150 scientists condemn Seralini GMO study retraction as attack on scientific integrity

Natural News

Scores of scientists have condemned a journal editor’s retraction of a study that reported a number of serious side effects in lab rats that consumed Monsanto’s genetically modified maize and Roundup herbicide.

In all, according to a press release by a group called End Science Censorship, the number of scientists decrying the retraction has climbed to 150.

The group said the editor of the Elsevier journal Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT), Dr. A. Wallace Hayes, claimed that the retraction of a study conducted by a team headed by Prof. Gilles-Eric Seralini was due to some “inconclusive” findings. But that rationale has been roundly criticized by scientists who point out that many studies contain findings that are not at all conclusive.

What is also noteworthy, they point out, is that the retraction comes just a few months after the arrival of a former Monsanto scientist on the editorial board of the scientific journal.

“It is a criminal attitude,” said Dr. Mohamed Habib, a professor of entomology at the University of Campinas, Brazil, who has signed a petition opposing the retraction.

Truth and ethical values have to be considered as more important than money. The article must be reinstated,” he said, adding that the retraction appeared to indicate that powerful economic interests influenced the journal’s decision.

Watchdog group powerless to do anything

A former member of the editorial board of FCT, Marcel Roberfroid, also critiqued the retraction. In a letter to the editor of the journal, he wrote, “Your decision, which can be interpreted as a will to eliminate scientific information that does not help supporting industrial interests is, in my view, unacceptable.”

End Science Censorship said that, in a separate initiative, more than 1,200 scientists have promised to boycott Elsevier because of the retraction.

Nevertheless, an ethics watchdog over the scientific community appears powerless to intervene, said observers.

Critics of the retraction have noted that it violates guidelines established by the Committee on Publication Ethics, or COPE, an organization of which FCT is a member. The journal’s editor Hayes, on the other hand, has maintained that COPE’s guidelines support his retraction decision.

Per the press release:

COPE has responded to a complaint from Prof GE Seralini about the retraction with an admission that it is powerless to investigate or make a judgment on the dispute, saying that the decision on how COPE guidelines are interpreted “lies with the editor and publisher”.

Claire Robinson, coordinator of End Science Censorship, called COPE’s response “disappointing.”

“This shows the limitations of voluntary guidelines in cases of unethical or unscientific behaviour on the part of editors of scientific journals,” she said. “Nothing can be enforced, so editors have ‘carte blanche’ to play fast and loose with scientists’ research and reputations.”

“In the interests of not misleading scientists who submit papers to the journal, FCT should resign from COPE, since the editor’s actions are incompatible with the COPE guidelines,” she added.

New push coming for GM eggplant – after retraction

Another watchdog group, Retraction Watch, accused Hayes of doing a “verbal dance” around COPE guidelines in an attempt to justify his decision.

“Claiming COPE guidelines somehow support this decision doesn’t seem valid,” said the organization.

The retraction has been used as a springboard for a GMO industry lobbying group, ISAAA, to push for the release of a GM pesticide-containing eggplant in the Philippines, after a court there banned field trials of the eggplant over safety concerns last year. ISAAA officials say the retraction means that the Philippine court’s decision should be overturned.

“It seems that the editor of FCT, Dr Hayes, effectively did the job for the GM and agrochemical industry that the expert witnesses failed to do,” said Robinson. “The witnesses couldn’t demolish the study through scientific argument, so it had to be removed from the record. That is what Seralini’s critics told Hayes to do; and he obliged.”

How Pesticides Can Cause Parkinson’s

Scientific American
by Melinda Wenner Moyer

Many studies over the past decade have pointed to pesticides as a potential cause of Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative condition that impairs motor function and afflicts a million Americans. Yet scientists have not had a good idea of how these chemicals harm the brain. A recent study suggests a possible answer: pesticides may inhibit a biochemical pathway that normally protects dopaminergic neurons, the brain cells selectively attacked by the disease. Preliminary research also indicates that this pathway plays a role in Parkinson’s even when pesticides are not involved, providing an exciting new target for drug development.

Past studies have shown that a pesticide called benomyl, which lingers in the environment despite having been banned in the U.S. in 2001 because of health concerns, inhibits the chemical activity of aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) in the liver. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, U.C. Berkeley, the California Institute of Technology and the Greater Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center wondered whether the pesticide might also affect levels of ALDH in the brain. ALDH’s job is to break down DOPAL, a naturally forming toxic chemical, rendering it harmless.

To find out, the researchers exposed different types of human brain cells—and, later, whole zebra fish—to benomyl. They found that it “killed almost half of the dopamine neurons while leaving all other neurons tested intact,” according to lead author and U.C.L.A. neurologist Jeff Bronstein. When they zeroed in on the affected cells, they confirmed that the benomyl was indeed inhibiting the activity of ALDH, which in turn spurred the toxic accumulation of DOPAL. Interestingly, when the scientists lowered DOPAL levels using a different technique, benomyl did not harm the dopamine neurons, a finding that suggests that the pesticide kills these neurons specifically because it allows DOPAL to build up.

Because other pesticides also inhibit ALDH activity, Bronstein speculates that this pathway could help explain the link between Parkinson’s and pesticides in general. What is more, research has identified high DOPAL activity in the brain of Parkinson’s patients who have not been highly exposed to pesticides, so it is possible that this biochemical cascade is involved in the disease process regardless of its cause. If that is true, then drugs that block or clear DOPAL from the brain could prove to be promising treatments for Parkinson’s.

USDA Admits Exterminating Birds, Crops, and Bees

WorldTruthTV

The USDA has been under fire recently for its admitted assault against nature, after multiple investigations have uncovered its deliberate tampering with both plants and animals alike. One such investigation has put an end to the mystery surrounding the death of millions of birds, with USDA documents revealing the organization’s role in the massive slaughter. In addition to the mass bird killings, it turns out the USDA was fully aware that a highly-popular herbicide chemical was a known bee-killer, which may have aided the bee decline. The USDA has also threatened the genetic integrity of the nation’s crops. Information has surfaced regarding the USDA’s illegal approval of Monsanto’s biotech crop, sugar beets. These crimes are simply an excerpt from the long list of USDA crimes that are continually being exposed.

In December of 2010, mystery struck the world. Reports of mass fish and bird die-offs were coming in from Texas to Sweden. The first occurrence in the series of strange events started in Arkansas, where 3,000 birds fell from the sky. In the following days and weeks, similar incidents were reported with no solid explanation. The reason has now been found, thanks to documents found on the USDA’s website. Claiming to be protecting farmers from predators, the birds were victims of a little-known government program. Like millions of other animals since the Bye Bye Blackbird program was created in the 1960?s, the birds were poisoned and killed for being considered a nuisance to farmers. It is important to take note that many of these animals don’t pose any immediate threat to farmers.

In the 1960?s the USDA established a program referred to as the Bye Bye Blackbird program. This program is solely responsible for the mass killings of what could ultimately be millions of birds across the nation. In 2009 alone the USDA poisoned and killed over 4 million birds. The documents state whether or not the deaths were intentional or unintentional on the government website. You can find extremely large numbers, such as 22,276 blackbirds marked as intentionally euthanized. Here is some data from the USDA itself:

Brown-headed cowbirds: 1,046,109

European Starlings: 1,259,714
Red-winged blackbirds: 965,889

Canadian Geese : 24,519

Pigeons: 96,297

Grackles: 93,210

Starlings European: 1,259,714

These numbers are simply the top for 2009. Let us not forget about all the other years animals have been killed since the 1960?s when the program was first created.

According to Natural News :

A Nebraska farmer was apparently complaining that the starlings were defecating in his feed meal. The answer to this conundrum apparently isn’t to cover your feed meal but rather call the USDA and ask them to poison thousands of birds. The USDA complied, apparently agreeing this was a brilliant idea. So they put out a poison called DRC-1339 and allowed thousands of birds to feed on that poison.

“Cows are supposed to eat grass. If you are running a cow operation where the birds are eating your grain and you think the birds are the problem, the real problem is that you’re feeding cows the wrong food! If you raise your cows on grass, the birds don’t get into the grain and you don’t have to poison the birds.

“You see, when one ecological element gets out of balance (feeding grain to cows, for example), it then causes another problem that must be dealt with in some other destructive way (such as poisoning the birds). This cycle of disharmony continues and escalates until entire ecosystems are out of whack. Then the USDA shows up with a pickup truck full of poison bait and goes to work poisoning animals. The solution isn’t to keep poisoning animals and trying to control populations through toxic chemicals but rather to return to holistic web-of-life farming methods that work in harmony with nature rather than treating nature as the enemy.”

The government is committing what many people would call a crime. Killing mass amounts of animals via poison is a flagrant act of violence against nature that should not be tolerated or encouraged. People aren’t allowed to hunt in certain regions of the United States, but the government is allowed to kill off animals by the millions. Something is terribly wrong with this picture.

In recent years the world honey bee population has plummeted in North America. This is important because bee pollination is crucial for the fertilization of many crops. Just as many potential explanations arose over the mysterious bird deaths, many different theories have been proposed to explain the bee decline. Electromagnetic radiation, malnutrition, and climate have all taken the heat of critics looking for answers. Recently, however, a document was leaked revealing that a bee-killing pesticide put in use by the EPA may be to blame. Adding to the controversy, more records have emerged showing that the USDA was fully aware of the pesticide’s threat to not only bees, but humans. The two-month-old report released by the USDA itself unveiled that the toxic insecticide used on plants are not only a threat to insects’ central nervous systems, but are also a threat to the internal systems of humans.

Imidacloprid, one of the neonicotinoid family of pesticides introduced over the past 15 years, is likely to be responsible for Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), the recently observed phenomenon in which bees abandon their hives en masse, according to the study by scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health in the United States.

The study, to appear in the June issue of The Bulletin of Insectology, provides “convincing evidence” of the link between imidacloprid and CCD, claim the authors, led by Alex Lu, associate professor of environmental exposure biology in the school’s Department of Environmental Health. It follows two other widely publicised studies, from Britain and France, published last week in the journal Science, which strongly suggested that neonicotinoids were linked to the declines in bees and other pollinating insects seen in Europe and the US.

Neonicotinoids, which attack the central nervous system of insects, are considered by some scientists as dangerous to species which are not the compounds’ principal targets, because they are “systemic” – meaning they do not just sit on the surface of a plant but are taken up into every part of it, including the pollen and nectar, where they can be ingested repeatedly by bees and other pollinating insects.

Twice in the past three years, the Government has been asked, on the basis of compelling evidence, to suspend the use of the new generation of neonicotinoid pesticides, until the increasingly worrying evidence that they are extremely harmful to bees and other pollinating insects has been shown to be unfounded.

The first occasion was in 2009, by a coalition of environmental groups led by Buglife, the invertebrate conservation charity; the second was in 2011 by the Labour MP Martin Caton, after paper’s disclosure that America’s leading bee scientist had found a harmful link. On each occasion the request was ignored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Sugar Beets created by corporate giant Monsanto Company, who is leading the genetically modified food market, make up for about half of the nation’s sugar supply. The approval of these beets was initially made in 2005, granting Monsanto the right to plant genetically modified sugar beets that could withstand sprayings of the herbicide marketed as Roundup. The entity responsible for the approval? The USDA. Unfortunately, the USDA hadn’t conducted a thorough review of the biotech crop, making the approval flagrantly illegal. To make matters more complicated, the USDA issued permits which allowed companies to plant seedlings that would later produce seed for future sugar beet crops. Judge White, the federal judge who deemed the approval illegal, issued that the seedlings be removed immediately. The immunity that the sugar beets possess against the herbicide being used on them is not exhibited by any other plant, or even humans. With excessive herbicide use comes more poisoned organisms consuming the sugar beets and thus becoming sickly. Additionally, conventional and organic crops are subject to contamination from an overflow of pesticides.

If you thought Monsanto’s lack of testing on their current GMO crops was bad before, prepare to now be blown away by the latest statement by the USDA. Despite links to organ damage and mutated insects, the USDA says that it is changing the rules so that genetically modified seed companies like Monsanto will get ‘speedier regulatory reviews. With the faster reviews, there will be even less time spent on evaluating the potential dangers. Why? Because Monsanto is losing sales with longer approval terms.

The changes were expected to take full effect in March when they’re published in the Federal Register. The USDA’s goal is to cut the approval time for GMO crops in half in order to speedily implement them into the global food supply. The current USDA process takes longer than they would like due to ‘public interest, legal challenges, and the challenges associated with the advent of national organic food standards‘ says USDA deputy administrator Michael Gregoire.

The USDA seems to be recklessly endangering life on this planet with its disregard for what it was created to protect. The reports and documents revealed in this article may very well be the tip of the iceberg. The recently-released document unveiling the bee decline is two years old, and is most likely not the last to be uncovered. It is only a matter of time before more secretive documents come out highlighting the USDA’s shameless lack of respect for life. The USDA has not been forced to openly admit to these claims due to a lack of mainstream media attention. It took investigative journalism to discover these documents and it will take future investigation to oust even more of the USDA’s corruption.

Roundup Herbicide Linked To Overgrowth of Deadly Bacteria

GreenMedInfo

Could Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup be leading to the overgrowth of deadly bacteria in animals and humans consuming genetically-modified food contaminated with it?

This question follows from a new study published in the journal Current Microbiology titled, “The Effect of Glyphosate on Potential Pathogens and Beneficial Members of Poultry Microbiota In Vitro,” which found that the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, known as glyphosate, negatively impacted the gastrointestinal bacteria of poultry in vitro. The researchers presented evidence that highly pathogenic bacteria resisted glyphosate, whereas beneficial bacteria were moderately to highly susceptible to it.

Some of the beneficial species that were found to be suppressed by glyphosate were Enterococcus faecalis, Enterococcus faecium, Bacillus badius, Bifidobacterium adolescentis and Lactobacillus spp. The pathogenic species which were found to resist glyphosate toxicity were Salmonella Entritidis, Salmonella Gallinarum, Salmonella Typhimurium, Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium botulinum.

The researchers stated that “A reduction of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract microbiota by ingestion of glyphosate could disturb the normal gut bacterial community.” Even more alarming was their observation that the toxicity of glyphosate to the most prevalent beneficial species, Enterococcus, “could be a significant predisposing factor that is associated with the increase in Clostridia botulinum-mediated diseases by suppressing the antagonistic effect of these bacteria on clostridia.” Clostridia are a class of anaerobic bacteria including some of the most dangerous known to man, such as C. tetani and C. botulinum, which produce tetanus and botulin toxin, respectively.

Consider that botulin is the most acutely toxic substance known, and that despite the fact it is FDA-approved for use “cosmetically,” e.g. Botox injections, it is being looked at as a potential bioweapon because it only takes 75 billionths of a gram (75 ng) to kill a person weighing 75 kg (165 lbs). It has been estimated that only 1 kilogram (2.2 lbs) would be enough to kill the entire human population.

The researchers noted that the glyphosate-sensitive beneficial strains of bifodobacteria, lactobacilli, propionibacteria and enterococci were found to inhibit the growth of C.botulinum. They also found that pathogenic Salmonella and E.coli strains, increasingly found contaminating poultry products, were highly resistant to glyphosate. Lastly, the researchers pointed out that glyphosate also has the potential to induce genetic mutations within bacteria, making it possible for a new level of pathogenicity to emerge following chronic exposure to this chemical.

What Does This Mean For Our Food?

One of the obvious implications of this research is that poultry fed glyphosate-laced genetically modified corn or soy, for instance, would likely experience unhealthy changes in the make-up of their intestinal flora (known as dysbiosis), resulting in increasing harm not only to the animals, but to those consuming them. Factory-farmed chickens are already routinely fed antibiotics, arsenic and even antidepressants, all of which represent serious health threats, both by contributing to the generation of communicable disease vectors, as well as contamination of the meat itself.

This new study adds to a growing concern that concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) chickens may becoming a breeding ground for botulism, and related pathogenic organisms. Deadly botulism outbreaks in cattle, in fact, have recently been linked to poultry litter contamination in Ireland.[i] Also, this month the FDA broadened the use of highly controversial food irradiation by increasing the allowable dose in poultry from 3 to 4.5 Kilograys (keep in mind a Kilogray is equivalent to 2,500,000 chest x-rays (40 millirems each) or 166 times a human lethal dose (5 Grays)), citing concerns that lower levels do not eliminate radiation-resistant spore-forming bacteria such as Clostridium botulinum.[ii]

More Than Just A Food Contamination Problem

Research published earlier this year, also in the journal Current Microbiology, indicated that glyphosate formulations, at concentrations lower than presently used in agricultural applications, are capable of destroying food organisms widely used as starters in traditional and industrial dairy technologies, such as Geotrichum candidum, Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris and Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. Bulgaricus.[iii] The study authors concluded that Roundup herbicide’s inherent toxicity to soil organisms may explain what is behind “…the loss of microbiodiversity and microbial concentration observed in raw milk for many years.”

The reality is that GM farming practices, which are heavily reliant on glyphosate-based herbicide formulations, are creating a more serious long-term threat to our food security by drastically altering the composition of the soil, threatening its very fertility and ability to produce food for present and future generations.

Pesticide Use Increases as GMO Technology Backfires

Wake Up World
by Mary West

The GMO nightmare continues to unfurl, as the crop technology designed to reduce the need for pesticides has backfired. Farmers’ heavy adoption of these modified crops has sparked an increase in “superweeds” and hard-to-kill insects, creating the need to use more toxic herbicides.

Proponents of GMOs have alleged that these crops are a vital tool for weaning farmers off of toxic pesticides, but this claim has been resoundingly refuted by a recent study published in Environmental Science Europe. Chuck Benbrook, a researcher for Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, found that GMO use has led to a “monsoon in herbicides.” Not only have these crops necessitated the need for higher applications of Roundup, Monsanto’s herbicide, but the problem has also forced farmers to use older herbicides that have more harmful effects, says Benbrook.

Statistics demolish Monsanto’s claim that GMOs reduce the need for herbicides.

The magnitude of the increase in pesticide use is illustrated by the statistics of the study. In the period between 1996, when the use of Roundup-ready crops began, and 2011, herbicide use increased by 527 million pounds, equating to 11 percent.

During the first few years of the use of Roudup-ready crops, these GMOs actually fulfilled Monsanto’s promise of reducing the need for herbicides: they reduced the use of these chemicals by 2 percent between 1996 and 1999. This advantage, however, was short-lived. After this period, weeds started developing resistance to Roundup, which led to farmers’ increasing their application of this herbicide by 21 percent, evidenced by a 19 million spike in its use, Benbrook tells The Guardian. The stepped up use of Roundup eliminated the weak weeds, which gave the resistant weeds, or “superweeds,” the opportunity to proliferate and take over.

Statistics revealing a 24 percent increase in pesticide use between 2009 through 2010 show the problem is only getting worse. Benbrook relates to The Guardian that by this time the problem of resistant weeds had fully kicked in, resulting in the use of greater volumes of Roundup as well as more toxic herbicides such as 2,4-D, a component of the infamous Agent Orange.

What about Bt seeds, the other main biotech product?

Resistance problems leading to pesticide increases are not limited to Roundup-ready crops but also include the other primary biotech product – Bt seeds. These seeds have been engineered to contain a gene present in Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) that is toxic to insects. This product’s purported benefit is that it will take care of the insect problem, but has it worked?

Although it initially reduced the need for insecticides, the resistance problem developed by Roundup-ready crops has now begun to manifest in these crops as well. Just as weeds acquired resistance to Roundup, so also rootworm, the biggest pest of corn, is showing signs of resistance to the Bt technology. In areas of the Midwest where these crops have been popular, agricultural experts are advising farmers to spray other insecticides because the Bt trait is failing.

Greater use of chemicals translates into more health hazards.
The harmful effects of pesticides, including Roundup, are not confined to weeds and inserts. Studies show they increase health risks in people and animals exposed to them through food and water. Experts say the use of more chemicals leads to more health hazards. Benbrook aptly characterizes the GMO problem as a “slowly unfolding train wreck.”

Dr Oz Defends Monsanto: Eat GMO Foods, They’re the Same as Non-GMO Organic

Natural Society
by Anthony Gucciardi

Dr. Mehmet Oz, the celebrity host of the Dr. Oz program which appeals to individuals who are actually into alternative health in varying degrees, has recently declared that GMO foods are actually the same as organic — a move that reveals just how serious about helping you and your family Dr. Oz is. Writing in Time magazine, Dr. Oz even goes on to call those who shop for foods free of GMOs, pesticides, artificial sweeteners, and other contaminants ‘snobs‘.

In the article, Dr. Oz states that those who buy organic are both ‘snooty’ and ‘elitists’. Furthermore, he goes on to state that GMO conventional foods are the food of the ‘people’. It makes you wonder if Dr. Oz even wrote this piece, as NaturalNews’ Mike Adams points out in his piece on the subject. Dr. Oz’s article even comes just after the largest healthcare group in the United States declared that everyone should avoid tumor-linked GMOs to avoid the serious health consequences that go along with their consumption.

Kaiser Permanente, the major healthcare group, had this to say:

“Despite what the biotech industry might say, there is little research on the long-term effects of GMOs on human health. Independent research has found several varieties of GMO corn caused organ damage in rats. Other studies have found that GMOs may lead to an inability in animals to reproduce.”

Dr. Oz Article Follows Barrage of Attacks on Organics, Pro-Monsanto Lies

But what’s going on here? Recently there have been numerous attacks on organic food, even leading the New York Times to issue a public apology over the ridiculous nature of the Times’ hit piece on organic food and buyers (using similar language as Oz in calling them snobs and elitists). Plus, the previous studies attempting to tackle the benefits of organic actually showed why organic is better — even after attempting to use statistical lies to make it appear to be the opposite.

It seems that Dr. Oz is the latest to join the barrage of attacks against Non-GMO, organic consumers across the nation. Was he paid by agribusiness a sum he could not refuse? There is currently no way of knowing, though he will surely have to respond to his ridiculous claims that GMO foods are literally the same health-wise as organic.

In an effort to reminder Dr. Oz of the research that defies his claims, I would recommend he look at the peer-reviewed research that links Monsanto’s Roundup (used in larger and larger doses on Monsanto’s GMO crops as they are ravaged by resistant insects) to over 29 conditions including:

DNA damage
Infertility
Liver damage
Lymphoma
Hormonal disorders in children

Roundup that organic food items do not use. But it seems Dr. Oz thinks that Roundup is perfectly safe, the same Roundup that researchers found at ‘normal’ levels contributed to tumor development and organ damage. And these are just a few examples.

This information will undoubtedly be brought to Dr. Oz by activists and health conscious citizens from around the globe who will demand answers from the celebrity doctor attempting to align himself with the alternative health crowd while simultaneously pushing vaccinations, many Big Pharma creations, and now GMO-laden foods. But will he issue a public apology, or continue to push Monsanto’s agenda throughout the mainstream media?