FW: [Fwd: Spilling the Beans newsletter - GM Animal Feed

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Fri May 22 15:35:19 BST 2009



From: EcoTort Theatre [mailto:ecotort at gn.apc.org] 
Sent: 22 May 2009 15:01
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Subject: [Fwd: Spilling the Beans newsletter - Doctors Warn: Avoid
Genetically Modified Food]

Spilling the Beans, May 20, 2009 


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Doctors Warn: Avoid Genetically Modified Food


By Jeffrey M. Smith


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.”[1] They called
for a moratorium on GM foods, long-term independent studies, and labeling.
AAEM’s position paper stated, “Several animal studies indicate serious
health risks associated with GM food,” including infertility, immune
problems, accelerated aging, insulin regulation, and changes in major organs
and the gastrointestinal system. They conclude, “There is more than a casual
association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is
causation,” as defined by recognized scientific criteria. “The strength of
association and consistency between GM foods and disease is confirmed in
several animal studies.”


More and more doctors are already prescribing GM-free diets. Dr. Amy Dean, a
Michigan internal medicine specialist, and board member of AAEM says, “I
strongly recommend patients eat strictly non-genetically modified foods.”
Ohio allergist Dr. John Boyles says “I used to test for soy allergies all
the time, but now that soy is genetically engineered, it is so dangerous
that I tell people never to eat it.”


Dr. Jennifer Armstrong, President of AAEM, says, “Physicians are probably
seeing the effects in their patients, but need to know how to ask the right
questions.” World renowned biologist Pushpa M. Bhargava goes one step
further. After reviewing more than 600 scientific journals, he concludes
that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are a major contributor to the
sharply deteriorating health of Americans.


Pregnant women and babies at great risk


Among the population, biologist David Schubert of the Salk Institute warns
that “children are the most likely to be adversely effected by toxins and
other dietary problems” related to GM foods. He says without adequate
studies, the children become “the experimental animals.”[2]


The experience of actual GM-fed experimental animals is scary. When GM soy
was fed to female rats, most of their babies died within three
weeks—compared to a 10% death rate among the control group fed natural
soy.[3] The GM-fed babies were also smaller, and later had problems getting


When male rats were fed GM soy, their testicles actually changed color—from
the normal pink to dark blue.[5] Mice fed GM soy had altered young sperm.[6]
Even the embryos of GM fed parent mice had significant changes in their
DNA.[7] Mice fed GM corn in an Austrian government study had fewer babies,
which were also smaller than normal.[8]


Reproductive problems also plague livestock. Investigations in the state of
Haryana, India revealed that most buffalo that ate GM cottonseed had
complications such as premature deliveries, abortions, infertility, and
prolapsed uteruses. Many calves died. In the US, about two dozen farmers
reported thousands of pigs became sterile after consuming certain GM corn
varieties. Some had false pregnancies; others gave birth to bags of water.
Cows and bulls also became infertile when fed the same corn.[9]


In the US population, the incidence of low birth weight babies, infertility,
and infant mortality are all escalating.


Food designed to produce toxin


GM corn and cotton are engineered to produce their own built-in pesticide in
every cell. When bugs bite the plant, the poison splits open their stomach
and kills them. Biotech companies claim that the pesticide, called
Bt—produced from soil bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis—has a history of safe
use, since organic farmers and others use Bt bacteria spray for natural
insect control. Genetic engineers insert Bt genes into corn and cotton, so
the plants do the killing.

The Bt-toxin produced in GM plants, however, is thousands of times more
concentrated than natural Bt spray, is designed to be more toxic,[10] has
properties of an allergen, and unlike the spray, cannot be washed off the

Moreover, studies confirm that even the less toxic natural bacterial spray
is harmful. When dispersed by plane to kill gypsy moths in the Pacific
Northwest, about 500 people reported allergy or flu-like symptoms. Some had
to go to the emergency room.[11],[12]

The exact same symptoms are now being reported by farm workers throughout
India, from handling Bt cotton.[13] In 2008, based on medical records, the
Sunday India reported, “Victims of itching have increased massively this
year . . . related to BT cotton farming.”[14]


GMOs provoke immune reactions


AAEM states, “Multiple animal studies show significant immune
dysregulation,” including increase in cytokines, which are “associated with
asthma, allergy, and inflammation”—all on the rise in the US.


According to GM food safety expert Dr. Arpad Pusztai, changes in the immune
status of GM animals are “a consistent feature of all the studies.”[15] Even
Monsanto’s own research showed significant immune system changes in rats fed
Bt corn.[16] A November 2008 by the Italian government also found that mice
have an immune reaction to Bt corn.[17]

GM soy and corn each contain two new proteins with allergenic
properties,[18] GM soy has up to seven times more trypsin inhibitor—a known
soy allergen,[19] and skin prick tests show some people react to GM, but not
to non-GM soy.[20] Soon after GM soy was introduced to the UK, soy allergies
skyrocketed by 50%. Perhaps the US epidemic of food allergies and asthma is
a casualty of genetic manipulation.


Animals dying in large numbers


In India, animals graze on cotton plants after harvest. But when shepherds
let sheep graze on Bt cotton plants, thousands died. Post mortems showed
severe irritation and black patches in both intestines and liver (as well as
enlarged bile ducts). Investigators said preliminary evidence “strongly
suggests that the sheep mortality was due to a toxin. . . . most probably
Bt-toxin.”[21] In a small follow-up feeding study by the Deccan Development
Society, all sheep fed Bt cotton plants died within 30 days; those that
grazed on natural cotton plants remained healthy.


In a small village in Andhra Pradesh, buffalo grazed on cotton plants for
eight years without incident. On January 3rd, 2008, the buffalo grazed on Bt
cotton plants for the first time. All 13 were sick the next day; all died
within 3 days.[22]


Bt corn was also implicated in the deaths of cows in Germany, and horses,
water buffaloes, and chickens in The Philippines.[23]


In lab studies, twice the number of chickens fed Liberty Link corn died; 7
of 20 rats fed a GM tomato developed bleeding stomachs; another 7 of 40 died
within two weeks.[24] Monsanto’s own study showed evidence of poisoning in
major organs of rats fed Bt corn, according to top French toxicologist G. E.


Worst finding of all—GMOs remain inside of us


The only published human feeding study revealed what may be the most
dangerous problem from GM foods. The gene inserted into GM soy transfers
into the DNA of bacteria living inside our intestines and continues to
function.[26] This means that long after we stop eating GMOs, we may still
have potentially harmful GM proteins produced continuously inside of us. Put
more plainly, eating a corn chip produced from Bt corn might transform our
intestinal bacteria into living pesticide factories, possibly for the rest
of our lives.


When evidence of gene transfer is reported at medical conferences around the
US, doctors often respond by citing the huge increase of gastrointestinal
problems among their patients over the last decade. GM foods might be
colonizing the gut flora of North Americans.


Warnings by government scientists ignored and denied


Scientists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had warned about all
these problems even in the early 1990s. According to documents released from
a lawsuit, the scientific consensus at the agency was that GM foods were
inherently dangerous, and might create hard-to-detect allergies, poisons,
gene transfer to gut bacteria, new diseases, and nutritional problems. They
urged their superiors to require rigorous long-term tests.[27] But the White
House had ordered the agency to promote biotechnology and the FDA responded
by recruiting Michael Taylor, Monsanto’s former attorney, to head up the
formation of GMO policy. That policy, which is in effect today, denies
knowledge of scientists’ concerns and declares that no safety studies on
GMOs are required. It is up to Monsanto and the other biotech companies to
determine if their foods are safe. Mr. Taylor later became Monsanto’s vice


Dangerously few studies, untraceable diseases


AAEM states, “GM foods have not been properly tested” and “pose a serious
health risk.” Not a single human clinical trial on GMOs has been published.
A 2007 review of published scientific literature on the “potential toxic
effects/health risks of GM plants” revealed “that experimental data are very
scarce.” The author concludes his review by asking, “Where is the scientific
evidence showing that GM plants/food are toxicologically safe, as assumed by
the biotechnology companies?”[28]


Famed Canadian geneticist David Suzuki answers, “The experiments simply
haven’t been done and we now have become the guinea pigs.” He adds, “Anyone
that says, ‘Oh, we know that this is perfectly safe,’ I say is either
unbelievably stupid or deliberately lying.”[29]


Dr. Schubert points out, “If there are problems, we will probably never know
because the cause will not be traceable and many diseases take a very long
time to develop.” If GMOs happen to cause immediate and acute symptoms with
a unique signature, perhaps then we might have a chance to trace the cause.


This is precisely what happened during a US epidemic in the late 1980s. The
disease was fast acting, deadly, and caused a unique measurable change in
the blood—but it still took more than four years to identify that an
epidemic was even occurring. By then it had killed about 100 Americans and
caused 5,000-10,000 people to fall sick or become permanently disabled. It
was caused by a genetically engineered brand of a food supplement called


If other GM foods are contributing to the rise of autism, obesity, diabetes,
asthma, cancer, heart disease, allergies, reproductive problems, or any
other common health problem now plaguing Americans, we may never know. In
fact, since animals fed GMOs had such a wide variety of problems,
susceptible people may react to GM food with multiple symptoms. It is
therefore telling that in the first nine years after the large scale
introduction of GM crops in 1996, the incidence of people with three or more
chronic diseases nearly doubled, from 7% to 13%.[30]


To help identify if GMOs are causing harm, the AAEM asks their “members, the
medical community, and the independent scientific community to gather case
studies potentially related to GM food consumption and health effects, begin
epidemiological research to investigate the role of GM foods on human
health, and conduct safe methods of determining the effect of GM foods on
human health.”


Citizens need not wait for the results before taking the doctors advice to
avoid GM foods. People can stay away from anything with soy or corn
derivatives, cottonseed and canola oil, and sugar from GM sugar beets—unless
it says organic or “non-GMO.” There is a pocket
Non-GMO Shopping Guide, co-produced by the Institute for Responsible
Technology and the Center for Food Safety, which is available as a download,
as well as in natural food stores and in many doctors’ offices.


If even a small percentage of people choose non-GMO brands, the food
industry will likely respond as they did in Europe—by removing all GM
ingredients. Thus, AAEM’s non-GMO prescription may be a watershed for the US
food supply.



International bestselling author and independent filmmaker Jeffrey M. Smith
is the Executive Director of the Institute for Responsible Technology and
the leading spokesperson on the health dangers of GMOs. His first book,
Seeds of Deception is the world’s bestselling book on the subject. His
second, Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically
Engineered Foods, identifies 65 risks of GMOs and demonstrates how
superficial government approvals are not competent to find most of them. He
invited the biotech industry to respond in writing with evidence to counter
each risk, but correctly predicted that they would refuse, since they don’t
have the data to show that their products are safe.




[1] http://www.aaemonline.org/gmopost.html

[2] David Schubert, personal communication to H. Penfound, Greenpeace
Canada, October 25, 2002.

[3] Irina Ermakova, “Genetically modified soy leads to the decrease of
weight and high mortality of rat pups of the first generation. Preliminary
studies,” Ecosinform 1 (2006): 4–9.

[4] Irina Ermakova, “Experimental Evidence of GMO Hazards,” Presentation at
Scientists for a GM Free Europe, EU Parliament, Brussels, June 12, 2007

[5] Irina Ermakova, “Experimental Evidence of GMO Hazards,” Presentation at
Scientists for a GM Free Europe, EU Parliament, Brussels, June 12, 2007

[6] L. Vecchio et al, “Ultrastructural Analysis of Testes from Mice Fed on
Genetically Modified Soybean,” European Journal of Histochemistry 48, no. 4
(Oct–Dec 2004):449–454.

[7] Oliveri et al., “Temporary Depression of Transcription in Mouse
Pre-implantion Embryos from Mice Fed on Genetically Modified Soybean,” 48th
Symposium of the Society for Histochemistry, Lake Maggiore (Italy),
September 7–10, 2006.

[8] Alberta Velimirov and Claudia Binter, “Biological effects of transgenic
maize NK603xMON810 fed in long term reproduction studies in mice,”
Forschungsberichte der Sektion IV, Band 3/2008

[9] Jerry Rosman, personal communication, 2006

[10] See for example, A. Dutton, H. Klein, J. Romeis, and F. Bigler, “Uptake
of Bt-toxin by herbivores feeding on transgenic maize and consequences for
the predator Chrysoperia carnea,” Ecological Entomology 27 (2002): 441–7;
and J. Romeis, A. Dutton, and F. Bigler, “Bacillus thuringiensis toxin
(Cry1Ab) has no direct effect on larvae of the green lacewing Chrysoperla
carnea (Stephens) (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae),” Journal of Insect Physiology
50, no. 2–3 (2004): 175–183.

[11] Washington State Department of Health, “Report of health surveillance
activities: Asian gypsy moth control program,” (Olympia, WA: Washington
State Dept. of Health, 1993).

[12] M. Green, et al., “Public health implications of the microbial
pesticide Bacillus thuringiensis: An epidemiological study, Oregon,
1985-86,” Amer. J. Public Health 80, no. 7(1990): 848–852.

[13] Ashish Gupta et. al., “Impact of Bt Cotton on Farmers’ Health (in
Barwani and Dhar District of Madhya Pradesh),” Investigation Report, Oct–Dec

[14] Sunday India, October, 26, 2008

[15] October 24, 2005 correspondence between Arpad Pusztai and Brian John

[16] John M. Burns, “13-Week Dietary Subchronic Comparison Study with MON
863 Corn in Rats Preceded by a 1-Week Baseline Food Consumption
Determination with PMI Certified Rodent Diet #5002,” December 17, 2002
<http://www/> http://www.


[17] Alberto Finamore, et al, “Intestinal and Peripheral Immune Response to
MON810 Maize Ingestion in Weaning and Old Mice,” J. Agric. Food Chem., 2008,
56 (23), pp 11533–11539, November 14, 2008

[18] See L Zolla, et al, “Proteomics as a complementary tool for identifying
unintended side effects occurring in transgenic maize seeds as a result of
genetic modifications,” J Proteome Res. 2008 May;7(5):1850-61; Hye-Yung Yum,
Soo-Young Lee, Kyung-Eun Lee, Myung-Hyun Sohn, Kyu-Earn Kim, “Genetically
Modified and Wild Soybeans: An immunologic comparison,” Allergy and Asthma
Proceedings 26, no. 3 (May–June 2005): 210-216(7); and Gendel, “The use of
amino acid sequence alignments to assess potential allergenicity of proteins
used in genetically modified foods,” Advances in Food and Nutrition Research
42 (1998), 45–62.

[19] A. Pusztai and S. Bardocz, “GMO in animal nutrition: potential benefits
and risks,” Chapter 17, Biology of Nutrition in Growing Animals, R.
Mosenthin, J. Zentek and T. Zebrowska (Eds.) Elsevier, October 2005

[20] Hye-Yung Yum, Soo-Young Lee, Kyung-Eun Lee, Myung-Hyun Sohn, Kyu-Earn
Kim, “Genetically Modified and Wild Soybeans: An immunologic comparison,”
Allergy and Asthma Proceedings 26, no. 3 (May–June 2005): 210-216(7).

[21] “Mortality in Sheep Flocks after Grazing on Bt Cotton Fields—Warangal
District, Andhra Pradesh” Report of the Preliminary Assessment, April 2006,

[22] Personal communication and visit, January 2009.

[23] Jeffrey M. Smith, Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of
Genetically Engineered Foods, Yes! Books, Fairfield, IA USA 2007

[24] Arpad Pusztai, “Can Science Give Us the Tools for Recognizing Possible
Health Risks for GM Food?” Nutrition and Health 16 (2002): 73–84.

[25] Stéphane Foucart, “Controversy Surrounds a GMO,” Le Monde, 14 December
2004; referencing, John M. Burns, “13-Week Dietary Subchronic Comparison
Study with MON 863 Corn in Rats Preceded by a 1-Week Baseline Food
Consumption Determination with PMI Certified Rodent Diet #5002,” December
17, 2002

[26] Netherwood et al, “Assessing the survival of transgenic plant DNA in
the human gastrointestinal tract,” Nature Biotechnology 22 (2004): 2.

[27] See memos at  <http://www.biointegrity.org/> www.biointegrity.org

[28] José Domingo, “Toxicity Studies of Genetically Modified Plants : A
Review of the Published Literature,” Critical reviews in food science and
nutrition, 2007, vol. 47, no8, pp. 721-733

[29] Angela Hall, “Suzuki warns against hastily accepting GMOs”, The
Leader-Post (Canada), 26 April 2005.

[30] Kathryn Anne Paez, et al, “Rising Out-Of-Pocket Spending For Chronic
Conditions: A Ten-Year Trend,” Health Affairs, 28, no. 1 (2009): 15-25



© copyright Institute For Responsible Technology 2009.


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