The Article posted below provides a glowing endorsement of another food based horror: irradiating seeds to induce mutations which change the characteristics of plants. The mutated seeds are then integrated (that means not labeled or identified) into the general crop stock and you eat their products.
You also eat the mutant proteins that mutated seeds produce, not knowing if they cause cancer, infertility, auto immune diseases, birth defects, etc., etc., etc. How big is the “etcetera”? Who knows.
Genes code for proteins. Novel genes code for novel proteins. Change one gene and you change not only what that gene does, you change the function of every gene in its vicinity. Genes are not simple, uni-function units. Their presence of absence near another gene affects what it does, too.
To understand this phenomenon, take a thick rubber band and, using a pen, place a 1/8 inch dot on one side of it. Now, holding one end between your left fingers and thumb, start twisting the top of the rubberband and continue twisting it in one direction with the fingers and thumb of the other hand. Keep twisting.
First you get a spiral. They you get a complex twist winding back on itself. Keep twisting and you get a very tightly multiply-twisted double helix upon double helix shape. You will see that the black dot is closely associated with many other parts of the original rubber band.
If the dot is a gene, the rubber band is composed of a huge number of genes and each one of them is influenced by what is present, or absent, in its neighborhood. And your life depends upon what that influence is. Literally.
Scientists often loose track of the concept of “HUBRIS”. Originally a term for a category of crime in ancient Athens, hubris is used in modern English to mean “self-confidence, superciliousness, or arrogance, often resulting in fatal retribution. Hubris also refers to the actions of those challenging the Gods or their laws resulting in their downfall.
Just because we CAN do something does not mean that we SHOULD do something and if we do that thing, we had better make sure that we understand fully what we are doing before we do it and inflict the results on humans, nature and the future.
What kind of careful, neutral, non commercial science has been carried out to make sure – very sure – that the impact of this technology are beneficial, or at least benign, over large numbers of generations? That is a critical question, wouldn’t you think? I have great fear that the answer is much the same as with GMOs – none and any independent science which questions the technology ruthlessly suppressed.
At the moment, organic, heirloom food is still worth eating. Grow your own. All it takes is a few square feet and some planning. The Natural Solutions Foundation will be inaugurating a new eNewsletter to help you do just that.
Think about food and buy from local farmers from whom you can speak with to determine what seed, what fertilizer and what soil amendments, what seeds and what pest control they use. If the name of any of their products has more than 3 syllables (ask to read the labels), go find another farmer.
Food production is perhaps the defining issue of our times. You, and I, will live and die by it.
And, out of this concern, we are creating the Valley of the Moon Eco Demonstration Project, www.NaturalSolutionsFoundation.org, in Panama. This comprehensive health freedom project, unlike any other health freedom initiative, will include intensive agriculture seminars and hands on practice for non farmers and a Zero Emission, BeyondOrganc, Bio Dynamic(TM) farm and farm school. Some of us will live there full time, some of us will come to participate for a period of time in the training programs as teachers and as students.
Some will come for the healing and natural medical center’s offerings, some will come for the retreats and seminars, some for the opportunity to live for a time in the glorious Panamanian Chiriqui Highlands.
The requirement to take back the production of foods and support a “culture of agriculture” is essential to our continued ability to survive on the planet.
The article below says that we need to support a culture of agriculture. That is the only thing with which I agree in the entire article. Read it and take action to reclaim YOUR food in order to protect your health now.
DEVELOPMENT: New Food Must Go Nuclear
By Sanjay Suri
LONDON, Dec 2 (IPS) – Better crops on the one hand, and nuclear power on the other might be, you would think, at extreme ends of the technological, and for some, even the moral spectrum. But it could be time to make agriculture more nuclear.
A lot of it is, already. Hundreds of millions of hectares of cultivation around the world is already nuclear assisted. And this technology goes back all of 80 years. Now the world needs this as never before, nuclear and agricultural scientists say.
“Currently there are over 3,000 officially released crop varieties that have involved radiation induced mutations, and over 100 countries routinely make use of this technology, which is one of their favourite strategies for crop improvement,” Chikelu Mba, head of the plant breeding unit at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) told IPS in an interview in London. The IAEA is promoting use of nuclear techniques for new crop mutations jointly with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
“These crops, grown all over the world, now form an integral part of our daily diet. They are raw materials in industries, and give countries billions of dollars in additional income for farmers.”
Essentially, the technique treats seeds with x-rays and gamma rays to produce new mutations of crops that are better resistant to difficult conditions and changing climate. Nature would of itself produce new mutations of crops to adapt to changing conditions, but only in time, and a long time at that. But this technique can speed up that change dramatically, here and now.
“Once seeds have been irradiated, the seedlings are integrated into normal crop breeding procedures of the countries,” says Mba. “Compared to any other technology you could think about, this is cheap, cost effective, robust, environmentally friendly, and based on results. It is proven, and it is applicable anywhere in the world.”
But a frightening thought, nevertheless, to think of a meal made possible by something nuclear. And the thought raises the ghost of genetically modified (GM) crops, that this could be another, and far bigger instance of misusing science to fool around with nature.
Mba says the world can rest — and eat — assured.
“There is nothing that can be produced through radiation induced mutation that is not within the spectrum of possibilities of what nature can bring out in that crop, given sufficient space and time. All radiation induced mutation is doing is to facilitate a naturally occurring phenomenon.” And there is no residual radiation left in a plant after the mutation induction, he says.
Dinner can include a newly developed strain of rice using nuclear induced mutation, but the ingredients in the rice preparation will not be nuclear.
This technology can be critical in addressing world hunger and food security, the IAEA says. It leads to plant varieties that are not just high yielding but adapt to harsh climate conditions and are resistant to certain diseases and insect pests. “The IAEA is urging a revival of nuclear crop breeding technologies to help tackle world hunger,” IAEA director general Dr Mohamed ElBaradei said in a statement. He has asked for allocation of more resources around the world for use and development of this technology.
The IAEA and the FAO together say that in addition to 850 million people worldwide already going hungry, a million more are being pushed below the one-dollar-a-day poverty level. Increased use of this new technology can improve health and livelihood, they say.
In Japan, the Institute of Radiation Breeding has figured that crops developed with radiation induced mutations have yielded 62 billion dollars in returns, for an investment of 69 million dollars between 1959 and 2001. That amounts to a 900 fold return. In Pakistan, use of the technique quadrupled cotton production in ten years. China and the U.S. are the other countries where the technology is in widespread use.
But the technology has still not been used as widely as it ought to be, scientists say. “In 1928 it was found that x-rays would change the blueprint of plants in a manner in which that which is hidden can become obvious and be used to create new crop varieties,” says Mba. And it was in 1964 that the IAEA and the FAO came together and set up a joint programme for using nuclear techniques in food and agriculture to “mimic nature.” Now, he says, given the recent agricultural shocks, “we can no longer wait for chance discoveries to give us new crop varieties.”
The IAEA, he said, is calling the attention of the world to the looming threat of global climate change and variation. “This year, prices of all basic foodstuff went to their highest level in the past 50 years, and this situation is only going to get worse,” Mba says.
“The countries most at risk are their developing countries, with their fragile ecosystems, with their agriculture that is rudimentary, no effective irrigation, where farmers do not have enough resources to buy fertilisers. So when the environment changes so much, there will not be enough resilience in the crops to withstand these new conditions.”
The IAEA, he said, is “calling for a revival of culture, if you may, of supporting agriculture.” (END/2008)
An expert I know [not further identified by the author – Dr. Rima] commented as follows when asked; ” What proportion of crops are already in circulation influenced by this
An EXTREMELY tiny proportion were generated via “nuclear breeding.” Maybe or
two veggie varieties. “Nuclear breeding” was a fad in the 60’s but it failed
to yield anything very relevant or useful. Almost all breeding is not
dependent on generating additional genetic diversity by use of mutagenesis,
but by making use of the existing genetic diversity within the genepool of a
given species. There is sufficient diversity to address virtually any need,
because the genepool of any given species contains the capacity of the
species to adapt to and deal with essentially every condition, stress,
challenge with which the species and its predecessors have been confronted
since the beginning of time (yes some diversity and capabilities are lost
over time, but there is still a HUGE range of capabilities there). Breeders
develop selection schemes for identifying these pre-existing traits and
thereby make use of nature’s existing capabilities (virtually ALL
I am nearly speechless by the stupidity and ill-conceived arrogance of industry scientists who are playing havoc with my world and yours.
Read this for yourself and see if you do not believe that you need strong allies to fight this madness back into the nightmare it came from.
That ally is the Natural Solutions Foundation. Give us the voice and give us the strength to carry this battle forward by making sure that you are on the distribution list of the free Health Freedom eAlerts (sign up on our home page, www.HealthFreedomUSA.org) and by forwarding the eAlerts to your entire list and asking them to take the action steps therein.
This madness MUST stop.
Yours in health and freedom,
Rima E. Laibow, MD
Invasion of the warrior insects
Financial Times, October 11 2008
Scientists are about to unleash a new weapon in mankind’s running battle
against insect pests: a genetically modified flying army. The first
commercial release of GM insects, to protect US cotton fields from the
voracious pink bollworm, is expected within the next two years. The second
target will be the mosquito that spreads dengue fever in Asia.
This new airborne offensive is being mounted from a business park near
Abingdon, Oxfordshire, where a set of low-key laboratories houses the
world’s leading centre for GM insect development. Oxitec, a private company
spun out of Oxford University in 2002, holds tens of thousands of moths,
mosquitoes and flies in its insectaries. They are undergoing genetic
engineering as part of the fight against agricultural pests and carriers of
GM is being deployed to extend the “sterile insect” technique that has
already successfully eradicated pests such as screw-worms and Mediterranean
fruit flies (medflies) in parts of north America. The idea is that vast
numbers of sterile yet virile males – at least 10 times as many as the wild
population – are released in infected areas. These sterile newcomers swamp
the native males, mating with all available females, which then fail to
produce any offspring.
Until now, insects have been sterilised before release by old-fashioned
irradiation from radioactive isotopes. But this is a crude technique that
works only on some species. “It doesn’t work for mosquitoes because a
radiation dose big enough to sterilise the insect will also incapacitate or
kill it,” says Luke Alphey, founder and research director of Oxitec.
With colleagues at Oxford University he discovered how to achieve the same
effect more gently and specifically, by inserting a “dominant lethal” gene
into the insects. “The males produce viable sperm which will fertilise the
egg, but the embryo [larva] dies in development,” says Alphey, who left the
university this year to work full time for the company.
“Of course the system needs to be reversible, so that we can breed the
insects in the first place,” he adds. This is achieved by designing the
lethal gene so that it can be suppressed by adding the antibiotic
tetracycline to the captive insects’ diet. In the absence of tetracycline,
the larvae die.
The lab insects live in clear plastic containers of various shapes,
typically about the size of an archive box. Some have fine mesh or gauze on
one side. Fruit flies, for example, lay their eggs on the mesh, where they
can easily be collected by lab staff.
Female mosquitoes receive what’s known as their “blood meal”, which they
need to breed, through the gauze. Genevieve Labbe, who is in charge of the
mosquito breeding programme, gives them horse blood heated to 37Æ’C, twice a
week. “First we blow into the cage to tell them there’s something to bite,”
she explains. Carbon dioxide in the breath alerts the insects to the
presence of a warm-blooded animal.
The mosquitoes, which have been sitting or flying lethargically around their
box, begin buzzing energetically in response to Labbe’s breath. Then a
cylinder of warm blood, with one end covered with sausage skin, is placed
against the gauze – and the mosquitoes gorge themselves.
Oxitec’s highest-profile project is to attack Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the
carriers of dengue fever, which afflicts an estimated 100m people every
year. The work is funded with a $5m grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation, part of the charity’s drive to reduce the toll from tropical
“Both the incidence and severity of dengue are increasing,” warns Alphey.
“There are no drugs or vaccine, and $1bn has been spent – largely
ineffectively – on dengue control through insecticide fogging and site
sanitation.” (The mosquitoes breed in small rainwater pools, such as those
that form in discarded tyres.)
The Malaysian government is collaborating with Oxitec to run a field trial
with GM insects on Pulau Ketam, an island east of Kuala Lumpur inhabited
mainly by Chinese fishing families. Its relative isolation makes Pulau Ketam
a good test site, because were Aedes aegypti to be suppressed locally, the
success would not be masked by mosquitoes moving in from elsewhere. But some
residents are objecting to what they call “warrior” mosquitoes.
“What else will the ‘warrior’ mosquitoes kill?” asked Saw Lek, a retired
teacher quoted in the South China Morning Post. “We fear, once released,
there is no way to control the new mosquito if anything goes wrong.”
There are also objectors further afield. Mae-Wan Ho, director of the
Institute of Science in Society, based in London, calls the use of
“terminator mosquitoes” to control dengue “dangerous and costly”. She
believes there is a risk of the lethal genes moving from the released GM
mosquitoes into other organisms and disrupting the already fragile
But Oxitec scientists insist their GM mosquitoes are environmentally benign.
First, they argue, only the non-biting males are released; they are easily
sorted from the females in the breeding facility because their pupae are
“The natural population density of Aedes aegypti is not high,” says Alphey.
“For a city of 1m people you are probably talking about releasing 10-20
mosquitoes per person per week. I don’t think anyone would notice the
increase in the mosquito population.”
He points out too that Aedes aegypti, like the other pests targeted by
Oxitec, is not a native species (it originates in Africa) but has been
spread around the world by human activities. Its eradication would not
disrupt any local ecosystems. “There is no breeding route into a wild
population,” Alphey insists. And if the terminator gene does inadvertently
get into wild mosquitoes, it “absolutely will not spread”, because any
insects carrying it would not survive.
The promise to keep genetic modification out of the wild population may make
the Oxitec technology more acceptable to sceptics than other ways of using
GM insects, which are being studied but are further from commercial
application. Scientists at Imperial College London, for example, plan
permanently to change the genetic make-up of wild mosquitoes, so that they
can no longer transmit a human pathogen such as the malaria parasite.
Safe or not, GM technology will get nowhere without winning over the people
living near release sites, warns Anthony Wilson, an expert on insect-borne
disease at the UK-based Institute of Animal Health. “If you can see a
facility releasing clouds of mosquitoes, you’ll want to be very sure that
you are not just being used for experimental purposes,” says Wilson. In the
1970s, long before scientists could genetically engineer insects, the World
Health Organisation and the Indian government had to cancel an ambitious
dengue control project after local newspapers caused a furore with erroneous
claims that it was a camouflaged US germ warfare experiment.
In the US, Oxitec’s pink bollworm project is not meeting hostility, partly
because American public opinion is less suspicious of genetically modified
organisms than Asian and European. Another reason is that the GM insects
released in the US would replace insects sterilised by irradiation in the
fight against cotton bollworm, rather than adding millions of new insects to
the existing population. “We have had three years of field trials, releasing
our GM pink bollworm from the air over cotton in Arizona,” says David
Brooks, Oxitech chief executive. “We had a very positive environmental
impact report [from the US Department of Agriculture] and we could go into
commercial operation next year or in 2010.”
A bigger prize in the agricultural sector would be the medfly, a scourge of
fruit-growers worldwide. Oxitec hopes the US government will eventually
adopt GM technology to replace the irradiation facilities that it is funding
in central America to push medfly further away from the US. The
sterilisation plant in Guatemala produces a staggering 2bn sterile flies
every week – that’s 20 tonnes of living insect.
Once the GM medflies have proved themselves in field trials, the US
authorities, nervous about the potential security risks posed by radioactive
sources, may indeed prefer the cleaner and simpler technique of genetic
sterilisation. But it is hard to imagine GM insects being released in
Britain or Europe for the foreseeable future. If activists are determined to
trash static biotech crops, imagine the uproar that would greet GM on wings.
Clive Cookson is the FT’s science editor.
The Natural Solutions Foundation has been deeply concerned for some time now about the possibility, enshrined in Executive Order, Homeland Security Directive, Patriot Actis 1 and HS Declares ‘Health Emergencies’ to Limit Legal Liability for harm done to victims of vaccine injury and other preventable medical disasters. We note with great alarm that the mechanism of “Emergency” declarations is being used with increasing frequency and take this opportunity to share with you a very serious issue which we urge you to take seriously and heed the potentially dire implications of.
Please remember that the Natural Solutions Foundation is the only organization pulling all of these threads together to give you a comprehensive picture of the threats to your health freedom, and our successes in protecting it.
And please give generously to support this organization working hard to keep your health freedom free. Click here (http://drrimatruthreports.com/index.php?page_id=189) to make your tax deductible contribution to health keep freedom free.
Yours in health and freedom,
Rima E. Laibow, MD
HHS Declares ‘Health Emergencies’ to Limit Legal Liability for Anti-
terrorism Vaccines, Drugs
By Lori Price
October Surprises: The U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary,
Michael Leavitt, has declared a series of ‘public health emergencies’
— due to risk of a bioterrorism attack — that continue through 2015.
Oct. 1, 2008: U.S. declares a ‘public health emergency’ due to the
risk of a bioterrorism attack. HHS Secretary, Michael Leavitt, said
the emergency began on Oct. 1 and would run through Dec. 31, 2015.
The declaration establishes legal immunity for public and private
officials who oversee the production or distribution of the anthrax
Oct. 10, 2008: U.S. declares more ‘public health emergencies’ for
smallpox, radiation sickness from the detonation of a nuclear device
and poisoning from botulinum toxins, the active ingredient of Botox.
This move provides the manufacturers, distributors, and others, of
‘anti-terrorism’ drugs and vaccines immunity from lawsuits, should
injuries or deaths occur due to the drugs or vaccines.
U.S. Limits Anthrax Vaccine Legal Liability By Elaine M. Grossman 07
Oct 2008 The U.S. Health and Human Services Department early this
month moved to shield government, industry and business officials
from lawsuits filed by those who have received the anthrax vaccine
(see GSN, Sept. 5, 2007). Health and Human Services Secretary Michael
Leavitt established legal immunity for public and private officials
who oversee the production or distribution of the anthrax vaccine by
declaring a â€œpublic health emergencyâ€ due to the risk of a
bioterrorism attack. He said the emergency began on Oct. 1 and would
run through Dec. 31, 2015. U.S. law provides protection from lawsuits
to individuals responsible for selected countermeasures, including
antibiotics, during a declared emergency. Under the Public Readiness
and Emergency Preparedness Act, which President [sic] George W. Bush
signed into law in December 2005, a health and human services
secretaryâ€™s emergency declaration can limit financial risk for
government program planners and the manufacturers or distributors of
Emergency declarations smooth way for vaccine makers –Consumer
advocates see action as giveaway to the drug industry that strips the
public of legal protections. 17 Oct 2008 In a little noticed move,
federal officials this month have declared a series of public health
emergencies relating to potential weapons of biological terror. On
Oct. 1, Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt declared an
anthrax public health emergency. On Oct. 10, he declared health
emergencies for smallpox, radiation sickness from the detonation of a
nuclear device and poisoning from botulinum toxins, the active
ingredient of Botox. Thereâ€™s no clear evidence that terrorists have
managed to weaponize anthrax or stolen large caches of Botox from
cosmetic surgeons in Beverly Hills. But by declaring these public
health emergencies, HHS has granted manufacturers of anti-terrorism
drugs and vaccines and others involved with the products protection
from lawsuits if the drugs were to cause unfortunate side effects.
Bogus Anthrax ‘State of Emergency’ Protects Drugmakers, Not Public By
Brandon Keim 15 Oct 2008 Not a single case of human anthrax has been
reported in the United States this year, but the nation is now
officially in a state of anthrax emergency. The emergency was
declared earlier this month by the Department of Health and Human
Services, and will last until 2015. Whether it will protect public
health is debatable, but it will certainly protect makers of faulty
anthrax vaccines. Emergency exemption from legal liability is granted
to vaccine manufacturers by the Public Readiness and Preparedness
Act, passed in 2005 to protect against paralyzing lawsuits during
outbreaks of anthrax, avian influenza or other potentially pandemic
diseases. The act is supposed to be invoked when the Secretary of
Homeland Security has determined “that there is a domestic emergency,
or a significant potential for a domestic emergency, involving a
heightened risk of attack with a specified biological, chemical,
radiological, or nuclear agent or agents.”
37 human anthrax cases in northern Iraq outbreak 12 Oct 2008 Thirty-
seven people have been infected by anthrax in northern Iraq in the
country’s first outbreak of the disease since the 1980s, the health
minister in the Kurdish autonomous region said on Sunday. Health
Minister Ziryan Othman said the disease appeared to have been passed
on from livestock [?]. The first human case of the outbreak was
discovered in remote Dahuk province last month.
US controls bird flu vaccines over bioweapon fears 11 Oct 2008 When
Indonesia’s health minister stopped sending bird flu viruses to a
research laboratory in the U.S. for fear Washington could use them to
make biological weapons, Defense Secretary Robert Gates laughed and
called it “the nuttiest thing” he’d ever heard. Yet deep inside an 86-
page supplement to United States export regulations is a single
sentence that bars U.S. exports of vaccines for avian bird flu and
dozens of other viruses to five countries designated “state sponsors
of terrorism.” The reason: Fear that they will be used for biological
Mail carriers, escorted by police, to bring drugs in anthrax attack —
HHS science advisor: Attack using crop-dusting airplane dumping
anthrax spores over a city is a possible scenario 01 Oct 2008
Government mail carriers would deliver emergency supplies of
antibiotics to people in U.S. cities in the case of an anthrax
attack, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services officials said
on Wednesday. The system has been tested in three large [blue] cities
— Seattle, Philadelphia and Boston — and a pilot program is set to
begin soon in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area in Minnesota. The U.S.
Postal Service carriers who would bring the antibiotics from door to
door all would be volunteers who would have advance supplies of
antibiotics to protect themselves and their families, officials said.
Following any new attacks, the mail carriers would be escorted by
local police as they deliver supplies of a few days’ worth of
antibiotics directly to residences throughout an affected community,
HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said.
HHS Announces New Steps in Anthrax Preparedness (dhs.gov) 01 Oct 2008
HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt today announced two new actions in the
departmentâ€™s ongoing activities to bolster the nationâ€™s preparedness
for a potential outdoor anthrax attack. In development since March of
this year, the steps being implemented today build upon more than a
decade of preparedness efforts across HHS and other agencies of the
federal government. The first of todayâ€™s actions focuses on United
States Postal Service letter carriers who volunteer to deliver
medicines directly to residences in their communities during an
emergency… Over the past several years, under the Cities Readiness
Initiative (CRI), HHS and the Postal Service have successfully
developed and tested in three U.S. cities — Seattle, Philadelphia
and Boston –the ability of letter carriers to quickly deliver door-
to-door quantities of antibiotics from the Strategic National
Stockpile to residential addresses. This quick-strike capability is
intended to buy time for local and State public health authorities to
set up points of dispensing for further provision of antibiotics
across the community.
Judge Affirms Win for Plaintiffs in ‘Anthrax I’ Case By Elaine M.
Grossman 05 Sep 2007 For the first time, a federal judge last month
declared six U.S. defense personnel the definitive winners in a four-
year court battle over the anthrax vaccine. The Aug. 21 decision,
which revolves around payment of attorneysâ€™ fees, is the latest
chapter in a protracted struggle over whether the Defense Department
can require service members to take the anthrax vaccine. U.S.
District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan decided the government defendants
must pay the plaintiffs’ expenses because the plaintiffs won the
case. The litigants — defense personnel who were required to take
anthrax vaccine shots in a Defense Department effort that began in
1998 — won the first round of litigation in October 2004, when
Sullivan issued a permanent injunction banning mandatory
inoculations. Based on a finding that the vaccine was never certified
to protect against “weaponized” airborne anthrax spores, the judge
declared the Pentagonâ€™s mandatory vaccinations “illegal.”
HOMELAND SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE/HSPD-21, issued 18 October
2007, states that within one year of the directive’s date, ‘the
Secretaries of Health and Human Services and Defense, in coordination
with the Secretaries of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security, shall
establish an academic Joint Program for Disaster Medicine and Public
Health housed at a National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public
Health at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences…
Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Defense
authorities will be used to carry out respective civilian and
military missions within this joint program.’
Dr. Mae Won Ho is a brilliant and fearless truth teller. Her science is impeccable and her voice is loud and strong when it comes to telling the truth about dangerous make believe science. Nowhere is she more vigorous in alerting us to the absurdities and deadly consequences of corporate junk science and junk policies than in the area of Genetically Modified Organisms or GMOs.
The following article is a must read, must share one which I urge you to forward to as many people as possible so that they can join forces to make sure that all legislators understand that the FDA and USDA are not protecting our interests and Congress must take the reins from them before their criminal negligence kills us all.
The reallity is that stark.
GM is Dangerous and Futile
We Need Organic Sustainable Food and Energy Systems Now
New genetics research invalidates the science underpinning the $73.5 billon global biotech industry and confirms why genetic modification is futile and dangerous; we must implement organic sustainable food and energy systems now Dr. Mae-Wan Ho
Invited Lecture at Conference on Future of Food: Climate Change, GMOs and Food Security, 1-2 October 2008, India International Centre, New Delhi
A fully referenced version of this article is posted on ISIS membersâ€™ website. Details here
An electronic version of this report with full references can be downloaded from the ISIS online store. Download Now
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I am deeply and doubly honoured to be part of this important conference on Mahatma Gandhiâ€™s birthday, because it was Vandana Shiva and Tewolde Berhan Gebre Egziabher who inspired me and turned me from an ivory tower academic into a science activist. Consequently, I was thrown out of my university and liberated to join civil society in fighting corrupt science and protecting good independent science.
Food Futures Now , *Organic *Sustainable *Fossil Fuel Free, How organic agriculture and localised food, and energy systems can potentially compensate for all greenhouse gas emissions due to human activities and free us from fossil fuels â€œChange to gene theory raises new challenges for biotechâ€
The headline appeared in the business section of the International Herald Tribune 3 July 2007 . The article went on to say: â€œThe $73.5 billion global biotech business may soon have to grapple with a discovery that calls into question the scientific principles on which it was founded.â€
It was referring to the findings of project ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA elements), organised by the US National Human Genome Research Institute. A consortium of 35 research groups went through 1 percent of the human genome with a fine-tooth comb to find out exactly how genes work.
To their surprise, researchers found that the human genome might not be a â€œtidy collection of independent genesâ€ after allâ€¦Instead, genes appear to operate in a complex network, and interact and overlap with one another and with other components in ways not yet fully understood.â€
The Human Genome Research Institute said that these findings will challenge scientists â€œto rethink some long-held views about what genes are and what they do.â€
The author of the article Denis Caruso commented that, â€œthe report is likely to have repercussions far beyond the laboratory. The presumption that genes operate independently has been institutionalized since 1976, when the first biotech company was founded. In fact, it is the economic and regulatory foundation on which the entire biotechnology industry is built.â€ She went on to point out that gene patents and safety assessment based on the same paradigm are also in trouble.
She is right on all counts. I pointed that out 10 years previously when a plethora of findings in molecular genetics had already invalidated the genetic determinist paradigm underpinning the biotech industry. In fact, the paradigm had begun to unravel almost as the industry was starting up twenty years earlier.
The Brave New World of GM Science
In Genetic Engineering Dream or Nightmare, the Brave New World of Bad Science and Big Business  first published in 1997/1998 I explained why the science behind GM is wrong and obsolete, and hence dangerous; a story elaborated further in Living with the Fluid Genome  published in 2003.
Genetic engineering of plants and animals began in the mid 1970s in the belief that the genome (the totality of all the genetic material of a species) is constant and static, and that the characteristics of organism are simply hardwired in their genome. This was encapsulated in the Central Dogma of molecular biology. The genetic information goes from DNA, the genetic material, to RNA, a kind of intermediate, to protein which determines the characteristic involved, such as tolerance to herbicide, for example. One gene determines one trait, so you can transfer one gene and get exactly the trait you want, be it herbicide tolerance, or resistance to insect pest.
But geneticists soon discovered that the genome is remarkably dynamic and â€˜fluidâ€™. It is constantly in conversation with the environment, and that determines which genes are turned on, when, where, by how much and for how long. Moreover, the genetic material itself could also be marked or changed according to experience, and the influence passed on to the next generation. Most of that was known by 1980, long before the Human Genome Project was conceived.
The best thing about the Human Genome Project is to finally explode the myth of genetic determinism  (The Myth that Launched a Thousand Companies, SiS 18), revealing the layers of molecular complexity that transmit, interpret and rewrite the genetic texts  (Life Beyond the Central Dogma series, SiS 24). The ENCODE project has confirmed and extended the complexities especially with regard to what constitutes a gene. Traditionally, a gene is a sequence of DNA that codes for a protein with a well-defined function. This idea has been well and truly shattered ; as Barry Patrick wrote in the Science News  â€œgenes are proving to be fragmented, intertwined with other genes, and scattered across the whole genome.â€
The genetic engineerâ€™s idea of a gene is presented in Figure 1. It has a regulatory signal, a promoter that says to the cell, go and make lots of copies of the coding sequence that would be translated into a protein, and a terminator that says stop, end of message. This is what genetic engineers put into cells to make a genetically modified organism (GMO).
A gene expression cassette, the genetic engineerâ€™s idea of a gene
Figure 1. A gene expression cassette, the genetic engineerâ€™s idea of a gene
Instead, within the human genome, and indeed other mammalian genomes, coding sequences are in bits (exons) separated by non-coding introns, and exons contributing to a single protein could be in different parts of the genome. Coding sequences of different proteins frequently overlap. Regulatory signals are similarly scattered upstream, downstream, within the coding sequence or in some other distant part of the genome. Coding sequences occupy just 1.5 percent of the human genome, but between 74 and 93 percent of the genome produce RNA transcripts , many now known to have regulatory functions. So much so that the project of mapping genetic predisposition to diseases, the original rationale for the Human Genome Project, has now run into serious trouble.
David M. Altshuler, associate professor of genetics and medicine at Harvard Medical School and his research team showed that the risk for type 2 diabetes involves more than a mutated gene. Instead, diabetes, heart disease, some cancers, and other deadly ailments involve non-coding DNA as well as in genes . â€œWeâ€™re realizing that things happening â€˜somewhere elseâ€™ in the genome, not in genes, are playing critical rolesâ€ in sickness and in health, Altshuler said.
David B. Goldstein at Duke University is very pessimistic. He said the effort to nail down the genetics of most common diseases is not working : â€œThere is absolutely no question that for the whole hope of personalized medicine, the news has been just as bleak as it could be. After doing comprehensive studies for common diseases, we can explain only a few percent of the genetic components of most of these traits.â€ For schizophrenia and biopolar disorder, there is almost nothing, for type 2 diabetes, 20 variants, but they explain only up to 3 percent of familial clustering, and so on.
Goldstein added: â€œwe have cracked open the human genome and can look at the entire complement of common genetic variants, and what do we find? Almost nothing. That is absolutely beyond belief.â€
That is just what I predicted soon after the human genome sequence was announced [10, 11] (Human DNA ‘BioBank’ Worthless, SiS 13/14; Why Genomics Won’t Deliver, SiS 26)
Fresh attempts are now made to redefine a gene either in terms of a protein product  or a transcript , neither of which are satisfactory or would save the industry. All patents on genes based on the old concept are no longer valid; ultimately because the patent is awarded on a supposed function attached to a DNA sequence. But as genes exist in bits interweaving with other genes, so are functions. Multiple DNA sequences may serve the same function, and conversely the same DNA sequence can have different functions. Again, I have explained Why Biotech Patents Are Patently Absurd .
Despite the bewildering complexities of how the genome works, individual processes are precisely orchestrated and finely tuned by the organism as a whole, in a highly coordinated molecular â€˜dance of lifeâ€™ thatâ€™s necessary for survival.
In contrast, genetic engineering in the laboratory is crude, imprecise and invasive. The rogue genes inserted into a genome to make a GMO could land anywhere; typically in a rearranged or defective form, scrambling and mutating the host genome, and tend to move or rearrange further once inserted. Transgene instability is a big problem, and has been so right from the beginning. There is fresh evidence that GM crops grown commercially for years have rearranged [15, 16] (MON810 Genome Rearranged Again. Transgenic Lines Unstable hence Illegal and Ineligible for Protection, SiS 38). This is a real opportunity to challenge the validity of all biotech patents. Another key issue is safety. Transgene instability means that the original transgenic line has turned into something else, and even if it had been assessed as â€˜safeâ€™, this is no longer the case.
The genetically modified genes are a big hazard because they do not know the intricate dance of life that has been perfected in billions of years of evolution. Thatâ€™s ultimately why genetic modification is both dangerous and futile.
Thirty years of GM are more than enough
Weâ€™d had 30 years of GM and more than enough damage done, as detailed in the ISP Report The Case for A GM-Free Sustainable World  and the dossier GM Science Expose : Hazards Ignored, Fraud, Regulatory Sham, Violation of Farmers Rights  we compiled for the European Parliament in June 2007. And more evidence has been piling up since. Why has this been allowed to go on? W documented how national and international regulators and advisory bodies such as the European Food Safety Authority not only routinely ignore the precautionary principle, but also actively abuse science, sidestep the law, and helping to promote GM technology in the face of evidence piling up against the safety of GM food and feed  (GM Food Nightmare Unfolding in the Regulatory Sham, ISIS scientific publication).
Let me summarize the evidence stacked up against GMOs.
* No increase in yields
Successive reports [17, 18, 20] confirm that the yields of all major GM crops varieties cultivated are lower than, or at best, equal to yields from non-GM varieties. Studies from 1999 to 2007 consistently show that GM soya decreased yields by 4 to 12 percent compared to non-GM soya, while Bt maize yields from 0 to 12 percent less than conventional isolines. Up to 100 percent failures of Bt cotton crops have been recorded in India  (and amply confirmed by the farmer witnesses who are here today). New research from the University of Kansas found a 10 percent average yield drag for Roundup Ready soya , and extra manganese is needed for the soil Scientists from the USDA and the University of Georgia found growing GM cotton in the US could result in a drop in income by up to 40 percent [22, 23] (Transgenic Cotton Offers No Advantage, SiS 38)
* No reduction in pesticides use
USDA data showed that GM crops increase pesticide use by 50 million pounds from 1996 to 2003 in the United States . New data paint an even grimmer picture: the use of glyphosate on major crops went up more than 15-fold between 1994 and 2005, along with increases in other herbicides  in order to cope with rising glyphosate resistant superweeds . Palmer 3pigweed is a major concern in Georgia, with farmer there having to mow cotton down in fields with glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth . And following close on the health of that is glyphosate resistant giant ragweed . Roundup tolerant canola volunteers are top among the worries of Canadian farmers [27, 28] (Study Based on Farmersâ€™ Experience Exposes Risks of GM Crops, SiS 38)
* Roundup lethal to frogs and toxic to human placental and embryonic cells .
Roundup is more toxic than glyphosate, and it is used in more than 80 percent of all GM crops planted in the world.
* GM crops harm wildlife
UKâ€™s farm scale evaluations have found that GM crops harm wildlife ; more recently a study led by Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois in the United Stated, found that wastes from Bt corn impaired the growth of a common aquatic insect [29, 30] (Bt Crops Threaten Aquatic Ecosystems, SiS 36). This is just the tip of the iceberg. There is evidence that GM crops, especially Bt crops contribute to the demise of the honeybee worldwide because it compromises their immune system and make them exra-susceptible to attacks by parasitic fungus (31) (Parasitic Fungi and Pesticides Act Synergistically to Kill Honeybees? SiS 35).
* Bt resistance pests and Roundup tolerant superweeds render the two major GM crop traits practically useless .
A recent review concluded that  â€œevolved glyphosate-resistant weeds are a major risk for the continued success of glyphosate and transgenic glyphosate-resistant crops.â€ And the evolution of Bt resistant bollworms worldwide have now been confirmed and documented in more than a dozen fields in Mississippi and Arkansas between 2003 and 2006 . Worse yet, secondary pests now plague the fields and spread to other crops in India  (Deadly gift from Monsanto to India, SiS 38).
* Vast areas of forests, pampas and cerrados lost to GM soya in Latin America
Argentina alone has lot 15 m hectares ; and this has worsened considerably with the demand for biofuels (see later)
* Epidemic of suicides in the cotton belt of India
An estimated 100 000 farmers have killed themselves between 1993-2003, and a further 16 000 farmers a year have died since Bt cotton was introduced 
* GM food and feed linked to deaths and sicknesses
Evidence of serious health impacts in lab tests and from farmersâ€™ fields around the world (more below)
GM food and feed inherently hazardous to health 
Here are some highlights from our GM Science dossier  on the hazards of GM food and feed. Dr. Irina Ermakova of the Russian Academy of Sciences showed how GM soya made female rats give birth to severely stunted and abnormal litters, with more than half dying in three weeks, and those remaining are sterile. Hundreds of villagers and cotton handlers in India suffer allergy-like symptoms, thousands of sheep died after grazing on the Bt cotton residues, goat and cows as well were reported in 2007 and 2008  (Mass Protests against GM Crops in India , SiS 38). (As reported by farmer witnesses as this conference, the problem is continuing and sterility in offspring of exposed animals has also been observed.) A harmless bean protein transferred to pea when tested on mice cause severe inflammation in the lungs and provoked generalised food sensitivities. Dozens of villagers in the south of the Philippines fell ill when neighbouring GM maize fields came into flower in 2003, at least five have died and some remain ill to this day. A dozen cows died having eaten GM maize in Hesse Germany and more in the herd had to be slaughtered from mysterious illnesses. Arpad Pusztai and his colleagues in the UK found GM potatoes with snowdrop lectin damaged every organ system of young rats; the stomach lining grew twice as thick as controls. Chickens fed GM maize Chardon LL were twice as likely to die as controls. And finally, GM maize Mon 863 was claimed to be as safe as non-GM maize by the company, and accepted as such by European Food Safety Authority. But independent scientists of CriiGen in France re-analysed the data and found signs of liver and kidney toxicity.
Different animals and human beings exposed to a variety of transgenic crops with different traits either fall ill or die. The evidence compels us to consider the possibility that the hazards of GMOs may be inherent to the technology, as I suggested more than ten years ago .
Table 1. Summary of Exposure of Animals and Human Beings to GMOs
Species GM species Transgene trait Effect
Rat Soya Roundup Ready Stunting, death, sterility
Humans Cotton Cry1Ac/Cry1Ab Allergy symptoms
Sheep â€œ â€œ Death, liver toxicity
Cows â€œ â€œ â€œ
Goats â€œ â€œ â€œ
Mice Pea Alpha-amylase Inhibitor Lung Inflammation, General food sensitivity
Mice Soya Roundup Ready Liver, pancreas and testis Affected
Humans Maize Cry1Ab Illnesses and death
Rats Maize Cry3Bb liver and kidney toxicity
Cows Maize Cry1Ab/Cry1Ac Death and illnesses
Rats Potato Snowdrop lectin Damage in every organ system. Stomach lining twice as thick as controls
Mice Potato Cry1A Gut lining thickened
Rats Tomato Delay ripening Holes in the stomach
Chickens Maize Glufosinate tolerance Deaths
An epidemic of Morgellons Disease has hit the US and other countries that had been involved in genetic modification technology  (Agrobacterium & Morgellons Disease, A GM Connection?. SiS 38). The pathogen is suspected to be Agrobacterium, which has been widely used in smuggling genes into cells to make GMOs. Is this a disease created by GM? There have been close calls before.
US courts rule GM crop field-tests and releases illegal
The message that GM crops are unsafe appears to have got through to the judiciary system in the United States. There have been three court rulings against the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) for failing to carry out proper environmental impact assessment, making the original releases illegal  (Approval of GM Crops Illegal, US Federal Courts Rule, SiS 34). These are the first rulings against GMOs in the top producing country in the world, which has been also promoting GMOs aggressively.
The first case was on drug-producing GM crops in Hawaii. The court said that the USDA violated the Endangered Species Act as well as the National Environmental Policy Act.
The second court case not only ruled GM herbicide-tolerant creeping bentgrass illegal, but also that the USDA must halt approval of all new field trials until more rigorous environmental reviews are conducted.
The third decision was passed on Monsantoâ€™s Roundup Ready alfalfa for having been commercial released illegally without an Environment Impact Statement.
An avalanche of bans and rulings strikes GM crops worldwide
There have been numerous bans and restrictions imposed on GM crops in recent years, which say a lot about the inadequacies of regulatory regimes worldwide (see Box 1).
Rulings and bans on GMOs between May 2007 and May 2008
* US GM alfalfa ban made permanent 
* US Federal Court of Appeals ruled against GM bentgrass again 
* Four counties in California have bans or moratorium on GM crops and the first state bill to protect Californian farmers against lawsuits that intimate and harass them when their field are contaminated passed through the Agriculture committee in January 2008 
* Montville USA became the first town outside California to ban GM crops 
* South Australia extended its GM ban 
* Romania joined EU members in banning GM crop Mon 810 , the others are France, Hungary, Italy, Austria, Greece, and Poland
* 13 out of 20 counties in Croatia have declared themselves GM-Free 
* Greece renewed its ban on GM maize seeds 
* Germany imposed much stricter regulations on GM maize 
* Scotland backs GM ban in Europe 
* France banned GM maize Mon 810 in February 2008 and passed GMO law in April to guard against contamination by GMO, making it compulsory for farmers to â€œrespect agricultural structures, local ecosystems and non-GMO commercial and production industriesâ€ [48, 49]
* Wales is set to ban GM crops 
* Switzerland bans crops until 2012 
* More than 230 regions, over 4 000 municipalities and other local entities and tens of thousands of farmers and food producers in Europe have declared themselves GMO-free so far 
EU Commissioner for the Environment Stavros Dimas has expressed serious reservations concerning GMOs  (GM-Free Europe Beginning?, SiS 36), which is unprecedented in the history of the European Commission. On 7 May 2008, the European Commission delayed a decision on allowing farmers to grow more GM crops, and asked European Food Safety Authority to reconsider its previous review, which it had admitted was inadequate, as it was unable to take indirect and long term impacts into account .
No case for GM crops, small scale organic farming is the way ahead
Meanwhile, on 15 April 2008, 400 scientists of the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) released its 2 500-page report [55, 56] (GM-Free Organic Agriculture to Feed the Worldâ€, SiS 38) that took 4 years to complete. It is a thorough examination of global agriculture on a scale comparable to the Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change.
The IAASTD calls for a fundamental change in farming practice to counteract soaring food prices, hunger, poverty and environmental disasters, it says GM crops are controversial with respect to safety for health and the environment, and will not play a substantial role in addressing climate change, loss of biodiversity, hunger and poverty. Small scale farmers and agro-ecological methods are the way forward, and indigenous and local knowledge are as important as formal scientific knowledge. It warns that growing crops for biofuels could worsen food shortages and price rises.
The conclusions of the IAASTD are remarkably similar to our own report Food Futures Now *Organic *Sustainable *Fossil Fuel Free  launched in UK Parliament a week later.
Our Food Futures Now report goes a step further. We argue that only organic agriculture can truly feed the world. More than that, organic agriculture and localised food and energy systems can potentially compensate for all greenhouse emissions due to human activities and free us from fossil fuels, and we need to implement this urgently.
The UN has declared 2008 the year of the Global Food Crisis, and it has been the top news story everyday for months now as the crisis deepens. Food prices increased by an average of 40 percent last year; a string of food riots and protests spread around the world including the UK, and more than 25 000 farmers killed themselves in India.
Most commentators agree that the immediate cause of the food crisis is the divestment of food grains into producing biofuels. BusinessWeek identified Monsanto as a â€œprime beneficiaryâ€. Its stock correlated closely with the price of oil (better than ExxonMobile), and hardly correlated with the price of corn, basically because no one will eat its GM corn. Nevertheless the pro-GM lobby are out in force, using the food crisis to promote GM crops.
GM crops are one big failed experiment based on an obsolete scientific theory, and this failure has been evident since 2004 if not before  (Puncturing the GM Myths, SiS 22). Apart from yielding less and requiring more pesticides, anecdotal evidence since 2005 from farmers around the world indicates that GM crops also require more water . Industrial Green Revolution agriculture is now generally acknowledged to be a major driver of climate change as well as being vulnerable to climate change because of its heavy dependence on fossil energies and water, and its susceptibility to pests, diseases and climate extremes [56, 60, 61] (Beware the New “Doubly Green Revolution”, SiS 37)..GM crops have all the worst features of industrial Green Revolution varieties exaggerated, and not least, there are outstanding safety concerns as I mentioned. Growing GM crops for biofuels does not make them safe, as they will contaminate our food crops all the same.
Any further indulgence in GMOs will surely damage our chances of surviving global warming. We must get on with the urgent business of building organic, sustainable food and energy systems right now.
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