Could China stop the new 2,4-D resistant GMO crops from spreading across U.S. farmlands? If China refuses to grant import approval, then the answer could be YES. While non-GMO advocates and environmentalists work feverishly through the U.S. court system to prohibit Dow Agrosciences from unleashing the so-called Agent Orange GMO seeds, Dow has voluntarily restricted… Read More China Positioned to Decide if 2-4-D Resistant GMOs Will Be Adopted by U.S. Farmers
Jeffrey Smith Court Victory on rbGH Labeling ATTENTION SHOPPERS. An appeals court just upheld your right to easily choose drug-free milk from drug-free cows. This is a victory. Read the Blog GE Salmon? Out of Your Minds?! Has the FDA gone completely mad? Frankenfish can promote disease… Read the Blog Ovary and Uterus Changes in… Read More GE Salmon Madness, and More GMO-Related Reproductive Disorders
Stop eating dangerous genetically modified (GM) foods! That’s the upshot of the Lyme Induced Autism (LIA) Foundation’s position paper, released today. The patient advocacy group is not willing to wait around until research studies prove that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) cause or worsen the many diseases that are on the rise since gene-spliced foods were introduced in 1996. Like the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) earlier this year, the LIA Foundation says there is more than enough evidence of harm in GM animal feeding studies for them to “urge doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets” and for “individuals, especially those with autism, Lyme disease, and associated conditions, to avoid” GM foods.
Rhetoric from Washington since the early 1990s proclaims that genetically modified (GM) foods are no different from their natural counterparts that have existed for centuries. But this is a political, not a scientific assertion. Numerous scientists at the FDA consistently described these newly introduced gene-spliced foods as cause for concern. In addition to their potential to produce hard-to-detect allergies and nutritional problems, the scientists said that "The possibility of unexpected, accidental changes in genetically engineered plants" might produce "unexpected high concentrations of plant toxicants." GM crops, they said, might have "Increased levels of known naturally occurring toxins, . . . appearance of new, not previously identified" toxins, and an increased tendency to gather "toxic substances from the environment" such as "pesticides or heavy metals." They recommended testing every GM food "before it enters the marketplace." But the FDA was under orders from the first Bush White House to promote the biotechnology industry, and the political appointee in charge of agency policy was Monsanto’s former attorney—later their vice president. The FDA policy ignored the scientists’ warnings and allowed GM food crops onto the market without any required safety studies.
Genetically Engineered Corn
The biotech industry is fond of saying that they offer genetically modified (GM) crops that resist pests. This might conjure up the image of insects staying away from GM crop fields. But "resisting pests" is just a euphemism for contains its own built-in pesticide. When bugs take a bite of the GM plant, the toxin splits open their stomach and kills them.
Genetically Engineered Soybeans
The huge jump in childhood food allergies in the US is in the news often, but most reports fail to consider a link to a recent radical change in America’s diet. Beginning in 1996, bacteria, virus and other genes have been artificially inserted to the DNA of soy, corn, cottonseed and canola plants. These unlabeled genetically modified (GM) foods carry a risk of triggering life-threatening allergic reactions, and evidence collected over the past decade now suggests that they are contributing to higher allergy rates.
Pioneer Hi-Bred’s website boasts that their genetically modified (GM) Liberty Link corn survives doses of Liberty herbicide, which would normally kill corn. The reason, they say, is that the herbicide becomes "inactive in the corn plant." They fail to reveal, however, that after you eat the GM corn, some inactive herbicide may become reactivated inside your gut and cause a toxic reaction. In addition, a gene that was inserted into the corn might transfer into the DNA of your gut bacteria, producing long-term effects. These are just a couple of the many potential side-effects of GM crops that critics say put the public at risk.
February 09, 2006
Thank you for your letter and for providing a copy of your article.
I stand by my claim that the Australian regulatory system works. CSIRO had approached Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) seeking advice on the kind of data it would need to consider the GM alpha-amylase inhibitor field peas should we put them forward for commercial release. FSANZ advised CSIRO it would require in particular full characterisation of the pea form of the bean protein and data indicating its potential for toxicity and allergenicity. It was out of these requirements that we conducted our research, with each step leading us to explore further so as to be able to provide a full set of data.
Note: TJ Higgins, a plant molecular biologist, is Deputy Chief of Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) Plant Industry, Canberra, Australia. He is the developer of GM peas.
The November/December 2005 newsletter article Genetically Modified Peas Caused Dangerous Immune Response in Mice, discusses in detail the research done on GM peas.
December 21, 2005
(Other GM foods are not tested for this and may be harmful)
Genetically modified (GM) peas under development created immune responses in mice, suggesting that they may also create serious allergic reactions in people. The peas had been inserted with a gene from kidney beans, which creates a protein that acts as a pesticide. When this protein is produced naturally in beans, it does not elicit a response from mice. When produced in the GM peas, however, it did cause a reaction. Using sensitive testing methods, scientists discovered subtle differences between the bean and the GM proteins—the added sugar chains were slightly different. They speculate that this difference caused the immune reactions. Based on the results of the study, the Australian developers abandoned their 10-year, $2 million project.
In October, 1989, 44-year old Kathy Lorio arrived in the medical office of Dr. Phil Hertzman in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Lorio, who had been healthy and active, was suddenly struck with severe pain and a host of debilitating symptoms. Blood tests revealed that her eosinophil count had skyrocketed. The normal concentration of this white blood cell is about 10 per CC. Allergies or asthma can make it rise to 500. Lorio’s was over 10,000.
When a German court ordered Monsanto to make public a controversial 90-day rat study on June 20, 2005, the data upheld claims by prominent scientists who said that animals fed the genetically modified (GM) corn developed extensive health effects in the blood, kidneys and liver and that humans eating the corn might be at risk. The 1,139 page research paper on Monsanto’s "Mon 863" variety also revealed that European regulators accepted the company’s assurances that their corn is safe, in spite of the unscientific and contradictory rationale that was used to dismiss significant problems. In addition, the study is so full of flaws and omissions, critics say it wouldn’t qualify for publication in most journals and yet it is the primary document used to evaluate the health impacts.
The Mon 863 feeding study was poorly designed and reported. It is doubtful whether any prominent nutritional journal would consider it. It is odd, therefore, that it remains the key document used by government regulators to protect the health of European citizens.
"With genetic engineering, transferring genes from one species’ DNA to another is just like taking a page out of one book and putting it between the pages of another book." This popular analogy is used often by advocates of genetically modified (GM) food. The words on the page are made up of the four letters, or molecules, of the genetic code, which line up in "base pairs" along the DNA. The inserted page represents a gene, whose code produces one or more proteins. The book is made up of chapters, which represent chromosomes—large sections of DNA.