Most Americans remain blissfully unaware (or don’t care) they are eating genetically-modified (GM) organisms every day. Passivity and blind faith in the USDA, FDA and EPA have largely contributed to this attitude. Perhaps that will change now that a new study reveals an insecticide produced in GM corn actually gets absorbed into the human body.
If you haven’t been paying attention to your food lately, biotechnology giants such as Monsanto thank you for that. Because behind your back, they’ve succeeded in replacing 86% of US corn with their patented insecticide-producing “frankencorn”.
The industry name for this is “Bt corn” and the insecticide is actually produced inside the plant, so it is impossible to wash it off. This is accomplished by inserting genes from the bacteria Bacillus Thuringiensis into the corn.
Up until now, scientists and multinational corporations such as Monsanto and DuPont have spent billions in lobbying, campaign donations and “testing” in an attempt to convince world governments that GMOs are safe. In the case of Bt corn, they stated the insecticide produced within the corn posed no danger to human health because it was broken down in the digestive system.
Despite corporate assurances, many have been skeptical. Non-GMO advocates such as Jeffrey Smith from The Institute For Responsible Technology and the Organic Consumers Association have long been concerned about the potential impact this Bt toxin could have on human health.
Scientists from the University of Sherbrooke, Canada, proved the validity of these concerns when they detected the insecticidal protein, Cry1Ab, circulating in the blood of both pregnant and non-pregnant women. They also detected the toxin in fetal blood, suggesting that the toxin can be passed on to the fetus. The research paper has been peer-reviewed and accepted for publication in the journal Reproductive Toxicology.
Neither the women studied or their spouses worked in agriculture. All reported to be consuming a typical Canadian diet that is virtually identical to the American diet.
“Generated data will help regulatory agencies responsible for the protection of human health to make better decisions”, said researchers Aziz Aris and Samuel Leblanc.
Unfortunately, I don’t feel that our pro-GMO Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will pay attention to this research. I also doubt that our Deputy Commissioner of Foods Michael Taylor, who also happens to be Monsanto’s former vice-president, will pay this study much attention either. It doesn’t stop there. The revolving door is growing exponentially and the foxes have taken up residence in the hen house.
Are you pissed? You should be. We’ve let corporate interests turn us into poison-fed lab rats. It doesn’t end at corn either. 93% of both soy and canola are also genetically-modified. On top of that, Monsanto has acres of laboratories containing new mutant species awaiting to slip into your pantry. You’re probably wearing some of their Bt cotton right now. It comprises 93% of US cotton and 68% of Chinese cotton.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the uproar around Bt brinjal, a GM variety of eggplant, in India. When it was approved in 2009, a country-wide protest began and the Indian government applied a moratorium on its release.
Want to do something about it? We can’t rely on our regulatory agencies to do it for us and we possess more power than we think. It won’t take much to reach the tipping point of consumer rejection and get these “frankenfoods” out of our lives. Information spreads like wildfire these days with Facebook, Twitter and email. Tell your family and friends and vote with your dollar, the world’s food supply depends on it! Now that you know, it’s your responsibility to pass it on.
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