Genetically Modified Foods
An Unchecked Disaster In The Making
Lately we’ve all been inundated with information and warnings about Swine Flu. The media has been filled with details about what it is and how we can protect ourselves. The particulars have been so plentiful that we can’t help but be aware of the virus and all its implications.
It’s a curious contrast that GM (genetically modified) foods are insidiously affecting and infecting us with allergens and toxins that have unknown long-range effects, yet the U.S. media is amazingly quiet on the issue. The reason behind this curious phenomenon is that the biotech giant, Monsanto, the force behind GM foods, “uses its considerable resources to mold public opinion about genetically modified foods.”1
In his book, Seeds of Deception, Jeffrey M. Smith states that “a Fox TV station canceled a news series, a publisher canceled a book contract, scientific journals refused papers, and a printer shredded 14,000 magazines, all due to fear of lawsuits by Monsanto.”2
In the 1980’s, FDA scientists tried to make public their negative findings on the effects of the genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rbGH). “They were stripped of responsibilities or fired.” The hormone was approved by FDA using a research summary that was submitted by Monsanto – all data warning about serious health effects, including cancer, had been deleted.3
In 1998 in Canada, six government scientists who were against approving Monsanto’s rbGH because they believed it to be unsafe, where threatened, files were stolen from locked file cabinets and they were offered bribes.4
In 1999, eminent scientist Arpad Pusztai accidentally discovered that GM potatoes critically damaged the immune system and organs of rats. When he reported this discovery, he was suspended and silenced with threats of a lawsuit, while the Institute where he had worked denied and misreported his findings. His results were ultimately leaked and published in the Lancet. Once the story was out, it made headlines throughout Europe for months, “alerting readers to some of the serious health risks of GM foods. It was barely mentioned, however, in the U.S. press.”5
In August of 1999, The Washington Post did report that mice that refused to eat the GM FlavrSavr tomato were force fed the product and as a result, several of the mice died or developed stomach lesions.6
The FDA has not only stood mutely by while the biotech industry forces untested GM foods into the market place they have been chess pieces moved about by the power of big agribusinesses. According to Henry Miller who was in charge of biotechnology issues at the FDA from 1979 to 1994, “U.S. government agencies have done exactly what big agribusiness has asked them to do and told them to do.”7
It doesn’t matter how much cover-up, deception, threats or bribes are used to keep the information under wraps, the effects of the food manufactured with genetic engineering will eventually show up – perhaps as an epidemic. When that happens, will we finally get the details and particulars of how to protect ourselves and our families? Or by then, will it be too late?
- Jeffrey M. Smith, Seeds of Deception, Chelsea Green Publishing Company, Australia, 2003, Chapter 7
- Jeffrey M. Smith, Seeds of Deception, Chelsea Green Publishing Company, Australia, 2003, Chapter 3
- James Baxter, The Ottawa Citizen, October 23, 1998, p. A1
- Jeffrey M. Smith, Seeds of Deception, Chelsea Green Publishing Company, Australia, 2003, Introduction
- Rick Weiss, “Biotech Food Crop Raises a Crop of Questions,” Washington Post, August 15, 1999, p. A1
- Kurt Eichenwald, and others, “Biotechnology Food: From the Lab to a Debacle,” The New York Times, January 25, 2001.