify putting these high-risk organisms into the food supply, especially since GM crops cross-pollinate and contaminate the environment. Their self-propagating genetic pollution may outlast the effects of global warming and nuclear waste.
Meet the Scientists Who Dared to Break the Silence on GMOs
Biologist Arpad Pusztai was the world’s top expert in his field, but when he accidentally discovered that genetically modified (GM) foods are dangerous, he became the biotech industry’s bad boy. Here’s what happened: Dr. Pusztai was awarded a $3 million grant to design a system for safety testing GMOs, but the testing went sideways.
Within 10 days, the test animals fed GM potatoes developed potentially pre-cancerous cell growth, smaller brains, livers, and testicles, partially atrophied livers, and damaged immune systems. Moreover, the cause was almost certainly side effects from the process of genetic engineering itself. In other words, the GM foods on the market—created from the same process—might have similar effects on humans.
When Pusztai was interviewed on TV about his findings and his concern over the safety of GM foods, he was soon fired, threatened with lawsuits, and shut down. Fortunately, Pusztai’s research was eventually published in the Lancet. Unfortunately, his is the only in-depth study done on the GM foods eaten every day by Americans and Canadians.
Irina Ermakova, a senior scientist at the Russian National Academy of Sciences, discovered that more than half of the baby rats in her experiment died within three weeks. She had fed the mothers GM soy flour purchased at a supermarket. The babies from mothers fed natural non-GMO soy, however, had only a 10% death rate. She repeated her experiment three times with similar results.
Dr. Ermakova reported her preliminary findings at a conference in October 2005, asking the scientific community to replicate her study. Instead, she was attacked, vilified and told to stop doing GM food research.
Unfortunately, Ermakova didn’t conduct a biochemical analysis of the feed, so it couldn’t be determined if some rogue toxin contaminated that soy flour. More recent events, however, indicate that the high infant mortality rate of baby rats fed GM soy may not have been unique to that one bag of GM flour. The laboratory where Ermakova worked used GM soy in their formulation and fed it to all the rats. After two months, the rat infant mortality rate from those experiments was over 55%. Unfortunately, no one has yet repeated Ermakova’s study.
Embryologist Andrés Carrasco told a leading Buenos Aires newspaper about the results of his research into Roundup, the herbicide sold in conjunction with Monsanto’s genetically engineered Roundup Ready crops. Dr. Carrasco, of Argentina’s Ministry of Science, said his studies of amphibians suggest that the herbicide could cause defects in the brain, intestines, and hearts of fetuses. Moreover, the amount of Roundup used on GM soy fields was as much as 1,500 times greater than that which created the defects.
The biotech industry ridiculed Carrasco’s research and issued personal threats. Fortunately, Argentina’s Association of Environmental Lawyers filed a petition calling for a ban on Roundup, and the Ministry of Defense banned GM soy from its fields.
Prominent virologist Terje Traavik presented preliminary data at a February 2004 meeting at the UN Biosafety Protocol Conference, showing that:
- Filipinos living next to a GM cornfield developed serious symptoms while the corn was pollinating.
- Genetic material inserted into GM crops transferred to rat organs after a single meal.
- Key safety assumptions about genetically engineered viruses were overturned, calling into question the safety of using these viruses in vaccines.
The biotech industry mercilessly attacked Dr. Traavik. Their excuse? He presented unpublished work. But presenting preliminary data at professional conferences is a long tradition in science, something that the biotech industry itself relied on in 1999 to try to counter the evidence that butterflies were endangered by GM corn.
Why is Science and Debate Being Silenced?
There appears to be a de facto ban on scientists asking certain questions and finding certain results.
New Zealand Parliament member Sue Kedgley told a Royal Commission in 2001: “Personally, I have been contacted by telephone and e-mail by a number of scientists who have serious concerns about aspects of the research that is taking place . . . and the increasingly close ties that are developing between science and commerce, but who are convinced that if they express these fears publicly . . . or even if they asked the awkward and difficult questions, they will be eased out of their institution.”
University of Minnesota biologist Phil Regal testified before the same Commission, “I think the people who boost genetic engineering are going to have to do a mea culpa and ask for forgiveness.”
Sue Kedgley has a different idea. She recommends we “set up human clinical trials using volunteers of genetic engineering scientists and their families, because they are so convinced of the safety of their products, I’m sure they would very readily volunteer to become part of a human clinical trial.” (Human rats maybe?)
In the meantime, innocent humans are being forced to take part in this GMO deception—against their will and, often, unknowingly. In short, we’re guinea pigs in the GMO killing fields. It’s time to stop the madness. Find out how to stop eating GMOs by visiting: http://www.nongmoshoppingguide.com/.
The above is just a summary from the Book Seeds of Deception by Jeffrey M. Smith ~ Please read it for more detailed information.