Skip to comments.Lambs to the GMO Slaughter
Posted on 07/29/2014 7:58:47 AM PDT by Kaslin
American diets are being bombarded with genetically modified foods. Big seed companies initiate it. Big government enables it. Big food business loves it. But Americans are the ones paying the price through their pocketbook and especially their health. And worst of all, as the old song goes, it may be "killing you softly."
For those who may be unaware, genetically modified plants are grown from genetically modified or engineered seeds, which are created to resist insecticides and herbicides so that crops can be grown to withstand a weed-killing pesticide or integrate a bacterial toxin that can ward off pests.
As I pointed out in my C-Force health & fitness syndicated column this week on the same issue, genetically modified foods have been sliding into our diets since 1995, when the EPA analyzed genetically engineered corn.
Today, in the United States, as much as 80 percent of packaged foods contain ingredients that have been genetically modified, according to the Grocery Manufacturers Association. And 90 percent of many U.S. crops are grown with genetically engineered seed. In Iowa, for example, 91 percent of the corn and 93 percent of the soybean acres were genetically modified last year.
But unlike 60 other countries around the world -- including the European Union, which has required that genetically engineered foods be labeled since 1997, most Americans will never know if they are consuming GMOs because there are no federal and few state laws that require GMOs to be listed among food ingredients.
And where does our government stand on all this GMO business and proliferation?
The Chicago Tribune reported that the Food and Drug Administration has permitted the sale and planting of genetically modified foods for 15 years and that the Obama administration has approved an "unprecedented number of genetically modified crops," such as ethanol corn, alfalfa and sugar beets. The Alliance for Natural Health added that the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture now wants to eliminate any regulatory controls from genetically altered corn and cotton.
Strangely, instead of overstepping their boundaries as they do with virtually everything, the Obama administration retreats from any type of enforcement or regulation forcing food companies to list GMOs among their foods' ingredients.
Can you say aiding and abetting the enemy?
Leading the pro-GMO march is Monsanto, the world's largest seed maker and a publicly traded American multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation. The colossal seed giant is moving full-steam ahead to become the No. 1 U.S. and global farm supplier. They are so monopolizing the seed industry that Forbes recently cited a Fortune article noting that Monsanto "expects to earn about $5.1B in the current fiscal year and double its earnings per share within the next 5 years." The article concluded by calling Monsanto: an "unstoppable Leviathan" and saying that "GMOs are here to stay."
Public demand for transparency when it comes to GMOs is becoming louder, yet government approval advancing their use moves ever so quietly forward. For example, missed by media and little corporate fanfare, the USDA weeks ago gave its stamp of approval of a second-generation GMO soybean plant designed to resist a toxic herbicide called isoxaflutole, an agent that has been labeled by the Environmental Protection Agency as "a probable carcinogen."
Bill Freese, science policy analyst at the Center for Food Safety has been tracking the introduction of these second-generation GMO crops. Says Freese: "Biotech companies are now poised to introduce a host of 'next generation' GE crops resistant to more toxic herbicides as a false 'solution' to massive weed resistance. But their effects will be to generate still more intractable weeds resistant to multiple herbicides."
Almost all genetically engineered foods have been engineered for one purpose: to tolerate higher levels of herbicides. The problem is, weeds are constantly becoming more tolerant to the weed killer, creating a vicious cycle resulting in higher usage of more and more toxic herbicides such as Dow' AgriSciences' 2,4-D, a component of Agent Orange. This requires more modifications to genetically modified foods.
As I've pointed out on this issue before, instead of eradicating the need for insecticides and herbicides, genetically modified plants will warrant stronger and more intense pesticides in order to outwit and overcome superbugs and greater strains of diseases.
And who's to say what GMOs will do -- now or in generations -- inside our bodies as we consume them on a greater scale and they become a part of the bacteria in our digestive tracts?
With more and more U.S. foods being grown, manufactured and imported from places such as South America and Eastern Europe -- the precise areas outside the U.S. where Monsanto's biotech seeds are gaining their greatest foothold, food imports are quickly becoming a recipe for disaster. Remember, too, much of the GM crop grown around the world is used for livestock feed, so there's more than one way for GMOs to be ingested in your diet, such as from meat and dairy products.
According to GMO food proponent Dr. Pamela Ronald from UC Davis, "Genetically engineered crops currently on the market are as safe to eat and safe for the environment as organic or conventional foods."
But is that the case?
The Alliance for Natural Health cited the late George Wald, a Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology and one of the first scientists to speak out about the dangers of genetically engineered foods: "Recombinant DNA technology faces our society with problems unprecedented, not only in the history of science, but of life on the Earth. ... Now whole new proteins will be transposed overnight into wholly new associations, with consequences no one can foretell, either for the host organism or their neighbors. ... For going ahead in this direction may not only be unwise but dangerous. Potentially, it could breed new animal and plant diseases, new sources of cancer, novel epidemics."
Equally alarming is a recent study that was published in the journal Neurology. According to Medical Daily, a review of 104 studies conducted around the world revealed that exposure to pesticides, insecticides, weed killers, fungicides, solvents, etc., increased the risk of developing Parkinson's disease by 30 to 80 percent.
If there's a bright light on the GMO horizon, it's going to happen because we consumers put the pressure on the food industries and cry out to individual food companies.
As a result of consumer advocacy, Whole Foods plans to require labeling in all products sold in U.S. and Canadian stores by 2018. And General Mills plans to stop using bioengineered cornstarch and sugar cane for its original Cheerios and to prominently display the fact.
Who's next? That's up to you and me.
Most folks think that GMO plants are simply hybridized to resist bugs, weed killer etc; they need to know that these seeds are sliced genetically with bacteria (to produce a bug resistant characteristic) other biologics (frogs)and organic chemicals to provide weed killer resistance/tolerance. These genetic splices create non-natural components to the products derived from the crop.
With little or no testing for long term impacts, if any, are simply unknown. That’s the way big ag and the big gov like it. Lots of food, but little awareness of any potential harm.
A big after-affect is that many of these GMO plants cannot reproduce-potentially resulting in monopoly of food production....
Anti-GMOs are not doing their own due diligence, and the non-GMO labeling rules are going to be to the detriment of the populace - particularly the poor.
And for the rabid Organics - most food borne illnesses in America are from organic foods, courtesy of their special fertilizer.
Yes, we need Big Government to step and regulate, regulate, regulate.
The fear mongers cannot identify ONE PERSON who has gotten sick from GMO crops because they are GMO. The world is awash with plentiful, inexpensive food in part due to GMO use.
At some time in the future there will be basically two kinds of people. Those that eat GM foods and those that starve. — Captain Compassion
Absolutely right. And people are so much healthier, too. Hospitals and clinics are going out of business right and left. Doctors and nurses are flooding the unemployment rolls. Medical schools are competing for students. Pharmaceutical stocks are tanking. Etc.
In fact, it seems the only serious problem is myopia.
Absolutely right. And people are so much healthier, too.
Worldwide, they are - adequate nutrition is a tremendous boon to health. In the USA, an aging population and poor personal habits - such as smoking tobacco (GM or non) and eating junk food (GM or non) - are the primary drivers of health care consumption.
I have no problem eating GMO foods but I have a huge problem with the thuggish business practices of Monsanto backed by jack-booted FedMob agencies and courts.
You’re right: Compared to starvation, even GMO is healthy.
So is dumpster-diving.
Neither is considered by the CDC to be a “primary driver of health care consumption”, so perhaps you would recommend them.
Responsible business does not need regulation.
GMO seed making IS about Monsanto and others seeking to (a) monopolize the seed base for basic crops, to (b) seed bases that require the use of their herbicides and pesticides, (c) which they make more money off on than the seeds themselves.
In the end, the world’s main food crops are shrinking massively in terms of the variety of seeds they are based on.
No matter what arrogant man tries to do, narrowing the seed base of major crops in the extreme always, sooner or later, spells disaster, as some unforeseen consequence or some “natural” calamity, brings an unforeseen circumstance that an extremely narrow seed base lacks few candidates up to the challenge for.
That, not mere potatoes themselves, was the cause of the Irish famine. THEIR potato crop had, by machinations of the British colonials become the overwhelming dominant crop of Ireland AND it had been focused on mostly one strain of potato. When a crop disease hit the potato crops of Europe most of Europe did not experience famine or lose nearly all their potatoes. What potatoes they were growing comprised a variety of strains, with enough strains that had what they needed to survive; unlike Ireland.
The seeds for corn and soybeans, do to GMO progress around the world, have been reduced to 60-80% of the crop using just a few strains, and that is progressing into even less variety remaining.
The opposite can be said for the growing seed monopolies of Monstanto.
Conservatives need to admit that the adage “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” is a fact of human nature and its applicability goes to every sphere, not just government.
I’m waiting for someone to actually defend GMO safety with an argument other than “there’s lots of food” or “there are worse things to eat”.
Meanwhile, our deteriorating health ought to stir up our thinking a bit. Sheesh, even the vegan idiots know there’s a problem. Their ideology prevents them from discovering the root of and the solution to it. But at least they’re not walking around as blind as some on FreeRepublic.
There are many avenues of investigation for the taking. But first you’ll have to take off the Monsanto-colored glasses.
Sounds like a great argument to me. I prefer eating to starving - your mileage may vary.
Meanwhile, our deteriorating health ought to stir up our thinking a bit.
Based on the available evidence, you may as well blame it on sunspots as on GMOs.
For some, the problem is indeed myopia.
Others simply don’t want to see.
My garden is less than an eighth of an acre. the waste from it feeds the chickens. The waste from the chickens feeds the garden. And they both feed me. No watering. No fertilizer. No insecticides. I don't really even need the grocery store anymore, providing that I can hunt.
Soon I will have an Aquaponic greenhouse. That will deliver fresh produce, almost year-round. It will also deliver a couple hundred pounds of Talapia and Perch.
I am by no means starving, and I am continuing to be healed from major arthritis and fibromyalgia. My allergies are *gone*, with the exception of chemical allergies (which are greatly reduced).
You might consider my case subjective, but I know many people with a similar story.
The 'organic' food, which has somehow gotten a slur attached to the definition, is the very SAME means, methods, and foods which fed this country in my grandfather's day. Don't knock it till you've tried it. You will find it provides foods that are VASTLY superior to anything you can buy in the store.
In a word, you have been lied to.
I am by no means starving
Nor I - nor would I in a world without GMOs (although many in other parts of that world might). I referred to starving to highlight the significance of the theres lots of food argument that LearsFool so lightly dismissed.
Don't knock it till you've tried it.
I've never knocked it - but living in the suburbs I'm not in a position to try it. Glad it's working out for you.
I avoid all the GMO food that I can. Buy organic, but that’s no guarantee of being GMO-free.
Had a big argument with self yesterday while buying sheets. Gorgeous, wonderful high thread count sheets. Across the aisle, organic cotton sheets. Not so gorgeous. Not so expensive. Gorgeous won, but I’m still staring at them in their wrapping.
A lot of people are in this boat with me. Wanting to do the healthiest thing for themselves, not really knowing how to measure the risks.
We used to send boatloads of grain to the world - to Africa- we had so much. It was rotting in the elevators. We used to have feet of topsoil in the heartland, which is now measured in inches... No, this method being used is certainly the wrong way. It is starting to fail.
How is it that my methood produces MORE soil every year? How is it that I can produce beautiful produce without any insecticide whatsoever? How is it that I can produce that beautiful produce without water, and with very little weeding? The answer to that is the key. Without the need to control pests and weeds, there is no need for GMO. I had strawberries almost the size of tennis balls this year. *HUGE and delicious* produce, way better... Way, WAY better. For FREE.
but living in the suburbs I'm not in a position to try it
Have you never heard of victory gardens? Your suburban lot would feed your whole family, and teach your kids invaluable life lessons. A mere generation ago, most of this nation gardened.
And while I am not 'suburban', my property is just under 1/2 acre... and whatever is garden is just that much more I don't have to mow. ; )
We'd like to see your evidence, based on sound science, that GMO's are deleterious to the health of those who consume them. I won't hold my breath, however, because that evidence doesn't exist.
Every agricultural product has been genetically modified, and we are living longer today than at any other time in our history. Go figure.
Check that one out.
“I have no problem eating GMO foods but I have a huge problem with the thuggish business practices of Monsanto backed by jack-booted FedMob agencies and courts.”
Pretty much my feelings. GMO’s are a AWESOME technology that has saved many lives with increased food production.
“Meanwhile, our deteriorating health ought to stir up our thinking a bit.”
Statistics of course would show that we have greatly increased life spans.
Give an example with data of “our deteriorating health “.
Here’s a better, more doable, one.
The beef is that it’s in the front yard. In your backyard, no one would be the wiser if you have some sort of privacy fence.
“A big after-affect is that many of these GMO plants cannot reproduce-potentially resulting in monopoly of food production....”
The small family farmer has been almost eliminated but the survival of humanity may depend on his resurrection. Current methods make everyone dependent not just on a very few plants but on a very tiny number of varieties of those plants. We are courting disaster and it does not take a degree in horticulture or anything else to see it, only an interest in what is happening.
Congrats, roamer_1. I really like your thinking on this topic. I live in a city apartment so cannot grow my own stuff, but shop very carefully. Costs me a lot, but not as much as sickness would.
I need a neighbor like you. Having grown up on forty acres and living now on eight or a little better I can’t seem to get the hang of thinking small. I do know that a tiny plot that is cared for correctly will produce as much or more than an acre or two that is haphazardly worked.
Nothing but an article written by a Luddite. Typical motional hysteria that brought us the Ozone Hole (which, BTW, has not closed even though we were assured it would if we would just ban CFCs), glowbull warming, the “Population Bomb” that claimed we’d all be dead by the year 1994 from starvation, etc, etc, etc. All garbage written by mental midgets.
Watch this guy - As a farmer, he will BLOW YOUR MIND. It works. There is truth here.
I appreciate your reply... Don't be like me. I had to learn it the hard way. : )
This is so utterly silly. Human beings have been changing the genes of our food ever since we started engaging in agriculture and animal husbandry. Some of our foods are so genetically modified that it is difficult to even identify the wild plant or animal we started modifying millenia ago.
Our methods were extremely crude throughout most of history. All we could do was randomly mix up plants or animals and hope that the brand-new (completely unnatural) genomes that we came up with were useful.
Nowadays, we have the ability to target and change just one single gene—instead of tens of thousands at a time as in the past—and the Luddites come crawling out of the woodwork.
In a few years, people will be looking at the fearmongering over targeted, limited gene alteration as being as quaint and silly as we now consider the fearmongering over electric lights.
ANH-USA is committed to sustainable health, the recognition that our environment and our physical health are inextricably related. If we run out of clean water to drink, pure air to breathe or nutritious and uncontaminated food to eat, or if through our prescription drugs and vaccines we are poisoned by mercury or phthalates, our physical health will suffer.
Sustainable health also applies the environmental ethic of conservation to our bodies. It urges us to live as nature intended us to live. Diet, dietary supplements, exercise, and the avoidance of toxins are especially important tools in building and maintaining health.
The Alliance for Natural Health is a leftist and quack outfit out of the UK promoting among other things aside from sustainable agriculture as a way to stem global warming, promote homeopathy and the use of dietary supplements and high doses of vitamins (which they do not want regulated in any way shape or form) and being against what they deem to be junk foods (which they think need to be taxed and regulated like cigarettes) and against vaccinations and so called GMO foods which have never been found in any scientific research to be harmful to humans.
The founder and head of The Alliance for Natural Health, Dr Robert Verkerk FWIW also makes paid product endorsements for dietary supplement companies.
About George Wald
One of the first academics to speak out against U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, he was a hero to many students in the 1960s. He also addressed such issues as the arms race, nuclear power and weapons, and human rights. Wald referred to this activity as "biology with a vengeance" and "survival politics."
Wald wrote The Case Against Genetic Engineering in 1979 and if it is anything like his opinions on nuclear weapons and nuclear war, it is likely based more on his political views than on scientific facts. And at the time he wrote that, he wasnt specifically addressing GMO foods although one could extrapolate that from his writings on genetic engineering, it should be noted that he was not a geneticist and this was not his area of expertise as a scientist.
I will also add that I have a hard time with someone like Chuck Norris, an actor who dyes his hair (or has hair plugs) and obviously has had some work done spouting off and lecturing anyone on the benefits natural foods and living naturally.
Humans will ALL die of SOMETHING!
Have you made YOUR plans?
Can you be more specific as to which foods you mean? I'm not anti-GMO, just curious.
*Any* food that results from agriculture or ranching is genetically modified.
Examples of foods that are so modified from their wild ancestors that they are almost unrecognizable are corn, tomatoes, and cows. Corn, for example, was derived from teosinte, a wild grass of Central America. Corn and teosinte barely resemble each other; it took in-depth genetic analysis to demonstrate that teosinte is, indeed, the wild ancestor of corn. This article discusses genetic variation in corn, and also mentions my hero, Barbara McClintock.
Cows were bred from aurochs, which no longer exist. However, we have an idea of what they looked like from paintings. Compare the cave paintings in this article to the variety of living cattle breeds.
As far as I can tell, the tomato is a result of breeding of several wild tomato species. Wikipedia has a bit more information, but not a lot. By comparing the many breeds of tomatoes against their wild counterparts, you can see that they express many genes not seen in the wild (the different colors and sizes all result from mutated genes).
These are just a few examples. Any time you look at a domestic food and see differences between it and the wild relatives, you see evidence of genetic manipulation of the species. White chickens, ducks, and turkeys are almost non-existent in the wild...
What is a "non-natural component"?
A big after-affect is that many of these GMO plants cannot reproduce
You have a list of plants that cannot reproduce?
If the plants produce their own pesticide, that means the farmer doesn't need to use pesticide and the soil is pesticide free. That's a good thing.
Non-natural as in bacterial genes spliced into plant chromosomes. Perhaps the term leaves something to be desired, but the mixing of dis-similar genetics is the intent.
Most natural hybrids and GMO hybrids do not maintain quality or quantity of production if germinating at all after the initial generation (s). This leads to dependence on the AG industry to provide seed- assuring the farmer of dependence thereon. Many of us see the result of unintentional seeding by plants like tomatoes, beans etc the next spring- they produce very much different crops if any at all.
Also, as seen in recent case law, the planting of such harvested seeds (soy in the case law mentioned)was ruled a violation of the patent rights.... Potentially far reaching ramifications on the small farmer or gardener- many plant a portion of the harvest next year.
Okay, what are the chemical components of the natural characteristics of the spliced bacterial genes which produce insect resistance? I don’t know.
Does ingestion of the parent bacterias toxin (which live in soils) produce any harmful effect on humans? I don’t know.
Momma taught me long ago not to put stuff in my mouth that I didn’t know.
Bacteria genes are not natural?
When you look at the plant genes, do the bacteria genes have a different color? Are they made of different amino acids?
Most natural hybrids and GMO hybrids do not maintain quality or quantity of production if germinating at all after the initial generation
Exactly. They still reproduce.
This leads to dependence on the AG industry to provide seed- assuring the farmer of dependence thereon.
If the farmer doesn't want the latest, high yielding seeds, he's free to plant old fashioned, low yield seeds.
Also, as seen in recent case law, the planting of such harvested seeds (soy in the case law mentioned)was ruled a violation of the patent rights....
Yes. The farmer signed a contract and then broke it.
Potentially far reaching ramifications on the small farmer or gardener- many plant a portion of the harvest next year.
If you break a contract, you should have to pay. Don't you agree?
A gene is the molecular unit of heredity of a living organism. It is used extensively by the scientific community as a name given to some stretches of deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA) and ribonucleic acids (RNA) that code for a polypeptide or for an RNA chain that has a function in the organism.
Does ingestion of the parent bacterias toxin (which live in soils) produce any harmful effect on humans?
Not that I've ever heard.
Momma taught me long ago not to put stuff in my mouth that I didnt know.
You must be really hungry. Unless you have a list of the genes in all your foods that you're studying.