Genetically Modified (GM) Food
When you stop buying GM foods you are not only protecting your own health, you are literally saving the ecosystem of our planet and the destruction of our food supply !
. . .There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation. . ."
- The AmericanAcademyof Environmental Medicine (AAEM)
"When future historians come to write about our era they are not going to write about the tons of chemicals we did or didn't apply. When it comes to glyphosate (Round- Up) they are going to write about our willingness to sacrifice our children and to jeopardize our very existence by risking the sustainability of our agriculture; all based upon failed promises and flawed science.
The only benefit is that it affects the bottom- line of a few companies. There's no nutritional value."
- Dr. Huber, an expert on GM toxicity in foods, who has taught plant pathology, soil microbiology, and micro- ecological interactions as they relate to plant disease as a Professor on staff at Purdue University for 35 years.
Link to an article by Jeffrey Smith, author of best- seller “Seeds of Deception”, that tells of the overwhelming evidence discovered by scientists on the serious and irreversible harm ensuing from GMO's in our diet today, and let's you know the great lengths that companies go to in an effort to cover- up this evidence and discredit these brave whistle- blowing scientists:
What are GMO's?
How GMO's are created
Artificially inserting genes into the DNA of an organism, usually food crops or animals - Genetic Modification (GM) can be engineered using recombinant DNA technology, which combines DNA molecules from bacteria, viruses, insects, plants, animals, or even humans into one molecule to create a new set of genes.This DNA is then transferred into an organism. Transgenic organisms, in particular, have DNA inserted that originated in a different species (called horizontal gene transfer).
Elimination or alteration of genes
The three main current uses of GMOs in crops
(1) Herbicide tolerance (~63%)
Herbicide resistant GM plants - most crops have been altered to tolerate direct application of glyphosate, commonly known by the trade name ROUNDUP.Monsanto's Roundup is the most widely used herbicide in the world, and contrary to the popular belief propagated by industry, glyphosate use has significantly increased with the use of GM crops. While exact figures are a closely guarded secret because of the USDA's refusal to update its pesticide use databaseafter 2007,
Data show that glyphosate use in the U.S. more than doubled from 2005 to 2010 (E.g. 57 million pounds of glyphosate applied to corn fi elds in 2010 compared to 23 million pounds in 2005 and 4.4 million in 2000)
USDA. 2010. Agricultural Chemical Use Program. National Agricultural Statistics Service
This is a serious problem for more reasons than one:
- GM food crops saturated with more herbicides than ever before - which ends up in your body when you eat them;
- Gyphosate may be killing the soil itself - This startling conclusion comes straight from one of the USDA's own scientists, Dr. Kremer. However, his employer has opted to more or less ignore his findings, which, according to this article in Grist, include evidence that glyphosate causes:
✔ Damage to beneficial microbes in the soil - increasing the likelihood of infection of a crop by soil pathogens;
✔ Interference with nutrient uptake by the plant - E.g. iron, manganese and zinc can be reduced by as much as 80- 90 % in GM plants. Any herbicide or pesticide is a metal chelator, it grabs onto and immobilizes micronutrients, and according to Dr. Huber, an expert on GM toxicity in foods, who has taught plant pathology, soil microbiology, and micro- ecological interactions as they relate to plant disease as a Professor on staff at Purdue University for 35 years:
“Glyphosate is very unique and was first patented as a chelator by Stauffer Chemical Co. in 1964, because it could bind with any positively charged ion. If you look at the essential minerals for plants, you see calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, iron, manganese, zinc, and all of those other critical transition elements . . . they all have an ion associated with them. It's the micronutrient that is an ionâ€”that is really critical for a particular enzyme function.
. . .You have to realize that this mode of action immobilizes a critical essential nutrient. Those nutrients aren't just required by the weed, but they're required by microorganisms. They're required by us for our own physiologic functions. So if it's immobilized, it may be present if we do a regular test, but it's not necessarily physiologically available in the same efficiency that it would have been if it wasn't chelated with glyphosate. . ."
✔ Reduced efficiency of symbiotic nitrogen fixation;
✔ Overall lower- than- expected plant productivity
- Weeds becoming "Super Weeds"- reports of glyphosate- resistant weeds, or “super weeds,”have been on the rise since GM crops started gaining momentum, and these weeds now total 15 speciesâ€”up from 2 species in the 1990s. According to the British Institute of Science in Society, the UShas fared the worst, now combating 13 different glyphosate- resistant weed species in 73 different locations. E.g. Thousands of acres in the South have been abandoned to resistant strains of giant pigweed.
(2) Insect Resistance (~18%)
Insect resistant GM Plants produce their own Bt- toxins to kill bugs - GM corn and cotton are engineered to produce built- in pesticide Bt- toxin. This chemical is produced by Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)bacteria in soil. When bugs bite the plant and consume the Bt- toxin, it kills them by splitting open their stomachs.
Pests have become more resistant - in the U.S., GM crop production actually increased pesticide use by more than 4% between 1996 and 2004, despite early signs that GM use might be tied to an overall decline.
Engineered GM Bt- toxin, touted as safe by biotech companies, is not safe:
- Designed to be more toxic - has properties of an allergen.
- 1000's of times more concentrated than spray on form - although used by organic farmers as a bacterial spray against insects, the Bt- toxin produced in GM plants is thousands of times more concentrated and can not be washed off the plant.
- Even the less toxic "natural"spray can be harmful - according to studies, when dispersed by planes to kill gypsy moths in Washington and Vancouver, about 500 people reported allergy or flu- like symptoms. The same symptoms are now reported by farm workers from handling Bt cotton throughout India.
Washington State Department of Health, "Report of health surveillance activities: Asian gypsy moth control program," (Olympia, WA: Washington State Dept. of Health, 1993;
Green M et al., "Public health implications of the microbial pesticide Bacillus thuringiensis: An epidemiological study, Oregon, 1985- 86," Amer. J. Public Health 8;
Ashish Gupta et. al., "Impact of Bt Cotton on Farmers'Health (in Barwani and Dhar District of Madhya Pradesh)," Investigation Report, Oct- Dec 2005.
(3) “Stacked” (The rest %)
A combination of both herbicide tolerance and insect resistance
GMO Uses Under Experimentation
Increased Yield (under experimentation)
Increased yield GM plants are promoted by Monsanto as part of the global solution to impending food shortage crisis, although there are currently no GM crops available to increase yields.
GM modified plants supposed to increase yields but don't - New study shows that yield improvements have actually come as a result of improved farming practices and traditional plant breeding, not gene splicing, and concluding that modified crops won't help solve poverty, hunger, or climate change. Despite those findings, millions of farmers continue to plant genetically modified seeds.
Livestock producers and feed makers are pushing for this technology
2008 Report of 400 scientists approved by 50 countries casts serious doubt on GM crop role in addressing food security - and pointed to more effective alternatives.
Climate Resistant Plants (“Climate ready”) (Under experimentation)
There is a significant investment into research to develop GM crops that may be able to adapt to changing climate conditions like drought and extreme temperatures - E.g.one project called “Water Efficient Maize for Africa”to develop drought- tolerant corn. However, substantial technical obstacles are delaying this possibility for 5- 10 years, or maybe never.
How widespread is GMO cultivation?
GM Crops are World- wide
America currently leads the world in GM crop acreage with 123 million - followed by Argentina (42 million) and Brazil (23 million). Soybeans topped the list of GM crops worldwide at 60%, followed by maize (corn) at 24% and cotton 11%.
GM crops available commercially since 1996 - GM planted acreage has been growing at annual double- digit rates. Small farmers in countries such as China, India, and Brazil are making more use of GMO plants that allow them to grow more crops while reducing pesticide use.
How much of our crops are genetically modified?
- GM food crops grown by U.S. farmers include corn, cotton, soybeans, canola, squash, papaya, alfalfa, sugar beets - Other commercially available GM crops, such aspotatoes, and sweet corn, have yet to be widely adopted by farmers. Currently on the way is GM salmon, which will be the first approved non- crop GM food. As of 2011, close to 100% of the following crops and foods are genetically modifed:
✔ >95% of soybean crop - is genetically engineered not to die when sprayed with round up herbicides.
✔ 86% of corn - is genetically engineered to produce an insecticide or survive applications of herbicide;
✔ 93% of canola oil
✔ 93% of cottonseed oil - is a from a GM variety
✔ 95% of sugarbeets (2008- 2009) were “Round- up”ready - the courts then banned planting of GM sugarbeets and reapproved it in 2011
- Nearly 1/3 of the agricultural land in the U.S. is planted in gene- altered crops.
- The U.S., Canada, and Argentina together grow 80% of all commercial biotech crops
Beet sugar has recently entered the market, rice is next - Iran is already using gene- altered rice and in China, scientists are developing a wide variety of modified crops. Rice comprises nearly half the total calories eaten by the human race.
More than half the fields in Argentina and Paraguay sown with GMO plants
Some European countries have banned GMOs - with advocacy groups long pointing out the environmental risks of GMO crops.
- Bulgaria effectively banned cultivation of genetically- modified crops for scientific and commercial reasons (3/2010).
- Germany has banned the cultivation of GM corn (4/2009) - claiming that Monsanto's MON 810 is dangerous for the environment. MON810 produces a toxin to fight off the voracious larvae of the corn borer moth.
- Five E.U. member states currently apply 'safeguard clauses' on GMOs in the EU banning cultivation of MON810 - Austria, France, Greece, Hungary and Luxembourg.
- Several other European countries are now growing some biotech crops - Spain uses them widely.
GMO's are contaminating non- GM crops
Even if the U.S.D.A acts on the spread of GM crops in the U.S., it won't stop their proliferation in other nations - Almost 100 million acres of GM crops are planted in the U.S.. It is becoming increasingly difficult for non- GMO crops in the area to be truly "organic", as GM crops produce pollen that contaminates the organic crops as far as the winds, birds and bees will carry them.
GM seeds are patented - Monsanto's GM crop traits are found in more than 85% of global GM crop hectares, and the company controls 23% of the global proprietary seed market.
Cost of GM seed is sky- rocketing
- Seed used to be fairly inexpensive - largely due to the practice of planting seed collected and saved from the previous year. With GM seeds, this traditional farming practice is no longer employed and farmers must buy new seed each year.
- GM Seed prices have sky- rocketed - the 2009 Organic Center report, titled The Magnitude and Impacts of the Biotech and Organic Seed Price Premium, states that farmers who purchase Monsanto's Roundup Ready 2 soybeans in 2010 will pay 42% more per bag than they paid in 2009. Contrast this to the overall rise of 63% in soybean seed prices over the last 25 years.
No increase in yields - on the contrary GM soya has decreased yields by up to 20 percent compared with non- GM soya. Up to 100% failures of Bt cotton have been recorded in India. And studies by scientists from the USDA and the University of Georgia in 2008 found that growing GM cotton in the U.S. can result in a drop in income by up to 40%.
No reduction in pesticides use - on the contrary, USDA data shows that GM crops have increased pesticide use by 50 million pounds from 1996 to 2003 in the U.S., and the use of glyphosate went up more than 15- fold between 1994 and 2005, along with increases in other herbicides to cope with rising glyphosate resistant superweeds.
- Roundup herbicide is lethal to frogs and toxic to human placental and embryonic cells - Roundup is used in more than 80% of all GM crops planted in the world.
GM crops harm wildlife - as revealed by UK and U.S. studies
Bt resistant pests and Roundup tolerant superweeds render the two major GM crop traits useless - The evolution of Bt resistant bollworms worldwide have been confirmed and documented.
Epidemic of suicides in the cotton belt of India - According to the National Crime Records Bureau of India, more than 182,900 Indian farmers took their own lives between 1997 and 2007 as a result of failed GM crops. It estimated that 46 Indian farmers committed suicide every day!
Transgene contamination is completely unavoidable - as science has recently revealed that the genome (whether plant, animal or human) is NOT constant and static, which is the scientific base for genetic engineering of plants and animals. Instead, geneticists have discovered that the genome is remarkably dynamic and changeable, and constantly 'conversing'and adapting to the environment. This interaction determines which genes are turned on, when, where, by what and how much, and for how long. They've also found that the genetic material itself has the ability to be changed according to experience, passing it on to subsequent generations.
GM food and feed linked to deaths and sicknesses - both in the fields in India and in lab tests around the world.
Additional information about GMOs : www.ResponsibleTechnology.org - There you can also order additional guides to hand out to friends, health care practitioners, and decision makers within your community, along with free online videos, pod casts, and articles that you can repost and republish.
Attend to Diet, Lifestyle and Emotional State
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