A new breed of insect larvae is devouring the roots of genetically engineered corn intended to be immune to such pests. The collapse of Monsanto’s genetically modified Bt corn could be the biggest threat up till now to a genetically modified crop in the U.S.
And the economic repercussions could be enormous. Stakes have climbed up to billions of dollars – because Bt corn accounts for 80 percent of all corn grown in the US. [84% of U.S. cotton acreage is Bt as well.]
The strain of corn, engineered to kill the larvae of beetles, like the corn rootworm, carries a gene cloned from an insect-killing bacterium named Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt.
A scientific advisory panel warned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that the threat of insects developing resistance was high, however, Monsanto contended that the steps mandated to block such an occurrence — which would have necessitated less of the corn being planted — were a needless precaution, and the EPA naively agreed.
As per the most recent NPR report:
“The scientists who called for caution now are saying ‘I told you so,’ because there are signs that a new strain of resistant rootworms is emerging…[A] committee of experts at the EPA is now recommending that biotech companies put into action, for the first time, a ‘remedial action plan’ aimed at stopping the spread of such resistant insects…
The EPA’s experts are recommending that the agency rethink its approval of a new genre of rootworm-killing corn, which Monsanto calls SmartStax. This current version of Bt corn comprise two different Bt genes that are presumed to kill the rootworm in discrete ways. This should help block the resistance from arising, and the EPA is letting farmers plant it on up to 95 percent of their corn acres. However, if one of those genes is already compromised…such huge percentage of Bt corn could promptly generate insects that are resistant to the second one, too.”
The fact of the matter is that genetically engineered crops are a highly dangerous facet of modern agriculture. We are seeing a speedy emergence of super-weeds resistant to glyphosate, courtesy of Roundup Ready crops, along with evidence of emerging Bt-resistant insects. Club with it the emergence of a newest organism having the power to generate disease and infertility in both plants and animals, and a massive variety of evidence confirming harm to human health, and the only rational expectation one can glean is that the entire humanity is being seriously threatened by this foolhardy technology.
Bt Corn — A Most Dangerous Failure
Monsanto’s genetically modified “Bt corn” has been fitted with a gene from soil bacteria named Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), which generates the Bt-toxin. It’s a pesticide that rips apart the stomach of particular insects and kills them.
This pesticide-creating corn got into the food supply in the late 1990’s, and through the past decade, the horror stories have begun stacking up. And the issue with Bt crops go much beyond the creation of Bt-resistant insects.
Monsanto and the EPA proclaimed that the genetically engineered corn would only harm insects. The Bt-toxin created inside the plant would be fully demolished in the human digestive system and would not impact consumers, they asserted. Sadly, they’ve been proven wrong in this aspect as well, because Bt corn is generating resistant ”super-pests,” PLUS researchers have discovered that the Bt-toxin can in fact wreak havoc on human health.
Bt-Toxin Now Discovered in Countless People’s Blood!
Doctors at Sherbrooke University Hospital in Quebec discovered Bt-toxin in the blood of:
-93 percent of pregnant women tested
-80 percent of umbilical blood in their babies, and
-67 percent of non-pregnant women
The study authors conjecture that the Bt-toxin was probably eaten in the normal diet of the Canadian middle class—which makes sense when you chew over that genetically engineered corn exist in the vast majority of all processed foods and drinks in the form of high fructose corn syrup. They also recommend that the toxin likely emerged from eating meat from animals fed Bt corn, which most livestock reared in confined animal feeding operations (CAFO, or so-called “factory farms”) are.
These bizarre outcomes raise the frightening probability that consuming Bt corn would likely turn your intestinal flora into a sort of “living pesticide factory”… actually manufacturing Bt-toxin from within your digestive system on a continuing basis.
If this hypothesis is right, it is then likely that the Bt-toxin could damage the integrity of your digestive tract the way it damages insects. Remember, the toxin in fact ruptures the stomach of insects, bringing on their death. The biotech industry has asserted that the Bt-toxin doesn’t bind or interact with the intestinal walls of mammals (inclusive of humans). However, there are peer-reviewed published researches unveiling that Bt-toxin does bind with mouse small intestines and with intestinal tissue from rhesus monkeys.
Bt-Toxin Linked to Allergies, Auto-Immune Disease, and More
If Bt genes actually have the power to colonize the bacteria living in the human digestive tract, scientists feel it could reasonably result in:
-Childhood learning disorders
Shockingly all of these health issues are climbing…The discovery of Bt-toxin in human blood doesn’t positively prove this connection, but it does raise a warning flag.
And there’s lots of other evidence that shows that the Bt-toxin produced in GM corn and cotton plants is toxic to humans and mammals and induces immune system responses. For instance, in recent research in Italy, mice fed Monsanto’s Bt corn displayed a series of immune responses, such as:
-Elevated IgE and IgG antibodies, which are basically connected with allergies and infections
-A jump in cytokines, which are connected with allergic and inflammatory responses. The particular cytokines (interleukins) that were found to be elevated are also higher in humans with an array of disorders, from arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, to MS and cancer
-Elevated T cells (gamma delta), which multiply in people with asthma, and in kids with food allergies, juvenile arthritis, and connective tissue diseases.
Rats fed another of Monsanto’s Bt corn strains named MON 863, caused their immune systems to switch on, resulting in a boost in numbers of basophils, lymphocytes, and white blood cells. These can point out possible allergies, infections, toxins, and any number of disease states including cancer. There were also signs of liver and kidney toxicity.
Topical versus Internal Toxins
Farmers in the past have made use of Bt-toxin from soil bacteria as a natural pesticide, and biotech companies thus claim that Bt-toxin has a ‘history of safe use in agriculture.’ But there’s a big difference between spraying it on plants, where it biodegrades in sunlight and can be carefully washed off, and genetically modifying the plant to create it internally.
Because the Bt-toxin gene is fused within Bt crops, it cannot be washed off. Its consumption is hard to avoid. Furthermore, the plant-produced genre of the poison is much more concentrated than the spray.
Some peer-reviewed studies show that natural Bt-toxin from soil bacteria is not a safe pesticide either:
-When natural Bt-toxin was fed to mice, they triggered tissue damage, immune responses as powerful as cholera toxin, and even began reacting to certain foods that were previously harmless.
-Farm workers exposed to Bt also showed immune responses.
-The EPA’s Bt Plant-Pesticides Risk and Benefits Assessment, created by their expert Scientific Advisory Panel, states that “Bt proteins could act as antigenic and allergenic sources.”
Do You Know what You’re Eating?
A couple of years back the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) appealed to all physicians to advise diets without genetically modified (GM) foods to their patients.
Almost all the doctors accepted the advice. They also urged for a moratorium on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), long-term independent studies, and labeling, stating:
“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…”
I feel the best way to avoid genetically engineered (GE) foods is to buy whole, certified organic foods. Strictly, foods that are certified organic are prepared without use of GE ingredients, and are grown without artificial pesticides or fertilizers. Animals should be raised without use of antibiotics, growth promoters or other drugs.
Beware of following eight genetically modified food crops on the market:
-Soy Sugar from sugar beets
-Corn Hawaiian papaya
-Cottonseed (used in vegetable cooking oils) Some varieties of zucchini
-Canola (canola oil) Crookneck squash
It implies to stay away from products with corn, soy, canola, and any of their derivatives listed as an ingredient, unless it’s labeled USDA 100% Organic.
Why We MUST Insist on Mandatory Labeling of GM Foods
Mandatory labeling is the best way to block the proliferation of GM foods in the U.S. Monsanto and other biotech companies spend billions of dollars lobbying the US government each year to ensure favorable legislation. For example, in the first quarter of 2011 alone, Monsanto spent $1.4 million on lobbying the federal government.
The persuasion efforts have become much easy owing to an ever growing list of former Monsanto employees occupying high posts within the federal government.
Proof Positive that GMO Labeling WILL Change the Food Industry
Many people think that big companies will refuse to have dual labeling; one for California and another for the rest of the country. It would be lot expensive and a logistical nightmare. That’s why we have taken up this initiative and if we end up victorious that will likely banish genetically engineered foods from the US.
Powerful endorsement of this stand occurred in early 2012 when both Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo Inc. chose to modify one of their soda ingredients as a result of California’s labeling requirements for carcinogens:
”Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc. are changing the way they make the caramel coloring used in their sodas as a result of a California law that mandates drinks containing a certain level of carcinogens bear a cancer warning label. The companies said the changes will be expanded nationally to streamline their manufacturing processes. They’ve already been made for drinks sold in California.”