Brits Say Americans Ignorant about GMOs
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A British publication called FoodBev Media Ltd., recently spread this headline across the top of its front page: “Majority of US Consumers ‘Lack Understanding’ of GMOs.”
The article begins: “Almost 60 percent of American consumers have ‘a fair or poor understanding’ of GMO foods, despite generally supporting a recently approved bill to introduce mandatory labeling of GMOs in the US.”
I’d like to unpack this article to show you the “man behind the curtain” whose subtle and blatantly egregious lies impugn American intelligence. Let’s start with the next paragraph:
“That is the finding of a new piece of research, which has also shown that a majority of Americans are unaware of the scientific consensus that genetically modified foods are safe to consume. The study was conducted by researchers from the Department of Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.”
Maybe the majority of Americans are unaware of the scientific consensus because it doesn’t exist. Big food, biotech, and agriculture keep claiming that there’s a consensus, but, as last week’s issue of organicfoodguy showed, it’s bogus. Scientists around the world warn of the dangers of GMOs. Farmers as well as governmental agencies through Europe and Russia, and now Africa, South America, Central America, and Asia are fighting back against Monsanto’s patented GMO seeds. But back to the article:
“The vast majority of Americans-–88 percent-–said they support the mandatory labeling of foods containing GMOs, and 91 percent agreed that people have the right to know when they buy or eat products that contain genetically modified ingredients.”
That is true, but if the majority of American consumers lack understanding of GMOs, how come they overwhelmingly want to know which foods contain them? In order to select them to take home for the kids? To make sure the family gets its daily dose of GMOs? No. They want GMO food labeled so they can avoid it. And let’s go back and look at this article’s lead paragraph again. It says, “60 percent of American consumers have ‘a fair or poor understanding’ of GMO foods, despite generally supporting a recently approved bill to introduce mandatory labelling of GMOs in the US.” That bill sits on President Obama’s desk as I write this. Big food, biotech, and chemical ag have sold that bill as pro-labeling legislation, but it’s anything but. It is known as the Monsanto Dream Act because it gives Monsanto everything it dreams about, and it’s also called the DARK Act because DARK stands for “Deny Americans the Right to Know.” It does not require mandatory labeling. That’s a lie. It’s entirely voluntary. And instead of requiring that the food be labeled, it allows food manufacturers to hide the presence of GMOs behind QR codes, so that to find out if a food contains GMOs, you have to scan the code with your smartphone, then paw through a website to see if it contains GMOs—and again, it’s up to the manufacturer to decide whether it wants to put that info on the website. This scheme does everything except shout at consumers, “Shut the F*** Up!” But back to the article:
“Fewer than one in five respondents out of a total of more than 1,000 were aware of research that said there was ‘no substantiated evidence of a difference in risks to human health between currently commercialized genetically engineered crops and conventionally bred crops.’”
There is such research, but it’s a pack of lies produced by scientists paid by Monsanto and other like-minded corporations to reach that conclusion. Look, if I take a cat and insert fish genes into its DNA, it is not substantially equivalent to a plain cat. And there is no research, which I pointed out in last week’s blog, that has assessed the risk of ingesting GMOs on human health, because to do such research would violate international treaty against experimenting on human beings. There have been a lot of animal studies, however, and they are so horrifying that the World Health Organization has warned the world that Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide that is used in conjunction with its GMO seeds, is very likely cancer-causing. And again, see last week’s blog that compared pigs fed GMO feed with pigs fed organic food, and note the inflamed and swollen internal organs researchers found in the GMO pigs. So the one-in-five respondents who said they were aware of research showing no risk from GMO foods are just telling the questioners what they think the questioners want to hear. Such research has never been done.
“Nearly half—48 percent–went so far as to say they disagreed that genetically modified foods posed no risk to human health. Only 39 percent of people agreed that GMO crops were safe to eat, while 27 percent disagreed.”
Wait. What? So 48 percent “went so far” as to disagree with the claim that GMOs are safe to eat; 39 percent agreed they were safe to eat; 27 percent disagreed with the claim that GMO are safe to eat. Why those numbers total 114 percent. Why, those ignorant Americans can’t even add up to 100 percent, and which is it—48 or 27 percent who disagreed with the claim that GMOs are safe?
“The labeling bill, approved by Congress earlier this month, calls for the use of on-pack text, a symbol designed by the US Department of Agriculture, or a digital QR code to designate foods containing GMOs.”
Again, this article doesn’t mention that these options are all voluntary. Food manufacturers don’t have to put any information of the wrapper or on a website to signal the inclusion of GMOs. Unless they want to. But as a Monsanto exec once said, “Putting a GMO label on a food would be like putting a skull and crossbones on it.” How many food manufacturers are going to say, “Step right up and getcha GMOs?” But back to the article:
“William Hallman, a visiting scholar at the Annenberg Public Policy Center and professor of human ecology at Rutgers University, said that the bill could help consumers to improve their understanding of genetically modified foods. ‘One potential advantage of using a QR code is that consumers could be linked to much more information about genetically modified ingredients, and how they are produced and regulated, than could ever be printed on a product label,’ he said.”
Really, Professor Hallman? Those consumers fortunate enough to have a smartphone, and with enough time on their hands to scan the QR codes of every item in their shopping cart, will then spend time boning up on industry propaganda about how wonderful and safe GMOs are? Do you really believe that?
The only boning going on around here is the one given to the American public by Big Food, Big Biotech, Big Chem, and Big Ag.
63 Senators Who Need to Get the Heave-Ho
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The votes of 63 Senators who on July 7 passed the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act effectively prevent the public from knowing whether our food contains genetically modified ingredients.
In other words, these Senators don’t represent the 92 percent of Americans who say they want foods made with GMOs to be labeled, they represent Monsanto, the Grocery Manufacturers of America, Big Biotech, Big Ag, and the agricultural chemical industry. Bernie Sanders, who opposed the DARK Act, estimates that lobbyists spent $400 million to get this bill passed.
Since these Senators don’t really represent the people who voted them into office, let me suggest that the people vote them out of office and replace them with Senators who will actually represent the will of the people. That’s how our system is supposed to work. But as we see all too plainly, that’s not how it works.
The Roberts-Stabenow bill will now go back to the U.S. House, which in July, 2015, passed its own version of the DARK Act. If the House and Senate reach an agreement on the final wording, which is almost certain, Congress will vote on legislation to keep you in the dark. That bill will then land on President Obama’s desk. I just spent the better part of an hour online, trying to find out which Senators voted for the DARK Act so I could give you a URL so you could see how your Senators voted. Guess what? I came up empty-handed. Senate votes are routinely listed on line. But not this one. What does that tell you? As Dylan said, “Look out kids, they keep it all hid.”
You might want to encourage the President to veto it, although news reports say he will sign it. And that after his campaign promises to label GMOs. Remember them? His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT MORE CAN YOU DO?
Well, it’s pretty much game over for labeling GMOs unless Obama casts a veto, but there is something all of us can do: make sure the food we purchase is GMO- free.
Genetic modifications are prohibited in organic food, so if a food is organically grown, you can be assured it has no GMOs. Unless someone is cheating. In this era of mistrust, mistrust is warranted. Whole Foods Market, Stonyfield Farms, Organic Valley—even Senator Al Franken—backed the Roberts-Stabenow DARK Act. All the more reason to buy your organic products from regional or local producers. They have to live with their customers and are less likely to cheat. The big guys like Whole Foods, Stonyfield, and Organic Valley are huge companies owned by corporate behemoths who don’t have to live with their customers and do make products with GMO ingredients. Stay within your foodshed and eat organic.
CDC EXEC RESIGNS OVER AID TO COCA-COLA ADVOCATE
Email evidence shows a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) executive aided a Coca-Cola representative in efforts to influence World Health Organization (WHO) officials to relax sugar limits.
Last year, WHO announced soda is a key contributor to child obesity, suggesting restrictions on sugary beverages.
Two days after Barbara Bowman, Ph.D., director of the CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention (DHDSP), was exposed for offering guidance to a leading Coca-Cola advocate, Bowman resigned from her post. Buh-bye Barbara.
USDA ORGANIC FARM ANIMAL WELFARE RULES CALLED A ‘GIVE-AWAY’
Organic industry watchdog The Cornucopia Institute, marking the July 14 close of a 90-day public comment period on proposed USDA rules for animal welfare on organic farms, criticized the USDA rules as a “giveaway” to factory farm interests masquerading as organic. The Institute advised consumers to reaffirm their support for authentic organic family-scale farmers by “taking the law into their own hands” and seeking out truly organic eggs, produced humanely.
To that end, Cornucopia relaunched its Scrambled Eggs report and organic egg brand scorecard. Based on six years of research, it rates various organic brands on how their eggs are produced in accordance with federal organic standards and consumer expectations. It profiles exemplary management practices employed by many family-scale organic farmers engaged in egg production, while spotlighting abuses at so-called “factory farms,” some of which confine hundreds of thousands of chickens in industrial buildings and market these eggs to consumers as “organic.”
The proposed USDA animal welfare rule has been one of the biggest controversies in the history of the organic movement, prompting comments from over 5,000 citizens, lobbyists, and organic stakeholders.
The USDA allows up to two million “organic” birds to be confined on giant concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Advocates say federal law clearly requires “access to the outdoors.” But analysis by Cornucopia finds the options presented in the USDA’s draft rule would confine birds to as little as one square foot indoors and only require farms to provide two square feet of “pasture” outdoors, half of which could be covered with concrete.
“At best, the USDA proposal delays enforcement for five to seven years allowing continued factory farm confinement production,” states Mark Kastel, Senior Farm Policy Analyst for The Cornucopia Institute. “Families with growing children to feed can’t wait that long for nutritionally superior food, and more and more are seeking the guidance provided in our Scrambled Eggs report and scorecard, separating phony industrial production from truly exemplary organic eggs.”
The report, organic egg scorecard, and full version of this release are posted on www.cornucopia.org.
Antonio: He sow’d it with nettle seed. The Tempest, Act 1, sc. 2.
My four-year-old son was just trying to be helpful by picking up his naked, two-year-old sister and carrying her across a patch of stinging nettles on our isolated property in Pennsylvania. He stumbled and dropped her. She started to cry. I ran to her and carried her out of the nettles and down toward the springhouse where the jewelweed grew. I crushed the jewelweed’s stems to get the juice to run, and smeared it over that child’s body. The crying stopped. Old-time lore has it that the best remedies for hurts such as stinging nettles, bee stings, and mosquito bites can usually be found close to the source of the trouble. Old-time lore says that jewelweed is the remedy for stinging nettles, and the old lore is correct.
Shakespeare knew the stinging nettle, and his references to the plant (and hundreds more) are gathered in a wonderful old book entitled, “The Plant-Lore and Garden-Craft of Shakespeare,” by Rev. Henry N. Ellacombe, M.A., of Oxford College, published by Satchell & Co., London, in 1884. Google it and you can find it in its entirety online.
Ellacombe writes: “Stinging nettles are much used in the neighborhood of London to pack plums and other fruit with bloom on them, so that in some market gardens (nettles) are not only not destroyed, but encouraged and even cultivated. And this is an old practice; Lawson’s advice in 1683 was—‘For the gathering of all other stone fruit, as nectarines, apricocks, peaches, Pear-plums, Damsons, Bullis, and such like,…in the bottom of your large sieves where you put them, you shall lay nettles, and likewise in the top, for that will ripen those that are most unready. (“New Orchard,” p. 96)’”
PASTA FOR THAT SLIMMING DIET
Pasta, say Italian scientists, isn’t “fattening.” In fact, says a study published in the journal Nutrition & Diabetes, pasta actually makes you thinner and less prone to obesity.
The study was carried out as a part of Italy’s Moli-Sani project, a long-term, large-scale study of 25,000 people in the Molise region of south-central Italy. The Moli-Sani project studies health as affected by both genetics and environment (the Molise region was chosen because it has a mix of diets, lifestyles, and terrains, from sea to mountain). Participants are contacted every three years to track their progress. Another source was the Italian Nurses’ Health Study.
“We have seen that consumption of pasta, contrary to what many think, is not associated with an increase in body weight, rather the opposite,” lead author George Pounis said in a press release.
The study consisted of 14,402 participants who recorded their own diets and a were given a series of telephone interviews to train the participants. Their reported diets were transformed into actual weights of various foods and raw ingredients, and then pasta consumption was calculated in grams per day.
Participants’ weight, height, waist, and hip circumference were also measured, or self-reported, and their level of physical activity assessed. The results showed that as a part of the traditional Mediterranean diet, eating pasta isn’t all that bad: “Our data show that enjoying pasta according to individuals’ needs contributes to a healthy body mass index, lower waist circumference and better waist-hip ratio.”
MONSANTO, BAYER, AND THE PUSH FOR CORPORATE CANNABIS
The following is by Ellen Brown, originally published on The Web of Debt Blog on
July 11, 2016. It’s a brilliant piece of investigative journalism. As our communities and social networks push for the legalization of cannabis for medicinal and recreational uses, and as money begins to flow through the cannabis business, the big corporations are taking notice, Brown writes, and developing strategies for taking over the industry, as they have done with conventional food-producing agriculture worldwide. The organic community has gathered strength and is pushing back on Big Ag, Big Biotech, and Big Pharma. Our community needs to be aware of the situation with cannabis and push back there, also.
She warns voters in California not to be fooled by the “Adult Use of Marijuana Act” that will appear on the ballot, presumably in November. Here’s her article in its entirety:
California’s “Adult Use of Marijuana Act” (AUMA) is a voter initiative characterized as legalizing marijuana use. But critics warn that it will actually make access more difficult and expensive, squeeze home growers and small farmers out of the market, heighten criminal sanctions for violations, and open the door to patented, genetically modified (GMO) versions that must be purchased year after year.
The health benefits of cannabis are now well established. It is a cheap, natural alternative effective for a broad range of conditions, and the non-psychoactive form known as hemp has thousands of industrial uses. At one time, cannabis was one of the world’s most important crops. There have been no recorded deaths from cannabis overdose in the US, compared to about 30,000 deaths annually from alcohol abuse (not counting auto accidents), and 100,000 deaths annually from prescription drugs taken as directed. Yet cannabis remains a Schedule I controlled substance (“a deadly dangerous drug with no medical use and high potential for abuse”), illegal to be sold or grown in the US.
Powerful corporate interests no doubt had a hand in keeping cannabis off the market. The question now is why they have suddenly gotten on the bandwagon for its legalization. According to an April 2014 article in The Washington Times, the big money behind the recent push for legalization has come, not from a grassroots movement, but from a few very wealthy individuals with links to Big Ag and Big Pharma.
Leading the charge is George Soros, a major shareholder in Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company and producer of genetically modified seeds. Monsanto is the biotech giant that brought you Agent Orange, DDT, PCBs, dioxin-based pesticides, aspartame, rBGH (genetically engineered bovine growth hormone), RoundUp (glyphosate) herbicides, and RoundUp Ready crops (seeds genetically engineered to withstand glyphosate).
Monsanto now appears to be developing genetically modified (GMO) forms of cannabis, with the intent of cornering the market with patented GMO seeds just as it did with GMO corn and GMO soybeans. For that, the plant would need to be legalized but still tightly enough controlled that it could be captured by big corporate interests. Competition could be suppressed by limiting access to homegrown marijuana; bringing production, sale and use within monitored and regulated industry guidelines; and legislating a definition of industrial hemp as a plant having such low psychoactivity that only GMO versions qualify. Those are the sorts of conditions that critics have found buried in the fine print of the latest initiatives for cannabis legalization.
Patients who use the cannabis plant in large quantities to heal serious diseases (e.g. by juicing it) find that the natural plant grown organically in sunlight is far more effective than hothouse plants or pharmaceutical cannabis derivatives. Letitia Pepper is a California attorney and activist who uses medical marijuana to control multiple sclerosis. As she puts it, if you don’t have an irrevocable right to grow a natural, therapeutic herb in your backyard that a corporation able to afford high license fees can grow and sell to you at premium prices, isn’t that still a war on people who use marijuana?
Monsanto has denied that it is working on GMO strains. But William Engdahl, author of Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation, presents compelling circumstantial evidence to the contrary. In a March 2014 article titled “The Connection Between the Legalization of Marijuana in Uruguay, Monsanto and George Soros”, Engdahl observes that in 2014, Uruguay became the first country to legalize the cultivation, sale and consumption of marijuana. Soros is a major player in Uruguay and was instrumental in getting the law passed. He sits on the board of the New York-based Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), the world’s most influential organization for cannabis legalization. The DPA is active not only in the US but in Uruguay and other Latin American countries. Engdahl writes:
Studies show that Monsanto without much fanfare conducts research projects on the active ingredient in marijuana, namely THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), in order to genetically manipulate the plant. David Watson of the Dutch company Hortapharm has since 1990 created the world’s largest collection of Cannabis seed varieties. In 1998, the British firm GW Pharmaceuticals signed an agreement with Hortapharm that gives GW Pharma the rights to use the Hortapharm cannabis for their research.
In 2003 the German Bayer AG then signed an agreement with GW Pharmaceuticals for joint research on a cannabis-based extract. In 2007, Bayer AG agreed to an exchange of technology with . . . Monsanto . . . . Thus Monsanto has discreet access to the work of the cannabis plant and its genetic modification. In 2009 GW Pharmaceuticals announced that it had succeeded in genetically altering a cannabis plant and patented a new breed of cannabis.
Monsanto could have even greater access to the Bayer/GW research soon. In March 2016, Monsanto approached the giant German chemical and pharmaceutical company Bayer AG with a joint venture proposal concerning its crop science unit. In May, Bayer then made an unsolicited takeover bid for Monsanto. On May 24th, the $62 billion bid was rejected as too low; but negotiations are continuing.
The prospective merger would create the world’s largest supplier of seeds and chemicals. Environmentalists worry that the entire farming industry could soon be looking at sterile crops soaked in dangerous pesticides. Monsanto has sued hundreds of farmers for simply saving seeds from year to year, something they have done for millennia. Organic farmers are finding it increasingly difficult to prevent contamination of their crops by Monsanto’s GMOs.
In Seeds of Destruction, Engdahl quotes Henry Kissinger, Richard Nixon’s Secretary of State. Kissinger notoriously said, “Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.” Engdahl asserts that the “Green Revolution” was part of the Rockefeller agenda to destroy seed diversity and push oil- and gas-based agricultural products in which Rockefeller had a major interest. Destruction of seed diversity and dependence on proprietary hybrids was the first step in food control. About 75% of the foodstuffs at the grocery store are now genetically manipulated, in what has been called the world’s largest biological experiment on humans.
Genetic engineering is now moving from foodstuffs to plant-based drugs and plant-based industrial fibers. Engdahl writes of Monsanto’s work in Uruguay:
Since the cultivation of cannabis plants in Uruguay is allowed, one can easily imagine that Monsanto sees a huge new market that the Group is able to control just with patented cannabis seeds such as today is happening on the market for soybeans. Uruguay’s President Mujica has made it clear he wants a unique genetic code for cannabis in his country in order to “keep the black market under control.”
Genetically modified cannabis seeds from Monsanto would grant such control. For decades Monsanto has been growing gene-soybean and GM maize in Uruguay too. George Soros is co-owner of agribusinesses Adecoagro, which planted genetically modified soybeans and sunflowers for biofuel.
Other commentators express similar concerns. Natural health writer Mike Adams warns:
[W]ith the cannabis industry predicted to generate over $13 billion by 2020, becoming one of the largest agricultural markets in the nation, there should be little doubt that companies like Monsanto are simply waiting for Uncle Sam to remove the herb from its current Schedule I classification before getting into the business.
In a 2010 article concerning Proposition 19, an earlier legalization initiative that was defeated by California voters, Conrad Justice Kiczenski noted that criminalization of cannabis as both industrial hemp and medical marijuana has served a multitude of industries, including the prison and military industry, the petroleum, timber, cotton, and pharmaceutical industries, and the banking industry. With the decriminalization of cannabis, he warned:
The next stage in continuing this control is in the regulation, licensing and taxation of Cannabis cultivation and use through the only practical means available to the corporate system, which is through genetic engineering and patenting of the Cannabis genome.
AUMA: Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing?
Suspicions like these are helping to fuel opposition to the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), a 2016 initiative that would rewrite the medical marijuana laws in California. While AUMA purports to legalize marijuana for recreational use, the bill comes with so many restrictions that it actually makes acquisition more difficult and expensive than under existing law, and makes it a criminal offense for anyone under 21. Critics contend that the Act will simply throw access to this medicinal wonder plant into the waiting arms of the Monsanto/Bayer/petrochemical/pharmaceutical complex. They say AUMA is a covert attempt to preempt California’s Compassionate Use Act, Proposition 215, which was passed in 1996 by voter initiative.
Prop 215 did not legalize the sale of marijuana, but it did give ill or disabled people of any age the right to grow and share the plant and its derivatives on a not-for-profit basis. They could see a doctor of their choice, who could approve medical marijuana for a vast panoply of conditions; and they were assured of safe and affordable access to the plant at a nearby cooperative not-for-profit dispensary, or in their own backyards. As clarified by the 2008 Attorney General’s Guidelines, Prop 215 allowed reimbursement for the labor, costs and skill necessary to grow and distribute medical marijuana; and it allowed distribution through a “storefront dispensing collective.” However, the sale of marijuana for corporate profit remained illegal. Big Pharma and affiliates were thus blocked from entering the field.
At the end of 2015 (effective 2016), the California state legislature over-rode Prop 215 with MMRSA – the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act of 2015/16 – which effectively rewrites the Health Code pertaining to medical marijuana. Opponents contend that MMRSA is unconstitutional, since a voter initiative cannot be changed by legislative action unless it so provides. And that is why its backers need AUMA, a voter initiative that validates MMRSA in its fine print. In combination with stricter California Medical Association rules for enforcement, MMRSA effectively moves medical marijuana therapy from the wholistic plant to a pharmaceutical derivative, one that must follow an AUMA or American Pharmaceutical Association mode of delivery. MMRSA turns the right to cultivate into a revocable privilege to grow, contingent on local rules. The right to choose one’s own doctor is also eliminated.
Critics note that of the hundreds of millions in tax revenues that AUMA is expected to generate from marijuana and marijuana-related products, not a penny will go to the California general fund. That means no money for California’s public schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, roads and other infrastructure. Instead, it will go into a giant slush fund controlled by AUMA’s “Marijuana Control Board,” to be spent first for its own administration, then for its own law enforcement, then for penal and judicial program expenditures.
Law enforcement and penalties will continue to be big business, since AUMA legalizes marijuana use only for people over 21 and makes access so difficult and expensive that even adults could be tempted to turn to the black market. “Legalization” through AUMA will chiefly serve a petrochemical/pharmaceutical complex bent on controlling all farming and plant life globally.
109 Nobel Prize Winners Are a Bunch of Ninnies
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Genetically modified organisms and foods are a safe way to meet the demands of a ballooning global population, 109 Nobel laureates wrote in a letter posted online and officially unveiled at a news conference on June 30 in Washington, D.C.
Opponents, they say, are standing in the way of getting nutritious food to those who need it.
“Scientific and regulatory agencies around the world have repeatedly and consistently found crops and foods improved through biotechnology to be as safe as, if not safer than those derived from any other method of production,” the group of laureates wrote. “There has never been a single confirmed case of a negative health outcome for humans or animals from their consumption. Their environmental impacts have been shown repeatedly to be less damaging to the environment, and a boon to global biodiversity.”
Gee—a hundred and nine laureates coincidentally came out with this piece of propaganda just before the Senate was getting ready to vote on GMO labeling. Not only that, but these statements prove you can win a Nobel Prize and still be a dummy. Anyone who’s halfway familiar with Big Biotech and its genetically modified seeds knows that the above statements are nonsense.
Let’s look at the statements sentence by sentence.
#1: “Scientific and regulatory agencies around the world have repeatedly and consistently found crops and foods improved through biotechnology to be as safe as, if not safer than, those derived from any other method of production.”
If this statement were true, it would mean that scientific experiments have been conducted to test the safety of genetically modified foods on human beings. But not one such test has ever been conducted, because doing so would violate the Nuremberg Code, set up after World War II when Nazi doctors who experimented on prisoners were prosecuted. Here’s the Code:
o Required is the voluntary, well-informed, understanding consent of the human subject in a full legal capacity.
o The experiment should aim at positive results for society that cannot be procured in some other way.
o It should be based on previous knowledge (like, an expectation derived from animal experiments) that justifies the experiment.
o The experiment should be set up in a way that avoids unnecessary physical and mental suffering and injuries.
o It should not be conducted when there is any reason to believe that it implies a risk of death or disabling injury.
o The risks of the experiment should be in proportion to (that is, not exceed) the expected humanitarian benefits.
o Preparations and facilities must be provided that adequately protect the subjects against the experiment’s risks.
o The staff who conduct or take part in the experiment must be fully trained and scientifically qualified.
o The human subjects must be free to immediately quit the experiment at any point when they feel physically or mentally unable to go on.
o Likewise, the medical staff must stop the experiment at any point when they observe that continuation would be dangerous.
That’s right—there are no scientific studies showing GMO foods are “safe, or safer than” those derived from any other method of production. The statement is false and those 109 laureates should hang their heads in shame.
#2: “There has never been a single confirmed case of a negative health outcome for humans or animals from their consumption.”
As we’ve just seen, there have been no scientific studies of negative health outcomes on humans who have eaten GMO foods—but there is a ton of anecdotal evidence. As for animals, here’s a summary of a scientific study done by Dr. Judy Carman, an Australian researcher, on two groups of pigs (chosen because their digestive systems are similar to humans), one group fed non-GMO feed, and the other fed GMO feed. She writes:
“We found that, on average, the weight of the uterus of pigs fed the GM diet, as a proportion of the weight of the pig, was 25 percent higher than the control pigs. We found that this biologically significant finding was also statistically significant. We list some of the pathologies that could be occurring in these uteri in the paper.
“Some of the investigators had also previously seen higher rates of intestinal problems in pigs fed a GM diet, including inflammation of the stomach and small intestine, stomach ulcers, a thinning of intestinal walls and an increase in haemorrhagic bowel disease, where a pig can rapidly ‘bleed-out’ from their bowel and die.
“We weren’t able to look inside the intestines, due to the amount of food in them, but we were able to look inside the stomach. We found that the level of severe inflammation in stomachs was markedly higher in pigs fed the GM diet. Pigs on the GM diet were 2.6 times more likely to get severe stomach inflammation than control pigs. Males were more strongly affected. While female pigs were 2.2 times more likely to get severe
stomach inflammation when on the GM diet, males were 4 times more likely. These findings are both biologically significant and statistically significant.
“We found that these key findings were not reflected in the standard biochemistry tests that are done in GM feeding studies, probably because standard biochemistry tests provide a poor measure of inflammation and matters associated with uterus size.”
Additionally, there is a book entitled, “Genetic Roulette,” that details other studies on the health effects of GMO feed on animals. A summary in the book states, “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with genetically modified (GM) food, including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system.”
So statement #2 from the Nobel laureates is just another lie.
#3: “Their environmental impacts (of GMOs) have been shown repeatedly to be less damaging to the environment, and a boon to global biodiversity.”
Where to begin with this one? How about we go back to why genetic engineering was applied to human food crops to begin with. The initial research and development came from Monsanto, when the company found herbicide-resistant microbes on its property living in a toxic wastewater pond contaminated with glyphosate herbicide, the chief ingredient in Roundup. Genetic tinkering was in its infancy, but Monsanto managed to get the gene for herbicide resistance into corn seed—and GMOs were on their way. Why? Because now fields of corn could be flooded with Roundup without harming the corn crop and Monsanto could sell much, much more of its profitable herbicide than before.
Today, Newsweek magazine reports, “the world is awash in glyphosate. It has now become the most heavily-used agricultural chemical in the history of the world, and many argue that’s a problem, since the substance comes with concerning albeit incompletely-determined health effects.
“A study published in the journal Environmental Sciences Europe reveals that Americans have applied 1.8 million tons of glyphosate since its introduction in 1974. Worldwide, 9.4 million tons of the chemical have been sprayed onto fields. That’s enough to spray nearly half a pound of Roundup on every cultivated acre of land in the world.
“It’s troubling, considering that in March 2015 the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer unanimously determined that glyphosate is ‘probably carcinogenic to humans.’”
So the laureates’ statement is laughable. “Less damaging to the environment” than what? An organic farm field? Really?
“A boon to global biodiversity?” What are these 109 laureates talking about? Herbicides do not contribute to biodiversity. By their very nature, they contribute to the opposite—they kill weeds, and weeds are part of the biological diversity of the world. They also provide beneficial insects with food, nectar, and habitat. So not only do herbicides kill off weeds, they reduce the number of beneficial insects. Roundup is being banned in European countries now because of its negative effects on the environment. So statement #3 is just another lie—and a whopper at that.
Most of the laureates got the Nobel Prizes in chemistry and physics—not biology. They have been sold a bill of goods and they truly don’t know what they’re talking about. Not only should they hang their heads in shame, they should do some independent research and apologize to the world for their ignorance.
A CALL FOR ACTION ON TOXIC CHEMICALS
Every day, children and adults are exposed to a variety of chemicals found in common household items. Now a growing body of research suggests that many of these chemicals — which are used to make plastic more flexible, to protect fruits and vegetables from insect damage, and upholstery less flammable — may also pose a threat to the developing brain, according to Roni Caryn Rabin, writing in The New York Times on July 1.
“While the link between early chemical exposure and neurodevelopment disorders in children remains a matter of scientific debate,” she writes, “a unique coalition of top doctors, scientists and health advocates is calling for more aggressive regulation. The goal is to protect expectant mothers, infants and children from neurotoxic chemicals by stepping up efforts to curb air pollution, remediate old lead pipes, phase out certain pesticides, ban endocrine-disrupting chemicals used in food packaging and plastics, and come up with a plan for getting rid of furniture laden with fire retardants.
“Most chemicals in use today were not adequately tested for safety before being allowed on the market, said Dr. Jeanne Conry, an obstetrician-gynecologist and a past president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which is part of the coalition.
“’Before we can prescribe medicine, we have to prove it’s safe,’ she said. ‘So how come with the chemical industry, we assume everything is safe and have to prove there’s harm?’
“The coalition recently endorsed a first-of-its-kind consensus statement called Project Tendr, which stands for Targeting Environmental NeuroDevelopmental Risks. The statement was published in the scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives, and related articles are being published over the next few months in endocrinology, nursing, pediatrics and epidemiology journals.
“’We as a society should be able to take protective action when scientific evidence indicates a chemical is of concern, and not wait for unequivocal proof that a chemical is causing harm to our children,’ the statement says.”
You can read the entire statement on the Environmental Health Perspectives site by visiting: http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/ehp358/
ORGANIC FAST FOOD WITH EVERYTHING UNDER $5
Kimbal Musk, entrepreneur and younger brother of tech guru Elon Musk, has revealed that he will be opening a healthy fast food restaurant where everything will cost less than $5.
The restaurant, called The Kitchenette, will open in Memphis, Tennessee, in August, 2016, at Shelby Farms Park, a 4,500-acre urban park and conservancy.
Musk made millions with his brother in Silicon Valley before going to culinary school. He currently helps run two other restaurant chains, The Kitchen and Next Door. Musk plans to work with local organic farmers to keep the costs low. He plans to serve sandwiches, soups, and salads that are ready to go.
“People are overweight and starving at the same time. It’s a tragedy for both the individual and society,” Musk told Tech Insider. Musk joins a growing number of restaurateurs that are focused on delivering a healthy product for cheap.