Are Genetically Engineered Foods Dangerous?
When surveyed, the majority of consumers are not comfortable
eating genetically engineered foods, but most people can't really explain specifically
why they have concerns; yet more than half of America's processed grocery products — from corn flakes
to granola bars to diet drinks contain genetically altered ingredients.
Many of unlabeled and untested, and we are eating them.
Thousands of products on supermarket shelves are made with genetically modified
organisms (GMOs). Companies that have fouled the planet with toxic chemicals
are now manufacturing genetically modified food, which
poses irreversible threats of biological pollution and a host of other risks.
The US Is One of Only a Few Countries Using Genetically Engineered Food - The
US, Canada and Argentina account for 96% of the world's GE crops. In Europe,
the largest agricultural market in the world, all of the major supermarket chains
and food companies have removed GE ingredients from their consumer products.
Shouldn't we consider this a huge clue that there are
major potential dangers with this technology?
Uncertain Peril with Privatization of the Earth's Seed Stock
Former environmental lawyer and one-time farmer Cummings offers a persuasive
account of a lesser-known but potentially apocalyptic threat to the
world's ecology, food supply, and the privatization of the Earth's seed stock.
For almost a century, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has provided seeds
at no cost to farmers who then saved seeds from one harvest to another, eventually
developing strains best suited to local or regional climates. But Cummings also
tells how seeds became lucrative, patentable private properties for some of
the nation's most powerful agribusinesses.
Cummings bemoans the plague of sameness intensified by the advent of such
fitfully regulated companies as Monsanto, which now not only own genetically
modified seed varieties, but also sue farmers when wind inevitably blows seeds
onto their neighboring fields. According to Cummings, this tyranny of the technologically elite
threatens agricultural diversity and taints food sources. Among the author's
many startling statistics is that 97% of 75 vegetables whose seeds were once
available from the USDA are now extinct. Cummings heralds plans for a Doomsday
Vault to shelter existing natural seed stock, and finds comfort in organic farming's
growth, but her authoritative portrait of another way in which our planet is
at peril provides stark food for thought.
Who decides what is Safe for us to Eat?
The Food and Drug Administration policy on genetically modified organisms (GMOs),
released in 1992, falsely claims that the agency had no information showing
that GM foods are substantially different. Thousands of secret memos later made
public by a lawsuit reveal just the opposite. FDA scientists repeatedly warned
of possible allergies, toxins, new diseases, and nutritional problems; they
urged long-term safety studies. But the FDA official in charge of policy was
Michael Taylor, Monsanto's former attorney, later their vice president, and
now the US Food Safety Czar. The FDA ignored their scientists, and doesn't require
a single safety test. Instead, companies such as Monsanto, which have been found
guilty of hiding toxic effects of their other products, get to decide if their
GMOs are safe for us to eat. And the superficial studies they do conduct are
widely criticized as rigged to avoid finding problems. Monsanto's former
vice president, Michael Taylor, is our nation's food safety authority as Deputy
Commissioner for Food at the FDA. And to think he is only one of many other
former private sector biotech and pharmaceutical employees who have risen to
the bureaucrat arena is a very serious matter.
May 2009 - Germany Bans Genetically Modified Corn
Germany has now become the sixth country in the European Union to take a stand
against GM corn -- a wise move that unfortunately the United States has yet
to do.Whereas close to 9,000 acres slated to be planted with MON 810 corn in
Germany will now be GM-free (assuming the ban stands up in court if necessary),
the acres to be planted with GM corn in the U.S. is in the tens of millions.German
Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner announced she was banning not only the cultivation
of GM corn but also the sale of its seeds, saying she had “legitimate reasons
to believe that MON 810 posed a danger to the environment."
Genetically Modified Corn Spreading to Protected Wild Corn
Wayward genes from genetically modified corn that is widely grown in Canada
and the United States are spreading in remote mountainous regions of Mexico.
Up to 70% of wild Mexican maize now carries transgenes that could only have
come from genetically engineered crops. The transgenes, which scientists borrow
from viruses and bacteria, have been engineered into GM crops. The spread of
altered genes in the birthplace of domesticated corn is particularly worrisome
when one considers some of the crops being engineered in the lab with anti-spermicidal
properties, which might have disastrous consequences if it ever spread to food
crops. We were not supposed to see these moving around in the environment.
The survival of indigenous people, within the U.S. and across the globe, is
being directly threatened by genetic engineering (GE) of food crops. In September,
2001, scientists discovered genetically engineered (GE) corn at 15 locations
in the state of Oaxaca, deep in southern Mexico, a
country that has outlawed the commercial use of all genetically engineered crops.
No one knows how it got there.
In the US, genetically engineered corn has been grown commercially since
1996 and 26 percent of all US corn acreage is now genetically engineered. The
remote region of Oaxaca where the illegal GE corn was discovered is considered
the heartland of corn diversity in the world. Scientists had hoped to keep Oaxaca's
rich diversity of corn uncontaminated by GE strains because Oaxaca retains the
wealth of genetic varieties developed during 5500 years of indigenous corn cultivation.
Scientists now say that aggressive forms of GE corn, let loose in Oaxaca,
may drive native species to extinction, causing the loss of irreplaceable cultivars.
It is unclear whether the GE corn was carried deep into Mexico by birds, or
was intentionally spread there by corporations or governments promoting GE crops.
Genetic drift of GE crops to non-GE fields has, in fact, been well documented
and even the GE corporations and their regulators in government acknowledge
that it is a serious problem. Now, however, Monsanto, a leading supplier of
GE seeds, has cleverly turned the tables on the alleged victims of genetic pollution
by suing them for stealing Monsanto's patented genes.
purpose of patenting seeds is to prevent seed saving -- the ancient indigenous
practice of keeping seeds from this year's crop to grow next year's crop. Farmers
who purchase GE seeds sign contracts requiring -- under penalty of law -- that
they not save seed from one crop to the next. Thus farmers who employ GE seeds
must purchase new seed year after year, making them dependent upon whatever
transnational corporation owns the patent. Farmers who can't afford to buy seed
each year will simply not be allowed to grow a crop. In free-market societies,
such displaced farmers are free to move to a city where they are free to be unemployed.
Terminator genes prevent a crop from reproducing itself
Today's GE crops can't guarantee that farmers won't save seeds. Corporations
intent on preventing seed-saving must hire agents to travel from farm to farm,
reporting any unlicensed crops. Such monitoring is expensive.To avoid the need
for monitoring, and to gain 100 percent control over farmers, the GE corporations
have developed a new technology -- terminator genes. Terminator genes prevent
a crop from reproducing itself unless certain "protector" chemicals are applied to the crop.
Any farmer using terminator seeds must buy the "protector" chemicals each
year. As terminator technology spreads around the world, it will end indigenous
agriculture, and much biodiversity as well. An estimated 1.4 billion indigenous
people currently grow their own crops for subsistence, worldwide. In many
instances, their land is being eyed for corporate "development" and GE crop
technology offers a legal way to separate indigenous people from their land.
The Hidden Epidemic Destroying Your Gut Flora
Dr. Don Huber is an expert in an area of science that relates to the toxicity
of genetically engineered (GE) foods. (Alternative terms for GE foods include
genetically modified (GM), or "GMO" for genetically modified organism.)
Dr. Don Huber, an agricultural scientist and expert in microbial ecology,
has issued stern warnings about shockingly devastating effects of genetically
engineered food crops after discovering a brand new organism in GE animal feed—an
organism that has since been clearly linked to infertility and miscarriage in
cattle, horses, pigs, sheep, and poultry.
November 11, 2009 Monsanto Withdraws High Lysine GM Maize from Europe
In June 2002 the European Union banned imports of Canadian honey because Canadian
producers cannot guarantee their honey is free of pollen from GM plants not
yet approved by the EU. "This action by the EU has driven down domestic honey
prices in Canada and cost the industry a market that has on average earned more
than $5.3-million over the past decade," Peter Phillips, an agricultural economist,
and his colleagues at the University of Saskatchewan say in a paper that is
part of the journal's special report on GM plants and trees.
CONGRESS BLINDFOLDS CONSUMERS- REMOVING RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT'S IN YOUR FOOD
Senate Poised to Pass Bill Taking Away Your Right to Know What's in Your Food
On March 8, 2006, despite massive public opposition, including 50,000 calls
and letters from supporters of the Organic Consumers Association, the House
of Representatives passed the controversial "national food uniformity" labeling
law, which would eliminate over 200 state food safety labeling laws. The law
basically takes away local government and states' power to require food safety
labels such as those required in California and other states on foods or beverages
that are likely to cause cancer, birth defects, allergic reactions, or mercury
poisoning. The bill would also prevent local municipalities and states from
passing laws requiring that genetically engineered foods and ingredients be
labeled. Under the bill, hundreds of state laws and regulations would be eliminated,
including those relating to the safety of milk, fish, and shellfish. In order
to become law, the bill will now have to go to the Senate for a vote. Because
of the enormous public backlash against the bill, Washington analysts believe
the bill will have great difficulty passing in the Senate. Organic Consumers
Association and other public interest organizations have vowed to go "all out"
to stop this anti-democratic, anti-consumer bill in the Senate.
Could there really be lies and Deception?
Barbara H. Peterson
"My journey down the rabbit hole began with the following
thought: “What if nothing is as it seems, and everything I have been told is
a lie.” This thought kept rolling around in my head until I was compelled to
act. I started dissecting every scrap of information I heard on the news, and
went to the Internet to do my research. What I found was that I had indeed been
lied to, and was going to continue to be lied to by the mainstream media because
it is bought and paid for by large multi-national corporations who do not want
us to know the truth behind genetically modified terminator seeds, or anything
else of importance. We are mere consumers. The heads of these multi-national corporations,
only goal is to make money, are bleeding Americans dry. We the people are expendable.
Until we realize that, we will continue to act as if nothing is wrong until
we get flushed down the toilet. Our country is being sold piece by piece to
the highest bidder by a few powerful elites who have turned our economic system
into an all-out grab for money and power, man the torpedoes, full steam ahead!
A declaration of war on the American people has been declared, and we are in
for the fight of our lives."
Ecological Risks of Engineered Crops
What will it mean to have a steady stream of animal and microbial genes entering
the gene pools of plants in wild ecosystems? Private companies and the federal
government are pouring significant resources into biotechnology, and the major
application of genetic engineering to agriculture is transgenic crops. This
carefully reasoned science and policy assessment shows that the commercialization
and release of transgenic crops on millions of acres of farmland can pose serious
-- and costly -- environmental risks.
Could Monsanto Be Responsible for One Indian Farmer's Death Every Thirty Minutes?
Over the past decade, millions of Indian farmers have been promised radically
increased harvests and income if they switch from their traditional age tested
farming methods to genetically modified (GM) Bt cotton seeds. So, they borrow
money to buy GM seeds, which need certain pesticides, which requires more money.
And when rain fall is sparse, the GM crops fare far worse than traditional crops
– a fact that these farmers oftentimes don't learn until it's too late and they're
standing there with failed crops, spiraling debts, and no income. Monsanto has
been ruthless in their drive to use India as a testing ground for genetically
modified crops, and it gives us a very clear picture of what could be in store
for the rest of the world's small farmers if they're allowed to continue.
Making matters worse, these GM seeds also contain “suicide genes” that render
the seeds from this year's crop useless. They simply won't grow, so you cannot
save them to plant for your next season's harvest – a traditional farming method
that's been used since the dawn of farming itself. This means farmers are forced
to buy the patented seeds and fertilizer again and again, every year. But that's
not all. BT resistant pests and Roundup tolerant superweeds are on the rise,
rendering the two major GM crop traits useless as well. The evolution of BT
resistant bollworms worldwide have now been confirmed and documented. The end
result is that farmers are left with all of the downsides and none of the intended benefits.
PROFESSOR CANNED FOR RELEASING PAPER ON GE CONTAMINATION
A well-respected and popular professor
at the University of California in Berkeley has been fired after publishing
a scientific paper regarding the uncontrolled contamination of irreplaceable
native Mexican corn varieties by genetically engineered corn. Dr. Ignacio Chapela,
whose corn contamination article was published in the science journal "Nature,"
was denied his tenure due to pressure from the biotech company Monsanto on the
University (the UC Berkeley tenure review panel had actually voted almost unanimously
to approve his tenure). Professor Chapela has been told to have his office cleaned
out by December 31.
Biotech corporations like Monsanto and Novartis are pursuing these technologies
to boost sales of their patented crops and related products, despite the threats
posed by these risky genetic experiments. Consumers will buy the products because
they have no choice: by opposing warning labels, these companies are eliminating
the consumer's ability to make informed purchasing decisions. Families concerned
about their health and environment are increasingly turning to organic food
as a safer alternative and supporting ecological farming.
Genetic Engineering Is Risky Business For California Wine Industry
Biotechnology and the Corporate Takeover of Your Food
by Marc Lappe, Britt Bailey
"In only 150 pages, "Against the Grain" debunks many of the myths surrounding
biotechnology and the genetic engineering that is revolutionizing US (and world)
agriculture.One of the myths which "Against the Grain" debunks is the claim
that genetically engineered crops are aimed at feeding the hungry of the world.
As "Against the Grain" quite lucidly points out, if genetically engineered crops
were aimed at feeding the hungry of the world then companies like Monsanto would
develop seeds with certain characteristics such as: the ability to grow in substandard
soils; the ability for plants to produce more protein, with increased per-acre
yield, without increasing the need for expensive machinery, chemicals, fertilizer
or water; they would aim to favor small farms over large farms; seeds would
be cheap and freely available without restrictive licensing; they would be for
crops that feed people, not animals.
None of the genetically engineered crops now available have any of these
characteristics. In fact new genetically engineered seeds require high-quality
soils, huge investment in machinery and an increased use of chemicals.As "Against
the Grain" so adeptly illustrates, the genetic engineering revolution has nothing
to do with feeding the world's hungry but everything to do with enriching a
"There is no need for GM (genetically modified) crops; no one wants them,
not famine-stricken African nations, and very possibly, not even the biotech
corporations themselves, judging from the spectacular cutbacks and spin-outs
of agricultural biotechnology and major retreats from funding academic research
over the past year." Dr. Mae Wan-Ho, Institute for Science and Society www.i-is.org.uk 1/14/03
Protect the Future of Our Food Supply and Organic Food
Demand regulation of genetically engineered crops to protect the future of
our food supply. Genetically engineered crops are pervasive polluters. The National
Academy of Sciences reported that GE crops cannot be contained with current
regulation and that the spread of GE genes causes environmental harm. The Union
of Concerned Scientists Found widespread contamination of crops with GE genes.
This is unacceptable and dangerous. . There must be regulations in place to
ensure that all GE crops are appropriately monitored.
Hidden Dangers in Kids' Meals
An interview with Jeffrey M. Smith, footage of scientists, and a look at the miraculous improvement in
student behavior that accompanied a change in diet at a Wisconsin school. Also
included is a lecture by Smith on "The Health Dangers of Genetically Engineered
Foods and Their Cover-up." --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Jeffrey M. Smith is the director of the Institute for Responsible Technology
and is one of the world's leading advocates against GM foods. His book Seeds
of Deception is rated the number one book on the subject and has had a substantial
influence on public perception and even legislation. Smith has reached tens
of millions of people through hundreds of media interviews. He produced the
video Hidden Dangers in Kids' Meals, and also writes a popular monthly syndicated
column. He is on the Genetic Engineering Committee of the Sierra Club, was the
former vice president of marketing for a GMO detection laboratory, and ran for
U.S. Congress in his home state of Iowa to raise public awareness of the health
and environmental dangers of GM foods.
Genetically Altered Food: Buyer Beware
By John Fagan - a molecular biologist who has conducted research using recombinant DNA techniques
Why are we so uninformed while European consumers are up in arms and their
governments are taking swift action against the uncontrolled introduction of
genetically modified foods?
Mention genetically altered foods to most Americans, and you will get a blank
stare. A genetically cloned sheep has stolen the headlines. Yet with each passing
day, we are filling our grocery carts with these foods in ever-increasing percentages
without our knowledge or consent.
In Europe, shiploads of these products have been halted at borders. Supermarket
chains and food producers have banned these products from their shelves or promised
consumers that they will label these foods conspicuously. In fact, several nations
are enacting stringent labeling requirements. Learn what is at the core of the
fear about these new foods...
Organic crops at risk of Cross Pollination from GMO crops
Organic crops are being polluted with the pollen from gene-altered plants
destroying the purity of organic Thursday April 5, 2001: The Wall Street
Journal purchased and tested 20 products with labels that read "Non-GMO"
or "GMO-Free." They found that 11 of the products had evidence of some GMOs
and another 5 had even higher levels of contamination. Virtually all of the
products currently sold that are labeled Non-GMO or GMO-Free are made with organic
ingredients. Since organic crops are suppose to be free from genetic engineering,
you would think that organic products would be able to safely make the claim
of Non-GMO or GMO-Free. Unfortunately, with over 70 million acres of genetically
engineered crops planted in the United States, organic crops are being polluted
with the pollen from these gene-altered plants destroying the purity of organics.
News from around the world: Year 1999
- The British Medical Association is calling for a moratorium on transgenic
- In April, the seven largest grocery chains in six European countries
made a public commitment to go "GE free"--to eliminate genetically engineered
ingredients from their products and stores.
- The Pope is warning of ethical implications.
- 1300 UK schools have banned these foods from their cafeterias.
- The European Union is demanding segregation and labeling of all GE imports.
- Austria is fighting to be a biotech-free zone.
HEALTH-JAPAN: No Genetically-Altered Food Please
A growing number of Japanese consumers are up in arms against the imports
of genetically modified food products, which are not subject to labeling despite
their easy availability here.
Despite assurances from the government, consumers' groups say these products
could be hazardous to health and carry serious environmental implications.
''The Japanese are being used as guinea pigs by rich countries and their
corporations in the experiment of expanding genetically modified food,'' says
Setsuko Yasuda of the Consumer Union of Japan. ''But the message from us is: Stop.''
The Council for Responsible Genetics (CRG), founded in 1983, is a national
free organization of scientists, public health advocates and others which monitors
the development of new genetic technologies and advocates for their responsible
use. CRG works in the area of human genetics and commercial biotechnology and
the environment. CRG programs foster informed public debate about the social,
ethical and environmental implications of these genetic technologies through
educational materials, position papers, model legislation, and a bi-monthly
Genetic foods may pose risk to human health
Genetically-engineered foods can cause potentially lethal reactions, according
to a scientific report announced early this spring. The study confirmed for
the first time that transferring genes to modify foods posed a risk to human
In tests conducted at the University of Nebraska and reported in the New
England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that soybeans modified with genes
from Brazil nuts produced proteins that resulted in extreme, potentially deadly
allergic reactions in people sensitive to the nuts.
A British researcher questions safety of genetically altered food.
British research released on Monday says genetically modified potatoes can damage
the immune systems of rats and calls into question the safety of the new food technology.
Do you have a question about Natural Health or need assistance?
Call 323-522-4521 or 323-989-3372
Royal Viewpoint on GM crops
The Prince of Wales (AKA Prince Charles) Views on Genetically modified (GM)
Excerpts from Prince Charles' web site
"I personally have no wish to eat anything produced by genetic modification,
nor do I knowingly offer this sort of produce to my family or guests."
"Once genetic material has been released into the environment it cannot be
recalled. The likelihood of a major problem may, as some people suggest, be
slight, but if something does go badly wrong we will be faced with the problem
of clearing up a kind of pollution which is self-perpetuating. I am not convinced
that anyone has the first idea of how this could be done, or indeed who would
have to pay."
"We are told that GM crops will require less use of agro-chemicals. Even
if this is true, it is certainly not the whole story. What it fails to take
into account is the total ecological and social impact of the farming system.
For example, most of the GM plants marketed so far contain genes from bacteria
which make them resistant to a broad spectrum weedkiller available from the
same manufacturer. When the crop is sprayed with this weedkiller, every other
plant in the field is killed. The result is an essentially sterile field, providing
neither food nor habitat for wildlife. These GM crop plants are capable of interbreeding
with their wild relatives, creating new weeds with built-in resistance to the
weedkiller, and of contaminating other crops. Modified genes from a crop of
GM rape were found to have spread into a conventional crop more than a mile
away. The result is that both conventional and organic crops are under threat,
and the threat is one-way."
"GM crop plants are also being developed to produce their own pesticide.
This is predicted to cause the rapid appearance of resistant insects. Worse
still, such pesticide-producing plants have already been shown to kill some
beneficial predator insects as well as pests. To give just two examples, inserting
a gene from a snowdrop into a potato made the potato resistant to greenfly,
but also killed the ladybirds feeding on the greenfly. And lacewings, a natural
predator of the corn borer and food for farmland birds, died when fed on pest
insects raised on GM maize. "
"We are also told that GM techniques will help to 'feed the world'. This
is a fundamental concern to all of us. But will the companies controlling these
techniques ever be able to achieve what they would regard as a sufficient return
from selling their products to the world's poorest people? Nor do I believe
that the basic problem is always so simple. Where the problem is lack of food,
rather than lack of money to buy food, there may be better ways of achieving
the same ends. Recent research has shown, for example, that yields from some
traditional farming systems can be doubled, and even trebled, through techniques
that conserve natural resources while making the best use of labor and management skills."
The US Is One of Only a Few Countries Using Genetically Engineered Food
Despite industry rhetoric, very few countries are willing to ignore public opposition and allow the
commercial cultivation of GE soybeans, corn, cotton, or canola, the only four crops
currently being grown on any significant scale.
While farmers in 130 nations are currently producing certified organic crops,
a grand total of three nations, (the US-with 68% of the world's GE crops, Canada-6%,
and Argentina-22%) are still producing 96% of the world's GE crops.
Moreover the US, Canada, and Argentina are finding that their major
overseas customers such as Europe, Japan, and South Korea no longer want to
buy GE crops, even for animal feed.
In Europe, the largest agricultural market in the world, grassroots market
pressure has forced all of the major supermarket chains and food companies to
remove GE ingredients from their consumer products. Meanwhile, on the regulatory
front, no new GE crops have been approved for commercialization in the EU since
Syngenta (formerly Novartis), the largest biotech company in the world, has
removed all GE ingredients from its consumer food products. Because of increasing
marketplace pressure, 25% of all animal feed in the EU is already GE-free.
Industry propaganda about feeding the world through increased productivity
is no longer credible. Genetically engineered crops were created not because
they are productive but because they're patentable.
Their economic value is oriented not toward helping subsistence farmers to
feed themselves but toward feeding more livestock for the already overfed rich.
Do you have a question about Natural Health or need assistance?
Call 323-522-4521 or 323-989-3372