"As a scientist, actively working in the field[of GMO] I find that it is very, very unfair to use our fellow citizens as guinea pigs."Since the 1990s world agriculture and food production has undergone the most radical transformation in history. With very little public awareness, in just a few short years genetically modified foods have come to dominate both global agriculture and supermarket shelf space.
- Arpad Pusztai, PhD
What are GM foods?
What are their effects on human health and nutrition?
What are the effects on human DNA?
What have we done to our food?
This chapter hopes to serve as an introduction to the enormous new field known as the Biotech Industry. Does it really hold the promise of 'feeding the starving people' of the world as we often hear, or is there some other agenda here?
HISTORY OF GMO
GMO - genetically modified organisms, whether plant or animal. Smith does a fairly good job of presenting a brief history of the evolution of biotechnology. Turns out that the chemical corporations who produced mega-tons of nitrogen for bombs during the first and second world wars wanted to put that same technology to use postwar. This marked the beginning of the global market for agricultural pesticides and fertilizers.
In the past 100 years, the chronological sequence went:
- Nitrogen bombs
The postwar transition from bombs to fertilizers was very successful, up until the early 1990s when the idea occurred to them that an even bigger market could be created for a chemical weedkiller that would kill all the plants in a field except the crop itself. But in order to withstand such a powerful poison, that crop would have to have a specific immunity or resistance to the weedkiller.
How could such immunity be made possible? Enter GM.
After years of experimentation, they found a way to make soybeans that were resistant to a very powerful weedkiller called Roundup. Get the American cowboy imagery there? Anyway, even though the immunity only lasted a few generations, it made for farming efficiency - very clean fields. You could spray an entire field with poison - even the crop itself. And the only thing left standing was the crop.
Genetically modified soybeans were the first large scale crop to undergo massive Genetic Modification. How big is the experiment? Consider this. In 1996, there were no acres of GM soybeans in the US. After just 13 years, virtually all US soybeans are considered genetically modified! 300 million acres.
As far as global agriculture, by 1996 almost no acres of GM crops had been planted. After just 13 years, 42% of the total arable land on earth was planted with GM crops!  That should give some idea of the scope of the GM experiment. It's brand new to the planet Earth.
10 major US crops today are GMO. The total harvest of four of them is primarily GMO:
Any understanding of the GMO phenomenon in the US requires adding 2 new words to our vocabulary: Biodiversity and Monoculture.
Biodiversity just means nature's efforts to spread out and multiply as many versions of a plant species as possible, that are slightly different in their ability to survive different environments. This will give each species the best chance of surviving some cataclysmic environmental change. Or some small local ones. Natural selection. The more versions of a plant species there are the better its chances for long-term survival.
Monoculture on the other hand means that by using new agricultural practices in which only GM seeds are sown, there is only one exact species that grows. As time goes by, all the traditional species of a certain plant or crop are replaced by the one GM version. Monoculture is now happening to dozens of plant species worldwide.
To control the market, GM crops typically have a terminator gene inserted into their DNA which makes them sterile. That means for the first time in history these seeds won't germinate the next crop or be able to benefit from tiny self-improvements year by year, responding to changes in environment.
Why did the corporations want the GM crops to be sterile? Money. They wanted to force the farmer to have to come back to them every season and buy new seed. The company owns the patent on the GM version of the plant AND they own the seed. Integrated marketing. It's about total profit.
HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE
The four main global multinational corporations responsible for the trillion dollar GM global agribusiness are of course
- Dow Chemical
In the landmark DVD The Future of Food we are presented with evidence of how the world works. The revolving door between Monsanto and powerful positions in US government regulating agencies is epitomized:
Here are some career moves of just a few top Monsanto execs in recent years:
- Donald Rumsfeld: CEO of Searle; Sec. Defense
- Wm Ruckelhaus: CEO of Monsanto; FDA
- Michael Freidman: EPA
- Linda Fisher: EPA Deputy Minister
- Jack Watson: White House chief of staff
- Clarence Thomas: US Supreme Court
- Mickey Kantor: Secretary of Commerce
- Anne Veneman: Secretary of Agriculture
- Margaret Miller: Deputy Director FDA
Taylor also saw to it that no hormones in commercial dairy products need ever be labelled.
Incidentally, guess where Taylor went after his years of selfless service to the FDA. Right. Straight back to Monsanto as vice president. p 11
Since George Herbert, all US presidents have gone out of their way to be supportive, actually pro-active, in placing absolutely no obstacles in the way of GMO advancement. And thereby hangs a money trail, but that's outside the scope of this chapter.
MORAL DILEMMA: THE ABILITY TO PATENT LIFE
The patenting of life - now this was a totally new suggestion to human jurisprudence with the advent of GMOs.
Wow - we're going to have to decide now whether or not it will be legal for humans or corporations to hold patents on living things. There were a few faint voices who raised an objection:
- - "The plants animals and microorganisms comprising life on earth are part of the natural world into which we were all born. The conversion of these species, their molecules, or parts into corporate property through patent monopolies is counter to the interests of the people of the world.
- - "No individual, institution or corporation should be able to claim ownership over species or varieties of living organisms. Nor should they be able to hold patents on organs, cells, or proteins."
- - Council for Responsible Genetics
Nice, but a bit too warm and fuzzy for the world at this particular juncture apparently - this moral dilemma took about 5 minutes to resolve. Even though our Constitution implies a prohibition against the patenting of life, little obstacles like that were no match for phat corporate legal teams. Time for clever East coast lawyers to invent a few new words, that's all.
HOW CAN THEY GET AWAY WITH THIS HUGE EXPERIMENT?
Proper planning. GM has been on the drawing board since the early 1950s. Long story there. We can pick it up in 1986 when there was a strategy meeting at the White House. GHW Bush, Monsanto and the Dept. of Agriculture met to set the groundwork for the GM industry. Right then they greenlighted the whole project, from here to eternity. Or as long as it would work. At that meeting it was decided that this brand new and unknown Biotechnology Industry which was about to unleash the largest agriculture experiment in history, would not require any government regulation or control!!
Why not? The new legal mantra for GMO they coined was "substantial equivalence." (p 4) Here's how this particularly twisted bit of lawyering unravelled: the new GM organisms are simply extensions of normal plant and animal breeding that occur naturally, and therefore require no government regulation or oversight, they bleated. Like Gregor Mendel and grafting roses and all that. This magic slogan has been upheld in every single decision even to the present day and is the reason that NOT ONE LAW has ever been passed regarding the regulation of any GMO.
But then a new problem arose: patenting. OK, so if GMOs are exactly the same as the natural plants then how can they be patented? If it was supposedly substantially equivalent to the natural version, how could a seed be different?
Lawyers can stoop to any occasion. Simple solution: another slogan. What they did next was to say that even though GMOs are substantially equivalent to the natural version, lawyers will now hereby claim that the GMO versions are "substantially transformed" enough to allow the corporate giant to receive a patent.
Yeah, that's the ticket.
Inconceivably, this impossibly simplistic and ridiculous little word trick has proved out in every adjudication involving GMOs for the past decade. It is exactly how the impenetrable Bush doctrine of GMO protectionism has been played out without a hitch, up to the present time.
THE PRIMARY MYTH
Way back in 1954 Watson and Crick devised the double helix model of DNA, which still dominates the popular perception of human genetics. So in each of your cells there is a DNA molecule that is exactly like the one in all your other cells and that's what makes each of us unique. Think we all got that much, right? Now each species also has unique DNA characteristics that have evolved over the aeons that limits breeding to its own. In fact that was Darwin's original definition of a separate species - the ability to mate. Once natural evolution caused the DNA to become so divergent that two creatures could no longer mate, that was where a new species began.
Each species' collective DNA is called their genome.
Now the conventional Wikipedia-level wisdom about genetics is that DNA is a double string of genes and that each gene determines a single genetic trait. Like blue eyes, or alcoholism, or being 6′ tall, or artistic talent, or a strong immune system, or good teeth, or a tendency to autism, etc.
In the new pseudo-science of Biotechnology, that idea is constantly reinforced - namely that it's a one gene / one trait situation. And all we have to do then is figure out which gene does what, change it around a little, recombine the new genes in the sequence we want, and voilà - we just made a watermelon that can play chess, or a blue rose, or a Congressman not primarily interested in looting. Or a bean that resists weed-killer.
Something outside nature. If we can just change things around a little. Unfortunately nature is not quite that simple.
The human genome has only recently been decoded, in 2007. Scientists were surprised to discover that there were only about 35,000 genes in human DNA, and not millions like they always expected. This small number presents some problems for the original model.
The first problem is that there are at least 10 million possible antigens that our immune system has to be able to recognize. A mere 35,000 genes couldn't possibly be that versatile.
Further complications came when they discovered that each gene can code for literally thousands of different proteins in the body. That single fact alone blows the one gene/ one trait model out of the water.
Then there's the concept of the promoter gene - which is a gene that is responsible for switching on or switching off an entire sequence of genes, which together may determine one single trait or characteristic.
Things became even more complicated when they learned that gene sequences - some long, some short - also code for specific commands.
This is a vast oversimplification, but even at this level we can see that the one gene / one trait idea is no longer an option, except at the science fiction / animatronix / Fox news level. One gene may be involved in countless commands and sequences.
Against all science, however, the biotech corporations one after another persist in claiming that their particular genetically modified product is different - that they have figured out exactly what one gene does - all its possible effects on the new organism - and that they alone have solved the puzzle.
And they get away with this because most of the people in this country have lost the ability for abstract thought.
NOT LIKE GREGOR MENDEL
Let's get one thing straight here: Today's biotech industry is doing nothing even slightly resembling the work of Gregor Mendel in the 1800s with his pioneering methods of grafting and hybridization. The obvious difference is that GM bypasses all natural reproduction, and sidesteps any natural progression of generations. Natural breeding is a slow process involving generation after generation of sexual reproduction. GM is abrupt. Boom! A new species in 2 weeks.
The other departure you might have noticed is that Gregor Mendel never tried to cross an iguana with a water lily - the old ways never even imagined crossing the species barrier. This is one blatant new characteristic of GMO that gets quietly ignored. By the inattentive.
Now once these brand new species are created, they can then be more or less permanent if they are released back into nature and allowed to intermix with the natural species of plant or animal. And once that happens they cannot be recalled. DNA in a test tube is stable and linear. But in a living organism DNA is unstable, nonlinear, complex and unpredictable. Same in the real world.
With brand new species popping up, which have bypassed centuries of natural selection and immunity, comes the real possibility of new diseases, new cancers, new epidemics. So keep this in mind the next time you read something comparing GM to natural old time breeding and grafting. Or about how scientific and life-saving GMOs are. That is op-ed think tank propaganda, at the highest level.
METHODS OF GENETIC MODIFICATION
As we saw above, one of the first GMO experiments was crossing the DNA of a flounder with that of a tomato. This was done in order to make the tomato able to withstand colder temperatures. Oh yes, did we mention? - in the biotech industry, pieces of DNA can be transferred theoretically from any plant to any animal, vice versa, or any combination thereof.
Segments of DNA from one species are randomly spliced into the DNA of the other species hundreds and hundreds of times until the desired effect appears. How this cross-species DNA insertion is accomplished is a little less than scientific. The two most common methods of DNA modification are
- the gene cannon
- using bacteria and viruses as carriers for the DNA fragment
In the gene cannon method tiny little golden bullets are shot into the cells of the target organism with a .22 calibre pistol. Not kidding. Hundreds of times. In this way the DNA of the host organism can be available for splicing in new fragments from the donor species. Of course this method is imprecise and unpredictable and anything but scientific. Only a tiny percentage of the blasted foreign DNA ends up inside the host DNA, of course. But if you do it enough times, you might eventually get a desired recombination. This was the how the flounder and tomato genes were combined.
The more popular method however is to use bacteria and viruses as carriers of donor DNA fragments which may then invade the host's DNA and splice in the new pieces. We have long known that viruses have this ability to invade the host's DNA and to actually splice themselves into the DNA strands. Both these methods of genetic modification result in the random scrambling of the host's DNA, which has virtually unlimited unpredictable consequences.
We're talking about a fatal disruption of the genetic blueprint. This makes for
- DNA instability
- Insertion mutation
PROBLEMS WITH PROMOTER GENES
Promoter genes, we recall, are triggers that switch on certain sequences of genes in order to cause a certain cell action or event. The biotech industry saw a marketing niche in using a promoter gene to switch on a certain trait in a GM product they had created. This would be useful to protect their original invention: in order to make use of the GM plant seed they had already sold, the promoter gene or 'key' would also have to be present. Cozy marketing, but it has a few drawbacks.
- 1. a promoter gene can turn on a variety of gene sequences besides the one for which it is intended
- 2. if the promoter jumps to an organ, it can cause unregulated growth and unusual cell proliferation. Does unregulated growth in any of your organs sound like something you'd want to sign up for any time soon?
- 3. Barry Commoner describes randomly activating a promoter gene as "having the same effect as a heavy dose of gamma radiation."
- 4. Top UK scientist Arpad Pusztai agreed: promoter genes can cause immune dysfunction in any organ (p 63)
- 5. Viruses that have long been dormant in human DNA can be reactivated by promoter genes in GMO foods. Again, we're talking evolutionary tampering.
SHOOT THE MESSENGER
In the early 90s when it was uncertain how the biotech industry was going to unfold, the corporations were still naive enough to think that they actually had to study how animals would react to GM food, since it was being released on the human population. So they assigned one of the leading research scientists in the UK to create a model for testing GM food on animals - Dr Arpad Pusztai. He began feeding lab rats GM potatoes and carefully recording the results. After 110 days, he found that almost all of them exhibited adverse effects, including:
- decreased size of heart, brain, reproductives
- damaged immune system - white cells
- thymus and spleen damage
- enlarged intestines pancreas
- precancerous changes in stomach and gut
Pusztai considered these changes significant.
As he was writing up his findings in preparation for publication, Pusztai was approached by a high profile radio show in England to discuss the issue. This was August of 1999. A two hour interview was clipped down to 2 minutes actually broadcast, but it was enough to cause a huge scandal in England. No one realized how sensitive an issue GM food was until Pusztai came on the air and made a few critical comments on what he had observed. He was concerned because he realized that his were the only animal studies that had been conducted on GM food, but worse that these foods had been in the supermarkets in the UK and the US already for years and no one knew anything about them. He said he was afraid the British people were being used as "guinea pigs" for GM foods.
The timing was perfect: Tony Blair had just had the blueprints for Britain's new Food Standards Agency drawn up and they were heavily invested in GM foods. So when Pusztai came on the air, it set off a national scandal that had to be hushed up immediately. The overkill is what attracted the most attention however. Pusztai was fired, repudiated, silenced and basically ostracized from the scientific community. And he was one of the most respected scientists in the UK. p 17
The Pusztai incident triggered a huge media war in England that lasted for months and ended up with the government cast in a very unfavorable light, as they had obviously secretly tried to introduce dangerous foods untested into a prominent position in the British diet. The British Medical Association ended up coming out in favor of Pusztai and totally exonerating him. The end result was a moratorium on GM foods in the UK.(chapter 1)
Incredibly through all this, there was not a murmur about it in the US press, even though it went on for months. Pusztai can never be mentioned in mainstream media in the US. No one has ever re-created his work anywhere, nor will they ever. Got that? - there can be no scientific testing of the physical effects of GM foods on humans. Or animals, for that matter. It is not permitted. And of course there is no GMO limit in US foods, and no testing has ever been done because, remember, NOT ONE LAW has ever been passed regulating GM foods in America.
You might want to back up and re-read that last paragraph, before you order your next pizza or Happy Meal.
We have just skimmed over the highlights of the Pusztai scandal here, but the reader is directed to Jeffrey Smith and to Dr Ewen for more of that astounding story. [2, 12]
HOW MUCH OF THE AMERICAN DIET IS GM TODAY?
Best estimate: 80% of processed foods on supermarket shelves contain at least some GMOs, and at least 60% have GM as a primary ingredient.
Don't believe it? How about we go through your grocery cart from last weekend?
In addition, virtually all confined animals are fed GM food almost exclusively, most of it GM soy.
TO LABEL OR NOT TO LABEL?
In 1991 the policy commissioner of the FDA was Michael Taylor. Under his personal guidance the decision never to label GM foods in the US was ushered into policy and enshrined in an unassailable position. That decision has never been challenged.
Taylor's position just before joining the FDA? Chief counsel for Monsanto.
Despite 94% of the public being in favor of GMO labels, we will never see them in the US. Even with 50% of the people saying they wouldn't eat GMO foods if they knew. With 80% of supermarket foods now GMO, does all this fit the profile of a secret agenda?
Although a label of organic is supposed to mean non-GMO, in reality it is simply unregulated. Giant strawberries, vegetables that don't go bad, grapefruits with the sections turned 90 degrees from normal, etc. - these unnatural growth patterns evident in so much of our produce today, including organic, it doesn't take much imagination to realize what is happening.
AGRIBUSINESS REPLACES AGRICULTURE
The revolution in agriculture in which food production was gradually concentrated into the hands of fewer and fewer year after year has been going on since the 1950s.
For example, in 1935 there were 6.8 million farms in the US. By 2007 that number was down to 2 million. (US Dept of Agriculture, )
Between 1979 and 1999 more than 300,000 farmers were forced out of business in the US. Farmers became indebted to large agri-corporations for the costs of crop production. Year by year they couldn't keep up and were driven out of business.
Today Agribusiness is an $800 billion per year proposition in the US, second only to pharmaceuticals.
Here are some examples of the concentration of food production:
- 4 companies control 64% of hog production
- 4 companies control 84% of cattle slaughter
- 3 companies control 71% of soybean processing
- 3 companies control 63% of flour milling
- 4 companies control 89% of breakfast cereal
- 2 companies control 80% of US seed corn
- the same 2 control 80% of soybean seeds
- 30 food retailers have 1/3 of global grocery sales
- 5 companies completely dominate chicken meat production
THE DOOMSDAY SEED VAULT - PLAN B
Back at the beginning of GM, some big players in the world agribusiness game realized that the experiment with GM crops might not work out in the long run as successfully as they had hoped. Their scientists saw that the supposed increased yields per acre they always promised only lasted the first few years, and after that yields declined. They also realized that the new GM mutations of plants and crops that were being released into the world were indeed irrevocable, and also were contaminating forever the natural lines that they were able to cross-breed with. They began sowing terminator gene technology into the natural agriculture of the planet.
So being realistic, the top scientists decided they needed to hedge their bets - they needed a Plan B, in case they would really cause a Mad Max /Armageddon scenario to evolve. So they had a meeting - the Rockefeller Foundation, Monsanto, Bill Gates, Syngenta, the Norwegian government, and a few other players got together and decided that they would gather together as many of the pristine original varieties of seeds from as many of the world's plants as they could find. And they would build a big deep-freeze vault in some safe place to store the seeds in case this GM crop experiment got so out of hand that it irremedially contaminated all the vegetation on earth.
So the place they picked was a frozen little island off the coast of Norway in the North Sea called Svalbard.[5, 15] And there they carved this vault into the side of a mountain in this remote little place.
You can view images of Svalbard at here.
Their goal: to store seeds from as many as 3 million different varieties of plants, from all around the world. They are almost finished. Bizarre as it sounds, this story is absolutely true. And if you don't believe it you can visit Svalbard next time you are in Oslo. (Bring your own nightlife.)
Why Norway? Because Norway had been smart enough not to join the EU. The EU banned GM seeds across the board in 1997.
The point here is - this is how drastic and potentially catastrophic the global GMO agriculture experiment really might be, that the largest corporations on earth would find it necessary to build a Noah's Ark of the world's seeds in case they unwittingly destroy the majority of the world's agriculture. The name Doomsday is actually their own word - that's what they call it!
No US media has ever covered this story. Who would believe it? It sounds like something out of Austin Powers...
Long ago, One-World junior SS Henry Kissinger said:
"If you control the oil you control the country; if you control the food, you control the population."This is what the global GM movement has always been about. The Rockefeller Foundation years ago came up with the slogan Green Revolution to disguise the true agenda and to make it look like the goal of GM food expansion was to "feed the starving people" of the world. This should always be a panic phrase, whenever you hear it - when anyone wants to do your country a favor for free - that's usually the time to head for the jungle. In reality, people are getting more wary of being sold out by their government officials receiving corporate payoffs. In 2003 for example George Bush's so-called Initiative to End Hunger In Africa (a dead giveaway) failed miserably. Many Africans nations actually preferred starving over accepting Bush's offer of free GM food!
E.L. Bernays think tank terminology which paves the way psychologically for the incursion of Agribusiness into poor nations always includes slogans like:
- free enterprise
- free trade
- feed the world
- open markets
- oppressed colonials
Taking such propaganda techniques to absurd lengths, another favorite is asserting that countries who oppose GM foods coming in are actually "supporting genocide" because they're standing in the way of feeding the people!
Another classic is pretending that the rationale for Terminator technology in GM seeds is not so the farmers have to keep buying new seed from Monsanto every year, but rather to "protect corporations from unscrupulous farmers." That's why the seeds have to be made sterile. That's another stock propaganda slogan now. Yes, unscrupulous farmers who would dare to employ traditional farming techniques that have allowed their people to survive for thousands of years.
All this positioning and preparation has paid off. The plan to destroy the indigenous agriculture of developing nations and to replace it with corporate agriculture has been successful beyond any expectations the Rockefeller Foundation and the GM corporations ever entertained in their wildest imagination.
POSILAC - THE FIRST MASS MARKETED GMO PRODUCT
In the early 90s Monsanto was preparing for the rise of the corporatization of the dairy industry - dairy agribusiness. Foremost in all such endeavors is profit, of course. Profit at all costs. In this instance cows were seen as nothing more than cogs in the production machinery. Their job: to produce milk. The corporate challenge was one dimensional: how could they produce more milk. Not better milk, not provide better nutrition for the people consuming the dairy products, not ensure that the milk was safe for human consumption, not looking out for the physical well-being of the cows themselves - none of that nonsense. Milk production output - period.
After minimal testing Monsanto scientists came up with the Golden Goose of the corporate dairy business: recombinant bovine growth hormone. (rBGH)(p 12)
Monsanto's rBGH invention was called Posilac. It was approved by the FDA as safe for humans in 1994 after being tested for only 90 days on 30 rats! (p 12,) Obviously there were no long term safety studies of Posilac completed even though they were recommended by all of FDA's own scientists.
What this synthetic hormone could do was to keep cows lactating continuously even after a calf was born. In fact, milk production was now no longer dependent on calving at all. With rBGH cows were effectively turned into milk machines whose only limitation was how long they could survive on a highly refined diet while staying loaded up on huge doses of drugs, antibiotics, and hormones.
Answer: usually about 3 years, practically nonstop. Many farms don't even bother to unhook the cows and just leave them confined and attached to the machines day after day, like some lab experiment in a Terminator movie.
At the outset let's take a second here and notice that we have just made a major departure from nature, notwithstanding from 100,000 years of animal husbandry. A natural milk cow may lactate for 12 years or more because she is providing for a newborn calf every year. But all that pregnancy stuff doesn't merge well with blue-sky corporate agenda of more at any cost. It's down time, an unallowable expense. We have a drug that can force the cows' body to use up all natural reserves for 3 years with no annoying pregnancies? Bring it on! Oh, the cow will die after only 3 years as a result? So? That comes under unavoidable overhead - the cost of doing business.
How did Posilac get approved so fast? Going back and looking at the records, we find that any FDA scientist who objected to Posilac's being railroaded through the approval process was immediately fired! They were also forced to say that rBGH does not persist in the milk product after it is out of the cow, and even if it does would be destroyed in the human digestive tract. Both these falsehoods have been thoroughly brought to light and shown to be the exact opposite of physiological reality.
In the limited studies Monsanto did on cows (3 cows to be exact) they injected only 10 mg per day of rBGH into the cow. Then they made their studies based on those amounts. In actual practice a modern dairy cow gets 500 mg every 2 weeks which causes hormone levels in her body for the rest of her short life to be 1000x normal. (p 14)
Without being broken down by human digestion, most rBGH is then transferred into the human circulatory system, not only causing enormous confusion with the other hormones in the endocrine system, but giving rise to a more serious consequence.
IGF-1 - INSULIN-LIKE GROWTH FACTOR 1
It was soon discovered by scientists that once in the cow's body, much of the synthetic rBGH was converted to another hormone called insulin-like growth hormone 1 or IGF-1. This is actually a normal hormone in cows and in humans, in small amounts. IGF-1 is a hormone that limits certain physiologic activities, milk production being one of them. In nature, IGF-1 is the switch in the cow's body that turns off milk production when it's time to wean the calf. All it takes is a small amount.
And that's the problem - small amounts. rBGH stimulates a cow's level of IGF-1 up to 1000x normal, or more. What this does to the cow is to inhibit cell death of the lacteals. In other words, the hormone prevents the natural course from taking place: the milk producing cells should die off as the calf is weaned. Think about something in your body that is inhibiting cell death of a tissue that should be controlled - in other words promoting a certain cell type to reproduce itself unregulated, out of control.
What disease does that sound like a definition of?
And this brings us to the most frightening fact of all: IGF-1 transfer to humans through commercial milk. All those cell effects are introduced into human physiology in huge amounts, since the mid 1900s when rBGH began to be used in most commercial dairies.
What age group gets the most milk recommended? Children. What does the curve of childhood cancer incidence look like since 1994? Straight up.
In Jeffrey Smith's book we learn some other facts about IGF-1:
- pre-menopausal women with high IGF-1 are 7x more likely to develop breast cancer
- men are 4x more likely to develop prostate cancer
- those who drink rBGH milk are also likely to develop colon and lung cancer
We are actually the only country that allows so much milk to be sold with rBGH. Canada banned Posilac in 1999 - not because of the danger to humans but because of what the dangerous hormone does to cows! So rBGH is banned not on the supermarket shelves, but from the dairy cows themselves in Canada.
In the EU after finding overwhelming evidence of breast and prostate cancer in humans from huge amounts of IGF-1, Posilac was banned.
In 1999, the UN banned Posilac.
In 2007, so did Starbucks!
The US is the only country in the world with an unregulated supply of milk with IGF-1 and rBGH being offered in stores. We are also the only country where a discussion of rBGH has been effectively banned from media.
ANTIBIOTICS IN MILK
When the commercial dairy cows began coming down with enormous rates of all infections from the inhumane new milking procedures, the amount of antibiotics had to be raised by a factor of 100. (p 11) The FDA granted permission virtually overnight for this monumental increase, even though it had extremely dangerous consequences for the effect on human intestinal probiotics after consumption of such over-medicated milk.
Guess who rammed through that regulation? FDA deputy director Margaret Miller: former Monsanto executive.
OTHER NEW ANIMAL PRACTICES IN GM AGRIBUSINESS
Similar to the way domestic dairy cows are treated, many new animal practices have emerged in the brave new world of raising animals in the corporate food production:
- - chickens raised their entire lives in tiny cages not much bigger than them - on diets of GM soy, loaded with hormones and antibiotics and arsenic (for parasites) and then slaughtered for your grocery store or the Colonel after 6 weeks. Hormones and antibiotics intact.
- - pigs raised their entire lives crowded together in small cages - never see the light of day - slaughtered at 600 lbs. Same hormones and antibiotics. Diets of GM soy.
These corporate animal farms have heavy security. No visitors, no cameras, no disclosure. You can drive past them for miles without seeing an animal - just miles and miles of long low buildings.
Ask the people north of Ames Iowa, where 10% of the world's pork is produced. Ask them if they ever see any hogs.
In these secret start-to-finish meat factories there are effectively no health and safety regulations. They are virtually unmonitored for food contamination. Injured animals are routinely not cared for, just left to suffer and die, because caring for them would disrupt production and raise production costs. They are run like any corporation: that is, fixed on profits above all else.
The US Dept of Agriculture quotes figures of between 10 and 28% "animal loss" for injured and mutilated animals that die as a result of production procedures that are absolutely indifferent to the care of the animals themselves. (p 139) Makes you realize what a joke the ASPCA really is - these guys want to hang out on Hollywood sets so they can put their little stamp at the end about how no dog or cat was harmed in the filming of the movie, when all this systematic horror show is going on all day every day at the global level we've just described... Actually the corporations through their lobbying have gotten themselves formally exempted from SPCA laws, not that that excuses the heinous nature of the entire process. Ever think about the cumulative karmic debt the human race is building up? ... this animal thing is a just a tiny corner. But they're living beings.
A few of the consequences of the modern system of corporate animal confinement practices:
- Mass concentrations of animal wastes in local landfills, contaminating ground water and underground supplies
- CDC cites at least 40 new human diseases that have resulted from exactly this source, including the rise of spontaneous abortions - so many women not able to bring the child to term. ( p 141)
- the skyrocketing of all human cancers in the eastern shore area of Maryland where the majority of the nation's commercial chickens are raised, from 200 cases per 100,000 population for all types of cancers - the national average - up to 275 cases per 100,000 following the FDA's OK to add huge amounts of arsenic to the chicken feed.
It goes on and on. Look at the sources cited below for more, if you can take it.
THE GENETIC MODIFICATION OF IRAQ: WHY IRAQ HATES THE US
Besides blaming them for 9/11, occupying their country, decimating their population, littering their landscape with depleted uranium, there is another major reason Iraq will hold the US in lowest regard for generations to come: Bremer's 100 Orders. Part of the 'reconstruction' legislation of Iraq, Bremer's 100 Orders were written into the new constitution of Iraq, forced by US Pentagon influence.  Never mentioned in US media.
Bremer Order #81 states that Iraq's "farmers shall be prohibited from reusing seeds of protected varieties, or any variety." Protected varieties means they are protecting Monsanto.
This order ..."gave plant patent holders [Monsanto] absolute rights over farmers using their GM seeds for 20 years."
The farmers are forced to buy new seed every year from Monsanto, who had genetically altered the indigenous Iraqi plants slightly - just enough to patent them.
The farmers are further required to sign a contract which states that they owe Monsanto an annual "technology fee" as payment for Monsanto having stolen their indigenous plants and altering them enough to own the new varieties! (Engdahl p 212)
This "law" was never negotiated between two sovereign nations. Instead it was imposed directly upon Iraq by the Pentagon. The author of Order 81? Monsanto.
There's more. Abu Ghraib was famous long before it made headlines as a US torture facility. For years and years Abu Ghraib had held a seed bank of all Iraq's indigenous crop seed. After the Americans came, the seed bank mysteriously vanished. Immediately after that, GM seeds were introduced by Monsanto and Sungene. Soy, wheat and sunflower.
The bottom line is, as part of our reconstruction program for Iraq, receipt of the money was dependent on them accepting the terms that were written for the Pentagon by Monsanto execs, especially with respect to the role of GMOs in all future agricultural.
There is no polite way to state this: we stole the agricultural heritage of this country and gave it to Monsanto, indenturing Iraqi farmers to Monsanto permanently.
Ever hear that on CNN?
WHAT IS THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION?
William Engdahl gives a penetrating look at this puppet organization that seems given to making restrictive pronouncements on world agriculture by consistently defending and protecting the interests of the biotech industry against claims from poor countries or private farmers.
Originally set up out of Washington DC, the WTO was then moved to Geneva to give it the appearance of being an independent international organization. WTO has continued to take most of its cues directly from Washington.
One of those directives has always been that individual countries do not have the power to enforce their own food safety laws upon the manufacturers and importers of any GM foods. (p 218) And who co-wrote the text of that agreement? No surprise here: Cargill, Nestle, DuPont, Monsanto. In this light the WTO can be seen as little more than a police agency which would "force GM crops on a skeptical world."
The way such enforcement is accomplished has become quite routine: if a small country objects to the importation of GM foods, WTO immediately steps in and pronounces these objections as "unfair trade practices." Right out of Aldous Huxley and George Orwell.
If a country wants to require GM labelling, WTO's stock attack phrase is "technical restrictions to trade."
WTO policy is very easy to understand when one stands back and takes a look at their decisions and initiatives: they always protect the Agribusiness giants. In their view the sovereign nations have no right to protect their own people from GMO imports.
A $trillion a year global industry certainly needs an international mouthpiece.
SO THEN WHO'S PROTECTING THE PUBLIC FROM GMOs?
With no laws ever passed regulating the huge biotech industry, nor any government regulating body ever established for that purpose, the ghastly joke is that these multinationals, who collectively share the most egregious record of global contamination and pollution of any group in history, are left to self-police! The famous quote from Monsanto's Phil Angell aptly portrays how seriously they would regard any imaginary responsibility to self-police:
- "Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is to sell as much of it as possible. Answering for its safety is the FDA's job."
In 1987 the EPA arbitrarily raised the toxicity limits of glyphosate from 6 parts per million to 20 parts per million with no additional testing. Why? Monsanto requested it! (p 75) As the development of Roundup continued to exceed even those expanded safety levels, in 1993 Monsanto won an unheard-of "exemption from further review or tracking" from the EPA for Roundup Ready Soybeans!
So with no one monitoring this new experiment in global agriculture, when would we actually know that we have reached the point of no return? It took 40 years for the carcinogenic effects of altered tobacco to be acknowledged. And it's still legal. The poison insecticide DDT was used unrestrictedly from 1948 to 1972 all over the world, before it was finally banned. Before we dumped 91 million liters of Monsanto's Agent Orange defoliant onto the jungles of Vietnam, causing tens of thousands of birth defects and cancer cases, they assured us it was harmless. Remember?
OTHER GMO FOODS
In The Magic Bean we listed foods that contained primarily GM ingredients:
- most breads
- soft drinks
- pasteurized dairy
- high fructose corn sweetened foods
- salty snacks
- deep fried fast foods
- most foods wrapped in cellophane
- most cereals
- anything hydrogenated
- most domestic non-organic meats and poultry products
- farm-raised fish
- most salad dressing
RECENT CHANGES IN THE SOCIAL FABRIC
- at least 10% of US couples are now infertile
- sperm counts are down to 50% of what they were 25 years ago
- 1 in 6 of US girls are at menarche by age 8
- proliferation of hermaphroditic birds fish and animals in nature
- rampant sexual ambiguity through the culture
- skyrocketing of all degenerative and infectious diseases among young people despite a $2 trillion annual health budget
- skyrocketing of autism
- incidence of neurological disorders in children: 1 in 6
- decline in high school literacy rates
- decline in the % of childbearing women who are able to breastfeed their infants
This has been the briefest of introductions to the area of GM foods, their prevalence, and what they mean in this country at the present time. The reader is urged to follow up on the appended references for more information, especially the DVD The Future of Food.
So if you're in perfect health, have tons of energy, never get colds or feel tired, maybe you've got Keith Richard's constitution and are impervious to any level of toxicity. You think you can afford to ignore this entire chapter. But if there are some physical imbalances or illnesses that seem to be progressing year by year, you will never return to equilibrium until you
- - stop accumulating more DNA-altering food
- - detox what is residual in your tissues
As far as solutions go, the first step in eliminating GM foods, is to read carefully all labels before placing anything in our grocery cart. Look for the above clues. As for detoxification from the bio-accumulated GM residuals that are trapped in our tissue cells from the last 10 or 15 years of an uninformed lifestyle, the reader is directed to the chapters titled The Last Resort and The 60 Day Program.
In any holistic program where a patient is trying to recover from a serious physical imbalance and has lost faith in mainstream drug regimens, removal of GM foods from the diet is absolutely essential. No magic bullets ever invented can permit the weakened patient to continue to stumble down that path of unregulated intake of refined, hydrogenated, pasteurized, chemically-laced, genetically modified foods.
1. Benjamini, E Immunology: a short course - Coico 2003.
2. Smith J Seeds of deception Yesbooks 2003.
3. Commoner B Unravelling the DNA myth 2002.
4. O'Shea T The magic bean thedoctorwithin.com 2008.
5. Engdahl Wm Seeds of destruction Global Research 2007
6. The Future of Food 2005 video DVD
7. Svalbard images
8. Ruesch, H Naked empress Civis 1992.
9. Lappe M Against the grain Common Courage 1998.
10. The American War Museum 28 Vo Van Tan St. Saigon Vietnam
11. Koo, H Dow, Monsanto Lose Lawsuit in Korea Over Agent Orange Bloomberg press 26 Jan 2006
12. Ewen S PhD witness statement to New Zealand ROYAL COMMISSION on Human Health 3 Dec 02 www.mindfully.org/GE/GE4/Health-Impacts-Ewen3dec02.htm
13. O'Shea, T The magic bean www.thedoctorwithin.com
14. Council for Responsible Genetics http://www.gene-watch.org/
15. Engdahl W Doomsday seed vault in the arctic
- - Washington Post 19 Jun 06