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India’s transgenic cotton tragedy


Hopes of a genetically modified crop bonanza in India are fading fast. Maharastra state has banned the use of a particular type of transgenic cotton made by industrial giant Monsanto, saying it’s a threat to people’s lives and to other crops. images (9)

Ever since Monsanto introduced genetically modified (GM) cotton in India in 2002, the company has been hounded by a string of controversies. Over a decade later, there is still no consensus in the country on BT cotton, and more broadly on GM crops as a whole. Cotton is still the only GM crop in the country, and it’s so pervasive that nearly 90% of all cotton produced in India is genetically modified. For Monsanto though, the troubles are far from over. The company’s seeds have been banned in one Indian state, with anti-GM activists demanding a larger ban. Reports have linked BT cotton to the suicide of over 10,000 farmers in India’s cotton belt. But many states are demanding that the Indian government allow them to conduct field trials for not just BT cotton but other GM crops. In this report, we meet with various stakeholders on this issue to understand why BT cotton is such a divisive subject in India, and what role Monsanto plays in the matter.
via India’s transgenic cotton tragedy – FRANCE 24.

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Scientists Discover Bt Toxins Found In Monsanto Crops Damage Red Blood Cells


Studies are showing that Bt toxins found in Monsanto crops are harmful to mammalian blood by damaging red blood cells and more. RBC’s are responsible for delivering oxygen to the body tissues through blood flow.

Bacillus thuringensis (Bt) is a bacterium commonly used as a biological pesticide. It is a microorganism that produces toxic chemicals. It occurs naturally in the environment, and is usually isolated from soil, insects and plant surfaces. Prior to this study, Bt was thought to be toxic only to insects,  but recent studies are proving otherwise.

Dr. Mezzomo and his team of Scientists from the Department of Genetics and Morphology and the Institute of Biological Sciences, at University of Brasilia recently published a study that involved Bacillus thuringensis (Bt toxin) and its effects on mammalian blood. According to the study, the “Cry” toxins that are found in Monsanto’s GMO crops like corn and soy, are much more toxic to mammals than previously thought. The study was published in the Journal of Hematology and Thromboembolic Diseases(1).

We do not support animal testing, and think it is unnecessary. It should really be a no brainer that GMO crops cause significant damage to human health. Studies that don’t require animal testing have already proven the dangers of GMO consumption. This study unfortunately required the use of Swiss Albino Mice if Bt was to be properly examined. At the same time, most of us know that the existence of GMOs is completely unnecessary.

Advances in genetic engineering promise the expression of multiple Cry toxins in Bt-plants, known as gene pyramiding. Therefore, studies on non-target species are requirements of international protocols to verify the adverse effects of these toxins, ensuring human and environmental biosafety.

Due to its growing use in agricultural activities, Bt presence hasalready been detected in different environmental compartments such as soil and water. Consequently, the bioavailability of Cry proteins has increased, and for biosafety reasons their adverse effects might be studied, mainly for non-target organisms. Studies are therefore needed to evaluate Bt toxicity to non-target organisms;  the persistence of Bt toxin and its stability in aquatic environments; and the risks to humans and animals exposed to potentially toxic levels of Bt through their diet.(1)

Thus, we aimed to evaluate, in Swiss albino mice, the hematotoxicity and genotoxicity of four Bt spore-crystals…

Scientists tested levels ranging from 27 mg to 270 mg over a seven day period, it was remarkably evident that the Cry toxins were hemotoxic, even at the lowest doses administered. Hemotoxins destroy red blood cells, disrupt blood clotting and cause organ degeneration and tissue damage.

The number of RBC’s, (red blood cells) as well as their size, were significantly reduced, and so were the levels of hemoglobin for oxygen to attach to. Every factor regarding RBC’s indicated some level of damage for all levels of toxin administered and across all cry proteins. The tests clearly demonstrated that Cry proteins resulting from the Bt toxin were cytotoxic (quality of being toxic to cells) to bone marrow cells. Studies contiually show that these proteins kill blood cells bytargeting the cell membranes of RBC’s.

Cry1Ab (the protein produced in common Bt corn and soy) induced microcytic hypochromic anemia in mice, even at the lowest tested dose of 27 mg/Kg, and this toxin has been detected in blood of non-pregnant women, pregnant women and their fetuses in Canada, supposedly exposed through diet [34]. These data, as well as increased bioavailability of  these MCA in the environment, reinforce the need for more research, especially given that little is known about spore crystals’ adverse effects on non-target species (1)

Dr. Mezzomo and his team are not the only group of scientists to discover the harmful effects of Bt toxins. Professor Joe Cummins, Professor Emeritus of Genetics at the University of Western Ontario has also studied it (2)(3)(4). He concluded that that there is sufficient evidence  that the Bt toxin will impact directly on human health through damaging the ileum, which is the final section of the small intestine that is responsible for the absorption of vitamin B12. He also points out that the Bt cry toxin gene has not been proven to be the same as the natural bacterial gene. As mentioned in the first paragraph, it occurs naturally in the environment, usually isolated from soil, insects and plant surfaces.

It seems that everyday brings forth new information regarding GMO’s. We have so much evidence that points to just how harmful these foods are, yet they continue to be mass produced and the corporations that develop them are constantly protected. The truth still remains, you still have a choice as to what you put into your body. I encourage everybody reading this to further their research, most ‘industries’ we have on the planet today really aren’t necessary, we are just made to believe that they are.

Sources:

http://gmoevidence.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/JHTD-1-104.pdf (1)

http://www.gefree.org.nz/assets/pdf/joecummins.pdf(4)

http://www.biotech-info.net/bt_cummins.html(2)

http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Bt-toxin.php(3)

http://occupymonsanto360.org/2013/05/06/new-study-proves-bt-toxins-in-gmos-toxic-to-mammalian-blood/

http://www.nationofchange.org/new-study-proves-bt-toxins-gmos-toxic-mammalian-blood-136793695

via Scientists Discover Bt Toxins Found In Monsanto Crops Damage Red Blood Cells.

New Study Links GMO Food To Leukemia


A new study, yet to receive any media attention, reveals the “leukemogenic” properties of the Bt toxin biopesticides engineered into the vast majority of GMO food crops already within the US food supply.

Last September, the causal link between cancer and genetically modified food was confirmed in a French study, the first independent long-term animal feeding study of its kind. The disturbing details can be found here: New Study Finds GM Corn and Roundup Causes Cancer In Rats

Now, a new study published in the Journal of Hematology & Thromboembolic Diseases indicates that the biopesticides engineered into GM crops known as Bacillus Thuringensis (Bt) or Cry-toxins, may also contribute to blood abnormalities from anemia to hematological malignancies (blood cancers) such as leukemia.[i]

A group of scientists from the Department of Genetics and Morphology, Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Brasilia, Brasilia/DF, Brazil set out to test the purported human and environmental biosafety of GM crops, looking particularly at the role that the Bt toxin found within virtually all GM food crops plays on non-target or non-insect animal species.

The research was spurned by the Brazilian Collegiate Board of Directors of the National Sanitary Surveillance Agency (ANVISA), who advocated in 2005 for evaluations of toxicity and pathogenicity of microbiological control agents such as Bt, given that little is known about their toxicological potential in non-target organisms, including humans.

While Bacillus Thurigensis spore-crystals have been used since the late 1960′s in agriculture as a foliar insecticide, it was only after the advent of recombinant DNA biotechnology that these toxin-producing genes (known as delta endotoxins) were first inserted into the plants themselves and released into commercial production in the mid-90′s, making their presence in the US food supply and the bodies of exposed populations ubiquitous.

What the new study revealed is that various binary combinations and doses of Bt toxins target mammalian cells, particularly the erythroid (red blood cell) lineage, resulting in white and red blood cell changes indicative of significant damage. Some of these adverse changes included anemia, and suppression of bone marrow proliferation and abnormal lymphocyte changes consistent with some types of leukemia.

The researchers also found that one of the prevailing myths about the selective toxicity of Bt to insects, the target species, no longer holds true:

It has been reported that Cry toxins exert their toxicity when activated at alkaline pH of the digestive tract of susceptible larvae, and, because the physiology of the mammalian digestive system does not allow their activation, and no known specific receptors in mammalian  intestinal cells have been reported, the toxicity these MCAs to mammals  would negligible [8,22,23]. However, our study demonstrated that Bt spore-crystals genetically modified to express individually Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac or Cry2A induced hematotoxicity, particularly to the erythroid lineage. This finding corroborates literature that demonstrated that alkali-solubilized  Bt spore-crystals caused in vitro hemolysis in cell lines of rat, mouse, sheep, horse, and human erythrocytes and suggested that the plasma membrane of susceptible cells (erythrocytes, in this case) may be the primary target for these toxins [33]

The study also found:

1) That Cry toxins are capable of exerting their adverse effects when suspended in distilled water, not requiring alkalinization via insect physiology to become activated as formerly believed.

2) That a dose of Cry1Ab as low as 27 mg/kg, their lowest tested dose, was capable of inducing hypochromic anemia in mice – the very toxin has been detected in blood of non-pregnant women, pregnant women and their fetuses in Canada, supposedly exposed through diet.

3) Whereas past reports have found that Bt toxins are generally nontoxic and do not bioaccumulate in fatty tissue or persist in the environment, the new study demonstrated that all Cry toxins tested had a more pronounced effect from 72 hours of exposure onwards, indicating the opposite is true.

4) That high-dose Cry toxin doses caused blood changes indicative of bone marrow damage (damage to “hematopoietic stem cell or bone marrow stroma”).

The authors noted their results “demonstrate leukemogenic activity for other spore-crystals not yet reported in the literature.”

They concluded:

[R]esults showed that the Bt spore-crystals genetically modified to express individually Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac or Cry2A can cause some hematological risks to vertebrates,increasing their toxic effects with long-term exposure. Taking into account the increased risk of human and animal exposures to significant levels of these toxins, especially through diet, our results suggest that further studies are required to clarify the mechanism involved in the hematotoxicity found in mice, and to establish the toxicological risks to non-target organisms, especially mammals, before concluding that these microbiological control agents are safe for mammals.

Did you get that? Their conclusion is that it is premature to consider GM toxins to be safe in mammals. Billions have already been exposed to Bt toxins, in combination with glyphosate-based herbicide formulations such as Roundup, and yet, most biotech research scientists and industry regulators still claim they are unequivocally safe. This has much to do with the well-known relationship that biotech corporations like Monsanto have with so-called ‘check book’ science firms who are basically paid to obfuscate adverse health outcomes of their products, such as the GMO-Cancer link. [also see: Monsanto-Funded Science Denies Emerging Roundup Cancer Link]

Consider also that the question of combined toxicity of Cry toxins and glyphosate-based residues within plants have not been sufficiently explored, and that glyphosate exposure has already been linked to non-Hodgkins lymphoma and hairy cell leukemia in the biomedical literature.[ii]

The reality is that we no longer have time to wait around for additional research to accumulate on the adverse health effects of GMOs, especially considering the biotech industry has far more capital to infuse into their own faux research on the topic.

Some, in fact, argue that we should not be waiting around for the corrupt legislative process to compel manufacturers to label GMOs, rather, we should be fighting to BAN THEM NOW, advocating for the precautionary principle before its too late.

In the meantime, you can join the growing movement to March Against Monsanto, occurring world wide on May 25th, as a way of expressing your desire for real change, as well as vote with your forks, the only immediately effective tool we have against biological and environmental gene-ocide articulated by the dominant GMO-based food system.

Additional important research resources on GreenMedInfo.com

Surprise! Monsanto-Funded Research Finds Their Products Safe

Health Guide: GMO Research

[i] Bélin Poletto Mezzomo, Ana Luisa Miranda-Vilela, Ingrid de Souza Freire, Lilian Carla Pereira Barbosa, Flávia Arruda Portilho. Hematotoxicity of Bacillus thuringiensis as Spore-crystal Strains Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac or Cry2Aa in Swiss Albino Mice. Journal of Hematology and Thromboembolic Diseases. 2013

[ii] Lennart Hardell, Mikael Eriksson, Marie Nordstrom. Exposure to pesticides as risk factor for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and hairy cell leukemia: pooled analysis of two Swedish case-control studies. Leuk Lymphoma. 2002 May;43(5):1043-9. PMID: 12148884

via New Study Links GMO Food To Leukemia | Wake Up World.

Do GMO Crops Really Have Higher Yields?


According to the biotech industry, genetically modified (GM) crops are a boon to humanity because they allow farmers to “generate higher crop yields with fewer inputs,” as the trade group Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) puts it on its web page.

uoyed by such rhetoric, genetically modified seed giant Monsanto and its peers have managed to flood the corn, soybean, and cotton seed markets with two major traits: herbicide resistance and pesticide expression—giving plants the ability to, respectively, withstand regular lashings of particular herbicides and kill bugs with the toxic trait of Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt.

Turns out, though, that both assertions in BIO’s statement are highly questionable. Washington State University researcher Charles Benbrook has demonstrated that the net effect of GMOs in the United States has been an increase in use of toxic chemical inputs. Benbrook found that while the Bt trait has indeed allowed farmers to spray dramatically lower levels of insecticides, that effect has been more than outweighed the gusher of herbicides uncorked by Monsanto’s Roundup Ready technology, as weeds have rapidly adapted resistance to regular doses of Monsanto’s Rounup herbicide.

And in a new paper (PDF) funded by the US Department of Agriculture, University of Wisconsin researchers have essentially negated the “more food” argument as well. The researchers looked at data from U-Wisconsin test plots that compared crop yields from various varieties of hybrid corn, some genetically modified and some not, between 1990 and 2010. While some GM varieties delivered small yield gains, others did not. Several even showed lower yields than non-GM counterparts. With the exception of one commonly used trait—a Bt type dessigned to kill the European corn borer—the authors conclude, “we were surprised not to find strongly positive transgenic yield effects.” Both the glyphosate-tolerant (Roundup Ready) and the Bt trait for corn rootworm caused yields to drop.

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Then there’s the question of so-called “stacked-trait” crops—that is, say, corn engineered to contain multiple added genes—for example, Monsanto’s “Smart Stax” product, which contains both herbicide-tolerant and pesticide-expressing genes. The authors detected what they call “gene interaction” in these crops—genes inserted into them interact with each other in ways that affect yield, often negatively. If multiple genes added to a variety didn’t interact, “the [yield] effect of stacked genes would be equal to the sum of the corresponding single gene effects,” the authors write. Instead, the stacked-trait crops were all over the map. “We found strong evidence of gene interactions among transgenic traits when they are stacked,” they write. Most of those effects were negative—i.e., yield was reduced.

Overall, the report uncovers evidence of what is known as “yield drag”—the idea that manipulating the genome of a plant variety causes unintended changes in the way it grows, causing it to be less productive.

More encouragingly, the authors found that crop yields for GMO varieties are more stable year-to-year—that is, their yields fluctuate less than those of conventional varieties. As a result of this stabilizing effect, the authors conclude that “our results show how transgenic technology can improve farmers’ ability to deal with a risky environment,” especially given “current concerns about the effects of climate change on production uncertainty in agriculture.” Simply by planting Roundup Ready or Bt crops, they claim, farmers face less risk from yield fluctuations.

That may be true, but it’s a long way from “generating higher crop yields with fewer inputs.” And it’s not clear at all that GMOs’ marginal advantages over conventional seeds when it comes to risk mitigation trump the benefits offered by organic ag in that department. Here’s how the authors of a major paper published in Nature last year put it:

Soils managed with organic methods have shown better water-holding capacity and water infiltration rates and have produced higher yields than conventional systems under drought conditions and excessive rainfall.

via Do GMO Crops Really Have Higher Yields? | Mother Jones.

via Do GMO Crops Really Have Higher Yields? | Mother Jones.

Scientist that Discovered GMO Health Hazards Immediately Fired, Team Dismantled


Though it barely received any media attention at the time, a renowned British biochemist who back in 1998 exposed the shocking truth about how genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) cause organ damage, reproductive failure, digestive dysfunction, impaired immunity, and cancer, among many other conditions, was immediately fired from his job, and the team of researchers who assisted him dismissed from their post within 24 hours from the time when the findings went public.

Arpad Pusztai, who is considered to be one of the world’s most respected and well-learned biochemists, had for three years led a team of researchers from Scotland’s prestigious Rowett Research Institute (RRI) in studying the health effects of a novel GM potato with built-in Bt toxin. Much to the surprise of many, the team discovered that, contrary to industry rhetoric, Bt potato was responsible for causing severe health damage in test rats, a fact that was quickly relayed to the media out of concern for  public hearing.

But rather than be praised for their honest assessment into this genetically-tampered potato, Pusztai and his colleagues were chastised by industry-backed government authorities, including British Prime Minister Tony Blair, whose office was discovered to have secretly contacted RRI just hours after Pusztai and his team announced the results of their study on television. For speaking the truth, Pusztai was immediately fired from his position, and his team dismissed from their positions at the school.

Research out of Egypt finds similar results – GMOs cause severe, long-term health damage

As reported recently in Egypt Independent, similar research by Hussein Kaoud from Cairo University‘s Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene also made some fascinating, though politically incorrect, discoveries about the effects of GMOs on the body. After feeding nine groups of rats varying combinations of GM soy, corn, wheat, and canola, Kaoud and his team observed that these genetic poisons clearly obstructed the normal function of the animals, affirming Pusztai’s research.

I recorded the alteration of different organs, shrinkage of kidneys, change in the liver and spleen, appearance of malignant parts in the tissues, (and) kidney failure and hemorrhages in the intestine,” said Kaoud about the effects of GMOs as observed in the test rats. “The brain functions were touched as well, and the rats’ learning and memory abilities were seriously altered.”

In Kaoud’s case, his groundbreaking findings will soon be published in the respected journals Neurotoxicology and Ecotoxicology. But it remains to be seen whether or not the scientific community at large, which is heavily influenced by biotechnology interests, and the political structures that control it will accept the results as valid, or pull a similar character assassination on Kaoud and his team as punishment for defying the status quo.

What all this clearly illustrates, of course, is that modern science can hardly be considered the independent, truth-seeking, “gold standard” of interpreting and understanding reality that many people mistakenly think it is. The truth about GMOs, as uncovered by mounds of independent research, is that they are inadequately safety tested, at best, and deadly at worst. But this fact remains shrouded in deception, thanks to the corporatized, pro-GMO culture of mainstream science.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://www.egyptindependent.com

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-dangers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pusztai affair

Main article: Pusztai affair
In 1995 the Árpád Pusztai began research on genetically modified potatoes containing the GNA lectin gene from the snowdrop plant.[2] His group fed rats on raw and cooked genetically modified potatoes, using Desiree Red potatoes as controls. In 1998 Árpád Pusztai said in an interview on a World in Action programme that his group had observed damage to the intestines and immune systems of rats fed the genetically modified potatoes. He also said “If I had the choice I would certainly not eat it”, and that “I find it’s very unfair to use our fellow citizens as guinea pigs”.[4]
This resulted in a media frenzy, and Rowett Institute’s director Philip James, after initially supporting Pusztai, suspended him and banned both Pusztai and Susan Bardocz from speaking publicly. He also used misconduct procedures to seize the raw data.[4] The Rowett Institute published an audit criticizing Pusztai’s results[5] and sent the raw data to six anonymous reviewers who also criticized Pusztai’s work.[6][7] Pusztai responded that the raw data was “never intended for publication under intense scrutiny”.[4] Pusztai sent the audit report and his rebuttal to scientists who requested it, and in February 1999, twenty-one European and American scientists released a memo supporting Pusztai.[8]
Pusztai’s experiment was eventually published as a letter in The Lancet in 1999.[9] Because of the controversial nature of his research the letter was reviewed by six reviewers – three times the usual number. One publicly opposed the letter, another thought it was flawed, but wanted it published “to avoid suspicions of a conspiracy against Pusztai and to give colleagues a chance to see the data for themselves” while the other four raised questions that were addressed by the authors.[10] The letter reported significant differences between the thickness of the gut epithelium of rats fed genetically modified potatoes, compared to those fed the control diet.[9]
[edit]Aftermath

Pusztai’s annual contract at Rowett was not renewed following the incident and he moved back to Hungary. He has been giving lectures on his GM potato work and on claimed dangers in general of genetic engineering of crop plants.[11] In 2005, he received the Whistleblower Award from the German Section of the International Association of Lawyers against Nuclear Arms (IALANA) and the Federation of German Scientists (VDW).[1][12] In 2009, Pusztai and his wife received the Stuttgart peace prize (Stuttgarter Friedenspreis).[13][14]

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