GMO Alfalfa spreads to non-GMO Alfalfa

Commentary: Below is a report showing that the regulatory agency is wrong about GMOs, again.  To add to the pesticide and widespread chemical contamination of air, water, soil, wildlife, and foods now include genetics. This means gene transfers between GMO species and non-GMO species that will probably produce monsters of all sorts.  At first these will be eliminated because most monsters are lethal, but given enough time we should expect real monsters.  Scientific fiction may be a realistic means for seeing the future.

Gads, where can one hide?  Nowhere, so fight we must.

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MRSA and GMOs: is There a Connection?

MRSA and GMOs: is There a Connection?

by William Olkowski, PhD

10.13.12

This is a note presenting a hypothesis for further testing and confirmation: that MRSA and GMO’s are linked.

Staphylococcus. aureus is a commensal bacteria found in most people, but with some it gains entry to the blood stream and causes first flu-like symptoms and later full blown fresh eating disease of horrible consequences.  When antibiotics fail to eliminate it the infection it  is called MRSA.  MRSA is short for Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus  Aureus (see Wikipedia for history and background).  Although MRSA was first widely connected to hospitals later it was also found in the community.  Which came first is unknown.  See my book review on MRSA on my blog (entomologicalPhilosopher.com).

For background information in addition to Wikepedia, check the online textbook of bacteriology at: http://textbookofbacteriology.net/staph.html.   Each year, some 500,000 patients in American hospitals contract a staphylococcal infection (1).

I think SA  gains entry to the blood stream regularly through the skin, mucus membranes of the nose and throat, and the alimentary tract but in most people, who are healthier,  it is eliminated by their  immune system.  The standard treatment is a short coarse of antibiotics (ABs) but this does not help many people who have long term infections. Others are treated with ABs and eliminate the infection.  When MRSA was found in the US a few years back, in Europe where all people admitted to hospitals are tested the problem was not as severe..  This occurred because the insurance companies in the US did not want to pay for these simple nose swab and culturing tests.  Consequently the problem became prominent and deadly for many people, surely unnecessary.  Hurrah for the almighty buck and our for-profit health care system.

So there might be some basis for the snake oil treatments of all sorts when faced with an incurable MRSA case.  I don’t know and am not pushing any treatments one way or the other.  I am interested in how the bacteria gains entry to the blood stream.  I learned some valuable lessons when caring for my wife Helga who experienced a stroke which eventually killed her.  Stroke victims are universally susceptible to infections.  With her as my patient I learned  that there is something called Leaky Gut. I learned this by reading and by sending saliva samples for antibody analysis.  Lab results come back showing  she was carrying a wide range of anti bodies to most foods.  I did not believe the results at first, but by rotating diet components and repeated saliva samples and other diet changes we got it under better control – meaning fewer and fewer reactive antibodies where previously there was a reaction.  The number of foods she was allergic to went down slowly, but became greatly reduced.

Enter Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt).

Now comes my latest AHA experience.  Since her death I have become very active in passing Proposition 37 here in CA.  My interest was peaked by Jeffrey Smith’s book: Genetic Roulette.  It’s a great book (see book review on blog) summarizing a huge range of studies implicating GMO altered crops in many maladies.  Now I used Bt for many years and know how it kills certain groups of insects: by disruption of the gut walls which allow a bacterial spore to sporulate, and the combination of the proteinaceous toxin and the sporulating microbe kills the bug.  The protein toxin opens the gut so the spore can gain entry to the blood system.  Used an a traditional spray on insecticide it is a superior product because it is highly selective, not killing natural enemies as most other insecticides and  showed no reactions in human feeding tests.  I treated it as virtually harmless solution.  And it was most helpful in reducing unecessary pesticides.

Now that Bt corn has been secretly introduced into the world’s diet by Monsanto et al, blessed by a dysfunctional and compromised regulatory system (gift from Reagan-Bush), we have been eating Bt toxins for many years.  That is if we were eating the altered foods.  And since we don’t know if we are eating them because they are not labeled it is likely to affect most people.

Monsanto is  the same corporation who gave us agent orange, DDT, the herbicide 2,4-D and now the universal contaminant herbicide glyphosate.  All were declared safe and if not banned contaminate all our bodies, air, water, soils and wildlife.  DDT, for example, banned in 1972 still shows up in large samples of human tissues in the US, particularly in umbilicord samples.  Such umbilicord samples mean the embryo, so sacred to our Republican friends, are subject to its carcinogenetic, teratorgenic, mutagenic and hormone disruptors at very low dosages when the new human is just a single cell or just a bunch of cells.  Its better to be borne crippled than to die in utero, right?  Any takers?

Even a few meals of Bt corn, soybeans, sugar (fr. beets), canola oil, and a few other less common foods, can transfer the Bt genes to human gut flora.  Then the gut flora produces Bt toxins on a continuous basis.  This is not the same thing as spraying a Bt insecticide, no way.

An AHA FLASH?

Now comes the flash: Leaky gut in humans may be caused by GMO foods.  If not the principle causes they  can certainly make a bad situation worse.  And that can account for the invasion of a normal commensal,  S. aureus, into the blood stream by gut disruption, the very same method the microbe uses against pest insects.  Most people are healthy enough to regularly round up these critters, but the oldies and compromised don’t have this sort of protection any more.

And the kicker is that we don’t need Bt corn, nor any other GMO foods.  These crops are not higher producers but lead to resistance as pollens carried by the wind distribute them across huge sections of the Biosphere.

Now what do you think of that?  Scares me no end.  We already have many epidemics of flu, other viruses like West Nile Virus,  food borne illness caused by mirobial contamination, neurological problems, the key one of which is electing Reagan, Bush and now Romney is on the way.  I am sad for our country.  And note that 50 other countries have labeling laws and once labeled the foods are not selected and consequently are not grown.  Our agricultural policy goes along with our military policy, and our belief’s in a mythical god who will protect us and save us from ourselves.  I wish it were true.  No wonder much of the world hates us.  Can you connect the dots?

Reference cited:

1)  Bowersox, J.  1999.  “Experimental Staph Vaccine Broadly Protective in Animal Studies”. NIH. Archived from the original on 5 May 2007. Retrieved 28 July 2007. (from wikipedia).

 

 

URBAN AGRICULTURAL NOTES: GMOs and Seed Savings

URBAN AGRICULTURAL NOTES:

GMOs and Seed Savings

By William Olkowski, PhD, 9.9.12.

The take over of the seed industry documented below has only occurred recently and is primarily aimed at pushing Genetically Modified Seeds.  This is done by monopolizing all seed sources available to farmers but only selling the GMO seeds.  The farmers who don’t participate are sued when the pollens are blown onto their crops which then become contaminated.  These contaminated crops are then subject to patent law infringement and the farmer is sued.  This is a deliberate attempt to manipulate by threat so farmers will buy the GMO seeds.  Certainly this is an unethical practice, but if you have only money in mind ethics will always be dammed.

What is most puzzling about this whole situation is that farmers are not suing for having their crops contaminated.  I know that farmers can’t afford the costs of suing, even if they thought they could win against such big corporations.  And I suspect there are no laws comparable to the patent laws, which involve property rights.  Property rights must be superior to pollution rights, especially in an era of deregulation.

In any case the world food supply is threatened by these seed monopolies and the GMO crop take over strategies.

What To Do Now?

First, don’t buy any seeds or products sold by these companies (see list below), and hope California passes the label GMO proposition 37.  If CA labels the rest of the US may follow.  But note that only Canada and the US have not passed a labeling law.  50 other countries have done so.

Next, start to grow your own foods, starting with vegetables.  I have been professing this for over 40 years and now all is becoming clearer and thousands of people are now starting to grow their own.  By growing your own vegetables you get pesticide free food, at little cost, and can begin to save your own seeds.

The following extract from The City People’s Book of Raising Food (by H. and W. Olkowski, out of print but to be released again in the spring) is instructive about saving seeds.

“We have had particular luck with saving our own seeds from peas, beans, carrots, onions (they will flower the second season), lettuce, coriander, New Zealand spinach, chard, cooking celery, parsley, upland cress, and tomato.  With most of the above you can either collect the seed from the dried flower head, or, as in the case of chard, keep the entire branchlet of seed pods stored for the winter.  With tomatoes you’ll need to mash away the pulp from the seeds.  Then dry them thoroughly, spread out on a paper towel or screen, before you store them away.”

All seed, whether bought or saved from your own garden, should be kept in a cool, dry place.  This is essential as you want seeds that will germinate with vigor the following season. Be attentive to selecting seeds from an individual plant that is vigorous, or earliest and most productive.  Mark it with a ribbon or marker, so as not to harvest it by mistake.

We have also been successful in letting many different plants go to seed in the garden and harvest seedlings to eat directly or weed them out where you want to plant something else.  I call it chaos gardening and have developed a philosophical essay to support the concept (to see this essay tune into the entomological philosopher.com, my blog, search under chaos.

The urban agriculturalist is in a good place to lead the development of a new set of land races in competition to the seed companies of the world.  Good luck and good night.

SEED INDUSTRY DATA 2007

History

Originally seeds were overwhelmingly in the hands of farmers and public-sector plant breeders.
Corp take-over

Gene Giants have used intellectual property laws to commodify seed supply – a strategy that aims to control plant germplasm and maximize profits by eliminating Farmers’ Rights.

Seed Market

In 2007 the global proprietary seed market was valued at US $22B which constituted 82% of the worldwide commercial seed market (According to Context Network).
The proprietary seed market is even bigger.  This includes brand-name seed that is subject to exclusive monopoly, i.e. intellectual property.  In 2007 total commercial seed market was valued at $26B (does not include farmer-saved seed).

The World’s Top 10 Seed Companies

2007 seed sales (US$ millions) – % of global proprietary seed market (Source: ETC Group).

1.Monsanto (US) –                    $4.9B – 23%
2.DuPont (US) –                       $3.3B – 15%
3.Syngenta (Switzerland) –               $2B      – 9%
4.Groupe Limagrain (France) –         $1.2B  –  6%
5.Land O’ Lakes (US) –             $917m – 4%
6.KWS AG (Germany) –            $702m – 3%
7.Bayer Crop Science (Ge) –     $524m – 2%
8.Sakata (Japan) –                   $396m – <2%
9.DLF-Trifolium (Denmark) –   $391m – <2%
10.Takii (Japan) –                    $347m – <2%
Top 10 Total –                          $14.785B – 67% (2/3 )of global Proprietary Seed Market

Adding up, Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta account for 47% of the worldwide proprietary seed market.
Monsanto’s biotech seeds and traits (including those licensed to other companies) accounted for 87% of the total world area devoted to genetically engineered seeds in 2007 (ETC Group).
Monsanto licenses its biotech traits to 250 companies
< 48% of DuPont’s seed revenue came from products that carried a biotech trait.
Global value of GM crops in 2007 at $6.9 billion (Cropnosis).

end

Good Article on GMO Threats From BIRC

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August 2012: BIRC’s latest publication reviews the problems resulting from the extensive use of genetically engineered (GE) crops and systemic pesticides. Production of GE crops (Roundup Ready™) resistant to the herbicide glyphosate has resulted in a number of environmental problems, including an 81% reduction of Midwest monarch butterfly populations.

Excessive glyphosate applications may be impacting amphibian populations and increasing populations of soil pathogens. Soil pathogens are making systemic seed treatments with fungicides necessary. Extensive reliance on GE crops with systemic insecticides from Bacillus thuringiensis (BT) is leading to insect resistance. The resulting seed treatments with systemic neonicotinoid insecticides are causing deaths of honey bees. Dependence on glyphosate for weed management in GE crops has led to creation of superweeds. The agribusiness solution is a repeat of the pesticide treadmill—crops engineered for resistance to multiple herbicides. Planting of these new crops will at least triple the amount of 2,4-D and other controversial herbicides being used in agriculture. A better solution is a return to IPM principles that allow both sustainable crop production and environmental protection. If you would like to read this publication, click here. Hard copies are $8 each including postage. California residents add 8.75% tax. Quantity discounts are available until supplies run out. If you would like to order the publication, click here.

Previous Posts: 

June 2012: BIRC’s latest publication reviews honey bee death and decline due to extensive use of pesticides. Chemical analysis of hives in 23 states show bees, pollen, and wax combs are extensively contaminated with pesticides.

Contributing to the problem is the use of systemics in field crops, especially corn. Use of systemics means that pesticides are always present in the plant and mitigation strategies are impossible. About 45% of U.S. cropland is treated with systemics and use is increasing each year. In many cases, systemics are not needed because IPM alternatives are available that manage pests without killing bees. This issue also includes an update on urban farming, the EcoWise IPM Certification Program for pest control professionals, and the latest information on bed bug pheromones and traps. If you would like to read this new publication, click here. Hard copies are $8 each including postage. California residents add 8.75% tax. Quantity discounts are available until supplies run out. If you would like to order the publication, click here.

 

GMO Foods Anyone? Or Should we Use Common Sense?

GMO Foods Anyone? Or Should we Use Common Sense?

by William Olkowski, PhD, 7.28.12

Yes, biotechnology may bring some great and important changes to agriculture, medicine, and many other fields, even great benefits.  But there are some big BUTS to think about now.  The recent history of the creation, registration and use of such products raises important cautions at least.  Since we mentioned this subject before in our first book, history tells a different story, one with major problems with such crops.  GMO altered plants, especially those with the microbial genes which produce a toxin derived from the bacteria, Bacillus thuringiensis, are the case in point.  Alone as a microbial insecticide, Bt, is a rare product as it is highly selective.  Marketing such a product is limited to only a few groups of insects.  Further, on theoretical grounds, any continuously dispensing pest control system is bound to fail because the pests so exposed will develop resistance faster than from episodic exposures.  This is because the pest population will be under greater selection pressure from continuous exposures, while the episodic one will have time to repopulate between exposures.  And the repopulation brings back the susceptible portion of the original population to a greater degree than a continuously exposed population.  This is an argument based on genetic reasoning.  But recent history supports this contention.

Genetically modified crops do not lead to less pesticide use.  Such crops created to tolerate herbicides, for example, have now been shown to spread their resistance factors to weeds and other crops, which have become resistant to herbicides requiring greater concentrations to produce the same effects as before without such crops.  Weeds are the main reason why farmers use herbicides and more importantly cultivation.  There are alternatives to cultivation besides GMO crops and herbicides, particularly alternative cover crops which are not used enough.  And such alternative don’t pollute water as do herbicides.  Herbicides do pollute, but now with GMO crops we have added genetic pollution, something far worse than any “cide”.  Genetic pollution is forever, pesticide pollution, can be reversed. GMO crops are a bad and unnecessary tool.

And then there is the profit motive to consider.  Once a company latches onto such a product it defends their selling capabilities with all their powers, especially the threat to sue.  Organic or just farmers, who raise a crop near a GMO crop are being sued by the big producers of GMO crops and seeds for selling a product, now contaminated from their GMO crop genes.  Instead of being sued for contaminating their crop with bad genes they are suing those they contaminated.  Incredible!  Is this the same justice system that tolerated slavery, death penalty and bad jury decisions?  The reasoning is twisted to thinking the now contaminated crop is their property since it contains their genetic product.

These GMO crops are not necessary.  People produced food,  lots of it without such crops, but a farmer who gets contaminated and gets sued because of it can be put out of farming, a great tragedy.  But the GMO Company goes on selling an ecologically inferior food source which is contaminated.  Such contaminated crops have unknown health consequences.  All pest control products sold on the market should be first proven to be safe before being registered.  That’s what is called the precautionary principle.  One should not assume a product is safe because it is registered as the testing for such registrations has big limitations and leaves many products for sale that later turn out to be hazards.  We don’t need any more hazards in our food supply, nor anywhere else.  First use the non-toxic alternatives until it’s impossible to produce the product without it, then seek a toxic material, then the least toxic.  It’s just basic “common sense” reasoning.

end

Genetic Revolution Anybody?

THE GENETIC REVOLUTION: BOOK REVIEW/ESSAY.

Genetic Roulette, 2007.  Yes!Books, Fairfield,Iowa, 52556. 318 pg.

The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered foods.

By Jeffery M. Smith, author of Seeds of Deception.

Review by William Olkowski, PhD, 7.23.12

No current issue can be more important than contamination of our food supply, especially from genetic pollutants.  Pesticides and industrial pollutants found in foods and the human body are bad enough, but now even those are surpassed by these covert poisons, certainly in delivered dosage.  The whole subject of GM safety has been swallowed wholesale by regulators who believed the myths about genetically modified foods (GM foods) propagated by industry representatives.  GMO refers to genetically modified organisms, of which GM crops are just a subset.  The better label would be GMO as it is more inclusive.  Beer, for example, uses GM bitter reducers derived from modified microbes.  There are lots of such peripheral sources of GM products.

Smith sums up the threats posed by GM foods best:

“Inserting transgenes is like throwing darts that can land in more than a billion possible locations in a genome.  At the insertion site, the host’s natural genes may become mutated, deleted, altered or permanently tuned on or off.  In addition, up to 5% of the active genes throughout the genome may change expression levels.  This is evidenced by laboratory tests.  For example, growing GM cells in tissue culture can cause hundreds or thousands of additional genome-wide mutations.  All this can change RNA, proteins, and other substances, including the countless natural products in plants.  Any one might be harmful.”

Smith has compiled a massive indictment of the whole genetic modification industry.  The industry is headed chiefly by Monsanto’s devious plan to spoil the world’s food supply for the almighty dollar, primarily through forcing the world’s farmers to only use Bt converted crops and other catastrophic biological entities, actually genetic monsters.  Such massive effects are already being realized and that means the story can no longer be controversial.  About 30% of all the food produced in the US is now poisoned with chemical creations from genetically altered food plants.

The list of forming disasters is a truly monumental construction, threatening all life.  This leads one to conclude that we should ban all genetically modified creations (GMC’s) for the foreseeable future.  Mankind has surpassed his/her self in hubris, primarily but not exclusively for the profit of a single corporation, supported by scientists who lie, just like those who did so for the tobacco industry.  If they are not lying by neglect, it must be deliberate.  Maybe it’s believing whatever they create is a good thing.  A belief that does not stand up to rigorous examination is a false belief.  Believing corporations are people, and that an embryo has the rights of an adult, and that even eggs have rights is stretching the idea of free speech beyond belief.  We are moving into religious territory.

This belief stands solely by rigorous disinformation, however.  Such cases have been the focus for lawyers for their own profit, however, so get ready for the fight of our lives.  Actually, is like WWII where we were fighting for our lives.  Who controls living things and who has the right to create living things and hold corporate patents on living things, making food patented, just like medicines, THAT IS THE NEW QUESTION, DEAR SHAKESPEAR.  Its not to be or not to be, but to be what?

Maybe the patent law changes brought about over the last 30 or so years is at the root of things of many bad things.  Changes in patent law might be another path for challenge besides GM labeling.  More attack paths mean more lawyers for defense.  More lawyers cost more and maybe if the costs of liability rise beyond the tolerable point we will get the Giant to work on some other products.  How about investing in alternative fuels so we can continue to support the switch away from fossil fuels.  Now there’s an alternative investment strategy for the Monsanto Take-Over-the-World campaign and their stockholders.

This overall genetic catastrophe can be mostly laid at the feet of the international giant, Monsanto, but not exclusively, as genetic engineering became a big bubble a decade or two back.  But Monstanto has a great, bad track record.  These are the guys who gave us the deadly long term chlorinated hydrocarbon herbicide 2,4, 5 T of Vietnam war fame, the glyphosate (herbicide) tolerant plants (also called Round UP Ready), and Bt cotton, potatoes, soybeans and tomatoes now grown on soils across the US and elsewhere.

A selected short summary of these forming disasters from GM foods includes:

1: Increased in Allergies and the Effects Upon the Immune Response:

Evidence from Brazil nut genes inserted into soybeans cause serious allergic reactions in people who are already sensitive to this nut.  At least 30% of the soybeans in theUSare now produced with GM altered genes.  Soybeans are fed to cattle, and are made into tofu, miso and related products.

2. Increases in Inflammation.

GM produced peas triggered an inflammatory response in mice, suggesting a harmful reaction in humans.  The protein produced is not harmful in its natural state, just from GM peas.  The cause has been traced to the sugar chain components of antibodies, proteins and other molecules, a process commonly called glycosylation.  The accumulation of glycosylated compounds in cells is thought to be one of the main causes of aging.  Faster aging anybody? Plus glycosylation impacts allergenicity badly.

3. Increased Damage to the Immune System.

GM potatoes made with a lectin from the snowdrop caused immune damage in rats.  Rats fed the same lectin were not damaged.  This suggests there were some other changes produced by the gene insertion.

4. Increase in Known Allergens.

Sections of the Round-Up Ready protein produced by the inserted gene are identical to known allergens.  There was a 50% increase in allergic reactions to GM soy when it was first introduced into the UK food supply.  Actual cause has not been determined, but is being pursued. Speculations of other damage pathways abound based on various studies.

5. Increases in the Already Known List of Body Burden Chemicals.

Numerous animal feeding studies using genetically modified (GM) foods showed Bt potatoes and Bt tomatoes damaged rats, mice, sheep, chickens and humans including bleeding stomachs, death and production of allergies.  Pigs and cows become sterile with eating Bt corn.  These studies have lead some to call the GM phenomena “The Thalidomide of Genetic Engineering.”

6. Need to Exclude GM products in manufacture of Foods, Medicinals and Supplements.

The discovery of the genetically modified supplement L-trytophan is a case in point.  In the 1980’s, by a combination of remote chances, a series of contaminates in this supplement were discovered.  “According to CDC officials the GM supplement killed about 100 people and caused 5,000-10,000 others to fall sick or become disabled.  The company producing the tryptophan was Showa Denko (Chinese?), the disease produced is called eosinophilia myalgia syndrome (EMS) which causes a long series of common disease symptoms, but particularly severe muscle pain and highly elevated white blood cells (eosinophils) indicative of a severely disrupted immune system.

7.  Cooking (and processing) of GM foods May Increase the Problems.

It is already known that cooking may increase the stability of the trypsin inhibitor, cause of allergic reactions from natural soybeans.  But this makes the 27% increase in this enzyme from GM soy, even more of a problem.

8. Creation of New Allergens and Other Biochemical Changes.

Among the changes already noted are the creation of new allergens, changes in DNA structures, changes in the molecules of RNA derived from the changed DNAs, and the proteins derived from these coded molecules, all which become potential components of future generations. All are untested.

Why are we Playing Roulette with GMO’s?

If we are already playing genetic roulette with these products as Smith so ably elaborates why are we willing to take this risk?  After all, our genes are our most precious possessions.  Even the religious folks are wondering why we are playing  God, or is it the Devil we are mimicking?

Why Deal With Effects of Unexpected Results?

We already know that enzymes can be transferred from species to species in gut bacteria, and we know that food enzymes can make this jump.  We know that GMO products change enzymes in many ways.  So, with GMO products we are changing the gut fauna in unknown ways.  This affects could effect digestion and introduces new molecules into the blood stream and once there, all parts of the body could be affected, including the brain.  New molecules in the blood stream mean new effects from the immune system.

Evolution at Work

We know that variation and selection are the evolutionary processes which produced us.  We know that most variations are deleterious, so why increase the variation rate?  Why are we forcing ourselves through this genetic sieve?  Who will make it through? Is it worth the risk?  I don’t think so, not for the almighty dollar.  Plus, who gets the dollar is important.  Some of that dollar now needs to be directed toward improving the situation.  And it’s got to be the government that makes the changes.  Industry cannot be trusted to make the effort alone although there are welcome changes afoot in the industry.  We can’t expect Mitt baby to make such changes.  We can hope Obama will, but it’s only a hope.

Combinations With GM Crops and Other Problems

There is an important overlay to all these genetic pollution indications: What are the effects of combinations of GM crops and GM products with existing medicines and pesticides on foods?  These are already known to have numerous side effects and are widely used. Synergistic reactions with GM products can be expected.  Thus synergism can work to improve some physiologically effective molecules, or to damage them directly, or to stop their functions in some ways.

If one is already on a statin, for example, the symptoms could be exacerbated as statins are notorius for producing muscle weakness.  Over 25 million people in the world use statins.  They are widely appreciated to deplete the critical antioxidant Enzyme Q10, for example.

To add fire to the story, why are statins, sometimes in multiple drugs and in various combinations, given to stroke victims, another million per year?  A million or so unfortunate souls just here in the US are so treated, even by ER personnel.  And these people are already compromised from the stroke?  If that is the standard of care for the medical industry, who needs such medical care.

Unfortunately, many can still benefit from a Universal Health Care system like that used by Congress.  Congress’s medical care system is called Medicare like that for all us seniors.  The trick is how can one make choices when there is only one standard of care and many committees tasked with such efforts are dominated by industry scientists who must lie to keep their jobs or their beliefs, always rigorously defended.  Maybe the risks of living without medicines are less than living with medicines, certainly that is true with GM crops.  We don’t need them, only Monsanto does.  You choose, Monsanto, or all human health?  Any takers for all humans?

The Free Market Regulatory Push

The implications of just these studies raise huge questions which have been swept under the regulatory rug.  But there are more studies suggesting a whole host of other changes along the complex chain from DNA, to pollens, sperm and eggs, and the development of plants and animals, including us humans.  Altering our biochemical exposure and increasing potential damage is bad enough, but altering the food supply and then contaminating wild plants and animals is just beyond the pale. Black elk said it best: Whatever we do to the biosphere we do to our selves.

As for the regulatory community which has allowed this unfolding catastrophe to reach such dire levels, it deserves investigation and restructuring, certainly to remove corporate interests.  This is much more important than the gross violations of the banking industry.

And as for the Corporations are People disaster propagated by a Bush dominated Supreme Court I will believe as Bill Moyers quips: When Texas kills a corporation I will believe they are people.  But these corporations with their unlimited ability to buy off congress can fight back with such funds legally now by using their free right to donate to various political compaigns.  All political campaigns should be publically supported totally.  We are witnessing a process where the wealthy alone determine who will lead us.  That is not democracy, its oligarchy.

The quip is effective enough to suggest the state execution of all Monsanto CEO’s, and maybe their scientists for negligence.  So now we must decide, for execution, or just fines AND certainly jail time.  And those guys who head the company should not go to the white color Lompoc jail facility where Martha Stewart took a rest from making millions, but San Quinton, say back in time, a few decades.

So What Can You Do Now?

STOP BUYING GMO FOODs

While we wait for the regulators and the amendment to the Constitution (now in the works) to stop unlimited contributions by corporations (originally and erroneously thought to be established under the Bill of rights granting free speech protections). What can we do?  We can stop buying GM foods.  But who knows what is genetic or non-genetic?

That’s the reason why GM foods must be labeled.  Then the onus is again on the educated buyer, as is currently the vogue.  So we continue the selection process against the young, old, and infirm.  We are a great society, no?  Everybody running for office says this.  It must be true, right?

How can one not assume GM foods are safe for everybody? Certainly young people, old people, stroke and cancer victims, other compromised people, and all those using drugs and even supplements are at risk.  Most of these people already have compromised immune systems.  But that category may also include all the rest of us, if we eat GM foods.  Consider that the crops modified by GM processes include at least the following: soy, wheat, rice, tomatoes, milk, corn, rapeseed/canola, papayas, cotton, farm raised salmon, alfalfa and a host of vegetables which are in the pipeline since Smiths book was published back in 2007.

Sugar beets are also GM modified, suggesting that table sugar is altered.  Add that to the already widespread knowledge that sugar use leads to diabetes.  It should be enough for most people who are paying attention to their diet to skip sugar, if you can design such a diet.

I speculate that the vegetarians who don’t use milk (and milk products), who don’t eat soy, wheat, rice and farm raised salmon have an advantage on those who do.  This is assuming all those products are completely contaminated.  So this should be incentive for those producers of soy, wheat, rice, milk and farmed salmon to back efforts to label foods GM-free, or produced with Non-GM crops.  How about NOT-GMO?  Even more industries would back such a labeling system, maybe?

Meats and Juices, Humanity against Monsanto.

A large portion of the soybean crop is fed to cattle, so non-organic meats are suspect.  Bt corn and herbicide resistant crops join the food chain to animals and humans.  The artificial sweetener, aspartame, is produced by a GM process and is found widely for a long time now in juices and other “foods”.  Just the sugars found is such products argues for their avoidance, whether GM or non-GM.  But even that distinction is lost to most consumers.

Evolution at Work

This whole debacle sounds like Evolutionary pressure to me.  Labels certainly need to be read, and improved.  If what you read has a greater effect on choices made in the supermarket we are selecting against ignorance of the facts.  The fact that vested interests fight back with misinformation campaigns should not be overlooked.  So we are in an evolutionary struggle, human health is pitted against corporate wealth. And corporate wealth is backing disinformation.  Critical thinking is the way out.  But with efforts to undermine science education in public schools critical thinking is to be replaced by imaginatory thinking.

Smith produced another great list of what can be expected by way of industry back-pressure:

1. Premptory strike: see book Seeds of Deception.  Get them before they get me.

2. Silence: “I never saw it”. Like, dismiss Smith’s book.  It’s the head in the sand approach, or is it head up somewhere else.

3. Sweeping dismissal: GM crops are innocent, after all the regulatory bodies have approved it.

4. I haven’t read it: weak defense by CEO’s and their Representatives.  So the guy with the million dollar salary can’t afford the $27.50 as sold by Rincon Vitova (plus shipping) for Smith’s book.  Oh, poverty limits so much, doesn’t it?

5. Invoking scientific organizations: Some of these are just industry surrogates.  But check out the study commission memberships and similar organizations which determine policy for industry reps at the FDA and the EPA, for starters.

6. Selecting subsets of arguments to mislead, e.g. pollens are more important for stimulating allergies.

7. GM crops are the same as other foods.  Standard breeding programs create mutations too, so we are the same as other crop derived foods, so GM foods can’t be bad.  This latter conclusion is usually implied.

8. Totally Incredible Defense: gene therapy is the best way to improve human life, therefore we are blazing new trails in genetic manipulations which as a scientific field is admiral.  This is certainly true, but so far all this knowledge is to the detriment of humanity and the Bioshere, don’t forget to add that too.

9. Personal attack (Also called Ad Hominum to cover up its real nature): This is the same old crap, like that so successfully used against Rachel Carson and well documented by her biographer Linda Lear, in her book Witness for Nature (see Rachel Carson.org).  Rachel Carson is not a great scientist; therefore what she says is false.  Plus she was a female and worked for the government mostly.

9A. A common subset of personal attacks are that the critic is trying to sell books or alternative products, or has particular bias against the industry.  They are, or he/she is a communist, is a good all over standard critique used in my day.  So what communists say must be false.  This can be translated into Environmentalist, today.  “The suffix “ist” is the red flag.  Use the following format: because they are xxxxx-ist, what they say is false.

Ad hominum is a common study unit for lawyers, it’s called Ad hominum because it’s directed at the person not the argument.

All the 20 or so logical fallacies are designed to hide the truth.  Corporate lawyers are hired to be inventive with such campaigns, based on these well known philosophic methods which form the basis of the application of law.  Examples abound: see http://carm.org/logical-fallacies-or-fallacies-argumentation.  In ancient Athens, when Socrates was forced to drink strychnine for showing what idiots the people were who ran things, they got offended and controlled the democratic process, and had him killed.  Today it’s terrorist, or aid to the enemy, or Whatever Floats.  That could be Woody Allen’s next masterpiece, that is, if I don’t write it up first.

Ad hominum still works, too!

Whatever Works is a refrain widely respected and the title of a funny movie by the great director/playwrite Woody Allen.  Practicalism is a good guideline, and according to Woody, a solution to a whole host of romantic problems.  William James was a famous philosophical proponent of practicalism.  Practicalism is practical but may not be true to the evidence.  And what kind of evidence will be used to make a decision?

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Box A.  The Psychologist and Philosopher William James (x Wikipedia).

William James 1842 –1910) was a pioneering Americanpsychologist and philosopher who was trained as a physician. He was the first educator to offer a psychology course in the U.S.[2] He wrote influential books on the young science of psychology, educational psychology, psychology of religious experience and mysticism, and on the philosophy of pragmatism.

Pragmatic theory of truth refers to those accounts, definitions, and theories of the concept truth that distinguish the philosophies of pragmatism and pragmaticism. The conception of truth in question varies along lines that reflect the influence of several thinkers, initially and notably, Charles Sanders PeirceWilliam James, and John Dewey, but a number of common features can be identified. The most characteristic features are (1) a reliance on the pragmatic maxim as a means of clarifying the meanings of difficult concepts, truth in particular, and (2) an emphasis on the fact that the product variously branded as beliefcertaintyknowledge, or truth is the result of a process, namely, inquiry.

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As of 2007 when Smith’s book was published the US and Canada are the only industrialized countries to not have GM labeling.  The EU requires labeling if GM crops were used in production regardless if it is detected in final products.  But they do not require labeling of milk and meat from animal fed GM crops.

Remember, when the choice comes up in November to have GM labeling be sure to check the box yes.