Skip to comments.Genetically Modified Crops Protected By New Budget Bill
Posted on 03/27/2013 8:56:43 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Genetically modified crops are not just those that have been selectively bred, but they have had their DNA modified in some way as to make them more pest resistant and produce better yields. In many cases genes from other plants or even bacteria have been added to the DNA of a specific plant.
This process has caused great concern among some that question whether the plants with modified genes are safe for human consumption or if there may be any long-term effects from the continual eating of these plants. There have been numerous challenges to the use of genetically modified crops in the marketplace.
Companies such as Monsanto often control the patents on these genetically modified crops, but like pharmaceutical companies do on their name brand drugs. In 2011, the genetically modified seed also known as biotech seeds business generated over $13 billion. Needless to say it has become a major player in the agricultural world, and these companies are starting to exert their influence in Washington DC.
Political Action Committees working on behalf of biotech seed companies have been making significant contributions to politicians in the last few years. According to one report, the contributions since 2009 have been:
7.5 million for current members of Congress
$372,000 to members of this Senate Appropriations Committee
$71,000 to Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Appropriations Committee member received more than any other member, and the second-most received by any senator.
Monsanto alone has contributed $540,000 towards campaign funds. American Crystal Sugar reportedly has contributed $3.3 million. Other biotech companies contributing to PACs include: Archer Daniels Midland, American Farm Bureau, Cargill, Minn-Dak Farmers Coop, National Cotton Council, Scotts Miracle-Gro, Southern Minnesota Beat Sugar Coop, and Syngenta Corp.
That influence is so great that in the newly passed 2013 Continuing Resolution, which funds the federal government through the end of September, there contained a rider to protect companies like Monsanto. The rider known as the Monsanto Rider protects all genetically modified crops from any court order issued against their use. In other words if legal challenge to the safety of the use of any biotech seeds were to be raised in court, companies like Monsanto would be automatically issued a permit from the USDA allowing them to continue selling, cultivating, and planting the genetically modified crops in question.
Basically that means there is nothing that can legally be done to stop the biotech companies from producing, cultivating, and selling genetically modified crops that could be harmful to humans.
The rider was snuck into the budget bill by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Normal procedure would dictate that such a rider would go through the Agriculture and or Judiciary Committees, but that did not happen in this case. Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of the Center for Food Safety commented about Mikulskis actions, stating:
In this hidden backroom deal, Senator Mikulski turned her back on the consumer, environmental, and fire protection in favor of corporate welfare for biotech companies such as Monsanto. This abuse of power is not the kind of leadership the public has come to expect from Senator Mikulski or the Democratic Majority in the Senate.
With so much problem of obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, being linked to poor diets, Americans are urged to eat more fruits and vegetables every day. Are those fruits and vegetables really safe to eat? Are they the products of genetic modification of the plant DNA? Could there be any long-term effects from the daily eating of genetically modified foods?
These are questions you need to ask yourself, because even if proven harmful they are now protected by federal law and will continue to be planted harvested, and sold to consumers like you and me. Welcome to the world of biotech foods. Eat at your own risk!
Mikulski protects corporations at the expense of the little guy. Such a good Democrat. /s
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I don’t know much about health effects from eating such hybrids, but plants in general tend to be stronger against natural problems if left more diverse, each type original and not crossed. Possible famine in the future is probably more of a concern. Animals and people are the other way around—best as mutts and not interbred.
Wonder why sensitivity to wheat is really growing....
Could it be connected to scientists experimenting without using great wisdom?
As Holder says, some banks are too big to prosecute. Now a huge, powerful food company that works on Frankenseeds and Frankenfood is beyond the law. Monsanto is a company that can and will help decide who lives and dies in different regions of the world in the future. If GMO was good for you, why do they fight so hard to keep it off food labels? More evidence the gov’t is there to protect us. ;)
There are reports from 3rd world countries of people who have other kinds of GMO damage that have transferred to the humans that consumed the food. Damaged has been observed in livestock too.
The bill just passed is classic crony capitalism. The politicians are bought by the big corporations and they craft legislation to protect their donors.
In answer to your wheat sensitivity question, the "natural" genetic defect that causes gluten intolerance comes from a "leaky gut" when gliaden (a wheat protein) binds to receptors in the intestine and promotes the release of zonulin. That increases the permeability of the gut allowing larger food particles to be exposed to the blood stream. Food allergies are stimulated by the exposure of antigens through the leaky gut. The BT toxin imported into your gut with GMO corn might be provoking the same "leaky gut" observed in conventional gluten intolerance. A gluten free diet would yield benefits in the same fashion. This is simply conjecture on my part without doing a rigorous study of individuals contaminated by GMO corn and exhibiting BT toxin in blood samples.
I read a report recently suggesting that modern hybrid wheat is metabolized differently, and that is contributing to obesity. Presumable ancient grains like spelt and kanef have not be hybridized and would be a good substitute.
Also unless multi generation tests on animals using these modified grains is done I would not want to eat them much. By multi, I mean seven or eight generations.
Monsanto is really hard on farmers. If Monsanto GM pollen drifts over a neighbors field and pollenates some of the farmers crop, Monsanto will sue the farmer and get as much as they can from him.
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Obama and Agenda 21
That’s possible for some of us—allergy to contemporary, big-crop wheat. It’s also possible that others of us need more exercise, less sugars, and for some of us to quit smoking (as with me a few years ago). Also, we do age. But yes, some hybrids might not be good for us. I don’t know and will do some reading, when time allows. Thanks.
We really don’t have to worry about all that now that Obama has appointed a “Food Safety” Czar.......that used to work for Monsanto.
The toxin is activated in an alkaline environment, like that of a bug gut. Your gut is extremely acidic, so cannot activate the toxin. That is why the toxin has been deemed to be safe to spread on crops, and why it is safe when contained within the plant (instead of on the surface).
It is highly unlikely that the gene for the toxin will transfer into your gut bacteria. It would have to survive cooking and digestion, which both do an incredible job of destroying DNA. As part of your natural defense against bacteria and viruses, your body is permeated with enzymes that destroy DNA. In fact, you are so destructive to DNA that, if you were to come and work in my lab, the first thing I would tell you is to NEVER touch any vials containing DNA, or supplies meant to contain DNA. Because just by touching them, you could destroy the DNA and ruin my experiments.
Furthermore, you have been eating Bacillus thuringensis your whole life--have they ever made you sick?
We also have been genetically engineering foods for millennia. Funny, now that the process has become very streamlined and targeted, there is all kinds of fear-mongering. Instead of mixing different organisms and hoping for a result that incorporates the desirable traits while omitting the undesirable traits, we can now specifically identify traits.
You don't want that one gene that makes tomatoes susceptible to a particular blight? Fine, we can get rid of it without affecting any other genes in that tomato! Targeted gene engineering is much less random and unpredictable than the old methods.
Why targeted genome alteration causes such concern, while random genome alteration with unpredictable results is barely noticed is... well, it is an interesting facet of human psychology.
Bingo! And it’s not just wheat. Why not label GMO? Because of the lobbyists like the ones featured in this article. It’s all politics.
It's been more than a few years now, but at one time we studied what happens to green coffee beans during the roasting process. During that process, hundreds of different chemical compounds are created (about 600 iirc) and, at the time, about one-third of them hadn't even been identified. Some of them are extremely toxic. I'm sure most of those fretting over this news about "toxic GMO's" are doing so while enjoying a cup of strong, heavily roasted coffee.
I think people need something to fear. This spoiled rotten country is FULL of liberals always complaining about something, even though really all these things are non-issues.
Every time something new comes up, it’s “bad”.
"Pesticides associated to genetically modified foods (PAGMF), are engineered to tolerate herbicides such as glyphosate (GLYP) and gluphosinate (GLUF) or insecticides such as the bacterial toxin bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlation between maternal and fetal exposure, and to determine exposure levels of GLYP and its metabolite aminomethyl phosphoric acid (AMPA), GLUF and its metabolite 3-methylphosphinicopropionic acid (3-MPPA) and Cry1Ab protein (a Bt toxin) in Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. Blood of thirty pregnant women (PW) and thirty-nine nonpregnant women (NPW) were studied. Serum GLYP and GLUF were detected in NPW and not detected in PW. Serum 3-MPPA and CryAb1 toxin were detected in PW, their fetuses and NPW. This is the first study to reveal the presence of circulating PAGMF in women with and without pregnancy, paving the way for a new field in reproductive toxicology including nutrition and utero-placental toxicities."
Looks like cooking and digestion might not be the remediation we thought they were.
More people have been harmed from taking herbal supplements than have ever been harmed from eating GM foods.
They are popular with farmers, their customers. If the farmers didn’t think they were worth the money - they wouldn’t spend the money buying GM crop seeds.
Due to fears about GM foods only the big players can pay the great expense to enter the market, and they must lobby the government to prevent even more regulation. So now those that produce GM foods are condemned as “big business” that lobby the government! Yeah - kind of a necessity in the environment created by the fear mongers.
Looks like cooking and digestion might not be the remediation we thought they were.
Just because they were detected, that means what, exactly?
You can detect all kinds of chemicals. With current technologies that can detect to parts per billion (or maybe even smaller amounts), the relevance of being able to detect something becomes questionable. You eat Bacillus thurigensis whenever you eat certain vegetables; it is a normal component of the environment, which waits around in soil until a suitable host comes along. It's very difficult for me to become concerned that Cry1Ab, a Bt protein, can be detected in blood, since it is such an unavoidable component of our diet. You can detect beef proteins in blood after eating beef, too. I'm sure all kinds of other food-specific proteins are detectable after eating, as well.
I should also point out that our bodies have evolved quite extensive mechanisms for removing toxins, which exist in virtually all foods of plant origin (and, to a lesser extent, foods of animal origin). While I wouldn't deliberately overload the toxin removal system by taking massive herbal or vitamin supplements, I also wouldn't worry about the levels of toxins that we normally consume in food every day.
I'm also not going to try to differentiate between "natural" and "GMO" foods, since humans have been altering the food supply for millenia. The only difference is in methodology. Instead of breeding and cross-breeding, and altering who knows how many genes, we can target one specific gene and leave the rest of the genome intact. In other words, GMO plants have been modified far less than plants developed through hybrid breeding methods.