GM: Consumers — The New Guinea Pigs

New evidence has emerged which indicates that genetically modified (GM) products are producing unforeseen side effects in animals, reports our environmental correspondent Clive Wakely.

That genetically modified (GM) products have given rise to a number of unexpected and unwanted side effects, such as “super-weeds”, is a worry; that evidence is now emerging to suggest unforeseen side effects in animals should be a matter of the gravest concern.

An American crop consultant and agronomist, having a Ph.D. in quantitative genetics and plant pathology from the University of Iowa, was among three experts invited by officials to testify at a recent meeting of the Cropland Policy Advisory Group (CPAG).

The consultant, who works with universities, the federal government and private companies, is credited with providing consultancy services in respect of about 160,000 acres of conventional farmland and 5,000 to 6,000 acres of organically farmed land.

The conference was specifically called to discuss policy in respect of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on open space.

According to the testimony delivered by the consultant, scientists are seeing new and alarming patterns in plants and animals due to increased use of the Monsanto manufactured herbicide Roundup.

The consultant went on to say that both he and his colleagues in the industry are seeing serious, negative effects produced by the use of glyphosate, which is the primary ingredient in Roundup weed killer.

He explained that in the Midwest and other areas of the country, such as Louisiana and Mississippi, weeds like water hemp, giant ragweed, lamb’s quarter and velvet weed have become Roundup resistant through natural selection, due to a particular genetic mutation that survived the poison and therefore reproduced successfully and wildly.

To get around this problem, farmers are having to apply even more Roundup to their crops, which is having “deleterious impacts”.

The consultant explained that glyphosate is a chelating agent, which means it clamps onto molecules that are valuable to a plant, like iron, calcium, manganese and zinc; spraying “glyphosate on a plant, he claimed, was “like giving it AIDS”.

It was further alleged that farmers’ increased use of Roundup is actually harming their crops because it is killing micronutrients in the soil that they need.

He also explained that as a consequence harmful fungi and parasites like fusarium, phytopthora and pythium are on the rise as a result of the poison, while beneficial fungi and other organisms that help plants reduce minerals to a usable state are on the decline.

In layman’s terms it means that overuse of glyphosate results in an increase in oxidizing agents, creating oxides that plants can’t use, leading to lower crop yields and higher susceptibility to disease.

What’s more, it was claimed, the situation is causing “sudden death syndrome” in soybeans, which means they are dying at increased rates when they go into their reproductive phase.

Now here’s the seriously worrying news.

The consultant went on to explain that the problem is not just limited to plants; it’s extending to the animals that eat them as well.

Both the consultant and his colleagues maintained that they are seeing a higher incidence of infertility and early-term abortion in cattle and hogs that are fed on GM crops.

Furthermore their research indicates that poultry fed on the suspect crops have been exhibiting reduced fertility rates.

Now for the bombshell.

The consultant went on to say “some issues are starting to arise with technologies that probably needed more research before we started using them.”

Readers are invited to reread that last sentence to appreciate its significance.

For years the purveyors of GM pollution, like Monsanto, have been claiming that their products are safe, having been (allegedly) thoroughly tested.

For years GM-skeptics have been arguing that they cannot be considered safe, if for no other reason than any side effects could take years, even decades, to manifest themselves.

If the consultant and his colleagues are correct, that mammals fed on a diet containing GM material are suffering problems with their reproductive systems, then why should human consumers of GM produce be affected any differently?

What is becoming abundantly clear is that the global biotech industry, with the connivance of national governments, are, in fact, thoroughly testing their products – only their test subjects aren’t called guinea pigs, they’re called consumers.

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