Tag Archive | "Pigs"

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Global scientists decry human trials of GMO Wheat

Posted on 16 July 2011 by admin

By Belinda Tasker
Sydney Morning Herald

A group of prominent scientists and researchers from around the world has urged Australia not to go ahead with human trials of genetically modified (GM) wheat.

The CSIRO is carrying out a study of feeding GM wheat grown in the ACT to rats and pigs and could extend the trial to humans.

The modified wheat has been altered to lower its glycaemic index in an attempt to see if the grain could have health benefits such as improving blood glucose control and lowering cholesterol levels.

But eight scientists and academics from Britain, the US, India, Argentina and Australia believe not enough studies have been done on the effects of GM wheat on animals to warrant human trials.

The CSIRO has dismissed their concerns, insisting no decision has been made on if or when human trials will begin.

In a letter to the CSIRO’s chief executive Megan Clark, the scientists expressed their “unequivocal denunciation” of the experiments.

“The use of human subjects for these GM feeding experiments is completely unacceptable,” the letter said.

“The experiments may be used to dispense with concerns about the health impacts of consuming GM plants, but will not in fact address the health risks GM plants raise.

“The feeding trials should not be conducted until long-term impact assessments have been undertaken and appropriate information released to enable the scientific community to determine the value of such research, as against the risks.”

Among the signatories were Dr Michael Antoniou, of the gene expression and therapy group at King’s College London School of Medicine, and Professor David Schubert, from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California.

The scientists said they were concerned that the CSIRO had inadequately described the biological and biochemical make-up of the GM wheat being used in the trials.

They said that, based on previous research, GM food products had been shown to be prone to having multiple effects, including damaging the health of animals which had eaten them.

They believed the CSRIO’s animal feeding trials of up to 28 days were “completely inadequate” to assess such risks.

But CSIRO spokesman Huw Morgan said animal trials of the GM wheat, which began in 2005, were still continuing.

“No decision has been made as yet to undertake human trials,” he told AAP.

“It’s still something that we are considering.”

Mr Morgan said many studies carried out in the past 15 years had shown GM foods had no detrimental impact on human health.

The CSIRO’s trials were trying to determine whether the new type of GM grain had health benefits for people with conditions such as colourectal cancer and diabetes, he said.

Greenpeace food campaigner Laura Kelly said GM experts recommended that long-term animal feeding studies of two years should be carried out before human testing to evaluate any carcinogenic, developmental, hormonal, neural and reproductive dysfunctions.

“This is the first generation of Australian children that will be exposed to GM in food for a lifetime,” she said.

“If Julia Gillard doesn’t stand up to foreign biotech companies, soon they’ll be eating it in their sandwiches and pasta, even though it has never been proven safe to eat.”

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House Votes To Block FDA Approval Of Genetically Modified Salmon

Posted on 15 June 2011 by admin

WASHINGTON — The House voted Wednesday to prohibit the Food and Drug Administration from approving genetically modified salmon for human consumption.

The FDA is set to decide this year whether to approve the modified fish, which grows twice as fast as the natural variety. The FDA said last year that the fish appears to be safe to eat but an agency advisory panel said more studies may be needed before it is served on the nation’s dinner tables.

If the salmon is approved, it would be the first time the government allowed such modified animals to be marketed for human consumption. It was created by a Massachusetts company, AquaBounty, which says its fish is safe and environmentally sustainable.

Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, offered an amendment to a farm spending bill late Wednesday that would prohibit the FDA from spending money to approve AquaBounty’s application. The amendment was approved by voice vote.

Young argued that the modified fish would compete with wild salmon in his state. Other critics have labeled the modified salmon a “frankenfish” that possibly could cause allergies in humans and eventually decimate the wild salmon population.

AquaBounty has added a growth hormone from a Chinook salmon that allows the fish to produce their growth hormone all year long. The bioengineers were able to keep the hormone active by using another gene from an eel-like fish called an ocean pout that acts like an on switch for the hormone, according to the company. Conventional salmon produce the growth hormone only some of the time.

The FDA has appeared favorable toward the engineered fish, saying there are no biologically relevant difference between the engineered salmon and conventional salmon and there is a reasonable certainty of no harm from its consumption. The agency is also considering whether the fish needs to be labeled as modified.

Approval would open the door for a variety of other genetically engineered animals, including a more environmentally-friendly pig that is being developed in Canada or cattle that are resistant to mad cow disease. Each would have to be approved by the FDA.

The House is expected to pass the farm spending bill later this week. The Senate has not weighed in on the issue.

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GMO Soy Destroying Children

Posted on 12 May 2011 by admin

(NaturalNews) Soy, once touted as a medical miracle, has been outed. Ninety-one percent of the soy we consume is tainted by the filth of the GMO machine, literally the most quietly kept epidemic of our lifetime. Soy makes up a large portion of the diet for the chickens, pigs, and cows some of us eat. Even the vegetarian/vegan community is exposed as a number of meat substitutes list soy as a main ingredient. Soy and soybean oil have wiggled their way into a wide array of processed foods including salad dressings, peanut butter, tamari, mayonnaise, crackers, baby formula, baked good mixes, textured vegetable protein, and the list goes on. So unless you are eating anorganicversion of any of the above, there is a good chance you are exposing yourself toGMO soy.

Genetically engineeredcropsare destroying theenvironment, the health of indigenous communities, and ultimately ourhealthas end of the chainconsumers. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine has reported a number ofstudies. Their results? Frightening. Think major issues like infertility (http://www.responsibletechnology.or…), immune problems, accelerated aging, and even changes in the cellular structure of major organs (http://www.responsibletechnology.org/). Also, as a result of theantibioticresistant genes within GEfood, they are the highly suspected culprits behind the new “superbug.” The animals involved in the studies ended up deformed, sterile, and dead.

Children are the most susceptible to these harmful effect, since they are constantly in a state of high growth; parents should take care. GMOfoods, and especiallysoy, have been tied to an increase in allergies, asthma, and a propensity to get antibiotic resistant infections.

None of this would surprise any of the individuals in variousSouth Americacountries that live near GM crops. South America is the world’s largest provider of soy (http://www.naturalnews.com/031382_G…).

A recent story in theUK Telegraph(http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/ea…) revealed that the herbicides used on GM soy are so toxic that direct contact oftenresultsin severe illness and sometimesdeath. Petrona Villasboa is one of those that has faced direct loss. Her son was accidenatlly sprayed by one of the machines that are often spraying Monsanto’s Roundup on the surrounding crops. Silvino Talavera died that same day – and it was a horrible death (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/ea…). That’s not all – Non GMOfarmersare being displaced, and those that stay run a calculated risk. Mothers living close to GM farmland are twice as likely to have a fetus with a birth deformity.

The industry doesn’t want this information out there.Monsantoprovides over 90 percent ofGMOsoy seeds and related herbicides to farmers worldwide (http://www.smdp.com/Articles-c-2011…).

Agent Orange was one of Monsanto’s first herbicides and the resulting effect to U.S soldiers and Vietnamese citizens was reprehensible(http://www.organicconsumers.org/mon…).

Scientist who push to hard to get a widespread scientific inquiry about the devastating effects of GE foods have had subtle and not-so-subtle pressure applied and been forced to back off their findings (http://www.responsibletechnology.or…).

Just as efforts are underway to assist these farmers in seeing the benefits of growing organic food as a means of survival and commerce, the end consumer must also make a change. Soy purchases must be viewed in a whole new light. The best way to protect your family from these potential harmful effects is to remove it from yourdietor stick to strictly organic soy and organicprocessed foods.

Learn more:http://www.naturalnews.com/032370_GM_soy_children.html#ixzz1avpKM8zI

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Health Risks of GMO Foods – Seeds of Deception

Posted on 16 October 2010 by admin

The Health Risks of GM Foods: Summary and Debate

This section summarizes the health risks of genetically modified foods and serves as a forum for a global discussion and debate. It is organized around the 65 main point summaries presented on the left side of the two-page spreads in Part 1 of Genetic Roulette. Each section linked below offers the opportunity for people to submit updates, corrections, challenges and responses. Before making a submittal, please review the full content in that section of the book.

Contents at a Glance:

Part 1: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods

Section 1: Evidence of reactions in animals and humans.

1.1 GM Potatoes Damages Rats (see full content)

1.2 Rats Fed GMO Tomatoes got bleeding stomachs, several died

1.3 Rats Fed Bt Corn had multiple health problems

1.4 Mice Fed GM Bt Potatoes had intestinal damage

1.5 Workers exposed to Bt cotton developed allergies

1.6 Sheep died after grazing in Bt cotton fields

1.7 Inhaled Bt corn pollen may have triggered disease in humans

1.8 Farmers report pigs and cows became sterile from GM corn

1.9 Twelve cows in Germany died mysteriously when fed Bt corn

1.10 Mice fed Roundup Ready soy had liver cell problems

1.11 Mice fed Roundup Ready soy had problems with the pancreas

1.12 Mice fed Roundup Ready soy had unexplained changes in testicular cells

1.13 Roundup Ready Soy Changed Cell Metabolism in Rabbit Organs

1.14 Most offspring of rats fed Roundup Ready soy died within three weeks (see full content)

1.15 Soy allergies skyrocketed in the UK, soon after GM soy was introduced

1.16 Rats fed Roundup Ready canola had heavier livers

1.17 Twice the number of chickens died when fed Liberty Link corn

1.18 GM peas generated an allergic-type inflammatory response in mice

1.19 Eyewitness reports: Animals avoid GMOs

1.20 A GM food supplement killed about 100 people

Section 2: Gene insertion disrupts the DNA and can create unpredictable health problems.

2.1 Foreign genes disrupt the DNA at the insertion site.

2.2 Growing GM crops using tissue culture can create hundreds or thousands of DNA mutations. 

2.3 Gene insertion creates genome-wide changes in gene expression. 

2.4 The promoter may accidentally switch on harmful genes. 

2.5 The promoter might switch on a dormant virus in plants. 

2.6 The promoter might create genetic instability and mutations. 

2.7 Genetic engineering activates mobile DNA, called transposons, which generate mutations. 

2.8 Novel RNA may be harmful to humans and their offspring. 

2.9 Roundup Ready soybeans produce unintentional RNA variations. 

2.10 Changes in proteins can alter thousands of natural chemicals in plants, increasing toxins or reducing phytonutrients 

2.11 GM crops have altered levels of nutrients and toxins. 

Section 3: The protein produced by the inserted gene may create problems.

3.1 A gene from a Brazil nut carried allergies into soybeans.

3.2 GM proteins in soy, corn and papaya may be allergens. 

3.3 Bt crops may create allergies and illness.

3.4 The Bt in crops is more toxic than the Bt spray.

3.5 StarLink corn’s built-in pesticide has a “medium likelihood” of being an allergen.

3.6 Pollen-sterilizing barnase in GM crops may cause kidney damage. 

3.7 High lysine corn contains increased toxins and may retard growth. 

3.8 Cooking high lysine corn may create disease-promoting toxins. 

3.9 Disease-resistant crops may promote human viruses and other diseases. 

Section 4: The foreign protein may be different than what is intended.

4.1 GM proteins may be misfolded or have added molecules. 

4.2 Transgenes may be altered during insertion. 

4.3 Transgenes may be unstable, and rearrange over time. 

4.4 Transgenes may create more than one protein. 

4.5 Weather, environmental stress and genetic disposition can significantly change gene expression. 

4.6 Genetic engineering can disrupt the complex relationships governing gene expression. 

Section 5: Transfer of genes to gut bacteria, internal organs, or viruses.

5.1 In spite of industry claims, transgenes survive the digestion system and can wander. 

5.2 Transgene design facilitates transfer into gut bacteria.

5.3 Transgenes may proliferate in gut bacteria over the long-term.

5.4 Transgene transfer to human gut bacteria is confirmed.

5.5 GM foods might create antibiotic-resistant diseases. 

5.6 The promoter can also transfer, and may switch on random genes or viruses.

5.7 If Bt genes transfer, they could turn our gut bacteria into living pesticide factories.

5.8 Genes may transfer to bacteria in the mouth or throat. 

5.9 Transfer of viral genes into gut microorganisms may create toxins and weaken peoples’ viral defenses. 

Section 6: GM crops may increase environmental toxins and bioaccumulate toxins in the food chain.

6.1 Glufosinate-tolerant crops may produce herbicide “inside” our intestines.

6.2 Herbicide-tolerant crops increase herbicide use and residues in food.

6.3 Tiny amounts of herbicide may act as endocrine disruptors.

6.4 GM crops may accumulate environmental toxins or concentrate toxins in milk and meat of GM-fed animals. 

6.5 Disease-resistant crops may promote new plant viruses, which carry risks for humans.

Section 7: Other types of GM foods carry risks.

7.1 Milk from rbGH treated cows may increase risk of cancer and other diseases. 

7.2 Milk from rbGH-treated cows likely increases the rate of twin births.

7.3 Food additives created from GM microorganisms pose health risks.

Section 8: Risks are greater for children and newborns.

8.1 Pregnant mothers eating GM foods may endanger offspring.

8.2 GM foods are more dangerous for children than adults. 

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Coming to a Sausage Near You – “Enviropig” – First GMO Pig Made for Human Consumption

Posted on 06 October 2010 by admin

We’ve been hearing about the dangers of genetically modified plants for some time, but a team of scientists at Canada’s University of Guelph have created what they have named the “Enviropig,” and they hope that its progeny will become the sausage in your next McMuffin. Enviropig looks, acts, and walks like a Yorkshire pig, but the scientists say it’s ‘greener’ in that it has less pollutants in its manure.

A pig’s manure is high in phytates, a form of phosphorus found in corn and other kinds of hog feed. The Enviropig was created by using a strain of E. coli bacteria and mouse genes to add an enzyme to pig saliva called phytase — which breaks down phytates, the pollutant in question. Phytates gather in the environment and cause ecological changes downstream such as algae blooms and pH changes in the soil.

Richard Moccia, Professor of Animal Science and Associate VP of Research at the University of Guelph, believes the animal is safe. “We have done extensive testing on the various internal organs and different meat cuts from the Enviropig, looked at the nutritional content and the amount of protein and fat and minerals and other things contained in the pig. They’re identical to a normal Yorkshire pig,” he says. “Certainly one of the goals of the technology is to produce a pig which could be consumed by humans and enter the food chain.

No one has consumed any Enviropig meat as of yet, even though it’s been around for over a decade. The University tested the animal for nearly ten years before applying for approval from the FDA and the Canadian Health Products and Food Branch. They expect to receive formal acceptance from the FDA in the next few years.

Larisa Rudenko of the FDA’s Animal Biotechnology Interdisciplinary Group knows of the public’s worries. “I think people are particularly concerned about genetic engineering right now,” she says, “and what I can tell the American public is that the FDA has a very rigorous process for assessing the safety of food from such animals, and that no food from a genetically engineered animal will go on the market unless the FDA has demonstrated that it’s safe.

The Director of the Center for Food Safety, Andrew Kimbrell, argues, “It’s a completely novel cell invasion technology where we are crossing the boundaries of nature as no other generation has before. And the question is whether that is safe, whether that is something that we should be doing ethically; those are very serious questions that we as a society need to be asking.” The Center for Food Safety believes that rather than change the pig, we should change our methods of pig farming.

According to some scientists, this is strictly because corn is not fully digestible in a pig’s stomach. The sensible way to eliminate high-phytate pig ‘byproducts’ is to feed the pigs what they’ve evolved to eat. Bill Jones of Buffalo Creek Farm said, “It made sense to allow a pig to eat a natural diet consisting mostly of things that people could not or would not eat, rather than feed it corn…What we have found is that if pigs are allowed to forage for natural food in the forest no antibiotics are necessary. The pigs don’t get sick…Pigs are omnivorous. They will eat grass and other leafy greens. They dig for roots and insects. In the Autumn they eat acorns and other nuts, and fruits such as persimmons.

The University of Guelph attacked the problem from the…ahem…other end. Moccia said that the Enviropig “is a technology to try to reduce the amount of phosphorous that leaves a pig farm. And if you can do that, you can also then reduce and control the amount of phosphorous that gets into the aquatic ecosystem. So really what we’re doing is using the genetic technologies in the pig to try to solve a phosphorous overloading problem into both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

Translation: rather than feed the pig (and ourselves!) the food Nature created it to eat, we consider it a better investment to spend pennies on corn, and hundreds of thousands of dollars on the pig itself. At some point, the US government’s corn subsidy will, in fact, destroy the world, but until then, it’s certainly leading to some interesting innovations.

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FDA Holding Hearings on GMO AquAdvantage Salmon

Posted on 17 September 2010 by admin

FDA hearings regarding allowing GMO salmon into public food supply.

This week the US FDA is holding hearings on the safety of the genetically modified(GMO) AquAdvantage Salmon. The hearings will likely decide whether the GMO salmon will reach American dinner plates any time soon.

AquaBounty has developed a genetically modified Atlantic salmon which carries a gene from a Pacific salmon, a Chinook, that pumps more growth hormone into the young fish. It grows to harvesting size in half the time that a farmed Atlantic salmon normally takes.

AquaBounty Technologies has been working on this genetically altered fish since 1996 in both the US and Canada. Currently altered salmon eggs from Prince Edward Island have been transported to Panama for raising in tanks. The company on its web page points out the lucrative trade in farmed sea food which currently brings in $78.8 billion.

GMO Animals Controversial

The introduction of GMO animals into the food chain is controversial for the same reasons that GMO plants are – there is no reliable way to trace any problems that may arise from consuming them. The GMOs that make their way into the food chain are not labelled as such and consumers do not know which plant foods have been altered. Currently corn, soybeans, canola lead the GMOs in N.America but a plethora of other plants are modified and are in the process of being modified. There is no way to trace any health impact of these synthetic foods.

One of the most troubling side-effects of gene tinkering is a potential increase in allergens or creation of new allergens. A New England Journal of Medicine article on GMO food noted that the potential for allergies created from GMO foods is “uncertain, unpredictable, and untestableCorporate Crime Daily

GMO Salmon Approval Signal for More Gene-Spliced Animals

The FDA has already decreed that there is no significant difference between wild Atlantic salmon and the synthesized one. No labelling should be necessary. If approval is given to market the AquAdvantage salmon in the US, it will open the gates for more species-mixed animals on the dinner plates.

The Enviropig is already waiting in the wings. It has a gene from E.coli and a DNA modifier from a mouse inserted into its genetic makeup in order to promote more efficient digestion of grain. When I was growing up on a two bit old fashioned farm we raised a couple of pigs each year. They got very little grain and a lot of milk and greens, but of course, they didn’t grow really fast either.

Read more about the AquaBounty project within the US in AllVoices article written by Tommy Hollywood FDA About to Approve Frankenfish Salmon.

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Ben & Jerry’s joins GMO salmon protest

Posted on 17 September 2010 by admin

Ben & Jerry's CEO Jostein Solheim fears genetically engineered salmon will lead to the alteration of other animals in the food supply.Ben & Jerry’s CEO Jostein Solheim fears genetically engineered salmon will lead to the alteration of other animals in the food supply. (CBC)Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s weighed in on the debate over genetically modified salmon at a protest in Washington, D.C., Thursday.

The protest in Washington was timed to coincide with a news conference by people opposed to the salmon at the Aqua Bounty facility in Prince Edward Island. Aqua Bounty is approaching the end of a years-long process to have its genetically modified salmon approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

A coalition of groups from both the U.S. and Canada organized the P.E.I. news conference and Washington rally.

Speaking at the Washington protest, Ben & Jerry’s CEO Jostein Solheim said his company won’t use products consumers are not interested in buying.

“Most Americans do not want to eat food made from genetically engineered animals … Ben & Jerry’s certainly has no interest in using foods from animals that are genetically engineered in our product,” said Solheim.

“Today it’s a fish that we’re talking about, but very soon it will be a genetically engineered pig, a chicken, even, God forbid, our beloved cows.”

Scientists from the FDA have produced a report concluding the Aqua Bounty salmon, engineered to grow at twice the normal rate, are not significantly different from other salmon as a food. The FDA will hold public hearings on the fish Sunday and Monday.

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Genetically Manipulated Crops – GMO Catastrophe in the USA is Lesson for the World

Posted on 18 August 2010 by admin

Recently the unelected potentates of the EU Commission in Brussels have sought to override what has repeatedly been shown to be the overwhelming opposition of the European Union population to the spread of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) in EU agriculture. EU Commission President now has a Maltese accountant as health and enviromnent Commissioner to rubber stamp the adoption of GMO. The former EU Environment Commissioner from Greece was a ferocious GMO opponent. As well, the Chinese government has indicated it may approve a variety of GMO rice. Before things get too far along, they would do well to take a closer look at the world GMO test lab, the USA. There GMO crops are anything but beneficial. Just the opposite.

What is carefully kept out of the Monsanto and other agribusiness propaganda in promoting genetically manipulated crops as an alternative to conventional is the fact that in the entire world until the present, all GMO crops have been manipulated and patented for only two things—to be resistant or “tolerant” to the patented highly toxic herbicide glyphosate chemicals that Monsanto and the others force farmers to buy as condition for buying their patented GMO seeds. The second trait is GMO seeds that have been engineered genetically to resist specific insects. Contrary to public relations myths promoted by the agribusiness giants in their own self-interest, there exists not oné single GMO seed that provides a greater harvest yield than conventional, nor one that requires less toxic chemical herbicides. That is for the simple reason there is no profit to be made in such.

Giant super-weeds plague

As prominent GMO opponent and biologist, Dr Mae-Wan Ho of the  Institute of Science in  London has noted, companies such as Monsanto build into their seeds herbicide-tolerance (HT) due to glyphosate-insensitive form of the gene coding for the enzyme targeted by the herbicide. The enzyme is derived from soil bacteriumAgrobacterium tumefaciens. Insect-resistance is due to one or more toxin genes derived from the soil bacterium Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis). The United States began large scale commercial planting of GMO plants, mainly soybeans and corn and cotton around 1997. By now, GM crops have taken over between 85 percent to 91 percent of the areas planted with the three major crops, soybean, corn and cotton in the US, on nearly 171 million acres.

The ecological time-bomb that came with the GMO according to Ho, is about to explode. Over several years of constant application of patented glyphosate herbicides such as Monsanto’s famous and highly Roundup, new herbicide-resistant “super-weeds” have evolved, nature’s response to man-made attempts to violate it. The super-weeds require significantly more not less herbicide to control.

ABC Television, a major US national network, made a recent documentary about the super-weeds under the rubric, “super weeds that can’t be killed.”[1]

They interviewed farmers and scientists across Arkansas who described fields overrun with giant pigweed plants that can withstand as much glyphosate as farmers are able to spray. They interviewed one farmer who spent almost €400000 in only three months in a failed attempt to kill the new super-weeds.

The new super-weeds are so robust that harvester combines are unable to harvest the fields and hand tools break trying to cut them down. At least 400000 hectares of soybean and cotton in Arkansas alone have become invested with this new mutant biological plague. Detailed data on other agricultural regions is not available but believed similar. The pro-GMO and pro-agribusiness US Department of Agriculture has been reported lying about the true state of US crop harvest partly to hide the grim reality and to prevent an explosive revolt against GMO in the world’s largest GMO market.

Superweed

One variety of super-weed, palmer pigweed can grow up to 2.4 meters high, withstands severe heat and prolonged droughts, and produces thousands of seeds with a root system that drains nutrients away from crops. If left unchecked, it takes over an entire field in a year. Some farmers have been forced to abandon their land. To date palmer pigweed infestation in GMO crop regions has been identified in addition to Arkansas, also in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, New Mexico, Mississippi and most recently, Alabama and Missouri.

Weed scientists at the University of Georgia estimate that just two palmer pigweed plants in every 6 meter length of cotton row can reduce yield by at least 23 percent. A single weed plant can produce 450 000 seeds. [2]


Roundup toxic danger being covered-up

Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the US and the world at large. Patented and sold by Monsanto since the 1970s under the trade name Roundup, it is a mandatory component of buying GMO seeds from Monsanto. Just go to your local garden store and ask for it and read the label carefully.

As I detail in my book, Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation, GMO crops and patented seeds were developed in the 1970’s with significant financial support from the pro-eugenics Rockefeller Foundation, by what were essentially chemical companies—Monsanto Chemicals, DuPont and Dow Chemicals. All three were involved in the scandal of the highly toxic Agent Orange used in Vietnam, as well as Dioxin in the 1970’s, and lied to cover up the true damage to its own employees as well as to civilian and military populations exposed.

Their patented GMO seeds were seen as a clever way to force increased purchase of their agricultural chemicals such as Roundup. Farmers must sign a legal contract with Monsanto in which it stipulates that only Monsanto Roundup pesticide may be used. Farmers are thus trapped both in buying new seeds from Monsanto each harvest and buying the toxic glyphosate.

France’s University of Caen, in a team led by molecular biologist, Gilles-Eric Seralini, did a study that showed Roundup contained one specific inert ingredient, polyethoxylated tallowamine, or POEA. Seralini’s team demonstrated that POEA in Roundup was more deadly to human embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells than even the glyphosate itself. Monsanto refuses to release details of the contents of its Roundup other than glyphosate, calling it “proprietary.” [3]

The Seralini study found that Roundup’s inert ingredients amplified the toxic effect on human cells—even at concentrations much more diluted than those used on farms and lawns! The French team studied multiple concentrations of Roundup, from the typical agricultural or lawn dose down to concentrations 100,000 times more dilute than the products sold on shelves. The researchers saw cell damage at all concentrations.

Glyphosate and Roundup are advertised as “less toxic to us than table salt” in a pamphlet from the Biotechnology Institute promoting GMO crops as ‘Weed Warrior.’ Thirteen years of GMO crops in the USA has increased overall pesticide use by 318 million pounds, not decreased as promised by the Four Horsemen of the GMO Apocalypse. The extra disease burden on the nation from that alone is considerable.

Nonetheless after introduction of Monsanto GMO seeds commercially in the USA, use of glyphosate has risen more than 1500% between 1994 and 2005. In the USA some 100 million pounds of glyphosate are used on lawns and farms every year, and over the last 13 years, it has been applied to more than a billion acres. When questioned, Monsanto’s technical development manager, Rick Cole, reportedly said the problems were “manageable.” He advised farmers to alternate crops and use different makes of herbicides produced by Monsanto. Monsanto is encouraging farmers to mix glyphosate with its older herbicides such as 2,4-D, banned in Sweden, Denmark and Norway for links to cancer and reproductive and neurological damage. 2,4-D is a component of Agent Orange, produced by Monsanto for use in Vietnam in the 1960s.


US Farmers turn to organics

Farmers across the United States are reported to be going back to conventional non-GMO crops instead. According to a new report from the US Department of Agriculture, retail sales of organic food went up to $21.1 billion in 2008 from $3.6 billion in 1997.[4] The market is so active that organic farms have struggled at times to produce sufficient supply to keep up with the rapid growth in consumer demand, leading to periodic shortages of organic products.

The new UK Conservative-Liberal coalition government is strongly backing lifting a de facto ban on GMO in that country. UK Chief Scientific Adviser, Prof. John Beddington, recently wrote an article in which he misleadingly claimed “The next decade will see the development of combinations of desirable traits and the introduction of new traits such as drought tolerance. By mid-century much more radical options involving highly polygenic traits may be feasible.” He went on to promise “cloned animals with engineered innate immunity to diseases” and more. I think we can pass that one up, thank you.

A recent study by Iowa State University and the US Department of Agriculture assessing the performance of farms during the three-year transition it takes to switch from conventional to certified organic production showed notable advantages of organic farming over GMO or even conventional non-GMO crops. In an experiment lasting four years—three years transition and first year organic—the study showed that although yields dropped initially, they equalized in the third year, and by the fourth year, the organic yields were ahead of the conventional for both soybean and corn.

As well, the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) has recently been published, the result of three-year deliberation by 400 participating scientists and non-government representatives from 110 countries around the world. It came to the conclusion that small scale organic agriculture is the way ahead for coping with hunger, social inequities and environmental disasters. [5] As Dr Ho argues, a fundamental shift in farming practice is needed urgently, before the agricultural catastrophe spreads further across Germany and the EU to the rest of the world.[6]

Endnotes:

[1] Super weed can’t be killed, abc news, 6 October 2009. See also,Jeff Hampton,  N.C. farmers battle herbicide-resistant weeds, The Virginian-Pilot, 19 July 2009, http://hamptonroads.com/2009/07/nc-farmers-battle-herbicideresistant-weeds

[2] Clea Caulcutt, ‘Superweed’ explosion threatens Monsanto heartlands, Clea Caulcutt, 19 April 2009,http://www.france24.com/en/20090418-superweed-explosion-threatens-monsanto-heartlands-genetically-modified-US-crops

[3] N. Benachour and G-E. Seralini, Glyphosate Formulations Induce Apoptosis and Necrosis in Human Umbilical, Embryonic, and Placental Cells, Chem. Res. Toxicol., Article DOI: 10.1021/tx800218n

Publication Date (Web): December 23, 2008.

[4] Carolyn Dimitri and Lydia Oberholtzer, Marketing U.S. organic foods: recent trends from farms to consumers, USDA Economic Research Service, September 2009, http://www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/EIB58/

[5] International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development, IAASTD, 2008,http://www.agassessment.org/index.cfm?Page=Press_Materials&ItemID=11

[6] Ho MW.UK Food Standards Agency study proves organic food is better. Science in Society 44, 32-33, 2009.

F. William Engdahl  is the author of Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation

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Your Are An Unpaid Participant in Fluoride Experiments

Posted on 09 August 2010 by admin

New York — May 2, 2010 — Sixty-five years ago today, officials added fluoride chemicals into Newburgh, NY’s public water supply making residents guinea pigs in a failed experiment to discover whether fluoride could safely reduce tooth decay. It didn’t. But political pressure declared it a success. Any high school biology student can find the flaws in this “study.” Fluoride researchers are still using our bodies and tax dollars for their own benefit.

Ten years later, 1955, researchers reported that newly fluoridated Newburgh children had more bone defects, anemia and earlier female menstruation than never-fluoridated Kingston children, according to the March 1956 Journal of the American Dental Association. Adults weren’t even examined.

This is the first and only comprehensive U.S. research into fluoridation’s effects to the human body and not just the teeth.

Newburgh’s children were given complete physicals and x-rays, over the course of the study, from birth to age nine in the first year and up to age eighteen in the final year. “(R)outine laboratory studies were omitted in the control group during most of the study, they were included in the final examination,” report Schlesinger and colleagues, in “Newburgh-Kingston caries-fluorine study XIII. Pediatric findings after ten years.”

The researchers also report that:

– “The average age at the menarche was 12 years among the girls studied in Newburgh and 12 years 5 months among the girls in Kingston.”

– Hemoglobin (iron-containing part of a red blood cell): “a few more children in the range below 12.9 grams per hundred milliliters in Newburgh”

— “…a slightly higher proportion of children in Newburgh were found to have a total erythrocyte (red blood cell) count below 4,400,000 per milliliter”

– Knee X-rays of Newburgh children reveals more cortical bone defects, and irregular mineralization of the thigh bone.

Only twenty-five Newburgh children had eye and ear exams. Two had apparent hearing loss. Eight had abnormal vision. Even though researchers discovered more adult cataracts in surveys conducted before 1944 in communities with naturally high water fluoride concentrations, Newburg and Kingston adults were never checked for this defect.

Only two groups of twelve-year-old boys were tested for fluoride’s toxic kidney effects.

“the University of Rochester conducted its own studies, measuring how much fluoride Newburgh citizens retained in their blood and tissues. Health Department personnel cooperated, shipping blood and placenta samples to the Rochester scientists,” writes Christopher Bryson in “The Fluoride Deception,” Three times as much fluoride was found in the placentas and blood samples gathered from Newburgh as from non-fluoridated Rochester, reports Bryson.

Following back the scientific references in all current fluoridation safety literature will invariably lead back to the Newburgh/Kingston study which actually failed to prove fluoridation is safe.

After 65 years of fluoridation delivered to 70% of Americans on public water supplies and virtually all Americans via the food supply, the U.S. Surgeon General reports, tooth decay is a silent epidemic with cavity crises occurring in fluoridated cities, states and countries. See: http://www.FluorideNews.Blogspot.com

What about Newburgh? In 1998, it was reported that children in Newburgh have more cavities and more fluoride-caused discolored teeth (dental fluorosis) than children in never-fluoridated Kingston, according to a New York State Department of Health study.

ALL AMERICANS ARE GUINEA PIGS IN THIS ONGOING EXPERIMENT CALLED FLUORIDATION

The prestigious National Research Council says major gaps exist in the fluoride toxicology literature and encourages more fluoride resesarch, e.g. fluoride’s effects bone, endocrine system and brain function.

It’s time to retire fluoridation and take back our health and water from special interest groups. Tell your legislators and water companies to stop the unnecessary, health-robbing, money-wasting addition of fluoride chemicals into your public water supplies,

Also, take action to end fluoridation here on the national level http://congress.FluorideAction.net

New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc (NYSCOF)

Follow NYSCOF on Twitter or Facebook

Fluoride Action Network

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Genetic modification: glow-in-the-dark lifesavers or mutant freaks?

Posted on 07 August 2010 by admin

As Home Office statistics reveal a 10% rise in the use of genetically modified animals for research, scientists appear to be divided about their usefulness

genetic-modified-piglets-glow

The genetically modified piglet glows in the dark as the result of jellyfish genes introduced into its cells at the University of Missouri. Photograph: Rex Features

At first glance, the creation of a chicken that glows in the dark seems a disturbing and unnecessary one. With a jellyfish gene inserted into its DNA, a hen modified this way acquires the power to fluoresce in a bright green hue when illuminated with blue light – an unsettling ability, to say the least. After all, who needs poultry that can shine a light on itself? More important, why go to the trouble of mixing the DNA of two such dissimilar creatures in the first place?

It is an important question that has recently been reflected in headlines that followed the release of Home Office figures which show there was a dramatic rise in the creation of genetically modified animals in laboratories in 2009. In total, 1.5m experiments on GM animals were carried out, a rise of 143,000 from the previous year. At the same time, there was a corresponding decrease in experiments on “natural” animals.

In other words, more and more scientists are now relying on the use of GM animals, as opposed to unmodified ones, for their research. But what gives the insertion of a piece of DNA from one living being into another such an advantage for scientists? After all, inserting invertebrate genes into mammals, and vice versa, is not easy. It also makes the public uncomfortable and raises the hackles of animal rights organisations. Yet it has become the standard route for researchers. Why?

Consider that glowing poultry. Fluorescent chickens were developed by scientists at Edinburgh University’s Roslin Institute, the zoological research organisation responsible for the creation of Dolly the sheep. As we have noted, the technique involves putting jellyfish genes into the DNA of a chick so that it makes a green, fluorescent protein. “The protein itself does not affect the chicken in any way but it is a very useful tool for looking at the very early embryos,” says Roslin researcher Professor Helen Sang.

The crucial point is that chicks are extremely useful for studying embryo development because their growth takes place inside an egg which can be kept in an incubator and studied fairly easily. By contrast, a mammal foetus gestates inside the uterus of its mother, making it far harder for researchers to monitor physiological changes. Thus the chick provides us with a key model for understanding the development of early embryos for all vertebrates, including humans. But the technique had been pushed to its limits by scientists – until the arrival of the GM mutant. This allows scientists to tinker with the way in which an embryo develops and so reveal processes that were previously obscured.

“You can take a sample of cells from a green embryo and then put them into a normal embryo,” says Sang. “You can then watch and see what organ that group of cells develops into because that tissue will have a green fluorescence. For example, if this part of the chick embryo develops into stem cells, that tells us whether other animals, including humans, have stem cells in that part of their embryos and will therefore provide us with important basic biological insights.” In other words, stem-cell science can get a boost from the glowing green chicken.

In fact, the chicken turns out to be a popular target for modification. Roslin scientists are also working on a strain that can express therapeutic proteins in the whites of eggs. In particular, they are working on whites in which the hen expresses antibodies that can block viruses which cause enteric – ie gut – diseases. Thus it may be possible one day to cook omelettes that could prevent us succumbing to disease, though most scientists envisage a slightly different route in which GM egg whites are dried out before their antibodies are removed and administered separately.

But what geneticists have not developed, insists Sang, is the featherless chicken, illustrated on the right. This animal is often held up as the ultimate GM horror, created so that farmers will be saved the effort of having to pluck feathers before poultry are sold to supermarkets. In fact, the partly featherless chicken is a species containing a natural mutation called naked neck which is becoming popular in hot countries, such as Israel, where the animals can be kept cool without a full feather covering .

Nevertheless, there are other criticisms of the use of GM animals, as the watchdog group GeneWatch has pointed out. Its director Helen Wallace says the rise in the use of GM animals reveals a disturbing trend: the “genetification” of biology. “There are undoubtedly some legitimate uses of GM animals but this blanket rise is worrying and bears little relation to reality,” she says. Wallace points to the widespread creation of animals – mice in particular – that have been genetically altered so they succumb to human conditions such as obesity and cancer. These mutants are then used to test drugs that could counter these ailments in humans.

“The trouble with this approach is that it stresses the use of medical intervention for ailments that also have clear environmental causes,” says Wallace. “Too much food and exposure to pollutants are also clear causes of cancer and obesity, but these are being ignored because of our obsession with genetics. In fact, in many conditions, genes have only a small role to play in the causation of the disease, yet we have become fixated on trying to tackle them, to the detriment of other, more fruitful approaches.”

This point is acknowledged – partially – by genetic engineers. “We do concentrate a lot on genetic approaches to disease, but that is because we geneticists are only now catching up with other sciences,” says Luke Alphey, head of Oxitec, an Oxford University spin-off genetics company. “For the first time, we have got the tools to do this sort of thing. And in any case, a disease is generally a combination of genetic and environmental causes. So the more we learn about genetic influences the more we will know about their environmental influences as well.”

Alphey and his colleagues are working on techniques to prevent mosquitoes from spreading dengue fever, a severe, sometimes fatal viral illness that affects between 50 to 100 million people a year. “We have created a strain of genetically modified male mosquitoes of theAedes aegypti species, the one responsible for spreading dengue fever,” he says. “These males produce offspring that do not develop fully. So they block the appearance of new A. aegypti mosquitoes. Released into the wild, which we hope to do in a few years, these GM mosquitoes should eradicate A. aegypti populations and halt new dengue fever cases. If the technique works, we will have demonstrated just how powerful and useful this technology can be.”

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