GMO Foods: Safe or Unsafe? You decide.

monsanto

UNSAFE?

According done in a study done in France, GMOs are simply unsafe. Their reasoning is that RoundUp, Monsanto’s formulation of the herbicide glyphosate and the herbicide that most of our foods have been treated with and genetically modified to resist, could cause cellular damage or cellular death in amounts to be expected from our food sources.  Further explanation is offered in two other French studies which you can find here and here. You can find another study done in Brazil calling RoundUp, and consequently our GM crops in the US toxic. 

One of the most disturbing studies of GMOs was done in Russia in 2005 by the National Association for Genetic Security (NAGS), Doctor of Biology, Irina Ermakova. It shows GMO soy, which is found in nearly everything in our  American diets, as having disastrous implications including death, infertility and poor health. Take a look at the photo comparing a normal rat from the study and a rat fed GMO soy from the study on the top right. Then, look at the graph showing the death rates below. That study was contested by subsequent studies. Though in those studies, the GMO food was given after pregnancy had already occurred, when in Ermakova’s study the GMO food was fed to the rats prior to fertilization.

gmo danger2

The evidence mounted even more against RoundUp Ready genetically modified crops in Argentina when studying tadpoles and chicken embryos exposed to the herbicide used on GMOs reflected issues Argentinians were seeing in their own population living near GMO farmland.

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) urges all doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets for all of their patients. If you follow that link, you will find many more independent animal studies showing organ damage, gastrointestinal disorders, immune system disorders, and infertility.

Naw, They’re SAFE!

On the flip side, lots of highly esteemed scientists are pretty adamant that GMO consumption is totally safe. 

GMO safety Round up safetyTake, for example, this guy——->

This guy is Gary Williams. He works at the Department of Pathology at New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York. He is brilliant. He  even received a Merit Award in 2009 by the Society of Toxicology. He says that GMOs and RoundUp are perfectly safe. Similarly, in an “independent” review paid for by the Burdock Group, Williams said Aspartame concerns are completely unfounded too. Oh by the way, the Burdock Group that managed the “independent review” is financially supported by Ajinomoto Company Inc., a producer of aspartame. Gary M. Williams was the Chairman of the American Health Foundation (AHF) which was funded in part by The NutraSweet Company. AHF Board of Directors have included representatives of PepsiCo and the National Soft Drink Association. I’m sure he was completely unbiased though in his professional reviews of both Aspartame and  RoundUp.

Now, Gary worked with other authors on the RoundUp and GMO food safety review I was talking about. For example, Ian Munro is the executive VP of CanTox Health Sciences International (now known as Intrinsik.) One of their slogans is: We protect our customers interests, helping them successfully meet regulatory obligations and bring products to market in a time efficient and cost effective manner.

One of their customers is, of course,  Monsanto.

So, the “independent” review of the herbicide used in Monsanto’s RoundUp was authored by people with very, very strong ties to Monsanto… but I’m sure the review was completely unbiased and based in science, not economics.

Though it is interesting that Intrinsik/CanTox,  found that people living on a military base in Canada that was regularly exposed to Agent Orange need not be concerned.  Did I mention that Monsanto is the company that brought us Agent Orange? I have to assume that these companies are following guidelines and being honest in regards to toxic chemicals though. Right?

Except that:

  1. A court awarded $16 million in punitive damages against Monsanto after it was revealed that Monsanto had intimidated employees to keep quiet, had tampered with evidence, had submitted false data and samples to EPA. Monsanto’s chief exec defends himself here saying the courts are getting out of hand with “punitive damages.”
  2. In the largest fine ever levied under a U.S. pesticides law, Monsanto paid the Environmental Protection Agency $2.5 million. Monsanto was selling genetically modified cotton seeds without labeling them as such. Monsanto’s seeds were illegally sold over a five year span in several Texas counties where the seeds are explicitly banned.
  3. In 1996, New York’s Attorney General gave Monsanto a $50,000 fine for false advertising with Roundup for stating, “Remember that environmentally friendly Roundup herbicide is biodegradable. It won’t build up in the soil so you can use Roundup with confidence along customers’ driveways, sidewalks and fences… ”
  4. The Justice Department ordered Monsanto (as late as 2005) to pay 1.5 million dollars in fines for bribery after a former senior manager at Monsanto directed a consulting firm to give a $50,000 bribe to a high-level official in Indonesia’s environment ministry in 2002. Monsanto took full responsibility and, of course, said they’d be better next time.
But really, riddle me this: What’s a few million dollars to a company with an average of around a billion dollars in free cash flow and billions and billions more in net income? (Oh, I don’t know, blood money?)

You decide.

Alright, I’ll admit it, I wasn’t actually trying to present both sides of this. Why would I though? I know our GM foods are unsafe. I just wanted to walk you through the process I had to go through in order to come to this conclusion.

Forbes Magazine’s readers ranked Monsanto as the most evil corporation in the world.  I’m going to have to agree.

I guess, now is the time when I should announce my own “bias.”

Glyphosate is the organophosphate compound and is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s RoundUp. The EPA banned most residential uses of organophosphates (OP) in 2001, but they are still sprayed agriculturally on fruits and vegetables. They can be absorbed through the lungs or skin or by eating them on food.

In an investigation, it was discovered that Monsanto and the industry has known that glyphosate causes malformations in large doses since the 1980s. They also knew that it causes birth defects in low doses since at least 1993.

In a study published in 2001, organophosphates (such as the active ingredient sprayed on all of Monsanto’s GM crops) were implicated in causing deletions of the sex chromosomes in sperm. The study looked at men’s sperm in a population that had been exposed to OP  and even noted there was a direct link to exposure and sex chromosome diseases such as Turner Syndrome.  These findings were confirmed in a larger study in 2003. Turner Syndrome affects 60,000 females in the United States. This disorder is seen in 1 of every 2000 to 2500 babies born. Turner Syndrome was first announced (I assume that has to do with the coincidental timing of the development of the forerunners of these chemicals for the first time ever) in 1938.

My daughter was stillborn from Turner Syndrome in August of 2000, several years before my family swore off genetically modified foods.

Until these findings, I have been consistently told that there has never been any known cause of Turner Syndrome. No other causes of Turner Syndrome have ever been offered, and now, I learn that the answer was likely right in front of me the whole time…  on public and school lawns, in the air, and in my food.

Had she lived with Turner Syndrome, she would have been smaller than other children and she would have been infertile… Just like some of the the genetically modified soy fed lab rats in Irina Ermakova’s study.

Instead, like the other genetically modified soy fed  lab rats in the study, she was just dead.

 

And so… I am sharing this with you today to implore you: If you are pregnant and especially if you are trying to conceive, make sure you and especially the father-to-be steer clear of genetically modified foods. Choose organic so that your baby doesn’t have to be a lab rat.

 

 

Special thanks to Kathy Minielly for her roll in the researching of this post.


20 Comments

  1. The official U.S. position on genetically-modified organisms is that there is no difference between them and natural organisms. The issue goes even further to suggest that no country should be able to require mandatory GMO labeling on food items, even though science shows that GMOs act differently in the body than do natural organisms and are a threat to health.

    • Dawn Babcock Papple

      Right. And that’s not true though, regardless of the US position. If there was nothing different about them, why bother making them? Also, GMO foods are genetically modified to resist chemicals… adding these chemicals, which contain known toxins is a serious concern. But you know that. Thanks for the blog link. LOVE IT!

  2. I have to admit, I don’t know as much as I would like to about food. I recently began researching gluten and dairy because I have 2 children with sensory issues and one on the spectrum and I do believe Gluten and Casein are the culprits. I learned last week from a friend about Soy also being horrible and then I watched Food, Inc and they were talking about the production of corn. I’m thinking to myself, what the hell can we eat? I’m so disgusted with the US. And also, these studies that say these foods are safe are always bunk! One study I read about was talking about how Ritalin was safe but then it was conducted by a guy name Beiderman who worked for the biggest supplier of ADHD meds, Shire Pharmeceuticals. Can you really trust someone who has a stake in a company that makes millions of dollars off of children with ADHD diagnosis? I can’t. Ritalin is known to cause many side effects, one of them is tics and tremors and even death. Another study was talking about how food coloring isn’t banned nor is their warnings on the food items in the US. But in Europe, they do issue these warnings. There are studies that say that Red 45 and others are carcinogens, yet the US refuses to put warnings on these foods. Makes me so sick. And don’t even get me started on meat. Anyway, all of that to say, it doesn’t really surprise me that this guy is saying that this stuff is safe. Blood money is right. I wish I knew all the foods that were bad because GMO is really scary. I’m so sorry about your loss and that is really horrible to know that this caused it. I have just started on the gluten free, dairy free, soy free (and going to eventually do corn free if I can convince my hubs) way of living but I am glad that there are other options besides what the gov’t tells us to eat.

  3. Pingback: Coca Cola is in the Business of Educating Our Dietitians… because THAT’s not a conflict of interest. — Everything Birth's Blog on Midwifery, Attachment Parenting, Cloth Diapers and More

  4. Tayro

    I was following and posting on another blog sight but stopped. The reason I stopped was because Monsanto has lackeys that monitor such post and began a campaign of stupidity. Every time someone posted anything they would respond by saying how stupid we were and ignorant of the subject. The point was that we are trying to learn about the subject. The original sight and original comments came from Doctors!
    When confronted about their employment one straight fessed up to it saying “so what, that doesn’t make me wrong your just stupid”.
    Point is if GMO’s are so safe and have been proven to be so, why the harassment?
    FYI labs can’t get seeds for study without the patent holders permission. When they do get permission they are given guide lines to follow that make test pointless.
    The people that are set up to be our watchdogs, FDA, Supreme Cort justices and others are past executives of Monsanto. Many have be shown to still hold large amount of stock in Monsanto. Can you say conflict of interest boys and girls, sure I knew you could.
    If you’ve ever asked “have I eaten GMO’s”. The answer unless you grow and raise your own food is without a doubt YES. Every day.
    Look into just how many foods are GMO. Plants and animals. They don’t discriminate.
    Some GMO’s are created to produce industrial chemicals, Not for human consumption even by Monsanto’s standers. Crops near, within 50 miles, of GMO’s have been shown to be cross pollinated. One such event occurred with the chemical producing GMO rice in India. 70,000 acres of rice turned to crap. It is not only possible but probable that cross pollination of such GMO’s will forever destroy rice, corn, tomato’s, canola, soy, and many more plants as food sources.

    • Dawn Babcock Papple

      On the contrary, we are prohibited from testing the seeds. You are absolutely right. And those rouge scientists who attempt it are promptly threatened with having their reputations ruined forever and fired.

      The only good news is that, when GMOs are left on their own, somehow, they strive towards natural. The GMOs that aren’t rendered infertile mutate so that they are closer to their natural relatives in only a few generations of seeds. So… when contaminated, it’s likely that with enough reproduction, the GMO genes will naturally be lost (as though they were recessive.)

  5. Pingback: Politics Bug Me. — Everything Birth's Blog on Midwifery, Attachment Parenting, Cloth Diapers and More

  6. Pingback: Fathers Smoking Cigarettes and Eating Hot dogs — Everything Birth's Blog on Midwifery, Attachment Parenting, Cloth Diapers and More

  7. Pingback: Learning things the hard way. — Everything Birth's Blog on Midwifery, Attachment Parenting, Cloth Diapers and More

  8. Pingback: Rice Milk: Why it says not to give it to children under five. — Everything Birth's Blog on Midwifery, Attachment Parenting, Cloth Diapers and More

  9. Erin Galloway Kaltschmidt

    Hi Dawn,

    Very well written and researched blog, Dawn. I found it extremely informative. I just have a curious question for you. I had read under the Turner Syndrome link you provided, female fetuses can survive without the X Chromosome however males can not, yet your baby was a girl. What method was used to diagnose your baby with Turner syndrome?

    My heart goes out to you and all families who have endured the loss of a baby or child.

    Erin

    • Dawn Babcock Papple

      Turners are girls. All of them. The same situation, if it were only a Y is not compatible with life, those cells would not develop into a fetus. Turner’s girls are diagnosed with complete accuracy with DNA analysis. My daughter had an autopsy done and she had X0. Or, simply one X chromosome. Sometimes Turner’s girls can live, as I mentioned at the end of the post. When they live, they are usually infertile, have some webbing of the neck and are of short stature along with other things… One of the complications of Turner’s is a heart issue, which my daughter died from.She had aortic coarctation (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001242/.) She died when her aorta burst.

      • Erin Galloway Kaltschmidt

        Thank you for the additional info. I hope I didn’t pry too much. I had not realized they would all be girls, but i see how that makes sense because just a Y would never be created to begin with….
        Again, very sorry for the loss you endure.

  10. Pingback: Teen Pregnancy Rate Drops Dramatically Since 1991. “Yay?!” or “WTF?!” »

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *