June 10, 2009

Genetically Modified Foods

This is not my usual issue, but I feel compelled to share this article by Jeffrey M. Smith at Seeds of Deception. I hadn't realized that, when they say GM'd foods are "resistant" to insects, what they really mean is that the plants have been engineered to produce food that's literally chock full o' poison. Salient points (out of order per the original article):

"GM corn and cotton are engineered to produce their own built-in pesticide in every cell. When bugs bite the plant, the poison splits open their stomach and kills them. Biotech companies claim that the pesticide, called Bt—produced from soil bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis—has a history of safe use, since organic farmers and others use Bt bacteria spray for natural insect control. Genetic engineers insert Bt genes into corn and cotton, so the plants do the killing.

"The Bt-toxin produced in GM plants, however, is thousands of times more concentrated than natural Bt spray, is designed to be more toxic,[10] has properties of an allergen, and unlike the spray, cannot be washed off the plant.

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["Not a single human clinical trial on GMOs has been published", but] "[w]hen GM soy was fed to female rats, most of their babies died within three weeks—compared to a 10% death rate among the control group fed natural soy.[3] The GM-fed babies were also smaller, and later had problems getting pregnant.[4] When male rats were fed GM soy, their testicles actually changed color—from the normal pink to dark blue.[5] Mice fed GM soy had altered young sperm.[6] Even the embryos of GM fed parent mice had significant changes in their DNA.[7]"

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"Scientists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had warned about all these problems even in the early 1990s. . . . [T]he scientific consensus at the agency was that GM foods were inherently dangerous, and might create hard-to-detect allergies, poisons, gene transfer to gut bacteria, new diseases, and nutritional problems. They urged their superiors to require rigorous long-term tests.[27] But the White House had ordered the agency to promote biotechnology and the FDA responded by recruiting Michael Taylor, Monsanto’s former attorney, to head up the formation of GMO policy. . . . Mr. Taylor later became Monsanto’s vice president.

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"There is a pocket Non-GMO Shopping Guide, . . . which is available as a download . . . ."
(Please see the original article at the link above for the footnotes and much more.)

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