Genetically Modified Foods
GM Foods: Harmful or Helpful?


"French scientists said ... that rats fed on Monsanto's genetically modified corn or exposed to its top-selling weedkiller suffered tumors and multiple organ damage. The researchers said 50 percent of males and 70 percent of females died prematurely, compared with only 30 percent and 20 percent in the control group. GMOs are deeply unpopular in Europe and many other countries, but dominate key crops in the United States."
  -- MSNBC/Reuters article on a two-year study of rats fed genetically modified foods, 9/19/2012


Dear friends,

Are genetically modified foods helpful or harmful? Monsanto and the food industry have poured $35 million into a campaign in California against Proposition 37, which would require the labeling of foods which contain genetically modified (GM) contents. Though over 60 countries require GM food labeling, no state in the U.S. has this requirement. Yet as the major media articles below have shown, over 90% of polled U.S. residents would rather have the right to know.

The huge industry campaign against GM labeling in California has clearly had an effect. Poll results show that in late September 67% of respondents favored Proposition 37, yet by Oct. 10th that number had dropped below 50%, largely as a result of incessant advertising sponsored by Monsanto and other major food corporations. Sadly, proponents of labeling have less than $5 million to present information on the many studies showing how harmful genetically modified foods can be.

Below are highly revealing news articles reported in the major media which reveal the many risks and dangers of GM foods, as well as the intense and deceptive campaign by big industry to promote these foods as healthy and avoid labeling. Links are provided to many reliable sources showing the harmful effects of these foods. Please read below, spread the word, and see our "What you can do" section below the article summaries. Thanks for caring and for making a difference in our world.

With very best wishes for a brighter future,
Fred Burks for PEERS and WantToKnow.info
Former White House interpreter and whistleblower




Study finds tumors in rats fed on Monsanto's GM corn
2012-09-19, MSNBC/Reuters
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/49086360/ns/health-health_care

French scientists said on [September 19] that rats fed on Monsanto's genetically modified corn or exposed to its top-selling weedkiller suffered tumors and multiple organ damage. Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen and colleagues said rats fed on a diet containing NK603 - a seed variety made tolerant to dousings of Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller - or given water with Roundup at levels permitted in the United States, died earlier than those on a standard diet. The animals on the GM diet suffered mammary tumors, as well as severe liver and kidney damage. The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Food and Chemical Toxicology and presented at a news conference in London. The researchers said 50 percent of males and 70 percent of females died prematurely, compared with only 30 percent and 20 percent in the control group. GMOs are deeply unpopular in Europe and many other countries, but dominate key crops in the United States after Monsanto in 1996 introduced a soybean genetically altered to tolerate Monsanto's Roundup weed killer. Seralini was part of a team that has voiced previous safety concerns based on a shorter rat study in a scientific paper published in 2009. This new study takes things a step further by tracking the animals throughout their two-year lifespan. Seralini believes his latest lifetime rat tests give a more realistic and authoritative view of risks than the 90-day feeding trials that form the basis of GM crop approvals, since three months is only the equivalent of early adulthood in rats.

Note: For alarming photos and more from the above long-term study on the dangers of genetically modified foods, click here. For an incisive, powerful 13-minute video revealing the disturbing results of this first long-term scientific study on genetically modified foods, click here. For an excellent article and a great two-minute video clearly explaining the harmful aspects of GM food, click here. For a powerful summary of the health risks from GM foods, click here.




The right to know what you are eating
2011-11-22, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/11/21/ED4S1M1FJB.DTL

An unprecedented agricultural experiment is being conducted at America's dinner tables. While none of the processed food we ate 20 years ago contained genetically engineered ingredients, now 75 percent of it does - even though the long-term human health and environmental impacts are unknown. The Food and Drug Administration doesn't require labeling of genetically engineered foods. In 1992, the FDA ruled that genetically engineered foods didn't need independent safety tests or labeling requirements before being introduced. But one of its own scientists disagreed, warning there were "profound differences" with genetically engineered foods. Genetically engineered seed manufacturers were allowed to sell their products without telling consumers. A 2006 survey found that 74 percent of Americans had no idea that genetically engineered foods were already being sold. About 94 percent of U.S. grown soybeans are genetically engineered and contain a gene that protects them against glyphosate, now the nation's most widely used pesticide. Almost all the research on the safety of genetically engineered foods has been conducted by the companies that sell them. A recent poll found 93 percent of Americans think genetically engineered foods should be labeled. This month, 384,000 people signed a Just Label It (www.justlabelit.org) petition urging the FDA to mandate genetically engineered food labeling nationally.

Note: Over one million people have now signed the above-mentioned petition. Please join in signing and making your voice heard at this link. For powerful, verifiable information showing scientific studies which revealed lab animals died after ingesting genetically modified foods, click here.




American Academy of Environmental Medicine Calls for Moratorium on Genetically Modified Foods
2009-05-08, American Academy of Environmental Medicine
http://www.aaemonline.org/gmopost.html

There is more than a casual association between GM [Genetically Modified] foods and adverse health effects. There is causation [as] confirmed in several animal studies. Specificity of the association of GM foods and specific disease processes is also supported. In spite of this risk, the biotechnology industry claims that GM foods can feed the world through production of higher crop yields. However, a recent report by the Union of Concerned Scientists reviewed 12 academic studies and indicates otherwise: "The several thousand field trials over the last 20 years ... indicate a significant undertaking. Yet none of these field trials have resulted in increased yield ... with the exception of Bt corn." Therefore, because GM foods pose a serious health risk in the areas of toxicology, allergy and immune function, reproductive health, and metabolic, physiologic and genetic health and are without benefit, ... because GM foods have not been properly tested for human consumption, and because there is ample evidence of probable harm, the AAEM asks: [1] Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks. [2] Physicians to consider the possible role of GM foods in the disease process. [3] Our members, the medical community, and the independent scientific community to gather case studies potentially related to GM food consumption and health effects. [4] For a moratorium on GM food, implementation of immediate long term independent safety testing, and labeling of GM foods, which is necessary for the health and safety of consumers.

Note: Why was this not reported in the mainstream media? A top academy of physicians states our health is being endangered by GM foods, yet no one is reporting this. For how our media is bought off in matters like this, click here. For a powerful essay showing blatant corruption of the science around genetically modified foods and FDA complicity, click here.




The case for Prop. 37
2012-10-11, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-imhoff-prop-37-gmo-labeling...

Proposition 37 ... is rooted in a simple premise: Consumers have the right to know if their food is produced using genetic engineering. It's been standard practice in all member countries of the European Union for years. The latest published research shows that 61 countries have some form of mandatory labeling for foods containing genetically modified crop ingredients. The companies that sell genetically modified seeds and manufactured foods argue that American consumers don't need such detailed labels. They say, "Just trust us." That is a lot to ask. Product labels are the front line of consumer protection. Research and development on genetically engineered products ... are largely done by private sector, not public sector, scientists because companies very aggressively protect their patents. The level of secrecy and the combative nature of the industry fuel public distrust. Unfortunately, consumers cannot look to the federal government to increase their trust. Some government officials in positions that make policy on genetically engineered products may hold biases born of their previous jobs with GMO seed companies. Distrust is amplified by questions over who really benefits from GMO foods. As we saw in the multibillion-dollar tobacco case settlement in 1998, companies cannot always be trusted to put health before profit. Another concern is the skyrocketing price of seed for farmers. Finally, GMO products on the market offer American consumers no clear benefits. Proposition 37 simply requires basic transparency and truthful packaging, and companies would have 18 months to implement it. And it would protect consumers' right to know in a product category central to health.

Note: For a powerful essay showing the harmful effects of genetically modified foods, click here.




Biotechnology Food: From the Lab to a Debacle
2001-01-25, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/01/25/business/25FOOD.html?pagewanted=all

In late 1986, four executives of the Monsanto Company, the leader in agricultural biotechnology, paid a visit to Vice President George Bush at the White House. In the weeks and months that followed, the White House complied, working behind the scenes, to help Monsanto — long a political power with deep connections in Washington — get the regulations that it wanted. It was an outcome that would be repeated, again and again, through three administrations. What Monsanto wished for from Washington, Monsanto — and, by extension, the biotechnology industry — got. Even longtime Washington hands said that the control this nascent industry exerted over its own regulatory destiny — through the Environmental Protection Agency, the Agriculture Department and ultimately the Food and Drug Administration — was astonishing. Dr. Louis J. Pribyl, one of 17 government scientists working on a policy for genetically engineered food, ... knew from studies that toxins could be unintentionally created when new genes were introduced into a plant's cells. The government was dismissing that risk and any other possible risk as no different from those of conventionally derived food. That meant biotechnology companies would not need government approval to sell the foods they were developing. "This is the industry's pet idea, namely that there are no unintended effects that will raise the F.D.A.'s level of concern," Dr. Pribyl wrote in a fiery memo to the F.D.A. scientist overseeing the policy's development. "But time and time again, there is no data to back up their contention."




WikiLeaks: US targets EU over GM crops
2011-01-03, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/03/wikileaks-us-eu-gm-crops

The US embassy in Paris advised Washington to start a military-style trade war against any European Union country which opposed genetically modified (GM) crops, newly released WikiLeaks cables show. In response to moves by France to ban a Monsanto GM corn variety in late 2007, the ambassador, Craig Stapleton, a friend and business partner of former US president George Bush, asked Washington to penalise the EU and particularly countries which did not support the use of GM crops. "Moving to retaliation will make clear that the current path has real costs to EU interests and could help strengthen European pro-biotech voices," said Stapleton, who with Bush co-owned the St Louis-based Texas Rangers baseball team in the 1990s [and is married to Dorothy Walker, a first cousin of former U.S. president George H.W. Bush]. In other newly released cables, US diplomats around the world are found to have pushed GM crops as a strategic government and commercial imperative. In addition, the cables show US diplomats working directly for GM companies such as Monsanto. It also emerges that Spain and the US have worked closely together to persuade the EU not to strengthen biotechnology laws. In one cable, the embassy in Madrid writes: "If Spain falls, the rest of Europe will follow." The cables show that not only did the Spanish government ask the US to keep pressure on Brussels but that the US knew in advance how Spain would vote, even before the Spanish biotech commission had reported.

Note: For a powerful 13-minute video revealing the disturbing results of the first long-term scientific study on genetically modified foods and showing how they greatly increased cancer incidence in rats, click here. For more revealing information on this from Dr. Mercola, click here. For an excellent overview of scientific studies on the risks from genetically-modified foods, click here.




Is this the year that the food movement finally enters politics?
2012-10-10, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/14/magazine/why-californias-proposition-37-should-matter-to-anyone...

California’s Proposition 37, which would require that genetically modified (G.M.) foods carry a label, has the potential ... to change the politics of food not just in California but nationally too. Genetically modified foods don’t offer the eater any benefits whatsoever — only a potential, as yet undetermined risk. Monsanto and its allies have fought the labeling of genetically modified food ... vigorously since 1992, when the industry managed to persuade the [F.D.A.] — over the objection of its own scientists — that the new crops were “substantially equivalent” to the old and so did not need to be labeled, much less regulated. The F.D.A. policy was co-written by a lawyer whose former firm worked for Monsanto. More than 60 other countries have seen fit to label genetically modified food, including those in the European Union, Japan, Russia and China. Monsanto and DuPont, the two leading merchants of genetically modified seed, have invested more than $12 million to defeat Prop 37. Americans have been eating genetically engineered food for 18 years, and as supporters of the technology are quick to point out, we don’t seem to be dropping like flies. But they miss the point. The fight over labeling G.M. food is not foremost about food safety or environmental harm, legitimate though these questions are. The fight is about the power of Big Food. Monsanto has become the symbol of everything people dislike about industrial agriculture: corporate control of the regulatory process; lack of transparency (for consumers) and lack of choice (for farmers); an intensifying rain of pesticides; and the monopolization of seeds, which is to say, of the genetic resources on which all of humanity depends.

Note: To learn more about the revolving door between Monsanto and the FDA, click here. To read about many suppressed scientific studies which showed the GM foods were often harmful and sometimes even lethal to a variety of lab animals, click here. To watch a powerful video showing clearly how Monsanto has attacked those who will not use their GM seeds, click here.




Exposed: the Great GM Crops Myth
2008-04-20, The Independent (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/green-living/exposed-the-great-gm-cr...

Genetic modification actually cuts the productivity of crops, an authoritative new study shows, undermining repeated claims that a switch to the controversial technology is needed to solve the growing world food crisis. The study – carried out over the past three years at the University of Kansas – has found that GM soya produces about 10 per cent less food than its conventional equivalent, contradicting assertions by advocates of the technology that it increases yields. Professor Barney Gordon, of the university's department of agronomy, said he started the research – reported in the journal Better Crops – because many farmers who had changed over to the GM crop had "noticed that yields are not as high as expected even under optimal conditions". He added: "People were asking the question 'how come I don't get as high a yield as I used to?'" He grew a Monsanto GM soybean and an almost identical conventional variety in the same field. The modified crop produced only 70 bushels of grain per acre, compared with 77 bushels from the non-GM one. The GM crop – engineered to resist Monsanto's own weedkiller, Roundup – recovered only when he added extra manganese, leading to suggestions that the modification hindered the crop's take-up of the essential element from the soil. The new study confirms earlier research at the University of Nebraska, which found that another Monsanto GM soya produced 6 per cent less than its closest conventional relative, and 11 per cent less than the best non-GM soya available.




Pesticide use ramping up as GMO crop technology backfires: study
2012-10-01, NBC News/Reuters
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/10/02/14178036-study-us-farmers...

U.S. farmers are using more hazardous pesticides to fight weeds and insects due largely to heavy adoption of genetically modified crop technologies that are sparking a rise of "superweeds" and hard-to-kill insects, according to a newly released study. Genetically engineered crops have led to an increase in overall pesticide use, by 404 million pounds from the time they were introduced in 1996 through 2011, according to the report by Charles Benbrook, a research professor at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at Washington State University. Of that total, herbicide use increased over the 16-year period by 527 million pounds while insecticide use decreased by 123 million pounds. Herbicide-tolerant crops were the first genetically modified crops introduced to world, rolled out by Monsanto Co. in 1996, first in "Roundup Ready" soybeans and then in corn, cotton and other crops. Roundup Ready crops are engineered through transgenic modification to tolerate dousings of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide. In recent years, more than two dozen weed species have become resistant to Roundup's chief ingredient glyphosate, causing farmers to use increasing amounts both of glyphosate and other weedkilling chemicals to try to control the so-called "superweeds." Resistant weeds have become a major problem for many farmers reliant on GE crops, and are now driving up the volume of herbicide needed each year by about 25 percent.




Genetically modified crops' results raise concern
2012-04-30, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/29/MN1O1O5SS0.DTL

Biotechnology's promise to feed the world did not anticipate "Trojan corn," "super weeds" and the disappearance of monarch butterflies. In the Midwest and South - blanketed by more than 170 million acres of genetically engineered corn, soybeans and cotton - an experiment begun in 1996 with approval of the first commercial genetically modified organisms is producing questionable results. Those results include vast increases in herbicide use that have created impervious weeds now infesting millions of acres of cropland, while decimating other plants, such as milkweeds that sustain the monarch butterflies. More than a million people have signed a petition to the Food and Drug Administration to require labeling of genetically engineered food. The stakes on labeling such foods are huge. The crops are so widespread that an estimated 70 percent of U.S. processed foods contain engineered genes. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved more than 80 genetically engineered crops while denying none. Genetically engineered crops ... have spawned an infestation of "super weeds" now covering at least 13 million acres in 26 states. The crops led to a 400-million-pound net increase in herbicide applications. Dave Mortensen, a weed ecologist at Pennsylvania State University, said the number of "super weed" species grew from one in 1996 ... to 22 today. Last month, scientists definitively tied heavy use of glyphosate to an 81 percent decline in the monarch butterfly population. It turns out that the herbicide has obliterated the milkweeds on Midwest corn farms where the monarchs lay their eggs after migrating from Mexico. Iowa State University ecologist John Pleasants, one of the study's authors, said the catastrophic decline in monarchs is a consequence of the genetically engineered crops that no one foresaw.

Note: Multiple reliable sources have shown that you may be eating genetically modified food daily which scientific experiments have repeatedly demonstrated can cause sickness and even death in lab animals.




Bill Gates' support of GM crops is wrong approach for Africa
2012-02-27, Seattle Times
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2017612869_guest28ashton.html

Bill Gates' support of genetically modified crops as a solution for world hunger is of concern to those ... involved in promoting sustainable, equitable and effective agricultural policies in Africa. His technocratic ideology runs counter to the best informed science. The World Bank and United Nations funded 900 scientists over three years in order to create an International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD). Its conclusions were diametrically opposed, at both philosophical and practical levels, to those espoused by Gates and clearly state that the use of GM crops is not a meaningful solution to the complex situation of world hunger. The IAASTD suggests that rather than pursuing industrial farming models, "agro-ecological" methods provide the most viable means to enhance global food security. These include implementing practical scientific research based on traditional seed varieties and local farming practices adapted to the local ecology over millennia. Agro-ecology has consistently proven capable of sustainably increasing productivity. Conversely, the present GM crops generally have not increased yields over the long run, despite their increased costs and dependence on agricultural chemicals, as highlighted in the 2009 Union of Concerned Scientists report, "Failure to Yield."

Note: For an excellent summary of the risks posed by genetically-modified foods, click here.




Genetically modified cows produce 'human' milk
2011-04-02, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/agriculture/geneticmodification/8423536/Gene...

Scientists have created genetically modified cattle that produce "human" milk in a bid to make cows' milk more nutritious. The scientists have ... introduced human genes into 300 dairy cows to produce milk with [some of] the same properties as human breast milk. The scientists behind the research ... hope genetically modified dairy products from herds of similar cows could be sold in supermarkets. The research has the backing of a major biotechnology company. Genetically modified food has become a highly controversial subject and currently they can only be sold in the UK and Europe if they have passed extensive safety testing. The consumer response to GM food has also been highly negative, resulting in many supermarkets seeking to source products that are GM free. Helen Wallace, director of biotechnology monitoring group GeneWatch UK, said: "We have major concerns about this research to genetically modify cows with human genes. There are major welfare issues with genetically modified animals as you get high numbers of still births. There is a question about whether milk from these cows is going to be safe for humans and it is really hard to tell that unless you do large clinical trials like you would a drug, so there will be uncertainty about whether it could be harmful to some people. Ethically there are issues about mass producing animals in this way."

Note: For a disturbing Washington Post article on human-animal hybrids, click here. For a powerful summary of the dangers of genetically modified foods, click here.




Scientist warns on safety of Monsanto's Roundup
2011-02-24, MSNBC/Reuters
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41759713

Questions about the safety of a popular herbicide made by Monsanto Co have resurfaced in a warning from a U.S. scientist that claims top-selling Roundup may contribute to plant disease and health problems for farm animals. Plant pathologist and retired Purdue University professor Don Huber has written a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack warning that a newly discovered and widespread "electron microscopic pathogen appears to significantly impact the health of plants, animals, and probably human beings." Huber coordinates a committee of the American Phytopathological Society as part of the USDA National Plant Disease Recovery System. Huber said the organism has been found in high concentrations of Roundup Ready soybean meal and corn, which are used in livestock feed. He said laboratory tests have confirmed the presence of the organism in pigs, cattle and other livestock that have experienced spontaneous abortions and infertility. The organism is also prolific in corn and soybean crops stricken by disease, according to Huber. "It should be treated as an emergency." He requested USDA participation in an investigation, and he urged a moratorium on approvals of Roundup Ready crops. USDA officials declined to comment about the letter's contents. Roundup has long been a draw for critics, who say the herbicide promotes widespread weed resistance, or "super weeds." "While the evidence is considered preliminary, the potential damage to humans and animals is severe," said Jeffrey Smith, executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology. There have been other alarms raised about Roundup, including a report last year from Argentine scientists who claimed that Roundup can contribute to birth defects in frogs and chickens.

Note: This revealing article seems to have disappeared from MSNBC and other websites, yet you can still find it on the Reuters website at this link. For a vital essay by Jeffrey Smith detailing scientific studies where lab animals died from eating these genetically modified foods, click here.




The GM war in Europe starts here
2010-03-12, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthcomment/geoffrey-lean/7431043/The-GM-wa...

Brussels bureaucrats [are determined] to spread GM crops throughout Europe, against the will of most of its people. In a little-noticed move last week, the European Commission defied most of the governments to which it is supposed to answer to give the green light to growing a [genetically] modified potato across the continent. It was the first time a GM crop had been authorised for cultivation in 13 years. But, now the long moratorium has been broken, similar approvals for others are expected rapidly to follow. The decision has its origins in a couple of secret, top-level meetings called by Jose Manuel Barroso, the Commission's strongly pro-GM president. He invited the prime ministers of each of the 27 EU member states to send a personal representative along to discuss how to "speed up" the spread of the technology and "deal with" public opposition. About three times as many Europeans oppose genetic modification as support it. As a result, GM crops cover only about 0.12 per cent of Europe's agricultural land – and the continent accounts for just 0.08 per cent of the area growing them worldwide. And they have been losing ground. In the past two years, both France and Germany banned the Monsanto maize, joining Austria, Hungary, Greece and Luxembourg.

Note: Though Europeans are very aware of the threat of genetically modified foods and have worked hard to prohibit them, the media in the US have managed to stifle almost any reporting on the topic. Most Americans have no idea that they are regularly eating GM foods known to have serious health risks.




Freedom of Choice Includes the Right to Know
2012-08-26, Seattle Post-Intelligencer (One of Seattle's leading newspapers)
http://blog.seattlepi.com/timigustafsonrd/2012/08/26/freedom-of-choice-includ...

In California ... voters will decide in the November election whether consumers should have the right to know what goes in their food. Proposition 37, if it passes, will require food manufacturers to disclose whether their products contain genetically modified organisms (GMO). It is estimated that 40 to 70 percent of foods currently sold in grocery stores in California contain some genetically altered ingredients. The [FDA] does not require safety studies, and no long-term research on potential health effects has been conducted yet, although there are reports of preliminary studies that have linked GMOs to allergies and other health risks. Proposition 37 does not intend to impose any bans. “It’s simply saying: Let’s give consumers information so we can choose for ourselves whether or not we want to eat genetically engineered foods. Having started as a grassroots movement, Proposition 37 has a good chance of succeeding. A whopping 65 percent of registered voters in California say they support the measure. But so far, less than 3 million dollars have been raised by the organizers. Opponents, mainly chemical and food-processing companies, including Monsanto, BASF, Bayer, Dow, Nestle, Coca Cola and Pepsico, have raised more than nine times as much. Ignoring facts and keeping information secret is not a sustainable strategy in the long run. California’s Right-to-Know movement could morph into something like that with the potential of spreading across the whole country.

Note: This article neglects to mention scientific studies which have shown that lab animals got very sick and some even died after being fed GM food. For a well researched and footnoted paper on this, click here.




USDA panel gets altered-crops pay plan
2012-08-24, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/USDA-panel-gets-altered-crops-pay-plan-...

California voters this fall will decide a ballot measure that would require labeling of foods containing genetically engineered material. But the Department of Agriculture is already tied in knots over how to deal with the contamination of organic and conventional foods by biotech crops. On [August 27], a USDA advisory panel will consider a draft plan to compensate farmers whose crops have been contaminated by pollen, seeds or other stray genetically engineered material. The meeting is expected to be contentious, pitting the biotechnology and organic industries against each other. The draft report acknowledged the difficulty of preventing such material from accidentally entering the food supply and concerns that the purity of traditional seeds may be threatened. It also cited fears on both sides that official action to address contamination could send a signal to U.S. consumers and export markets in Europe, Japan and elsewhere that the purity and even safety of U.S. crops are suspect. Bioengineered crops dominate U.S. commodities, including 90 percent of U.S. corn. In some states, penetration is all but complete, including 99 percent of the Arkansas cotton crop. Most processed foods contain genetically engineered material. The organic industry said biotech companies should be responsible for containing their own genes and that contamination threatens the right of farmers to choose how to farm.

Note: For more on the California ballot measure to require labeling of genetically modified foods called the "right to know," click here.




Genetically engineered fish should be labeled
2012-01-19, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/01/18/EDOL1MQHV5.DTL

The first genetically engineered animal may be about to enter the food supply. This is also the moment for consumers to demand to know what's in their food. Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, believes that genetically engineered fish should not be allowed into the food supply unless it is proved safe for humans and the environment. At the very least, it should be labeled. One of the most critical issues before the [Food and Drug Administration] is the potential for genetically engineered fish to cause consumers to experience increased allergic responses. Unfortunately, the FDA allowed AquaBounty Technologies, the company developing the genetically engineered salmon, to declare that there was no increase in allergy-causing potential in their AquAdvantage salmon, based on data from just six engineered fish - even when the data suggested the genetic engineering process itself did increase the allergy-causing potential. Public opinion clearly and consistently supports mandatory labeling. Our polling found that 95 percent of the public wants labeling of genetically engineered animals, while other polls found that only 35 percent of the public said that they would be willing to eat seafood that has been genetically engineered. Consumers sent nearly 400,000 comments to the FDA demanding the agency reject genetically engineered salmon, or at least require that it be labeled.

Note: For an excellent overview of the threats to health from genetically-modified foods, click here.




Life-Threatening Food?
2009-02-11, CBS News
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/05/17/eveningnews/main291992.shtml

Last fall, at a business lunch with co-workers, Grace Booth enjoyed three chicken enchiladas. The food, she recalls, was very good — but then something went very wrong. "I thought, oh my God, what is happening to me? I felt like I was going to die." In the emergency room in nearby Oakland the diagnosis was severe allergic reaction and from here Grace Booth's story reached officials in Washington. At the time the national corn market was in an uproar. Starlink, a gene modified corn not approved for human food, had been found in taco shells and recalls were emptying the shelves of corn products. The fear was possible allergic reactions. At that moment, Booth says, she had no idea that the corn tortillas in her lunch were about to be recalled. In the wake of the recalls more than 50 Americans, including Booth, claimed they had reactions to Starlink corn. That forced the government to launch the first full-scale allergy investigation in the history of biotech food. It has taken months, but the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration have collected food samples and blood from two dozen people whose cases were believed most serious. [Symptoms] "[v]aried from just abdominal pain and diarrhea [or] skin rashes to some patients ... having very severe life-threatening reactions," said Dr. Marc Rothenberg, the allergy chief at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. He is an adviser to the government in the Starlink investigation. Its slow going he says because investigators first had to find the Starlink protein and then invent a blood test.

Note: With so many examples of allergic reactions and more to GM foods, why does the FDA continue to insist that these foods are safe? Could it be because many top leaders at the FDA once worked at Monsanto? For a powerful summary of the risks to health from genetically modified foods, click here. For a powerful 13-minute video revealing the disturbing results of a scientific study showing how GM corn greatly increased cancer incidence in rats, click here.





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