Are They Damaging You?

November 7, 2013 — 1 Comment
 Who Are You Going to Believe, Wild Geese or Monsanto?

Who Are You Going to Believe, Wild Geese or Monsanto?

The danger is clear. You have good reason to be concerned, seriously concerned. The potential damage to your immune system and the health risks caused by genetically engineered food is real. Some experts say the risks are enormous.

Genetically engineered plant seeds are produced by taking sections of the DNA from a harmful toxic bacteria, Bacillus thuringiensis or Bt, and inserting them into the cells of a plant such as corn, soy, or cotton. The resultant plant contains the Bt-toxin in its cells. When bugs eat the plant the Bt-toxin causes the insect’s gut wall to split and the insect dies. These crops are known as “Bt-corn,”  “Bt-soy,” or “Bt-cotton.”

When given a choice, animals in the wild choose to avoid genetically engineered foods. This was learned by observing flocks of geese that annually visit an Illinois pond and feed on soybeans from an adjacent farm. After half the acreage had been planted with genetically engineered (GE) seed, the geese ate only from the non-GE side.

In another observation, 40 deer ate organic soybeans from one field but shunned the genetically engineered Bt-soy across the road. The same thing happened with Bt-corn.

Reports of the effects of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on domestic animals are alarming:

  • In India, animals have grazed on cotton plants after harvest. But when shepherds let sheep graze on Bt-cotton plants, thousands died. Investigators said preliminary evidence “strongly suggests that the sheep mortality was due to a toxin….Most probably Bt-toxin.” In one small study, all sheep fed Bt-cotton plants died; those fed natural plants remained healthy.
  • In a village in India, buffalo grazed on cotton plants for eight years without incident. On January 3, 2008, 13 buffalo grazed on Bt-cotton plants for the first time. All died within three days.
  • Iowa farmers reported a conception rate drop from 80% to 20% among sows (female pigs) fed GE corn. Most animals also had false pregnancies, some delivered bags of water and others stopped menstruating.  Male pigs, as well as cows and bulls, became sterile after being fed Bt-corn.
  • In the Philippines, nearly 100 Filipinos living adjacent to a Bt-corn field became ill. Their symptoms appeared when the crop was producing airborne pollen that was apparently inhaled. Inhaling the pollen produced headaches, dizziness, extreme stomach pain, vomiting, chest pains, fever, and allergies plus respiratory, intestinal and skin reactions. Blood tests conducted on 39 victims showed an antibody response to Bt-toxins suggesting it was the cause. Four other villages experienced the same problems that also resulted in several animal deaths.

These stories are anecdotal; however, more and more compelling evidence is being accumulated from independent research on laboratory animals.

  • Rats fed Monsanto’s Bt-corn developed massive breast tumors. The cause of these tumors was the toxic carcinogen (cancer causing) “glyphosate.” Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide, Roundup.
  • The active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, disrupts the endocrine system, which is in charge of secreting hormones that regulate our moods, our metabolism and our sexual functioning. In laboratory studies of human cells, glyphosate disrupted hormone systems and led to cell death. In animal studies, glyphosate upset hormone balance and lead to infertility and birth defects.
  • Studies show that glyphosate causes extreme disruption of the beneficial bacteria in your gut, allowing harmful pathogens to take over. The proper ratio of beneficial bacteria is essential for the health of your immune system.
  • Bt (an insecticide) causes the stomach of insects to split open, thus killing the insect. Monsanto’s genetically engineered Bt foods are implicated as a cause of human leaky gut syndrome. There is a fear among many health experts that Bt-toxin is responsible for gut-based ills.

Monsanto vehemently defends itself and its genetically modified seeds with research by pro genetic engineering experts who offer a rebuttal for each Bt-food criticism. They say these independent studies have flawed data and are biased. Further, they say there is no direct evidence that GMOs are harmful to humans.

It is true that there is no direct scientific evidence that GMOs are harmful to humans. Studies on the effect of genetically engineered food on humans are not feasible; there is no plausible hypothesis to test. The reason there are no studies on humans is there are strong ethical standards that guide the conduct of research on human subjects. It is not feasible to feed toxins and carcinogens to human subjects, as you do to laboratory animals, to determine the results.

Finding the direct correlation between genetically engineered foods and endangerment to human health in the United States is impossible. There is no way to track the use of GE foods because GE foods are not labeled. It is not possible to trace illnesses and diseases to specific substances ingested even if thousands of people are affected. However, studies such as the one done in England are revealing. British researchers found a 50% jump in soy allergies after the introduction of Bt-soy to the country’s food chain. Consequently, the European Union banned genetically modified foods in 1999. The moratorium was lifted in 2004, when strict labeling requirements went into effect.

Who Is Protecting You?

Americans think the FDA is testing GMOs to make sure they are safe, but that’s simply not true. Monsanto, the world’s largest seed producer, along with the other three agribusiness giants successfully lobbied for the introduction of GE foods and received a “fast pass” from the FDA without FDA testing. To understand the politics of why the FDA did not do any testing on the safety of Bt-crops read Jeffrey M. Smith’s book, Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You’re Eating.

So, for now, it comes down to that famous line by Groucho Marx in the movie Duck Soup: “Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?”

Who are we going to believe, Monsanto or anecdotal stories and animal studies?

Monsanto lied to us about the safety of DDT, Agent Orange, and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenls).

Monsanto told us PCBs were safe. The International Treaty on Persistent Organic Pollutants, drafted by 122 nations, December 2000, targeted PCBs as one of the “dirty dozen” chemicals to be phased out worldwide. The International Agency for Research on Cancer targeted PCBs as likely to cause cancer in humans. Studies of PCBs in humans have found increased rates of melanomas, liver cancer, gall bladder cancer, gastrointestinal tract cancer, brain cancer, and links to breast cancer.

Who are you going to believe, Monsanto or anecdotal stories? For myself, I think I’ll go with the wild geese and deer – when given the choice, they avoid GE crops.

How Can You Avoid GE Foods?

You may not think you are eating genetically modified foods, but of course you are. You are eating genetically modified organisms every day, and a lot more than you are aware. In the United States, over 80% of all processed foods contain GMOs. Genetically engineered food is everywhere in American supermarkets and restaurants. It’s not labeled, so most of us have no idea how much of it we are eating – or how much it’s affecting our health.

Grocery giant Whole Foods Market, has announced that it will require all foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) sold in its US and Canadian stores to be labeled as such by 2018. Until labeling of GMOs is mandatory, the only way to be sure that you are not eating genetically engineered food is to use food marked organic or non-GMO verified.

Takeaway:

  • Roundup Ready genetically engineered Bt-crops promote cancer in laboratory animals and deposit carcinogens (cancer causing substances) in humans.
  • Roundup Ready genetically engineered Bt-crops harm your immune system by destroying beneficial bacteria that are in your gut.
  • Genetically engineered foods are in 80% of packaged food in the United States.
  • Deep in your inner being do you trust Monsanto with your health?  Your children’s health? Your grandchildren’s health?
Looke For This Seal

Looke For This Seal

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  1. Sustainable Sunday’s: Kids Right To Know! | Sunset Daily - November 10, 2013

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