Tag Archives: GMO
h/t: Takepart –
In June, the Environmental Protection Agency released the results of its assessment of 52 chemicals and the likelihood that any of them could be classified as endocrine disruptors—those substances known to interfere with the hormonal system and linked to such health ills as certain cancers, birth defects, and developmental disorders. On the list of chemicals the agency examined was glyphosate, which most Americans know better as Roundup, which is Monsanto’s trade name for what has become the most widely used herbicide in the world. In the United States, hundreds of millions of pounds are dumped on farmland annually.
“As a longtime Monsanto scientist who has spent my career studying the health and safety of pesticides, including glyphosate, I was happy to see that the safety profile of one of our products was upheld by an independent regulatory agency,” Steve Levine, a senior science fellow at Monsanto, crowed on the company blog.
The italics are mine. But heck, I thought I might as well just give them to Levine, because it becomes almost embarrassingly obvious that’s what he wants. He practically goes overboard in trying to sell you on the EPA’s objectivity—not only emphasizing the agency’s “independence” but calling its review “comprehensive” (twice) as well as “rigorous” and “science-based.”
It doesn’t take more than five minutes poking around on Google or WorldCat to begin turning up fairly recent studies in peer-reviewed scientific journals that include sentences like “a growing body of knowledge suggests the predominance of endocrine disrupting mechanisms caused by environmentally relevant levels of exposure” to glyphosate-based herbicides. So how can the EPA be so certain glyphosate isn’t an endocrine disruptor?
Because, it seems, Monsanto and other chemical companies said so.
As Sharon Lerner revealed over at The Intercept this week, of the 32 studies the EPA used to make its determination that there is “no convincing evidence” that glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor, 27 were either conducted or funded by the agrichemical industry. “Most of the studies were sponsored by Monsanto or an industry group called the Joint Glyphosate Task Force,” Lerner wrote. “One study was by Syngenta, which sells its own glyphosate-containing herbicide, Touchdown.”
More telling, when Lerner reviewed the paltry five independently funded studies the EPA relied on for its determination, three of them concluded glyphosate could very well pose a danger to the endocrine system.
“Yet, of the 27 industry studies, none concluded that glyphosate caused harm,” Lerner added, even though “many of the industry-funded studies contained data that suggested that exposure to glyphosate had serious effects.” No less worrisome is that a majority of the studies were more than two decades old—thereby predating the existence of the term “endocrine disruption.”
Just last week, a senior researcher at the U.S. Department of Agriculture filed allegations that he was harassed after publicly voicing concerns about another popular class of pesticides. You don’t need to be a conspiracy theorist to wonder just how “independent” and “rigorous” our federal regulatory agencies are when it comes to evaluating the risks posed by all those agrichemicals out there coating all those amber waves of grain.
Jason Best is a regular contributor to TakePart. He has worked for Gourmet and the Natural Resources Defense Council. He writes about food, sustainability and the environment.
By: Natasha Longo, Prevent Disease |
The beloved tomato is the one fruit many still think is a vegetable. Few also realize that tomatoes were one of the first commercially available genetically modified (GM) crops ever. Under the guise of incorporating healthier and concentrated natural compounds, GM tomatoes are about to make a comeback on new research that aims to pack in the same amount of resveratrol as 50 bottles of red wine into one tomato.
Earlier forms of this GM crop included the transgenic tomato (FlavrSavr) which had a “deactivated” gene. This meant that the tomato plant was no longer able to produce polygalacturonase, an enzyme involved in fruit softening. The premise was that tomatoes could be left to ripen on the vine and still have a long shelf life, thus allowing them to develop their full flavour. Normally, tomatoes are picked well before they are ripe and are then ripened artificially.
Despite organic tomatoes being more nutritious than conventional, scientists think they can rise above nature to produce high nutrient GM tomatoes which produce compounds which are impossible in those naturally grown.
Tomatoes have recently been genetically modified to produce a peptide that mimics the actions of HDL cholesterol that biotechnology groups are promoting to supposedly reduce heart disease.
GMO Tomato Same Potency As 50 Bottles of Red Wine?
Researchers say their GM tomatoes could provide the same amount of resveratrol as 50 bottles of red wine or the same amount of genistein as 2.5kg of tofu, say researchers.
“We are not sure why there is so much emphasis on genistein,” said author and GMO researcher Rebecca Israel. “We know that too much genistein is detrimental to a developing child, so why would we want to increase this phytoestrogen in something as common as a tomato,” she stated.
The findings, published in Nature Communications, claim to suggest a way to produce industrial quantities of potentially beneficial natural compounds efficiently — by growing them in genetically modified tomatoes.
Led by Dr Yang Zhang and Dr Eugenio Butelli at the John Innes Centre in the UK, the research team tested the effect of introducing a protein called AtMYB12 — which activates a set of genes involved in the production of producing natural compounds — and genes encoding enzymes specific for making resveratrol and in to tomatoes.
According to the team, the protein acts a bit like a tap to increase or reduce the production of natural compounds depending on how much of the protein is present.
Zhang and Butelli revealed that the genetic modifications acted to both increase the capacity of the plant to produce natural compounds (by activating phenylpropanoid production) and to influence the amount of energy and carbon the plant dedicated to producing these natural compounds.
Indeed, introduction of the AtMYB12 protein meant tomato plants began to create more beneficial compounds including resveratrol and genistein, and devoted more of energy to doing this, but what is the consequence. “We simply don’t know what consequences will result from the introduction and amplification of gene sequences,” said Israel.
The team noted that because tomatoes are a high yielding crop — producing up to 500 tonnes per hectare in countries delivering the highest yields — and require relatively few inputs, the production of valuable compounds like resveratrol or genistein in tomatoes could be economical compared to relying on artificial synthesis in a lab.
There are many other biotech projects aiming to enrich tomatoes with substances that may offer health benefits which claim to be more nutritious, however no human or long-term studies are planned to discover their effects on metabolism.
Monsanto developed tomatoes that delayed ripening by preventing the production of ethylene, a hormone that triggers ripening of fruit. Although the tomatoes were briefly tested in the marketplace, patent arguments forced its withdrawal.
Tomatoes (along with potatoes, bananas and other plants) are also being investigated as vehicles for delivering edible vaccines. Clinical trials have been conducted on mice using tomatoes that stimulate antibody production targeted to norovirus, hepatitis B, rabies, HIV and anthrax.
Korean scientists are looking at using the tomato to expressing a vaccine against Alzheimer’s disease. Hilary Koprowski, who was involved in the development of the polio vaccine, is leading a group of researchers in developing a tomato expressing a recombinant vaccine to SARS.
Although GM foods can only be planted in many countries as part of a trial, and even then only under strict conditions, millions of hectares of the crops have already been planted in the Americas.
Campaigners have warned that there is no compulsory labelling of meat or dairy products from animals which have been fed on GM crops, and that any long-term problems from eating the foods is still unknown.
Natasha Longo has a master’s degree in nutrition and is a certified fitness and nutritional counselor. She has consulted on public health policy and procurement in Canada, Australia, Spain, Ireland, England and Germany.
“The [Oct. 21, 2015] Senate Agriculture hearing reaffirmed the broad consensus among scientists and regulators that GMOs are safe . . . We were pleased to hear Senator Stabenow’s [D-Mich.] personal commitment to work to develop a bipartisan bill that can pass the Senate by the end of this year…”. – Pamela Bailey, Grocery Manufacturers Association, in an October 21, 2015 press release
When the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry held its hearing on H.R. 1599 last week, the session ended just as the hearing in the House ended—with all of the witnesses in the room concurring that GMOs are safe.
In fact, not one single member of the U.S. Congress, in several well-publicized hearings in the House and Senate this year, has had the intelligence or the courage to say that GMO-tainted foods and the pesticides that go along with them are toxic or unsafe.
Worse yet, the few token spokespersons from public interest groups—Center for Science in the Public Interest, Environmental Working Group and Just Label It—despite portraying themselves as the “loyal opposition” to Monsanto and Big Food, and, have either repeated Monsanto’s lies of “no-scientific evidence of GMO harm” or claimed disingenuously “we don’t know.”
Now, it seems the loyal opposition may go along with a scheme, supported by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), to pass a federal law that would substitute QR codes for labels.
The day will come, when all of God’s creatures, have clean and natural food to eat and WE are making that day a REALITY.
We WILL get GMO labeling, we WILL repeal the Monsanto Protection Act, we WILL hold Monsanto, and their politicians, ACCOUNTABLE.
And, we will NEVER give up our mission, through direct communication, grassroots journalism, activism, and social media.
All we want, All we ask for, is the truth. This movement, is all about truth! And we won’t be satisfied, UNTIL THE TRUTH PREVAILS, AND SETS US FREE.
We are a force that will continue to shake our nation until justice PREVAILS.
Let’s WORK together, PRAY together, STRUGGLE together, and STAND together, knowing we can win. And make no mistake about it, we CAN win, and we WILL WIN!
Monsanto may have the cash, but WE have the passion.
Our freedom is not for sale, our rights are not for sale, and our health, and the health of our children, are NOT FOR SALE!
What is the DARK Act?
H.R. 1599, known as “The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015”, but MORE accurately known as the “Deny Americans the Right to Know” – or DARK Act, is legislation that would establish an unacceptable landscape for our health, the health of the planet, and the food industry.
This bill takes away our right to know what type of food we are eating. This bill prohibits the labeling of GMO foods. This bill undermines the efforts of people in states like Vermont, Maine, and Connecticut, that have already passed, GMO labeling laws.
Make no mistake about it — this is a full blown attack on the future, of clean food in America. Although the House, has already passed the DARK act it still has to go through the senate.
Results of the October 21st Hearing
The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry hearing on H.R. 1599 was anything but fair and balanced. Eight witnesses were allowed to testify and only one was remotely aligned with consumers and public health. The others were talking heads who represented corporate interests.
Thanks to all of you who have contacted your Senators, a Senate version of H.R. 1599 has yet to be introduced but that doesn’t mean it’s not coming. It also doesn’t mean new legislation won’t be introduced. Debbie Stabenow from Michigan has said she’s working on a new bill to have a federal solution by the end of the year. Will it require GMO foods be labeled? Time will tell.
Don’t let up. Continue to contact your Senator’s office at 888-897-0174 and tell them you want GMO labeling. American lawmakers need to wake up, and speak for the citizens they represent, not the corporate giants, who contributed to their campaigns. The United States is one of the only industrialized countries in the world that doesn’t require GMO labeling. And, 9 out of 10 Americans WANT GMO labeling.
DARK Act Timeline
- March 25, 2015 — H.R. 1599, is introduced as the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 by Mike Pompeo, Representative for Kansas’s 4th congressional district.
- July 14, 2015 — The Committee on Agriculture recommends the bill be considered by the House.
- July 23, 2015 — H.R. 1599 passes the House and heads to the Senate for consideration.
- October 17th and 18th, 2015 — March Against Monsanto organizes the Food Justice Rally in Washington, D.C. to ensure the American people are heard.
- October 21st, 2015 — The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry holds a lopsided, food-industry-focused hearing on H.R. 1599.
Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.
What’s the most controversial topic at the grocery store these days?
Should you consume them? Are they okay in moderation? Should you strictly avoid them at all times? And if so, how on earth can you manage to navigate the store without stepping into a genetically modified landmine? And if you really want to challenge yourself, how can you do that on a budget?
The anti-GMO movement is picking up steam, for a multitude of excellent reasons. My family is making continuous efforts to remove genetically modified products from our lives. If you want to learn how you can banish them too, read on!
Forget about GMO labeling.
First of all, let’s face some facts here. Crony capitalism in America isn’t going to allow changes that would require the labeling of genetically modified ingredients in your food. While in a perfect world, a place that requires people selling healthfully grown organic foods to jump backwards through hoops and turn a cartwheel to be allowed to place a “certified organic label” on their items, Big Agri can blithely don hazmat suits to spray ever-increasing amounts of glyphosate on crops that have been genetically modified to withstand the poisons, with nary a word to consumers.
The reality is, Monsanto and their ilk have incredibly deep pockets. The Big Food companies that purchase vast amounts of GMO crops are also rolling in money. If you want to avoid GMOs, you can’t look to those who have a vested interest in selling them to protect you. You have to constantly educate yourself to beat them at their own game.
And their game, of course, is Monopoly.
If they refuse to label their products, we can refuse to buy them. Money talks, and to large corporations it SHOUTS. If their bottom line begins to dwindle because people refuse to consume their products, eventually they will have to make a change.
That’s exactly what happened with Dean Foods, actually. In 2009, Dean Foods switched their formula for their popular Silk Soymilk. Instead of using organic soybeans, they began purchasing conventional soybeans. As we all know, nearly all of the soy grown in the United States is genetically modified – at last report it was over 94%. So, more than likely, the soymilk that Dean Foods was putting out was GMO. When outraged customers refused to purchase the product, Dean realized that they were losing money hand over fist, and they switched back to organic soy.
Victory: Team Anti-GMO.
So, you see, that’s how it works. In a free market where consumers have adequate information, their desires direct what is produced. The issue right now is that consumers do NOT have adequate information – at least not without a diligent search for it.
We can wish for labeling until the rBGH-free cows come home, but the battle will have to be fought without the aid of labels.
Avoiding GMOs is easier than you might think. And it can be done on a budget. Here’s how.
Learn to use the labels that DO exist.
Although companies are no required to put warning labels on GMOs, companies can opt to boast when their products are GMO-free.
The Non-GMO Project is focused in the opposite direction of the activists that insist GMOs be labeled. They are working to label products that have been scrupulously tested and are verified NOT to contain genetically modified material.
(Here’s a list of 1,000 non-gmo foods)
The pretty little butterfly label is your best indication that the product in your hand doesn’t contain GMOs. Through a third-party verification process, the products are tested and audited to maintain their standing.
The retailers who started the Non-GMO Project were motivated by a simple idea. They believed that consumers in North America should have access to clearly-labeled non-GMO food and products, now and in the future. That conviction continues to guide the Non-GMO Project, as North America’s only independent verification for products made according to best practices for GMO avoidance.
The verification seal indicates that the product bearing the seal has gone through our verification process. Our verification is an assurance that a product has been produced according to consensus-based best practices for GMO avoidance:
- We require ongoing testing of all at-risk ingredients—any ingredient being grown commercially in GMO form must be tested prior to use in a verified product.
- We use an Action Threshold of 0.9%. This is in alignment with laws in the European Union (where any product containing more than 0.9% GMO must be labeled). Absence of all GMOs is the target for all Non-GMO Project Standard compliant products. Continuous improvement practices toward achieving this goal must be part of the Participant’s quality management systems.
- After the test, we require rigorous traceability and segregation practices to be followed in order to ensure ingredient integrity through to the finished product.
- For low-risk ingredients, we conduct a thorough review of ingredient specification sheets to determine absence of GMO risk.
- Verification is maintained through an annual audit, along with onsite inspections for high-risk products.
Other products sometimes say that they do not contain GMOs. While this may be true, the Non-GMO Project Verified seal is earned through rigorous testing, and you can feel fairly confident that foods bearing this seal are free of genetically modified ingredients.
Another label to look for is USDA Certified Organic.
According to the USDA’s official blog, the inclusion of any type of GMOs is prohibited in an organic product.
The use of genetic engineering or genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is prohibited in organic products. This means an organic farmer can’t plant GMO seeds, an organic cow can’t eat GMO alfalfa or corn, and an organic soup producer can’t us any GMO ingredients. To meet USDA organic regulations, farmers and processors must show they aren’t using GMOs and that they are protecting their products from contact with prohibited substances, such as GMOs, from farm to table.
Sadly, it’s important to note that the USDA has relaxed their standards and “organic” now means 95% or more organic.
Learn about the likely suspects.
In the United States and Canada, two things shout “GMO” like no other: corn and soy. As of 2012, more than 94% of the soy and 88% of the corn in America was genetically modified.
The sad fact is, if you are buying anything processed at all, corn or soy is most likely to be an ingredient. And given the statistics above, it’s almost guaranteed that the corn or soy is GMO unless it’s otherwise noted. Both ingredients masquerade under many names. The lists below may seem overwhelming, but it’s important to see the number of aliases that allow these products to sneak into your food.
Here’s a sobering chart from the website Corn Allergens that shows many of the names under which corn lurks in your food.
- Acetic acid
- Alpha tocopherol
- Artificial flavorings
- Artificial sweeteners
- Ascorbic acid
- Aspartame (Artificial sweetener)
- Baking powder
- Barley malt* (generally OK, but can be contaminated)
- Bleached flour*
- Blended sugar (sugaridextrose)
- Brown sugar* (generally OK if no caramel color)
- Calcium citrate
- Calcium fumarate
- Calcium gluconate
- Calcium lactate
- Calcium magnesium acetate (CMA)
- Calcium stearate
- Calcium stearoyl lactylate
- Caramel and caramel color
- Carbonmethylcellulose sodium
- Cellulose microcrystalline
- Cellulose, methyl
- Cellulose, powdered
- Cetearyl glucoside
- Choline chloride
- Citric acid*
- Citrus cloud emulsion (CCS)
- Coco glycerides (cocoglycerides)
- Confectioner’s sugar
- Corn alcohol, corn gluten
- Corn extract
- Corn flour
- Corn oil, corn oil margarine
- Corn starch
- Corn sweetener, corn sugar
- Corn syrup, corn syrup solids
- Corn, popcorn, cornmeal
- Cornstarch, cornflour
- Crosscarmellose sodium
- Crystalline dextrose
- Crystalline fructose
- DATUM (a dough conditioner)
- Decyl glucoside
- Decyl polyglucose
- Dextrose (also found in IV solutions)
- Dextrose anything (such as monohydrate or anhydrous)
- d-Gluconic acid
- Distilled white vinegar
- Drying agent
- Erythorbic acid
- Ethocel 20
- Ethyl acetate
- Ethyl alcohol
- Ethyl lactate
- Ethyl maltol
- Food starch
- Fruit juice concentrate*
- Fumaric acid
- Germ/germ meal
- Gluconic acid
- Glucono delta-lactone
- Glucose syrup* (also found in IV solutions)
- Gluten feed/meal
- Golden syrup
- High fructose corn syrup
- Hydrolyzed corn
- Hydrolyzed corn protein
- Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
- Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose
- Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose pthalate (HPMCP)
- Invert syrup or sugar
- Iodized salt
- Lactic acid*
- Lauryl glucoside
- Linoleic acid
- Magnesium citrate
- Magnesium fumarate
- Magnesium stearate
- Malic acid
- Malonic acid
- Malt syrup from corn
- Malt, malt extract
- Methyl glucose
- Methyl glucoside
- Methyl gluceth
- Microcrystaline cellulose
- Modified cellulose gum
- Modified corn starch
- Modified food starch
- Molasses* (corn syrup may be present; know your product)
- Mono- and di- glycerides
- Monosodium glutamate
- Natural flavorings*
- Polylactic acid (PLA)
- Polysorbates* (e.g. Polysorbate 80)
- Polyvinyl acetate
- Potassium citrate
- Potassium fumarate
- Potassium gluconate
- Powdered sugar
- Pregelatinized starch
- Propionic acid
- Propylene glycol monostearate*
- Propylene glycol*
- Salt (iodized salt)
- Semolina (unless from wheat)
- Sodium carboxymethylcellulose
- Sodium citrate
- Sodium erythorbate
- Sodium fumarate
- Sodium lactate
- Sodium starch glycolate
- Sodium stearoyl fumarate
- Sorbic acid
- Sorbitan* (anything)
- Sorghum* (not all is bad; the syrup and/or grain CAN be mixed with corn)
- Splenda (Artificial sweetener)
- Starch (any kind that’s not specified)
- Stearic acid
- Sucralose (Artificial sweetener)
- Sugar* (not identified as cane or beet)
- Tocopherol (vitamin E)
- Treacle (aka golden syrup)
- Triethyl citrate
- Unmodified starch
- Vanilla, natural flavoring
- Vanilla, pure or extract
- Vegetable anything that’s not specific*
- Vinegar, distilled white
- Vinyl acetate
- Vitamin C* and Vitamin E*
- Xanthan gum
- Zea mays
Likewise, soy is another item that wears many hats and can be difficult to avoid. Here are some of the names under which soy could be hiding in your food. (List is from About.com)
- Bean curd
- Bean sprouts
- Bulking agent
- Edamame (fresh soybeans)
- Guar gum
- Gum arabic
- Hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP) or hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
- Hydrolyzed soy protein (HSP)
- Miso (fermented soybean paste)
- Mixed tocopherols
- Mono- and di-glycerides
- MSG (monosodium glutamate)
- Natural flavoring
- Soy (albumin, cheese, fiber, grits, milk, nuts, sprouts, yogurt, ice cream, pasta)
- Soy lecithin
- Soy protein (concentrate, hydrolyzed, isolate)
- Soy sauce
- Soybean (curds, granules)
- Soybean oil
- Teriyaki sauce
- Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
- Tofu (dofu, kori-dofu)
- Vegetable gum, starch, shortening, or oil
- Vitamin E
As you can see, it’s difficult to avoid potential GMOs if you eat anything that comes from a package. Despite the fact that many people suffer from food allergies, these items are allowed to be included under names that make it difficult to discern what you’re actually getting. Names like “thickener”, “natural flavoring”, and “drying agent” do not give the label reader much of a clue.
More than 60 GMO crops that have been approved in the US are:
- Corn (20 varieties)
- Oilseed Rape/Canola (11 varieties)
- Cotton (11 varieties)
- Tomato (6 varieties)
- Potato (4 varieties)
- Soybean (3 varieties)
- Sugar Beet (3 varieties)
- Squash (2 varieties)
Fortunately, not all of these are currently on the market. Currently corn, soybeans, cotton, canola, squash, and papaya are all sold commercially. (Source: Organic Consumers)
The best possible choices have no label at all.
Bluntly put, food manufacturers are out to deceive the consumer. They know that many people are trying to avoid GMOs, but they still want you to buy their products. This is why they are adamantly against labeling the products, although they like to say it’s because we, the mere mortal customers, just aren’t smart enough or educated enough to comprehend in our fuzzy little brains that GMOs are “safe”. So, they opt not to disclose the inclusion of genetically modified ingredients.
If you shop at the grocery store, then I have to be honest – it’s nearly impossible to avoid GMOs. If every item you purchase is organic, then you can probably get through the checkout line unscathed. But these days, who can afford to push a cart full of organic grocery store food up to the register? I know that I certainly can’t. Prices are sometimes triple that of a conventionally grown item. If you truly want to avoid GMOs – and by avoid I mean banish them from your dinner table and cupboards for good – you need to stop buying food with ingredients. You need to rethink where your food comes from.
Food shouldn’t contain ingredients. Food should BE ingredients. What you purchase when doing your weekly food shopping should be the basis for delicious meals. When you no longer eat things from packages that have long lists of ingredients in them, you will begin to free yourself from the ridiculous Monopoly game that you have been playing with Big Food.
Here are some examples:
Instead of buying a package of pasta and a jar of Alfredo sauce, make zucchini noodles and a homemade Alfredo primavera.
Instead of buying a box of flavored, sugar-y cereal for breakfast, have oatmeal (cooked from scratch – not the little packets) and top it with fruit and nuts.
Instead of a sandwich made from a loaf of processed bread and a deli meat, have a salad made from fresh greens and vegetables, and topped with a slice of chicken that you cooked yourself.
Instead of opening a can of tomato soup, puree some tomatoes and make your own soup. Top it with freshly chopped basil.
Instead of a breakfast sandwich with rubbery eggs on a processed English muffin, make a decadent omelet with farm fresh cheese and vegetables.
None of these meals takes a diploma from Le Cordon Bleu to make. None of these meals started their journey to your table at a factory farm and then on to a facility to be processed into a box on the grocery store shelf, either. They came straight from the garden or farm. Grab some farm-to-table cookbooks or vintage cookbooks, and you’ll find loads of recipes that are simple, fast, and filling. (My favorites are The Nourished Kitchen and The Fanny Farmer Cookbook from 1896.) For more inspiration, think about what you like to eat, and then about how your grandmother would have made it.
It’s time to change your definition of food shopping.
It’s entirely possible for many of us to completely break up with the grocery store. I grow veggies in my backyard and I purchase what I can’t grow from farmers, farmer’s markets, CSAs, and the local co-op. Specific staples like organic sugar and baking items come from online vendors. (I realize that these are the same items I could be purchasing at the grocery store, but I have made the personal choice to no longer do business with that industry. I try to buy direct from farms and small producers as much as possible.)
Don’t limit yourself to produce, either. Be sure to look for meat and dairy products from local vendors as well! The organic free-range chicken that you get from your local farmer is well worth the additional price you’ll pay. If you have a freezer, you can buy many types of meat in bulk (quarter of a cow, anyone?) I’m able to serve free range chicken, rabbit, and grass-fed beef to my family, even on a tight budget, by shopping direct from the farmers. There are few occupations where people work so hard for such a small amount of profit. Farming is a noble profession that doesn’t get the respect it deserves, and I like nothing better than giving my hard-earned dollars to people who give me true nourishment.
I can hear some of you saying, “That’s fine in the summer, but what am I supposed to eat in the winter, when there’s nothing local that is being harvested? I’ll have to go back to the grocery store.”
Not necessarily. It’s possible to skip the grocery stores (and the GMOs) even in the winter if you are prepared to do some food preservation when produce is at its peak. If you aren’t familiar with the lost arts, check out some websites, go to a class at your county extension office, or read a book. Canning, dehydrating, root cellaring, and freezingcan make your summer bounty last all through the year. I like to take extra effort when canning fruits and vegetables to make them special, so that we are excited to pop open a jar in the winter. I add vanilla and spices to pears. I toss a little bit of garlic into the jar with green beans. Carrots have a dash of cinnamon and a dollop of honey. Jams are bursting with intense fruity flavor. Relishes, chutneys, and sauces await their invitations to the table, dressing up a wintery dish with a dash of summer. Jars of chewy dehydrated fruits are ready to go into lunchboxes, and dehydrated veggies add a burst of out-of-season nutrition to soups and sauces.
It’s amazing how far you can make a bushel of peaches extend if you use the “whole buffalo” – a family theory of food economics named by my youngest daughter that means we use every edible part of the item to help stretch our budget. We recently took 100 pounds of peaches (purchased for $1 a pound from an orchard down the road) and made 3 kinds of jam, 3 kinds of canned peaches, peach peel candy, peach liqueur, and peach iced tea. Only then, after getting every last drop of flavor and goodness out of those peaches, pit and all, did we cast the remnants onto the compost pile.
If you think you don’t have time to eschew the grocery store, with its convenient boxes and freezer aisle, reconsider. Fruits and vegetables are the original “fast food”. Many of them can be consumed right after you pick them from the plant.
Challenge yourself to one week without groceries – you may find that the food is so much more delicious and satisfying that you don’t want to go back to the store!
Here are the top 10 things to remember when shopping for non-GMO foods.
Don’t buy into the malarkey that it’s impossible to avoid GMOs these days. It’s entirely possible when you stop playing by the rules laid out by Big Food!
Keep these things in mind when purchasing food:
Stop looking for labels. Assume that if it isn’t labeled GMO-free, that it contains GMOs.
Look for products that are USDA Certified Organic or Non-GMO Project Verified.
Avoid all corn, soy, and canola that is not specifically labeled as non-GMO.
Familiarize yourself with the abundant aliases for corn and soy.
Buy ingredients, instead of food with ingredients.
Cook from scratch.
Stop shopping at the grocery store.
Get to know your farmers personally.
Preserve food while it’s in season.
Don’t be wasteful. Use every single edible part to make your food dollars go further.
Do you have other ways of avoiding GMOs? Please share them in the comments section.
Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor who lives in a small village in the Pacific Northwestern area of the United States. She is the author of The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy writes about healthy prepping, homesteading adventures, and the pursuit of liberty and food freedom. Daisy is a co-founder of the website Nutritional Anarchy, which focuses on resistance through food self-sufficiency. Daisy’s articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, and you can email her at [email protected]
By: Paul A Philips, New Paradigm |
You’ve seen it as science-fiction on TV or in the movies, but now it’s science-fact. I’m talking about the Pentagon’s DARPA (Defence Advanced Research Project Agency) creation of a super soldier army with super human abilities achieved through genetic modification. Going on for some years, shrouded in secrecy, these mutants will make future wars totally different games.
The genetic modification of specific human genes will give these soldiers certain characteristics advantageous on the battlefield, giving rise to the most amazing abilities and performances.
Smarter, sharper, more focussed and more physically stronger than their enemy counterparts these soldiers will be capable of telepathy, run faster than Olympic champions, lift up record-breaking weights through the development of exoskeletons, re-grow limbs lost in combat, possess a super-strong immune system, go for days and days without food or sleep…
Then there’s the emotional side. These soldiers will have the empathy genes deleted and show no mercy, while devoid of fear… Even more disturbingly, the “Human Assisted Neutral Devices program” involving brain controlling allows the ‘joystick’ remote operation of soldiers from some far away control centre.
–All this has been revealed, even in mainstream media. In spite of the secrecy fiction writer Simon Conway was allowed into the Pentagon’s DARPA and given a guided tour… Doesn’t this suggest that DARPA are well into the final stages and they want us to get use to the idea of a genetically modified super soldier army?
The type of super human characteristics that have been developed (or in the development stages) in the soldiers is indicated by funding allocations. For example, DARPA has handed out a $40 million grant to California and Pennsylvania Universities to develop memory-controlling implants.
It has also been revealed that DARPA awarded $9.9 million to the Institute for Preclinical Studies Texas A and M University to develop a means of surviving significant blood loss. This would overcome the normal difficulties in requiring life-saving medical treatment immediately after combat injury which is known to be difficult to give during the complications and dangers encountered on the battle field.
Another characteristic in development is having the soldiers genetically modified to hibernate throughout winter. There is a gene in squirrels that produces an enzyme in the pancreas which enables this ability. This gene can be taken from the squirrel and inserted into solders…
Summary… some serious points to consider
1. It has to be remembered that wars are secretly manufactured for power, profit and political gain. So all the massive funding gone into these projects only goes into supporting false pretexts created by the powers that be for their own selfish means to an end...regardless of the consequences. There’s never enough money for humanity but a blank cheque for war…
2. As history has shown us any advantage created will sooner or later be matched by the enemy. Human genetic modification technology for military advantages shouldn’t be any different and will be matched as a response by the enemy after their realization that the technology exists. Indeed, this in effect cancels out any advantages as in the historic case of the nuclear alms race with the political super powers.
3. Are we humans next? Will the genetic modification technology extend into civilians? Rather than give us anything to our advantage will it be used for dumbing down and control in a scientific dictatorship? What about those memory-controlling implants mentioned?
Consider the sinister implications: Remember the Arnold Schwarzenegger film ‘Total Recall’ involving false memory implants?
4. When it comes to genetic modification there’s always the dangers related to tinkering with life: What about the long-term consequences and the spread of these genes over generations?
What about the potential irreversible damages as in those related to the trans-humanist agenda..? As Geoffrey Ling DARPA director at the Technologies Office said to Agence France Presse “It is risky…” -Well, he should know!
5. Last but not least there are the ethical considerations…What will be the humanitarian cost? Could this by design lead us to the road to Hell?
GMO labeling is more than just a fad. Over the past several years, more than 70 bills have been introduced in more than 30 states, by state lawmakers who want GMO foods labeled.
Monsanto and Big Food, though they say they have nothing to hide, are intent in preventing or repealing those state laws—so they can continue to hide the fact that their products have been genetically engineered, or contain GMO ingredients. This week (October 7, 2015), 95 state lawmakers from 21 states issued a joint letter asking Congress to reject H.R. 1599, Monsanto’s bill to preempt state and federal mandatory GMO labeling laws. (The bill passed the House on July 23).
In a press release, Maine Rep. Michelle Dunphy (D-Old Town), said:
“H.R. 1599 is being deceptively sold to Congress on the mistruth that it will address consumers’ concerns by establishing a uniform federal standard for GMO labeling. In fact, H.R. 1599 would preempt state and federal mandatory labeling laws and instead establish a voluntary, government-run program for labeling non-GMO foods. States have historically held the right to pass food safety and food labeling laws, and Congress should not undermine that right just to protect the biotech industry.”
In their joint letter, the lawmakers wrote:
HR 1599 would undermine the existing rights of states to pass food labeling laws; it would undermine the efforts of the thousands of people working to create basic transparency in food labels in their states; it would undermine the rights of consumers to basic information; and it would undermine the concept of a free market based on truth and transparency in labeling.
The Monsanto public relations machine has done a stellar job in recent years of reducing the GMO debate to one that pits “pro-science advocates” against “anti-science climate-denier types”—with Monsanto portrayed as being squarely planted in the pro-science camp.
But that well-oiled machine may be starting to sputter.
Turns out that a Monsanto executive solicited pro-GMO articles from university researchers, and passed the “research” off as independent science which the biotech giant then used to prop up its image and further its agenda.
We know this, thanks to thousands of pages of emails obtained by US Right to Know, under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). And because a host of news outlets—including the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Bloomberg, the StarPhoenix and others—are now running with the story.
By: Justin Gardner, The Free Thought Project |
It seems that Monsanto’s reach extends to the most prestigious of collegiate institutions.
According to email messages obtained by the Boston Globe, Harvard professor Calestous Juma received instructions from biotech giant Monsanto on how to present a paper on a topic suggested by the company. Juma did not disclose this connection with Monsanto.
The 2014 policy paper, titled Global Risks of Rejecting Agricultural Biotechnology, was widely distributed with the help of a marketing firm provided by Monsanto, which “would ‘merchandize’ the papers online, disseminate them to the media, and schedule op-eds, blog posts, speaking engagements, events, and webinars.”
Eight other professors received the email in 2013 from Eric Sachs, Monsanto’s head of regulatory policy and scientific affairs, asking them to write a series of papers and providing a detailed strategy for public persuasion.
“This will be an important project and is designed to lead to increased engagement on critical topics that are barriers to broader use and acceptance of [genetically modified] crops globally,” Sachs wrote.
Sachs went on to describe a series of seven papers that he asks the professors to author. The e-mail says that the specific topics were selected because of their “influence on public policy, [genetically modified] crop regulation, and consumer acceptance”.
“I understand and appreciate that you need me to be completely transparent and I am keenly aware that your independence and reputations must be protected,” Sachs wrote.
The goal, Sachs said, was to change public dialogue about GMOs “toward a broader understanding of the “societal benefits of [genetically modified] crops” and change policies that are “unnecessarily limiting innovation in the biotechnology arena.”
Juma did not get paid by Monsanto and used material from his own book, but the direct influence of the multinational corporation seems to be in contradiction of Harvard’s rules. Their conflict of interest policy says that “faculty members should not permit outside activities and financial interests to compromise their primary commitment to the mission of the university.”
This corruption of higher learning complements a deep infiltration by Monsanto into the federal branches, and the regulatory agencies that are supposed to protect the public using objective information.
Juma, an authority in international development, says his failure to disclose his Monsanto connection was “bad judgment.” But the paper has already run its course as part of biotech’s propaganda machine.
Global Risks of Rejecting Agricultural Biotechnology praises the use of GMOs to feed developing countries in Africa. GMO proponents claim that the crops produce higher yields with less pesticides and fertilizers, but these claims have been debunked.
Failure to Yield describes how GM crops are not producing significantly higher yields, and that non-GM breeding and farming methods are actually doing a better job at increasing yields. Indian farmers are proving this using a method called Agroecology.
The only thing that GM crops increase is the use of chemicals. “RoundUp Ready” and other crops resistant to herbicides require the use of chemical sprays that drench entire fields on a regular basis. Overall pesticide use increased 26 percent in ten years, and glyphosate use increased 10-fold from 1996 to 2012. This is especially concerning now that the World Health Organization has listed glyphosate as a probable carcinogen.
Yet Juma and other influential people still seek to push these products onto the developing world, on behalf of biotech companies that stand to make billions by enslaving their agriculture as they have in the U.S.
With a holistic approach to agriculture—such as Agroecology and Farmscaping—that embraces life instead of annihilating it, we can solve the world’s agricultural demand while reducing man’s impact on the environment.
Join The Food Justice Coalition as we go to D.C. to fight The DARK Act! Friday will be a day of action and Saturday will be The Food Justice Rally with speakers beginning at noon until 1:30pm.
Food Justice Action: 2-Day Schedule of Events
On Friday, Oct. 16th, Truth in Labeling and Moms Across America are organizing lobbying groups to meet with Senators to lobby for the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act. They are also organizing buses with the option for either a round-trip ride or a one-way ride if you stay over for Saturday.
***Note that we have moved the narrative march portion of this action to Friday, Oct. 16th.*** We believe we will have far more of an impact doing the narrative march while the locations we are targeting are open for business. There will be a second march following the rally on Saturday.
We ask all participants to meet at Lafayette Park about 3 p.m. We will begin the march at USTR and the Chamber of Commerce. Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese will speak about the TPP. Then we’ll head to Monsanto to occupy the building while a presentation is given. We are being a bit quiet on specifics as our groups and event pages have been infiltrated by Monsanto shills, but expect some cool visuals. From the Monsanto building, we will head to the EPA (about 5 p.m., as a point of reference). Zen Honeycutt will speak about glyphosate, recent testing and the EPA’s lackadaisical attitude towards a solution. We are asking participants to consider dressing as bees so we can do a bee die-in in the lobby of the EPA. After the EPA, we will head to the White House. Please bring a flashlight so you can help us Shine A Light On The DARK Act. We will have the advantage of rush hour traffic at this point and we believe this unique form of protest will have a stunning visual impact! If you can’t make it, but still want to contribute, you can donate here.
On Saturday, October 17th, the Food Justice Rally starts at noon sharp on the West Lawn of the Capitol building. Know that the permit begins at 10am and I encourage you to come early and take part in education workshops that MAMNYC is organizing. I’ll be speaking alongside other grassroots activists like Steven Druker and Anthony Gucciardi. After the rally, there will be a unity march through the streets of D.C. ***Please bring flashlights, signs, and any banners you may have!***
Why is this Important?
How to Detox Your Body of GMOs Right NOW
A while back I sat down with Anthony Gucciardi of Natural Society to discuss the top 10 GMO foods you should avoid.
We also talked about the dangers of genetically modified foods and how you can detox your body.
Recommended Reading About Monsanto and GMOs
- What are Genetically Modified Organisms?
- What is Glyphosate? (Video)
- Evidence Mounts on Roundup’s Link to Liver and Kidney Damage
- The Top 20 GMO Foods and Ingredients to Avoid
- Monsanto and Condé Nast Team Up to Spread GMO Propaganda
- 8 Shocking Facts About GMOs
- The Hidden Culprit Behind Wheat Sensitivity
- 7 Things You Should Know About GMOs
- Suppressed Evidence Connects GMO Feed to Sterile Livestock
- Leading Medical Journal Wants GMO Labeling
- GMO Foods Cause Gut Damage
- That Natural Label Doesn’t Always Mean GMO Free
- GMOs, Pesticides, and the Mega Corporations Behind Your Food
- What is the Bt Toxin?
- US and China Caught Secretly Testing GMO Rice on Children
- Tips for Avoiding GMOs
Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.
Never underestimate the power of a mom. Or a blogger. Or, worse yet, a mommy blogger.
Leah Segedie was “completely shocked” when she learned that Monsanto and the American Academy of Pediatrics were bedfellows, joined by a “sponsor partnership.” So the mom, blogger and founder of the popular blogger network, Mamavation, reached out to the Academy’s public affairs team, via a personal friend.
The result? The American Academy of Pediatrics will sever ties with Monsanto at the end of this year.
It’s good to see that an organization entrusted with the final word on the health of kids is finally joining other physicians in taking a stand against one of the chief poisoners of a whole generation of our children.
We devote a lot of time to fighting the anti-GMO war in state and federal legislatures, because we have to. It’s important work, and we’ll keep doing it. But it’s important to remember the power we all have to influence those outside of the State Houses and the U.S. Capitol. And the good that can come of that power.
In this video Dan Dicks of Press For Truth debunks 7 claims made by the food authorities:
Claim 1: Genetic engineering isn’t radical technology
Claim 2: GMO Crops aren’t new
Claim 3: Farmer’s Don’t Want to Save Seeds, Anyway
Claim 4: The Only Way to Feed the World is Through GMOs
Claim 5: GMO’s don’t cause health problems
Claim 6: It’s Not just Monsanto, All Research says GMOs are okay
Claim 7: *GMOs don’t spread to other crops and wild plants
By: Jonathan R. Latham, PhD
(Independent Science News) By training, I am a plant biologist. In the early 1990s I was busy making genetically modified plants (often called GMOs for Genetically Modified Organisms) as part of the research that led to my PhD. Into these plants we were putting DNA from various foreign organisms, such as viruses and bacteria.
I was not, at the outset, concerned about the possible effects of GM plants on human health or the environment. One reason for this lack of concern was that I was still a very young scientist, feeling my way in the complex world of biology and of scientific research. Another reason was that we hardly imagined that GMOs like ours would be grown or eaten. So far as I was concerned, all GMOs were for research purposes only.
Gradually, however, it became clear that certain companies thought differently. Some of my older colleagues shared their skepticism with me that commercial interests were running far ahead of scientific knowledge. I listened carefully and I didn’t disagree. Today, over twenty years later, GMO crops, especially soybeans, corn, papaya, canola and cotton, are commercially grown in numerous parts of the world.
Depending on which country you live in, GMOs may be unlabeled and therefore unknowingly abundant in your diet. Processed foods (e.g. chips, breakfast cereals, sodas) are likely to contain ingredients from GMO crops, because they are often made from corn or soy. Most agricultural crops, however, are still non-GMO, including rice, wheat, barley, oats, tomatoes, grapes and beans.
For meat eaters the nature of GMO consumption is different. There are no GMO animals used in farming (although GM salmon has been pending FDA approval since 1993); however, animal feed, especially in factory farms or for fish farming, is likely to be GMO corn and GMO soybeans. In which case the labeling issue, and potential for impacts on your health, are complicated.
I now believe, as a much more experienced scientist, that GMO crops still run far ahead of our understanding of their risks. In broad outline, the reasons for this belief are quite simple. I have become much more appreciative of the complexity of biological organisms and their capacity for benefits and harms. As a scientist I have become much more humble about the capacity of science to do more than scratch the surface in its understanding of the deep complexity and diversity of the natural world. To paraphrase a cliché, I more and more appreciate that as scientists we understand less and less.
The Flawed Processes of GMO Risk Assessment
Some of my concerns with GMOs are “just” practical ones. I have read numerous GMO risk assessment applications. These are the documents that governments rely on to ‘prove’ their safety. Though these documents are quite long and quite complex, their length is misleading in that they primarily ask (and answer) trivial questions. Furthermore, the experiments described within them are often very inadequate and sloppily executed. Scientific controls are often missing, procedures and reagents are badly described, and the results are often ambiguous or uninterpretable. I do not believe that this ambiguity and apparent incompetence is accidental. It is common, for example, for multinational corporations, whose labs have the latest equipment, to use outdated methodologies. When the results show what the applicants want, nothing is said. But when the results are inconvenient, and raise red flags, they blame the limitations of the antiquated method. This bulletproof logic, in which applicants claim safety no matter what the data shows, or how badly the experiment was performed, is routine in formal GMO risk assessment.
To any honest observer, reading these applications is bound to raise profound and disturbing questions: about the trustworthiness of the applicants and equally of the regulators. They are impossible to reconcile with a functional regulatory system capable of protecting the public.
The Dangers of GMOs
Aside from grave doubts about the quality and integrity of risk assessments, I also have specific science-based concerns over GMOs. I emphasise the ones below because they are important but are not on the lists that GMO critics often make.
Many GMO plants are engineered to contain their own insecticides. These GMOs, which include maize, cotton and soybeans, are called Bt plants. Bt plants get their name because they incorporate a transgene that makes a protein-based toxin (usually called the Cry toxin) from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. Many Bt crops are “stacked,” meaning they contain a multiplicity of these Cry toxins. Their makers believe each of these Bt toxins is insect-specific and safe. However, there are multiple reasons to doubt both safety and specificity. One concern is that Bacillus thuringiensis is all but indistinguishable from the well known anthrax bacterium (Bacillus anthracis) (1). Another reason is that Bt insecticides share structural similarities with ricin. Ricin is a famously dangerous plant toxin, a tiny amount of which was used to assassinate the Bulgarian writer and defector Georgi Markov in 1978. A third reason for concern is that the mode of action of Bt proteins is not understood (Vachon et al 2012); yet, it is axiomatic in science that effective risk assessment requires a clear understanding of the mechanism of action of any GMO transgene. This is so that appropriate experiments can be devised to affirm or refute safety. These red flags are doubly troubling because some Cry proteins are known to be toxic towards isolated human cells (Mizuki et al., 1999). Yet we put them in our food crops.
A second concern follows from GMOs being often resistant to herbicides. This resistance is an invitation to farmers to spray large quantities of herbicides, and many do. As research recently showed, commercial soybeans routinely contain quantities of the herbicide Roundup (glyphosate) that its maker, Monsanto, once described as “extreme” (Bøhn et al 2014).
Glyphosate has been in the news recently because the World Health Organisation no longer considers it a relatively harmless chemical, but there are other herbicides applied to GMOs which are easily of equal concern. The herbicide Glufosinate (phosphinothricin, made by Bayer) kills plants because it inhibits the important plant enzyme glutamine synthetase. This enzyme is ubiquitous, however, it is found also in fungi, bacteria and animals. Consequently, Glufosinate is toxic to most organisms. Glufosinate is also a neurotoxin of mammals that doesn’t easily break down in the environment (Lantz et al. 2014). Glufosinate is thus a “herbicide” in name only.
Thus, even in conventional agriculture, the use of glufosinate is hazardous; but With GMO plants the situation is worse yet. With GMOs, glufosinate is sprayed on to the crop but its degradation in the plant is blocked by the transgene, which chemically modifies it slightly. This is why the GMO plant is resistant to it; but the other consequence is that when you eat Bayers’ Glufosinate-resistant GMO maize or canola, even weeks or months later, glufosinate, though slightly modified, is probably still there (Droge et al., 1992). Nevertheless, though the health hazard of glufosinate is much greater with GMOs, the implications of this science have been ignored in GMO risk assessments of Glufosinate-tolerant GMO crops.
A yet further reason to be concerned about GMOs is that most of them contain a viral sequence called the cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) promoter (or they contain the similar figwort mosaic virus (FMV) promoter). Two years ago, the GMO safety agency of the European Union (EFSA) discovered that both the CaMV promoter and the FMV promoter had wrongly been assumed by them (for almost 20 years) not to encode any proteins. In fact, the two promoters encode a large part of a small multifunctional viral protein that misdirects all normal gene expression and that also turns off a key plant defence against pathogens. EFSA tried to bury their discovery. Unfortunately for them, we spotted their findings in an obscure scientific journal. This revelation forced EFSA and other regulators to explain why they had overlooked the probability that consumers were eating an untested viral protein.
This list of significant scientific concerns about GMOs is by no means exhaustive. For example, there are novel GMOs coming on the market, such as those using double stranded RNAs (dsRNAs), that have the potential for even greater risks (Latham and Wilson 2015).
The True Purpose of GMOs
Science is not the only grounds on which GMOs should be judged. The commercial purpose of GMOs is not to feed the world or improve farming. Rather, they exist to gain intellectual property (i.e. patent rights) over seeds and plant breeding and to drive agriculture in directions that benefit agribusiness. This drive is occurring at the expense of farmers, consumers and the natural world. US Farmers, for example, have seen seed costs nearly quadruple and seed choices greatly narrow since the introduction of GMOs. The fight over GMOs is not of narrow importance. It affects us all.
Nevertheless, specific scientific concerns are crucial to the debate. I left science in large part because it seemed impossible to do research while also providing the unvarnished public scepticism that I believed the public, as ultimate funder and risk-taker of that science, was entitled to.
Criticism of science and technology remains very difficult. Even though many academics benefit from tenure and a large salary, the sceptical process in much of science is largely lacking. This is why risk assessment of GMOs has been short-circuited and public concerns about them are growing. Until the damaged scientific ethos is rectified, both scientists and the public are correct to doubt that GMOs should ever have been let out of any lab.
(An earlier version of this article appeared at http://nutritionstudies.org/)
(1) Two references on the anthrax issue (added Sept 2nd): Helgason, E., O. A. Økstad, D. A. Caugant, H. A. Johansen, A. Fouet, M. Mock, I. Hegna, and A.-B. Kolstø. 2000. Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis—one species on the basis of genetic evidence. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 66: 2627-2630.
Adelaida M. Gaviria Rivera, Per Einar Granum, Fergus G. Priest. 2000. Common occurrence of enterotoxin genes and enterotoxicity in Bacillus thuringiensis. FEMS Microbiology Letters 190 (2000) 151-155; http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-6968.2000.tb09278.x
– Bøhn, T, Cuhra, M, Traavik, T, Sanden, M, Fagan, J and Primicerio, R (2014) Compositional differences in soybeans on the market: Glyphosate accumulates in Roundup Ready GM soybeans. Food Chemistry 153: 207-215.
– Droge W, Broer I, and Puhler A. (1992) Transgenic plants containing the phosphinothricin-N-acetyltransferase gene metabolize the herbicide L-phosphinothricin (glufosinate) differently from untransformed plants. Planta 187: 142-151.
– Lantz S et al., (2014) Glufosinate binds N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors and increases neuronal network activity in vitro. Neurotoxicology 45: 38-47.
– Latham JR and Wilson AK (2015) Off - target Effects of Plant Transgenic RNAi: Three Mechanisms Lead to Distinct Toxicological and Environmental Hazards.
– Mizuki, E, Et Al., (1999) Unique activity associated with non-insecticidal Bacillus thuringiensis parasporal inclusions: in vitro cell- killing action on human cancer cells. J. Appl. Microbiol. 86: 477–486.
– Vachon V, Laprade R, Schwartz JL (2012) Current models of the mode of action of Bacillus thuringiensis insecticidal crystal proteins: a critical review. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 111: 1–12.
By: Justin Gardner, The Free Thought Project |
Monsanto has many weapons in its arsenal when it comes to eliminating competition from non-GMO and organic farmers. After more than two decades of pushing their products onto US farmland with purposely flawed safety studies, the sheer presence of genetically modified crops poses an existential threat to the business of traditional and organic farming.
A new report has come out showing the extraordinary costs that non-GMO and organic farmers incur from GMO contamination of their crops.
“Results from the newest USDA survey indicate that of the farmers who chose to answer the question, 92 had experienced monetary loss between 2011 and 2014 averaging approximately $66,395 per farmer during that timeframe. Overall, GMO presence cost organic farmers at least $6.1 million over four years. This figure is 77 times that reported during the 2006 to 2011 timeframe—a staggering increase.”
The USDA conducted its first survey this year of the financial losses suffered by non-GMO and organic farmers from contamination. They did so at the urging of rights groups such as Food and Water Watch, who conducted their own survey in 2013.
That report found that one in three farmers had dealt with GMO contamination, causing many buyer rejections at a median cost of $4,500 each rejection. Considering the 77-fold increase in financial burden since previous years, it is clear that the biotech industry is pushing their competition toward financial ruin.
But genetic contamination is only half the story. The USDA’s report excludes losses incurred from pesticide drift, which occurs when crops such as Monsanto’s “RoundUp Ready” corn are sprayed and the chemical drifts onto nearby fields. This will become a bigger burden as more chemical–resistant GMO crops are approved by friendly federal agencies.
“Regarding drift issues, one farmer we surveyed wrote, ‘my only problem comes from drift when commercial chemical sprayers spray on a windy day and the spray drifts across the road or buffer strip to kill my alfalfa or other crops. I call the company and complain but they have never compensated me for my loss as of yet.’ Regarding dicamba, another farmer wrote, ‘I’m more concerned with spray drift—especially with the effort to release Banvel-resistant soybeans. Everyone knows how volatile that chemical can be—not only to organic farmers but all farmers and home owners.’ Even Roundup, considered to be less harmful and less prone to drift than 2,4-D and dicamba has been a huge problem for organic growers. One farmer wrote, ‘in the last 16 years I have had three instances where spray drift has affected my fields. All three times it was Roundup. It has totaled $65,000 and I have had to start the three-year transition process [for organic certification] all over., Not only has spray drift negatively affected relationships between neighbors, it has resulted in organic farmers being forced to take some areas of their farm out of organic production completely.”
All of these burdens—from wind-driven pollen contamination to post-harvest seed/grain mixing to pesticide drift—are borne by the victimized farmers. They must establish buffers or adopt delayed planting regimens, and they alone bear the financial cost of rejected crops.
Meanwhile, biotech companies enjoy regulatory and financial support from their co-conspirators in federal departments, as they slowly grind the competition to dust.
Adding insult to injury, last year Monsanto persuaded their friends at the Supreme Court (including former Monsanto attorney Clarence Thomas) to grant Monsanto the ability to sue farmers whose fields are inadvertently contaminated with GMO material.
The results of these attacks on multiple fronts are being seen, with the number of organic farms decreasing over the past few years.
With each new published study, independently conducted and peer-reviewed, alerting us that glyphosate is more toxic than we thought, poses a more serious health threat than was previously believed, the reaction is the same.
Monsanto denies the facts, attacks the scientists and directs the media and the public to its own industry-funded studies as “proof” that glyphosate (and Roundup) are perfectly safe.
After decades of this back-and-forth, and decades of government regulatory agencies siding with Monsanto, instead of independent scientists and the public, we’re still at a stalemate.
That could change, according to the author of this week’s essay—if could be proven in a court of law that Monsanto has known for decades that glyphosate is one of the most toxic substances ever launched on the public.
It could happen.
In five years in Waimea on the Hawaiian island Kauai, at least nine babies have been born with severe heart malformations, more than 10 times the national rate. Meanwhile, Kauai is sprayed with 17 times more pesticide per acre than mainland cornfields. Kauai boasts 12,000 acres of GMO corn test plots, yielding three crops per year in Hawaii’s ideal climate. The chemical companies neither employ buffer zones around the fields nor disclose what they spray. Their political clout has so far prevented Hawaii from banning GMOs, but Hawaiians continue to fight for the health of their children and land.
By: Preston Sallenback |
As we sit watching the craziness of the world swirl around us we must be aware that it’s only a matter of time before things get “Real”. What I mean by this is, we are close… shits about to hit the fan and few are prepared. Personally I’m fine with it but I don’t think that’s the common consensus among most Americans. At least that’s what I’m hearing from my daily callers freaking out about food as I sense their fear of being ill prepared.
The subject of storing up emergency food is not new, in fact we have been warned for many, many years. Although it has been talked about in detail few have seem to have taken action by heeding the council… If you are one that has heard the warning but have failed to taken action to stocked up, please take a minute and ask yourself… “If things were to collapse tomorrow and I couldn’t get to my money would I have all that my family needs to survive?” If your answer to that question is a No, I would ask you, what the hell are you waiting for?
It is for this purpose I write this article, to warn you, the time is now!
With the current state of affairs the world is very ill and ready to implode. With Russia flying their nuke bombers around our borders daily, China’s war ships parked off the coast of Alaska, our corrupt as hell government and their ties to the Muslim brotherhood and ISIS; we have a very limited amount of time to get our families adequately prepared. To say it differently, if you’re not already of the prepper mind set, own a gun or two and have plenty of food, water and ammo -you’re late to the game and better wake the hell up, and fast!
Now I don’t speak as some dim-witted nut job, rather as an insider deeply involved in the emergency preparedness world, someone in the know.
It’s mind blowing to me, to know just how few really understand the magnitude of the evil designs being planned and how dark the hearts are of the conspiring men working against us to destroy the U.S.A Constitution and Bill of Rights as they attempt to usher in their satanic, New World Order.
“He who controls the food supply controls the people.”
~ Henry Kissinger
If you’re not aware of the N.W.O. and their plans or don’t understand end times prophecies I urge you to learn about it and how temporal preparedness is only half of the equation. When the world speaks of being prepared they focus on the tangible but let me share something with you, it takes more then food and water to survive the up coming proclamation of desolations about to hit the Americas.
We learn from the bible that a spiritual war is being waged and that you and I are right in the thick of it, right now! Read the following verses found in Ephesians and see if you can connect the dots.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints…
This piece of scripture is profound and would be wise for all to ponder and come to understand the times with which we now live.
Something I personally find quite disturbing is the dumbed down zombied out sleepy Americans and their “all is well” attitude going about their day with heads in the sands of deception, mind control and propaganda.
If you happened to have been blessed to have been raised as a good, God fearing man, women or child you have probably been taught that the end times (now) are to be filled with all manner of deceptions, false prophets, false gods, floods, famines, earth quakes etc. But no matter what your background, the two truths remain the same for survival, 1) we must have good nourishing food and 2) good clean water to abide the day.
This is where my wisdom, knowledge and experience exceed that of others, concerning end times, prophesy and the need for storable food & water. This is what I know and council others to think about and prepare for and I’d like to take a few minutes here to reiterate food and of it’s vital importance to your survival.
One thing mentioned most often when consulting people on getting setup with an ample supply of quality food, is the importance of buying foods that are made using certified, GMO Free ingredients. I also council on the dangers of genetically modified foods (G.M.O = Genetically Modified Organisms) found in 90% of all processed foods today including some of the biggest brands of emergency foods available today. I also warn consumers about those companies making false “GMO Free claims” by asking them for documentation to substantiate their claims.
After years of studying the dangers and health risks of consuming GM foods I spent weeks looking for a food storage company that offered foods that were free of GMO’s and found nothing. I thought, I don’t want to buy food from a company that’s going to harm my families health, but what options do I have? None! It was after coming to this conclusion that I decided to develop a high end line of my own. I wanted to create something I could be proud of. Something I could attach my name to. Something that would be far superior to what’s out there, something that would be the healthiest GMO Free food available for those looking as I did for the highest quality. I wanted even more to bring to market a food line that was all natural and tasted delicious, that had an incredibly long shelf life and contained; No MSG, No Trans Fats, No or Low Cholesterol, Low Fat, Low Sodium, No HFCS and uses Sea Salt.
It was soon after our launch that the word got out and Nuvona Premium GMO Free Foods was off and running, giving me the chance to speak freely to help educate consumers on where to get started and what make good vs keep you barely alive emergency foods by explaining that not all emergency foods are created equal. I challenge consumers to do their homework, to look beyond the price tag and not settle for second best on something there life may depends on someday. I warn of the imposters and how foolish it is to waste money on the big brands of unhealthy, poor quality, poor tasting emergency foods that are seeming to flood the web/market daily and how these less quality food products will not be what their family want or need during times of crisis.
I urge everyone, everywhere to learn all they can about premium quality GMO Free food storage. I invite all to inquire today about our award winning emergency food line Nuvona Premium GMO Free Foods. Call me, I’m always available to help you with this important decision, but call before it’s to late!
Preston Sallenback is an emergency food expert that manufactures and sells some of the finest GMO Free emergency foods on the market today through his award winning brand, Nuvona Premium Foods. After several years of research and development Preston developed and launched Nuvona Premium GMO Free Foods in the fall of 2012 and brought to market the first true, Certified GMO Free emergency food line. While doing his research he found that most of the current emergency food companies of today were more concerned about making money then they were about truly helping people become prepared for the perilous times with which we now live. Preston also found during the research period that most of his competitors foods we’re made with very low quality, high sodium, dangerous GMO laden ingredients, poor tasting, weird mouth feel & texture with just enough nutritional value to just keep you alive in time of a crisis. He also found that the majority of the companies had priced their low quality products very high for what consumers were getting for their money. Preston had a real problem with the products he found and the unethical practices in the industry. As a lover of high quality products he found there was nothing out there that lived up to his high standards, it was for this purpose that he was driven to created the product line that would… Nuvona Premium GMO Free Foods. Preston is a lover of truth and seeker of further light and knowledge who loves the mountains and the great outdoors. While he’s not attending to the needs of friends and family Preston is a wonderful husband and father of 7 wonderful, wide awake children.