Genetically Modified (GM) Foods

Why Potatoes May Suddenly Be Toxic for You--Beware of GMO Potatoes


Any product made with potato will be subject to added scrutiny before it can receive The Non-GMO Project’s verification stamp due to widespread prevalence of genetically engineered (GE) potato in the U.S. food supply

The first-generation GE Innate® potato, developed by J.R. Simplot and branded simply as White Russet™, was approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2014 and entered the U.S. marketplace the following year

The Innate® potato has been modified using RNA interference (RNAi) technology to inhibit blackspot bruising and browning by reducing levels of asparagine and certain enzymes in the potato

Genetic engineer Caius Rommens, former director of R&D at J.R. Simplot Co. and a former team leader at Monsanto, has written a tell-all book about the GE potatoes

In his book, “Pandora’s Potatoes: The Worst GMOs,” Rommens reveals the GE potatoes contain unstable traits and unintended mutations that compromise nutrition, noting they are likely to contain new toxins

GMOs Are 125 Times More Deadly Than Previously Thought video

Monsanto to be Tried at the World Court One of the world’s most criminally corrupt corporations will finally get its day in court. And it won’t be pretty. OCA, along with IFOAM International Organics, Navdanya, Regeneration International (RI), Millions Against Monsanto and dozens of global food, farming, environmental justice groups announced today that they will put Monsanto MON (NYSE) on trial for crimes against nature and humanity, and ecocide.

“The time is long overdue for a global citizens’ tribunal to put Monsanto on trial for crimes against humanity and the environment.. Corporate agribusiness, industrial forestry, the garbage and sewage industry and agricultural biotechnology have literally killed the climate-stabilizing, carbon-sink capacity of the Earth's living soil.” - Ronnie Cummins, international director of the OCA (US) and Via Organica (Mexico), and member of the RI Steering Committee.

The trial will take place in The Hague, Netherlands, next year on World Food Day, October 16, 2016. OCA, Millions against Monsanto and other groups will organize a global protest against Monsanto on that day.. This is a chance for the citizens of the world to hold Monsanto accountable for poisoning our soils, our food, our children and our future.

This War Over GMOs Could Change Your Grocery Shopping Forever has the Grocery Manufacturers Association—a deep-pocketed trade group representing major food processors as well as agrichemical/GMO titans like Monsanto, DuPont, and Dow—in quite a tizzy

It all started back in 2014, when the Vermont legislature passed a law decreeing that foods containing genetically engineered organisms sold in the state be labeled as such. The law takes effect on July 1 this year. At that point, Big Food will have to figure out how to label only those products destined to be sold in a state with a quarter the population of Brooklyn—or just decide it's easier to inform consumers across the nation which products contain GM ingredients.

In the years since, the GMA has hotly promoted the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, known by critics as the "Deny Americans the Right to Know" (DARK) Act, which would nullify all state GMO labeling laws. The House passed such a bill in July 2015, and supporters tried and ultimately failed to push a similar provision into an omnibus spending bill at year-end.

Meanwhile, a group of Democrats led by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) are pushing a rival bill that would require GMO labeling everywhere—essentially, taking the Vermont law nationwide. Food giant Campbell's, which has broken ranks with the broader industry on this topic and favors GMO labeling, supports the Merkley bill. Yet it, too, currently lacks the votes to win passage.

From ‘Sustainable’ to ‘Regenerative’—The Future of Food byAndré Leu, Ronnie Cummins. Published on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 by Common Dreams

But when a widely discredited and despised company like Monsanto co-opts the word "sustainable," the word loses all meaning for consumers. On its website, Monsanto says:

Our vision for sustainable agriculture strives to meet the needs of a growing population, to protect and preserve this planet we all call home, and to help improve lives everywhere. In 2008 Monsanto made a commitment to sustainable agriculture – pledging to produce more, conserve more, and improve farmers’ lives by 2030.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Monsanto’s Roundup-Ready, chemical-intensive GMO crops now dominate agriculture, on a global scale, poisoning soil, water, air, farm workers and consumers. The words on their website fool no one—the agriculture they promote is anything but "sustainable."

It is the same with the certified "sustainability" labels promoted by corporations such as Cargill, Heinz Benelux, Mars, Nestlé, Unilever and Cadbury. These labeling schemes—such as Rainforest Alliance, Sustainable Agriculture Network, and UTZ—can be congratulated for promoting the planting of trees on farms, for improving the farm environment and for requiring compliance with minimum labor standards. But they do nothing to curtail the use of soil-destroying, climate-destabilizing chemical fertilizers and the thousands of toxic pesticides that are known to cause both environmental and health damage.

GMO Dangers: Facts You Need to Know Gradually, however, it became clear that certain companies thought differently. Some of my older colleagues shared their skepticism with me that commercial interests were running far ahead of scientific knowledge. I listened carefully and I didn’t disagree. Today, over twenty years later, GMO crops, especially soybeans, corn, papaya, canola and cotton, are commercially grown in numerous parts of the world.

Depending on which country you live in, GMOs may be unlabeled and therefore unknowingly abundant in your diet. Processed foods are likely to contain ingredients from GMO crops, such as corn and soy. Most crops, however are still non-GMO, including rice, wheat, barley, oats, tomatoes, grapes, beans, etc. For meat eaters the mode of GMO consumption is different. There are no GMO animals used in farming (although GM salmon has been pending FDA approval since 1993); however, animal feed, especially in factory farms, is likely to be mostly GMO corn and GMO soybeans. In this case, the labeling issue and potential impacts are complicated even further.

I now believe, as a much more experienced scientist, that GMO crops still run far ahead of our understanding of their risks. In broad outline, the reasons I believe so are quite simple. As a biologist I have become much more appreciative of the complexity of biological organisms and their capacity for benefits and harms, and as a scientist I have become much more humble about the capacity of science to do more than scratch the surface in its understanding of the deep complexity and diversity of the natural world. To paraphrase a cliché, I more and more appreciate that as scientists we understand less and less.

$51 Million: That’s How Much Big Food Spent So Far This Year to Defeat GMO Labeling Cole Mellino, News Report--Big Foods has done all they can to support the Deny Americans the Right to Know Act, also known as the DARK Act. And most of it comes in monetary value spending more than $51 million to defeat GMO labeling.

'Monsanto's Dream': Pro-GMO DARK Act Comes to Congress Kansas Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo to reintroduce anti-consumer, anti-choice, anti-labeling, pro-GMO law... "Understanding that they are losing the battle at the state level to keep consumers in the dark about whether or not their food is genetically engineered, Monsanto and its minions are now prepared to abolish consumer choice and overturn state's constitutional rights so that they can continued to force feed us their GMO food."

Monsanto Wants to Keep You in The DARK

Beware of the Corporate GMO Spin Doctors Companies like Monsanto hope that casting doubt on the GMO labeling debate will cause us to get caught up in the proverbial weeds of the issue. So let’s get something straight: the debate over GMOs isn’t just about GMOs. It’s about the current and future state of our food system—who grows and sells our food, how it’s marketed, and what technologies were used to produce it. By selling seeds to farmers, peddling pesticides, forming corporate monopolies, and funding academic research on GMOs, agribusiness giants like Monsanto have one goal in mind: controlling the food system. The millions of people calling for labeling of GMO foods have a problem with that.

Study Shows Dramatic Correlation Between GMOs And 22 Diseases While most companies brag about their product, the GMO industry spends hundreds of millions to hide their product. The US does not requiring labeling of GMOs despite the fact that 64 countries around the world label GMO foods.

The Dangerous Truth About GMOs That Monsanto Is Desperate to Hide A review of 19 studies on mammals fed commercialized GM soy and maize found “consistent signs of toxicity in the liver and kidneys.”... Additional questions are raised by human exposure to the herbicides applied to GM foods. Roundup Ready soy is engineered to tolerate Roundup. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, remains in the plant eaten by people and animals. Additional ingredients are added to Roundup, and the Report notes the combination is more toxic than glyphosate alone... Toxic effects include “disruption of hormonal systems and beneficial gut bacteria, damage to DNA, developmental and reproductive toxicity, birth defects, cancer, and neurotoxicity.”

"Consumers, farmers, environmentalists, and other sane people don't want the Monsantos to use us as their guinea pigs, so they have already gotten more than 100 local governments to ban GMO crops within their area. This has infuriated the corporate powers, who have spent tons of money to defeat these local bans--but lost. So, for the last couple of years, they've been sneaking off to state legislatures to pass laws (often with no debate) that take aaway our local control over this health issue. To date, 14 states have stripped this decision-making power from local people; corporate lobbyists are moving to take it away from local governments everywhere" (Jim Hightower. "" Texas Observer, April 21, 2006: 15).

"After 45 possible cases of allergic reaction were recorded by health officials, the U.S. Department of Agriculture refused to approve Starlink corn for human consumption. The presence of Starlink in Kraft Corporation "Taco Bell" brand taco shells in the spring of 2000 triggered the most massivve recall of a packaged food item in U.S. supermarket history. Avantis, the European biotech corporation which developed the seed, was forced to buy up the entire U.S. Starlink-grown corn harvest that year. Now, suspect Starlink is showing up in U.S. corn exports to Japan and Korea... confirms the suspicion that Starlink has been loosed on Mexico" (John Ross. "Scenes From the Corn Wars." Texas Observer, 4/23/04: 19).

Genetic engineering may offer some benefits; but with the exception of nuclear energy, its threats to humanity are unparalleled within today's society...

"These menaces are primarily represented by the transgenic agriculture and the breeding of genetically engineered animals for nutritional purposes. Such kinds of practices are to be prevented for reasons that range from risks to human health and to the environment, to socio-economic aspects and to the fight against world hunger...

"In spite of the constant reassurances provided by part of the scientific world and the political establishment on the harmlessness of GE foodstuffs, the consequences for human health still remain obscure...

"Arpad Pusztai's highly controversial study. The well-known Hungarian biologist and his staff administered genetically engineered potatoes to lab rats. In the genetic makeup of the potatoes a gene was inserted that was destined to produce an insecticide. This resulted in the potatoes' DNA experiencing a deep transformation. At the same time, a second group of rats was fed with regular potatoes in which the same insecticide was mixed. In this case, without genetic manipulation.

"The group fed with GE potatoes was found to have abnormalities on parts of the stomach as well as in the small and large intestine. In the second group, none whatsoever. It was not the insecticide that caused these abnormalities, but the process itself to modify the organism's genetic makeup – in short, the transgenesis – whose effect consisted of modifying the regular functioning of the hereditary makeup of the potatoes, which in turn brought up a toxic reaction for the rats...

" shown in several studies, resistances to antibiotics that are embedded within GMOs could easily be transferred to the bacteria that live in the mouth and in the intestinal flora. The pathogenic bacteria that, during an illness, colonize our mucous membranes, could acquire the capability to resist antibiotics.

"As a result, in order to defeat these germs, it would be necessary to opt for different or even more powerful antibiotics, with the possibility of increased side effects. Because of this, the European Union has adopted a directive on the release of GMOs into the environment, in which the trade of GE foodstuffs containing resistances to antibiotics must come to a total end by late 2008...

"The second risk concerns the possibility of the emergence of new viruses. Usually, in order to genetically modify an organism, the insertion of the new gene must be accompanied with other genetic material, called promoters. The promoter's goal is to guide the new gene towards the desired effect. The added hereditary sequence often comes from viruses...

"Due to the instability generated through the insertion of the gene and the hereditary material, these viruses may move into other living beings, including humans, and evolve into dangerous forms for them...

"The biotech multinationals that operate in the agro-food sector have always refused to undertake comprehensive examinations investigating such risks and, through political lobbying, have ensured lenient controls from public agencies...

"The U.S. government's Center for Diseases Control believes that food-derived illnesses have almost doubled in the last seven years...

"While for human health the consequences still remain unclear, it is a different story for the environment. Studies that have been undertaken so far do not leave room for doubts: transgenic agriculture and the breeding of GE animals have harmful repercussions for nature. In particular, the effects are great for biodiversity...

"GMOs also threaten the environment in another way. Contrary to the view promoted by the supporters of the new technology, in general, consumption of pesticides has actually increased with the genetically modified organisms' push.

"This is what emerges from the study by Charles Benbrook, head of the Northwest Science and Environment Policy Center in the United States. Through the data of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the research examined the impacts of transgenic agriculture in the United States from 1996 to 2003. The study concluded that despite the fact consumption of pesticides had indeed been reduced during the first years of GMOs' cultivations, it has significantly increased in the following years, to the point that today the amount of pesticides sprayed on most transgenic crops in the United States is higher than the doses used in the conventional agriculture" (Christian Zarro and Igor Cima. "The GMO Menace." Alternet, Posted March 25, 2005.)

"After 45 possible cases of allergic reaction were recorded by health officials, the U.S. Department of Agriculture refused to approve Starlink corn for human consumption. The presence of Starlink in Kraft Corporation "Taco Bell" brand taco shells in the spring of 2000 triggered the most massivve recall of a packaged food item in U.S. supermarket history. Avantis, the European biotech corporation which developed the seed, was forced to buy up the entire U.S. Starlink-grown corn harvest that year. Now, suspect Starlink is showing up in U.S. corn exports to Japan and Korea... confirms the suspicion that Starlink has been loosed on Mexico" (John Ross. "Scenes From the Corn Wars." Texas Observer, 4/23/04: 19).

"Modified genes from crops in a GM crop trial have transferred into local wild plants, creating a form of herbicide-resistant "superweed", the Guardian can reveal.

"The cross-fertilisation between GM oilseed rape, a brassica, and a distantly related plant, charlock, had been discounted as virtually impossible by scientists with the environment department. It was found during a follow-up to the government's three-year trials of GM crops that ended two years ago.

"The new form of charlock was growing among many others ina field that had been used to grow GM rape. When scientists treated it with lethal herbicide it showed no ill effects.

"Unlike the results of the original trials, which were the subject of large-scale press briefings from scientists, the discovery of hybrid plants that could cause a serious problem to farmers has not been announced...

"Brian Johnson, an ecological geneticist and member of the government's specialist scientific group that assessed the farm trials, has no doubt of the significance. "You only need one event in several million. As soon as it has taken place the new plant has a huge selective advantage. That plant will multiply rapidly."

"The findings will now have to be assessed by the government's Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment. But the former environment minister, Michael Meacher, who was responsible for introducing the farm-scale trials, said he was shocked at the results, and called for a ban on GM crops that have wild relatives in the countryside.

""We just cannot afford to take the risk that GM crops will not cross-contaminate wild plants in unpredictable and unforeseeable ways," he said" (Paul Brown. "Revealed: GM crops 'created superweed'." Guardian Weekly, Aug.4, 2005: 12).

Colby Glass, MLIS