Posts Tagged ‘Health’
New Peer Reviewed Study Shatters Myth of Substantial Equivalence and GMO Safety
From the National Press Club earlier this week, an independent scientist with four degrees from MIT, Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai released the results of groundbreaking new research that proves the FDA’s current legal construct of “substantial equivalence”, which allows new GMO crops to be approved without proper safety tests, is seriously outdated, unscientific and a fraud when it comes to assessing the safety of GMO foods.
Utilizing modern tools, Dr. Ayyadurai’s team has conducted the first of its kind systems biology analysis of more than 11,597 published peer reviewed scientific papers and found that the process of genetic engineering creates significant cellular disruption in GMO plants.
According to the new research, published in the peer-reviewed journal Agricultural Sciences, the process of genetic engineering creates significant disruptions to basic cellular functions in Monsanto’s Roundup Ready GMO soybeans.
The new research found:
- The process of genetic engineering introduces oxidative stress or system shock in GMO soybean plants.
- This stress creates a metabolic disturbance in the plant’s normal cellular functions, including the plant’s ability to rid itself of harmful toxins.
- This results in an alarming rise in the accumulation of Formaldehyde, a known class 1 carcinogen
- and a significant depletion of Glutathione, a master antioxidant responsible for cellular detoxification and necessary for maintaining a healthy immune system.
This new research is alarming and raises serious questions for everyone who eats regarding the safety of our food supply and the current regulations that block GMO labeling and rubber stamp the approval of new GMO food crops.
These findings shatter the myth that GMOs are “substantially equivalent” and show for the first time that significant damage is done at the cellular level to foods that have been genetically engineered through the process of transgenic insertion of foreign genes.
Therefore, we need an immediate ban on new GMO approvals until new safety standards and independent tests can be conducted.
Tell Congress and the FDA that GMOs are NOT the same as Non-GMOs – “substantial equivalence” is a fraud! It’s time to stop Monsanto’s corruption of science, democracy and our food supply – demand mandatory GMO labeling! Every voice counts!
Two days ago, an agency of the World Health Organization issued a report concluding that glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, likely causes cancer in humans.
If you eat foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs), you are consuming glyphosate—because the U.S. EPA not only allows glyphosate residue on your food, the agency actually raised the allowed limits in 2013.
How do you know you’re eating GMO foods? You don’t. Because Monsanto and the EPA, USDA and FDA made certain of that by refusing to require labels on GMO foods. Even though about 80 percent of processed foods in the U.S. contain GMO ingredients.
You may be thinking, is it worth it to keep funding these state GMO labeling campaigns, when Monsanto and Big Food come in with their hundreds of millions of dollars to snuff them out?
The answer is a resounding yes. Here’s why.
First, it’s more urgent than ever for your health. The FDA just signed off on the GMO apple and the GMO potato, and will likely sign off on GMO salmon and GMO wheat. This, in addition to new GMO corn and soy varieties the USDA recently approved—crops engineered to withstand massive doses of a toxic combination of both glyphosate and 2,4-D (a form of which was used to make Agent Orange).
More and more studies are being done on the toxic effect of glyphosate on human health. But this most recent study, from the World Health Organization, may be the most incriminating of all. Yet, we have no indication from the U.S. government that it will heed this new warning and take action.
Second, Monsanto’s lobbyists are pushing Congress to pass a law that would kill states’ rights to pass GMO labeling laws.
Word is that within weeks, if not sooner, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) will reintroduce what activists have labeled the DARK ACT—Deny Americans the Right to Know. The bill is an attempt to strip states’ of their constitutional right to pass GMO labeling laws.
If we pass GMO labeling laws in Maine, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, in addition to the law already passed in Vermont, we’ll make it much more difficult for Congress to take on all four of these states.
In what is a clear sign that Pompeo is about to reintroduce his bill, the House Agriculture Committee is holding a full committee hearing on the costs and impacts of GE food labeling, The Gene Giants and Big Food will pack that hearing with their lobbyists.
Third, it is absolutely essential that we not give up this fight—your fight—or we risk sending the wrong message to Monsanto, and state and federal lawmakers.
We may have (very narrowly) lost several key state battles, but those battles launched a massive national public education campaign, and helped launch similar initiatives and legislative campaigns in more than 20 states.
Without the support of people like you—concerned consumers, voters, moms and dads, from every generation and every point across the political spectrum—most Americans still wouldn’t know what a GMO is or why it matters, much less that they are being denied this basic information on food packaging—information that consumers in more than 60 countries rightfully have.
Instead, thanks to you, more than 90 percent of Americans are now standing up to demand the right to know.
It is absolutely critical that we keep this fight alive. So state and federal lawmakers know that we are serious. That’s why we’re asking for your support so we can provide resources to these important GMO labeling battles in New England.
We need to raise another $145,000 to meet our goal of $200,000 by March 31 to fund GMO labeling in Maine, and in other New England states, including Massachusetts. Details on how to donate online, by check or by phone here.
Donations made to the Organic Consumers Fund, our 501(c) 4 lobbying arm, are not tax-deductible. If you want to support the grassroots advocacy and education campaigns in these states, you can make a tax-deductible donation to our 501(c)3 here.
National Director, Organic Consumers Association and Organic Consumers Fund
P.S. These campaigns in New England are urgent. We must stop attempts by Monsanto to strip states of the right to pass GMO labeling laws, especially in light of this new declaration by the World Health Organization that glyphosate probably causes cancer in humans.
A Roundup of Roundup® Reveals Converging Pattern of Toxicity from Farm to Clinic to Laboratory Studies
We need to ban glyphosate from our own communities as most governments fail to protect citizens
Institute of Science in Society 1/19/15
**please support research of Seralini’s team on analysing glyphosate residues in rats exposed to Roundup here: http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Support_Seralini_Team_for_New_GMO_Risk_Research.php
What is glyphosate?
Glyphosate, perhaps surprisingly for a chemical so ubiquitously associated with our food, was not first used as an agricultural chemical but instead first patented as a metal chelator in 1964 by Stauffer Chemical company (US 3160632 A)  and used as an industrial pipe cleaner. It was later patented by Monsanto as an herbicidal agent in 1974 (US3799758 A)  based on its ability to block the shikimate pathway involved in the production of aromatic amino acids in both plants and bacteria. It has become the most popular herbicide in the world especially since glyphosate tolerant genetically modified (GM) crops were commercialized in the mid-1990s, together with the assumption (perpetrated by Monsanto) that the herbicide is safe for health and the environment. In 2010, it was also patented by Monsanto as an antibiotic agent. Moreover, it is being increasingly used as a pre-harvest desiccant for drying seeds, a process that results in contamination of non-GM grains, one of the main exposure routes in the EU where GM crops are not commonly grown. Thus, an estimated 70 % of UK oil seed rape (canola) and 50-60 % of EU sunflowers are sprayed with glyphosate , resulting in products of major food brands in the UK testing positive for glyphosate residues in a 2014 analysis by GM Freeze, with glyphosate the most commonly detected of all chemicals .
All of glyphosate’s chemical properties already mentioned have implications for the health of both people and planet. Scientific research has additionally implicated glyphosate as an endocrine disruptor and a DNA mutagen; and it affects over 291 different enzymes in the body . It is increasingly linked with a wide variety of illnesses, the sharp rises in illnesses occurring in parallel with glyphosate application across various GM cultivating regions of the world.
The most convincing evidence of glyphosate toxicity is the consistent pattern of diseases associated with glyphosate that has emerged from the farm to the clinic and from scientific studies to citizen testimonials.
Glyphosate widespread in the environment and in our bodies
Glyphosate’s popularity is due in large measure to its concomitant use with the most widely planted type of GM crops, those tolerant to glyphosate-herbicides. Monsanto commercialised the first Roundup-ready crop in 1996 (Roundup being the commercial formulation containing ‘adjuvants’ that make it much more toxic than the active ingredient glyphosate alone, see later). In countries such as Argentina where large swaths of the country have been dubbed soy deserts, GM soybean cultivation has resulted in an 858 % rise in glyphosate use (see  Devastating Impacts of Glyphosate Use with GMO Seeds in Argentina, to appear). Similarly, the US has seen even greater rises of 2 500 % from 1987 to 2007 .
This widespread and massive application of glyphosate herbicides has resulted in almost ubiquitous contamination of the environment. A 2014 study on US water systems across 38 states found glyphosate and its principle metabolite AMPA (aminomethylphosphonic acid) not only in rivers, lakes and streams, but also rain, soil and sediment, ditches and drains and groundwater (see ). Some 70 % of rain samples tested positive for glyphosate. Similarly in Europe, (in Catalonia, a large region of Spain) it was found that all 11 groundwater sites were positive for glyphosate despite it being a region free from glyphosate-tolerant crop cultivation; 41 % of samples were above detection limits . The detection in groundwater goes against one of the claims on glyphosate safety that its propensity to bind to soil and sediment means it will not leach into our fresh water supplies. In Argentina, new data of rain sample measurements averaged an extreme 6.5 µg/L and reaching as high as 67 µg/L (67 ppt) across four regions from October 2012 to April 2014 . These levels are far higher than those seen in US rain samples where the average and maximum concentrations were 0.11 µg/L and 2.5 µg/L respectively . Read the rest of this entry »
Written by laudyms
January 19, 2015 at 12:01 pm
Most comprehensive study reveals glyphosate and AMPA in the environment over 9 years and across 38 states
Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji 10/08/14 Institute of Science in Society
The most comprehensive research to date on environmental glyphosate levels exposes the widespread contamination of soil and water in the US, as well as its water treatment system. Looking at a wide range of geographical locations, researchers from the US Geological Survey (USGS) analysed 3 732 water and sediment samples and 1 081 quality assurance samples collected between 2001 and 2010 from 38 states in the US and the District of Colombia. They found glyphosate in 39.4 % of samples (1 470 out of 3 732) and its metabolite AMPA (α-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid) in 55 % of samples . Water samples included streams, groundwater, ditches and drains, large rivers, soil water, lakes, ponds and wetlands, precipitation, soil and sediment, and waste water treatment plants.
These results are to be expected when the use of glyphosate has steadily increased in the US (and similarly in Canada) over the years, particularly since the introduction of genetically-modified crops tolerant to the herbicide. The rise of glyphosate-resistant weeds also means that farmers need to spray more chemicals than before in order to protect their crops (see  Monsanto Defeated by Roundup Resistant Weeds, SiS 53). Glyphosate accounted for 32-36% of all pesticide (insecticides, herbicides and fungicides) use in the US in 2007 according to EPA data . It is the top pesticide in agriculture and the second for home and garden and commercial settings. Agricultural use has gone up from 3 180 tonnes (of active ingredient) in 1987 to 82 800 tonnes in 2007. Non-agricultural use of the herbicide has also risen steadily in the US, from 2 270 tonnes in 1993 to 9 300 tonnes in 2007 (Figure 1). The common use of glyphosate in urban areas is also exacerbated by the impervious surfaces of cities, resulting in substantial pesticide inputs to urban drainage systems. Until recently data had been lacking on glyphosate occurrence in the environment, though studies published over the last couple of years are raising concerns. Detecting glyphosate in surface waters, rain and even groundwater, contradicts the producers’ claim that its chemical propensity to bind to sediment will prevent it from leaching into groundwater supplies (see  GM Crops and Water – A Recipe for Disaster, SiS 58).
Figure 1 Use of Glyphosate and Planted Hectares of Corn and Soybeans From 1987-2008
Data collection had previously been limited not only by glyphosate’s high solubility and polarity which make its detection more difficult, especially at environmentally relevant levels, but also due to the official line taken by authorities that glyphosate is safe. This makes assessment of its presence in our environment less of a priority, and hence left unstudied and unregulated. The safety claim has also encouraged farmers to overuse glyphosate, mostly sprayed on crops “post-emergence” or after crops and weeds have emerged from the soil and often applied repeatedly throughout the season, especially with the rise of glyphosate-resistant weeds. In addition, they are liberally used on non-GM crops as a dessicant (drying agent) to facilitate harvesting (see  How Roundup® Poisoned my Nature Reserve, SiS 64).
To address the lack of knowledge in this area, researchers at the USGS began developing their own methods in the 2000s, using solid-phase extraction and liquid chromatography/mass spectroscopy, which is able to detect both glyphosate and its metabolite AMPA at levels as low as 0.02 μg/l (0.02 part per billion, ppb) for both compounds.
The results are shown in Table 1. Glyphosate and AMPA were most frequently detected in soil, followed by drains and ditches, rain and large rivers. For soil and sediment, and soil water a total of 45 soil and sediment samples were collected from seven sites in Mississippi and Indiana, with both glyphosate and AMPA being detected at least once in samples from all seven sites. Both were detected in 90 % of sediment samples with concentrations frequently above 10 μg/kg, with an average of 9.6 μg/kg. In 116 soil samples glyphosate and AMPA were detected in 34.5 % and 66.5 % respectively. Large rivers showed average levels of 0.03 μg/kg in 53.1 % of samples tested. Least frequent but detectable levels were found in groundwater samples, with 5.8 % and 14 % of samples testing positive for glyphosate and AMPA respectively.
Glyphosate is claimed by biotech proponents not to leach into groundwater supplies, but this work and a previous study performed in Catalonia, Spain have both detected its presence in groundwater supplies , a major source of drinking water.
The present study also found an increase in concentrations over time, showing higher levels from 2006-2010 compared to earlier years (2001-2005), consistent with rises in both agricultural, home and commercial use of the herbicide. Temporal patterns however, were not recorded and these likely change with agricultural seasons.
The study highlights the ubiquitous contamination of the environment with glyphosate herbicides at ever increasing levels. This herbicide is highly toxic to humans, farm animals, and wildlife, and at levels as low as 0.1 ppb; there is indeed a strong case for halting its use altogether (see  Ban GMOs Now, Special ISIS report).
Table 1 Concentrations of both glyphosate and its metabolite AMPA in US environment
|Hydrologic Setting||Number of Samples||Percentage and (number) with Glyphosate Detections||Median Glyphosate in μg/l or μg/kg||Maximum Glyphosate in μg/l or μg/kg||Percentage and (number) with AMPA Detections||Median AMPA in μg/l or μg/kg||Maximum AMPA in μg/l or μg/kg|
|All sites||3 732||39.4 (1,470)||<0.02||476||55.0 (2,052)||0.04||397|
|Streams||1 508||52.5 (791)||0.03||73||71.6 (1,079)||0.20||28|
|Groundwater||1 171||5.8 (68)||<0.02||2.03||14.3 (168)||<0.02||4.88|
|Ditches and drains||374||70.9 (265)||0.20||427||80.7 (302)||0.43||397|
|Large rivers||318||53.1 (169)||0.03||3.08||89.3 (284)||0.22||4.43|
|Soil water||116||34.5 (40)||<0.02||1.00||65.5 (76)||0.06||1.91|
|Lakes, ponds, and wetlands||104||33.7 (35)||<0.02||301||29.8 (31)||<0.02||41|
|Precipitation||85||70.6 (60)||0.11||2.50||71.8 (61)||0.04||0.48|
|Soil and sediment||45||91.1 (41)||9.6||476||93.3 (42)||18.0||341|
|WWTP outfall||11||9.09 (1)||<0.02||0.30||81.8 (9)||0.45||2.54|
- Battaglin WA, Meyer MT, Kuivila KM, and Dietze JE. Glyphosate and Its Degradation Product AMPA Occur Frequently and Widely in U.S. Soils, Surface Water, Groundwater, and Precipitation. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 2014, 50, 275-290. DOI: 10.1111/jawr.12159
- Sirinathsinghji E. Monsanto Defeated By Roundup Resistant Weeds. Science in Society 53, 40-41, 2011.
- 2006-2007 Pesticide Market Estimates, 3.4 Amount of Pesticides Used in the United States: Conventional. US Environmental Protection Agency. http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/pestsales/07pestsales/usage2007_2.htm
- Sirinathsinghji E. GM Crops and Water – A Recipe for Disaster. Science in Society 58, 8-10, 2013.
- Mason, R. How Roundup Poisoned My Nature Reserve, SiS 64, to appear
- Ho MW and Sirinathsinghji E. Ban GMOs Now, ISIS, London, June 2013,http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Ban_GMOs_Now.php
WHAT’S AT STAKE Organic Consumers Association
Organic Standards Under Fire:
Chemical and energy-intensive industrial food and farming poses a mortal threat to life on the planet.
Monsanto and Food Inc. are rapidly destroying the soil, contaminating water, reducing biodiversity, and destabilizing the climate.
Meanwhile consumers are being stuffed with junk foods that make us fat and sick.
Industrial agriculture’s fatal harvest includes trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and filthy, disease-ridden factory farmed animal products, laced with pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, nano-particles and bacteria.
While a cornucopia of healthy food alternatives are available at the local level, from small organic farmers to urban gardeners to raw milk distribution networks and community supported agriculture projects, the USDA National Organic Program is the only system to provide certified national and global standards for organic food that is distributed regionally, nationally, and internationally.
Foods labeled “USDA Organic” are the gold standard for health and sustainability at the retail and wholesale level. Organics provide a beacon of light in grocery store aisles to guide consumers away from GMOs and chemical-tainted junk foods.
Consumer demand for healthy and eco-friendly food has built the organic market into a $30 billion a year powerhouse, and has forced even the largest retailers, wholesalers and brand names to get into organics.
While we oppose the “Walmartization” of organic, we are happy to see that even our adversaries are being forced to market and sell organic products.
While OCA’s campaigns against worker abuses, GMOs, factory farming, and the many poisons used in industrial food production, are aimed at tearing down a deadly system, our work to keep organic standards strong guarantees that even the big corporate players must “play by the rules” if they are to call their products organic.
Unfortunately the big players (Monsanto, Kraft, Wal-Mart, General Mills, et al) keep trying to change the rules, which means we’ve got to keep fighting them.
July 31, 2011
On June 27, 2011, CBS News reported: “…A yearlong experiment with America’s electric grid could mess up traffic lights, security systems and some computers and make plug-in clocks and appliances like programmable coffeemakers run up to 20 minutes fast…”  CBS News also reported that: “…Tom O’Brian, who heads the time and frequency division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, expects widespread (unspecified) effects…” .
The CBS report did not specify who approved this test. This test will begin without public consent, substantial public notice or public debate in mid-July 2011 . This test could disrupt so many businesses, state and local governments, and other government agencies, that it could quickly become a National Security nightmare and a massive public headache.
“A lot of people are going to have things break and they’re not going to know why,” said Demetrios Matsakis, head of the time service department at the U.S. Naval Observatory, one of two official timekeeping agencies in the federal government…This will be an interesting experiment to see how dependent our timekeeping is on the power grid, Matsakis said. [1-2].
According to CBS News, “…The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), runs the nation’s interlocking web of transmission lines and power plants and they will be conducting the tests…” [1, 3]. Will this company be liable for appliance replacement and other costs associated with these tests?
The disruptions from these tests may have the following consequences according to various news reports:
Friends of the Earth- Internat’l Feb 22, 2011
AMSTERDAM / BRUSSELS / MONTEVIDEO / BENIN CITY, 22 February 2011 – Governments are being forced to protect farmers and citizens from genetically modified crops (GM crops) to combat biotech corporations’ stranglehold over farmers, and health scares from escalating pesticide use, according to a new report by Friends of the Earth International. 
On the eve of the release of industry-sponsored figures on the adoption of GM crops globally, the research highlights how even pro-GM governments in South America and the United States have been forced to take steps to mitigate the negative impacts of GM crops on farmers, citizens and the environment. 
In South America, the Brazilian Government has launched a GM-free soy programme to help farmers access non-GM soy seeds. In Argentina new research has exposed that the herbicide Glyphosate, used on the majority of GM crops grown worldwide, could have severe negative impacts on human health.  This has led to bans on spraying of the herbicide near people’s homes. In Uruguay, local areas are declaring themselves GM-free.
Friends of the Earth International Food Sovereignty coordinator Martin Drago said,
“Farmers and citizens in South America are bearing the burden of ten years of GM crops with widespread health disasters and rising costs. The myths on which the biotech industry is built are crumbling.
The havoc wreaked across South America shows that this technology is not compatible with sustainable farming. It is a wake up call for the rest of the world to move towards more ecological methods of farming.”
Widespread resistance to GM crops in the developing world and Europe means that they are only planted on a large scale in a handful of countries and that over 97% of global agricultural land is GM-free.
Written by laudyms
March 17, 2011 at 10:00 am