GMO's — Just The FAQs


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GMO's -- What's the real story? Are genetically modified organisms safe or dangerous? How do they affect people and the environment? There are tons of misinformation and disinformation out there.

I have done a lot of research into GMO's because I believe them to be one of the greatest risks to the Earth and humanity's future.

As Wiccans, we have a great responsibility to protect the planet, and we can only do that when we have the information.

Here is a summary of the most important points.

Please feel free to share this information with others. Few people realise that a large part of their diet is already genetically engineered, or what that means to their health and future. It's by informing each other that we can protect ourselves and our dear planet. (All I ask is that you credit this site as the source.)


Keep Focusing On The Good

Please avoid falling into despair, anger, or fear about all this. I know that's a tall order! wicca-spirituality-winking_witch But those emotions are kinda "dark side" -- they increase the problems the Earth has to overcome.

Instead, keep focused on what you can do, and pray/ask angels/work magick for help in healing and protecting the planet, removing the evil ones from positions of power, and increasing the momentum of peace and compassion as a driving force in the world.

You have a lot of power to change the world, in your thoughts and emotions, as well as in your actions. By eating non-GMO foods, you can be a powerful Wiccan activist.So I share this in a spirit of empowering the best in the world!

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GMO FAQs

This is just the barest of outlines. The full story is much broader, and even more dismaying.

Note: GMO's are also called genetically modified organisms, bioengineered crops, transgenics, and genetically engineered (GE) foods.


Index

Prevalence

Health Effects

Environmental Risk

Pesticide Use

Benefits The Farmer?

"Legal" Shenanigans

Control of the Food Supply

Monsanto's Reputation

Disinformation

Government Collaboration

What You Can Do

Footnotes

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Prevalence

70% of the food in US stores contains bioengineered elements.

After only 10 years, transgenic crops cover over 250 million acres. 70% are Roundup resistant. And 30% have been genetically modified to produce an insecticide called Bt.-- Controlling Our Food

In the US, Monsanto owns 90 percent of soy, 85 percent of corn, and 95 percent of sugar beets — all genetically modified.

Avoiding the components of processed food that are made from these products immediately [means] that the majority of goods from the supermarket went onto my NO list. What’s more, most meat and dairy were off limits, as everything from cattle to salmon are fed Monsanto corn.-- April Davila, Can we feed our world without Monsanto?

Canada is one of the world’s largest producers of genetically engineered foods.

The overwhelming majority of Canadians (80%) think that the government has provided insufficient information about GE food and that modified foods should be labelled as such (91%). -- poll by Decima Research

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Health Effects

In the nine years after GM crops were introduced in 1996, Americans with three or more chronic diseases jumped from 7 percent to 13 percent.(65) -- Jeffrey Smith   [Jeffrey Smith is the leading spokesperson on the health dangers of genetically modified (GM) foods. Author of Seeds of Deception and Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods. Mr. Smith is the executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology.]

We know that 8 percent of children and 2 percent of adults have allergenic reactions to traditional foods. What we're dealing with is the introduction of new genetic foods that have genes that code for proteins that we've never consumed. We just don't know what the reaction's likely to be. -- Jeremy Rifkin, author of The Biotech Century

There was a 50% increase in soy allergies during 1998, a time when production of GE soy crops jumped dramatically. -- York Nutritional Laboratory study, UK

I used to test for soy allergies all the time, but now that soy is genetically engineered, it is so dangerous that I tell people never to eat it. -- Ohio allergist Dr. John Boyles

GM soy and corn contain new proteins with allergenic properties,(58) and GM soy has up to seven times more of a known soy allergen. (59) -- Jeffrey Smith

When foreign genes are inserted, dormant genes may be activated or the functioning of genes altered, creating new or unknown proteins, or increasing or decreasing the output of existing proteins inside the plant. The effects of consuming these new combinations of proteins are unknown. -- American Academy of Environmental Medicine

The only published human feeding study revealed that even after we stop eating GMO's , harmful GM proteins may be produced continuously inside of us; genes inserted into Monsanto's GM soy transfer into bacteria inside our intestines and continue to function.(64) -- Jeffrey Smith

[In other words, they go on living and reproducing bacterial pesticide within the human body.]

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) has called on all physicians to prescribe diets without GM foods to all patients.(43) They called for a moratorium on GMO's , long-term independent studies, and labeling.

They stated, "Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food," including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system.

The British Medical Association has called for an indefinite moratorium on GE foods.

Genetic foods are also banned in seven countries and 25 mandate labeling laws, restrictive agriculture, environmental, or import policies, or prohibitions.

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Environmental Risk

In spite of Monsanto's assurances that it wouldn't be a problem, contamination has been a consistent and often overwhelming hardship for seed dealers, farmers, manufacturers, even entire food sectors. The biotech industry recommends buffer zones between fields, but these have not been competent to protect non-GM, organic, or wild plants from GMO's.

A UK study showed canola cross-pollination occurring as far as 26 km away.(36) -- Jeffrey Smith

But pollination is just one of several ways that contamination happens. There is also seed movement by weather and insects, crop mixing during harvest, transport, and storage, and very often, human error.

The contamination is North America is so great, it is difficult for farmers to secure pure non-GM seed.

In Canada, a study found 32 of 33 certified non-GM canola seeds were contaminated. (37) Most of the non-GM soy, corn, and canola seeds tested in the US also contained GMO's .(38) -- Jeffrey Smith

Contamination can be very expensive. StarLink corn -- unapproved for human consumption -- ended up the US food supply in 2000 and resulted in an estimated price tag of $1 billion. The final cost of GM rice contamination in the US in 2006 could be even higher. -- Jeffrey Smith

David Vetter of Nebraska owns and operates a 280-acre organic farm. His fields were presumably safe, surrounded by double rows of pines and 60 feet of untilled sod to act as a buffer zone. Sadly, this buffer did not prevent transgenic pollution! Vetter Says, "It's now clear that we won't be able to have both genetically engineered and non-GE crops. As an organic grower, I can no longer guarantee that my crops are GE-free."

Ignacio Chapela, University of California Berkeley, published a paper saying that they found transgenic material had already infiltrated Mexican corn... when they were looking for the most pure source of natural corn, in small local Mexican farms in Oaxaca, where they were thought to have been uncontaminated for thousands of years by other varieties of corn.

This happened even though Mexico has banned GM crops, to preserve their corns' genetic diversity.

However, after NAFTA, Mexico can't stop the massive importation of corn from the USA, 40% of which is genetically modified. This "industrial corn" is highly subsidized by the US government, so it can be sold for half as much as traditional Mexican corn. Controlling Our Food

"There's another kind of conquest. It's the transgenic conquest, that wants to destroy everything by making local corn disappear. So that their industrial corn can dominate.

If they succeed, we'll be dependent on the multinationals. We'll be forced to buy the fertilizer and insecticides they sell, because without them the corn won't grow. Whereas the local corn grows very well without fertilizer or herbicide." -- Segundino, traditional corn farmer, Oaxaca Mexico, Controlling Our Food

The difference with GM food is that once the genie is out of the bottle, it will be difficult or impossible to stuff it back. If we stop using DDT and CFCs, nature may be able to undo most of the damage - even nuclear waste decays over time.

But GM plants are living organisms. Once these new life forms have become established in our surroundings, they can replicate, change, and spread; there may be no turning back. Many ecologists are concerned about what this means to the balance of life on Earth that has evolved over millions of years through the natural reproduction of species. ...

We should apply the Precautionary Principle with any new technology, asking whether it is needed and then demanding proof that it is not harmful. Nowhere is this more important than in biotechnology because it enables us to tamper with the very blueprint of life.

Since GM foods are now in our diet, we have become experimental subjects without any choice.

(Europeans say if they want to know whether GMO's are hazardous, they should just study North Americans.) -- David Suzuki, eminent geneticist

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Pesticide Use

Monsanto bragged that their Roundup Ready technology would reduce herbicide, but at the same time they were building new Roundup factories to meet their anticipated increase in demand. They got it.

According to USDA data, the amount of herbicide used in the US increased by 382.6 million pounds over 13 years. Monsanto's Roundup Ready soybeans accounted for 92 percent of the total increase.

Due to the proliferation of Roundup resistant weeds, herbicide use is accelerating rapidly.

From 2007 to 2008, herbicide used on GM herbicide tolerant crops skyrocketed by 31.4 percent.(35) Furthermore, as weeds fail to respond to Roundup, farmers also rely on more toxic pesticides such as the highly poisonous 2,4-D. -- Jeffrey Smith

In 2007, the US used five times more fertilizer than it did in 1960, with crop yields lagging far behind, at an estimated fifty percent increase.

Polluting pesticide use is at an all time high while more crops are lost to pests now than six decades ago. -- April Davila, Can we feed our world without Monsanto?

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Benefits The Farmer?

When [Bt was] dispersed by plane to kill gypsy moths in Washington and Vancouver, about 500 people reported allergy or flu-like symptoms.(52)(53) The same symptoms are now reported by farm workers from handling Bt cotton throughout India.(54)

When Canada became the only major producer to adopt GM canola in 1996, it led to a disaster. The premium-paying EU market, which took about one-third of Canada's canola exports in 1994 and one-fourth in 1995, stopped all imports from Canada by 1998. The GM canola was diverted to the low-priced Chinese market. Not only did Canadian canola prices fall to a record low,(26) Canada even lost their EU honey exports due to the GM pollen contamination.

Monsanto's people in Australia claimed that ... Roundup Ready canola would yield up to 30 percent more. But when an investigator looked at the best trial yields on Monsanto's web site, it was 17 percent below the national average canola yield.

In spite of numerous advertising claims that GM crops increase yield, the average GM crop from Monsanto reduces yield. This was confirmed by the most comprehensive evaluation on the subject, conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists in 2009. Called Failure to Yield, the report demonstrated that in spite of years of trying, GM crops return fewer bushels than their non-GM counterparts. (30)

The Canadian National Farmers Union (NFU) observed, "Corporate and government managers have spent millions trying to convince farmers and other citizens of the benefits of genetically-modified (GM) crops. But this huge public relations effort has failed to obscure the truth: GM crops do not deliver the promised benefits; they create numerous problems, costs, and risks. . . ."(34) -- Jeffrey Smith

Today in India, Monsanto controls nearly all of the cotton seed market, forcing the locals to buy its seeds at prices four times higher than conventional varieties. Small farmers must turn to money lenders, who charge high interest rates. If the harvest is poor, it means bankruptcy. A vicious circle, which is decimating Indian villages.

Farmers borrow heavily and at high interest rates to pay four times the price for the GM varieties, along with the chemicals needed to grow them. When Bt cotton performs poorly and can't even pay back the debt, desperate farmers resort to suicide, often drinking unused pesticides.

In one region, more than three Bt cotton farmers take their own lives each day. The UK Daily Mail estimates that the total number of Bt cotton-related suicides in India is a staggering 125,000.

In Andhra Pradesh, where 71 percent of farmers who used Bt cotton ended up with financial losses, farmers attacked the seed dealer's office and even "tied up Mahyco Monsanto representatives in their villages," until the police rescued them.(42) -- Jeffrey Smith

Preliminary evidence gathered by the Canadian government’s own scientists also indicates that glyphosate [Round-Up] application can stimulate the growth of fusarium pathogens that cause fusarium head blight in wheat crops. Fusariam, also aptly called ‘tombstone’, has cost the Canadian wheat industry hundreds of millions of dollars in crop losses. -- Laura Telford, Ph.D., Executive Director, Canadian Organic Growers

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"Legal" Shenanigans

On March 29, 2001, a Canadian judge dealt a crushing blow to Farmers' Rights by ruling that Percy Schmeiser, a third generation Saskatchewan farmer, must pay Monsanto thousands of dollars for violating the corporation's monopoly patent on genetically engineered (GE) canola seed.

Percy Schmeiser did not buy Monsanto's patented seed, nor did he obtain the seed illegally. Pollen from genetically engineered canola seeds blew onto his land from neighboring farms.

Monsanto's GE canolagenes invaded Schmeiser's farm without his consent. Shortly thereafter, Monsanto's "gene police" invaded his farm and took seed samples without his permission.

Percy Schmeiser was a victim of genetic pollution from GE crops--but the court says he must now pay Monsanto US$10,000 for licensing fees and up to US$75,000 in profits from his 1998 crop. Monsanto Vs Percy Schmeiser - A Crushing Blow To Farmers' Rights

Monsanto also controls and manipulates farmers through onerous contracts. Troy Roush, for example, is one of hundreds accused by Monsanto of illegally saving their seeds. The company requires farmers to sign a contract that they will not save and replant GM seeds from their harvest. That way Monsanto can sell its seeds -- at a premium -- each season.

Although Roush maintains his innocence, he was forced to settle with Monsanto after two and a half years of court battles. He says his "family was just destroyed [from] the stress involved." Many farmers are afraid, according to Roush, because Monsanto has "created a little industry that serves no other purpose than to wreck farmers' lives."

Monsanto has collected an estimated $200 million from farmers thus far.

Roush says, "They are in the process of owning food, all food." Paraguayan farmer Jorge Galeano says, "Its objective is to control all of the world's food production."

Renowned Indian physicist and community organizer Vandana Shiva says, "If they control seed, they control food; they know it, it's strategic. It's more powerful than bombs; it's more powerful than guns. This is the best way to control the populations of the world." -- Jeffrey Smith

There have been "thousands of investigations, nearly 100 lawsuits, and numerous bankruptcies." -- study by The Centre For Food Safety, Washington DC.

At a biotech industry conference in January 1999, a representative from Arthur Anderson, LLP explained how they had helped Monsanto design their strategic plan. First, his team asked Monsanto executives what their ideal future looked like in 15 to 20 years.

The executives described a world with 100 percent of all commercial seeds genetically modified and patented. Anderson consultants then worked backwards from that goal, and developed the strategy and tactics to achieve it.

They presented Monsanto with the steps and procedures needed to obtain a place of industry dominance in a world in which natural seeds were virtually extinct. -- Jeffrey Smith

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Control of the Food Supply

As Monsanto had moved into biotechnology, its executives had the opportunity to create a new narrative for the company. They begun to portray genetic engineering as a ground-breaking technology that could contribute to feeding a hungry world.

Monsanto executive Robb Fraley, who was head of the plant molecular biology research team, is also said to have hyped the potential of GM crops within the company, as a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Monsanto to dominate a whole new industry, invoking the monopoly success of Microsoft as a powerful analogy.

But, according to Glover, the more down-to-earth pitch to fellow executives was that "genetic engineering offered the best prospect of preserving the commercial life of Monsanto's most important product, Roundup in the face of the challenges Monsanto would face once the patent expired."Monsanto: A History

At least 200 independent seed companies have disappeared over 13 years, non-GMO seed availability is dwindling, and Monsanto is jacking up their seed prices dramatically. Corn is up more than 30 percent and soy nearly 25 percent, over 2008 prices.(66) -- Jeffrey Smith

We now believe that Monsanto has control over as much as 90 percent of (seed genetics). This level of control is almost unbelievable. -- Neil Harl, agricultural economist at Iowa State University [studied the seed industry for decades].

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Monsanto's Reputation


Bovine Growth Hormone — rBGH

Files stolen from FDA and sent to Dr Samuel Epstein, head of Cancer Prevention Coalition, all the files submitted to the FDA from Monsanto, the data from the tests.

"What we were able to establish was that there were dramatic physiological changes in the animals that received the shot, the hormone shots, compared to their control group peers [including ovary enlargement and severe reproductive problems]." — Pete Hardin, editor and publisher of The Milkweed (Dairy industry journal)

"As there's a high incidence of mastitis in the cows, there'll be pus in the milk. … A wide range of antibiotics will be in the milk. Apart from that, and very importantly, very substantial increases of IGF1 [linked to breast, colon, and prostate cancers]." — Dr Samuel Epstein

Monsanto was accused of trying to bribe Health Canada to approve rBGH. An offer of 1-2 million was made. Monsanto didn't deny it. They later said it was money to do some more studies.-- Controlling Our Food

Burroughs himself was faced with corporate representatives who wanted the agency to ease strict safety testing protocols, and he saw corporations drop sick cows from rBGH test trials and manipulate data in other ways to make health and safety problems disappear. According to Burroughs, the raw, untouched data stashed away behind the agency's doors and protected as trade secrets would show otherwise.

Even FDA insiders have criticized the agency for its slack review of the drug, but the FDA has dismissed these concerns and fired at least one official who blew the whistle on the organization's corrupt drug approval process. Veterinarian Dr. Richard Burroughs reviewed animal drug applications at the FDA's Center for Veterinary Sciences from 1979 until he was fired in 1989. In 1985, Burroughs headed the FDA's review of rBGH and remained directly involved in the review process for almost five years. Burroughs wrote the original protocols for animal safety studies and reviewed the data that rBGH developers, including Monsanto, submitted as they carried out safety studies.

Burroughs challenged the agency's lenience and its changing role from guardian of public health to protector of corporate profits.

Not only did the FDA fail to act upon evidence that rBGH was not safe, the agency actually promoted the Monsanto corporation's product before and after the drug's approval. -- Jennifer Ferrara, Revolving Doors: Monsanto and the Regulators


Dioxin, Agent Orange

Internal Monsanto memos show that Monsanto knew of the problems of dioxin contamination of Agent Orange when it sold it to the U.S. government for use in Vietnam. -- Monsanto: A History

Monsanto Company had falsified scientist studies on the carcinogenicity of dioxin. — EPA report

Monsanto manipulated studies to "show" that dioxin did not cause cancer. So Vietnam vets were denied benefits. -- Controlling Our Food


Willful Poisonings

In 1991 Monsanto was fined $1.2 million for trying to conceal the discharge of contaminated waste water.

In 1995 Monsanto was ordered to pay $41.1 million to a waste management company in Texas due to concerns over hazardous waste dumping.

That same year Monsanto was ranked fifth among U.S. corporations in EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory, having discharged 37 million pounds of toxic chemicals into the air, land, water and underground.

In 1997 The Seattle Times reported that Monsanto sold 6,000 tons of contaminated waste to Idaho fertilizer companies, which contained the carcinogenic heavy metal cadmium.

Then in 2002 the Washington Post ran an article entitled, "Monsanto Hid Decades Of Pollution, PCBs Drenched Ala. Town, But No One Was Ever Told".

And thousands of pages of Monsanto documents -- many emblazoned with warnings such as 'CONFIDENTIAL: Read and Destroy' -- show that for decades, the corporate giant concealed what it did and what it knew." -- Washington Post

One Monsanto memo explains their justification: "We can't afford to lose one dollar of business."

Eventually the company was found guilty of conduct "so outrageous in character and extreme in degree as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency so as to be regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in civilized society".

-- Monsanto: A History

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Disinformation

Monsanto told government regulators that the GM protein produced in their high-lysine GM corn was safe for humans, because it is also found in soil. They claimed that since people consume small residues of soil on fruits and vegetables, the protein has a safe history as part of the human diet.

The actual amount of the GM corn protein an average US citizen would consume, however, if all their corn were Monsanto's variety, would be "about 30 billion to four trillion times" the amount normally consumed in soil residues.

For equivalent exposure, people would have to eat as much as 22,000 pounds of soil every second of every day. -- Jeffrey Smith

A paper published in Nutrition and Health analyzed all peer-reviewed feeding studies on GM foods as of 2003. It came as no surprise that Monsanto's Journal of Nutrition study, along with the other four peer-reviewed animal feeding studies that were "performed more or less in collaboration with private companies," reported no negative effects of the GM diet.

"On the other hand," they wrote, "adverse effects were reported (but not explained) in [the five] independent studies." They added, "It is remarkable that these effects have all been observed after feeding for only 10 to 14 days."(18) -- Jeffrey Smith

It has been shown that while a gene may be proven harmless (eg lectins), once it is merged with other genes (eg potatos), you get a dangerous mix that sets off the immune system like crazy and sets you up for cancerous tumours developing.

The evidence shows it isn't the genes that are dangerous, necessarily, but the insertion into other organisms that creates the problems. -- from research done by Arpad Pusztai, Rowett Research Institute 1968-1998.

"We were all enthusiastic about it. I was enthusiastic about it. The Ministry thought that if we did this study, looking at all aspects, then it would be an endorsement of GM, and when they introduce it, that they would say that the foremost laboratory in Europe had found them, nutritional labarotory, had looked at them and said they were alright. ...

"The genetically modified potatoes were tested on rats.

"It had two-fold effects. First it started to increase proliferative response in the gut. And that you don't like, because this is possibly -- I'm not saying that it is cancerous, but what it does, it can have an adjuvant effect on any chemically-induced tumour.

"The other thing is that immune system was certainly got into high gear... and we don't know whether that's good or bad. But it certainly did recognise the GM potatoes as alien. ...

"As a scientist actively working on the field, I find that it's very very unfair to use our fellow citizens as guinea pigs." -- Arpad Pusztai, in BBC interview, 1998. [The day after this interview aired, Arpad Pusztai was fired and the GMO research team dismantled.]

There is a profound difference between the types of unexpected effects from traditional breeding and genetic engineering. -- Dr. Louis Pribyl, FDA's Microbiology Group

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Government Collaboration

I have never seen a situation where one company could have so much overwhelming influence at the highest levels of regulatory decision making as the example of Monsanto with its GM food policy in the government -- Jeremy Rifkin, President, Foundation for Economic Trends

The reason the FDA approved it is that it appeared to be that there were a lot of people that used to work at key positions, that had worked for Monsanto, came over to the FDA and managed to get the FDA to approve it. -- Michael Hansen, scientific expert for the Consumers Union of the US

[The US Secretary of Agriculture Vilsek is also a Monsanto man.]

The FDA actually created a new position in the organisation for Michael Taylor, who was at that time and had been a lawyer for Monsanto for 7 years, and other clients included the Int'l Food Biotechnology Council, just at the time when the policy was being created.

"He had drafted for them a proposal for how they would like to see Genetically Engineered foods regulated. And if you look at the proposal that was written for IFBC that was Michael Taylor's, with the final one that was published, it looks very very similar. So if he didn't write it [the FDA's policy], it looks like somebody took what he wrote and changed it slightly for the policy." -- Michael Hansen, scientific expert for the Consumers Union of the US

"FDA documents show they ignored GMO safety warnings from its own scientists.

"We received over 44,000 pages from the FDA's own files, and they revealed that the FDA has been lying to the world since 1992, if not before. But they continue to lie; they are still lying. They claim that there is an overwhelming consensus in the scientific community that genetically engineered foods are as safe as their conventionally-produced counterparts, and they claim that there has been sufficient data to back up this consensus. Both of those claims are blatant lies.

"Even before the consistent warnings in the memos from the FDA's own scientists, the FDA had very clear warning, because the very first genetically engineered food supplement that came to market in the United States caused a major epidemic." [37 people dead, more than 1000 people disabled.] -- Steven Druker, Alliance for Bio-Integrity, who sued the FDA and forced them to disclose their documents on GMO's

[FDA] internal memos made public from a lawsuit showed that the overwhelming consensus among the agency scientists was that GM crops can have unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects. Various departments and experts spelled these out in detail, listing allergies, toxins, nutritional effects, and new diseases as potential problems. They had urged superiors to require long-term safety studies.(6)

In spite of the warnings, according to public interest attorney Steven Druker who studied the FDA's internal files, "References to the unintended negative effects of bioengineering were progressively deleted from drafts of the policy statement (over the protests of agency scientists)."(7)

The FDA scientists' concerns were not only ignored, their very existence was denied. Consider the private memo summarizing opinions at the FDA, which stated, "The processes of genetic engineering and traditional breeding are different and according to the technical experts in the agency, they lead to different risks."(9)

Contrast that with the official policy statement issued by Taylor [Deputy Commissioner for Policy at the FDA], Monsanto's former attorney: "The agency is not aware of any information showing that foods derived by these new methods differ from other foods in any meaningful or uniform way."(10) On the basis of this false statement, the FDA does not require GM food safety testing. -- Jeffrey Smith

The US 2001 budget allocated $310 million for biotechnology in rural development and agricultural development. Organic farming received less than $5 million.

Senate Bill S 510 Food Safety Modernization Act would outlaw gardening and saving seeds.

It would grant the U.S. government new authority over the public's right to grow, trade and transport any foods. Learn more.

This contemptible bill was actually passed, in Nov 2010, by the US Senate. It has since gone back to the Senate when it was found to be unconstitutional -- not the part about criminalising seed saving, but because there was a bit in there about allowing the Senate to raise revenues.

After a ballot initiative in California established Mendocino County as a GM-free zone--where planting GMO's is illegal--Monsanto and others organized to push through laws in 14 states that make it illegal for cities and counties to declare similar zones. -- Jeffrey Smith

[In other words, Monsanto has the power to make it illegal for the government to protect its citizens from this health threat.]

... the [CBC] aired a report that stated the Canadian government had formed a research partnership with Monsanto to develop GE wheat seed. Government dollars, land and scientists were involved. -- Laura Telford, Ph.D., Executive Director, Canadian Organic Growers


Revolving Doors

Taylor wasn't the only FDA official involved in rBGI-1 policy who had worked for Monsanto. Margaret Miller, deputy director of the FDA's Office of New Animal Drugs was a former Monsanto research scientist who had worked on Monsanto's rBGH safety studies up until 1989.

Suzanne Sechen was a primary reviewer for rBGH in the Office of New Animal Drugs between 1988 and 1990. Before coming to the FDA. she had done research for several Monsanto-funded rBGH studies as a graduate student at Cornell University. Her professor was one of Monsanto's university consultants and a known rBGH promoter. -- Jennifer Ferrara, Revolving Doors: Monsanto and the Regulators

Here's a list of people who have been working for both the government regulators and the chemistry companies who make GMO's.

  • David W. Beier

  • Linda J. Fisher

  • Michael A. Friedman, M.D.

  • L. Val Giddings

  • Marcia Hale

  • Michael (Mickey) Kantor

  • Josh King

  • Terry Medley

  • Margaret Miller

  • Michael Phillips

  • William D. Ruckelshaus

  • Michael Taylor

  • Lidia Watrud

  • Jack Watson

  • Clayton K. Yeutter

  • Larry Zeph

-- Peter Khaled, Monsanto employees and government regulatory agencies employees are the same people!

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What You Can Do

  • Stop buying GMO products. See: Non-GMO Shopping Guide and Canadian Non-GMO Shoppers Guide

  • Buy organic. Organic certification bars any GMO products.

  • Avoid the Big Four in particular: corn, soybeans, canola, and cottonseed.

  • Read the labels: the Big Four are commonly used in processed foods. See: Invisible Ingredients - Non-GMO Shopping Guide.

  • When you eat out, aim for organic or non-corn and -soy meals.

  • Buy organic meat and dairy products: most meat animals are now fed GMO's almost exclusively.

  • Educate yourself. More GMO foods are released every year. GMO salmon and pork are expected to be released for public consumption soon.

  • Open up dialogue and public debate. Most people don't realise the majority of their food contains GMO's , let alone the dangers involved.

  • Support organic or non-GMO farmers and organizations.

  • Support agricultural research, policies, and educational programs on sustainable agriculture.

  • Pressure the government for labeling laws. GMO's should be labeled so that people have the right to choose.

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FOOTNOTES

(6) See Smith, Seeds of Deception; and for copies of FDA memos, see The Alliance for Bio-Integrity

(7) Steven M. Druker, "How the US Food and Drug Administration approved genetically engineered foods despite the deaths one had caused and the warnings of its own scientists about their unique risks," Alliance for Bio-Integrity

(8) Louis J. Pribyl, "Biotechnology Draft Document, 2/27/92," March 6, 1992

(9) Linda Kahl, Memo to James Maryanski about Federal Register Document "Statement of Policy: Foods from Genetically Modified Plants," Alliance for Bio-Integrity(January 8, 1992)

(10) "Statement of Policy: Foods Derived from New Plant Varieties," Federal Register 57, no. 104 (May 29, 1992): 22991.

(18) Ian F. Pryme and Rolf Lembcke, "In Vivo Studies on Possible Health Consequences of Genetically Modified Food and Feed -- with Particular Regard to Ingredients Consisting of Genetically Modified Plan Materials," Nutrition and Health 17(2003): 1–8.

(26) NFU (2005a) GM Crops: Not Needed on the Island, - - Recommendations of the National Farmers Union to the Prince Edward Island Legislature's Standing Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, and the Environment, viewed 20/6/07.

(34) NFU (2005a) GM Crops: Not Needed on the Island, - Recommendations of the National Farmers Union to the Prince Edward Island Legislature's Standing Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, and the Environment, viewed 20/6/07.

(35) Charles Benbrook, Ph.D., "Impacts of Genetically Engineered Crops on Pesticide Use: The First Thirteen Years" November 2009

(36) Ramsay, G., Thompson, C. & Squire, G. (2004) Quantifying landscape-scale gene flow in oilseed rape, Scottish Crop Research Institute and the UK Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), October 2004, p. 4. viewed 16/7/07.

(37) Friesen, L., Nelson, A. & Van Acker, R. (2003) Evidence of Contamination of Pedigreed Canola (Brassica napus) Seedlots in Western Canada with Genetically Engineered Herbicide Resistance Traits," Agronomy Journal 95, 2003, pp. 1342-1347, cited in NFU (2005b).

(38) Mellon, M & Rissler, J. (2004) Gone to Seed: Transgenic Contaminants in the Traditional Seed Supply, Union of Concerned Scientists, cited in NFU (2005b).

(42) Abdul Qayum & Kiran Sakkhari. Did Bt Cotton Save Farmers in Warangal? A season long impact study of Bt Cotton - Kharif 2002 in Warangal District of Andhra Pradesh . AP Coalition in Defence of Diversity & Deccan Development Society, Hyderabad, 2003.

(43) Genetically Modified Foods, American Academy of Environmental Medicine

(52) Washington State Department of Health, "Report of health surveillance activities: Asian gypsy moth control program," (Olympia, WA: Washington State Dept. of Health, 1993).

(53) M. Green, et al., "Public health implications of the microbial pesticide Bacillus thuringiensis: An epidemiological study, Oregon, 1985-86," Amer. J. Public Health 80, no. 7(1990): 848–852.

(54) Ashish Gupta et. al., "Impact of Bt Cotton on Farmers' Health (in Barwani and Dhar District of Madhya Pradesh)," Investigation Report, Oct–Dec 2005.

(58) See L Zolla, et al, "Proteomics as a complementary tool for identifying unintended side effects occurring in transgenic maize seeds as a result of genetic modifications," J Proteome Res. 2008 May;7(5):1850-61; Hye-Yung Yum, Soo-Young Lee, Kyung-Eun Lee, Myung-Hyun Sohn, Kyu-Earn Kim, "Genetically Modified and Wild Soybeans: An immunologic comparison," Allergy and Asthma Proceedings 26, no. 3 (May–June 2005): 210-216(7); and Gendel, "The use of amino acid sequence alignments to assess potential allergenicity of proteins used in genetically modified foods," Advances in Food and Nutrition Research 42 (1998), 45–62.

(59) A. Pusztai and S. Bardocz, "GMO in animal nutrition: potential benefits and risks," Chapter 17, Biology of Nutrition in Growing Animals, R. Mosenthin, J. Zentek and T. Zebrowska (Eds.) Elsevier, October 2005

(64) Netherwood et al, "Assessing the survival of transgenic plant DNA in the human gastrointestinal tract," Nature Biotechnology 22 (2004): 2.

(65) Kathryn Anne Paez, et al, "Rising Out-Of-Pocket Spending For Chronic Conditions: A Ten-Year Trend," Health Affairs, 28, no. 1 (2009): 15-25

(66) Farmer to Farmer Campaign: Out of Hand report

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