The Biotech Facade

When genetically engineered (GE) food was commercially introduced in 1994, it was touted as a solution to some of the world’s food problems. However, the promised advantages have never been realized. GE crops do not benefit consumers, do not feed the world, do not help the environment, and are not rigorously regulated – despite myths propagated by the multi-billion dollar biotechnology industry and its many front groups.

Food prices are soaring, people continue to go hungry, and the use of pesticides with GE crops is escalating. The Center for Food Safety coined GE crops “biotech snake oil: a quack cure for hunger” and said the tremendous hype surrounding biotechnology has obscured the facts. 

In 2006, the U.S. Department of Agriculture admitted “currently available [genetically modified] GM crops do not increase yield potential.” In 2004 a UN report acknowledged that “GM crops can have reduced yields” and in April 2008 another published UN report, the work of more than 400 international scientists, concluded that genetically engineered crops “will not play a substantial role in addressing the key problems of climate change, biodiversity loss, hunger, and poverty.”

More critically, GE food has never been proven safe for human consumption. Independent scientific evidence has shown that human health effects of eating GE food can include toxic and allergic reactions, antibiotic resistance, immune suppression, and other serious illnesses. 

Aided and abetted by the U.S. government, biotech corporations benefit, yet we bear the health risks. The biotech industry often claims that the safety of GE products has been certified through a rigorous approval process but as far as U.S. regulatory agencies are concerned, if a biotech company says its products are safe, that is enough for approval.

Our food is being genetically altered so that a few multinational (and chemical) corporations can gain control over farmers and the global food supply. These same corporations, responsible for Agent Orange, PCBs, and DDT, have repeatedly done business at the expense of public health. And for more than a decade, they have been reprogramming, patenting, and owning an alarming amount of the world’s food supply—without public debate.

With so many pressing issues that affect us today, nothing is more personal than the food we eat.  Even though there has been a media blackout effort regarding GE food and its risks, particularly in the United States, we are seeing a shift.  A growing global movement is rejecting GE food and is returning to sustainable and organic food. 

This is a profound time of responsibility not to rely on industry-influenced governmental agencies to protect us.  The time to embrace conscious living and to move beyond corporate-political spin is now.  We can make a difference.

Learn which foods have been genetically engineered and make other choices. Call food manufacturers and tell them you don’t want it. Get informed and tell your friends and family about GE food and the risks. We have to act today to protect our health, our environment, and future generations.

Change will only occur with an awakening of the people.

By Beth H. Harrison, PhD, author of four-time award-winning Shedding Light on Genetically Engineered Food, exploring why and how you have been kept in the dark about GE foods and the risks, why these foods continue to go unlabeled, and what foods to avoid and how to take action. 

The Beautiful Truth: the film

The Beautiful Truth

Scheduled for release in New York City on November 14, 2008, The Beautiful Truth is a film documentary by award-winning producer Steve Kroschel.  This film highlights the link between health, diet, and environment.  I am honored to appear in the film, which features interviews with the researchers and physicians in the fields of food additives, genetically engineered food, mercury and fluoride toxicity, and how they related to the Gerson Therapy  From California-based distribution company Cinema Libre: 

Garrett is a 15-year old boy living in the Alaskan wilderness with a menagerie of orphaned animals. Growing up close with nature has given him a deep understanding of nutritional needs required by diet sensitive animals on the reserve.

Unfortunately, the untimely and tragic death of his mother sent him into a downward spiral and he was at risk of flunking out of school. This led to his father’s decision to to home-school Garrett. His first assignment was to study a controversial book written by Dr. Max Gerson, in which he claimed more than 50 years ago that diet could, and did, cure cancer.In The Beautiful Truth, Garrett goes on a mission to determine whether or not Dr. Gerson’s therapy is a legitimate, alternative cure.  After numerous interviews with doctors, researchers, skeptics, members of Gerson’s family and cancer patients themselves, it became abundantly clear that a cure for virtually all cancers and chronic diseases does exist — and has existed for over 80 years! Garrett’s mission now is to tell the world.

For those of you that are home-schooling parents or know others who are, please pass this information on or post it to your email newsgroups.

For more information about the film click here:   TBT Press Notes

Monsanto’s sale of rBGH a major milestone

Monsanto’s announcement that it is selling the controversial genetically engineered bovine growth hormone, rBGH, is hailed as a major milestone in an effort to remove the product from the food supply.  According to Rick North, Campaign for Safe Food program director, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility. “This is a strong indication that Monsanto is finding this embattled hormone more trouble than it’s worth.  rBGH [Posilac] is proving to be an embarrassment to Monsanto.”  Monsanto entered into an agreement to sell rBGH to drug manufacturer Eli Lilly and Company for $300 million.   Over the past few years, increasing numbers of dairy processors and major retailers have banned the use of rBGH in their dairy products:  Wal-Mart, Costco, Kroger, Safeway stores in the Northwest, and Publix Super Markets.  Most of the milk sold by Dean Foods, the nation’s largest milk processor and distributor is rBGH-free. Starbucks and Chipotle Mexican Grill have also said no to rBGH milk.  Kraft Foods even recently started promoting a cheese product as rBGH-free.  Monsanto has been fighting a losing battle to force food manufacturers to remove rBGH-free labels from dairy products.  The company tried to get the FDA and Federal Trade Commission to make these labels illegal.  Monsanto lobbied state governments to pass bills banning the labels, but had little success. While the FDA asserts the product is safe, many other governments, scientists, and consumer groups disagree.  Milk from cows injected with rBGH contains high levels of insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1), a hormone that has been linked to prostate and colon cancer. Based on independent scientific evidence, Canada, 28 European member states, Norway, Switzerland, New Zealand, and Japan have all banned the use and import of rBGH milk and dairy products.  Samuel Epstein, M.D., professor of environmental medicine at the University of Illinois School of Public Health and Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, said: 

rBGH poses an even greater risk to human health than ever considered. The FDA and Monsanto have a lot to answer for. Given the cancer risks and other health concerns, why is rBGH milk still on the market?

The good news is that consumers’ rejection of rBGH has forced Monsanto to abandon this dangerous drug.  We are making a difference.   However, this doesn’t mean that Posilac is going away yet.  Eli Lilly said it is ready to take on the task of promoting Posilac as a farming tool that can boost milk supplies for a world hungry for more dairy products.  Now they will continue the corporate spin. Let’s continue to buy rBGH-free dairy products.  Don’t financially support Eli Lilly and their decision to continue polluting the milk supply with this dangerous drug.

Kucinich introduces comprehensive regulatory framework for GMOs

Congressman Dennis Kucinich introduced three bills designed to protect consumers, defend farmers’ rights, and increase food safety. The bills collectively create a comprehensive framework to regulate GMOs. Kucinich said:

We have a responsibility to put the public health and the environment before profits.  These bills spell out common sense precautions.

•H.R. 6636, The Genetically Engineered Food Right To Know Act, would require mandatory labeling of all foods that contain or are produced with GM material. • H.R. 6635, The Genetically Engineered Safety Act, would require that GE foods follow a food safety review process to prevent contamination of food supplies by pharmaceutical and industrial crops. This Act would also require that the FDA screen all GE foods to ensure they are safe for human consumption. • H.R. 6637, The Genetically Engineered Farmer Protection Act, places liability from the impacts of GM crops on the biotechnology companies that created the GMOs, and protects farmers from lawsuits by biotechnology companies.

Source: September 2008 The Organic & Non-GMO Report
Beth Harrison, author of award-winning Shedding Light on Genetically Engineered Food