Yesterday we scored an
important victory to end the
use of antibiotics in organic
apple and pear production and
to uphold organic integrity!
Thank you for your support!
Thanks to the more than 30,000 CFS members like you who signed our petition and to the good work of our allies like Consumers Union, Food and Water Watch, and others, we convinced the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) to not extend the allowance of the antibiotic tetracycline beyond 2014 for organic apple and pear production!
This decision is a victory for the organic standards and advances efforts to preserve the continued effectiveness of antibiotics. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a serious threat to public health, and the World Health Organization has labeled tetracycline a “critically important” drug for combating human infections. Antibiotics are not allowed in the production of any other organic food, including organic poultry and livestock.
The vote came after extended public testimony where some apple and pear growers testified about concerns that they may not have adequate alternatives to prevent fire blight disease that could arise in their orchards. But, as scientists discussed at the meeting, a range of orchard management practices, as well as a substitute for the use of tetracycline, will be available this year. And, orchardists still have two growing seasons to phase out the use of tetracycline.
CFS believes the Board made the right decision and we could not have achieved this important victory without you—thank you!
PS – For more background information and campaign updates on our work protecting the Organic Standards, visit our website: http://www.
This just in: In the next few days, Senator Barbara Boxer will introduce new Federal legislation in the United States Senate that would require all genetically engineered foods to be labeled! And a corresponding bill will be introduced in the House by Congressman Peter DeFazio. Monsanto and its allies spent nearly $50 million last fall to narrowly defeat a labeling bill in California. But what at the time looked like a victory for Monsanto could turn out to be a costly defeat.
Just in the last few months, labeling bills have been introduced in 26 states. And now the U.S. Congress will consider the first federal labeling bill to be introduced in the Senate in more than ten years.
Your support has made this happen! And many thanks to the Center for Food Safety, led by 2013 Food Revolution Summit speaker Andrew Kimbrell, for providing this petition you can sign to tell your Senators and Representative to Co-Sponsor these bills.
Yours for the truth about our food,
P.S. Thanks for signing up for the Food Revolution Summit. I can’t wait to hear my dad’s interview with Andrew Kimbrell, and all 23 other amazing speakers! Want to tell your friends about the summit? Click here to sign up as an affiliate and get some tools to help you spread the word!
Joy Lynn Baker 10:06pm Feb 9Check it out! Tongue in cheek ~ but makes the point! GMO A Go Go – Truth about GMOs explained in new animated cartoon www.youtube.comA new animation film from Infomatic Films has just been launched by Natural News: “GMO A Go Go” is a…
New GMO video, plus Dangerous Modified Toxins in Your Blood
Institute for Responsible Technology
Permission is granted to publish and post freely.
View this article on our website.
Watch this two minute video, Double Dipping Danger, produced by Alex Bogusky, and then read about new evidence below showing even more harm from genetically modified foods.
Dangerous Toxins From Genetically Modified Plants Found in Women and Fetuses
by Jeffrey M. Smith
When U.S. regulators approved Monsanto’s genetically modified “Bt” corn, they knew it would add a deadly poison into our food supply. That’s what it was designed to do. The corn’s DNA is equipped with a gene from soil bacteria called Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) that produces the Bt-toxin. It’s a pesticide; it breaks open the stomach of certain insects and kills them.
But Monsanto and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) swore up and down that it was only insects that would be hurt. The Bt-toxin, they claimed, would be completely destroyed in the human digestive system and not have any impact on all of us trusting corn-eating consumers.
Oops. A study just proved them wrong.
Doctors at Sherbrooke University Hospital in Quebec found the corn’s Bt-toxin in the blood of pregnant women and their babies, as well as in non-pregnant women. (Specifically, the toxin was identified in 93% of 30 pregnant women, 80% of umbilical blood in their babies, and 67% of 39 non-pregnant women.) The study has been accepted for publication in the peer reviewed journal Reproductive Toxicology.
According to the UK Daily Mail, this study, which “appears to blow a hole in” safety claims, “has triggered calls for a ban on imports and a total overhaul of the safety regime for genetically modified (GM) crops and food.” Organizations from England to New Zealand are now calling for investigations and for GM crops to be halted due to the serious implications of this finding.
Links to allergies, auto-immune disease, and other disorders
There’s already plenty of evidence that the Bt-toxin produced in GM corn and cotton plants is toxic to humans and mammals and triggers immune system responses. The fact that it flows through our blood supply, and that is passes through the placenta into fetuses, may help explain the rise in many disorders in the US since Bt crop varieties were first introduced in 1996.
In government-sponsored research in Italy, mice fed Monsanto’s Bt corn showed a wide range of immune responses. Their elevated IgE and IgG antibodies, for example, are typically associated with allergies and infections. The mice had an increase in cytokines, which are associated with “allergic and inflammatory responses.” The specific cytokines (interleukins) that were elevated are also higher in humans who suffer from a wide range of disorders, from arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, to MS and cancer (see chart).
Elevated interleukins Associations
IL-6 Rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, various types of cancer (multiple myeloma and prostate cancer)
IL-13 Allergy, allergic rhinitis, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
MIP-1b Autoimmune disease and colitis.
IL-12p70 Inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis
The young mice in the study also had elevated T cells (gamma delta), which are increased in people with asthma, and in children with food allergies, juvenile arthritis, and connective tissue diseases. The Bt corn that was fed to these mice, MON 810, produced the same Bt-toxin that was found in the blood of women and fetuses.
When rats were fed another of Monsanto’s Bt corn varieties called MON 863, their immune systems were also activated, showing higher numbers of basophils, lymphocytes, and white blood cells. These can indicate possible allergies, infections, toxins, and various disease states including cancer. There were also signs of toxicity in the liver and kidneys.
Natural Bt is dangerous
Farmers have used Bt-toxin from soil bacteria as a natural pesticide for years. But they spray it on plants, where it washes off and biodegrades in sunlight. The GM version is built-in; every plant cell has its own spray bottle. The toxin doesn’t wash off; it’s consumed. Furthermore, the plant-produced version of the poison is thousands of times more concentrated than the spray; is designed to be even more toxic; and has properties of known allergens—it actually fails the World Health Organization’s allergen screening tests.
The biotech companies ignore the substantial difference between the GM toxin and the natural bacteria version, and boldly claim that since the natural spray has a history of safe use in agriculture, it’s therefore OK to put the poison directly into our food. But even this claim of safe use of Bt spray ignores peer-reviewed studies showing just the opposite.
When natural Bt-toxin was fed to mice, they had tissue damage, immune responses as powerful as cholera toxin, and even started reacting to other foods that were formerly harmless. Farm workers exposed to Bt also showed immune responses. The EPA’s own expert Scientific Advisory Panel said that these mouse and farm worker studies “suggest that Bt proteins could act as antigenic and allergenic sources.”But the EPA ignored the warnings. They also overlooked studies showing that about 500 people in Washington state and Vancouver showed allergic and flu-like symptoms when they were exposed to the spray when it was used to kill gypsy moths.
Bt cotton linked to human allergies, animal deaths
Indian farm workers are suffering from rashes and itching and other symptoms after coming into contact with Bt cotton.
Now thousands of Indian farm laborers are suffering from the same allergic and flu-like symptoms as those in the Pacific Northwest simply from handling genetically engineered cotton plants that produce Bt-toxin. According to reports and records from doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies, as well as numerous investigative reports and case studies, workers are struggling with constant itching and rashes; some take antihistamines every day in order to go to work.
It gets worse.
All thirteen buffalo of a small Indian village died after grazing for a single day on Bt cotton plants.
When they allow livestock to graze on the Bt cotton plants after harvest, thousands of sheep, goats, and buffalo died. Numerous others got sick. I visited one village where for seven to eight years they allowed their buffalo to graze on natural cotton plants without incident. But on January 3rd, 2008, they allowed their 13 buffalo to graze on Bt cotton plants for the first time. After just one day’s exposure, all died. The village also lost 26 goats and sheep.
One small study in Andhra Pradesh reported that all six sheep that grazed on Bt cotton plants died within a month, while the three controls fed natural cotton plants showed no adverse symptoms.
Living pesticide factories inside us?
Getting back to the Bt-toxin now circulating in the blood of North American adults and newborns—how did it get there? The study authors speculate that it was consumed in the normal diet of the Canadian middle class. They even suggest that the toxin may have come from eating meat from animals fed Bt corn—as most livestock are.
I’d like to speculate on another possible source. But I warn you, it’s not pretty.
The only human feeding study every published on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) was conducted on Roundup Ready soybeans. Here’s their back story: Scientists found bacteria growing in a chemical waste dump near their factory, surviving the presence of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. The herbicide normally kills bacteria, but this organism had some special gene that allowed it to survive. So Monsanto scientists figured, “Let’s put it into the food supply!”
By forcing that genes from that bacterium into soybean plants’ DNA, the plants then survive an otherwise deadly dose of Roundup herbicide—hence the name Roundup Ready.
In the human study, some of the subjects were found to have Roundup Ready gut bacteria! This means that sometime in the past, from eating one or more meals of GM soybeans, the gene that had been discovered in the chemical waste dump and forced into the soy, had transferred into the DNA of bacteria living inside their intestines—and continued to function. That means that long after we stop eating GMOs, we may still have dangerous GM proteins produced continuously inside of us.
When the results of the study emerged, the funding from the pro-GMO UK government mysteriously dried up, so they were not able to see if the same type of gene transfer happens with Bt genes from, say, corn chips. If it does, it means that eating Bt corn might turn our intestinal flora into living pesticide factories—continually manufacturing Bt-toxin from within our digestive systems.
I don’t know of a test that can confirm that this is happening, but the Canada study may be showing the results—where Bt-toxins are found in the blood of a very high percentage of people.
If the “living pesticide factory” hypothesis is correct, we might speculate even further. Bt-toxin breaks open the stomach of insects. Could it similarly be damaging the integrity of our digestive tracts? The biotech companies insist that Bt-toxin doesn’t bind or interact with the intestinal walls of mammals, and therefore humans. But here too they ignore peer-reviewed published evidence showing that Bt-toxin does bind with mouse small intestines and with intestinal tissue from rhesus monkeys. In the former study, they even found “changes in the electrophysiological properties” of the organ after the Bt-toxin came into contact.
If Bt-toxins were causing leaky gut syndrome in newborns, the passage of undigested foods and toxins into the blood from the intestines could be devastating. Scientists speculate that it may lead to autoimmune diseases and food allergies. Furthermore, since the blood-brain barrier is not developed in newborns, toxins may enter the brain causing serious cognitive problems. Some healthcare practitioners and scientists are convinced that this is the apparent mechanism for autism.
Thus, if Bt genes were colonizing the bacteria living in the digestive tract of North Americans, we might see an increase in gastrointestinal problems, autoimmune diseases, food allergies, and childhood learning disorders—since 1996 when Bt crops came on the market. Physicians have told me that they indeed are seeing such an increase.
The discovery of Bt-toxin in our blood does not confirm all this speculation, but it does provide food for thought. And hopefully, that food is non-GMO.
Our Institute for Responsible Technology joins other organizations worldwide calling for an immediate ban on GM food crops, and the commencement of rigorous independent scientific research on the safety of GMOs in general, and Bt-toxin in particular.
Action Alert: While we work for a ban on GMOs, in the mean time click here to sign a petition for President Obama to require labeling.
Jeffrey M. Smith is the Executive Director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, author of the #1 international bestselling book on GMOs, Seeds of Deception, and of Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods. To avoid GMOs, which is the advice of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, visit www.NonGMOShoppingGuide.com.
For references to this blog, go to: http://www.responsibletechnology.org/blog/1412
We’re angry! MILLIONS of us are angry and outraged at the approval of GM alfalfa. And on top of that, the USDA also did an end-run around the courts to keep GM sugar beets growing, AND approved a GM corn used for ethanol.
So what do we do? Surrender? Never!
Before I propose a way forward, I want to share a victory you may have missed in the first paragraph. I said MILLIONS. That’s right, there are millions of us. And you can hear our frustration flying around in blogs, emails, press reports, petitions, etc. Do you remember the reaction just four years ago when GM sugar beets were approved for sale? There was nothing close to this response. It was hardly a blip. Where we have come in just a few years is a cause for celebration. And an unprecedented opportunity to throw our new weight around.
Within the first six months of last year, we witnessed more people in the US than ever before enthusiastically getting the word out about the dangers of GMOs. This was in part due to the huge internet distribution channels that have been getting articles and videos out to MILLIONS every month. (Thank you all!) And then there was the high profile media coverage of GE salmon and the sugar beet and alfalfa court cases.
In spite of their bitter outcomes at the hands of the USDA, the prolonged alfalfa and sugar beet fights actually helped elevate GMOs on our personal and national radar screens.
And now with MILLIONS of us grasping the significance and devastating loss of yet another crop, we have the components in place for a national revolution. We have the knowledge, the emotion, the network, and the profound injustice. Now we need an action plan. Enter Alfalfa: Plan B.
It’s time to use our collective power to move the market directly. It’s time we let the food companies know that we have new healthier criteria if they want to keep us as customers. And front and center in those new criteria is to commit to no GM alfalfa in their supply chain (which is used as animal feed, particularly to dairy cows).
This is our moment! Send a letter to dozens of dairies and food companies simultaneously. Let them know how strong we feel and how MILLIONS strong we are. When they get the message about the coming non-GMO tipping point, they’ll realize it’s time to remove all GM ingredients, not just alfalfa.
Share this “click and send revolution” with your friends, shop using the Non-GMO Shopping Guide, and tell the food companies the truth about GMOs. And for those who want to do even more, you are invited to join a local or national Non-GMO Action Group, to expand our numbers even further!
Send a letter now!
Celebrating our National Non-GMO Movement
A young woman came up to me at a Cambridge bookstore just before my presentation. “I heard you on Coast to Coast radio last year,” she said. “You changed my life.” No one had ever said anything like that to me before. I was deeply touched.
That was 2004. It was just 8 months since launching Seeds of Deception
and I had already toured five continents. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was just getting started. And I would meet countless others whose lives were also transformed by the truth about genetically modified (GM) foods.
The world today is quite different than when I started out as a non-GMO road warrior. Most Americans had said they would avoid genetically modified organisms if labeled, but now millions are no longer waiting. They’re actively seeking non-GMO foods. And many are enthusiastically getting the word out to others.
As a personal thank you, I wanted to share a few stories from this year’s travels in the US about individuals whose commitments to non-GMO eating were inspired by rather compelling circumstances.
I spent some time at the medical practices of two Chicago area doctors who, like many I know, prescribe non-GMO diets to everyone. The doctors had told me that taking people off of GM foods is a very important part of health and healing, but I didn’t appreciate the full extent of it until I spoke with their patients. One after the other they described chronic symptoms that quickly improved or disappeared after changing their diets—skin conditions, irritable bowel, migraines, weight problems, fatigue, and much more.
At the end of my interviews I asked one of the doctors, “Where did you first learn about the health impacts of GMOs?” She smiled, “From you.” I held back tears.
The patients I interviewed had avoided GMOs by switching to organic food; some had also eliminated processed foods and/or specific food categories, so it was not clear how much of the improvements were based on avoiding GMOs versus other healthy changes. Soon after the visit, however, I came across other folks where the impact of a non-GMO diet was not ambiguous at all.
Animals on the Mend
These were veterinarians and farmers who had taken livestock—pigs and cows—off of GMO feed. What do you suppose happened? Death rates dropped, still born rates were down, litter size was up, and overall health improved. One farmer was ecstatic about the huge increase in milk production in his herd; another described how healthy his pigs looked—even down to reduced blood shot eyes.
The vets I spoke with had all been in practice long before 1996, when GMOs were introduced. Each had his stories about the surge in diseases and disorders after GM feed came on the scene. One told me that the jump in dog and cat allergies correlated exactly with the introduction of GM pet food. Whenever he switched his allergic animals to an organic (non-GMO) brand, their symptoms such as itching would usually disappear. Others described inflammation, infections, and gastrointestinal disorders.
Both vets and farmers saw differences inside GM-fed animals during autopsies or butchering, including liver damage, stomach ulcers, discoloration, and an awful stench. One farmer said that after seeing the alterations inside GM-fed animals, he and his wife started a strict non-GMO policy for their family’s meat.
(Apparently the vets who started their practices after GMOs entered the food supply consider all these problems normal.)
A Movement of Non-GMO Eaters and Feeders
Although some might dismiss these stories as “anecdotal,” the doctors, patients, vets, and farmers do not. Nor do the two autism organizations I visited, who now specify a non-GMO diet as part of the treatment protocol. These are just a few examples of the informed individuals, families, and organizations around the nation who are getting the message loud and clear—GMOs are NOT healthy.
We now have a movement in America. A BIG ONE! Thanks to you, we’re a force of nature—like the Earth’s immune system—a vast network rejecting dangerous genetically modified organisms. We will soon reach our goal—the tipping point of consumer rejection—which will force GMOs out of the market.
To respond to this new movement, our Institute is making some significant shifts—which I will tell you about very soon. But I wanted to take this opportunity to share these stories and to thank you for being part of this historic movement.
Much love and happy holidays,
For articles, online videos and more visit the Institute for Responsible Technology
Shop Non-GMO, visit the Non-GMO Shopping Guide
Friday Freakout: Genetically Modified Salmon Swims Onto Your Plate
posted by Eric Steinman Aug 27, 2010 12:33 pm
filed under: Eating for Health, Following Food, Food & Recipes, Nature & Wildlife, farmed fish, farmed salmon, FDA, genetically modified, genetically modified foods, GM, GMO, salmon, wild food, wild seafood
Friday Freakout: Genetically Modified Salmon Swims Onto Your Plate
Hello, I saw this on Care2 and thought you’d like it as well. Care2 is the largest and most trusted information and action site for people who care to make a difference in their lives and the world.
Salmon is not what it used to be. You could easily say that about all or any wild fish (especially after reading Paul Greenberg’s excellent Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food) but wild salmon, which used to be a highly plentiful wild fish, in both the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean, is now largely a farmed fish. From a conservationist perspective this is exceedingly bad, and from a consumer perspective this is unfavorable. Well things are about to get weird with our current farmed salmon stocks as the Food and Drug Administration just announced a 60-day period of consultation and public meetings over whether to permit a genetically modified (GM) strain of salmon to be sold for human consumption, even though it has been called a “frankenfish” by critics. The odds are (taking a good look at the power of the GM lobby) that this GM salmon will make it past critics and those skeptical at the FDA in less than a year, to find a home on American dinner tables nationwide.
Farmed salmon is a widely consumed and hugely popular form of seafood nationwide, and worldwide. Some estimates gauge that more than 30% of all seafood purchases in the United States are in the form of farmed salmon, and with this development, farmed salmon would have a new, somewhat tarnished, designate; as the first genetically modified animal bred for human consumption. According to an article in the New York Times from June, ” The salmon’s approval would help open a path for companies and academic scientists developing other genetically engineered animals, like cattle resistant to mad cow disease or pigs that could supply healthier bacon.”
The AquAdvantage salmon – a modified North Atlantic salmon (which ironically is almost entirely fished out of existence) – has been created by AquaBounty Technologies in Boston, Massachusetts, and has been created/modified, not to develop a greater flavor or nutritional profile, but simply because this salmon grows at twice the speed of similar fish, cutting costs for farmers and greatly increasing production. According to information released by the company (and gleaned from the Guardian UK) the genetic modification involves taking a growth hormone gene from a Chinook salmon and joining it with a control DNA sequence (called a promoter) from an ocean pout – an eel-like creature from a different family of marine organisms. The salmon, which normally feed only during the spring and summer months, would (thanks to this genetic upgrade) be literally switched “on” by the added pout gene, which will trigger them to feed year round. The result is, not necessarily a fatter fish, but one that grows larger and faster – considerably shortening the time to market. Translation: this development is only to benefit producers, not consumers.
Surprisingly, one of the opponents to this GM product is the International Salmon Farmers Association, which is concerned about the reaction of consumers and that it will undermine the popularity of salmon, which commands high prices in the US. Considering that the FDA still remains on the fence, as whether or not they will require the fish to be labeled “Genetically Modified,” it is fair to say that some cautious consumers may be ultimately turned off by the idea of consuming this dubbed “frankenfish.”
While the FDA has established an advisory committee of veterinarians to consider the evidence and public views on the subject of this GM seafood, and consumers have a year or so to make a stink, this will likely be a messy fight over dinner. No doubt, if this fish gets ultimately rejected this time around (this particular crossbred salmon has been 15 years in the making) it will be tinkered and tooled with and again offered up to the FDA (and the American public) for their approval a few years down the line.
This is indisputably a difficult issue, and one that has a high emotional range. Consumers, ecologists, and health professionals remain highly skeptical when it comes to genetically modified anything, and for good reason – we simply don’t know how this particular trifling with nature will impact us, as consumers, as well as the surrounding natural world. Will GM fish make consumers sick down the line? Will the GM fish infect or impact other wild fish stocks? Will this open a Pandora’s box of biological exploitation and a general sullying of our natural food systems?
Eric Steinman is a freelance writer based in Rhinebeck, N.Y. He regularly writes about food, music, art, architecture and culture and is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit among other publications.
What in the World are They Spraying – Official Trailer
What in the World are They Spraying? Trailer. Original Info : “What in the World are They Spraying?” – Official Trailer http://www.realityzone.com/angels.html The Reality Zone is producing a documentary that explores the murky world of atmospheric geo-engineering, commonly called chemtrails. The title of the program is: What in the World Are They Spraying! and we can tell you with confidence that it will be one of the most important programs you will ever see. There are plenty of dramatic video clips of chemtrails on the Internet, and your innate intelligence tells you that what you see in the sky with your own eyes is not caused by mere vapor trails from jet aircraft, but no one yet has probed the questions: WHO is doing this and WHY. All of that is about to change. We are working with two young journalistic film makers, Michael Murphy and Paul Wittenberger who already are far advanced in the development of this incredible story.
Learn more at: http://www.realityzone.com/angels.html