Sustainable Pulse – July 11th, 2018
A ground breaking new study from Australian experts has shown that so-called “Bt proteins”, produced by some GM crops, may not be as safe as previously assumed.
Any two cells that line the stomach are normally held tightly against each other to form a “tight junction”. This stops any bacteria, viruses or food particles from leaking out from the stomach into the tissues of the body. The study found that the rats fed the GM corn had gaps in their tight junctions. This is called “poor apposition”. On average, this was five times greater in rats fed the GM corn diet. Poor apposition should not occur in normal, healthy stomachs. Yet every stomach section seen in rats fed the GM diet had these gaps between a number of cells.
Dr. Judy Carman, one of the lead scientists involved in the study, said: “This means that there is a risk that eating GM maize could cause leakage of substances from the stomach and therefore increase the risk of developing allergies, or infections from the microbes in the food you eat or the water you drink.”
In addition, the lining of the stomach has microscopic pits in it. Cells in the pits produce mucus to protect the stomach from stomach acid. The bottom of each pit divides into two long, straight glands. These glands produce stomach acid to help digest food. While the researchers saw some dilated (i.e. swollen) glands in rats fed the GM diet and those fed the non-GM diet, the rats fed the non-GM diet had smaller swellings and the cells lining the glands looked normal. In contrast, the glands in the GM-fed group were much more swollen, they often contained debris or mucus, and the cells lining the glands were often abnormal.
Many supporters of genetic engineering (also called genetic modifications or GM) argue that GM crops are needed to stop global hunger. They say the technology will increase crop yields and allow us to produce enough food to feed the world’s growing population.
But the world already produces enough food to feed 10 billion people, which is the number our population is predicted to reach by 2050. And where there is hunger, it is mainly a result of poverty and inequality, not insufficient food production.
The reality is that people go hungry today because they lack the money to buy food or because they do not have access to the land, water and the other resources they need to grow food themselves.GM crops do not address these causes of hunger and, so far, they are not increasing global food production.
GM CROPS DO NOT INCREASE GLOBAL FOOD PRODUCTION
The evidence to date shows that genetic engineering has not contributed to an increase in crop yields. Overall, conventionally bred non-GM varieties remain more effective and are less costly to develop. It is these seeds – not the GM traits added to them – that account for yield increases seen in crops like soy and corn. This explains why yields for corn and canola in Western Europe, where GM varieties are not grown, have increased at a similar rate to, or higher rate than North America where production is dominated by GM varieties.
Dissident Voice – Colin Todhunter – July 2, 2018
The pro-GMO lobby claim critics of the technology ‘deny farmers choice’. They say that farmers should have access to a range of tools and technologies. It is all about maximising choice and options. Taken at face value, who would want to deny choice?
At the same time, however, we do not want to end up offering a false choice (rolling out technologies that have little value and only serve to benefit those who control the technology), to unleash an innovation that has an adverse impact on those who do not use it or to manipulate a situation whereby only one option is available because other options have been deliberately made unavailable or less attractive. And we would certainly not wish to roll out a technology that traps farmers on a treadmill that they find difficult to get off.
When discussing choice, it is can be very convenient to focus on end processes (choices made available – or denied – to farmers at the farm level), while ignoring the procedures and decisions that were made in corporate boardrooms, by government agencies and by regulatory bodies which result in the shaping and roll-out of options.
Where GMOs are concerned, Steven Druker argues that the decision to commercialise GM seeds and food in the US was based on regulatory delinquency. Druker indicates that if the US Food and Drug Administration had heeded its own experts’ advice and publicly acknowledged their warnings about risk, the GM venture would have imploded and would have never gained traction.
There are no genetically engineered (genetically modified or GM) wheat varieties approved anywhere in the world. None have ever been commercially grown and sold. However, field trials of different GM wheat varieties continue in Canada and the US, at undisclosed locations.
Contamination from Monsanto’s GM herbicide-tolerant wheat
Monsanto’s GM trait for glyphosate-tolerance was found in wheat plants growing on a road in southern Alberta in 2017, in a contamination incident reported by Canadian regulators on June 14, 2018.[i]
There have been three GM wheat contamination incidents reported in the US (2013, 2014, 2016), all with Monsanto’s GM herbicide-tolerant (glyphosate-tolerant) “Roundup Ready” wheat.
In 2004, Monsanto withdrew its request for approval of its GM “Roundup Ready” wheat in Canada and the US after protests from farmers and consumers along with resistance in the international market.
The last time Monsanto grew trials of its GM wheat in Canada was in 2004 (2005 in the US).[ii]
Sustainable Pulse – May 22nd, 2018
The peer-reviewed accepted manuscripts from the pilot phase of the Global Glyphosate Study were revealed last Wednesday in a Press Conference at the European Parliament.
The results of the short-term pilot study showed that glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) were able to alter certain important biological parameters in rats, mainly relating to sexual development, genotoxicity and the alteration of the intestinal microbiome, at the ‘safe’ level of 1.75 mg/kg/day set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
As is normal practice for Monsanto, their Public Relations department was soon in action to try and crush the scientists involved and the study results, which could cause major damage to the product that supports their whole business model – the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup.
However, this time their PR campaign against the Study was only met with contempt and disdain from journalists, politicians and the public in countries across Europe.
The Global Glyphosate Study involves The Ramazzini Institute, the University of Bologna (Faculty of Agriculture, Veterinary Science and Biostatistics) the Genoa Hospital San Martino, the Italian National Institute of Health, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York and the George Washington University.
What is a Genetically Modified Organism, who should care about it and what does it have to do with a cosmetic site?
From the cosmetic perspective, plants are a significant contributor to natural cosmetics. Fruits, herbs, trees and seeds are only a few examples of the many parts of a plant used in natural cosmetics, for thousands of years now.
Have a quick browse at some natural cosmetic recipes to see for yourself.
Genetically modified organisms have been around for a few decades already and has been quietly moving into our lives without much attention. Bacteria’s, yeasts, insects, plants, fish and mammals have all been genetically modified.
This engineering principle of playing in unknown territory has been traditionally limited to scientific research and producing goods, and only in the last few years has the industry realised the financial benefits of using GMO in food production.
Because of this “new product” in the GMO portfolio, it has become the centre of a lot of controversy and it is important to have a clear understanding of both sides so that you can make an educated decision and get on with your life without having to be sucked into this controversy.