Monday, June 17, 2013

For my Nephew, Brent

Brent, Please read, and let's discuss the following:


I’d like to comment on the “factual” information below, its sources and your interpretation of what is said.  I’ll only comment on the items that I know first-hand about or can research in a short time.  Trust me, there is a lot of food items that have, somewhere in the process, a GMO-derived ingredient or processing aid.  Without these, particularly the enzymes, various sweeteners, etc. much of our food would be unavailable or too expensive to produce.  Numerous foods have been genetically manipulated using recombinant DNA (rDNA) technology.

Let me start by saying that nearly all of our crop foods and animal-derived food have been genetically manipulated, not by rDNA, but by breeding, hybridization, cross pollination, etc.  Now, let me address the difference.  Cross-breeding, in-breeding and various ways of developing species into what we see at the grocery store is nothing like the “wild type” from which it was developed.  Take the example of corn:  the native americans cultivated a variety of corn that looked more like a tiny version of sorghum or such.  The big ears we see in the cornfield, prior to rDNA, went through a long development process with many blind alleys, failures, perhaps even toxic varieties being developed along the way.  I know of a “traditionally” developed variety of celery that was develop as “the next best thing” and it produced a toxic substance that attacked the skin of the workers to the point that they couldn’t handle it.  Obviously a failure.

Enter rDNA technology:  The placement of known sequences of DNA into various organisms/plants, etc. carry characteristics, which are or can be fully described and express proteins or amino acids which impart the wanted effect.   The former is Shotgun Genetics, the latter sniper accurate, to make a comparison.  Mobile genetic elements are, in a sense common to both methods, it’s just the accuracy with which change gets accomplished that makes the difference.

Let’s look at the statements below:

(NaturalNews) In the aftermath of the defeat of Proposition 37 in California, many more Americans are now aware of the existence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and their unlabeled presence throughout the food supply. But with this awareness has come a lot of confusion, as the processed food and biotechnology industries have spent a lot of money and effort spreading propaganda and lies about GMOs.  This is a very general statement, which could be said about any marketing effort.  I’d like to see a specific example of a LIE being spread by Biotech Industry.   So to help set the record straight, we have outlined seven specific ways in which GMOs damage animals, plants, soil, and ultimately humanity.

1) GMOs disrupt digestion. 
Again, a very general and poorly substantiated statement.   Purveyors of GMOs claim that the human body is unable to tell the difference between GMOs and natural food. But a 2004 study published in the journal Nature Biotechnology  Actually, this magazine is entitled “Natural Health and is a publication of the “Natural Health Alliance” an anti- biotechnology lobbying organization.  It is NOT a peer-reviewed scientific journal,  tells a different story, having found that transgenic plant DNA actually persists in the human gastrointestinal tract upon consumption. According to this important I could not find where this “Important Study” was published except in this magazine.  I seriously doubt its validity.  study, which is the closest thing to a human clinical trial that has ever been conducted with GMOs, genetic material from GMOs actually transfers into the DNA of living bacteria in the gut, where it reproduces indefinitely. (  This statement is a complete fabrication:  DNA can pass from organism to organism under very specific conditions, but not on a wholesale basis as intimated here.

2) GMOs cause cancer. The most recent study to identify a link between GMO consumption and the formation of cancer, the so-called Seralini Study
could not find where this was published and I doubt the conclusions are completely unbiased  provides solid evidence showing that GMOs are processed by mammals far differently than natural foods.  According to this study's findings, rats fed a lifetime of GMOs sprayed with the toxic Roundup (glyphosate) herbicide developed serious tumors that took over their entire bodies. An earlier study published in the International Journal of Biological Sciences arrived at similar results, with the addition of organ failure as a symptom of GMO consumption. (  Brent, here is the history of the “so-called Seralini Study: 

The Séralini affair began in September 2012, and involved the publication and publicization of the results of experiments conducted by Gilles-Eric Séralini, which were then confuted by the scientific community.[1] The experiments involved feeding Monsanto's Roundup-resistant NK103 maize (called corn in North America) and the herbicide Roundup to rats, over the rats' two-year lifespan.[2] In the paper and in the press conference, Séralini claimed that the results showed that Roundup-resistant maize and Roundup are toxic.

The press conference was widely covered in the media, the paper was used in the debate over Proposition 37 in California (a referendum over labeling of GM (genetically modified) food that was voted on in November 2012), and it led to bans on importation of certain GMOs in Russia and Kenya. Séralini had required that journalists sign a confidentiality agreement in order to receive a copy of the paper prior to the press conference - an extremely rare requirement in scientific publishing. During the press conference Séralini also announced that he was releasing a book and a documentary film on the research. The release of the book and movie in conjunction with the scientific paper, and the requirement that journalists sign a confidentiality agreement, were also widely criticized and critically peer reviewed.[3]

After the paper was published, the conclusions that Séralini drew from the experiments were widely criticized, as was the design of the experiments.[3] The paper was also refuted by many food standards agencies.[4] Other long term studies, which were publicly funded, have uncovered no health issues.


3) GMOs increase herbicide use. Contrary to industry claims, GMOs have not reduced the need for chemical inputs, but rather greatly expanded it. According to a comprehensive, 16-year review of chemical use in conjunction with the advent of GMOs in 1996, researchers from Washington State University's Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources found that herbicide use has increased by an astounding 527 millions pounds since GMOs were first introduced. To make matters worse, Roundup, the chemical of choice for many GMOs, has been found to persist in soils, waterways, and other environmental nooks and crannies, and sometimes it even ends up contaminating water supplies. (

4) GMOs damage native species. A major point of contention with GMOs is that they can very easily pass their traits onto non-GMO, organic, and native crops and other plants, effectively destroying their very integrity permanently. Hundreds of farmers have actually been sued by Monsanto and other
GMO giants over the years after their crops were inadvertently contaminated by GMOs. GMOs are also responsible for killing off bees, bats, butterflies, and other pollinators, whose bodies are unable to handle the onslaught of altered DNA and chemicals that are characteristic of GMO technologies. (

5) GMOs pollute the environment. Mainstream scientists and industry spokespersons often gloat about the supposed environmental benefits of GMOs. But the truth of the matter is that GMOs and the chemicals used to grow them are a major source of environmental pollution. A 2011 study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science found that the Bacillus thuriengensis (Bt) bacteria engineered into Monsanto's GM corn can now be found in hundreds of streams and waterways throughout the U.S. Midwest. Another study published in the journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry revealed that Roundup herbicide is also present in many waterways and groundwater sources throughout America as well. (

6) GMOs deplete soil minerals, destroy beneficial bacteria. The presence of Roundup, Bt bacteria, and other GMO byproducts in our water and soil would only be half as bad if these toxins merely persisted as innocuous pollutants. But studies have shown that these chemicals actually degrade and deplete soils of vital minerals and beneficial bacteria, both of which protect crops from pests, viruses, and other threatening elements. Glyphosate, the active component in Roundup, also does not biodegrade, which means it is continually accumulating in the environment without restraint, perpetually altering soil composition and contaminating natural resources. (

7) GMOs spawn crop-destroying 'superweeds,' 'superbugs.' The basic premise behind how GMOs work portends that artificially engineering crops with resistance to certain chemicals and exposures that would otherwise harm or kill them can improve yields and protect the environment. And this built-in resistance has allowed farmers to indiscriminately spray chemicals like Roundup on their crops without worrying about killing them. But this system is now failing, as the weeds and pests targeted by GMO technologies have mutated and developed resistance to crop chemicals and Bt toxin. As a result, pestilence and disease is on the rise due to GMOs, which spells eventual disaster for the food supply. (

To learn more about the dangers of GMOs, visit the Institute for Responsible Technology:

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