Cracks in Monsanto’s Toxic Veneer
For the past few weeks, I’ve been collecting articles about the Monsanto corporation and the perils of genetic modification of natural organisms. Now I’m going to give you an executive summary of those articles:
A former Monsanto employee claims that foreign genes implanted in the genetic make-up of plants and animals by Monsanto and other genetic engineering firms don’t just express what that single gene does in its original creature, but can produce unforeseen effects. The researcher, Kirk Azevedo, in an interview on Food Nation Radio Network, said that, “I saw what was really the fraud associated with genetic engineering: My impression, and I think most people’s impression with genetically engineered foods and crops and other things is that it’s just like putting one gene in there and that one gene is expressed. If that was the case, well then that’s not so bad. But in reality, the process of genetic engineering changes the cell in such a way that it’s unknown what the effects are going to be.”
The U.S. House Agriculture Committee passed its version of the proposed Farm Bill recently that includes attached provisions severely weakening USDA’s oversight of GE crops. Not only does the bill provide backdoor approval for any new GE crop before meaningful environmental review, but it also protects the biotech industry from lawsuits brought by organic farmers whose crops are contaminated by GE crops through “genetic drift.” According to the Center for Food Safety, “all requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act or Endangered Species Act would be banned, even if a crop approval would harm protected species.”
Thirty genetically modified children have now been born, courtesy of a process in which genes from a female donor are inserted into a woman’s eggs before being fertilized. Two children that were later tested were found to have DNA from three parents—two women and one man. And this happened in New Jersey in 2001, according to an article in the UK’s Daily Mail.
No one really knows what the ramifications of having DNA from three parents might be for the individual, or for their subsequent offspring, says Dr. Joseph Mercola. Many follow-up reports continue to tout the high success of this method of treating infertility. But some do warn about the dangers and risks of this procedure. Researchers have found a link between chromosomal anomalies and oocyte (egg) manipulation, and one of the babies was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, a spectrum of autism-related diagnoses, at the age of 18 months.
“It’s relevant to understand that these children have inherited extra genes—that of TWO women and one man—and will be able to pass this extra set of genetic traits to their own offspring. One of the most shocking considerations here is that this was done—repeatedly—even though no one knows what the ramifications of having the genetic traits of three parents might be for the individual, or for their subsequent offspring,” Dr. Mercola wrote on his website.
“Monsanto Linked to Coup That Ousted Paraguayan President,” reads the headline from Reader Supported News. The lead paragraph of the story, quoting Ethan Huff of Natural News, says that, “The political system in Paraguay is undergoing some major turmoil right now following the forced impeachment of President Fernando Lugo, a left-of-center politician democratically voted into office by the people of Paraguay back in 2008. And among those who initiated and brought about this controversial coup was multinational biotechnology giant Monsanto, which was apparently threatened by Lugo’s resistance against the company’s genetically-modified (GM) crop agenda…Many of Paraguay’s family farms have been eliminated over the years and forcibly replaced with large mono-crop plantations that now grow GM soy and other cash crops…Lugo had at least tried to fight back in some ways against Monsanto’s gradual takeover of Paraguay’s agricultural land, the vast majority of which is now owned by less than three percent of the entire population.”
As an added feature of its recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST), now fed to about 20 percent of the dairy cows in the U.S. to force them to produce more milk, the Monsanto-developed genetically modified milk booster hormone makes cows sick. Among other things, it causes mastitis, an infection of the udder. This infection causes pus to be released into the milk. Yes, pus in your milk—as well as hormones and antibiotics that lactating mothers may be passing on to their nursing children.
According to Dr. Samuel Epstein of the Organic Consumers Association, rBST milk is chemically and nutritionally different than natural cow’s milk.
Milk from cows injected with rBST is contaminated with the hormone, traces of which are absorbed through the gut into the blood of people who consume this milk or products made from it.
This rBST milk is supercharged with high levels of the natural growth factor IGF-1, which is readily absorbed through the gut. Excess levels of IGF-1 have been incriminated in well-documented scientific publications as a cause of breast, colon, and prostate cancers. Additionally, IGF-1 blocks natural defense mechanisms against early submicroscopic cancers.
The European Union, Norway, Switzerland, Japan, Canada, and New Zealand have all banned hormones in milk—but not the U.S.
When Monsanto took the gene that produces a toxin that kills insect larvae from a soil bacterium—Bacillus thuringiensis—and inserted it into corn and cotton, the public was assured that it was safe and would only target pests of corn and cotton. Then we discovered it was killing butterfly larvae. Now we find it’s killing ladybird beetles (ladybugs), which are a beneficial insect that eats pest insects like aphids and red spider mites.
Proponents of genetic engineering claimed that studies showing toxicity to non-target beneficial insects were flawed. Well, now it turns out that the supposedly scientific experiments discrediting the toxicity studies were deliberately designed not to find any toxicity. In other words, the rigging was really done by supporters of Monsanto and Syngenta, another biotech firm involved in GM crop seed production. If you would like to read more about these studies, follow this link:
The bottom line? For Californians, vote YES on Proposition 37 this November, which will require labeling of all foods containing GM products. For everyone, eat organic—where GM products are never allowed.