The following is a guest post by Lori Grace. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Global Exchange.
Discovering the Health Effects of GMO (genetically modified organism) Plants:
I have always appreciated being able to read labels when buying my food. I was happy to hear about a labeling proposition that was going to be put on the November ballot. I decided at that time to research the health effects of GMOs. I found out that most of the studies have been done in foreign countries because of news and research suppression here in the US. As I began to study the health effects of GMO’s and then of Roundup and Bt insecticide, which is in GMO Bt plants I became even more concerned. Among other issues,I learned that Bt insectide could definitely cause multiple allergies and rashes in both animals and humans and definitely death in animals that ate harvested Bt cotton plants, Roundup ready foods appeared to contribute to infertility, precancerous changes in the intestines and stomach linings of animals and humans and in some cases death in animals who were fed a great deal of Roundup ready food.
The New Life Form on GMO fields:
My concern reached a crescendo when I talked to Dr. Don Huber, Plant Pathologist and Professor Emeritus from Purdue University who has been studying a new organism in GMO fields that has never before been found on earth. I learned that is implicated in sudden death syndrome in soybeans, gall disease in corn, infertility, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, high spontaneous miscarriage rates and sudden infant death syndrome in farm animals and humans.
In talking with Dr. Huber, I learned that this new unnamed organism is as small as the smallest virus, able to replicate rapidly like a bacteria, is highly infectious and cannot be killed by ordinary means like a prion. I learned that humans could possibly take this new organism into their intestines by GMO corn or soy, dairy or egg products from cows or chickens fed GMO feed, plants raised with compost from chickens or cows fed GMO feed, and possibly fish fed GMO corn and soybeans.
With respect to this unknown organism, I was particularly alarmed to hear that could not be killed by cooking. For example, a human could scramble an egg from a chicken fed this contaminated GMO feed, eat the egg and introduce this organism into his or her intestines which would then have the opportunity to reproduce rapidly and possibly create irritable bowel syndrome,chronic botulism in his or her intestines(producing fatigue), infertility, a miscarriage or sudden infant death syndrome to name only a few possibilities.
The Attacks on Scientists and the Suppression of Information on GMOs:
I was shocked to discover these things about GMO foods and dismayed to once more never read about it in the newspapers. Then, in a subsequent call with Dr. Huber, I learned about the intense attacks on scientists all over the United States who have been coming up with ground-breaking research on GMOs and the suppression of the results of their research particularly in the US. I asked Dr. Huber how could I help. I wanted American citizens to have the information about food to make the best possible decisions if they were interested for their health. I decided to help a certain unnamed scientist whose research here in the US was about to be terminated by the university where he worked, since he was studying this unnamed organism. (unnamed because the DNA has not been determined effectively yet.) The research scientist could not go by his real name because there would be immediate suppression of his research if it were made public, I learned that the results of his research once completed could be published in France , Germany or Japan and be brought back via the internet. His research would never be published in the prestigious magazines, Science , Scientific American or Nature.
The Ubiquitous Nature of Roundup and BT Insecticide:
I next started learning about the ubiquitousness of Roundup. I have learned that it is in air, rainwater,groundwater, lakes and streams. I learned from a German study in the Ithaka Journal that Roundup in urine has been found in 100% of Germans tested in levels 5 to 20 times EPA allowable levels in drinking water. Since Germany imports only GMO soybeans for its cattle and does not allow any GMO food to be consumed by humans, I have found myself wondering how much Roundup would be found in the urine of Americans who eat many more GMO foods.
I learned that the address of the lab where this was done was kept secret even in Germany because of pressure the lab could experience from agro-chemical companies which might cause the studies to be discontinued or influenced in some way.
With the help of Dr. Huber, I then was able to find out the shocking news of extreme birth defects in Argentinian workers who are tending GMO Soybean fields. The pictures of their children in some cases with no arms or legs or with no eyes or a huge nose horrified me. I am aware that I have seen none of this information in American news.
With respect to Bt insecticide, I learned that it remains in the body, in contrast to the original claims of Monsanto. A University of Sherbrooke Medical Center study with 69 women found that 93% of the women had Bt insecticide in their blood. About half of the women were pregnant, 80% of the fetuses had Bt insecticide in their fetal blood sample. Margaret Laggis, who represents Monsanto said these women had gotten Bt insecticide by eating only organic foods which all of the women denied at the start of their study.
Roundup is Inescapable:
Overall, as someone who eats organically and filters her water, I thought I was better protected until today. Today, I read a medical study that if a person breathes even 1/450th o f the amount that is allowed to be sprayed as a herbicide, that in 20 minutes, DNA changes can be noticed in the mucosal linings of the tongue, lips, cheeks and nasal tissues of humans- changes that could become precancerous. This study appeared in the February edition of the Journal of Toxicology.
With the news each day of the ubiquitous nature of Roundup and Bt insecticide and with the creation of new life forms that cause significant harm to animals, plants and humans I would really like to encourage the people of California to support the GMO labeling bill that will appear as a proposition on the California ballot in November of 2012. I do believe that we all need to know more about the GMO foods that have entered our food supply and have more access to knowledge about their effects.
Lori Grace has been an active environmentalist for the last twenty years. She has been increasingly alarmed about food safety and the extensive proliferation of pesticides, herbicides and genetically modified foods in our farms. She is also profoundly concerned with the suppression of information by both government and business that would help Americans to make informed choices about food. We invite you to share your thoughts about this post in the comments section.