Genetically Modified Organisms
GMOs are genetically modified (also called genetically engineered) organisms. Genetically engineered plants now contaminate many of our staple foods. Their seeds and other plant parts are also ground into "organic" fertilizers and applied to fields and landscapes.
These products commonly used as fertilizers are with great certainty contaminated with GMOs (in North America):
• All corn meal / corn gluten meal
• All cotton seed meal
• All canola meal
• All soybean meal
• Some alfalfa meal
Genetically modified organisms, or any products derived from them, are not permitted to be used under any organic standard anywhere in the world, including the SOUL Organic Land Care Standard.
gmThe following links are meant to provide you with the most current research on the use and effect of GMOS in the environment.
A new movie has dealt yet another severe blow to the credibility of US based Monsanto, one of the biggest chemical companies in the world and the provider of the seed technology for 90 percent of the world’s genetically engineered (GE) crops. The French documentary, called “The world according to Monsanto” and directed by independent filmmaker Marie-Monique Robin, paints a grim picture of a company with a long track record of environmental crimes and health scandals.
June 1, 2009, Ottawa, Montréal, Washington, Canberra - Farmers, consumers and civil society organizations in Australia, Canada and the U.S. released a joint statement confirming their collective commitment to stop commercialization of genetically engineered (GE) wheat. In 2004, global pressure prevented biotechnology company Monsanto from pushing GE wheat onto an unwilling market.
On May 19th, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) called on "Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM (genetically modified) foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks."
At least 1800 sheep reported dead from severe toxicity after grazing on Bt cotton fields in just four villages in Andhra Pradesh India.
Many links to scientific reports.
Biology once was regarded as a languid, largely descriptive discipline, a passive science that was content, for much of its history, merely to observe the natural world rather than change it. No longer. Today biology, armed with the power of genetics, has replaced physics as the activist Science of the Century, and it stands poised to assume godlike powers of creation, calling forth artificial forms of life rather than undiscovered elements and subatomic particles.
The genetic engineering community has assumed that Agrobacterium, a commonly used gene transfer vector for plants, does not infect animal cells, and certainly would not transfer genes into them. But this has been proved wrong. Prof. Joe Cummins warns of hazards to laboratory and farm workers.
A plant virus that attacks humans is a probable outcome of the genetic manipulation of plant viruses or combinations of plant and animal virus components as in the vaccine producing pharm crops. The article below shows that modified plant viruses may attack humans. It is worth mentioning that the "expert" reviews of GM food crops and pharm crops has dismissed the possibility of producing viruses that attack both plants and animals. We shall have to think twice about what is being planted in the neighbors corn field.
Klebsiella planticola, a common soil bacterium, was genetically engineered by a German research institute to make ethanol for industrial purposes. The inventors had planned a recycling system: farmers would give them agricultural slash, which would be used for the bacterial fermentation; the resulting ethanol would be separated out, and the sludge could be given back to the farmers to spread on their fields as fertilizer. It all sounded very good for the environment, but how much soil ecologists impinged on the planning is unclear.
The battle over biotech plants could be moving from the cornfield to the golf course. An environmental group based in Washington, D.C., filed a legal complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday, demanding that the agency deny Scotts Co.'s request to sell a grass seed that has been genetically engineered to resist Monsanto Corp.'s Roundup herbicide.
A genetically modified crop has passed its transgene on to a closely related species growing 14 kilometers away and to wild-growing plants of the same species 21 kilometers away, according to an article published this week in PNAS. Here is the actual research paper
Essentially all of the GM crops presently being sold contain an antibiotic resistance gene (called a selectable marker).
Dutch studies now reveal that the popular biological pesticide Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) does not die within a few days, but can remain active a year or more. Bt spores were found to thrive in both dead and living insects.
Bt-maize (corn) during pollination, may trigger disease in people living near the cornfield - Feb 2004
Virtually an entire village of thirty-nine people living adjacent to a large field of Bt-maize (Dekalb 818 YG) on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines were stricken by a disease with respiratory, intestinal, and skin reactions, and fever.
Confidential Monsanto report showed that rats fed GM corn developed kidney and blood abnormalities - May 2005
The most disturbing aspect of the revealed Monsanto report is that regulators in USA, EU failed to make public studies showing health impacts on rats. The fact that most of the GM corn and corn products have not been labeled in US and Canada means that the human effects will have gone undetected and the rat studies were labeled confidential business information to protect the sale of GM corn.
Scientists have traced the first steps in the way some new diseases emerge, and how harmless bacteria living in insects become dangerous disease-causing bugs which can affect humans, like the plague or anthrax.
Prof. Joe Cummins reviews the impacts of Bt toxins and Bt crops and points to a fundamental flaw in their regulatory assessments - toxicity testing based, not on the toxins in Bt crops themselves, but on surrogate toxins. There is, furthermore, evidence that some Bt toxins are toxic to mammals.
When research scientist Arpad Pusztai appeared on British television in August 1998 to talk about his studies of genetically engineered potatoes, he was suspended and later fired from his job at the Rowett Research Institute in Scotland.
In 1998, American biotech company Monsanto launched a GBP 1m advertising campaign to convince the British public that GM food was safe. Their "Food, Health and Hope" campaign claimed that they had conducted "rigorous tests" over 20 years to ensure that their crops were "as safe and nutritious as the standard alternatives." Following a wave of complaints, the Advertising Standards Authority condemned the adverts for being "confusing, misleading, unproven and wrong."
This product was placed on the market, and within a few months it caused the deaths of 37 people and caused 1500 more to be permanently disabled.
Interesting article, beginning with some insightful emails.
"I would like to begin by providing some history and context that may inform you on where my perspective comes from. I was born in Vancouver, B.C., in 1936. Both of my parents were born in Vancouver about 25 years earlier..."