ELIZABETH MARGARET ABRAHAM DEAL January 27, 1917 – May 30, 2007 By her firstborn, James Robert Deal, II
Elizabeth Abraham Deal was born in Clarkesdale, Mississippi on January 27, 1917 to Lebanese-born immigrants. She moved with her family to Blytheville, Arkansas, around 1923. She studied for eight years at Immaculate Conception School.
Mom died Wednesday May 30, 2007, here in Washington state where she lived her last five years with my wife and me. I am her first-born son, lawyer and mortgage broker (Blytheville High School graduate, 1965).
As a child Elizabeth wanted to be a doctor. She didn’t make it herself, but her second-born son Chad Logan Deal (BHS 1969) did. He is a rheumatologist at the Cleveland Clinic, and a recognized authority on osteoporosis.
Father and mother Chadad and Helen Abraham owned a dry goods store located on the west side of Railroad Street between Main and Ash. They built the Abraham Motel at 1020 South Division, remodeled in 1964 by Elizabeth and her husband Jimmie into the Drummer Boy Motel and Restaurant. Today it is the Wilson Funeral Home.
Elizabeth understood Arabic to a certain extent but did not speak it well. Chadad forbad his children from speaking Arabic, believing that they would never master English if they spoke the old country language. After school she worked in the family dry goods store. Elizabeth vividly remembered some policemen beating up a black man and Chadad intervening and defending him.
The Lebanese were considered second-class citizens, much like the few Chinese and Jewish residents of Blytheville. They were allowed to attend white schools, but socially conscious whites preferred not to associate with them. Occasionally, people in Blytheville would call Chadad and his family “dirty Jews.” They didn’t know the difference between Lebanese and Jewish. Perhaps because the Abrahams were discriminated against, they had a compassion for Blacks. They were on good terms with Blytheville’s small Jewish community.
Most of the Lebanese who immigrated to the South in the early decades of the 20th Century were Christian and not Moslem, although some were Moslem, and Chadad befriended them and invited them to stay in his home. Chadad was descended from Maronite Catholics, while Helen Nassif Abraham came from a Greek Orthodox family. There were no Orthodox churches in the South, and so the Orthodox usually became Catholics.
Elizabeth dropped out of high school because Chadad wanted her to get married early to one of his Lebanese friends. Elizabeth did not find any of them interesting. So she returned to school and graduated from Blytheville High School in 1937 at age 20.
At this point Elizabeth wanted to be a nurse but did not know how to apply, so she put all 12 years of her report cards in an envelope and send them to the Catholic nursing school in Jonesboro. She was accepted, but Chadad would not consent, saying “No daughter of my is going to empty bed pans and scrub naked men.”
However Chadad was willing to send Elizabeth to Draughon’s Business College in Memphis. She took a weekend job working for Deal Flooring typing letters. There she met James Robert Deal (Sr.), known to all as “Jimmie,” son of the owner, Albert Deal. Jimmie was a hard wood floor layer during the day. At night and on weekends he was a drummer and singer in a Dixieland band. It was 1937 and the Great Depression was in full swing, but Jimmie drove a nice car with a trailer full of musical equipment and had money. Elizabeth found him much more interesting than the Lebanese men she had met. She had an intuition from the start that they would marry. Elizabeth’s typing was not very good, and she was nervous working for Jimmie, so she ruined a score of letterhead pages to finish one letter.
After dating less than a month, Elizabeth they took a drive to Blytheville to meet Elizabeth’s parents. As they were passing through Marion on Highway 61, Jimmie said, “This is Marion. They say Marion is a good place for marryin’. Do you want to get married?” Elizabeth thought he was joking, so she joked back and said “yes.” Jimmie decided to take her seriously and did a u-turn. They went to see the justice of the peace, and the ceremony was over in a half hour. They continued on to Blytheville. Chadad and Helen liked Jimmie and gave their approval. Only then did they begin their honeymoon.
During World War II, Jimmie and Elizabeth lived in California. Jimmie worked as a set decorator in Hollywood and later as a railroad brakeman. They lived in a small trailer and moved wherever the railroad sent them–from Los Angeles to Mexicali to Indio.
Returning to Blytheville, they found the town booming. An Army Air Force base had opened there, and thirsty soldiers came into town at night and on weekends, wanting a place to drink. Chadad set up a beer joint for himself on the southwest corner of Railroad and Ash. It did a land office business. So he set up another beer joint for Elizabeth and Jimmie just around the corner and to the south on Railroad. It too did a land office business. So he set up a third beer joint further to the south for his daughter Marie and her husband Lonnie Manning. It was just as busy. Elizabeth would go to work at 5 pm, and take two dimes from two soldiers, ring up the sale in the cash register, open two taps and fill two glasses of beer, and give them to the soldiers, and do that non-stop until after midnight.
Running a beer joint was not to Jimmie’s liking. He was a committed Missouri Synod Lutheran, and Lutherans do not look favorably on drinking. So he and Elizabeth opened The House of Charm and did interior decorating. This business did well enough, however, Jimmie was on a religious quest for truth. He and Elizabeth visited many different denominations. For a while Elizabeth and I became Lutherans. They settled on the Church of Christ, which follows the New Testament as literally as possible and regards itself as replicating the original New Testament church. They were both rebaptized. Jimmie accepted a call to preach in Aubrey, Arkansas, not far from Helena. Elizabeth became a preacher’s wife. However, Jimmie had two sons with health issues, and the $100 per month salary was not enough to cover expenses. So Jimmie had to return to being a businessman. He continued to preach occasionally.
The family moved to Osceola, Arkansas, where Jimmie went into the paint store business with Mr. Kennemore, and where I attended second grade. The next year Jimmie took a job for Goldsmiths in Memphis heading up the sewing machine sales department, and the family lived in West Memphis, where I attended third grade. I was a cub scout, Elizabeth was den mother; my younger brother Chad was mascot. Greater opportunities presented themselves in Lincoln, Nebraska, so the family moved again, and I entered fourth grade. However, when the first blizzard hit at Thanksgiving, Jimmie announced that Nebraska was “too cold for man or beast.” We towed the 42′ x 8′ Schultz mobile home back to Blytheville and parked it at the Abraham Motel so we could be close to the Abrahams and Helen Abraham’s good cooking.
Jimmie and Elizabeth set up Deal’s Sewing Machine Exchange, which expanded soon into Deal’s Fabric Center. Later he set up Deal’s Custom Decorators as a separate business and ran it, while Elizabeth continued to run the Fabric Center.
Chadad Abraham died a few weeks before JFK was assassinated in 1963. He loved the young president so much that we said he would have died anyway when he heard the news. Chadad left the Abraham Motel to Elizabeth. She and Jimmie remodeled it into Deal’s Drummer Boy Restaurant & Motel in 1964. For many years it was the finest steak house in town.
In 1975 Jimmie and Elizabeth decided to sell all their businesses and retire. Elizabeth chose to pursue her life-long desire to be a healer and attended Cotton Bowl VoTec. At age 63 she became an LPN. She was amazed that she could study complicated scientific topics and learn them. She worked for almost 20 years at Beverly Senior Home with sick, disabled, and elderly patients, realizing her dream to care for others.
Her family wondered why a 60, 70, or 80 year old woman would continue to work. It was not just work for her; it was the realization of her calling. Elizabeth had spent so many years wishing to be a healer, and given that she had started so late in life, she did not want to miss one minute and never wanted to stop.
Husband Jimmie achieved success intervening in Middle South Utilities (now Entergy) rate cases. He saved Blytheville rate payers millions of dollars. He was so good that Middle South offered to hire him and pay him a huge salary. Jimmie declined. When he died at 86 in 2000 “Deal for Mayor” was still painted on his garage on Division at Hearn.
Jimmie and Elizabeth attended the Church of Christ. After Jimmie died she attended the Methodist Church. In her old age Elizabeth returned to the Catholic Church.
Elizabeth was witty and wise. She advised her sons, “When someone pays you a compliment, say thank you, and believe him.” She also said, “When someone gives you money, say thank you, and accept it.” She said, “Sometimes it is better to pay a little more and have something worth keeping.” At a time when racism was a common theme, Mom taught her sons a respect for all.
Elizabeth encouraged her two sons to go to college, and financed our tuition out of the coins that piled up in the cigarette and soft drink vending machines at the Drummer Boy.
Elizabeth retired the second time in 2001 because of health problems. The vertebrae in her neck were collapsing. She claimed it was the result of a crazy patient at the nursing home who snuck up behind her and smashed his fist into her upper back. Brother Chad, head of the Osteoporosis Division at Cleveland Clinic, arranged for her to have an operation. A titanium appliance was installed that supported her top seven vertebrae, which were fused together. Elizabeth lived in such agonizing pain for the first year that she was even disoriented about who we were. “Are you my son,” she asked once. “I’m not sure who you are, but I know you are someone I love.” Gradually her memory recovered.
She lived with Chad in Cleveland and then with niece Yvonne Manning Marshall in Charlottesville, Virginia. In 2002 the family asked if we wanted to take Mom. I said, “She took care of me when I was helpless, so I want to take care of her now.” Mom moved in with me and my new wife Emelyn. Emelyn became Mom’s primary care giver, and was like like a daughter to Elizabeth. The three of us were a happy family for the last five years of Elizabeth’s life. When Emelyn and I went out for a date, Mom volunteered to come along and pay for the movie and dinner. Chad and his family visited Elizabeth frequently. Without Mom as the magnet, the two families would not have been as close as we have become.
Elizabeth was never a complainer, even when she was in pain, and her neck pain was very bad at times. She was good at getting people to laugh.
Elizabeth fell ill in 2007 when an infection developed in her upper neck. It is common for a metal apparatus to harbor bacteria in its nooks and crannies. Antibiotics cannot kill the bacteria because blood flow to areas near the metal is limited. A Group Health surgeon went into the wound twice to clean it out. The wound healed, but it was discovered that Elizabeth’s aortic valve was 60 percent obstructed with plaque. The aortic valve leads from the heart into the aorta, the main artery leaving the heart. Although her heart was strong, it could not force enough blood out through the constricted aorta. Blood was backing up into the pulmonary artery, and her lungs were filling with fluid. Her liver and kidneys were receiving insufficient blood flow and were gradually failing. So they were not cleaning her blood, which in turn was affecting her heart. She was too old and fragile for an operation to clear out her aortic valve. Death was certain; the only question was how quickly it would come.
Elizabeth became weak and wanted to sleep most of the time. She needed help just to roll over. She was a tired of being confined to bed, of breathing through a nasal canula to get oxygen, of being catheterized, of being unable to get up to urinate, of having to defecate in the bed and be cleaned up, of having to be hooked up to a PICC line to receive medicine intravenously. She said she was ready to go. Occasionally, she would raise her hands and say “enough.” Mentally she was ready to go, but her body was not. She had a strong heart that was not ready to quit.
For a few hours each day she would wake up and eat a little and talk and laugh with us. I played guitar and flute for her and sang. Mom always liked my music and encouraged me to sing and plan. She was apparently having epiphanies thinking about her coming death, because occasionally she would exclaim, “Wow!”
As she was dying we reminded Mom that she was a big success, that she fulfilled her childhood ambition, went to college, and became a nurse, and that she raised up a doctor and a lawyer son. I reminded her, “If you had not believed in me, I would never have believed in myself.”
The day before she died, Mom rallied, and ate a lot. We thought she might even regain her strength and come home. But an aide fed her a lot of macaroni and cheese. Florence Joyner Griffith, Flo-Jo, died after eating a lot of cheese. Cheese has a tendency to produce a gluey mucous in the lungs. During the night Mom had extreme difficulty breathing. I slept beside her to monitor her condition, give her water, and call the nurse for help.
In the morning I sat by the bed and worked on my laptop. She said: “Son, I think I’m ready”. She asked me how to die. “Stop breathing”, I said. And soon she was released.
Elizabeth is survived by her sons, attorney James Robert Deal II (Blytheville HS 1969) and Chad Logan Deal M.D. (Blytheville HS 1973), and by nieces Sandra Manning Kennemore of Conway AR (BHS, 1964) and Yvonne Manning Marshall of Charlottestville VA (BHS, 1968) and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
F. William Engdahl (NEO) : Victories are to be celebrated and for the future of healthy life on our planet we all can celebrate a beautiful victory. The world’s largest nation, the Russian Federation, whose landmass spans Eurasia from the Baltic and Ukraine on the west to Vladivostock and the Pacific on her east, has formally declared all commercial planting of Genetically Modified Organisms, GMOs, to be prohibited.
The issue has been subject of a heated debate for some months inside Russia. In February 2014, just days prior to the US-orchestrated coup d’etat in Ukraine, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev created a national research project to obtain scientific information so the Government and Duma might make a decision on GMOs in Russia. Now a definitive decision has been made, and it goes against Monsanto and the US-led GMO cartel. We can say Russia’s crisis has concentrated minds on the essentials of life.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dorkovich told an international biotechnology conference in Kirov September 18, “As far as genetically-modified organisms are concerned, we have made the decision not to use any GMO in food productions.”
Last year the Duma or parliament voted to make tough GMO labeling laws as a first step to the new ban in order to inform consumers of presence of GMO in various foods they buy. That was before US and EU sanctions led to Russian counter-sanctions against EU imports of agriculture products. In August 2014, the Russian government announced its bans on import from the EU and several other countries of meat, fish, dairy products, fruit and vegetables as a response to the sanctions. It produced surprising results. Since the imposition of tough Russian food import bans, Russian agriculture has undergone a spectacular rebirth.
Russian supermarkets from Rostov on Don to Sochi to Moscow today feature overwhelmingly Russian products, domestically grown. Russians I spoke with during a visit this August to the Rostov region told me they realized that the taste of Russian food such as tomatoes was far superior to that of imported food that often is artificially colored and treated with chemical preservatives that it holds on the shelf, looking fresh. Following the tumultuous collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990’s the corrupt Yeltsin government opened the doors for western agribusiness giants like Kraft, Nestle, Unilever to fill Russian stores with their agribusiness industrialized food products.
Rich organic soils
The decision to build up domestic Russian food production is a huge one. Russia today has some of the richest most fertile agriculture soil in the world. Because during the Cold War economic restraints dictated that products of the chemical industry were dedicated to national defense needs, the fertile Russian soil has not been subjected to decades of destruction from chemical fertilizers or crop spraying as the soils in much of the west. Now this becomes a blessing in disguise, as EU and North American farmers struggle with the destructive effects of chemicals in their soils that have largely destroyed essential micro-organisms. Rich agriculture soils take years to create and can be destroyed in no time. Where the climate is moist and warm, it takes thousands of years to form just a few centimeters of soil. Cold dry climates need far longer.
Russia encompasses one of only two soil belts in the world known as “Chernozem belts.” It runs from Southern Russia into Siberia across Kursk, Lipetsk, Tambov and Voronezh Oblasts. Chernozem, Russian for black soil, are black-colored soils with a high percentage of humus, phosphoric acids, phosphorus and ammonia. Chernozem is very fertile soil producing a high agricultural yield. The Russian Chernozem belt stretches from Siberia and southern Russia into northeast Ukraine, on into the Balkans along the Danube. The other major Chernozem belt is in the Manitoba prairies of Canada.
Agribusiness vs. Food Security
The Russian Agriculture Ministry has also formulated a Russian Food Security Doctrine that regularly issues targets for domestic agriculture and fisheries production. This month they promulgated a new target of 85% for domestic fish consumption.
A project, financed by the Rockefeller Foundation, and developed by two professors at Harvard Business School, developed what they termed “agribusiness.” The Rockefeller idea was to do to world agriculture what Rockefellers had done to oil—create a top-down monopoly or cartel where a handful of corporations would control world food.
It was one of the most effective and by far one of the most destructive of many Rockefeller initiatives. Under pressure from the World Trade Organization “free trade” in agriculture should take precedence over national laws for health and safety. Russia’s return to a far higher degree of food self-sufficiency is a major blow to that agribusiness globalization strategy. Its decision to ban GMO food crops flies in the face of that western agribusiness lobby.
The EU sanctions are already creating major change inside Russia in terms of food production. One of the more fascinating examples is the fish production by the Russian Valaam Monastery on an archipelago in the northern portion of Lake Ladoga, in the Republic of Karelia, Russian Federation, near Finland. Russian Valaam Monastery on Lake Lagoda is booming trout and other food production as response to Russian food import decisions.
The Economic Director of the historic monastery has announced that they will triple fish production to 200 tons of trout a year from the present production of some 60-70 tons. “Previously, our fish had been on shop counters in St. Petersburg and Murmansk. But we did not supply it directly to retailers. We would supply it to the intermediaries who did the processing. Now we would like to attract investment to build fish-processing facilities. Then it would be possible to store it not two or three days but longer, and we would be able to supply it directly to retailers,” the responsible monk told Russian Izvestia. They also make cheese, including Italian varieties such as mozzarella, caciotta and ricotta. They had lost fish production Russian market share owing to cheaper industrially-produced Norwegian salmon in recent years. Norway is afected by Russia’s ban.
Food production in Russia’s under-populated far-east region is also set to boom. On September 3 in Vladivostok at the first Eastern Economic Forum, Russia’s Agriculture Ministry announced the creation of a new $10 billion agriculture development fund together with China.
A number of financial institutions, including Russia’s state-owned Sberbank, will participate in its operations. The aim of the fund is to stimulate the production of 10 million tons of grain and agricultural products annually, beginning 2020.
Both China and Russia will cooperate on joint investment projects in the Russian territories of priority development, nine of which are located in Russia’s Far Eastern Federal District, the ministry added. The projects will include investments in agribusiness, grain growing, processing, storage and logistics as well as the construction and operation of agribusiness infrastructure. In brief, major positive transformations are taking place in Russian food security and self-sufficiency.
Russia’s new Homestead Law
This July, taking a page out of American history, the Russian government announced it was drafting a Russian “Homestead Act.” The Russian government is finalizing a bill which will give an opportunity to every Russian citizen to obtain one hectare of land, or a maximum of five hectares for a family of five, in the Russian Far East for free.
They can use the land to farm, to do forestry or simply build a home and live, so long as they use the land for the first five years. After, they own the land free if the plot has been used for activities not banned by Russian laws, reported TASS. In the case of non-use the land will be confiscated and revert back to the government. Foreigners will have no right to get the free land. The new land law, if passed in the Duma, will take effect in January, 2016.
A recent poll suggests there is significant interest in the offer, with some 30 million mostly young Russians ready to “go east.” Following the economic devastation of Russia during the Yeltsin era of the 1990s, eastern regions suffered economic collapse and significant depopulation as people migrated to cities to survive.
Into this broader context of recent developments, the definitive government ban on growing GMO crops in the Russian Federation adds a major new attraction. Russia stands to become one of the world’s most desired producers of natural, organic non-GMO-contaminated food for the world.
Today, the once-great American agriculture has been de-humanized, industrialized, by giant agribusiness concerns, and contaminated by Monsanto and GMO plants along with its deadly herbicides containing toxic glyphosate. More than 80% of all US corn is GMO and almost 100% of USA soybeans. This is no small matter. Exports of GMO soybeans and corn are allowed unlabeled, by loopholes, into the European Union as well as into China. That means that most of the meat and even farmed fish that European and Chinese consumers eat contains indirect GMO crops and toxins. In light of all this it might make sense to treat Russia a little more politely in the future if we want to eat healthy food. They are doing what we should be doing, but don’t. Why?
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
(NaturalNews) A top scientist and “risk engineering” expert is now publicly warning that GMOs pose a dire, genuine threat to the continuation of life on Earth. Nassim Taleb, author of The Black Swan and Fooled by Randomness, says that GMOs have the potential to cause “an irreversible termination of life at some scale, which could be the planet.”
His full explanation is presented in this public paper which describes how even a small risk per crop species can still result in global ecocide if pursued with abandon. As Taleb explains, “The risk of ruin is not sustainable, like a resource that gets
depleted in the long term (even in the short term). By the ruin theorems, if you incur a tiny probability of ruin, as a “one-off” risk, survive it, then repeat the exposure, you will eventually
go bust with probability 1.” (Where “probability 1” means a 100% chance.)
Rational thinking automatically leads to skepticism of GMO safety
This sober, scientific conclusion is of course entirely rational and founded in clear thinking. Self-deluded GMO zealots and paid Monsanto trolls predictably try to gloss over these risks in their quest for profits and power, but that does not mean such risks do not exist.
In fact, as Taleb convincingly argues, genetically engineered crops are specifically designed to have a survival advantage over conventional crops, allowing them to better resist droughts or infestations of pests or weeds. This survival advantage — if it’s as real as seed manipulators claim — means genetically engineered plants can out-compete non-GMO crops in open fields. The genetic pollution which is already underway across North America will only get worse, therefore, and there’s no reversing it because all living systems — even genetically engineered ones — have a natural drive to spread, multiply and survive.
The result is that GMO crops will out-compete and thereby displace non-GMO crops over time. Why does this matter? Because the rise of GMOs is nearly synonymous with the collapse of genetic diversity in seeds and food crops. You don’t have to go back very far in history to find examples of mono-cultured food crops failing due to lack of genetic diversity, either:
– The Irish Potato Famine of 1845-1852 was caused by over-reliance on a genetically narrow food crop. Shockingly, one-third of the Irish population relied on a single crop, and when potato blight (a fungal microorganism) successfully attacked the crop, over one million people died from starvation.
A loss of genetic diversity is a pathway to global disease and starvation
Any legitimate scientist in the fields of anthropology, genetics or agriculture will warn you that low genetic diversity is the first step toward crisis and collapse of any given population. When genetic diversity is lost, the entire species becomes vulnerable to being wiped out by epidemic disease.
This principle is irrefutable and widely recognized as truth among nearly all scientifically-literate thinkers… except those pushing GMOs, of course. Those denialists selectively edit “scientific truth” to exclude any concerns that might question the wisdom of displacing the world’s treasure of seed diversity with corporate-patented seeds. The Precautionary Principle is gladly thrown out the window when corporate profits are to be realized from doing so.
Transgenic GMOs could cause catastrophic ecocide
Beyond the loss of genetic diversity, Taleb is also concerned about the possibility of catastrophic transgenic effects which could somehow weaken the world’s food crops in ways human scientists never intended or anticipated. Murphy’s Law — which states that if something can go wrong, it will — is widely recognized as a frustrating truth across physics, medicine, computer science and space exploration. Yet it is magically and irrationally declared null and void only for GMOs, where the roll of the dice quite literally threatens the sustainability of future life on our planet.
As Taleb explains, even if the chance of any single genetically engineered crop going wild and unleashing global crop failures is very small, the fact that companies like Monsanto and DuPont seek to dominate the global seed supply by perpetually releasing more and more genetically engineered crops means that sooner or later, a genetic catastrophe is all but inevitable.
If you play Russian Roulette every weekend, in other words, and there really is a live round in one of the gun’s chambers, sooner or later you are bound to blow your brains out. This is true even if the revolver has 1000 chambers (with 999 of them empty) so that the odds of losing seem incredibly small each time you play. (Interestingly, Taleb uses this exact same illustration in his paper…)
As Taleb also explains in his paper, the cost of losing is so great that even tiny odds of failure may not be acceptable. After all, we’re talking about the entire future of life on our planet.
GMOs may unleash mass global crop failures followed by starvation and disease
I warned about precisely this issue two years ago in my “Murdered by Science” series of articles which discussed how careless applications of science are putting the very existence of the human race at risk. (And for the record, I am not anti-science. I am 100% pro-science when the Precautionary Principle is honored.)
Those articles, widely derided by prostitute scientists paid by corporations to troll the web and attack reason, are in fact even more urgent to read today, in 2014. In those articles, I pointed out that GMOs are in the most extreme class of pollutants because they are self-replicating. While chemical spills can eventually be cleaned up, and even heavy metals can be remediated over time, genetically engineered DNA that escapes into the wild can never be put back into a box.
Self-replicating pollution is the worst class of pollution, far exceeding even the risk of nuclear accidents wiping out humankind. “As humans, we are ill equipped to understand the mathematics behind such risks,” writes Taleb. And he’s correct: human brains are not hard-wired to fully grasp the long-term implications of self-replicating pollution. In the same way, most people are utterly incapable of accurately imagining the long-term outcomes of compounded interest — a phenomenon which eerily reflects the spread of self-replicating pollution.
How dishonest science fools the uneducated masses
Because humans are not hard-wired to grasp the long-term risks of self-replicating pollution (as posed by genetically engineered crops), it is all too easy for paid prostitute-scientists to pull the wool over the eyes of the public and falsely claim GMOs present no risks whatsoever. This is why every single scientist who is currently promoting GMOs is, in fact, a threat to the continuation of human life on our planet. By deceiving the public and glossing over the very real threats to life posed by GMOs, they directly contribute to the spread of GMO genetic pollution which may end in genuine catastrophe and massive loss of life.
Imagine the global collapse of all GM corn crops. Or imagine the collapse of global soy production. Every crop which is GMO has some risk of being wiped out in a catastrophic manner caused by the un-natural manipulation of the crop’s genetic code.
The history of scientific advancement, of course, is rife with huge failures to foresee unintended consequences. Perhaps the most important example of that is found in the current rise of superbugs across modern hospitals. Utterly unforeseen by the world’s top scientists and pharmacological researchers, superbugs have now risen to such prominence in our health care system that even the CDC has warned that the age of antibiotics is over.
Superbugs, in fact, were a product of antibiotics. As drug companies churned out the drugs to “beat disease” — and doctors prescribed those drugs to hundreds of millions of patients worldwide — the perfect environment was created for the nurture and spread of antibiotic-resistant superbugs, many of which are fatal to patients.
I personally knew three people who were killed in U.S. hospitals by superbug infections. Superbugs are the new death pandemic in America, and they are currently killing 48,000 Americans each year. They were unleashed by scientists who had no intention of causing death and destruction. Rather, those scientists working on antibiotics genuinely believed they were saving lives with no downside. At first, it all seemed true — antibiotics inarguably saved many lives early on. But now, antibiotics are in fact the reason why deadly superbugs have escaped the reach of modern medicine and genuinely threaten the human race with incurable infections.
Scientists are not immune to making catastrophic mistakes that cause massive death
The superbugs lesson desperately needs to be understood by the self-deluded prostitute-scientists currently pushing GMOs. Importantly, they need to swallow their arrogance for just long enough to understand that your INTENTION does not control the long-term effects of your ACTIONS.
Just because you wish for GMOs to “feed the world” does not mean they will. In fact, positive intentions can and do frequently blind scientists to the downsides of their own innovations. In example after example, scientists who believed they were pursuing technology for the betterment of humankind ended up inadvertently contributing to mass death and destruction.
The Manhattan Project, anyone?
But at least the dropping of atomic bombs on civilian populations in Japan was a catastrophe that could be contained. The damage, although immense, was limited and could not mysteriously multiply itself over time. GMOs, on the other hand, are like seeds of mass destruction because they can replicate, spread and conquer.
So controlling them may not be possible once they are unleashed. And they have already been unleashed. Genetic pollution is now widespread across our agricultural landscape, and the vast majority of organic farms in the USA have experienced some level of contamination from genetically engineered crops.
Why so few people are capable of rationally discussing the ecological risks of GMOs
In a very real sense, most human beings are cognitively incapable of participating in any rational discussion of these issues. This includes most scientists, by the way, who are themselves just as vulnerable to peer influences and false mythologies as anyone else. In the name of “science,” far too many scientists today merely embarrass themselves by pushing obscenely silly arguments in defense of GMOs, claiming utterly stupid things like, “humans have tinkered with the genetic code of plants for thousands of years. Genetic engineering is no different.”
Although this is the most frequently-invoked argument by GMO denialists, it is blatantly idiotic and grossly deceptive from the start. Selective breeding of various phenotypes within the genetic pool of a given species in no way equates to cross-species DNA manipulation which combines insect or soil genes with plant genes. Any person who even attempts to equate these two concepts does nothing more than affix a giant “DUNCE” sticker to their own foreheads. (And yes, numerous scientists invoke this silly argument every single day, across the mainstream media.)
Taleb also addresses this same issue head-on in his public paper, explaining:
Top-down modifications to the system (through GMOs) are categorically and statistically different from bottom up ones (regular farming, progressive tinkering with crops, etc.) There is no comparison between the tinkering of selective breeding and the top-down engineering of taking a gene from an organism and putting it into another. Saying that such a product is natural misses the statistical process by which things become “natural.”
The abandonment of caution in the quest for profits
The next idiotic argument put forth by desperate prostitute-scientists is that GMOs aren’t dangerous because there’s no evidence they are dangerous. As stupid as this sounds, it is also the faith-based argument of the chemical industry which insists “all chemicals are safe until such time as they are proven dangerous.”
If this bass-awkwards logic sounds familiar, it’s because it is also invoked by the processed food industry in claiming that all food additives, preservatives and chemicals are inherently safe unless and until they are proven dangerous.
What all this non-logic has in common is an illogical presumption of safety. This has always been the argument of the mass poisoners of our world. Regardless of the poison being discussed — BPA, mercury fillings, pesticide chemicals, DDT, toxic heavy metals, triclosan, MSG and more — its corporate backers have consistently and predictably hired swaths of prostitute-scientists to declare the substance to be “safe until proven otherwise.”
The tragic lesson of lead arsenate pesticides
This presumption of safety sooner or later ends very badly. For over a hundred years, the heavy metals pesticide lead arsenate was “presumed safe.” Made primarily of lead and arsenic, it was indeed very effective at killing pests that threatened food crops. So farmers across North America and around the world sprayed it on their food crops, producing amazing quantities of food… at first, anyway.
Before long, the lead and arsenic bio-accumulated in agricultural soils, poisoning the trees that produced the food as well as the customers who ate it. To this day, soils across the world remain heavily poisoned by these deadly heavy metals, which is one of the reasons why so many superfood products sold today contain such high levels of heavy metals (see the Natural News Forensic Food Labresults for examples).
Lead arsenate — just like GMOs — was “presumed safe” because it didn’t cause immediate death to anyone. According to corporate-sponsored prostitute-scientists, anything that doesn’t kill you within seconds is automatically presumed to be safe. All long-term implications of the chemical or technology are willfully swept under the rug and ignored. Corporations lean on government regulators until the cover-up becomes policy. At that point, both government and industry become active collaborators in the mass poisoning of the human race.
In conclusion: No self-replicating technology can be presumed safe if we hope to survive
I am of the opinion, by the way, that human civilization will not survive the next 100 years. Our species is too shortsighted, too driven by greed and too easily manipulated to survive its own corporate-led destruction. The quest for short-term profits blinds nearly everyone to long-term implications. The fact that the masses are already heavily poisoned by this very process makes it nearly impossible for the public consciousness to achieve sufficient lucidity to halt the quickening pace of self-destruction.
So in one sense, I only write this out of a fondness for galactic amusement, not out of any real hope that humanity can save itself from destruction via heavy metals, synthetic chemicals, pharmaceuticals and GMOs. But on the off chance that I am wrong in my prediction of humanity’s demise, if we are to survive as a species, such survival will necessitate the global embracing of the Precautionary Principle across all realms of science and technology.
Because even if we halt Monsanto and agree to have all the criminal biotechnology scientists halted from committing ecocide, we are all very likely going to be overrun by artificial intelligence before the year 2050, regardless of what else happens in agriculture or synthetic chemicals. Just as with GMOs, today’s most brilliant computer scientists are wholly incapable of understanding the long-term implications of the race for conscious machines and advanced AI tech. The result will almost certainly be that humans will invent the technologies that destroy humanity, and we will all go down in history as the race of sentient beings who were smart enough to invent amazing technologies but too stupid to restrain them.
Last year, groundbreaking research was published suggesting that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s broad-spectrum herbicide Roundup, might be “a crucially important factor in the development of multiple chronic diseases and conditions.”
If you missed it, please take the time to listen to Jeff Smith’s interview with the lead author of that research, Dr. Stephanie Seneff, reposted above.
They spray nearly one BILLION pounds of Roundup every year for conventional crop production, but genetically engineered (GE) crops see some of the heaviest use, as so-called Roundup Ready crops are designed to withstand otherwise lethal doses of this chemical.
Tests published last year also showed that people in 18 countries across Europe have glyphosate in their bodies,1 while yet a third study revealed the chemical has estrogenic properties and drive breast cancer proliferation in the parts-per-trillion range.2
Now, research published in the International Journal of Toxicology3 in January adds even more fuel to the fire, as it reveals that glyphosate-based formulations like Roundup pose a threat to human health through cytotoxicity and oxidative effects. Such formulations were also found to be lethal to human liver cells.
You may think you are safe if you only eat organic produce but nothing could be further from the truth as most of the glyphosate contaminated crops are fed to animals. This means you also need to get organic meat and eggs. Also, beware you CANNOT wash glyphosate off your produce as it is actively integrated into every cell in the plant and impossible to wash off.
Commercial Formulations of Glyphosate Threaten Human Health
The researchers found that while glyphosate and its amino acid metabolite, aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) in isolation appears to be non-toxic to human cells, toxicity does become a concern when glyphosate is added to other ingredients found in commercial formulations.
It’s also well worth noting that the featured study assessed the effects of glyphosate-based formulations on human cells at dilutions that are far belownormal agricultural applications. As reported by the featured article by GreenMedInfo.com:4
“The researchers discovered that while glyphosate and its amino acid metabolite, aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), showed little to no observable toxic effects in isolation, a glyphosate-based formulation containing adjuvants produced a variety of adverse effects on cellular oxidative balance, including the following signs of oxidative stress:
Increases in reactive oxygen species
Increases in nitrotyrosine formation
Increases in superoxide dismutase activity
Increases in glutathione levels
The glyphosate formulation studied also triggered two ‘death proteins’ in human cells known as caspase 3/7, inducing pathways that activate programmed cell death (apoptosis), a clear sign of significant toxicity.”
According to the authors:
“These results confirm that G [glyphosate] formulations have adjuvants working together with the active ingredient and causing toxic effects that are not seen with acid glyphosate…
Altogether, these results challenge the establishment of guidance values such as the acceptable daily intake of glyphosate, when these are mostly based on a long term in vivo test of glyphosate alone.
Since pesticides are always used with adjuvants that could change their toxicity, the necessity to assess their whole formulations as mixtures becomes obvious. This challenges the concept of active principle of pesticides for non-target species.”
Glyphosate in Isolation Preferentially Targets Beneficial Bacteria
Please note that in my earlier interviews with Dr. Don Huber, who is one of the most prominent scientific experts in plant toxicology, he firmly believe glyphosate is FAR more toxic and dangerous than DDT.
Previous research also shows that glyphosate alone wreaks havoc on soil and gut bacteria, so while glyphosate in isolation may not be able to kill your liver cells, ithas been shown to wreak havoc on the beneficial bacteria that are absolutely critical to your overall health. Your gut bacteria (opposed to other human cells) are a key component of glyphosate’s primary mechanism of harm, as microbes have the same pathway used by glyphosate to kill weeds.
The issue of glyphosate toxicity—whether in isolation or in formulation—implicates genetically engineered foods as being potentially far more hazardous to your health than less contaminated crops, and is indeed a significant reason for opting for organically-grown foods.
Labeling GMOs could help you select products that are less likely to have heavy contamination, although you’d also avoid many other hazardous chemicals used in conventional farming by opting for products labeled 100% organic.
There’s also the environmental angle, as glyphosate also effectively kills beneficial soil microbes and damages the fertility of the soil. Glyphosate is in fact patented as an antibiotic, and killing bacteria is the main function of such drugs. It’s also a potent chelator, which prevents valuable minerals like iron, calcium, manganese, and zinc from being utilized by the plant.
As previously explained by plant pathologist Dr. Don Huber, genetically engineered (GE) foods, as well as conventional crops that are heavily sprayed with glyphosate, have lower nutrient density than organic foods for this very reason. GE crops also contain high amounts of pesticides with documented harmful health effects, along with novel, highly allergenic, proteins.
Glyphosate’s chelating and antibacterial activities also promote soil and plant disease, including but not limited to fungal root disease, highlighted by USDA scientist Robert Kremer in a previous Mother Jones article.5 The chemical’s damaging effect on soil has a detrimental effect on yields too, of course, which appears to be part of the explanation for why the chemical technology industry’s promises of improving yields have largely fallen flat. The only “yield” that’s really gone up is that of glyphosate-resistant superweeds which, as of 2012, affected nearly half (49 percent) of American farmers!6 That was up from a reported 34 percent of farmers in 2011, so clearly, the spread of resistance is swift, and the entire agricultural system is at stake.
Global Land Crisis and the Threat of Worldwide Famine
In related news,7 a recently published paper in the journal Science8 by a Colorado research team found that modern chemical-based agriculture has “drastically altered” the biology of American farmland across the prairies, concluding that: “The soils currently found throughout the region bear little resemblance to their pre-agricultural state.”
The paper calls for dramatic and swift changes to our agricultural system, stating that it’s the “only viable route to feeding the world and keeping it habitable.” A key factor causing the rapid degradation of soil, topsoil erosion, and declining soil fertility, is the adverse effect that agricultural chemicals have on the soil.
Academic analysts from South Africa’s Witwatersrand University also weighed in on the issue, warning that unless we change course in how food is grown, we will repeat the same mistakes committed by civilizations in the past, where overexploitation of the land resulted in a vicious circle of famine and social disintegration… To learn more, you can review the PDF booklet, Food Plague Primer: Glyphosate and Genetically Engineered Crops,9 which is a free preview to the book: Food Plague: Could our daily bread be our most deadly exposure,10 written by Arden Andersen PhD, DO, who is both a medical doctor and horticulturist.
Food Industry Pulls Out All the Stops to Prevent GMO Labeling
There’s also important news from the GMO labeling front. I recently told you about the Grocery Manufacturers Association of America‘s (GMA) multi-pronged game plan for preventing US states from implementing any kind of GMO labeling. A major part of the GMA’s plan is to prevent states from creating their own labeling laws by pushing for an industry-friendly, voluntary labeling law at the federal level. But that’s not all.
A GMA document11 created for use by industry lobbyists also lays out a clear-cut strategy for addressing any state that successfully implements a GMO labeling law, stating that, “The first state to implement a GMO labeling law will be sued on the constitutional grounds seen in IDFA v. Amestoy.”Costly litigation is clearly part of the GMA’s master plan to protect industry profits in the face of growing consumer awareness about the many problems inherent with potentially toxic, genetically engineered, and grossly adulterated, processed foods.
Maine and Connecticut both passed GMO labeling laws last year, but they contain “trigger” clauses that prevent them from taking effect until or unless at least four neighboring states, with a combined population of at least 20 million inhabitants, pass similar bills.
Vermont also produced a GMO labeling bill in 2012, which was quickly put on ice when Monsanto threatened to sue the state. Still, Vermonters pushed through and, last year, the Vermont House of Representatives passed H.112, which would require GE foods to be labeled as such, and would prohibit GE foods from being labeled “natural.” While the bill didn’t make it into the Senate before the end of the legislative session in 2013, now that the state legislature has reconvened, the bill has been taken up by the Senate’s Agriculture Committee.
The problem Vermont now faces for the second time is the threat of being sued by the industry. The GMA document referred to above falsely insinuates that GMO labeling is in violation of the First Amendment, which protects commercial speech, and therefore unconstitutional.
Breaking News: Highest Rated Law Firm Confirms GMO Labeling IS Constitutional
Alas, one of the highest rated law firms in the US, Emord & Associates, has analyzed the Vermont Genetically Engineered Labeling Bill, H.112, concluding that the bill is, in fact, constitutional.12, 13 Emord & Associates is an AV-rated constitutional and administrative law firm located in Washington, D.C., Clifton, Virginia, and Chandler, Arizona.
An AV rating is the highest rating a law firm can achieve, based on legal ability and ethics, from the Martindale-Hubbell organization. Since 1999, the firm has successfully represented clients in eight First Amendment challenges against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Vermont Law School’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic has also concluded that Vermont’s GMO labeling bill would withstand a legal challenge from industry, stating that:14
“We have researched and analyzed challenges that may be made in opposition to such legislation and have concluded that Vermont can pass GE labeling legislation that will meet all constitutional requirements.”
That said, the threat of costly legal battles may still have a cooling effect on legislators that would otherwise support GMO labeling, which is surely the GMA’s intent. As reported by the Organic Consumers Association:15
“…GMO labeling activists are also concerned that some lawmakers will use the GMA’s threats as a convenient excuse to reject the majority opinion of their voters, in favor of siding with industry instead. Or as a means to convince their colleagues to add trigger clauses, similar to those in the Maine and Connecticut bills, in an attempt to stall or permanently sabotage GMO laws.
Food manufacturers insist that GMO ingredients are perfectly safe. Still, they’ve spent more than $70 million–some of itillegally laundered—to defeat GMO labeling initiatives in California and Washington State. And the GMA, representing more than 300 food makers and trade associations, has drafted a bill (which so far has no sponsors) that would preempt state mandatory GMO labeling laws and allow the use of the word ‘natural’ on GMO-contaminated products.
…What’s next? Vermont lawmakers could pass a clean bill. Or, they could pass a meaningless bill with a trigger clause. Or, they could cave into industry’s threats entirely, and vote against the 90 percent of Vermonters who support H.112—knowing that the bill is bullet-proof, and their failure to pass it a failure of courage.”
Take a Stand Against Industry Bullying
Vermont isn’t the only state having to muster up a backbone to face a potential legal challenge by the GMA. Rhode Island and Florida have also introduced GMO labeling laws this year. Massachusetts and New York are expected to follow suit. But no matter where GMO labeling laws are considered, you can be sure GMA lobbyists will be present, spewing falsehoods and intimidating lawmakers. The Organic Consumers Association has created an Action Page where you can voice your opinions with the lawmakers in your state. Please tell them to stand firm; ignore the threats from the food industry, and do what’s right for the people they were elected to represent.
Vote with Your Pocketbook, Every Day
Remember, the food companies on the left of this graphic spent tens of millions of dollars in the last two labeling campaigns—in California and Washington State—to prevent you from knowing what’s in your food. You can even the score by switching to the brands on the right; all of whom stood behind the I-522 Right to Know campaign. Voting with your pocketbook, at every meal, matters. It makes a huge difference.
As always, I encourage you to continue educating yourself about genetically engineered foods, and to share what you’ve learned with family and friends. Remember, unless a food is certified organic, you can assume it contains GMO ingredients if it contains sugar from sugar beet, soy, or corn, or any of their derivatives.
If you buy processed food, opt for products bearing the USDA 100% Organic label, as organics do not permit GMOs. You can also print out and use the Non-GMO Shopping Guide, created by the Institute for Responsible Technology. Share it with your friends and family, and post it to your social networks. Alternatively, download their free iPhone application, available in the iTunes store. You can find it by searching for ShopNoGMO in the applications.
For timely updates, join the Non-GMO Project on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter. Please, do your homework. Together, we have the power to stop the chemical technology industry from destroying our food supply, the future of our children, and the earth as a whole. All we need is about five percent of American shoppers to simply stop buying genetically engineered foods, and the food industry would have to reconsider their source of ingredients—regardless of whether the products bear an actual GMO label or not.
UK bread and cereal bars found to be contaminated with glyphosate
Monday, January 13, 2014 by: PF Louis
(NaturalNews) The UK and EU populace doesn’t embrace Monsanto’s propaganda, and their governments are somewhat less dominated by Monsanto minions than the US government is. So traces of glyphosate in major British non-GMO food brands should be a huge red flag for us here in America.
UK news site The Ecologist featured a study performed by a British anti-GMO group called GM Freeze. Two major food brands contained traces of glyphosate. The research disclosed that all four cereal bars produced by Jordans and 34 out of 40 bread products sampled from Walburtons contained traces of glyhosate. These are both big name brands in the UK.
Those traces were below the EU maximum allowable glyphosate residue amounts for cereal products. But many disagree with the maximum allowable amounts, pointing out that glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor and thus shouldn’t be tolerated at any level.  
Parsing the glyphosate RoundUp issue
So how does glyphosate show up in those biscuits and breads where GMOs aren’t grown? Well, RoundUp is such a popular herbicide that it’s used on non-GMO grain fields. Normally, RoundUp destroys all plant life that’s not grown from RoundUp Ready GMO seeds that are designed to keep the pesticide from killing those GMO corn or soy crops.
But farmers can use it on non-GMO fields before planting to get rid of or prevent weeds from choking the new crops, and they can be used just before harvesting to make combining easier. That’s how glyphosate can show up in foods from non-GMO grain sources. Only organic crops will be free of any pesticide residues.
In Europe, GMO soy and corn is allowed in most countries for livestock feed only. And that guarantees that the Monsanto herbicide RoundUp gets sold abundantly to those farmers who sign extremely binding and limiting contracts with the evil corporation.
This affects non-organic farm animals adversely. A Dutch pig farmer raised a stink beyond even his large factory farm when he compared the differences in animal health and reproduction between GMOfeeds and non-GMO feeds.
With non-GMO feeds, he experienced far less still births or spontaneous abortions and deformities among newly born piglets and less need for antibiotics among the pigs, who clearly showed better health even within the confines of a factory farm. 
This situation had occurred among Midwest American livestock farmers also. Several of them had reported issues of an even greater extent using GMO feed with their pigs, cows and cattle to retired Purdue professor emeritus of plant pathology Dr. Don Huber.
Huber investigated and discovered that the RoundUp pesticide was creating soil and plant issues that at least robbed the plants of nutrition and protection from disease. Huber also hypothesized that a unique and novel pathogen was developed in the process. 
Here’s where the glyphosate issue gets dicey
Glyphosate alone is not the most toxic pesticide ingredient, although it’s commonly considered as such.But it’s the only substance used for testing by the EPA and government agencies worldwide. So the EPA has allowed larger amounts of glyphosate usage even as it has been showing up in human blood.
RoundUp’s extreme toxicity comes from combining glyphosate with chemical adjuvants to ensure rapid plant absorption of glyphosate. Glyphosate is considered the “active ingredient,” while the adjuvants are considered “inert,” pretty much like vaccines and their toxic adjuvants.
The RoundUp adjuvants aren’t considered, while Monsanto claims proprietary rights to avoid revealing what those “inert” ingredients are. But the two-year Seralini rat study that produced premature deaths and horrific tumors after nine months did decipher what those adjuvants are. 
Using scientific instrumentation, the Seralini group isolated inert ingredients and noted their toxicity. RoundUp’s glyphosate combination with certain chemical adjuvants create a toxic and carcinogenic cocktail that makes it’s way up the food chain. [5a]
If the recent Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology retraction of Seralini’s work has you confused, consider these two facts: Almost 800 scientists and thousands of other professionals have petitioned objections to the journal’s condemnation of Seralini’s work, and just prior to that journal’s retraction, a former Monsanto scientist slithered into the journal’s editorial staff.
David Schubert, Ph.D. biology professor with the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, offers an excellent write-up defending Seralini’s work here (http://www.utsandiego.com).
Monsanto and other biotech companies claim genetically modified (GM) crops have no impact on the environment and are perfectly safe to eat.
Federal departments in charge of food safety in the US and Canada have notconducted tests to affirm this alleged “safety,” but rather have taken the industry-conducted research at face value, allowing millions of acres of GM crops to overtake farmland.
These foods, largely in the form of GM corn and soy (although there are other GM crops, too, like sugar beets, papaya and crookneck squash), can now be found in the majority of processed foods in the US.
In other words, if you eat processed foods, you’re already eating them… and these crops are already being freely planted in the environment. But what if it turns out that Monsanto was wrong, and the GM crops aren’t actually safe…
This is precisely what a number of scientists have been warning of for years, and the latest to sound the alarm is Dr. Mae-Wan Ho of the Institute for Science in Society, who has concluded that, by their very nature, there is no way GMOs (genetically modified organisms) can be safe.
The Greatest Danger of Genetic Modification
According to Dr. Mae-Wan Ho, genetic modification interferes fundamentally with the natural genetic modifications that organisms undergo in order to survive. Under natural circumstances, this is done in real time as “an exquisitely precise molecular dance of life.”
Genetic engineering, which assumes that one protein determines one particular trait, such as herbicide tolerance or insect resistance, and can easily be swapped out with another, with no other effects, is dangerously simplistic or, as Dr. Mae-Wan Ho says, “an illusion.”
An organism’s genome is not static but fluid, and its biological functions are interconnected with its environment and vice versa, such that trying to control genetic changes via artificial modification is a dangerous game. Dr. Ho explained:
“The rationale and impetus for genetic engineering and genetic modification is the ‘central dogma’ of molecular biology that assumes DNA (deoxyribose nucleic acid) carries all the instructions for making an organism.
Individual ‘genetic messages’ in DNA faithfully copied into RNA (ribosenucleic acid), is then translated into a protein via a genetic code; the protein determining a particular trait, such as herbicide tolerance, or insect resistance; one gene, one character. If it were really as simple as that, genetic modification would work perfectly. Unfortunately this simplistic picture is an illusion.
Instead of linear causal chains leading from DNA to RNA to protein and downstream biological functions, complex feed-forward and feed-back cycles interconnect organism and environment at all levels to mark and change RNA and DNA down the generations … Organisms work by intercommunication at every level, and not by control.
… In order to survive, the organism needs to engage in natural genetic modification in real time, an exquisitely precise molecular dance of life in which RNA and DNA respond to, and participate fully in ‘downstream’ biological functions.
That is why organisms and ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to the crude, artificial GM RNA and DNA created by human genetic engineers. It is also why genetic modification can probably never be safe. More importantly, the human organism shapes its own development and evolutionary future; that is why we must take responsible action to ban all environmental releases of GMOs now.”
Natural Genetic Modification is Different From Artificial Genetic Modification
Similar to the way artificial immunity acquired by vaccination is assumed to be the same thing as natural immunity acquired by contracting and recovering from an illness, genetic modification is often thought to be the same, whether it’s done in a lab or by nature. But as we’ve seen with immunity, there are actually very important differences, and these, too, are highlighted by Dr. Ho. Compared with natural genetic modification, artificial genetic modification is inherently hazardous because it lacks the precision of the natural process, while enabling genes to be transferred between species that would never have been exchanged otherwise.
“There is, therefore, nothing natural about artificial genetic modification done in the lab,” Dr. Ho stated.
Contrasting natural and artificial genetic modification:1
Natural Genetic Modification
Artificial Genetic Modification
Precisely negotiated by the organism as a whole
Crude, imprecise, unpredictable uncontrollable
Takes place at the right place & time without damaging the genome
Forced into cells with no control over where & in what forms the artificial constructs land with much collateral damage to the genome
Appropriate to the organism as a whole in relation to its environment
Aggressive promoters force foreign genes to be expressed out of context
GM DNA Is Transferring to Humans and the Environment
Another problem with genetic modification has to do with the fact that GM plants and animals are created using horizontal gene transfer (also called horizontal inheritance), as contrasted with vertical gene transfer, which is the mechanism in natural reproduction. Vertical gene transfer, or vertical inheritance, is the transmission of genes from the parent generation to offspring via sexual or asexual reproduction, i.e., breeding a male and female from one species.
By contrast, horizontal gene transfer involves injecting a gene from one species into a completely different species, which yields unexpected and often unpredictable results. Proponents of GM assume they can apply the principles of vertical inheritance to horizontal inheritance, but this assumption, too, is flawed, and now it’s been confirmed that GM genes can transfer to humans and the environment. Dr. Ho stated:
“It is now clear that horizontal transfer of GM DNA does happen, and very often. Evidence dating from the early 1990s indicates that ingested DNA in food and feed can indeed survive the digestive tract, and pass through the intestinal wall to enter the bloodstream. The digestive tract is a hotspot for horizontal gene transfer to and between bacteria and other microorganisms.
… Higher organisms including human beings are even more susceptible to horizontal gene transfer than bacteria, because unlike bacteria, which require sequence homology (similarity) for incorporation into the genome, higher organisms do not.
… What are the dangers of GM DNA from horizontal gene transfer? Horizontal transfer of DNA into the genome of cells per se is harmful, but there are extra dangers from the genes or genetic signals in the GM DNA, and also from the vector used in delivering the transgene(s). GM DNA jumping into genomes cause ‘insertion mutagenesis’ that can lead to cancer, or activate dormant viruses that cause diseases. GM DNA often contains antibiotic resistance genes that can spread to pathogenic bacteria and make infections untreatable · Horizontal transfer and recombination of GM DNA is a main route for creating new viruses & bacteria that cause diseases”
Another Potentially Devastating GM Impact… Loss of Bees?
For several years now, scientists have been struggling to determine why bee colonies across the world are disappearing, and one theory is that it’s being caused by genetically modified crops—either as a result of the crops themselves or the pesticides and herbicides applied on them, such as the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup. In one German study,2 when bees were released in a genetically modified rapeseed crop, then fed the pollen to younger bees, scientists discovered the bacteria in the guts of the young ones mirrored the same genetic traits as ones found in the GE crop, indicating that horizontal gene transfer had occurred.
If it is proven that GM crops are causing bee die-offs, it could turn out to be one of the worst GM effects yet. New research from Emory University researchers found that wildflowers produce one-third fewer seeds when even one bumblebee species is removed from the area.3 As bee die-offs continue, it’s clear that this could easily be one of the greatest threats to humans in the decades to come. The researchers concluded:
“Our results suggest that ongoing pollinator declines may have more serious negative implications for plant communities than is currently assumed.”
10 GM Myths That Monsanto Wants You to Believe
Monsanto is the world leader in GM crops, and their Web site would have you believe that they are the answer to world hunger. Thanks to their heavy PR campaign, if you’ve been primarily a reader of the mainstream press, you’ve probably been misled into thinking GM crops are, in fact, the greatest thing since sliced bread, that they provide better yields of equal or better quality food, pest and weed resistance, reduced reliance on pesticides, and more… But thankfully, the truth is unfolding and the tide is finally beginning to turn.
The Organic Prepper4 recently highlighted 10 GM myths that Monsanto wants you to believe … but which are actually far from the truth.
Myth #1: No one has ever proven that GMOs are harmful to people
The truth is that studies of GM food have shown tumors, premature death, organ failure, gastric lesions, liver damage, kidney damage, allergic reactions, and more.
Myth #2: GM crops are the only way to solve world hunger
The reality is that GM farming practices are not sustainable, which virtually guarantees future crop collapses and subsequent famine. Nor are farmers able to save their seeds due to patent infringement and poor fertility in the seeds. Sustainable agricultural practices are the answer to world hunger.
Myth #3: GM crops need less pesticide spraying
The truth is that after the first couple of years, the use of pesticides and herbicides on GM crops has increased dramatically.
Myth #4: GM technology is comparable to the cross-breeding that our ancestors did to create hardier versions of heritage crops
Cross pollination of different varieties of the same plant (what our ancestors did) is low-tech and can occur naturally. Genetic modification of seeds is done in a lab and often crosses different biological kingdoms, such as crossing a bacteria with a plant the unintended adverse effects of which may be incalculably large and impossible to ascertain before they are released into the biosphere.
Myth #5: If the FDA and the USDA allow them, they must be safe
Monsanto has close ties with the US government, such that, despite the obvious conflict of interest, Monsanto executives have been given policy-making positions in Bush, Clinton and Obama administrations.
Myth #6: There is no nutritional difference between GM food and non-GM food
A 2012 nutritional analysis of GM versus non-GM corn showed shocking differences in nutritional content. Non-GM corn contains 437 times more calcium, 56 times more magnesium, and 7 times more manganese than GM corn. GM corn was also found to contain 13 ppm of glyphosate, a pesticide so toxic that it may be carcinogenic in the parts-per-trillion range, compared to zero in non-GM corn.
Myth #7: GMOs are impossible to avoid
GM ingredients are found in more than 70 percent of processed foods, but you can largely avoid them by avoiding these processed foods. By switching to whole foods like vegetables, fruits, grass-fed meats and other basic staples, you can control the GM foods in your diet.
Myth #8: Monsanto has our best interests in mind
Monsanto has spent over half a million dollars on hiring a firm to help ‘protect the Monsanto brand name’ from activists. There is speculation that they have placed trolls on anti-GM Web sites, hidden posts from social media, and even possibly hacked researchers computers days before they were set to release a damaging study. There’s even speculation that the US government is spying on anti-Monsanto activists.
Myth #9: GMOs are not harmful to the environment
On the Hawaiian island of Molokai, where a nearly 2,000-acre test facility for Monsanto sits, air and water quality are horrendous and there are reports of deaths, infertility, uncontrolled cross-pollination, bloody skin rashes, asthma and pesticide contamination in the groundwater.
Myth #10: GMOs are here to stay
Biotech wants you to believe that GM crops are here to stay, but a war is being waged against GMOs, and the resistance is gaining significant ground. By sharing information like this, we can fight back against biotech and the poisons they’re releasing into our environment.
Join Us in Your Right to Know by Getting GMOs Labeled!
While California Prop. 37 failed to pass last November by a very narrow margin, the fight for GMO labeling is far from over. In the past few weeks, Connecticut and Maine have passed GMO-labeling bills, and 20 other states have pending legislation to label genetically engineered foods. So, now is the time to put the pedal to the metal and get labeling across the country—something 64 other countries already have.
I hope you will join us in this effort.
The field-of-play has now moved to the state of Washington, where the people’s initiative 522, “The People’s Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act,” will require food sold in retail outlets to be labeled if it contains genetically engineered ingredients. Please help us win this key GMO labeling battle and continue to build momentum for GMO labeling in other states bymaking a donationto the Organic Consumers Association (OCA).
Remember, as with CA Prop. 37, they need support of people like YOU to succeed. Prop. 37 failed with a very narrow margin simply because we didn’t have the funds to counter the massive ad campaigns created by the No on 37 camp, led by Monsanto and other major food companies. Let’s not allow Monsanto and its allies to confuse and mislead the people of Washington and Vermont as they did in California. So please, I urge you to get involved and help in any way you can.
No matter where you live in the United States, please donate money to these labeling efforts through the Organic Consumers Fund.
Sign up to learn more about how you can get involved by visiting Yeson522.com!
For timely updates on issues relating to these and other labeling initiatives, please join the Organic Consumers Association on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.
Talk to organic producers and stores and ask them to actively support the Washington initiative.
The article explains that the country of Hungary has destroyed 1000 acres of Monsanto GMO corn fields. The GMO seeds have already been banned in the country for some time now but recent testing revealed that the farmers were unknowingly farming GMO seeds. The Hungarian government are investigating the source of the contaminated seeds.
These are the current countries that have completely banned the use of GMO seeds and products: Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Greece, Bulgaria and Poland. The United States, Canada, China, UK, Australia, Mexico, and most of South America, Asia and Africa have no formal GMO-free platforms and their use is typically unrestricted and widespread.
Shock findings in new GMO study: Rats fed lifetime of GM corn grow horrifying tumors, 70% of females die early
This article discussed that this research has been the first to study the long term effects of rats eating the smallest traces of GMO corn. This corn is widely grown through out the US. “The most thorough research ever published into the health effects of GM food crops and the herbicide Roundup on rats.” The rats developed massive tumors, organ damage and premature death.
The discussion on bees is growing vastly and the documentary Vanishing Beeswww.vanishingbees.com/ discusses how France has linked the GMO pollen to the death of bees because the bees become so disoriented that they can’t find home. So sad! If the bees go, so does our food and so do we.
1) Monsanto presented GMO as a cure for world hunger—FALSE actually only used to feed animals not to grow food crops. Other countries consume very little meat.
2) Monsanto promised that it would create crops that would need less pesticides—FALSE the crops actually need more and certain farms have been completely abandoned due to the overwhelming growth of weeds that are now intolerant to the strongest amount of pesticides. Just think of the soil and the water left behind.
3) Monsanto promised to produce more yields–FALSE. They produced terminator seeds that are sterile–meaning the farmer has to buy their seeds every year instead of being able to save the previous crop’s seeds.
So what is the real reason Monsanto has patent seeds?
For years the biotechnology industry has trumpeted that it will feed the world, promising that its genetically engineered crops will produce higher yields.
That promise has proven to be empty, according to Failure to Yield, a report by UCS expert Doug Gurian-Sherman released in March 2009. Despite 20 years of research and 13 years of commercialization, genetic engineering has failed to significantly increase U.S. crop yields.
Failure to Yield is the first report to closely evaluate the overall effect genetic engineering has had on crop yields in relation to other agricultural technologies. It reviewed two dozen academic studies of corn and soybeans, the two primary genetically engineered food and feed crops grown in the United States. Based on those studies, the UCS report concluded that genetically engineering herbicide-tolerant soybeans and herbicide-tolerant corn has not increased yields. Insect-resistant corn, meanwhile, has improved yields only marginally. The increase in yields for both crops over the last 13 years, the report found, was largely due to traditional breeding or improvements in agricultural practices.
The UCS report comes at a time when food price spikes and localized shortages worldwide have prompted calls to boost agricultural productivity, or yield — the amount of a crop produced per unit of land over a specified amount of time. Biotechnology companies maintain that genetic engineering is essential to meeting this goal. Monsanto, for example, is currently running an advertising campaign warning of an exploding world population and claiming that its “advanced seeds… significantly increase crop yields…” The UCS report debunks that claim, concluding that genetic engineering is unlikely to play a significant role in increasing food production in the foreseeable future.
The biotechnology industry has been promising better yields since the mid-1990s, but Failure to Yield documents that the industry has been carrying out gene field trials to increase yields for 20 years without significant results.
Failure to Yield makes a critical distinction between potential—or intrinsic—yield and operational yield, concepts that are often conflated by the industry and misunderstood by others. Intrinsic yield refers to a crop’s ultimate production potential under the best possible conditions. Operational yield refers to production levels after losses due to pests, drought and other environmental factors.
The study reviewed the intrinsic and operational yield achievements of the three most common genetically altered food and feed crops in the United States: herbicide-tolerant soybeans, herbicide-tolerant corn, and insect-resistant corn (known as Bt corn, after the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, whose genes enable the corn to resist several kinds of insects).
Herbicide-tolerant soybeans, herbicide-tolerant corn, and Bt corn have failed to increase intrinsic yields, the report found. Herbicide-tolerant soybeans and herbicide-tolerant corn also have failed to increase operational yields, compared with conventional methods.
Meanwhile, the report found that Bt corn likely provides a marginal operational yield advantage of 3 to 4 percent over typical conventional practices. Since Bt corn became commercially available in 1996, its yield advantage averages out to a 0.2 to 0.3 percent yield increase per year. To put that figure in context, overall U.S. corn yields over the last several decades have annually averaged an increase of approximately one percent, which is considerably more than what Bt traits have provided.
In addition to evaluating genetic engineering’s record, Failure to Yield considers the technology’s potential role in increasing food production over the next few decades. The report does not discount the possibility of genetic engineering eventually contributing to increase crop yields. It does, however, suggest that it makes little sense to support genetic engineering at the expense of technologies that have proven to substantially increase yields, especially in many developing countries. In addition, recent studies have shown that organic and similar farming methods that minimize the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers can more than double crop yields at little cost to poor farmers in such developing regions as Sub-Saharan Africa.
The report recommends that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, state agricultural agencies, and universities increase research and development for proven approaches to boost crop yields. Those approaches should include modern conventional plant breeding methods, sustainable and organic farming, and other sophisticated farming practices that do not require farmers to pay significant upfront costs. The report also recommends that U.S. food aid organizations make these more promising and affordable alternatives available to farmers in developing countries.
“If we are going to make headway in combating hunger due to overpopulation and climate change, we will need to increase crop yields,” said Gurian-Sherman. “Traditional breeding outperforms genetic engineering hands down.”
The human race is the unwitting participant in a massive science experiment, as presented in this masterful new documentary by Jeffrey Smith. Smith is one of the world’s leading authorities on the health dangers of genetically engineered (GE) foods.
The film expands on his second book, Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods.
As a consumer advocate against GE foods, Smith’s authority is unrivaled. His meticulous research has documented how biotech companies continue to mislead legislators and safety officials.
The health of the environment in peril. Smith has made this information widely available via his Institute for Responsible Technology website, one of the most comprehensive sources of GE health information on the Internet.
How Can the Wealthiest Industrialized Nation be the Sickest?
Americans get sick more often than Europeans or people from any other industrialized nation. Since the mid-1990s, the number of Americans suffering from at least three chronic illnesses nearly doubled. Life expectancy has decreased and infant mortality has increased. Illnesses once rare are now common, with some approaching epidemic levels. For example:
Autism now affects one in 88 children (CDC), compared to one in 25,000 in the mid-1970s
Type 2 diabetes rates in the U.S. increased by 176 percent between 1980 and 20103
Alzheimer’s disease is rising at alarming rates. It’s estimated that 5.4 million Americans (one in eight older Americans) now has Alzheimer’s disease, and nearly half of those age 85 and older have it; AD rates have doubled since 1980
New infectious diseases are increasing in number, according to a 2008 study
In his documentary, Jeffrey Smith makes a convincing argument that one of the primary forces driving these illnesses is America’s changing food supply. And one of the most profound changes is genetically engineered food. Proving GE food is causing Americans to be sick is a tall order, but the evidence presented in this film is very compelling and should not be ignored.
Two Types of Genetic Engineering
Genetically engineered food comes from crops that have been altered by mixing and matching genes, usually from genetically modified organisms. They take genes from one species and force them into another species – even between species that have never mated in nature. There are two main types of GE foods:
Herbicide-tolerant crops: Plants engineered to withstand heavy herbicide spraying without sustaining damage
Pesticide-producing crops: Plants engineered to produce their own pesticides – so if a bug bites one, its stomach explodes and it dies
The process of genetic engineering is highly imprecise and riddled with unintended consequences. Viruses are typically used to genetically engineer the genes into a new species. Inserting the gene and then cloning it can triggers massive collateral damage – sometimes hundreds to thousands of genetic mutations down the line. The end result is a gene sequence that doesn’t exist anywhere in nature. What could possibly go wrong? Well, plenty can and does go wrong.
Your Immune System on Attack
Your immune system is a finely tuned system that has evolved over time to differentiate between “normal” and “foreign” matter. When it’s working properly, it can distinguish between potential threats circulating in your body that will help you and those that may harm you – and get rid of the latter.
When your immune system sees a gene sequence that’s supposed to be “food,” but one it’s never seen before, it attacks as if it’s a foreign invader. Food essentially becomes a toxin. This initiates an inflammatory response, and chronic inflammation is the underlying reason for most chronic disease.
One key site where inflammation occurs is your gut. Gut inflammation is a precursor to all sorts of chronic problems, from heart disease to thyroid dysfunction to arthritis to autoimmune disease – you name it. Since the introduction of GE corn and soy into the American diet in 1996, numerous disorders related to gastrointestinal inflammation have been on the rise.
Engineering Washington Politics
In spite of America’s declining health, politicians and health, environmental, and agricultural officials seem to turn a blind eye to all of these concerns. A recent article in the GMO Journal addresses the profound influence of biotech lobbying on our political process. The article lists a number of facts showing how companies like Monsanto manipulate 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’s not because they are proud of their product and convinced of its superiority over conventional or organic products. And it’s not because it would be cost prohibitive.
Countless other ingredients and health claims have been added to labels over the years, without sending prices soaring. I’m not sure what it will take to make them grow a conscience and take corrective action on the dangers they’ve unleashed. As suggested in GMO Journal, it’s time to acknowledge this industry is motivated by profit alone, at the expense of everyone and everything else.
GMO Report Disproves FDA’s Safety Claims
There is a significant compilation of scientific evidence that casts serious doubt on the claims made by industry and government officials about the safety of GE foods. Consider a recent report by The Atlantic.
The authors of the report “GMO Myths and Truths”took a science-based approach to evaluating the available research, arriving at the conclusion that most of the scientific evidence regarding safety and increased yield potential do not at all support the claims. In fact, the evidence demonstrates the claims for genetically engineered foods are not just wildly overblown – they simply aren’t true.
Not only are GE foods less nutritious than non-GE foods, they pose distinct health risks, are inadequately regulated, harm the environment and farmers, and are a poor solution to world hunger.
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; and John Fagan, PhD, a leading authority on food sustainability, biosafety, and GE testing. If you want to get a comprehensive understanding of genetically engineered foods, I strongly recommend reading this report.
Tinkering with the Genetics of Your Food… What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
Bt toxin, produced by Monsanto’s genetically engineered Bt corn, is a great example of what can go wrong. Bt corn was introduced to the food supply in the mid-1990s.
One of the stated purposes of GE crops is to make it easier for farmers to control weeds and insects. Toward this end, genetic engineers capitalized on a type of soil bacteria called Bacillus thuringiensis (or Bt), whose toxin kills insects. They took the gene from the bacteria that produce the toxin and forced it into corn and cotton, so that the plants would do the killing. Every single cell in Bt corn, soy and cotton produces Bt toxin.
When Bt corn was approved, both Monsanto and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assured everyone that the Bt toxin produced by these plants would hurt only insects.
They claimed Bt-toxin would be completely destroyed in the human digestive system, so it would not have any impact at all. However, such was not the case. Doctors at Quebec’s Sherbrooke University Hospital were shocked to find the toxin circulating in the blood of 93 percent of the pregnant women, 80 percent of their babies’ umbilical blood, and 67 percent of the non-pregnant women they tested.Clearly, Bt toxin is not destroyed in your GI tract.
Is Your Food Turning Your Gut Into a Pesticide Factory?
Many of the health problems now linked with Bt crops have risen exponentially since their introduction to the market. The fact that the toxin is flowing through your bloodstream and passing from pregnant women to their babies is a strong warning that Bt crops cannot be considered harmless. Additionally, government-sponsored research in Italyshowed a wide range of problematic responses in mice fed Bt corn, including multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease and multiple forms of cancer.
A study in February 2012 demonstrates that Bt toxin does break open the little pores in human cells, so it could potentially cause the same problem in your gut as it does for the insects it kills.
Consuming Bt corn or soy could potentially cause gut permeability (“leaky gut”), which can predispose you to all sorts of health problems.
Your gut is the frontline of your immune system. When your gut lining is too permeable, or “leaky,” larger bits of food can pass directly into your blood, undigested, triggering food allergies and intolerances. Children are particularly susceptible to the harmful effects of leaky gut and dysbiosis (imbalance in natural flora, which is critical for their health).
Studies also suggests eating Bt corn might actually turn your intestinal flora into a “living pesticide factory,” essentially manufacturing Bt-toxin from within your digestive system on a continuous basis. For decades now, people have been eating these frankenfoods, and allergies have been on the rise. In fact, five million children now suffer from food allergies…
GE bovine growth hormone (aka Posilac, rBGH, or rBST) is engineered by inserting cow genes into E. coli bacteria, in order to make the bacteria produce a hormone that revs up cows’ metabolism, thereby stimulating increased milk production. However, rBGH increases the cows’ IGF-1 levels (a hormone called insulin-like growth factor), which has been linked with cancer, and this hormone is passed on in the milk. Premenopausal women with high IGF-1 are seven times more likely to develop breast cancer, and men with increased IGF-1 have a higher risk for cancer of the prostate.
There is strong evidence rBGH increases women’s risk for milk duct tissue cancer, which is one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer. Rates of milk duct tissue cancer have risen by 50 to 60 percent. Even the dairy cows suffer from 16 different health problems when given rBGH.
Could Glyphosate be Leading the Human Race Over a Cliff?
Genetically engineered foods appear to be causing problems that transfer up the food chain. Micronutrients such as iron, manganese and zinc can be reduced by as much as 80 to 90 percent in GE plants. Animals and livestock given GE feed are becoming nutrient deficient, weak and sick. When we consume the nutrient-depleted plants and animals, we become weak and sick ourselves. Furthermore, there is evidence this problem may be working its way up the food chain – deficiencies that are well documented.
Not surprisingly, glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup,which was introduced in 1972, is being found in high concentrations in the GI tracts of livestock, and in air, rain, and groundwater samples. Crops are being genetically engineered as “Roundup Ready” so they can withstand massive spraying with the toxic chemical chelator. Monsanto has long claimed Roundup is safe and environmentally friendly, but recent studies show it does not readily break down in the environment.
Glyphosate has been linked to more than 20 adverse health effects, including birth defects, infertility and cancer.
Glyphosate is a chelator and kills weeds by making important mineral nutrients unavailable to the plants, thus weakening their defenses and making them more susceptible to diseases in the soil. If glyphosate builds up in your body, it can contribute to vital mineral imbalances and definiteness… By carelessly dousing our food crops in glyphosate, your children and grandchildren and even your great-grandchildren could be inheriting a whole host of problems.
Animal studies show strong evidence that the massive use of chemical chelators like glyphosate are contributing to impaired reproductive capacity. Human infertility rates are rising and are at a record highand fertility clinics are popping up everywhere to meet the need. Among livestock, there is an epidemic of infertility and miscarriage.
And many studies show glyphosate is genotoxic (causes birth defects).
Children of workers on soybean farms sprayed with Roundup have shown a 70-fold increase in birth defects. Laboratory animals fed Roundup Ready soy develop serious reproductive disorders, including sperm damage, uterine damage, and testicular changes. In one study, half of the baby rats whose mothers were fed GE soy died within three weeks. The babies were also smaller and infertile. In a study yet to be published, rat testicles turned blue, and by the third generation, the rats were sterile. Some even had hair growing inside their mouths!
Yet the industry continues to sweep findings such as these under the rug.
Today’s high autism rates could be an unfortunate effect of GE foods. Changes seen in the GI tracts of autistic children are consistent with those seen in the GI tracts of animals given GE feed. Autism spectrum disorders have risen rapidly since GE foods were introduced. We can’t rule out the possibility that GE foods are contributing or even driving today’s autism epidemic.
The good news is that some of the damaging effects of GE foods appear to be reversible. Parents of autistic children report positive changes in their physical and mental symptoms after removing all GE foods from their diets. And farmers report livestock animals displaying health problems from GE feed quickly improve when their feed is switched to non-GE.
California Ballot Initiative Could Be the Tipping Point for GE Foods
California is going to bat for the entire country, if not the world. Labeling bills have been introduced in 19 states, but none have gotten past Monsanto’s weighty lobbying power, until now. An initiative that would require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods and food ingredients is on the November 6 ballot in California. If California voters pass this initiative, it will likely be the beginning of the end for Monsanto and genetically engineered food in the United States.
Removing GE foods from the market is probably not as difficult as you might think. You, the consumer, control the market. When consumers stop buying GE foods because they can clearly identify them by their labels, manufacturers will simply have to discontinue production for economic reasons. And it doesn’t take an enormous market share. Jeffrey Smith predicts five percent is all that’s required to take us to the tipping point, which is what happened in Europe when GE labeling laws took effect.
Clues for Avoiding GE Foods
In the meantime, there are some measures you can take to make sure the foods you select are not genetically engineered. There are nine primary GE food crops, but their derivatives are in over 70 percent of supermarket foods, particularly processed foods. GE ingredients can hide. For example, every can of soda containing high fructose corn syrup most likely contains GE corn. Make sure none of the following are on your grocery list, unless they are USDA certified organic:
Avoid any product containing aspartame, which is derived from a GE organism. And avoid any milk product that may have rBGH. I recommend consuming only raw, organic milk products you’ve obtained from a trustworthy local dairy farmer.
The Institute for Responsible Technology has put together a helpful Non-GMO Shopping Guide you can download and print. They even have an iPhone app.
By buying organic, you will dramatically reduce your exposure to pesticides, hormones and antibiotics, as those are used on nearly all GE crops. When shopping locally, know your local farmers. Many are too small to afford official certification, but many still adhere to organic, sustainable practices. The only way to determine how your food is raised is to check them out, meeting the farmer face to face if possible. Yes, it does take time but is worth it if you are really concerned about your family’s health.