Tag Archives: gmo

Monsanto Story, Not Really Evil

The other day I was driving along and was thinking about how Monsanto thought up the evil, disease making crap that they have convinced most world powers to purchase and feed to their citizens. I’m not convinced that it was as deliberately orchestrated, as we always think. What I came up with is my vision of a group of Monsanteurs and a brainstorming session:

Ok. So we have to come up with a way to sell all this excess crap we have left over, rotting in the yard. No one will take it away and we can’t just dump it in the rivers anymore. After that Anniston thing, we have got this big target on our backs.

After WWII we have all this left over poison and it is just sitting there killing all the grass and stuff.

Ya. The grounds keeper says that it is seeping in and around the trees. He says that it is killing everything around there. It sounds kind of bad, because he said that some birds have died in that area as well. We have to do something about it!

Why won’t anyone take it away? Will that disposal company we used to use not come and pick it up?

They said that it is too dangerous and they don’t want to be responsible for this stuff that we made. They claim it is too toxic to dispose it safely. Pffft!

Why don’t we sell this to farmers to kill the weeds in their fields if it is killing all the weeds and grass in our yard?

Well, if it kills all the weeds and grass, won’t it also kill the crops that they are selling??

Thinking….

What if we tried that new thing that R & D was working on?

You know…make the crops so that the weed killer, stuff we want to sell, doesn’t kill the crops, just the weeds??

Yeah! That way we can get them coming and  going! We can sell the seeds and the poison to kill everything else!

Well that is so good! Is there any chance that people will get sick from putting this into food?

Who cares. Let’s just pay some scientist friends to write papers that say it is safe. We have lots of friends in government that will help us get these things worked out.

We can hire some of those politicians to work here and help us get stuff passed.

Ya. Ya.

If we do this stuff, we can sell our chemicals and seeds to everyone! Do you realize, that if we can pull this off, we will OWN food! That is just crazy. We have to do this!

 

 

That is how I imagined it kind of went. Sad but truish.

Genetically Engineered Food and Engineering

From Ron Hamilton
Farmer/Owner
Sunworks Farm

Last December when I was in Ottawa for the Canadian Organic Technical Review Committee the consumer representative on the committee asked us to use the term Genetically Engineered (GE) when we were talking about Genetically Modified Organisms. Since then I have been thinking a lot about the term genetically engineered and its similarities and differences to engineering.
Engineering is not infallible.
Around us there are a multitude of examples of engineering with magnificent buildings, bridges and technology as examples. The engineering that has been used in these structures has had centuries of research and knowledge behind it and we use some of the most sophisticated technology to build our world, but we still have buildings and bridges that fall down. We have recalls on cars and products because the engineers hadn’t foreseen a problem. Engineering isn’t infallible. There are multiple processes in place to make the engineering as fail safe as possible and the industry and government have set in place regulations that help protect us and yet problems still arise.
We are told by the corporations that make GE products that there is absolutely no risk in their engineering and their practices are fail safe. If we can have engineering challenges in the world of physical engineering, nonliving structures, it would make sense that we could also have problems in genetically engineering living organisms which are infinitely more complex than a bridge. The engineering and research behind genetically engineered products is just decades old and we have only had this technology available for a short time. If a person has done any research into how a GE product is made they will realize that there isn’t a huge amount of engineering done but it is a huge factor of good luck. If part of your engineering is good luck I don’t think I would want to drive on that bridge.
The consequences of bad engineering.
When bad physical engineering happens there can often be dire consequences. However the consequences for the environment and the world as a whole are often temporary. A pile of rubble, a diverted stream or river, pollution in the river, killed fish and aquatic life are all environmental consequences if a bridge fails. They are damaging but can be cleaned up and put back together, fish can be restocked, pollution can be cleaned up and a diverted stream or river can be returned to its natural course.
Genetically engineered foods are different from this in that when they fail there is no way to clean up the mess and restore the world to the way it was. Natural systems have over many thousands of years adapted to their surroundings but by engineering living organisms we are taking engineering short cuts that will have long term consequences. Plants that are genetically modified can spread from wind, birds, bugs, bees and water. We are releasing something that we cannot take back. Cross pollination can happen with non-genetically engineered as well as wild plants. Already there has been shown to be contamination of non GE corn with GE corn genes even though the GE corn was not planted near non GE corn fields.
The ability to fix the problem.
In physical engineering if there is a problem with a bridge swinging in too much wind, a building that is found to be extremely inefficient, or a car that has a bad part, the problem can be fixed. Bridges can be reinforced, buildings can be reinsulated and cars can be recalled and the part replaced. Problems that arise can be fixed. It is not the same with the genetic engineering of our food.
When a problem arises in our genetically engineered food the problems are not fixable for there is no way to isolate the problem. The bridge can be shut down until it is fixed. GE crops cannot all be destroyed when we realize that they are affecting the environment. An inefficient building can have extra heaters added to it to fix the problem until a long tern solution is available. GE foods cannot be reengineered once they are in the food system. A car affected by the bad part can have the bad part removed and can be returned to the road. The GE genes in a plant cannot be removed and the plant returned to the market, when they start to cause harm to human health and the environment.
For me the fact that we use the word engineering to describe genetically modified organism highlights some of the dangers of this technology. The way to combat this is to buy organic products and products that do not contain genetically engineered ingredients. If we refuse to buy these products then there will be no market for them. We need to push for the labeling of GE foods so that consumers have the ability to choose what they want to eat and how they want to vote with their dollar.
One of the fundamentals of organic agriculture is to work in and with natural living systems. We believe there are no engineering shortcuts to feed our customers the cleanest, purest and best food in the world.
Ron Hamilton
Farmer/Owner

Are you sure you want to eat that?

It has been about three years since finding out that our daughter is celiac. In this time we asked “why us”? Became frustrated at the lack of “good” information, considered not eating anymore… We(as anyone that has to make drastic dietary changes goes through) struggled when told that certain things were not available to us anymore. We were pained by the decision that we still work through today.

Whether the whole family should eat the same way or just those affected??
When one person has dietary needs(outside of societies version of normal) the whole family is affected to a certain degree. We try not to let it change relationships, but that really can’t be helped.
In the process of finding our way to health for H, we have learned much about food and the processes that our society has become familiar with, not necessarily the best decisions, but familiar!
I call this Easy-fast-processed-manipulated-itis.

fast food collection on on white background
I know that making good health choices is hard! This is even harder because our governments, medical professionals, dietitians, etc. are spreading poor information and promoting it!
Have you seen or heard any of the horror stories of illnesses in our families and friends? It is epidemic!

In my family alone, there is celiac disease, gluten/dairy intolerance, fibromyalgia, prostate cancer, MS, gout, arthritis, high blood pressure…I would consider our family pretty healthy compared to some.
The Canada food guide is so misleading and based on poor information. It seems that their reason to promote dairy and grain is based on economics as opposed to overall health.

Do governments think that it is too disruptive to actually look into why we are becoming more sick and this next generation will be the first in our known history to have a shorter life span than the previous one?

How bad does it have to become before we make changes to our food systems?

Why is it that people who want to grow healthy, simple crops(organic) have more hoops to jump through, than a farmer that wants to use pesticides and chemicals?

PESTICIDESpesticide_spraying_seed_crops_250

Obesity Threatens to Cut U.S. Life Expectancy, New Analysis Suggests

Over the next few decades, life expectancy for the average American could decline by as much as 5 years unless aggressive efforts are made to slow rising rates of obesity, according to a team of scientists supported in part by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

The U.S. could be facing its first sustained drop in life expectancy in the modern era, the researchers say, but this decline is not inevitable if Americans — particularly younger ones — trim their waistlines or if other improvements outweigh the impact of obesity. The new report in the March 17, 2005 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine appears little more than a year after the DHHS unveiled a new national education campaign and research strategy to combat obesity and excessive weight.

The new analysis, by S. Jay Olshansky, PhD, of the University of Illinois at Chicago, Leonard Hayflick, Ph.D., of the University of California, San Francisco, Robert N. Butler, M.D., of the International Longevity Center in New York, and others* suggests that the methods used to establish life expectancy projections, which have long been based on historic trends, need to be reassessed. This reevaluation is particularly important, they say, as obesity rates surge in today’s children and young adults.

“Forecasting life expectancy by extrapolating from the past is like forecasting the weather on the basis of its history,” Olshansky and his colleagues write. “Looking out the window, we see a threatening storm — obesity —that will, if unchecked, have a negative effect on life expectancy.”

Unlike historic life expectancy forecasts, which rely on past mortality trends, the Olshansky group bases their projection on an analysis of body mass indexes and other factors that could potentially affect the health and well-being of the current generation of children and young adults, some of whom began having weight problems very early in life. The authors say that unless steps are taken to curb excessive weight gain, younger Americans will likely face a greater risk of mortality throughout life than previous generations.

“This work paints a disturbing portrait of the potential effect that life styles of baby boomers and the next generation could have on life expectancy,” says Richard M. Suzman, Ph.D., Associate Director of the NIA for Behavioral and Social Research. Indeed, Suzman notes, obesity may already have had an effect. The sharp increase of obesity among people now in their 60s, he suggests, may be one explanation why the gains in U.S. life expectancy at older ages have been less than those of other developed countries in recent years.

“But it is critical to note that the reduced life expectancy forecast by the study is not inevitable, and there is room for optimism,” Suzman says. “Government and private sector efforts are mobilizing against obesity, and increased education, improved medical treatments, and reduced smoking can tip the balance in favor of reduced mortality and continued improvements in life expectancy.”

For instance, smoking significantly reduces the life expectancy of the average smoker, Suzman says, so obesity is just one of many factors that will need to be accounted for, together or separately, in projecting how Americans will age. The NIA supports several projects on population demography that forecast life and health expectancy, research which is critically important to policy makers looking at the implications of an aging population.

According to the NEJM report, studies suggest that two-thirds of American adults are overweight (having a body mass index — BMI — of 25 or more) or obese (having a BMI of 30 or more)**. One study cited by the authors indicates that the prevalence of obesity in U.S. adults has increased about 50 percent per decade since 1980. Additional research has shown that people who are severely obese — with a BMI greater than 45 — live up to 20 years less than people who are not overweight. Some researchers have estimated that obesity causes about 300,000 deaths in the U.S. annually. In addition, obesity is fueling an epidemic of type 2 diabetes, which also reduces lifespan.

To estimate the overall effect of obesity on life expectancy in the U.S., Olshansky and his colleagues calculated the reduction in death rates that would occur if everyone who is currently obese were to achieve the difficult goal of losing enough weight to reach an “optimal” BMI of 24. The calculation was based, in part, on age, race, and sex-specific prevalence of obesity in the United States from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Based on these calculations, the researchers estimated that life expectancy at birth would be higher by 0.33 to 0.93 year for white men, 0.30 to 0.81 year for white women, 0.30 to 1.08 year for black men, and 0.21 to 0.73 year for black women if obesity did not exist.

The overall reduction in life expectancy of one-third to three-fourths of a year attributed to obesity in this analysis exceeds the negative effect of all accidental deaths combined, and could deteriorate over time, the researchers said.

“These trends suggest that the relative influence of obesity on the life expectancy of future generations could be markedly worse than it is for current generations,” Olshansky and the authors conclude in their report. “In other words, the life-shortening effect of obesity could rise …to two to five years, or more, in the coming decades, as the obese who are now at younger ages carry their elevated risk of death into middle and older ages.”

The projected decline contrasts with estimates by other leading researchers, which predict a continuation of the historic trend of increasing life expectancy in America and Europe dating back to the 1850s, according to Dr. Suzman. In fact, he points out that the experience of other developed nations is instructive as a barometer of how much room might exist to increase U.S. life expectancy. More than 20 other developed nations, including France, Japan, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom have a higher average life expectancy than the U.S. Women in Japan, for example, live about 5 years longer than women in the U.S. There is little evidence that life expectancy in these countries is approaching any kind of limit, Suzman says.

In March 2004, the DHHS launched public awareness campaign, entitled Healthy Lifestyles and Disease Prevention, to encourage American families to take small, manageable steps within their current lifestyle, such as using the stairs instead of the elevator, to ensure effective, long-term weight control. The campaign includes multi-media public service announcements (PSAs) and a new interactive website,www.smallstep.gov.

In addition, the NIA has developed a free exercise guide for older adults, which is available online at www.nia.nih.gov. The NIH and other Federal agencies also offer free information about excessive weight and what can be done about it, including the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/choosing.htm, the Food and Drug Administrationhttp://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/wh-wght.html, and the Federal Consumer Information Center http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/health/works4you/weightloss.htm.

This research was also supported by the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Charles H. Hood Foundation.

The NIA is one of 27 Institutes and Centers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The NIA leads the Federal Government effort conducting and supporting research on the biomedical and social and behavioral aspects of aging and the problems of older people. For more information on aging-related research and the NIA, please visit the NIA website at www.nia.nih.gov. The public may also call for publications describing these efforts and offering health information for older people and their families at 1-800-222-2225, the toll free number for the National Institute on Aging Information Center.

http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/mar2005/nia-16.htm

I guess that the only thing to do now is decide. Decide to change our own lives or to continue the way that we have been accustomed to .

It is unfortunate, but such a human trait, to resist change and to not make changes until your life is threatened.

Changes are difficult at first, but if you are motivated you can change anything.

food pill

I can’t help but think, that our grandparents had it right. Simpler time, simpler way=more work.  Our grandmothers(for the most part) spent a lot of time in the kitchen preparing fresh, nutritious meals. They gardened, bought fresh meats and vegetables from their neighbours. This takes time and planning. It seems like a lot of work when you consider the alternatives like frozen pizza or fast food.

I am realizing that preparing fresh, nutritious food for your family is one of the most rewarding experiences that I have had. I know it will be one thing that I will pass on to my girls so that they can in turn, be healthy and make the world a better place for their families.

sidekicks

I thought it was interesting when I did a google search for “Food be medicine”, my first result was the US food and drug administration!

Do you really think that they have your health as a first priority?

Quote from Dr Mark Hyman

U.S. Dietary Guidelines provide no limit for added sugar, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still lists sugar as a “generally regarded as safe” (GRAS) substance.

Here are some helpful links if you are interested in healthy alternatives. God bless.

http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/food-medicine

http://drhyman.com/blog/2011/10/14/eat-your-medicine-food-as-pharmacology/#close

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/5-food-medicines-could-quite-possibly-save-your-life

 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/sugar-heart-attack_b_4746440.html

 

Is GMO behind the Exploding Gluten Epidemic?

GMOs Linked to Gluten-Related Disorders

Do you or a loved one suffer from gluten sensitivity? You may be wondering why you react to gluten now even though you never did in the past. You may be wondering why a gluten-free diet has helped, but has not completely resolved your symptoms. If you are on a quest to find all of the pieces to the gluten puzzle, the following information is for you. In a report released today by the Institute for Responsible Technology, a team of experts proposes a possible link between genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and gluten-related disorders. The analysis is based on Dept. of Agriculture data, Environmental Protection Act records, medical journal reviews, and international research.

The full 24-page report, a press release, and a recorded interview can all be found atglutenandgmos.com. An article summarizing the findings of this report is presented below:

Can Genetically Engineered Foods Trigger Gluten Sensitivity?

Gluten sensitivity is currently estimated to affect as many as 18 million Americans. 1 Reactions togluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, are becoming increasingly common. Gluten sensitivity can range in severity from mild discomfort, such as gas and bloating, to celiac disease, a serious autoimmune condition that can, if undiagnosed, result in a 4-fold increase in death. 2 Genetics alone cannot explain the rapid rise in gluten-related disorders, and experts believe that there must be an environmental trigger. There continues to be much debate about what that environmental trigger may be.

Some assert that a higher gluten content of modern wheat is to blame for the rising prevalence of gluten-related disorders. 3 But a 2013 review of data commissioned by the United States Department of Agriculture found no evidence to support this. 4 Others blame increased consumption of wheat overall, 4 age of wheat introduction, 5 cesarean birth, 6 breastfeeding duration, 7 or alterations in intestinal microflora. 8 All of these do offer some explanation, but they cannot completely account for the drastic increase in gluten sensitivities that we have seen in recent years.

Another possible environmental trigger may be the introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to the American food supply, which occurred in the mid-1990s. GMOs are created by a laboratory process that transfers genetic material into the DNA of an organism There are nine genetically modified (GM) food crops currently on the market: soy, corn, cotton (oil), canola (oil), sugar from sugar beets, zucchini, yellow squash, Hawaiian papaya, and alfalfa. Notice that wheat is notone of these. Although wheat has been hybridized through natural breeding techniques over the years, it is not in fact a GMO.

Most GM crops are engineered to tolerate a weed killer called Roundup®, whose active ingredient is glyphosate. These crops, known as Roundup-Ready crops, accumulate high levels of glyphosate that remain in the food.  Corn and cotton varieties are also engineered to produce an insecticide called Bt-toxin. The Bt-toxin is produced in every cell of genetically engineered corn and ends up in corn chips, corn tortillas, and other ingredients derived from corn. A recent analysis of research suggests that Bt-toxin, glyphosate, and other components of GMOs, are linked to five conditions that may either initiate or exacerbate gluten-related disorders:

  1. Intestinal permeability
  2. Imbalanced gut bacteria
  3. Immune activation and allergies
  4. Impaired digestion
  5. Damage to the intestinal wall

Intestinal permeability

Gluten-related disorders are commonly accompanied by and possibly triggered by intestinal permeability, which is commonly referred to as “leaky gut.”9 Leaky gut occurs when gaps form between intestinal cells and large particles from the digestive tract enter the bloodstream, potentially triggering immune or allergic reactions. The Bt-toxin produced by genetically modified corn kills insects by punching holes in their digestive tracts, and a 2012 study confirmed that it punctures holes in human cells as well.10 Bt-toxin is present in every kernel of Bt corn, survives human digestion, and has been detected in the blood of 93% of pregnant women tested and 80% of their unborn fetuses.11 This “hole-punching toxin” may be a critical piece of the puzzle in understanding gluten-related disorders.

Imbalanced gut bacteria

Gluten-sensitive individuals, and especially those with celiac disease, also commonly have an imbalance in their gut flora.12,13,14,15 The reason that cesarean section increases risk 6 and breastfeeding decreases risk 7 for gluten sensitivity is likely due to their respective effects on microbial balance in the infant’s gut. 16 Glyphosate used on GM crops is not only an herbicide, but also a potent antibiotic.Even with minimal exposure, glyphosate can significantly reduce the population of beneficial gut bacteria and promote the overgrowth of harmful strains.17 18 An overgrowth of harmful bacteria can promote inflammation, leaky gut, and immune reactions, all of which are linked to gluten-related disorders.

News Release: GMOS Linked to Exploding Gluten Sensitivity Epidemic (FREE PDF)

Immune activation and allergies

Many people do not develop reactivity to gluten until later in life, which supports the notion that it can be triggered by environmental factors. The only study to date that has been able to effectively trigger an immunological shift to gluten sensitivity was done in mice in 2011. 19 The study showed that retinoic acid, a metabolite of vitamin A, activated a specific immune response to gluten under inflammatory conditions in the gut. It turns out that glyphosate, the primary herbicide used on GM crops, increases retinoic acid activity. 20 If glyphosate activates retinoic acid, and retinoic acid activates gluten sensitivity, eating GMOs soaked with glyphosate may play a role in the onset of glute-related disorders.

Bt-toxin may also activate the immune system. When mice were exposed to Bt-toxin, they not only mounted an immune response to it directly, but they subsequently reacted to foods that had not formerly triggered a response.21 There was something about the Bt-toxin that primed the immune system to become reactive to other, once benign, foods. If humans exposed to Bt-toxin react in a similar manner, eating GM corn could directly lead to the development of gluten or other food sensitivities.

Impaired digestion

Decreased digestive enzymes can create undigested food particles, contribute to the overgrowth of harmful bacteria, and promote symptoms of gluten-related disorders. Studies of mice eating Roundup Ready soy and fish exposed to glyphosate show that these compounds reduce digestive enzymes. 2223 All soybeans contain trypsin inhibitor, which blocks an important enzyme needed to digest protein, but Roundup Ready® soybeans contain as much as seven times more than non-GMO soy.24,25 The results of these studies suggest that genetically engineered foods may lead to serious digestive compromise.

Damage to the intestinal wall

A common result of gluten sensitivity is damage to the lining of the intestinal tract. Celiac disease results in flattening of the microvilli lining the walls of the intestine. Both Bt-toxin and glyphosate have produced structural damage to microvilli in animal studies; animals exposed to these substances developed microvilli that were broken off, discontinuous, or shortened. 26 23

Stay Away from GMOs

A clear explanation for the rising rate of gluten-related disorders remains elusive. Multiple factors interact, with no clear or original cause. But genetically modified foods and their primary chemical residue, glyphosate, may be an important piece of the puzzle. Whether GMOs are indeed a causative factor in the escalating trend of gluten sensitivity or merely an obstacle to cure is yet to be determined.

Many clinicians already prescribe non-GMO diets for their gluten-sensitive patients. Physicians and patients have reported improvement in their symptoms after eliminating GMOs from their diets. Internist, Emily Linder MD, says, “Based on my clinical experience, when I remove genetically modified foods as part of the treatment for gluten sensitivity, recovery is faster and more complete. I believe that GMOs in our diet contribute to the rise in gluten sensitivity in the U.S. population.”

Unfortunately, many people who discover they are gluten-sensitive actually increase their intake of GMOs because they switch from wheat products to corn products. With 88% of the U.S. corn crop genetically engineered, avoidance of GMOs in the gluten-free community presents a unique challenge to consumers.

The best way to avoid GMOs is to consult the NonGMOShoppingGuide.com or download the free iPhone app ShopNoGMO. Look for products with either the “Non-GMO Project Verified” or the “Certified Organic” seal. Avoid ingredients derived from the foods most likely to be genetically modified. These include soy, corn, cottonseed, canola, sugar, papaya from Hawaii or China, zucchini, and yellow squash.

If you have seen improvement in a gluten-related condition after eliminating GMOs from your diet, please email healthy@responsibletechnology.org to share your story.

If you have a friend or relative suffering from gluten sensitivity, ask them if they eat GMOs and forward this email to them!

Help us to reclaim a non-GMO food supply