By Kevin Hayden
The adulteration and modification of some of the planet’s most widely used crops has changed our food landscape. Chemicals, preservatives, genetic modification and low-cost substitutions and fillers have wrecked meals that were once healthy for us. Stepping inside of a grocery store nowadays, we find ourselves in a dangerous and toxic new world. The introduction of genetically modified organisms into the food supply in the 1990′s, coupled with rampant use of carcinogens such as aspartame, and substitutions like high fructose corn syrup, set the perfect stage to form a deadly concoction known as processed food. Sadly, this is what encompasses the average American diet.
Genetically modified foods are now found in approximately 80% of all food in a typical grocery store.
What Exactly is a GMO?
A GMO, or genetically modified organism, is the result of a laboratory process of taking genes from one species and inserting them into another in an attempt to obtain a desired trait or characteristic, hence they are also known as transgenic organisms. This process may be called either Genetic Engineering (GE) or Genetic Modification (GM); they are one and the same.
It’s Hard to Be Informed Without Labels!
In Germany and throughout the European Union, food products that contain GMOs must be properly labeled as such. As a result, there are few GM products on store shelves because, when made aware of their presence, consumers almost unanimously reject them. But what many people fail to realize, both in Europe and in the US, is that conventional livestock is often fed GM soy and corn, which ultimately ends up on store shelves in the form of conventional meat, milk, and eggs.
Furthermore, the development of genetically modified foods often comes from seed and chemical companies, such as Monsanto, the developer of Roundup Weed Killer. Monsanto inserts most GMOs with a bacterial gene which allows the plant to survive a normally deadly dose of Roundup herbicide. Although the spray doesn’t kill the plant, its active ingredient called glyphosate accumulates in the plant, and is then consumed by rats, livestock, and humans.
Roundup Ready, Chemicals, and Glyphosate
There is so much glyphosate in GM soybeans, that when they were introduced in Europe, countries had to increase their allowable residue levels by 200 fold.
In the Journal of Toxicology in Vitro, researchers found that Monsanto’s popular “weed killer,” known as Roundup, is capable of interfering with and/or harming the male reproductive system. (Dec., 2011)
Glyphosate is considered to be within safe, acceptable levels up to 10,000 ppm. What is more disturbing is that even at a lower, presumably “non toxic” and almost non existent concentration of 1 ppm of Roundup herbicide, testosterone concentrations were observed to decrease by 35%.
A German university study has found significant concentrations of glyphosate in the urine samples of city dwellers. The analysis of the urine samples found that all had concentrations of glyphosate at 5 to 20-fold the limit for drinking water. As well as being used increasingly widely in food production, glyphosate-based weedkillers often also get sprayed onto railway lines, urban pavements, and roadsides.
News of this study comes not long after the publication of a study confirming glyphosate was contaminating groundwater. Last year also saw the publication of two US Geological Survey studies which consistently found glyphosate in streams, rain and even air in agricultural areas of the US.
Genetically modified crops are causing a growing epidemic of “superweeds.” These massive weeds have evolved a resistance to glyphosate, a chemical used on GM crops. Stronger toxic chemicals and soil-eroding tillage operations are required in order to eliminate superweeds.
Furthermore, by increasing the need for stronger and more poisonous pesticides, Dow Chemical company is awaiting approval from the USDA for their new line of corn and soybeans resistant to 2, 4-D, a chemical related to Agent Orange.
Years ago, this same Agent Orange ingredient was suggested, but the USDA stated that glyphosate was much safer and effective. We now see super-weeds resistant to gylphosate and so the USDA is nearing a complete reversal on its earlier statements by approving 2, 4-D to be inserted into the genes of our food staples.
GMOS were initially promoted as a bio-technology to reduce pesticide usage, but GM crops in the US used 26 percent more pesticides, per acre, in 2008 than non-GMO crops, based on US Department of Agriculture (USDA) data.
Animal Studies and Further Reproductive Issues
In a Brazilian study, female rats fed GM soy for 15 months showed significant changes in their uterus and reproductive cycle, compared to rats fed organic soy or those raised without soy. (Published in The Anatomical Record in 2009)
In Haryana, India, a team of investigating veterinarians report that buffalo consuming GM cottonseed suffer from infertility, as well as frequent and spontaneous abortions, premature deliveries, and prolapsed uteruses.
A study of male rabbits showed that glyphosate can cause a reduction in sexual activity and sperm concentration, and an increase in dead or abnormal sperm.
… “As an example, it is now being discovered that pollen from genetically modified corn can kill monarch butterflies,” writes Ron Garner in his book Conscious Health.
A Cornell University study showed that monarch butterflies suffered higher mortality rates when consuming milkweed leaves dusted with the Bt toxin associated with GM crops.
Industry mouthpieces have long alleged that Monsanto’s Bt toxin, which is derived from a soil bacterium known as Bacillus thuringiensis, is harmless to humans. The built-in pesticide has been integrated into certain GM crops to ward off pests. Bt corn, for instance, has actually been designed to produce the toxin directly inside its kernels, which are later eaten by both livestock and humans. (http://www.naturalnews.com/026426_G…) -
In the recent study, researchers Aziz Aris and Samuel Leblanc evaluated 30 pregnant women and 39 non-pregnant women … researchers detected Monsanto’s Bt Cry1Ab toxin in a shocking 93 percent of maternal and 80 percent of fetal blood samples. And 69 percent of non-pregnant women tested positive for the toxin in their blood.
In what is being described as the first ever and most comprehensive study of the effects of genetically modified foods on mammalian health, researchers have linked organ damage with consumption of Monsanto’s GM maize (corn):
“Three varieties of Monsanto’s GM corn – Mon 863, insecticide-producing Mon 810, and Roundup® herbicide-absorbing NK 603 – were approved for consumption by US, European and several other national food safety authorities… “Effects were mostly concentrated in kidney and liver function, the two major diet detoxification organs, but in detail differed with each GM type. In addition, some effects on heart, adrenal, spleen and blood cells were also frequently noted.
As there normally exists sex differences in liver and kidney metabolism, the highly statistically significant disturbances in the function of these organs, seen between male and female rats, cannot be dismissed as biologically insignificant as has been proposed by others.
We therefore conclude that our data strongly suggests that these GM maize varieties induce a state of hepatorenal toxicity….These substances have never before been an integral part of the human or animal diet and therefore their health consequences for those who consume them, especially over long time periods are currently unknown.”
In regards to consuming Bt and GMO corn:
US corn agriculture (almost exclusively genetically engineered) has been criticized as environmentally unsustainable and conspicuously subsidized by the Federal government. Of the 160 food products that can be purchased at a Wendy’s fast-food restaurant, not one item can be traced back to a non-corn source. (It’s hard to avoid corn ingredients and by-products, with high fructose corn syrup being the most common!)
When speaking about high fructose corn syrup, one must understand that due to the government subsidies and the huge lobbying firms who stand behind corn, it has now become the dominant ingredient in our food supply. Corn syrup is far cheaper to manufacture than real sugar and it is added to almost everything. Aside from the human body’s irregular, confused, and cancerous response to the unnatural high fructose corn syrup, it is mostly made from genetically modified corn supplies. Your bread, soft drinks, juices, processed meats, pastas, chips, desserts, and everything in between have countless forms of GMO corn and high fructose corn syrup.
Agencies and Countries Condemning or Banning GMOs
The German government has banned the cultivation of genetically modified corn, calling it, “a danger to the environment.”
The World Trade Organization, as urged by the United States, Argentina and Canada, ruled in 2006 that banning genetically modified foods was against trade rules. However, Austria and Hungary went ahead with their bans, regardless. The trade rules have since been overturned and now allow member countries to develop their own policies.
The Polish government adopted a policy on GMO food in November 2008. It allows cultivating GMOs only in laboratories and bans GMO trade; it also opposes cultivation of genetically modified foods.
Ireland has banned the growing of GM crops, and a voluntary GM-free label can be placed on all animal products–such as meat, poultry, eggs, fish, crustaceans, and dairy–that are raised with GM-free feed, according to a GM-Free Ireland press release.
Sri Lanka has banned the importation of genetically modified foods, preservatives and additives.
“This decision shows the majority of Swiss do not want genetically modified food on their plates,” Marlyse Dormond, a member of Parliament who backed the ban, told Radio Suisse Romande.
Greece has extended a ban on a strain of genetically modified corn produced by U.S. agriculture biotechnology company Monsanto for another two years.
France banned GMO maize (corn) in February of 2008, invoking a so-called safeguard clause because of, “serious risks for the environment.”
The four regions of Tuscany, Molise, Lazio and Marche and around 25 provinces, cities and communes in Italy banned GE crops, including Rome, Milan, Turin, Brescia and Genoa. These are all democratically-taken decisions in local or regional councils and in the case of Tuscany, the result has been ratified by the national government.
Portugal has two regions, the Algarve region and the Madeira islands, that have declared themselves GMO-free. Additionally, 27 municipalities all over Portugal have passed GMO-free declarations.
Peru’s Congress overwhelmingly approved a 10-year moratorium on imports of genetically modified organisms in order to safeguard the country’s biodiversity.
The Environmental Protection Agency has recently found that Monsanto’s genetically modified corn, which was created to kill insects, may be losing its effectiveness against rootworms. Furthermore, the EPA stated “Monsanto’s program for monitoring suspected cases of resistance is ‘inadequate’”.
Genetically engineered agriculture is an extension of the current industrial-farming practices that have resulted in the loss of family farms and farmer livelihoods around the globe.
In recent years, India has seen an incredible surge in GM cotton farmer suicides. This is attributed to the GM cotton and repeated spraying of herbicides destroying the fertility of the soil and the micro-organisms that exist naturally, resulting in massive crop failures. Additionally, many farmers have bankrupted themselves by having to purchase new seed every year from the bio-tech companies due to implanted seed self-termination genes.
GMO crops are promoted as way to feed the world and mitigate hunger; however, numerous studies demonstrate that the GM crops do not produce higher yields as claimed. As one example, a USDA publication reports that “GM crops do not increase the yield potential.”
Monsanto, the world leader in genetically modified crops and seeds, has been named the worst company of 2011 by Natural Society — for “threatening both human health and the environment.”
Kevin Hayden is a former New Orleans police officer-turned-political activist. He endured Hurricane Katrina’s chaos and societal collapse in the days following and after 5 years in New Orleans, moved to Oklahoma. Kevin currently runs www.TruthisTreason.net and works on local politics and education about our monetary, food, and foreign policies while building an off-grid homestead and helping people become prepared. He can be contacted directly at Contact@TruthisTreason.net
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