Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Insecticide Corn

Bt Corn is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency as an insecticide.  According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said corn accounts for approximately 60% of the acres of corn grown in the U.S.  According to the EPA,
The new plant-incorporated protectant product, MIR162 maize, produces its own insecticidal protein within the corn plant.
So, we're producing corn that is, essentially, a factory for insecticides. One has to wonder if that's the reason studies are showing negative effects of GMO corn on our kidney's, liver, and other organs.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Monsanto's new idea may make detasseling of corn obsolete - DesMoinesRegister.com

This is sickening science - how can we get Monsanto to quick applying sick science to our food system? It's nearly impossible when the nature of the ingredients are opaque to the end consumer. Normally, we (the consumer) have an incredible influence in the growth and direction of markets. In order for us to apply our influence, we need transparency. This is the case, for example, with organics. In the case of genetically modified food, we have no good way of knowing when it's in our foods. We need proper labeling, so that the people who don't, for example, want to eat dangerous food that has been genetically modified to resist poison, have a way of making that decision.

What is left of a longstanding Corn Belt rite - detasseling - may end for good when Monsanto brings to market what it calls its "Roundup Hybridization System" for corn.

Cornfields also will lose much of their masculinity, too.

Detasseling, for the city folks, is the removal of the golden sprigs at the top of the plant that secrete the pollen that reproduces corn. Seed producers want selective reproduction of corn rather than self-pollination, so they remove the tassels from some plants so they reproduce with pollen from other plants that have the requisite traits.

The Monsanto system, the company said, "utilizes a transgenic corn trait created by Monsanto that exhibits high tolerance to glyphosate (herbicide) in all tissues except male productive tissues."

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Effects of Genetically Modified (GM) foods

A recent study providing more evidence of what nations smarter than us intuitively suspected - genetically modified food is bad for us.  Of course, when we hire people to represent us that have a vested interests that conflict with our health, the outcome shouldn't surprise, right?  Oh well, on to the study...

"... in the three GM maize varieties that formed the basis of this investigation, new side effects linked to the consumption of these cereals were revealed, which were sex- and often dose-dependent. Effects were mostly concentrated in kidney and liver function, the two major diet detoxification organs, but in detail differed with each GM type. In addition, some effects on heart, adrenal, spleen and blood cells were also frequently noted. As there normally exists sex differences in liver and kidney metabolism, the highly statistically significant disturbances in the function of these organs, seen between male and female rats, cannot be dismissed as biologically insignificant as has been proposed by others. We therefore conclude that our data strongly suggests that these GM maize varieties induce a state of hepatorenal toxicity." [conclusions]
What exactly is hepatorenal toxicity?  I'm not sure exactly but hepatorenal refers to the kidneys and the liver and toxicity refers to poison/toxic - doesn't sound good in any case.  Turns out Greenpeace knew this two years ago though.

They modify these foods, for example, by attaching the desired DNA to a virus [you know, like E. Coli] and letting it infect and change the host.  They do this for various reasons, for example, to inject pesticides into corn so that it's immune to it when they spray the crops.  Sound gross?  Well, you're eating it.  Around 75% of processed foods in the U.S. contained GMO ingredients in 2003 according to the Grocery Manufacturers of America[1].

The first commercial GMO was allowed into the food supply system in 1994, now 15 short years later, they're in well over 75% of processed food.  That's a lot considering the effects are only now being uncovered.  As well as the study above there are links to infertility.  Anecdotally, there has been a 500% increase  in hospital admissions for food allergies since 1990.

Equally frustrating is the fact that farmers (e.g. Nelson Farm) are being forced to buy it and grow it by Monsanto (the former major producer of Agent Orange and DDT fame).  The Roundup that "Roundup Ready Seed" is engineered to be immune to appears to be a decendant of those poisons.

What can you do?