Expert's Opinion on GMO, Herbicides and Public Health
The promoters and purveyors of GMOs have spent hundreds of millions of dollars portraying anyone who questions the safety of their products as ignorant, alarmist and “anti-science.”
So they’re no doubt stewing over an article written last week—by a medical doctor and a scientist—outlining in detail why these experts are so concerned about the GMO foods and ingredients that now permeate our food system.
In an article published August 20, in the New England Journal of Medicine, Philip J. Landrigan, M.D., and Charles Benbrook, Ph.D., present rational and reasoned, science-based evidence supporting their recommendations that 1), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) not allow the use of Dow’s Enlist Duo, a toxic combo of glyphosate and 2-4,D until further study, and 2), that GMOs be labeled.
On the issue of 2,4-D, Dr. Landigran and Dr. Benbrook write:
In our view, the science and the risk assessment supporting the Enlist Duo decision are flawed. The science consisted solely of toxicologic studies commissioned by the herbicide manufacturers in the 1980s and 1990s and never published, not an uncommon practice in U.S. pesticide regulation. These studies predated current knowledge of low-dose, endocrine-mediated, and epigenetic effects and were not designed to detect them. The risk assessment gave little consideration to potential health effects in infants and children, thus contravening federal pesticide law. It failed to consider ecologic impact, such as effects on the monarch butterfly and other pollinators. It considered only pure glyphosate, despite studies showing that formulated glyphosate that contains surfactants and adjuvants is more toxic than the pure compound.
And on labels?
[Labeling]is essential for tracking emergence of novel food allergies and assessing effects of chemical herbicides applied to GM crops.
Thank you for alerting us of this bill. Do you know the status? I am moving to Virginia from Europe and I am looking forward to emailing my US representative though it will take a couple of months.
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That could be big! a substantial piece of domestic seed is 'RoundUp Ready", which is also the source of a lot of complaints, because RR seed is also sterile, requiring farmers to buy seed every year instead of cultivating their own. I dont have a personal stance on GMO, but i do love to hate bully corporations like IBM and MSFT in the 90s and Monsanto in 2000.
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According to the USDA, in 2012 more than 93 percent of soy planted was “herbicide tolerant,” engineered to withstand herbicides (sold by the same companies who patent and sell the seeds). Likewise, 73 percent of all corn now is also genetically modified to withstand chemicals produced to kill competing weeds.
>One of the main arguments behind creating these engineered crops is that farmers then need to use less herbicide and pesticide.
>But a new study released by Food & Water Watch yesterday finds the goal of reduced chemical use has not panned out as planned. In fact, according to the USDA and EPA data used in the report, the quick adoption of genetically engineered crops by farmers has increased herbicide use over the past 9 years in the U.S.
>It turns out that spraying a pesticide repeatedly selects for weeds which also resist the chemical. Ever more resistant weeds are then bred, able to withstand increasing amounts – and often different forms – of herbicide
>Food & Water Watch found that the “total volume of glyphosate applied to the three biggest GE crops — corn, cotton and soybeans — increased 10-fold from 15 million pounds in 1996 to 159 million pounds in 2012.”
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The Emperor Has No Clothes and neither does Monsanto!
The Monsanto public relations machine has done a stellar job in recent years of reducing the GMO debate to one that pits “pro-science advocates” against “anti-science climate-denier types”—with Monsanto portrayed as being squarely planted in the pro-science camp.
But that well-oiled machine may be starting to sputter.
Turns out that a Monsanto executive solicited pro-GMO articles from university researchers, and passed the “research” off as independent science which the biotech giant then used to prop up its image and further its agenda.
We know this, thanks to thousands of pages of emails obtained by US Right to Know, under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). And because a host of news outlets—including the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Bloomberg, the StarPhoenix and others—are now running with the story.