If Genetically Modified Foods Are Safe, Why Aren’t They Labeled

QuestionEverything2
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
August 2, 2016

“The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge.”
– Thomas Berger

“The greatest gift is not to be afraid to question.”
– Ruby Dee

Imagine yourself being the CEO of a big Biotech Corporation.

Imagine yourself being CEO of the most powerful Biotech Corporation on Earth.

The Board of Directors and yourself are having a meeting, and everyone’s discussing data on how genetically modified organisms [GMOs] are the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Every single one of you in this room is in agreement that Genetically Modified Foods, that your company has helped create, is a safe, great product.

Please keep in mind, as CEO, your ultimate job is that of increased profits for the company.  If you don’t perform, no profits are had, and you lose your jobs. 

Now, knowing this, as CEO of the most powerful Biotech corporation on the planet, wouldn’t it behoove you to label your product so people realize what type of product they are getting – that of a ‘safe’ variety?  Wouldn’t you and your company want people to realize which products you helped create as head of this corporation, since, not only they are ‘safe’, but ‘nutritious’?  Wouldn’t you, and your company, and ALL other Big Biotech companies want people to know who’s creating a more superior product as compared with everyone else, so that profits can begin and a pipeline of profits can be streamlined directly into your company?

The profit motive alone would lead one to believe that that if you wish people to use more of your product, as CEO, and if you wish to increase profits, then therefore you would want people to know when they are using to your product so they can stick with it, thus increasing profits year over year.  After all, as CEO, that’s your job.

Furthermore, even if other companies didn’t want to label their products [for whatever reason that would be], wouldn’t you, as CEO, want to distance yourself and your Biotech Company from other companies that will cut into your profits [since no genetically modified food products are labeled], in order to show that not only does your product works, but you are proud of it, and you want people knowing which product you help create so they can further support you and your righteous endeavours?

Ruminate upon that a bit.

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Decoupling from the above foray into the realm of imagination, let’s use another analogy.

Imagine yourself a prospective buyer of a new vehicle.  You just got a huge signing bonus to a job, and you have enough money to spend to purchase a brand spanking new $50,000 vehicle.

You and your other half go to the car dealership looking for this new vehicle.

Excitedly, both of you set off into the parking lot and begin browsing vehicles.  But then, you realize something rather odd.  None of the cars have logos on them.  You can’t tell which company made which car.  Well shucks, that would be quite suspect, right?

How could you verify from which company which car came?  You couldn’t.  How could you verify if the claims of the car’s performance match that of the official company specs?  You couldn’t.  How could you verify if the car’s safety data matches that of the official tests?  You couldn’t. 

Knowing all this, would you as prospective buyer, purchase a car from – Heaven knows whom? – this dealership?  Or would you go elsewhere where they tell you exactly what you’re getting?

Ruminate on that for a bit.

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Both examples are quite salient, because we have products, whose claims are being made are safe and effective, but which have no labels.

Except this has a direct correlation to the issue of Genetically Modified Organisms/Foods.

If you wouldn’t purchase a car if you didn’t know who made it and couldn’t verify its safety et al., why would you purchase foods that have genetically modified organisms from company _______ [we don’t know from which company, they aren’t labeled after all]?

After thinking long and incisively, you probably wouldn’t, would you?

This is one of the greatest issues that we as a society are faced with.

While other countries like Russia and others are banning [not labeling, banning] genetically modified foods/organisms, here in the United States, sell-out politicians and corrupt corporations just finished creating a law that obfuscates the issue even more that’s Orwellianly called Dark Act [who are they keeping in the dark?].

Thankfully, there is a solution at hand.  There are healthier alternatives, and for that please read this.

In our information age, individuals need to be cognizant when they are eating real food and when they are not.  If we don’t, we set ourselves up for failure at the outset and stand to lose greatly.

If we don’t look out for our health and that of our kith and kin, nobody will.

Vote with your dollars.  Make it count.

Support yourself, rather than those to seek to profit from you at your expensive.

If we don’t, humanity’s next chapter will be a Dark Act indeed.

GMOs & Health – The Scientific Basis For Serious Concern & Immediate Action

GMOs and Health: The Scientific Basis for Serious Concern and Immediate Action
Source: GreenMedInfo.com
Nathan Daley, MD, MPH

You might ask, “why all the fuss about agricultural genetically modified organisms (GMOs)?” After all, regulatory agencies have approved these technologies for widespread application and consumption, so they must be safe, right?  Well, the truth is that there is no agency and no industry that  works to protect our health.  At best, the EPA, USDA, and FDA attempt to respond to our disease after the cause is widespread.  At that point only risk reduction, rather than risk avoidance, can be achieved.  This has been the case historically with radium paint, tobacco, particulate air pollution, water pollution, asbestos, lead, food-borne illnesses, and DDT.  A number of the various 80,000 chemicals in production will likely be added to this list in the future while the majority of them that actually do contribute to disease (often in combination and in complex ways) will never be scientifically associated with disease.  This is because science is far from perfect, scientific methodology is always biased and often manipulated, and scientific interpretation by stakeholders and decision makers is alarmingly inept (I’m not being political or condescending, these are well known and easily observed facts).

The situation with agricultural GMOs is unique compared to other technologies. While genetic engineering of food crops has been ongoing for 15 years, it is currently experiencing a major boom with the potential for widespread worldwide application.  Yet, few people understand how a GMO food could really be so much different than a non-GMO food in regard to health and disease effects.  GMO foods look like non-GMO foods and so we don’t experience the same hesitation and aversion to consuming them like we would, say, a clearly labeled bottle of virus and pesticide in tomato juice.  Therefore, the quality of public education, consumer awareness, and informed public discussion about this technology has the potential to alter the future of GMO agriculture for better or worse.

In this article, I’ll first briefly mention the relative paucity of risk assessment studies on GMOs and the unbelievable weaknesses of the industry studies that have been done.  Then, drawing from numerous independent studies, I will explore the routes by which agricultural GMOs may cause adverse health effects.

GMOs Have Never Been “Proven” Safe

Let me be clear; despite the following negative review of industry science, this article is not a hatchet job against the agricultural GMO industry but, rather, a vehicle for consolidated scientific information on the safety or risks of GMO foods intended to allow readers to make informed choices about this technology.  It is just that, well, the science coming from the industry tends to raise serious concerns and suggests that the agricultural GMO industry has little concern for protecting public and ecosystem health.  Before we dive into the independent non-industry studies which suggest potential harm from GMO crops and foods, we must first look at the studies which supposedly demonstrate the safety of GMO crops and foods.  A critique of these studies remained impossible for some time as the data was kept private, until French researchers obtained a court order for their release.  This team of researchers, lead by Joel Spiroux de Vendomois, then analyzed the raw data from studies on three varieties of GMO corn owned by Monsanto.  Yet, it immediately became apparent that this data was not extremely helpful as the study methodology was profoundly insufficient.  In a 2010 paper published in the International Journal of Biological Sciences[1], the researchers summarize several major flaws in the study.  I’ll list just a few of them here:

  1. For each of the three varieties of GMO corn tested, only a single study was done.  However, a central tenet of sound science is that the results are reproducible and replicated by other studies, preferably those done by different researchers.
  2. Only the rat was used as a toxicological model.  Rats are useful models for the human detoxification systems, but poor models for human reproductive and embryological systems.  Remember, rat studies “proved” that thalidomide was safe for pregnant women to use… but the rabbit studies done AFTER thousands of babies were harmed “proved” that it caused birth defects!  Scientific proof is only as good as the scientific studies, which are always limited and narrowly focused.
  3. The studies lasted only 3 months and were done on young adult rats.  Yet, captive rats live about 24 months.  No studies looking at late life outcomes from this brief exposure or studies which used lifelong exposure to GMOs were performed.  This is clearly a problem unless human consumers are only supposed to eat GMO foods for no longer than 9 years between the ages of 10 and 20.  Yet, GMO food technology has been released (without labeling) with the intention of lifelong consumption.
  4. No reproductive or developmental studies were done.  Yet GMO foods do not carry a label declaring that their safety during pregnancy has not been evaluated.  Instead, they are unlabeled and meant to be consumed by both genders, at all ages and developmental stages, including during pregnancy and infancy.
  5. Adverse outcomes were only considered if they occurred in both genders!  Clearly genders are different.  For instance, women are much more likely to get breast cancer than men, and one must have a prostate to get prostate cancer.  In the industry studies, increases in prostate cancer in male rats and increases in mammary tumors in female rats would apparently have been omitted since they differed between genders.  This explains exactly what happened to their findings that male rats eating GMO corn had an 11% increase in heart size while female rats eating GMO corn had a 40% increase in serum triglycerides[2].   It is not clear what to make of these findings, but they should not have been omitted and, instead, should have been used to encourage more numerous and longer duration (lifespan) studies before the worldwide release of GMO corn.
  6. Adverse outcomes which are consider “normal” in old rats were omitted in this young rat population.  For instance, the researchers did not consider “chronic progressive nephropathy”, a kidney disease common in older rats, to be a problem even though it was occurring in young, 5 month old, rats eating the GMO corn.

Now, I can attest that modern toxicology students training at respectable universities are taught to do much better work than this. We can only speculate about the reasons such limited study methodologies were chosen.  Nonetheless, these are the studies which the FDA determined to be sufficient for the approval of the three GMO corn varieties represented.  As if the major flaws in the study methodologies were not enough to warrant a different decision, the French team of researchers found a number of concerning associations upon re-analyzing the raw data[3].  They summarize:

Our analysis clearly reveals for the 3 GMOs new side effects linked with GM maize consumption, which were sex- and often dose-dependent. Effects were mostly associated with the kidney and liver, the dietary detoxifying organs, although different between the 3 GMOs. Other effects were also noticed in the heart, adrenal glands, spleen and hematopoietic system. We conclude that these data highlight signs of hepatorenal toxicity, possibly due to the new pesticides specific to each GM corn.

This is not the only group of researchers to demonstrate an association between GMO consumption and adverse health outcomes.  Despite the industries resistance to providing GMO varieties to outside researchers for independent studies, there are still dozens of studies available to the public for review.  I’ll synthesize the findings of several of these studies below in considering the possible mechanisms by which agricultural GMOs may cause problems.  In general, the health effects of agricultural GMOs are mediated through at least three routes; 1. Directly though ingestion, 2. Indirectly through GMO associated pesticide exposure and ingestion, and 3. Indirectly through environmental and ecosystem effects.

Effects of GMO ingestion:

Ingesting GMOs can affect both the microbiome and human cells.  The microbiome is the microorganism population which lives on and in the human body.  Most of it exists in or on the mouth, nose, stomach, intestines, and skin.  The gut microbiome has received considerable attention due to its apparently profound effect on the immune system, not to mention its effect on food digestion.  The gut microbiome is involved in determining the risk of autoimmune diseases, allergic diseases, cardiovascular disease, and some infectious diseases like osteomyelitis.  The microbiome can get out of balance (called dysbiosis) and produce severe diseases such as Clostridium difficile overgrowth and more mild disorders like small bowel bacterial overgrowth and irritable bowel syndrome.  The bottom line is that a balanced microbiome is critical for health and we are just now beginning to appreciate how serious the consequences of dysbiosis may be.

Continue Reading At: GreenMedInfo.com

Growing Doubt – A Scientist’s Experience With GMOs

GMOs
Source: Mercola.com
Dr. Mercola
January 17, 2016

Scientific misconduct and fraud: most of us have no concept of how they influence our food. Jonathan Latham, a scientist with a master’s degree in crop and a Ph.D. in plant virology, sheds much-needed light on this issue.

Together with his wife, Allison Wilson, who is also a scientist, he founded the Bioscience Resource Project, an organization with a mission “to provide the highest quality scientific information and analysis to enable a healthy food system and a healthy world.”

He’s also the editor of Independent Science News.

Part of his career was spent doing medical research in the genetics department at the University of Wisconsin. He also worked in the U.K., where many of his coworkers were proposing ambitious research projects designed to alter soil microbiology and cure plant viruses using novel transgenic techniques.

As explained by Latham in the video, when you make a transgene, you take different parts of genes from different organisms, and you put them together to (hopefully) get them to do what you want them to do.

Once a transgene performs according to expectation, it is used to develop commercial transgenic plants carrying that particular feature. However, Latham noticed that the end results were frequently potentially very dangerous, both to plants and people, which made him question the purpose of it all.

“There were people proposing ideas in molecular genetics and genetic engineering that were incredibly ambitious and interesting to think about from an intellectual perspective, but really quite scary if you thought about what would happen in the real world,” he says.

U.S. Regulatory System Allows Unsafe Products to Be Brought to Market

Eventually he became quite concerned about the potential implications the commercialization of genetically engineered plants might engender.

“I saw these ideas people were having, which had potentially major implications for human health or for the soil, and were risky in my opinion.

I didn’t worry about them too much because I imagined no serious person would take up these ideas, and the regulatory system would work as advertised …

But when I moved to the genetics department, I started looking at the regulatory system in the United States.

I came to realize that the regulatory system was intellectually bankrupt and also corrupt. It wasn’t asking questions that it should’ve been asking. And they were perfectly happy with answers they shouldn’t have been happy with …

Between people making products that I was really unhappy with, and the risk assessment process that wasn’t functioning intellectually … it didn’t take me long to realize that you can put 2 and 2 together here and see that bad products are going to come on the market. 

Scientific Profession Is Ruled by Secret Culture of Fear

It’s not uncommon for people to be fired from their academic positions or blackballed in the scientific community when disagreeing with the status quo, but fortunately that did not happen in Dr. Latham’s case.

He decided to resign instead, in the late 1990s, after becoming dispirited with the scientific profession. He did see it happen to another virologist however.

“He published a couple of papers, skeptical of the idea that you can put virus genes into transgenic plants and expect nothing to go wrong. He was hounded out of his position and had to take a position in a completely different branch of science to still get grants.

This is a real thing that scientists are facing: professional intimidation, harassment, and personal effects.

Sometimes they lose their jobs over these issues. So there’s a culture of fear in the scientific community. Scientists don’t like to discuss it because it implies all sorts of things about academic freedom and so on. But it’s a real thing.”

After quitting his job with the Genetics department at the University of Wisconsin, he and his wife worked on an organic farm in England and raised a child. Still people would ask him to get involved in GMO issues, asking him to give talks and explain various issues to laypeople.

He eventually got drawn back in when the British government was setting up field trials under false pretenses.

“They were trying to bamboozle people with scientific information that, in my opinion, was incorrect,” he says.

“They were trying to convince the legal system, the media, and the rest of the public that these projects were perfectly well-understood scientific experiments, and that there was nothing to worry about — most of which I disagreed with, so I ended up getting drawn back into all these issues.”        

Genetic Engineering Is an Imprecise Science

Latham and Wilson,ended up writing a scientific paper,1 published in 2006, which reviews what happens when you put a transgenic DNA into the genome of a plant.

Prior to that, no one had ever collected the data to show whether or not the biotech industry was correct in saying that the process of genetic engineering was precise.

“They wanted to argue that this is much more precise than conventional plant breeding, in which you don’t know what’s going on because you’re just crossing plants together. They wanted to argue that their methodology was very precise. We wanted to test that thesis,” he says.

Together with Wilson, he collected a vast amount of data showing the process of plant transformation through genetic engineering was making a mess of plant genomes.2 The process caused:

  • Unexpected gene mutations
  • Movement and activation of transposons
  • DNA damage

Moreover, most genetically engineered (GE) plants contain more than one transgene: some of the plants they evaluated had as many as 40 different transgenes in them.

They even discovered that some of the now commercially available GE plants had transgene insertions that were so complicated the companies themselves had actually given up trying to get to the bottom of how much damage had been done to the plant’s DNA. It was simply too difficult to do so.

“The more complex and damaging the DNA effects are, the more difficult it is to do the research. We published this in the peer-reviewed literature. It was very important in our view because the whole risk assessment process, and the whole of the reassurance process for the public, depends on the idea that we know what we’re doing, and that what we’re doing is precise. None of those things were true,” he says.

Continue Reading At: Mercola.com

Monsanto’s whored-out journalists exposed: Amy Harmon, Keith Kloor, Tamar Haspel & More

monsanto-fail

Source: NaturalNews.com
January 12, 2016

Connecting the dots between the writers of pro-agrichemical pseudo-journalistic pieces and the funding that fuels their endless propaganda isn’t always easy work. But thanks to the efforts of the U.S. Right to Know group, which advocates for mandatory labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), we now have the inside scoop about a few prominent journalists who have apparently sold their souls to the chemical industry in exchange for a cash payout.

A new report focuses on three individuals in particular – Amy Harmon, Keith Kloor and Tamar Haspel – all of whom seem to support the unmitigated use of unlabeled GMOs in the food supply, and who also can’t understand why people oppose hidden biotechnology in their food. The reason for these positions, of course, is that all of these individuals are bankrolled by the biotech industry, and now we have solid proof.

1) Amy Harmon is a reporter for The New York Times (NYT), and has won several awards for her work in “explanatory reporting.” She’s also connected to the infamous Jon Entine of Forbes.com, who we earlier reported is a domestic abuser and a discredited apologist for GMOs and crop chemicals. Entine actually mentioned Harmon’s name in an email exchange, noting that:

“I think I’ve talked Amy Harmon into doing a Hawaii Hawaii story… and I gave her your and Kirby’s email information, so she may call at some point if she indeed pursues this.”

The email was sent to a woman by the name of Renee Kester, and refers to Kirby Kester, the president of an agrichemical industry front group by the name of “Hawaii Crop Improvement Association.” Not long after this exchange, Harmon published a story in the NYT supposedly setting the record straight on GMO safety – all it really was, though, was a shill piece promoting GMOs.

Harmon was also asked to speak at a conference funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which was also intends to promote the use of GMOs.

2) Keith Kloor is a freelance journalist who has written for a number of popular news outlets including Slate, Nature and Science Insider. His many pro-GMO articles have also appeared on Jon Entine’s website Genetic Literacy Project, which is a pro-Monsanto front resource espouses corporate talking points to support GMOs.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents obtained by U.S. Right to Know reveal that Kloor is a “very good friend” of Entine’s, as well as other pro-GMO shills who work on behalf of corporations like Monsanto to defend the reputation of GMOs and crop chemicals. Based on an email sent to Kloor and a number of other pro-GMO advocates back in 2014, it is clear that he is very closely aligned with the industry.

The email, which was sent by pro-GMO advocate Dr. Channapatna Prakash, included Kloor as the only journalist in the chain. Other recipients of the email included names like Henry Miller, Kevin Folta, and others we’ve recently exposed for pro-GMO corruption.

Continue Reading At: NaturalNews.com