To hear the pesticide and junk food marketers of the
it, anyone who questions the value, legitimacy or safety
of GMO (genetically modified
organisms) crops is na´ve, anti-science and irrational to the point
But how long can
Monsanto ignore the mounting actual
scientific evidence that their technology is not only failing to
live up to its promises, it's putting public health at risk?
Jim Goodman, farmer, activist and member of
Consumers Association policy
advisory board, recently wrote about
Monsanto's deceptive use of the expression "sound science."
But, 'sound science' has no scientific
definition. It does not mean peer reviewed, or well documented
research. 'Sound science' is only a term, an ideological term,
used to support a particular point of view, policy statement or
a technology. 'Sound science' is little more than the opinions
of so-called "experts" representing corporate interests.
Simply put, 'sound science' always supports the
position of industry over people, corporate profit over food
safety, the environment and public health.
Monsanto has always insisted (despite evidence to
the contrary) that its Roundup herbicide is benign, that its
toxicity doesn't persist.
But that's only half the story, according to a
study published this month in Environmental Toxicology and
Chemistry. Researchers now say that if you study only the
key active ingredient, glyphosate, you might, as Monsanto
claims, determine that Roundup is benign.
But there are other ingredients in Roundup,
including one called Aminomethylphosphonic acid, or
The study, called "Pesticides in Mississippi air
and rain: A comparison between 1995 and 2007," found that
glyphosate and its still-toxic byproduct, AMPA, were found in
over 75 percent of the air and rain samples tested from
Mississippi in 2007.
What does that mean for you? According to one analysis,
"if you were breathing in the sampled air you
would be inhaling approximately 2.5 nanograms of glyphosate
per cubic meter of air.
It has been estimated the average adult
inhales approximately 388 cubic feet or 11 cubic meters of
air per day, which would equal to 27.5 nanograms (billionths
of a gram) of glyphosate a day."
3. GMO crops have led to an
increase in use of pesticides and herbicides
The USDA, which gauging from its track record has
never met a GMO crop it didn't like, published a report
substantiating what responsible, independent scientists have
been saying along.
Genetic engineering does not result in increased
yields (as industry would have us believe) - but it has led to
the increased (not decreased, as industry claims) use of
pesticides and herbicides.
To be fair, the report gives overall favorable
reviews to GMO crops. Not surprising, given the agency's cozy
relationship with Monsanto. But that makes it all the
more telling that the once staunch-defender of GMO crops is now
raising questions about industry's long-term, decidedly unproven
and unscientific, claims that biotechnology is the best thing
since sliced (GMO wheat) bread.
Sustainable Pulse does
a good job of sifting through the USDA's report to reveal the
agency's criticisms of GMO crops.
A study published in BioMed Research
International this month says that it's not just the toxic
chemicals we need to worry about in pesticides. It's the inert
ingredients, and how they interact with the active, toxic
Typically, studies conducted to determine the
safety of pesticides focus exclusively on the active
ingredients. But scientists at the University of Caen tested
eight commercial products, including Roundup, and found that
nine of them were hundreds of times more toxic than their active
In December 2013, the U.N. Commission on Trade
and Development (UNCTAD) released the results of a lengthy,
in-depth study that blows a huge hole in one of Monsanto's
favorite claims, that we need GMOs to feed the world.
According to an analysis by
one of the report's contributors, the report contains in-depth
sections on the shift toward more sustainable, resilient
agriculture; livestock production and climate change; the
importance of research and extension; the role of land use; and
the role of reforming global trade rules.
More than 60 experts from around the world
contributed to the report.
Clearly the evidence - real, scientific evidence -
against GMO crops is mounting, when five new anti-GMO studies and
reports surface in a matter of a couple of months.
How much more will it take before the USDA,
U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency stop supporting an industry under attack
from the scientific community?
And start putting public health before
In December, more than 200 scientists, physicians,
and experts from relevant fields, signed a statement declaring
that the biotech industry is deceiving the public when it claims
that GMOs are safe.
There is, the group said, no "scientific consensus"
to support industry's claims that GMOs are safe.
But as new studies surface every day, it's become
increasingly clear that among credible physicians and scientists,
the consensus is that we'd better wake up, soon, to the risks and
threats posed by a reckless technology that has been allowed to
dominate our food and farming systems, unchecked, for far too long.