Are you concerned about Genetically Modified Foods? Here’s (GMOs Revealed) a great documentary that addresses many of the questions and concerns most people have today.
In March 2014, scientists from Indiana University announced that they had conducted research to examine the operations of the fruit fly genome “in greater detail than ever before possible” and had identified “thousands of new genes, transcripts and proteins.” Their results indicated that the fly’s genome is “far more complex than previously suspected and suggests that the same will be true of the genomes of other higher organisms.” Of the approximately 1,500 new genes that were discovered, 536 of them were found within areas that were previously assumed to be gene-free zones. Furthermore, when the flies were subjected to stresses, small changes in expression level at thousands of genes occurred, and four newly modelled genes were expressed altogether differently.
Why is this important? Because it reveals how little we know about this planet and the organisms dwelling on it, yet also how much we think we know. This kind of hubris is found within all areas of human knowledge, but particularly when it comes to science.
Another great example that I’ve used before is when the populace first realized that the Earth wasn’t flat. Another is a statement made by physicist Lord Kelvin, who stated in 1900 that “there is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.” This assertion was shattered only five years later when Einstein published his paper on special relativity.
When it comes to our genes, and the genes of other organisms, we really do know next to nothing. Unfortunately, proponents of the biotech industry (Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, etc.) claim otherwise, and have developed multiple, flawed assumptions that undergird agricultural bioengineering.
The information presented in this article comes from a variety of different sources, but my primary sourceis Steven Druker, a public interest attorney and the Executive Director of the Alliance for Bio-Integrity. He initiated a lawsuit in 1998 that forced the U.S. Food and Drug (FDA) to release its files on genetically engineered foods, and recently published a book about it, which has received dozens of rave reviews from the world’s most accredited scientists in the field. I draw primarily from his book for this article.
“This incisive and insightful book is truly outstanding. Not only is it well reasoned and scientifically solid, it’s a pleasure to read – and a must-read. Through its masterful marshalling of facts, it dispels the cloud of disinformation that has misled people into believing that GE foods have been adequately tested and don’t entail abnormal risk.”
– David Schubert, PhD, molecular biologist and Head of Cellular Neurobiology, Salk Institute for Biological Studies.
Natural Genetic Modification Versus Human Induced Genetic Modification
Biotech proponents have an unshakable faith in their GE crops, and these corporations also hold major sway over mainstream media outlets, and close relationships with government agencies like the FDA. Indeed, several high level industry employees have also held positions at these institutions. One example is the FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods, Michael Taylor, who is also Monsanto’s former Vice President for Public Policy. While at the FDA, he was instrumental in getting approval for Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone.
Druker outlines in his book how the commercialization of genetically engineered foods was enabled by the fraudulent behaviour of these government agencies, and how this actually violates explicit mandates for federal food safety law. The evidence shows that the “FDA’s falsehoods have been abundantly supplemented with falsehoods disseminated by eminent scientists and scientific institutions, and the entire GE food venture.”
This is why it’s so amazing to see so many scientists within the field supporting the dissemination of truth, and bringing the falsehoods to light. So if you still think this type of thing is a conspiracy theory, we now have the documents as well as the science, which stands on its own, to show that something is terribly wrong here.
Joseph Cummins, Ph.D. and Professor Emeritus of Genetics at Western University in London, Ontario, believes that Druker’s book is a “landmark” and that “it should be required reading in every university biology course.”
There are several presumptions on which the bioengineering venture was based, and one of them is that natural breeding is more random and unruly than bioengineering. The standard argument holds that genetic modification has been occurring for thousands of years, and what we do now is simply that process sped up and made better.
Key Presumptions on Which the Bioengineering Venture Was Based
Genetic engineering is based on the presumption that the genome is just a linear system, where the action of a single gene will not impact the action of other genes, or disrupt their normal function.
In 2007, the New York Times published an article outlining how “the presumption that genes operate independently has been institutionalized since 1976, when the first biotech company was founded. In fact, it is the economic and regulatory foundation on which the entire biotechnology industry is built.”
Basically, genes are viewed as autonomous, adding to the whole without acting holistically because they don’t express their proteins in a closely coordinated matter. Another assumption used to justify genetic engineering is that genes aren’t organized in a specific way, that the sequence in which they occur is meaningless From this point of view, a gene would function normally if it were relocated to a different chromosome or came from a neighbouring gene. Quite a big assumption, don’t you think? Giorgio Bernardi, a biologist at the University of Rome III who specialized in the study of genome evolution, calls this perspective a “bean-bag view of the genome” because it regards the genes as “randomly distributed.”
Together, these two assumptions supported the belief that a chunk of recombinant DNA could be put into a plan’s genome without inducing disturbance — because if the behavior of the native genes was largely uncoordinated and their arrangement was irrelevant, there would be no important patterns that could be perturbed by such insertions. Accordingly, they engendered confidence in the precision of genetic engineering, because they implied that the outcome of a gene insertion would be exactly what the bioengineers expected.
How could biotech proponents push the idea that the target organism would continue to function just as it had before, and that the change would be limited to the new trait endowed by the inserted gene? How can it simply be assumed that this would not alter any of the organism’s other qualities?
These presumptions still underly genetic engineering today. The example of the fly above serves well here. In the New York Times article cited earlier, the author noted that “genes appear to operate in a complex network,” and states that “evidence of a networked genome shatters the scientific basis for virtually every official risk assessment of today’s commercial biotech products, from genetically engineered crops to pharmaceuticals.”
Molecular geneticist Michael Antoniou, who testified at New Zealand’s Royal Commission in 2001, notes that agricultural bioengineering “was based on the understanding of genetics we had 15 years ago, about genes being isolated little units that work independently of each other.” He also presented evidence showing that genes actually “work as an integrated whole of families.”
Despite the grave possibility that these presumptions are indeed wrong, they still form the backbone of genetic engineering today.
Antoniou himself was even selected to represent multiple nongovernmental organizations to present precaution reasons to the UK’s GM Review Panel, and a plethora of studies that clearly justify it. Despite his presentation, and many others’, the 11 other scientists on the panel, who were biotech proponents, dismissed these studies and continued to argue that it makes absolutely no difference how genes are arranged.
How can a scientist make such a statement?
What do we have as a result? As Druker says:
Such disregard, denial, or avoidance in regard to the evidence was essential for maintaining faith in the venture, because its predictability and safety have always relied on the genome being largely disjointed; and the more the genome instead appears to function as a tightly coordinated system, the more potentially disruptive and unpredictable are the interventions of the bioengineers.
Geneticist, activist, and environmentalist David Suzuki weighed in on this very subject a few years ago in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC):
By slipping it into our food without our knowledge, without any indication that there are genetically modified organisms in our food, we are now unwittingly part of a massive experiment. . . . Essentially, the FDA has said that genetically modified organisms, or food, are basically not much different from regular food, and so they’ll be treated in the same way. The problem is this: Geneticists follow the inheritance of genes, in what we call a vertical fashion . . . [but] what biotechnology allows us to do is to take this organism, and move it, what we call horizontally, into a totally unrelated species. Now, David Suzuki doesn’t normally mate with a carrot plant and exchange genes. What biotechnology allows us to do is to switch genes from one to the other, without regard for the biological constraints. . . . It’s very very bad science. We assume that the principals governing the inheritance of genes vertically applies when you move genes laterally or horizontally. There’s absolutely no reason to make that conclusion.
This is a common argument made by GE-food proponents, and commonly used whenever an expert brings up a challenge to the technology’s safety. For example, David Schubert, PhD, a molecular biologist and the Head of Cellular Neurobiology at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, commented in Nature Biotechnology that there was mounting evidence that the insertion of even one gene into a cell’s DNA alters the expression patters of genes throughout the entire cell. He said facts like this one, among many others, “cast doubt on the soundness of agricultural bioengineering — and entail the conclusion that it ‘is not a safe option.’ “
Predictably, when a professor and a laboratory director of one of the world’s most prestigious scientific institutions makes a comment like this, there’s going to be a response. This time it came in the form of a letter, published by 18 biologists at respected universities and institutions, stating that Dr. Schubert failed to properly consider “the genetic realities.” The main reality he allegedly failed to recognize is that the natural method of plant breeding is inherently more random than bioengineering.
A portion of the letter reads as following:
We do not take issue with Schubert’s basic contention that unintended genetic and metabolic events can take place. The reality is that ‘unintentional consequences’ are much more likely to occur in nature than in biotechnology because nature relies on the unintentional consequences of blind random genetic mutation and rearrangement to produce adaptive phenotypic results, whereas GM technology employs precise, specific, and rationally designed genetic modification toward a specific engineering goal.
In his book, Steven Druker offers the following counterargument: “This letter thus reveals how strongly the GE food venture relies on the presumption that the natural process driving biological development are intrinsically more disorderly and risk-bearing than the genetic interventions instigated by the human mind. And it confirms that this belief forms the ideological bedrock on which the venture rests.”
In fact, a report published in 2004 by the National Academy of Sciences couldn’t uphold “even the more modest notion that bioengineering and natural breeding pose the same risks.” The panel that produced the report ranked various modes of plant breeding in terms of their disposition to produce unintended effects. They were forced to acknowledge that bioengineering produces far greater effects than pollen-based sexual reproduction. Despite this fact, they still insisted that this does not mean a difference in risks.
Druker says in response:
Thus, there’s no rational way to reconcile the fact that natural breeding is less disruptive and more predictable than bioengineering with the claim that it poses equal or greater risk, which is why the admission in the 2004 report is a rarity — and why biotech proponents almost always ignore or deny that fact and instead assert that natural breeding is more disorderly and unpredictable.
According to the biotech industry, natural plant breeding could actually result in crops that are dangerous to human consumption, which is why we should be grateful for genetic engineering. For example, in the same NAS report mentioned above, they portrayed what are known as “jumping genes” as more randomly mobile and threatening, but failed to recognize, as Druker points out, that although these entities do not pose risks within natural pollen based breeding, when bioengineering is employed they do because that process alone “tends to stir them up and get them jumping.”
When it comes to sexual reproduction, it’s yet another area where biotech proponents state that it’s a random phenomenon, despite the fact that we now know that it’s not random, and that there are multiple factors that can and do influence the genetics of life. Genetic engineering, be it human induced or naturally occurring, requires a genetic “rearragnement,” a recombination of DNA. The difference between the artificial way and the natural way is that the natural way does not disrupt the entire organism, as was discussed a little earlier in the article and touched upon in the Suzuki quote above.
As Druker explains:
This natural form of recombination occurs during the formation of gametes (the sperm and egg cells). It includes a step called crossover in which two partner chromosomes break at corresponding points and then exchange complementary sections of DNA; and every time a gamete is produced, every set of paired chromosomes engages in it. In this way, all the chromosomes end up with genes from both parents instead of from only one. However, all the genes are preserved, as is the sequences in which they’re positioned. The only changes are in the relationships between aleles. . . . So this natural recombination augments diversity while maintaining stability. And without it, except for the occasional favorable mutation, the composition of chromosomes would stay the same from generation to generation, and genetic diversity would grow at far too sluggish a pace.
He goes on to mention how natural recombination preserves the order of the genes, and is predictable in the way it cuts DNA. The entire process displays a great deal of order.
Despite this fact, scientists who support GE state, as in, for example, the 2004 NAS report, that “genetic engineering methods are considered by some to be more precise than conventional breeding methods because only known and precisely characterized genes are transferred.” They use the idea that the randomness and unpredictability of natural engineering make bioengineering safer.
Yet, as Druker so brilliantly captures:
This misleading tactic fixates on the predictability of the plant’s specific agronomic traits; and it portrays traditional breeding as less predictable than bioengineering because undesired attributes are often transferred along with the one that is desired. However, those who employ this ploy don’t acknowledge that if both parents are safe to eat, the unwanted traits hardly ever pose risk to human health. Rather, they’re undesirable for reasons irrelevant to risk (such as aesthetic appearance or seed size), and breeders must then perform back-crossing to eliminate them while retaining the trait they want. However, although the inclusion of unwanted traits entails more work, it does not increase attendant risks. Therefore, while breeders can’t fully predict what traits will appear, they can confidently predict that the resulting plant will be safe to eat.
This is why the GE stance on natural modification is so flawed and misleading.
Druker goes on:
Although it describes the sexual reproduction of food-yielding plants as a messy and risky affair that involves the transfer of “thousands of unknown genes with unknown function,” we actually know quite a lot about those genes. And what we know is far more important than what we don’t know. We know that they’re all where they’re supposed to be, and that they’re arranged in an orderly fashion. And we know that during the essential process in which some of them are traded between partnered chromosomes in order to promote the diversity that strengthens the species, their orderly arrangement is marvelously maintained. Most important, we know that their functions mesh to form an exquisitely efficient system that generates and sustains a plant that regularly provides us with wholesome food.
This sharply contrasts with genetic engineering.
As you can see, comparing natural modification to biotech modification is not an easy process, and this isn’t even the tip of the iceberg. Research shows that it’s not natural modification that’s more random and risky, but biotech genetic modification:
The inserted cassettes are haphazardly wedged into the cell’s DNA, they create unpredictable disruptions at the site of insertion, the overall process induces hundreds of mutations throughout the DNA molecule, the activity of the inserted cassettes can create multiple imbalances, and the resultant plant cannot be deemed safe without undergoing a battery of rigorous tests that has yet to be applied to any engineered crop.
RELATED CE ARTICLES:
Below are a few of many articles we’ve published on GMOs, if you’re interested in reading more please browse through our website.
Prescription Infant Formulas Found To Be Contaminated With Aluminum
- The Facts:
Multiple brands of prescription infant formula were found to contain high levels of aluminum.
- Reflect On:
Should we be questioning the quality of products that come from pharmaceutical production? Do we veer away from natural methods of raising children more than we should? At what cost?
You may not think aluminum is a big deal, but it is. For anybody who has looked into aluminum toxicology, it’s quite clear and apparent that it has no place inside of any living biological organism. Putting it simply, it wreaks havoc on our biology. High amounts of aluminum have been found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, with experts in the field believing that aluminum brain accumulation may be one of the main causes of Alzheimer’s disease.
It’s also been discovered within the brains of MS patients, and some of the highest aluminum content ever recorded in brain tissue has also been discovered in people with autism. Aluminum is associated with several diseases. But an adult body can do a great job of flushing out aluminum.
Despite the fact that aluminum has no place within earth’s biota, it’s still present in many of our medications, our food, and even in the water that we drink due to contamination since the industrial revolution. Aluminum inside the body is a new phenomenon and still understudied. Again, there is a threshold, and aluminum that is injected via vaccines doesn’t exit the body–there is strong evidence that it remains inside the body and ends up in distant organs and eventually inside of the brain. If you want to access more studies on that topic, you can read this article I published that provides them and goes into more detail. You can also watch this interview with Christopher Exley, where he also points to that fact.
A new study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health has shown that multiple popular infant prescriptions are contaminated with aluminum. You may be asking how much aluminum, but the authors make it a point to stress that there are no safe amounts of aluminum levels that can be inside of a human body, let alone a newborn baby. That being said, the amounts found are listed within the abstract of the study:
Historical and recent data demonstrate that off-the-shelf infant formulas are heavily contaminated with aluminium. The origin of this contamination remains to be elucidated though may be imported via ingredients, packaging and processing. Specialised infant formulas exist to address health issues, such as low birth weight, allergy or intolerance and medical conditions, such as renal insufficiency. The aluminium content of these prescription infant formulas is measured here for the first time. We obtained 24 prescription infant formulas through a paediatric clinic and measured their total aluminium content by transversely heated graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry following microwave assisted acid/peroxide digestion. The aluminium content of ready-to-drink formulas ranged from 49.9 (33.7) to 1956.3 (111.0) μg/L. The most heavily contaminated products were those designed as nutritional supplements for infants struggling to gain weight. The aluminium content of powdered formulas ranged from 0.27 (0.04) to 3.27 (0.19) μg/g. The most heavily contaminated products tended to be those addressing allergies and intolerance. Prescription infant formulas are contaminated with aluminium.
Another very important point made right off the bat by the authors:
Human exposure to aluminium is a serious health concern. Aluminium exposure in infants is understandably a burgeoning issue. While infant exposure to aluminium continues to be documented, its consequences, immediate and in the future, have received only scant attention and research is required to understand the biological availability of aluminium through formula feeding. For example, how much aluminium is absorbed across the neonate gut and its subsequent fate, including excretion.
There is already too much aluminium in infant formulas and herein we have measured its content in a large number of prescription formulas, products which are fed to vulnerable infants in their first months of life. Many of these products are heavily contaminated with aluminium.
As for the specific infant formulas, you can refer to the study. The researchers obtained 24 prescription infant formulas via the Paediatric Clinic of Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, United Kingdom. The ready-to-drink and powdered products were new, ready-to-be used and unopened samples. These formulas are for babies with some sort of growth restriction, like for preterm infants or infants who have poor weight gain. There were also powdered formulas for allergies and intolerances and powdered formulas with additional amino acids.
The authors contacted each manufacturer and expressed that they denied knowing that there was any aluminum in their products, which means it’s still a mystery as to their source. The authors hypothesize on a number of ways that aluminum could be entering into the formulas.
In their conclusion, the authors emphasize that:
Where possible, breast milk feeding should be prioritised, as the aluminium content of breast milk is invariably an order of magnitude lower than in formula feeds. Where infant formulas are the only source of nutrition for many infants in their first weeks and months of life, aluminium ingested in formula feeds will be the major contributor to their body burden of aluminium. The last thing that vulnerable infants fed specialised formulas for their specific nutritional/medicinal need is additional aluminium in their diet.
There is a lot of information out there on how a person can detox from aluminum and other heavy metals. There are multiple studies, and based on what I’ve looked into, water with high amounts of Silica are effective in draining aluminum out of your body and brain. Herbs like cilantro and substances like chlorella and spirulina are also great for removing some metals. The information is out there, so be sure to do your research.
It’s concerning to think about what these corporations are doing. Again, aluminum should hold no place in our society, it should’ve remained well below our surface as part of the Earth’s crust for a reason. It wasn’t until humans began digging it out and using it for a number of things, irresponsibly I might add, that we started to see the health implications which still go largely ignored by the medical community.
In fact, heavy metal accumulation and detoxification of aluminum haven’t been addressed at all, which is odd given the fact that heavy metal accumulation is linked to a variety of diseases.
9 Studies You Should Be Aware of Before Trying The Ketogenic Diet
- The Facts:
The Ketogenic diet is a popular fad diet that promotes quick weight loss and symptom management for bodies that are dealing with poor lymph, kidney and digestion health.
- Reflect On:
Based on the studies that are emerging, is our desire for quick weight loss more important than living a long and healthy life? Are we learning about these diets primarily through those with strong ties to upholding these diets?
The ketogenic diet has popped up as a popular approach to weight loss in the last few years. Is it successful at that? Sure, it is. I’ve experimented with the diet myself years ago when I was looking to lose some belly fat. I was entering into ketosis in a different way than most, as I was not eating any animal products, but it does in fact work.
But like any animal product based diet, what are the consequences of eating so much food that does not truly jive with our human bodies? Not only that, is fast weight loss more important than keeping our morality rate down?
In the last few years, we’ve reported a lot on the Keto diet and the various ways it can be done. We have explored the studies, the results and in some ways, we supported it. But lately, I have been thinking about how supporting this could actually be encouraging people to jump into these diets, including the paleo diet, when in reality these diets increase mortality rates and are not healthy for the human body.
It became a thought in the back of my mind, I have always strived to put the best information out that I can through this platform to promote good health. And so we must look at that, even if that means upsetting some people who currently are on paleo or keto and are seeing some good weight loss or symptom management. The truth is, like the many people I’ve seen crash on these diets after a few years, I want people to know the truth of what’s going on out there. And how we can get beyond diets that symptom manage, and instead get onto diets that truly heal.
Anytime we have fad diets, which paleo and keto are, we see products and bias pop up all over the place to support the continuation of these trends. It becomes less about health and more about upholding an identity or a business.
So as I recently looked into what experts are saying about these diets, I came upon two important videos I think everyone should check out. Both have been embedded below. Remember, it’s not that I care what you choose in your own life, or that I feel there is a right or wrong, it’s that I believe we should be informed and I wish to use this platform to promote as best a message as I can.
Thanks to Plant-Based News for creating such a good channel and resource of information on YouTube.
In this video, several plant-based health experts talk through 9 nutrition studies that would be of interest to low carb keto diet proponents. To read the 9 studies, click here.
Next up, Dr. Kim Williams (past President of the American College of Cardiology) shares his insights about the ketogenic.
A New Disease Carrying Tick Species Has Been Discovered
- The Facts:
For the first time in 50 years, a new tick species has been identified in the US. The longhorned tick is prolific and can lay as many as 2,000 eggs at a time. It has health implications.
- Reflect On:
Not long ago, the US government was accused of manufactured disease via ticks, to be used as bioweapons. More on that within the article.
So many problems are created by powerful people, and then these same powerful people like to offer us the solutions. A great example would be false flag terrorism, like lying and staging chemical gas attacks in Syria, and then using them as an excuse to infiltrate, invade and bring ‘democracy’ to that country in order to protect its people. You can read more about that specific example here. This is known to some, as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. recently expressed in a Facebook post regarding global warming, as “disaster capitalism,” the science of how corporations and tyrants profit from the crisis they create, regardless of whether that crisis is staged or real.
When it comes to ticks, it’s hard not to ponder if we’re seeing the same thing play out here. Will the rise in ticks and new tick species suddenly result in the development of more vaccines, ones that are specifically designed to combat the diseases these ticks are carrying?
There are a number of subjects that were once considered ‘conspiracy theories’ that are now no longer in that realm. ‘Conspiracy theories’ usually, in my opinion, arise from credible evidence. The implications, however, are so grand and so mind-altering that many may experience some sort of cognitive dissonance as a result. One of the topics often deemed a ‘conspiracy theory’ is weaponized diseases, and the latest example comes from an approved amendment that was proposed by a Republican congressman from New Jersey. His name is Chris Smith, and he instructed the Department of Defence’s Inspector General to conduct a review on whether or not the US “experimented with ticks and insects regarding use as a biological weapon between the years of 1950 and 1975” and “whether any ticks or insects used in such experiment were released outside of any laboratory by accident or experiment design.”
The fact that the amendment was approved by a vote in the House speaks volumes. Smith said that the amendment was inspired by “a number of books and articles suggesting that significant research had been done at US government facilities including Fort Detrick, Maryland, and Plum Island, New York, to turn ticks and insects into bioweapons.”
Now, for the first time in 50 years, a new tick species has been identified in the US. The longhorned tick is prolific and can lay as many as 2,000 eggs at a time. “In Asia, it causes a devastating disease called “SFTS” — severe fever and thrombocytopenia syndrome. About 15% of those people have died. It has not happened in the U.S. yet, but epidemiologists are watching closely.” (source)
When it comes to Lyme disease in particular, the Guardian points out that:
A new book published in May by a Stanford University science writer and former Lyme sufferer, Kris Newby, has raised questions about the origins of the disease, which affects 400,000 Americans each year.
Bitten: The Secret History of Lyme Disease and Biological Weapons, cites the Swiss-born discoverer of the Lyme pathogen, Willy Burgdorfer, as saying that the Lyme epidemic was a military experiment that had gone wrong.
Burgdorfer, who died in 2014, worked as a bioweapons researcher for the US military and said he was tasked with breeding fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and other blood-sucking insects, and infecting them with pathogens that cause human diseases.
According to the book, there were programs to drop “weaponised” ticks and other bugs from the air, and that uninfected bugs were released in residential areas in the US to trace how they spread. It suggests that such a scheme could have gone awry and led to the eruption of Lyme disease in the US in the 1960s.
Could this new tick be some sort of weaponized one? Who really knows.
We are living in a world of extreme secrecy. Much of what was once deemed a conspiracy theory is no longer a conspiracy theory anymore. A lot of information is arising that’s really challenging people’s minds, and some of it is so unbelievable and hard to imagine that cognitive dissonance is a common reaction. In today’s day and age, it’s important to keep an open mind as new information that challenges collective belief systems continues to emerge.
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