Top US Healthcare Giant: GMOs Are Devastating Health

Natural Society
by Anthony Gucciardi

Just days after a leading genetically modified organism (GMO) researcher spoke out against GMOs and how many pro-GMO ‘scientists’ are in bed with Monsanto or carry their own GMO patents, the largest managed healthcare provider in the United States is now publicly speaking out against GMOs. In a recent newsletter, the Kaiser Permanente company discussed the numerous dangers of GMOs in a recent newsletter and how to avoid them.

Explaining how GM ingredients have been linked to tumors and organ damage in rats in the only lifelong rat study available, the newsletter highlighted how the only real long- term research indicates that GMOs are a serious health danger. The newsletter, which you can view here, states:

“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.”

Top Health Giant Says Buy Organic for Proper Health

The newsletter then goes on to tell readers how they can avoid GMOs in their food through buying high quality organic and looking for other non-GMO indicators. It is important to remember the organic labeling meanings when shopping organic, however, which this newsletter unfortunately does not address. Make sure you know which ‘level’ of organic you are consuming:

Products labeled ‘100% organic’ – These items are made with 100% organic ingredients and are the highest quality organic products you can purchase. No GMOs are allowed.

Labeled ‘organic’ — These products are to contain at least 95% organic ingredients overall. Still no GMOs are allowed.
‘Made with ‘organic ingredients’ — This is the lowest form of organic content. This label is only required to contain 70% organic ingredients, meaning that the remaining 30% can be conventional. The conventional items, however, are not allowed to contain GMOs. These products don’t qualify for the USDA seal, whereas the previous two do.
You can also look for the ‘Non-GMO Verified’ logo on food items to be sure that they are GMO free.

But why does a major corporation care that you are eating GMOs? Well the fact of the matter is that the research (and common sense — eating pesticide factories mixed with the DNA of viruses isn’t going to end well) indicates GMOs are causing problematic health conditions across the board. Of course the issue lies in the fact that GMOs are not immediately considered as a cause and actually influence disease through a series of complications that are not easy to trace. But as the only lifelong study has showed us, 50% of male and 70% of female rats died prematurely when consuming GMOs.

And the bottom line is that this is costing Kaiser Permanente. If members of the healthcare juggernaut were to switch to high quality organic foods free of GMOs, pesticides, mercury-containing high-fructose corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners, then Kaiser would be dishing out millions upon millions less for healthcare costs.

More and more organizations and individuals alike are speaking out against GMOs and the effects of GMO consumption as the evidence becomes more and more clear on a daily basis. Perhaps next time Monsanto tries to push a new outlandish creation into the food supply they will be met with crushing opposition thanks to a global increase in awareness

American Milk Banned in Europe Because it Does No Body Good

Waking Times
by Anna Hunt

As a mother of three young children, the debate centered around the nutritional value of cow’s milk has been at the forefront of my mind for quite some time. Conditioned by the well-known campaigns of milk marketers “Milk. It does a body good.” and “Got Milk?”, I’ve been led to believe that milk is needed – especially by young children – for good bone growth, brain development and, of course, to meet the body’s calcium needs.

If milk does a body so much good, why is US-produced milk banned in Europe? It turns out that in 1994, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the use of recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH). rBGH in milk is believed to increase the risk of cancer. In an attempt to protect its citizens from genetically-modified milk, the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the U.N. Food Safety Agency representing 101 nations worldwide, has banned rBGH milk in the 101 nations that it represents. Canada is another country where rBGH milk is banned.

The European Commission organized independent research to review the effect of rBGH on public health. Here is what they found:


“The public health committee confirmed earlier reports of excess levels of the naturally occurring Insulin-like-Growth Factor One (IGF-1), including its highly potent variants, in rBGH milk and concluded that these posed major risks of cancer, particularly of the breast and prostate, besides promoting the growth and invasiveness of cancer cells by inhibiting their programmed self-destruction (apoptosis).” Source: Samuel S. Epstein, M.D.

rBGH is another one of Monsanto’s genetically-engineered products that mimics the cow’s naturally-produced BGH hormone. American dairy farmers inject their cows with rBGH to increase how much milk each cow produced – usually by 20%. The use of rBGH results in cows also producing more IGF-1 hormone, to such excess that milk from rBGH-treated cows has up to 80% more IGF-1.

Researchers throughout the world argue that consumption of excess IGF-1 hormone, which is also found in humans, may result in a higher risk of breast, colon and prostate cancer. Yet, in the US, Monsanto and the milk industry do not clearly label which milk comes from rBGH-treated cows.

And the effect on humans is just one of the problems. The use of rBGH also has a serious effect on the animals. Here’s a short 3-minute video about Monsanto’s deception regarding rBGH.



 If the idea of consuming hormone-filled, cancer-causing, Franken-milk doesn’t turn you off of cow’s milk, at least the non-organic non-labeled brands, then perhaps some of the following facts will give you more food for thought:

Milk is believed to deplete the body of natural calcium, which is used up in the process of digesting milk. It offers an inorganic calcium that cannot be easily digested and used by the human body. “Just like our bodies cannot use the iron in a magnet, they cannot use the calcium in milk.”

Milk is acidic, making it difficult for the body to digest. As a result, the pH of human intestines may become unbalanced, making them more susceptible to injury and disease.


Cow’s milk contains at least 59 active hormones, allergens, fat, cholesterol, herbicides, pesticies, antibiotics, blood, pus, bacteria and viruses.


“It’s not natural for humans to drink cow’s milk. Humans milk is for humans. Cow’s milk is for calves. You have no more need of cow’s milk than you do rats milk, horses milk or elephant’s milk. Cow’s milk is a high fat fluid exquisitely designed to turn a 65 lb baby calf into a 400 lb cow. That’s what cow’s milk is for!” – Dr Michael Klaper MD

Yes, our bodies need calcium. But perhaps milk is not the best source, as we’ve been led to believe. Try eating more lettuce, kale, broccoli, almonds, oranges, flax seed, sesame seeds, dill, thyme and other dried herbs. For cereal, try almond or hemp milk instead of cow’s milk. Calcium from plant sources is more easily digested by our bodies than calcium from cow’s milk, because plants have a high magnesium content, and magnesium aids in the assimilation of calcium by the body. Decreasing your intake of cow’s milk will do your body good!

GM corn variety ‘cannot be regarded as safe’: Author of study linking food to cancer issues new attack

Daily Mail

The team of researchers who caused uproar when they claimed a variety of genetically modified corn causes cancer has insisted the crop ‘cannot be regarded as safe’.

Leading scientists lined up to condemn the study after it was published two months ago, saying it lacked scientific rigour and had made a series of basic errors.

Russia banned the import of the corn and a group of six French scientific institutions carried out an investigation which accused the study authors of playing on public fears to hype their own reputations.

But French scientist Dr Gilles-Eric Séralini and his colleagues have now hit back maintaining the safety of the NK603 variety of GM corn remains unproven.

They accused many of their critics of lacking credibility because of links to the GM industry and said much of the criticism was led by ‘plant biologists, some developing patents on GMOs, and from Monsanto Company owning these products’.

Refusing to give in to demands to withdraw their study, they said their findings represented ‘the most detailed test’ of genetically modified crops that are ‘ independent from the biotech and pesticide companies’ which develop them.

They said in their rebuttal, published as a letter to the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, that unlike many other scientists involved in researching GM foods they were free from industry influence because they had no intention of ‘commercialising a new product’.

It was also pointed out by the team that the research represented a ‘first step’ rather than a final conclusion about the potential impacts of NK603 corn and that further experiments may be able to establish its safety.
For their original study they carried out experiments on rats and concluded that the GM corn, developed by US biotech company Monsanto, increased the risks of breast cancer and liver and kidney damage.

Experiments carried out by the team also suggested that tiny quantities of the widely available weedkiller Roundup, also developed by Monsanto, was also associated with an increased risk of cancer.

The experiments were carried out over two years whereas, they pointed out, biotech companies have usually based claims that their GM products are safe after feeding new varieties to rats for 90 days.

After publication of the study, in the peer reviewed Food and Chemical Toxicology, a dozen senior scientists signed a letter to the journal saying it should never have been published.

GM FOOD REGULATION

GM food and feed is strictly regulated within the EU. Labels must indicate to consumers when GM ingredients are included in food All products that are GM or include GM ingredients must meet traceability rules so that all retailers are able to identify their suppliers.

Risk assessments for all new GM products are carried out by the European Food Safety Authority before they can be sold in Europe.

‘This study does not provide sound evidence to support its claims. Indeed, the flaws in the study are so obvious that the paper should never have passed review,’ they wrote.


‘This appears to be a case of blatant misrepresentation and misinterpretation of data to advance an anti-GMO agenda by an investigator with a clear vested interest.’

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) ordered a French University to carry out a review of the research while in Russia the Institute of Nutrition was asked to conduct a similar exercise.

Monsanto said in a statement in September: ‘Based on our initial review, we do not believe the study presents information that would justify any change in EFSA’s views on the safety of genetically modified corn products or alter their approval status for genetically modified imports.’

Ground Truth: Two things about California’s GE labeling fight

by Heather Pilactic

Amidst the food movement’s flurry of post-election analysis and reflection, here are two salient facts about California’s ballot initiative fight over the proposed mandatory labeling of genetically engineered (GE) food:

1) Pesticide and processed food industries outspent a rag-tag citizen’s coalition of pro-labeling forces by 5-to-1, and still only narrowly (53% v. 47%) defeated the initiative (Proposition 37); and

2) California’s battle over GE labeling kick-started the national conversation in a way that’s going to make it much harder for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to continue rubber-stamping new GE crops — as the agency is poised to do once again in coming weeks

Numbers & Facts

Proposition 37’s late-game reversal of fortunes is stunning by the numbers alone, and these warrant a closer look. Among California’s 11 very expensive ballot initiatives, Proposition 37 is alone in showing such a clear reversal of public opinion in tight correspondence with corporate ad spending.

Monsanto, Dow, DuPont, Syngenta, Bayer Crop Science and BASF (a.k.a. the “Big 6” pesticide corporations) joined processed food conglomerates in spending $46 million dollars to defeat Proposition 37. Meanwhile, supporters of the ballot initiative cobbled together a mere $9 million, and nearly won. Up until early October, in fact, polls showed Californian’s favoring GE labeling by a factor of nearly 3-to-1.

We at PAN were among the many in the trenches of the Yes on Prop 37 campaign, and remember when the tides began to turn (early October). Behind that turn was an apparently unlimited ad budget, coupled with a stunning infidelity to facts. (Watching the World Series here in the Bay Area and seeing one misleading commercial after another attack Prop 37 is something I’ll not soon forget.)

As Tom Philpott notes, the No on Prop 37 campaign was “truth-challenged.” But propaganda and misinformation notwithstanding, at least two myths surrounding agricultural biotechnology have begun to unravel. A broader cross-section of the American (and especially California) public now knows that GE crops drive up pesticide use rather than curbing it, and that in fact, the science around the safety and efficacy of these products is far from settled.

Prior to Prop 37, the link between the pesticide industry and GE crops was almost a secret. (99% of GE crops either contain or are designed to withstand high application rates of a pesticide). Now, even those who opposed the measure and could not tell you exactly how GMOs and pesticides are connected know that it was Monsanto and other pesticide industry heavyweights who came out swinging against GE labeling. And after a century of bad corporate behavior, nearly every world-wise American now knows at a gut level that Monsanto is not to be trusted.

In the fuzzy-logic world of consumer culture, GE food’s brand has been seriously tarnished. And many other state-based GE labeling efforts are in the works even now, including Washington, Connecticut and others.

What next?

Whether or not all of this means that the food movement is past the pimply stage of early adolescence, the fact is that California’s labeling fight broadened and emboldened this movement’s power base just as we are heading into a series of regulatory fights over new GE crops in the pipeline, and preparing for what looks like a spring 2013 re-authorization battle over the now-expired Food and Farm Bill.

Prop 37 broadened & emboldened this movement’s power base just as we are heading into a series of vital policy debates.

If the fiscal cliff and other DC distractions succeed in keeping Congress from passing a 2012 Farm Bill in the lame duck session despite our insistence that they get off their duffs, then the very same sustainable food and farming forces that gathered together to push for Prop 37 will turn our attention and newly honed skills to securing the kind of agricultural policy that withdraws governmental support from the system of agriculture embodied by Monsanto. For every additional dollar of funding we win for organic agricultural research, that’s one dollar of public funding that will not be devoted to developing more GE crops that fail to deliver on promises to farmers and the public. And in this Farm Bill fight, we will bring to bear a broader base of power as well as a public disabused of the notion that agricultural biotechnology is the best thing since sliced bread.

Even more immediately, this not-so-nascent movement will be ready to push back when USDA moves to approve the next in Monsanto and Dow’s pipeline of new GE seeds — none of them adequately tested, and each engineered to withstand heavier applications of more toxic herbicides than the last. When our regulators fail once again to do their jobs, and we in the trenches of the sustainable food and farming movement say, “Not so fast!” — we will say so with a louder voice, and in concert with a public who has a fuller awareness of what’s at stake.

Related: The Folly of Big Agriculture: Why Nature Always Wins
30 States Pick Up Reins on GMO Labeling Initiative After Prop 37 Defeat
Goldfish Crackers targeted in ‘natural’ lawsuit over genetically engineered soy as Prop 37 supporters launch ‘GMO inside’ initiative

Gates Foundation Gives $10 Million to Support Genetically Modified Cereal Crops

Natural Society
by Lisa Garber

British scientists at the John Innes Center recently won a $10 million grant from the Gates Foundation. Where’s the money going? Not surprisingly, as Gates owns over 500,000 shares of Monsanto stock, the organization is putting even more money into genetically modified cereal crops (corn, wheat and rice, to name a few).

The pledge seems righteous at face value to some, but what the Gates Foundation failed to mention is that countries like Hungary, France, India, and Poland have battled GMOs because not only do GM seeds and pesticides decrease yields over time, but GM is bad news for farmers and consumers everywhere. Putting farmers in Africa in the pockets of the likes of Monsanto and other GM companies will only lead to crop monoculture, soil depletion, water contamination, pesticide-resistant insects, and a powerless local population of sick and impoverished farmers.

And this should be of no surprise to Bill Gates, who has openly stated that Monsanto’s GMOs are the ultimate ‘solution’ to world hunger yet continues to ignore the bounty of evidence showing that they do just the opposite — crushing soil yields and impoverishing local farmers.

Perhaps even more devastating is the rising suicide toll associated with the use of Monsanto’s seeds, with a farmer committing suicide every 30 minutes thanks in part due to GMO seeds.

Gates Foundation Ignores Fact that “GM is Failing to Deliver”

The John Innes Center’s aims include engineering crops capable of harnessing nitrogen from the air. Peas and beans do this naturally, but cereal crops—as raised by conventional farmers—require chemical ammonia spread upon the field.

Opponents of GM like Pete Riley, campaign director of GM Freeze, decry that “GM is failing to deliver.” He adds, “If you look in America, yields haven’t increased by any significant amount and often go down. Now we’re seeing real, major problems for farmers in terms of weeds that are resistant to the herbicides which GM crops have been modified to tolerate.”

This is old news to farmers in north India, where earlier this year the Maharashtra state government demanded compensation from a German seed company when unsatisfactory yields of their cotton hybrids disadvantaged small farmers.

“Productivity in north India is likely to decline because of the declining potential of hybrids; the emerging problem of leaf curl virus on the new susceptible Bt-hybrids; a high level of susceptibility to sucking pests,” said Keshav Raj Kranthi, head of the Central Institute for Cotton Research. In a paper published in June 2011, Kranthi added that GM crops consume more water and nutrients, depleting the soil and requiring farmers to purchase more fertilizers (putting more money in the hands of the likes of Monsanto).

The High Cost of GM

If the earth suffers, people suffer. In February, a court in Lyon, France railed against GMOs by finding Monsanto guilty of failing to put warning labels on Lasso weedkillers, the use of which caused neurological damage like memory loss and headaches. Dangers of GM end up literally on our—the consumers’—plates; consumption of GM crops has been linked to weight gain and organ disruption.

More courts across the world are fighting genetically modified food, but one wonders how much of an effect they will have in the face of behemoth agribusinesses.

Report: Nature May Soon Overcome Monsanto as ‘Super Rootworms’ Destroy Crops

Natural Society
by Anthony Gucciardi

What will be the end of Monsanto? Could it be lawsuits, new legislation, or perhaps even a tiny insect that is less than 0.10 mm in length. A new report reveals that rootworms may ultimately be what ends Monsanto’s crops, despite the biotech giant’s rampant success within the United States legislative system. Amazingly, western corn rootworms have virtually no problem gobbling up Monsanto’s modified maize crop, as they have developed a serious resistance to the very crops designed to kill them. So much so that these little critters are outpacing Monsanto’s top scientists.

To make matters worse for the company, the resistant rootworms are maturing earlier than expected this year. And with the enhanced growth has come enhanced birth rates, with the bug’s larvae hatching the earliest in decades. Monsanto, of course, is absolutely defenseless against the resistant rootworms which have adapted to their biopesticide known as Bt. At least 8 populations of insects have developed resistance, with 2 populations resistant to Bt sprays and at least 6 species resistant to Bt crops as a whole. The answer? Use even more intelligence-crushing pesticides.

Rootworms, Nature Overcome Monsanto’s GMO Crops 

It is for this reason that the EPA has warned in the past that Monsanto’s crops will soon be ravaged by the insects. In their report on the subject, the EPA states:

“Monsanto’s program for monitoring suspected cases of resistance is ‘inadequate’”.

The statements have been reinforced by another group of concerned scientists. A body of 22 academic corn experts voiced serious concerns over GMO crop failures back in March, warning that a collapse of the GMO corn industry may soon follow — a particularly mighty prediction when considering that 94 percent of the US supply is currently of the genetically modified variety. It is also important to consider that much of the corn is not used for food, but for biodiesel purposes.

Will nature adapt to Monsanto’s genetically modified creations and lead to their downfall in the end? Time and time again researchers and agricultural professionals have been calling upon Monsanto and the United States government to return to traditional and sustainable farming practices — even citing the fact that Monsanto’s GMOs produce even less yield. Instead, the modified crops have overtaken much of the food supply. Now, in the face of collapse, the only answer provided by Monsanto is to drench crops in even more pesticides and modify their genetic coding to an even greater degree.