A new study led by scientists from the Arctic University of Norway has detected “extreme levels” of Roundup, the agricultural herbicide manufactured by Monsanto, in genetically engineered soy.
The study, coming out in June’s issue of Food Chemistry and available online, looked at 31 different soybean plants on Iowa farms and compared the accumulation of pesticides and herbicides on plants in three categories 1) genetically engineered “Roundup Ready” soy, 2) conventionally produced (not GE) soy, and 3) soy cultivated using organic practices. They found high levels of Roundup on 70 percent of genetically engineered soy plants.
Crop scientists have genetically engineered soy to survive blasts of Roundup so farmers can spray this chemical near crops to get rid of weeds. But some so-called “super weeds” resistant to Roundup have developed. In turn, some farmers use yet more Roundup to try to kill those hardy weeds. This leads to more Roundup chemicals being found on soybeans and ultimately in the food supply.
Who says when Roundup contamination can be considered “extreme?” Monsanto itself. In 1999, the chemical giant defined an “extreme level” of the herbicide as 5.6 milligrams per kilogram of plant weight.
Astonishingly, the Norwegian scientists found a whopping 9 milligrams of Roundup per kilogram, on average. What it boils down to is this: every time we eat GE soy we are taking a dose of Roundup with it. This is alarming, because Roundup has been found to be hazardous to human health and sometimes kills human cells. The authors conclude:
“This study demonstrated that Roundup Ready [GE]-soy may have high residue levels of glyphosate … and also that different agricultural practices may result in a markedly different nutritional composition of soybeans …. Lack of data on pesticide residues in major crop plants is a serious gap of knowledge with potential consequences for human and animal health.”
Other research has detected Roundup residues in animals and people.
A study led by German researchers found high concentrations of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, in the urine of dairy cows and humans. This study, published last January in the journal Environmental & Analytical Toxicology, concluded that “the presence of glyphosate residues in both humans and animals could haul the entire population towards numerous health hazards.”
Big Ag wants us to believe that there is no difference between GE and conventional crops, but mounting research tells us that just isn’t true.
That a former Monsanto scientist should find himself in charge of a specially-created post at the very journal that published two landmark studies questioning the safety of that company’s products should surprise no one who is aware of the Monsanto revolving door. This door is responsible for literally dozens of Monsanto officials, lobbyists and consultants finding themselves in positions of authority in the government bodies that are supposedly there to regulate the company and its actions.
Find out more about Monsanto’s ability to suppress scientific dissent in this week’s edition of the BoilingFrogsPost.com Eyeopener report.
by Christina Sarich
Mayans of the Campeche Region have just won a two-year legal battle to get rid of Monsanto and their GMO soybeans (suicide beans). Following the ban of GM maize in Mexico, this ancient and agriculturally savvy culture has won a major battle against biotech monopolies around the globe.
The Second District Court ruled in favor of three Mayan communities from the Hopelchén township who dared to take on the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food ( Sagarpa) and the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources ( SEMARNAT).
This means that Saragapa now must make a concerted effort to be sure that no GM soybeans are planted throughout Pachen and Cancabchen communities in Hopelchén. Just two years ago, the same agency allowed Monsanto’s RoundUp Ready GMO soybeans to be planted in the region – infecting more than 253,000 hectares with suicide seeds that cause human infertility and poison the environment.
Seven states were under Monsanto’s reign – free then to plant their GM seeds wherever they liked within those borders, including the municipalities of: Campeche, Hopelchén , Tenabo , Calkiní , Escárcega, Carmen and Palisade.
In just a few of these places, the authorities were angry that the government had given Monsanto authorization, and they decided to fight the ruling. Campeche beekeepers were especially upset since this would affect bee-keeping negatively in the region. They called Monsanto’s influence, ‘pollution of production,’ resulting in loss of income and closing of markets for many bee keepers with international contracts.
After two years of litigation, and arguing that the planting of GM soybeans was in direct opposition of traditional beekeeping practices, AND that it was in violation of their right to a healthy environment – pointing out that increased use of herbicides and deforestation were both outcomes of GM planting – the Mayans won their case. These small indigenous communities have taken on the multi-billion-dollar biotech and Big Ag companies and won. They are an example to us all.
As biotech giants move forward with the technology, specialists warn it could be dangerous
News that biotechnology corporations are developing new technology that can allegedly kill insects and pathogens by silencing their genes has some environmentalists and scientists worried.
“To attempt to use this technology at this current stage of understanding would be more naïve than our use of DDT in the 1950s,” the National Honey Bee Advisory Board said in comments submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency before a Tuesday meeting to discuss the risks of this technology, according to the New York Times, which reported on this new development.
Developers of the technology say they are able to target the genetic sequences of specific species and silence them through RNA interference technology.
Yet, some specialists warn that “releasing gene-silencing agents into fields could harm beneficial insects, especially among organisms that have a common genetic makeup, and possibly even human health,” according to the New York Times.
Monsanto is currently seeking regulatory approval for corn that uses gene-silencing to kill the western corn rootworm.
Studies are showing that Bt toxins found in Monsanto crops are harmful to mammalian blood by damaging red blood cells and more. RBC’s are responsible for delivering oxygen to the body tissues through blood flow.
Bacillus thuringensis (Bt) is a bacterium commonly used as a biological pesticide. It is a microorganism that produces toxic chemicals. It occurs naturally in the environment, and is usually isolated from soil, insects and plant surfaces. Prior to this study, Bt was thought to be toxic only to insects, but recent studies are proving otherwise.
Dr. Mezzomo and his team of Scientists from the Department of Genetics and Morphology and the Institute of Biological Sciences, at University of Brasilia recently published a study that involved Bacillus thuringensis (Bt toxin) and its effects on mammalian blood. According to the study, the “Cry” toxins that are found in Monsanto’s GMO crops like corn and soy, are much more toxic to mammals than previously thought. The study was published in the Journal of Hematology and Thromboembolic Diseases.
We do not support animal testing, and think it is unnecessary. It should really be a no brainer that GMO crops cause significant damage to human health. Studies that don’t require animal testing have already proven the dangers of GMO consumption. This study unfortunately required the use of Swiss Albino Mice if Bt was to be properly examined. At the same time, most of us know that the existence of GMOs is completely unnecessary.
Advances in genetic engineering promise the expression of multiple Cry toxins in Bt-plants, known as gene pyramiding. Therefore, studies on non-target species are requirements of international protocols to verify the adverse effects of these toxins, ensuring human and environmental biosafety.
Due to its growing use in agricultural activities, Bt presence hasalready been detected in different environmental compartments such as soil and water. Consequently, the bioavailability of Cry proteins has increased, and for biosafety reasons their adverse effects might be studied, mainly for non-target organisms. Studies are therefore needed to evaluate Bt toxicity to non-target organisms; the persistence of Bt toxin and its stability in aquatic environments; and the risks to humans and animals exposed to potentially toxic levels of Bt through their diet.(1)
Thus, we aimed to evaluate, in Swiss albino mice, the hematotoxicity and genotoxicity of four Bt spore-crystals…
Scientists tested levels ranging from 27 mg to 270 mg over a seven day period, it was remarkably evident that the Cry toxins were hemotoxic, even at the lowest doses administered. Hemotoxins destroy red blood cells, disrupt blood clotting and cause organ degeneration and tissue damage.
The number of RBC’s, (red blood cells) as well as their size, were significantly reduced, and so were the levels of hemoglobin for oxygen to attach to. Every factor regarding RBC’s indicated some level of damage for all levels of toxin administered and across all cry proteins. The tests clearly demonstrated that Cry proteins resulting from the Bt toxin were cytotoxic (quality of being toxic to cells) to bone marrow cells. Studies contiually show that these proteins kill blood cells bytargeting the cell membranes of RBC’s.
Cry1Ab (the protein produced in common Bt corn and soy) induced microcytic hypochromic anemia in mice, even at the lowest tested dose of 27 mg/Kg, and this toxin has been detected in blood of non-pregnant women, pregnant women and their fetuses in Canada, supposedly exposed through diet . These data, as well as increased bioavailability of these MCA in the environment, reinforce the need for more research, especially given that little is known about spore crystals’ adverse effects on non-target species
Dr. Mezzomo and his team are not the only group of scientists to discover the harmful effects of Bt toxins. Professor Joe Cummins, Professor Emeritus of Genetics at the University of Western Ontario has also studied it. He concluded that that there is sufficient evidence that the Bt toxin will impact directly on human health through damaging the ileum, which is the final section of the small intestine that is responsible for the absorption of vitamin B12. He also points out that the Bt cry toxin gene has not been proven to be the same as the natural bacterial gene. As mentioned in the first paragraph, it occurs naturally in the environment, usually isolated from soil, insects and plant surfaces.
It seems that everyday brings forth new information regarding GMO’s. We have so much evidence that points to just how harmful these foods are, yet they continue to be mass produced and the corporations that develop them are constantly protected. The truth still remains, you still have a choice as to what you put into your body. I encourage everybody reading this to further their research, most ‘industries’ we have on the planet today really aren’t necessary, we are just made to believe that they are.