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Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Food Crops

Genetic tampering of our food supply threatens the health of consumers and also the health of the environment. Your fruits, grains, and vegetables are being implanted with conglomerations of genes from viruses, bacteria, insects, and animals. Why is the governments of the United States and many other nations permit these experimental foods to be mass marketed without safety testing and labeling? In Europe, shiploads of these products have been halted at borders and supermarket chains and food producers have banned these products from their shelves.

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.

Genetically modified foods fill grocery shelves 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

Uncertain Peril 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."

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Genetically Modified Corn Spreading to Protected Wild Corn

Seeds of Deception 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.

1997 marks the entry of a wide variety of unlabelled genetically-engineered foods onto supermarket shelves.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.

Action AlertThe 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.

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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.


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, Your fruits, grains, and vegetables are being implanted with 
    conglomerations of genes from viruses, bacteria, insects, and animals.whose 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
Jane Rissler

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.

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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.

Related: Genetic Engineering Is Risky Business For California Wine Industry

Biotechnology and the Corporate Takeover of Your Food

by Marc Lappe, Britt Bailey

animal and microbial genes entering the gene pools of plants in wild ecosystems"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 privileged few.

"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

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...

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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 plantings.
  • 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 publication GeneWatch.

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 health.

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.

Question Mark Do you have a question about Natural Health or need assistance? Contact Shirley
Call 323-522-4521 or 323-989-3372

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Royal Viewpoint on GM crops

The Prince of Wales (AKA Prince Charles) Views on Genetically modified (GM) Crop
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

Dr. Mercola

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 1998.

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.

Question Mark Do you have a question about Natural Health or need assistance? Contact Shirley
Call 323-522-4521 or 323-989-3372

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