Monday, May 25, 2009

Lost Nuclear Bombs! You Gotta Be Kidding?

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The Case of the Missing H-Bomb: The Pentagon Has Lost the Mother of All Weapons
By Jeffrey St. Clair, CounterPunch
Posted on May 16, 2009
http://www.alternet.org/story/140060/
Things go missing. It's to be expected. Even at the Pentagon. Last October, the Pentagon's inspector general reported that the military's accountants had misplaced a destroyer, several tanks and armored personnel carriers, hundreds of machine guns, rounds of ammo, grenade launchers and some surface-to-air missiles. In all, nearly $8 billion in weapons were AWOL.
Those anomalies are bad enough. But what's truly chilling is the fact that the Pentagon has lost track of the mother of all weapons, a hydrogen bomb. The thermonuclear weapon, designed to incinerate Moscow, has been sitting somewhere off the coast of Savannah, Georgia for the past 40 years. The Air Force has gone to greater lengths to conceal the mishap than to locate the bomb and secure it.
On the night of February 5, 1958 a B-47 Stratojet bomber carrying a hydrogen bomb on a night training flight off the Georgia coast collided with an F-86 Saberjet fighter at 36,000 feet. The collision destroyed the fighter and severely damaged a wing of the bomber, leaving one of its engines partially dislodged. The bomber's pilot, Maj. Howard Richardson, was instructed to jettison the H-bomb before attempting a landing. Richardson dropped the bomb into the shallow waters of Warsaw Sound, near the mouth of the Savannah River, a few miles from the city of Tybee Island, where he believed the bomb would be swiftly recovered.
The Pentagon recorded the incident in a top secret memo to the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission. The memo has been partially declassified: "A B-47 aircraft with a [word redacted] nuclear weapon aboard was damaged in a collision with an F-86 aircraft near Sylvania, Georgia, on February 5, 1958. The B-47 aircraft attempted three times unsuccessfully to land with the weapon. The weapon was then jettisoned visually over water off the mouth of the Savannah River. No detonation was observed."
Soon search and rescue teams were sent to the site. Warsaw Sound was mysteriously cordoned off by Air Force troops. For six weeks, the Air Force looked for the bomb without success. Underwater divers scoured the depths, troops tromped through nearby salt marshes, and a blimp hovered over the area attempting to spot a hole or crater in the beach or swamp. Then just a month later, the search was abruptly halted. The Air Force sent its forces to Florence, South Carolina, where another H-bomb had been accidentally dropped by a B-47. The bomb's 200 pounds of TNT exploded on impact, sending radioactive debris across the landscape. The explosion caused extensive property damage and several injuries on the ground. Fortunately, the nuke itself didn't detonate.
The search teams never returned to Tybee Island, and the affair of the missing H-bomb was discreetly covered up. The end of the search was noted in a partially declassified memo from the Pentagon to the AEC, in which the Air Force politely requested a new H-bomb to replace the one it had lost. "The search for this weapon was discontinued on 4-16-58 and the weapon is considered irretrievably lost. It is requested that one [phrase redacted] weapon be made available for release to the DOD as a replacement."
There was a big problem, of course, and the Pentagon knew it. In the first three months of 1958 alone, the Air Force had four major accidents involving H-bombs. (Since 1945, the United States has lost 11 nuclear weapons.) The Tybee Island bomb remained a threat, as the AEC acknowledged in a June 10, 1958 classified memo to Congress: "There exists the possibility of accidental discovery of the unrecovered weapon through dredging or construction in the probable impact area. … The Department of Defense has been requested to monitor all dredging and construction activities."
But the wizards of Armageddon saw it less as a security, safety or ecological problem, than a potential public relations disaster that could turn an already paranoid population against their ambitious nuclear project. The Pentagon and the AEC tried to squelch media interest in the issue by a doling out a morsel of candor and a lot of misdirection. In a joint statement to the press, the Defense Department and the AEC admitted that radioactivity could be "scattered" by the detonation of the high explosives in the H-bombs. But the letter downplayed possibility of that ever happening: "The likelihood that a particular accident would involve a nuclear weapon is extremely limited."
In fact, that scenario had already occurred and would occur again.
That's where the matter stood for more than 42 years until a deep sea salvage company, run by former Air Force personnel and a CIA agent, disclosed the existence of the bomb and offered to locate it for a million dollars. Along with recently declassified documents, the disclosure prompted fear and outrage among coastal residents and calls for a congressional investigation into the incident itself and why the Pentagon had stopped looking for the missing bomb. "We're horrified because some of that information has been covered up for years," said Rep. Jack Kingston, a Georgia Republican.
The cover-up continues. The Air Force, however, has told local residents and the congressional delegation that there was nothing to worry about.
"We've looked into this particular issue from all angles and we're very comfortable," said Major Gen. Franklin J. "Judd" Blaisdell, deputy chief of staff for air and space operations at Air Force headquarters in Washington. "Our biggest concern is that of localized heavy metal contamination."
The Air Force even has suggested that the bomb itself was not armed with a plutonium trigger. But this contention is disputed by a number of factors. Howard Dixon, a former Air Force sergeant who specialized in loading nuclear weapons onto planes, said that in his 31 years of experience he never once remembered a bomb being put on a plane that wasn't fully armed. Moreover, a newly declassified 1966 congressional testimony of W.J. Howard, then assistant secretary of defense, describes the Tybee Island bomb as a "complete weapon, a bomb with a nuclear capsule." Howard said that the Tybee Island bomb was one of two weapons lost up to that time that contained a plutonium trigger.
Recently declassified documents show that the jettisoned bomb was an "Mk-15, Mod O" hydrogen bomb, weighing four tons and packing more than 100 times the explosive punch of the one that incinerated Hiroshima. This was the first thermonuclear weapon deployed by the Air Force and featured the relatively primitive design created by that evil genius Edward Teller. The only fail-safe for this weapon was the physical separation of the plutonium capsule (or pit) from the weapon.
In addition to the primary nuclear capsule, the bomb also harbored a secondary nuclear explosive, or sparkplug, designed to make it go thermo. This is a hollow plug about an inch in diameter made of either plutonium or highly enriched uranium (the Pentagon has never said which) that is filled with fusion fuel, most likely lithium-6 deuteride. Lithium is highly reactive in water. The plutonium in the bomb was manufactured at the Hanford Nuclear Site in Washington State and would be the oldest in the United States. That's bad news: Plutonium gets more dangerous as it ages. In addition, the bomb would contain other radioactive materials, such as uranium and beryllium.
The bomb is also charged with 400 pounds of TNT, designed to cause the plutonium trigger to implode and thus start the nuclear explosion. As the years go by, those high explosives are becoming flaky, brittle and sensitive. The bomb is most likely now buried in 5 to 15 feet of sand and slowly leaking radioactivity into the rich crabbing grounds of the Warsaw Sound. If the Pentagon can't find the Tybee Island bomb, others might. That's the conclusion of Bert Soleau, a former CIA officer who now works with ASSURE, the salvage company. Soleau, a chemical engineer, said that it wouldn't be hard for terrorists to locate the weapon and recover the lithium, beryllium and enriched uranium, "the essential building blocks of nuclear weapons." What to do? Coastal residents want the weapon located and removed. "Plutonium is a nightmare and their own people know it," said Pam O'Brien, an anti-nuke organizer from Douglassville, Georgia. "It can get in everything--your eyes, your bones, your gonads. You never get over it. They need to get that thing out of there."
The situation is reminiscent of the Palomares incident. On January 16, 1966, a B-52 bomber, carrying four hydrogen bombs, crashed while attempting to refuel in mid-air above the Spanish coast. Three of the H-bombs landed near the coastal farming village of Palomares. One of the bombs landed in a dry creek bed and was recovered, battered but relatively intact. But the TNT in two of the bombs exploded, gouging 10-foot holes in the ground and showering uranium and plutonium over a vast area. Over the next three months, more than 1,400 tons of radioactive soil and vegetation was scooped up, placed in barrels and, ironically enough, shipped back to the Savannah River Nuclear Weapons Lab, where it remains. The tomato fields near the craters were burned and buried. But there's no question that due to strong winds and other factors much of the contaminated soil was simply left in the area. "The total extent of the spread will never be known," concluded a 1975 report by the Defense Nuclear Agency.
The cleanup was a joint operation between Air Force personnel and members of the Spanish civil guard. The U.S. workers wore protective clothing and were monitored for radiation exposure, but similar precautions weren't taken for their Spanish counterparts. "The Air Force was unprepared to provide adequate detection and monitoring for personnel when an aircraft accident occurred involving plutonium weapons in a remote area of a foreign country," the Air Force commander in charge of the cleanup later testified to Congress.
The fourth bomb landed eight miles offshore and was missing for several months. It was eventually located by a mini-submarine in 2,850 feet of water, where it rests to this day.
Two years later, on January 21, 1968, a similar accident occurred when a B-52 caught fire in flight above Greenland and crashed in ice-covered North Star Bay near the Thule Air Base. The impact detonated the explosives in all four of the plane's H-bombs, which scattered uranium, tritium and plutonium over a 2,000-foot radius. The intense fire melted a hole in the ice, which then refroze, encapsulating much of the debris, including the thermonuclear assembly from one of the bombs. The recovery operation, conducted in near total darkness at temperatures that plunged to minus-70 degrees, was known as Project Crested Ice. But the work crews called it "Dr. Freezelove."
More than 10,000 tons of snow and ice were cut away, put into barrels and transported to Savannah River and Oak Ridge for disposal. Other radioactive debris was simply left on site, to melt into the bay after the spring thaws. More than 3,000 workers helped in the Thule recovery effort, many of them Danish soldiers. As at Palomares, most of the American workers were offered some protective gear, but not the Danes, who did much of the most dangerous work, including filling the barrels with the debris, often by hand. The decontamination procedures were primitive to say the least. An Air Force report noted that they were cleansed "by simply brushing the snow from garments and vehicles."
Even though more than 38 Navy ships were called to assist in the recovery operation, and it was an open secret that the bombs had been lost, the Pentagon continued to lie about the situation. In one contentious exchange with the press, a Pentagon spokesman uttered this classic bit of military doublespeak: "I don't know of any missing bomb, but we have not positively identified what I think you are looking for."
When Danish workers at Thule began to get sick from a slate of illnesses, ranging from rare cancers to blood disorders, the Pentagon refused to help. Even after a 1987 epidemiological study by a Danish medical institute showed that Thule workers were 50 percent more likely to develop cancers than other members of the Danish military, the Pentagon still refused to cooperate. Later that year, 200 of the workers sued the United States under the Foreign Military Claims Act. The lawsuit was dismissed, but the discovery process revealed thousands of pages of secret documents about the incident, including the fact that Air Force workers at the site, unlike the Danes, have not been subject to long-term health monitoring. Even so, the Pentagon continues to keep most of the material on the Thule incident secret, including any information on the extent of the radioactive (and other toxic) contamination.
These recovery efforts don't inspire much confidence. But the Tybee Island bomb presents an even touchier situation. The presence of the unstable lithium deuteride and the deteriorating high explosives make retrieval of the bomb a very dangerous proposition--so dangerous, in fact, that even some environmentalists and anti-nuke activists argue that it might present less of a risk to leave the bomb wherever it is.
In short, there aren't any easy answers. The problem is exacerbated by the Pentagon's failure to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the situation and reluctance to fully disclose what it knows. "I believe the plutonium capsule is in the bomb, but that a nuclear detonation is improbable because the neutron generators used back then were polonium-beryllium, which has a very short half-life," said Don Moniak, a nuclear weapons expert with the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League in Aiken, South Carolina. "Without neutrons, weapons grade plutonium won't blow. However, there could be a fission or criticality event if the plutonium was somehow put in an incorrect configuration. There could be a major inferno if the high explosives went off and the lithium deuteride reacted as expected. Or there could just be an explosion that scattered uranium and plutonium all over hell."
Also See:
Lost: One H-Bomb - Call Owner
After 47 Years, a WMD Remains AWOL
By Clark Rumrill
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, April 17, 2005
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A59703-2005Apr16#
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Has Anyone Seen a Stray H-Bomb?By Carla Baranauckas
November 11, 2008
http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/11/11/has-anyone-seen-a-stray-h-bomb/
A hydrogen bomb is missing from the United States’ arsenal — and has been, evidently, for 40 years.
When last seen, the bomb was one of four aboard an Air Force B-52 bomber that crashed on a frozen bay near Thule Air Force Base in northern Greenland on Jan. 21, 1968. At first, all four bombs were unaccounted for, according to a front-page article in The New York Times on Jan. 23, 1968:
The Defense Department said that some of the wreckage had been observed on the ice by helicopters and that other pieces of the plane might have burned into or through the ice.
The Pentagon announcement made it clear that the bombs had not been found. It was not certain whether they had scattered on top of the ice cap or fallen with the bomber into several hundred feet of water.
Two years later, the United States and Denmark reported that they agreed “that the accident caused no danger to man or animal and plant life in the area,” according to The Times. The 96-page report of the investigation indicated that all four nuclear warheads aboard the plane had disintegrated on impact. Case closed.
Well, maybe not, the BBC says this week.
Declassified documents that the BBC obtained under the United States Freedom of Information Act indicate that only three of the bombs were accounted for, and that the United States searched secretly for the fourth bomb, without success.
By April [1968], a decision had been taken to send a Star III submarine to the base to look for the lost bomb, which had the serial number 78252. (A similar submarine search off the coast of Spain two years earlier had led to another weapon being recovered.)
But the real purpose of this search was deliberately hidden from Danish officials.
One document from July reads: “Fact that this operation includes search for object or missing weapon part is to be treated as confidential NOFORN”, the last word meaning not to be disclosed to any foreign country.
“For discussion with Danes, this operation should be referred to as a survey repeat survey of bottom under impact point,” it continued.
The BBC interviewed William H. Chambers, a former nuclear weapons designer who was involved in the fruitless search. He said that there was disappointment when the search was called off, but that the assumption at the time was that if the United States couldn’t find that H-bomb, no one else would be able to find it either.
And what does the Pentagon have to say about all this now? It had no comment for the BBC.
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Former Russian official says 100 portable bombs missingCopyright 1997 Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Some material copyright 1997 The Associated Press.
05 September 1997
http://www.lubbockonline.com/news/090597/LA0759.htm
WASHINGTON (AP) - Russia's military has lost track of 100 suitcase-sized nuclear bombs, the nation's former national security chief has told American lawmakers, who expressed alarm to the Clinton administration.
But U.S. and Russian officials discount the claims by retired Gen. Alexander Lebed, the ousted one-time foe of President Boris Yeltsin.
"We don't have any evidence to support what (Lebed) said and responsible Russian officials have specifically denied it," a White House official said Thursday.
"We have no credible information any nuclear weapon, suitcase or not, has even been available on the black market."
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed, however, that the Russian military has such portable nuclear bombs, which security experts describe as the "perfect terrorist weapon" in the wrong hands.
Lebed described the devices as Special Atomic Demolition Munitions that are designed for sabotage behind enemy lines - blowing up bridges or command centers, for example. The 1-kiloton nuclear bombs, which weigh 60-100 pounds and can fit into a suitcase or backpack, can kill 50,000-100,000 people and devastate a portion of a city, according to Lebed.
In May, Lebed told a congressional delegation led by Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., that as Yeltsin's top defense expert last year he discovered the Russian military couldn't account for 48 of 132 of suitcase bombs.
In going public, Lebed upped the total of missing suitcase bombs to 100 out of 250 in an interview with CBS's "60 Minutes."
"I don't know their location," Lebed told CBS in a program scheduled to air Sunday. "I don't know whether they have been destroyed or whether they are stored or whether they've been sold or stolen. I don't know."
Lebed added that when he told Yeltsin, "I did not see any reaction" and the Russian military didn't institute an inventory check.
Former Defense Minister Igor Rodionov told CBS he "never had any information, a single report" that the suitcase bombs were stolen.
Deputy Defense Minister Andrei Kokoshin, who met with the congressional delegation after Lebed, also assured lawmakers no nuclear weapons were missing.
Last week, Yeltsin named Kokoshin head of the powerful Defense Council as he shook up his cabinet to institute military reforms.
Last October, Yeltsin fired Lebed amid charges the former paratrooper was trying to form a private army. Yeltsin had appointed Lebed his security chief after the general withdrew from challenging the president for re-election.
Rep. Weldon, who concedes Lebed may have an ax to grind, said he believes that at the very least the Russian government's control has grown lax over its nuclear stockpile since the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
"The potential for very sophisticated nuclear technology and weapons to get into the hands of Third World nations and other groups is very real, and it's something I don't think the administration follows up on," Weldon said in an interview. "The Russian government doesn't have control."
In April, Defense Secretary William Cohen said the United States relies on Russian assurances - and not independent checks - that Moscow has full control over its nuclear weapons.
"We don't know the exact nature of the command and control that's in place," Cohen told reporters. "We have been assured by the highest officials that they have very strict controls over their systems."
In August, Weldon, who is a Russian expert and sits on the House National Security Committee, wrote letters to CIA Director George Tenet and National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, expressing his concerns about Lebed's allegations about the security of Russia's nuclear weapons.
"I was particularly alarmed by his disclosure that he is unable to account for many nuclear weapons," Weldon wrote, detailing the charges.
Weldon also met with Energy Secretary Federico Pena in July before the Cabinet secretary went to Moscow and the congressman urged Pena to bring the matter up again with Russia military officials.
The DOE didn't respond immediately to requests for comment on what Pena discussed in Moscow.
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A Missing H-Bomb Ruffles Japanese
By David E. Sanger, Special to The New York Times
Thursday, May 11, 1989
http://www.nytimes.com/1989/05/11/world/a-missing-h-bomb-ruffles-japanese.html
Japan's Foreign Minister said today that his country was ''seriously concerned'' about the loss of a hydrogen bomb off Okinawa 24 years ago, and said Japan would press for ''full details'' about the incident from the United States.
The comments by the official, Sosuke Uno, came after the Government was sharply criticized both by the Japanese press and by some civic and anti-nuclear groups for playing down reports that the lost bomb is still under the ocean 80 miles from a Japanese island.
Over the last two days the Pentagon has provided the first details of the 1965 accident, admitting for the first time that the accident happened off Japan's shores rather than 500 miles from land, as it originally contended. But on Tuesday the military said that the weapon poses no danger and that it is probably impossible to recover it.
Officially, the Japanese Government has treated the revelation gingerly, apparently because it raises anew uncomfortable questions about the movement of nuclear weapons though Japanese ports. Japan's ''non-nuclear principles'' forbid the introduction of such weapons into the country, but it is an open secret here that officials regularly overlook the arrival of American warships with such weapons aboard.
The aircraft carrier Ticonderoga, which was carrying the weapon when it was lost overboard with an A-4 aircraft, was reportedly heading to Yokosuka, the naval base south of Tokyo, from Vietnam.
Another Blow to Governing PartyJapan's Socialist and Communist parties have seized on the incident to further embarrass the governing Liberal Democratic Party, which is scrambling to minimize the damage from the scandal that forced Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita to announce his resignation.
This morning the Asahi Shimbun, the most liberal of Japan's major dailies, castigated the Japanese Foreign Ministry for ignoring the first reports of the accident.
In an editorial, the newspaper said that ''an unexpectedly profound gap'' exists between ''the people's feelings'' about the presence of nuclear weapons and the Government's willingness to ignore the presence of the weapons in the interest of avoiding strains with the United States.
''When we are told that a hydrogen bomb is left undisposed on the seabed near Japan,'' the newspaper said, ''we cannot brush it aside as something about which someone else should have misgivings.'' The newspaper said Japan should demand that the United States retrieve the weapon.
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U.S. finds lost nuclear bomb
San Francisco Chronicle
March 18, 1966
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/03/17/BAVV16AMLN.DTL
A hydrogen bomb that went missing for three months in the Mediterranean Sea is back in the hands of the U.S. military after being found the previous day.
The bomb had been lost in January when two U.S. military planes, a KC-135 tanker and a B-52 carrying four thermonuclear weapons collided during midair refueling. Three of the four bombs fell to the ground near Palomares, Spain. While none of them detonated with a nuclear explosion, the high-explosive triggers in two of the bombs went off upon impact and contaminated the area with radioactive material.
A fourth bomb plunged into the water off Spain's southeastern coastline.
Following the incident, the Spanish government announced it would no longer allow U.S. planes carrying nuclear weapons to fly over its territory.
The search for the missing bomb takes 80 days. On March 17, the U.S. Navy, using a midget submarine called the Alvin (pictured on The Chronicle's front page the next day), finds the bomb 2,500 feet underwater, intact and with its parachute still attached.
In other news, plans for a "Panhandle Freeway" through Golden Gate Park appear headed for defeat after Supervisor Jack Morrison, chairman of the board's streets committee, indicates he will ask that the proposal be dropped from further consideration.
Meanwhile, more than 2,000 U.S. soldiers have died in Vietnam, along with nearly 10,000 wounded. Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish and Greek Orthodox Church leaders call on President Lyndon Johnson to seek a cease-fire starting Good Friday (April 8) and to consider halting bombing raids in North and South Vietnam.
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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Genetic Manipulated Foods Are Not Healthy! (Part 1)

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Blockade of Monsanto in the Netherlands
GM Watch
Monday, 17 May 2010
Bergschenhoek - Since 6 o'clock this morning, 50 persons of the action group 'Roundup Monsanto' are blocking both gates of the Monsanto seed company near Rotterdam. 'Roundup Monsanto' wants Monsanto to back out of the seed market, and demands an end to patents on seeds and living organisms. Monsanto and other agro-chemical multinationals are lobbying the Dutch government and the EU for legislative changes that would make it easier for large companies to take control of the seed market and food production.
The blockade is taking place at the former De Ruiter Seeds, acquired by Monsanto in 2008, where research laboratories, offices, greenhouses, and a central storage for seeds and seedlings are to be found.
The chemical company Monsanto has 23% of the worldwide market of commercial seeds in its hands. In the last 5 years, the company has bought up three large internationally active seed companies in the Netherlands: De Ruiter Seeds, Western Seeds, and Seminis. As a result, Monsanto now dominates the world market for vegetable seeds and seedlings. In addition, Monsanto is the market leader in genetically engineered soy, corn, sugar beets, and cotton, and has a large market share in pesticide sales. "Farmers and vegetable growers are becoming increasingly dependent on these big seed companies and patented seeds will make the situation even worse," says Flip Vonk, an organic farm employee present at the action.
Monsanto is a chemical company which has grown large due to the production of pesticides, Agent Orange, and PCBs. After countless scandals revolving around these chemical substances, the company found a new market strategy: development and sales of genetically manipulated crops. These crops are cultivated in enormous monocultures, with excessive use of fertiliser and pesticides. Monsanto represents a destructive model of chemical agriculture.
Right: GM food protest in The Netherlands
The current system of agriculture, based on mass import and export, is completely dependent on the consumption of fossil fuels. Chemical agriculture is responsible for a quarter to a third of the release of all the greenhouse gases. Over 80% of the cultivated GMOs are pesticide resistent, the remaining 20% produce insecticide inside the plant. This form of food production is extremely harmful to people, nature, and the climate. Genetical engineering will not contribute any solution to climate change.
Genetic engineering is often presented as a solution to the global food question. But in spite of 15 years of cultivation of genetically manipulated crops, 2009 witnessed a record amount of starvation. GM crops have not increased yields. "The food problem requires completely different solutions. We need to drastically change course, away from large-scale chemical agriculture, towards local food production in harmony with nature, without pesticides and without genetically manipulated crops. A world without Monsanto is a good step in that direction," according to Miranda de Boer from 'Roundup Monsanto'.
The two most important access doors to the Monsanto terrain have been closed off. The action group put up banners with the message "Imagine, monopoly of food, poisonous agriculture, The World according to ... Monsanto", adbusting the company's logo. It has also adjusted the giant cucumber and tomato on the lawn to Monsanto's manipulated reality. Employees and customers are greeted with coffee, tea, and background information on arrival.
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Genetically Modified Foods: More Reason to Avoid Them; Why They Threaten Organic Agriculture
May 11, 2010
Last week the New York Times wrote about an upcoming report from The President’s Cancer Panel. The paper was “astonish[ed] to learn that [the panel] is poised to join ranks with the organic food movement and declare: [these] chemicals threaten our bodies.”
If you doubt that Genetically Modified (GM) foods threaten your body, here is a recent report from Russian biologists. They conducted what they thought would be a “routine” study of the long-term effects of the consumption of GM soy feed among a hamster population. For the first generation, the only untoward effects seemed to be constipation. The second generation didn’t seem too much the worse for wear either. But the third generation showed serious ill effects and turned out to be completely sterile.
Hampsters are not human beings and more research needs to be done, but other studies also point to reproductive ill effects. Eating frankinfoods would not seem to be the best form of birth control! In addition to the unknown but increasingly documented risks of ingesting organisms that are completely new to the human body, we also need to worry about contaminants found in GM foods such as Monsanto’s “Roundup Ready” herbicide.
It should also be noted that GM food issues have for the first time found their way to the US Supreme Court. A lawsuit brought by organic farmers and The Center for Food Safety pointed out that biotech alfalfa would spread uncontrollably and take over US pasturelands. True organic beef would become an impossibility since all cows would be potentially exposed to the GM alfalfa. A federal judge agreed and halted the sale of biotech alfalfa from Monsanto until the USDA could do a full-scale environmental impact study.
The Supreme Court will decide if the federal judge had the constitutional right to take this action and a decision is expected in late summer. If GM leads to human sterility in succeeding generations, would we like to see all beef products contaminated? Even vegetarians will face the consequences when they try to farm GM contaminated land. This is a big, big issue and our thanks to The Center for Food Safety for defending common sense and fighting Monsanto in the Supreme Court.
Earlier this month, The [international] Codex Committee on Food Labeling met to discuss whether Genetically Modified food could be labeled “organic”. The decision remains to be made, but in this case the Europeans, whom we generally condemn for their ridiculously restrictive approach to supplements, are fighting the good fight and are expected eventually to carry the day.
It is of course appalling that this matter is being debated at all, and that it will eventually be decided based on the political weight of the different countries and regions. We do not need food decisions based on politics, nor bureaucratic meddling in organic standards, which began outside of government, and which just get watered down by government officials charged with protecting us who really answer to commercial interests.
A recent poll, conducted by the U.S. Consumers Union, found that two-thirds of US consumers would be concerned if they thought that GM ingredients were in organic food. There is overwhelming public opinion support for GM labeling, and more than 80 public health, environmental, and agriculture organizations are working to ensure genetically modified foods are labeled as such. Who is working in the opposite direction? The GM and food producers of course– and their powerful ally the US government.
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Health Sscandal - Monsanto's GMO Perversion of Food
By Byron J. Richards, CCN
January 20, 2010
NewsWithViews.com
In the 2010 growing season Monsanto plans to unleash its latest Frankenfood experiment on the American and Canadian public, a new version of genetically mutated corn with eight abnormal gene traits called Genuity SmartStax corn. It is the culmination of an astonishing scandal that has been steadily building over the past decade. During this time Monsanto’s mutated seeds have grown to 90% of the U.S. soy crop and 85% of the corn crop – and wheat is next on their agenda. Their efforts have been marked by corporate bullying and have drawn the attention of the Justice Department who is conducting an antitrust investigation. All the while they have been spending millions on lobbying to fast track their agenda before the American public even realizes what hit them. Monsanto is making an ominous power play to corner the worldwide market on food and seeds. In the process they are adversely altering the very nature of food itself.
Few people would eat Monsanto’s “food” if they understood what it was or knew that they were eating it.
President Obama and his family won’t eat it. Neither did the Bush family. Even a Monsanto employee cafeteria rejects it.
This is no laughing matter. Your health and the health of your children and grandchildren are at stake. It seems more like a scene from a horror flick than something happening in modern day America. Imagine your digestive tract turned into a Roundup Ready herbicide factory and other warped genetic signals slowly and progressively rotting away your health. Unlike acute food poisoning from infectious E.coli, it is a slow and insidious poisoning.
Why GMO Food is Dangerous

Monsanto’s GMO (genetically modified organism) technology inserts non-food genes, genes from other species, into the DNA of food, altering the very nature of food itself. In some cases these genes make the crops more tolerant to the Roundup Ready herbicide made by Monsanto and in other cases the genes abnormally cause the DNA of food cells to produce toxic proteins that act as pesticides.
The process of making GMO seeds also poses health risks. Viral promoter genes are used during this production process and become part of the DNA mix, posing a risk for new types of viral disease. An unintended side-effect of this production technology is chronic activation or suppression of normal genes in the modified plants. This alters the actual nutrient structure of food and the function of the proteins within that food – a very serious matter.
The entire process of producing GMO seeds is also unpredictable. It creates multiple random genetic events in every food cell invaded by the mutant genes. Because each gene doesn’t just do one thing and is highly interactive with other genes, the production of GMO food is not consistent and therefore safety cannot be guaranteed – especially when you understand that our scientific knowledge of gene interdependencies is in its infancy.
Because the proteins in GMO food are structurally different than normal food they significantly increase the risk for allergy. Allergy is one form of inflammation that is likely to result from GMO food, but there are many other potential sources. These include the mis-metabolism of the food, the inherent toxicity of the food, and the pesticide residues on the food. These inflammatory problems of GMO food will additively contribute to other forms of inflammation such as pollution and stress and add to the total inflammation burden sets the stage for many diseases. It is likely that GMO food will have a significant impact on pregnancy problems and developmental problems in children. At this time nobody can rule out GMO as a possible causative factor in Autism, as the rates of both have risen together. A recent re-evaluation of data provided by Monsanto showed that various types of GMO corn caused significant inflammatory organ damage to rats. Most people are not comfortable with the concept of altering the nature of food in a grand genetic experiment with unknown consequences. The idea of food producing its own internal toxin is equally abhorrent. After all, who wants to eat toxic food? Even fewer trust this technology in the hands of Monsanto, a company with a history of blatant disregard for human health. It was Monsanto that knowingly poisoned the planet with toxic PCBs.
Eating food that is mutated by other non-food species is a grand experiment to say the least. GMO mutants can transfer to the living bacteria in your digestive tract, as has been shown in animal experiments. This can adversely change the way your gut bacteria behave so that they create pesticides and become more resistant to your immune system and medical treatments. If the GMO mutants were to transfer to an existing infection in your digestive tract then it could create your own superbug.
It has now been shown that the health consequence of eating high amounts of Roundup Ready residue that is being sprayed in ever-higher amounts on GMO crops is the disruption of your endocrine system. A recent study shows that these residues of Roundup Ready are highly interactive with sex hormones and significantly disrupt their function.
A 2008 Austrian government study showed that feeding GMO corn to mice for multiple generations resulted in fertility issues and weakened kidneys, as well as changes in metabolic pathways involved with inflammation, cholesterol, and protein. Here is a link to the 105 page report.
GMO crops are also drastically and adversely altering soil quality. In fact, soil animals such as earthworms are now found to have incorporated GMO mutant corn genes into their cells. This finding is of extreme importance to potential human health problems. There is certainly nothing preventing this from happening to humans.
For more information on the devastating health consequences of consuming GMO foods read Jeffrey Smith’s books, Seeds of Deception and Genetic Roulette.”
You may be wondering the obvious; if GMOs are so dangerous to eat then why are they allowed in the food supply?
Corporate Cronyism - A Corrupt FDA Places the Public in Danger
We now know that FDA scientists originally working on the issue of the safety of GMO food had considerable concerns that included allergies, toxins, adverse nutritional effects, and new diseases. They urged long-term studies but were ignored by FDA management who instead decided that GMO food was “substantially equivalent” to normal food. In 1992 these managers issued the following policy statement in the Federal Register, “The agency is not aware of any information showing that foods derived by these new methods differ from other foods in any meaningful or uniform way.” In retrospect, that policy, which stands to this day, was a flat out lie and a treasonous betrayal of the public trust.
Court cases have forced into public view the documents expressing the concerns of the FDA scientists. You can read them all at this link to the BioIntegrity.Org website. In fact, rushing GMO foods to market also represents a serious breach of scientific integrity by the overall research community.
Today, the FDA is a world leader in proteomic technology, the advanced analysis of protein structure and function. Italian researchers using proteomics have already proven beyond any question that GMO food is so genetically different from normal food that it cannot possibly be considered substantially equivalent. Certainly the FDA could discover this fact for themselves in a matter of hours. Why are FDA scientists in handcuffs and not taking action?
Part of the FDA management team’s culture of corruption is a revolving door with the various companies they are supposed to be regulating, the very definition of corporate cronyism. These shenanigans have had the net effect of the FDA acting primarily as a police force bully representing various powerful lobbies that buy protection and marketing favors, while stomping on the rights of the little guys like organic family farms and consumers. In the case of food, Monsanto wins the gold medal for influence pedaling at the expense of human health.
One of the more egregious examples of cronyism is Michael Taylor. He was an FDA staff lawyer and Executive Assistant to the FDA Commissioner from 1976 to 1981. From 1981 to 1991 he worked at the law firm of King and Spaulding, acting as Monsanto’s lawyer and lobbyist. He was a major proponent for overturning the Delaney Clause, a 1958 law prohibiting the introduction of known carcinogens to processed foods, a law Monsanto hated and which was eventually overturned by Clinton in 1996. His main responsibility during this time was gaining regulatory approval of Monsanto’s genetically modified cancer-causing bovine growth hormone (rBGH).
To complete his efforts on the bovine growth hormone issue Taylor went back to work for the FDA in 1991 with the title Deputy Commissioner for Policy at the Food and Drug Administration. He was directly responsible for writing the FDA policy on “substantial equivalence” which initially ushered in the rBGH era and to this day enables Monsanto to market its GMO mutated food with no appropriate oversight by the FDA as to safety. He also formulated policy that prevented milk producers from informing consumers that their milk was free of bovine growth hormone – intentionally preventing consumers from being able to tell what was in the milk product they were consuming.
After accomplishing his dirty work, he left the FDA in 1994 and went to work for Monsanto as Vice President for Public Policy, working on Monsanto’s long range plans. More recently, he became a Senior Fellow at Resources for the Future (RFF) and Director of the Risk, Resources and Environmental Management division. In this role, he strategized how to get Monsanto’s GMO crops into Africa, working closely with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. He also worked closely with the Bush Administration, and is the point man in helping an elite agenda to spread GMO seeds and biotech dependence around the world.
You guessed it – now he is back at the FDA in a new position the Obama Administration created – Senior Advisor to the Commissioner, working primarily on issues of food safety! “I am pleased to welcome Mike Taylor back to the FDA,” Commissioner of Food and Drugs Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., said in announcing Taylor’s appointment. “His expertise and leadership on food safety issues will help the agency to develop and implement the prevention based strategy we need to ensure the safety of the food we eat.”
As Monsanto, in anti-competitive collusion with Dow, takes their new GMO toxic and mutated corn to market, stacked with eight genes, it should come as no surprise that absolutely no safety testing is being required by the FDA. Never before have there been eight genes altered simultaneously within the cells of food. One gene is bad enough. Three is horrendous. But eight?
The fact that the FDA is not requiring extensive safety testing by independent sources of this highly unpredictable and dangerous technology is unthinkable. It is a grim day when the fox is in charge of the henhouse.
There Is No Good Reason for Monsanto’s GMOs
If you listen to Monsanto and their business cohorts such as Cargill, they state they are trying to feed the world. In reality, the world could eliminate Monsanto’s mutated food tomorrow and it would be a better place. It could also do without Cargill acting as an unregulated food banker, profiting on the manipulation of food sales at the expense of farmers in a way that is every bit as bad as the worst of Wall Street. There is no need for Monsanto’s GMO mutated seeds. They offer no advantages. It is an industry being propped up by unelected bureaucrats and elected officials on the receiving end of Monsanto’s multi-million dollar lobbying operation.
Michael Taylor is one example of corporate crony influence, there are many others. The USDA is profiting from Monsanto’s seeds that cannot be used the next growing season (the Terminator aspect of the problem). The EPA’s failure to regulate the amounts of Roundup Ready used on food is yet another scandal. It’s all about profits and control – while undermining the world’s farmers and the biodiversity and sustainability of crops.
Contrary to the Monsanto and Cargill propaganda, GMO technology does not increase crop yields, as has been fully documented in the Union of Concerned Scientists report titled Failure to Yield. And GMO crops are very bad for the carbon footprint.
The fact that the Obama administration is actively forwarding Monsanto’s efforts should be a grave concern to every American. Of course, the last 16 years of Clinton and Bush also did everything in their power to help Monsanto. No wonder Americans are fed up. Politicians in both parties are beholden to the golden idol, not the best health interests of its citizens.
Take Back Our Food – Join the Fight
We the people can have a huge impact and we can change this serious threat to human health. Don’t buy GMOs food. GMOs permeate corn and soy products, beet sugar is now mutated, and wheat is next in line. If you aren’t sure how to avoid GMO foods and brands then follow the advice given on Jeffrey Smith’s Non-GMO shopping guide. Demand from your political representatives that all GMO food be labeled as containing GMOs. This isn’t just a political issue – this is about your personal health and the future of food.
Watch this humorous and informative animation and pass it on to your friends: Larry Leptin & Family in Invasion of the Frankenfoods.
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Monsanto's Mutated World and the FDA's Human Experiment
By Byron J. Richards, CCN
October 28, 2009
NewsWithViews.com
America’s sugar crop is under GMO assault and the FDA has begun a new era of human experimentation. America is in dire need of a new super hero – and he has arrived. It is Larry Leptin, defending your right to be healthy.
See Larry Leptin’s first episode: Halloween fun as he takes on the GMO mutated sugar beets.
Monsanto’s Toxic and Mutated World – Is Sugar Safe to Eat?
It should come as no surprise when a Monsanto product poisons the earth and our food. Our planet has never recovered from the forty-year Monsanto-led PCB contamination that was banned in the U.S. in 1977. To this day environmental PCBs continue to degrade into highly toxic furans and dioxins, wreaking all manner of human health problem. The new case in point involves several aspects: 1) the bizarre alteration of the nature of food itself by splicing viral, bacterial, and other life forms into the DNA of food (GMO seeds and crops), and 2) the massive increase in the use of glyphosate pesticide (Round Up), which is polluting the water, soil, and food across the globe. Both issues are extremely problematic to human health.
On September 21, 2009 a stunning shot was fired across the bow of Monsanto and its new legion of Frankenfood sugar beet growers. Judge Jeffrey S. White of Federal District Court in San Francisco said the Agriculture Department should have done an environmental impact statement as required by law. He said it should have assessed the consequences from the likely spread of the genetically engineered trait to other sugar beets or to the related crops of Swiss chard and red table beets. He said that the potential elimination of farmer’s choice to grow non-genetically engineered crops, or a consumer’s choice to eat non-genetically engineered food constituted a significant effect on the environment that necessitated an environmental impact statement. The case is ongoing, with the next phase scheduled for October 30.
Meanwhile, Monsanto is attempting damage control during the second growing season of this genetic monstrosity masquerading as food. The judge hasn’t banned the current year’s crop or the sale of Halloween candy which is now full of GMO sugar. Of course, GMO sugar, like other GMO “foods,” doesn’t need to be labeled as such (because nobody in their right mind would buy it if it were). Half the refined sugar in the U.S. is from beets – and insiders say the industry has quickly converted to the GMO Frankenfood beets, estimating up to 95% of farmers are now using them.
Beet sugar is often mixed with cane sugar, meaning that unless a product lists the ingredient as cane sugar or organic cane sugar then it now likely contains GMO mutant beet-derived sugar.
Only the biotech industry and its financially-associated friends believe GMO Frankenfoods are safe to eat. The despicable management at the FDA approved them, while squashing and hiding from public view the numerous safety objections of their scientific staff. Common sense will tell virtually anyone that having foreign organism DNA spliced into the essence of food is an atrocity.
Earlier this year the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) called on physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid genetically modified foods and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks. 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…There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation.”
All of these Round Up ready Frankenfood crops are leading to unprecedented use of Round Up (glyphosate). In 1994 glyphosate pesticide use was 7.9 million pounds. By 2005, with the widespread use of Round Up, that number jumped to 119.1 million pounds. This is breeding super weeds that require ever increasing amounts of Round Up, not to mention other new “super toxic” pesticides just to keep up with the war on weeds. The environmental impact of glyphosate overuse has been reviewed in an article published by Organic Consumers Association.
In August of 2009 French researchers reviewed the evidence showing how glyphosates disrupt human reproductive hormones (androgens and estrogens). Their data indicates that glyphosate-based herbicides residues in food, feed, and the environment should be considered and classified as carcinogens and reproductive toxins – not unlike the PCBs of years gone by. Once again Monsanto sits in the middle of the controversy with human health hanging in the balance.
Does anyone trust Monsanto?
Avoid GMO food like the plague. Don’t buy any product made with GMO food or any product made by a company that uses any GMO food. Demand that GMO food be labeled so that consumers have a clear choice. And look out for sugar, the latest food to undergo Frankenfood mutation.
The FDA’s Peramivir H1N1 Swine Flu Experiment
The FDA has now opened the door for widespread human experimentation during this year’s flu season, allowing an antiviral drug called Peramivir to be used even though it has not passed traditional standards of safety testing. Ever since the FDA crafted its Critical Path agenda it has been looking for excuses to expose vulnerable Americans to toxic drugs under the false pretense of the greater good for all. The H1N1 Swine Flu fear-mongering is providing the cover that the FDA needs to unleash an experiment. The new Obama FDA administration has accepted the baton pass from the recently departed Bush FDA management team (von Eschenbach, et al.).
Hypocrisy at the FDA runs deep in their culture. The organization fails to warn the public of the known immunosuppressive effects of commonly used drugs such as antacids and statins – drugs that have been shown to increase the risk for infection. At the same time, the FDA has branded all nutrition as fraud. What right does the FDA have to brand nutrition as fraud? Nutrition has been battling influenza since humans have been around. Without nutrition humans would have never survived any flu pandemic. Nutrition is harmless to human health and invaluable to survival. In the FDA’s mind it is illegal. Rather, human experimentation is now deemed legal by the FDA. It’s all about protecting and expanding the profits of Big Pharma and Big Biotech.
Like Tamiflu and Relenza, Peramivir is a neuraminidase inhibitor. Neuraminidase (the N part of H1N1) is a viral protein that must be active in order for new viruses to emerge from a virally infected cell. If it can be blocked, then viral spreading can be reduced.
Tamiflu and Relenza only bind to neuraminidase for a brief period of time, limiting their biological activity against a virus. In contrast, Peramivir binds very tightly to neuraminidase and is longer lasting – meaning it is a much more potent drug. The FDA has approved it for use in advanced Swine Flu cases that are not responding to Tamiflu or Relenza.
On the one hand, this sounds like a reasonable approach to helping people with extreme Swine Flu. What is likely to happen in actual practice is another matter entirely. Doctors will hear on the grapevine how well Peramivir seems to work and it will be used on more and more patients. And what’s wrong with that?
It is a human experiment. Human experiments are against the Nuremberg code, which has been agreed to by the world following the atrocities of Nazi Germany. Human experiments run counter to the basic decency and morality of any culture – except the culture of the FDA and its profit-driven pharmaceutical allies.
The problem with neuraminidase blocking is that there are four known human genes that utilize neuraminidase for normal and healthy cell function (NEU1, NEU2, NEU3, NEU4). The next problem is that these genes are not passive and secondary in cellular function. They regulate carbohydrate-related communication taking place on human cell membranes (glyconutrition and glycobiology). In other words, they are instrumentally involved in how cells talk to each other, as well as in many processes of a cell’s internal communication. Any neuraminidase blocking drug runs the risk of interfering with general communication needed for healthy cell function.
The adverse side effects of Tamiflu are in many cases rather extreme and include panic attacks, delusions, delirium, convulsions, depression, loss of consciousness, and even suicide. Oxford researchers have publicly warned that Tamiflu is not for children. Tamiflu is a relatively weak binder of neuraminidase.
What is going to happen when a strong binder of neuraminidase, Peramivir, latches on to the human cellular communication system based on neuraminidase genes? The FDA has no idea, but their unelected bureaucratic management team has decided in their infinite wisdom that the benefits outweigh the risks, even though they have no way of knowing. The era of sanctioned human experimentation is upon us.
What if there was a substance that blocked neuraminidase regarding viral activity and left human neuraminidase alone? Wow, what a breakthrough that would be. Welcome to the world of nutrition. The real fraud can be found in the management team of the FDA.
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GMO Scandal: The Long Term Effects of Genetically Modified Food on Humans
Scientific Tests Must Be Approved by Industry First
By F. William Engdahl
Global Research, July 29, 2009
One of the great mysteries surrounding the spread of GMO plants around the world since the first commercial crops were released in the early 1990's in the USA and Argentina has been the absence of independent scientific studies of possible long-term effects of a diet of GMO plants on humans or even rats. Now it has come to light the real reason. The GMO agribusiness companies like Monsanto, BASF, Pioneer, Syngenta and others prohibit independent research.
An editorial in the respected American scientific monthly magazine, Scientific American, August 2009 reveals the shocking and alarming reality behind the proliferation of GMO products throughout the food chain of the planet since 1994. There are no independent scientific studies published in any reputed scientific journal in the world for one simple reason. It is impossible to independently verify that GMO crops such as Monsanto Roundup Ready Soybeans or MON8110 GMO maize perform as the company claims, or that, as the company also claims, that they have no harmful side effects because the GMO companies forbid such tests!
That's right. As a precondition to buy seeds, either to plant for crops or to use in research study, Monsanto and the gene giant companies must first sign an End User Agreement with the company. For the past decade, the period when the greatest proliferation of GMO seeds in agriculture has taken place, Monsanto, Pioneer (DuPont) and Syngenta require anyone buying their GMO seeds to sign an agreement that explicitly forbids that the seeds be used for any independent research. Scientists are prohibited from testing a seed to explore under what conditions it flourishes or even fails. They cannot compare any characteristics of the GMO seed with any other GMO or non-GMO seeds from another company. Most alarming, they are prohibited from examining whether the genetically modified crops lead to unintended side-effects either in the environment or in animals or humans.
The only research which is permitted to be published in reputable scientific peer-reviewed journals are studies which have been pre-approved by Monsanto and the other industry GMO firms.
The entire process by which GMO seeds have been approved in the United States, beginning with the proclamation by then President George H.W. Bush in 1992, on request of Monsanto, that no special Government tests of safety for GMO seeds would be conducted because they were deemed by the President to be “substantially equivalent” to non-GMO seeds, has been riddled with special interest corruption. Former attorneys for Monsanto were appointed responsible in EPA and FDA for rules governing GMO seeds as but one example and no Government tests of GMO seed safety to date have been carried out. All tests are provided to the US Government on GMO safety or performance by the companies themselves such as Monsanto. Little wonder that GMO sounds to positive and that Monsanto and others can falsely claim GMO is the “solution to world hunger.”
In the United States a group of twenty four leading university corn insect scientists have written to the US Government Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) demanding the EPA force a change to the company censorship practice. It is as if Chevrolet or Tata Motors or Fiat tried to censor comparative crash tests of their cars in Consumer Reports or a comparable consumer publication because they did not like the test results. Only this deals with the human and animal food chain. The scientists rightly argue to EPA that food safety and environment protection “depend on making plant products available to regular scientific scrutiny.” We should think twice before we eat that next box of American breakfast cereal if the corn used is GMO.
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Do Seed Companies Control GM Crop Research?Scientists must ask corporations for permission before publishing independent research on genetically modified crops. That restriction must end.By The Editors
Advances in agricultural technology—including, but not limited to, the genetic modification of food crops—have made fields more productive than ever. Farmers grow more crops and feed more people using less land. They are able to use fewer pesticides and to reduce the amount of tilling that leads to erosion. And within the next two years, agritech com­panies plan to introduce advanced crops that are designed to survive heat waves and droughts, resilient characteristics that will become increasingly important in a world marked by a changing climate.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to verify that genetically modified crops perform as advertised. That is because agritech companies have given themselves veto power over the work of independent researchers.
To purchase genetically modified seeds, a customer must sign an agreement that limits what can be done with them. (If you have installed software recently, you will recognize the concept of the end-user agreement.) Agreements are considered necessary to protect a company’s intellectual property, and they justifiably preclude the replication of the genetic enhancements that make the seeds unique. But agritech companies such as Monsanto, Pioneer and Syngenta go further. For a decade their user agreements have explicitly forbidden the use of the seeds for any independent research. Under the threat of litigation, scientists cannot test a seed to explore the different conditions under which it thrives or fails. They cannot compare seeds from one company against those from another company. And perhaps most important, they cannot examine whether the genetically modified crops lead to unintended environmental side effects.
Research on genetically modified seeds is still published, of course. But only studies that the seed companies have approved ever see the light of a peer-reviewed journal. In a number of cases, experiments that had the implicit go-ahead from the seed company were later blocked from publication because the results were not flattering. “It is important to understand that it is not always simply a matter of blanket denial of all research requests, which is bad enough,” wrote Elson J. Shields, an entomologist at Cornell University, in a letter to an official at the Environmental Protection Agency (the body tasked with regulating the environmental consequences of genetically modified crops), “but selective denials and permissions based on industry perceptions of how ‘friendly’ or ‘hostile’ a particular scientist may be toward [seed-enhancement] technology.”
Shields is the spokesperson for a group of 24 corn insect scientists that opposes these practices. Because the scientists rely on the cooperation of the companies for their research—they must, after all, gain access to the seeds for studies—most have chosen to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals. The group has submitted a statement to the EPA protesting that “as a result of restricted access, no truly independent research can be legally conducted on many critical questions regarding the tech­nol­ogy.”
It would be chilling enough if any other type of company were able to prevent independent researchers from testing its wares and reporting what they find—imagine car companies trying to quash head-to-head model comparisons done by Consumer Reports, for example. But when scientists are prevented from examining the raw ingredients in our nation’s food supply or from testing the plant material that covers a large portion of the country’s agricultural land, the restrictions on free inquiry become dangerous.
Although we appreciate the need to protect the intellectual property rights that have spurred the investments into research and development that have led to agritech’s successes, we also believe food safety and environmental protection depend on making plant products available to regular scientific scrutiny. Agricultural technology companies should therefore immediately remove the restriction on research from their end-user agreements. Going forward, the EPA should also require, as a condition of approving the sale of new seeds, that independent researchers have unfettered access to all products currently on the market. The agricultural revolution is too important to keep locked behind closed doors.
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Doctors Warn: Avoid Genetically Modified FoodsBy Jeffrey Smith
May 30, 2009
NewsWithViews.com
http://www.newswithviews.com/Smith/jeffrey125.htm
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.” 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.”
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. The GM-fed babies were also smaller, and later had problems getting pregnant.
When male rats were fed GM soy, their testicles actually changed color—from the normal pink to dark blue. Mice fed GM soy had altered young sperm. Even the embryos of GM fed parent mice had significant changes in their DNA. Mice fed GM corn in an Austrian government study had fewer babies, which were also smaller than normal.
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.
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, has properties of an allergen, and unlike the spray, cannot be washed off the plant.
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.
The exact same symptoms are now being reported by farm workers throughout India, from handling Bt cotton. In 2008, based on medical records, the Sunday India reported, “Victims of itching have increased massively this year . . . related to BT cotton farming.”
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.” Even Monsanto’s own research showed significant immune system changes in rats fed Bt corn. A November 2008 by the Italian government also found that mice have an immune reaction to Bt corn.
GM soy and corn each contain two new proteins with allergenic properties, GM soy has up to seven times more trypsin inhibitor—a known soy allergen, and skin prick tests show some people react to GM, but not to non-GM soy. 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.” 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.
Bt corn was also implicated in the deaths of cows in Germany, and horses, water buffaloes, and chickens in The Philippines.
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. Monsanto’s own study showed evidence of poisoning in major organs of rats fed Bt corn, according to top French toxicologist G. E. Seralini.
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. 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. 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 president.
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?”
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.”
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 L-tryptophan.
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%.
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.
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A Moratorium on Genetically Manipulated (GMO) Foods
By F. William Engdahl
URL of this article: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=13701
Global Research, May 22, 2009
US Association of Physicians calls for Moratorium on GMO Foods
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) has just issued a call for an immediate moratorium on Genetically Manipulated (GMO) Foods. In a just-released position paper on GMO foods, the AAEM states that ‘GM foods pose a serious health risk' and calls for a moratorium on GMO foods. Citing several animal studies, the AAEM concludes ‘there is more than a casual association between GMO foods and adverse health effects' and that ‘GM foods pose a serious health risk in the areas of toxicology, allergy and immune function, reproductive health, and metabolic, physiologic and genetic health.' The report is a devastating blow to the multibillion dollar international agribusiness industry, most especially to Monsanto Corporation, the world's leading purveyor of GMO seeds and related herbicides.
In a press release dated May 19, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, which describes itself as ‘an international association of physicians and other professionals dedicated to addressing the clinical aspects of environmental health,' called immediately for the following emergency measures to be taken regarding human consumption of GMO foods:
* A moratorium on GMO food; implementation of immediate long term safety testing and labelling of GMO food.
* Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community and the public to avoid GMO foods.
* Physicians to consider the role of GMO foods in their patients' disease processes.
* More independent long term scientific studies to begin gathering data to investigate the role of GMO foods on human health.
The AAEM chairperson, Dr Amy Dean notes that ‘Multiple animal studies have shown that GM foods cause damage to various organ systems in the body. With this mounting evidence, it is imperative to have a moratorium on GM foods for the safety of our patients' and the public's health.' The President of the AAEM, Dr Jennifer Armstrong stressed that ‘Physicians are probably seeing the effects in their patients, but need to know how to ask the right questions. The most common foods in North America which are consumed that are GMO are corn, soy, canola, and cottonseed oil.' The AAEM's position paper on Genetically Modified foods can be found at http:aaemonline.org.
The paper further states that Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) technology ‘abrogates natural reproductive processes, selection occurs at the single cell level, the procedure is highly mutagenic and routinely breeches genera barriers, and the technique has only been used commercially for 10 years.'
The AAEM paper further states, ‘several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food consumption including infertility, immune dysregulation, accelerated aging, dysregulation of genes associated with cholesterol synthesis, insulin regulation, cell signalling, and protein formation, and changes in the liver, kidney, spleen and gastrointestinal system.'
They add, ‘There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation as defined by Hill's Criteria in the areas of strength of association, consistency, specificity, biological gradient, and biological plausibility. The strength of association and consistency between GM foods and disease is confirmed in several animal studies.'
GMO is toxicThe AAEM paper should give grounds for official rethinking of the current quasi laissez faire regulatory stance to GMO in which the solemn word of the GMO seed companies such as Monsanto is regarded as scientifically valid proof of safety. The AAEM study is worth citing in detail in this regard:
‘Specificity of the association of GM foods and specific disease processes is also supported. Multiple animal studies show significant immune dysregulation, including upregulation of cytokines associated with asthma, allergy, and inflammation. Animal studies also show altered structure and function of the liver, including altered lipid and carbohydrate metabolism as well as cellular changes that could lead to accelerated aging and possibly lead to the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Changes in the kidney, pancreas and spleen have also been documented. A recent 2008 study links GM corn with infertility, showing a significant decrease in offspring over time and significantly lower litter weight in mice fed GM corn. This study also found that over 400 genes were found to be expressed differently in the mice fed GM corn. These are genes known to control protein synthesis and modification, cell signalling, cholesterol synthesis, and insulin regulation. Studies also show intestinal damage in animals fed GM foods, including proliferative cell growth and disruption of the intestinal immune system. ‘
The AAEM study also reviewed the biotechnology industry claims that GMO foods can feed the world through production of higher crop yields. It cited contrary evidence that the opposite appeared to be true, namely that over time GMO harvest yields were lower than conventional yields and required over time, more not less, highly toxic herbicidal chemicals such as glyphosate. The report noted, ‘The several thousand field trials over the last 20 years for genes aimed at increasing operational or intrinsic yield (of crops) indicate a significant undertaking. Yet none of these field trials have resulted in increased yield in commercialized major food/feed crops, with the exception of Bt corn.' However, the slight yield gain for Bt corn they report was ‘largely due to traditional breeding improvements,' and not to GMO.
They conclude that because GMO foods ‘pose a serious health risk in the areas of toxicology, allergy and immune function, reproductive health, and metabolic, physiologic and genetic health and are without benefit, the AAEM believes that it is imperative to adopt the precautionary principle, which is one of the main regulatory tools of the European Union environmental and health policy and serves as a foundation for several international agreements. The most commonly used definition is from the 1992 Rio Declaration that states: ‘In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.'
Under intense public pressure, the German Minister of Agriculture recently issued a prohibition of planting for Monsanto MON810 GMO corn. Unfortunately, two weeks later she permitted planting of GMO potato seeds. Amflora, a genetically modified potato manufactured by chemicals giant BASF (a joint venture GMO partner of Monsanto), was declared by the German Ministry as posing ‘no danger for human health or the environment,' The Ministry cited ‘in-depth examination' and talks with scientific and economic experts as basis for the reckless decision.
The publication of the sensational critique of GMO by the American Academy of Environmental Medicine has been greeted with stone silence by most major US media and international press.
GMO politicsAs I describe in great detail in my book, Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation, , GMO was released on the general public in the early 1990's in the USA under an executive decision by then President George Herbert Walker Bush, reportedly following closed door meetings with leading Monsanto executives. President Bush mandated that there should be no special health and safety tests done by any US Government agency before releasing GMO for food consumption. It came to be known as the Doctrine of Substantial Equivalence.
The US Government, on urging of Monsanto and the GMO lobby, further decided that labelling of a food product as ‘GMO free' should be prohibited, using the vaguely formulated and entirely unscientific ‘doctrine' proclaimed by President Bush in 1992, namely that GMO plants and non-GMO or ordinary plants were ‘substantially equivalent' and hence needed no special testing before being released to the public.
That Substantial Equivalence Doctrine, despite the fact that it directly contradicts the demand of the GMO companies for exclusive patent rights to their GMO seeds as being ‘unique' and different from ordinary seeds, enabled Monsanto, Dow Chemicals, DuPont and other GMO patent holders to proliferate their products with no control. Most Americans naively believe that the Government Food and Drug Administration and US Department of Agriculture are there to make certain industrial food products are confirmed fully safe for human and for animal consumption before licensing.
That de facto prohibition on labelling GMO foods has meant that most Americans have no idea how much of their daily diet from store-bought Corn Flakes to soybeans to corn and additives in every food on the supermarket shelf contained GMO contamination.
Coincident with the mass introduction of GMO into the human and animal diet in the United States beginning the end of the 1990's, there have been reported epidemic levels of allergic outbreaks in humans, strange diseases and numerous other health issues. The fact it is forbidden by Federal law to label GMO products means most health professionals are not even aware there might be any connection to a GMO diet for millions of Americans. The US population, since the 1992 ruling of President Bush—a ruling reaffirmed by presidents Clinton, George W. Bush and now by Barack Obama and his pro-GMO Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack—has been in effect treated as human guinea pigs in mass experimentation for substances never independently proven in long-term (ten years or longer) studies to be safe.
It remains to be seen if the scientific critique of the AAEM is given the attention it warrants.
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Also See: Vitamins, Genetic Food, Health - 03 April 2007
http://www.blogger.com/post-edit.g?blogID=12454184&postID=752623199071178666
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