What About ‘Glyphosate Kills’ Don’t America’s Politicians Understand?

by Jerry Alatalo

459Alphabet Thierry Vrain is a retired biologist and genetic engineer who since his retirement has focused on raising public consciousness of the link between genetically modified organisms (GMO) – especially Roundup herbicide whose active ingredient is glyphosate – and dramatic increases in negative health events since GMOs became approved for cultivation in 1996.

GMOs were specifically engineered to become sprayed with Roundup herbicide, essentially to allow farmers to deal with weeds in a much less labor intensive manner. Once genes become discovered through trial and error, which when combined with organic genes of corn, soy, etc. resist applications of Roundup and – unlike all plants which die after being sprayed with the herbicide – can then be cultivated, the technologically created new form of plant becomes patented. The creation is “Roundup ready”.

GMOs represent nearly all corn, soy, sugar beets, canola and other crops/foods grown on agricultural land in America.  Because they are “Roundup ready”, farmers can spray their fields as often as they feel necessary with the herbicide, as the crops are resistant and do not die, like, as mentioned, every plant sprayed with Roundup.

Glyphosate was first used as for descaling of pipes and boilers starting in the 1960’s, then bought by Monsanto in 1969 and patented as a herbicide. When pipes, boilers etc. became sufficiently descaled using glyphosate, the process of replacing the now polluted glyphosate wastewater with fresh water occurred, and the waste water was disposed of. When it became disposed of on fields containing plant life, glyphosate became recognized as a herbicide, because it killed all plants it came into contact with.

It wasn’t until 1996 and the go-ahead for GMOs that Roundup herbicide production, sales and widespread application to crops and farmland took off. Since what many describe as the “fateful year of 1996” GMO cultivation with the accompanying liberal applications of Roundup has grown to astonishing levels, producing enormous profits for Monsanto and other bio-tech giants, while stirring up an increasingly intensified worldwide debate over health concerns and the wisdom or ignorance in continuing to allow the technology.

Mr. Vrain’s presentation should produce great concern among any man or woman who would like to have confidence that the food they buy at their grocery store is totally safe for themselves and their children.  His presentation points out the connection between very small, ingested quantities of glyphosate and a range of diseases which, coincidentally, have risen in near perfect measure to increased applications of Roundup/glyphosate on millions of acres of farmland in America and those nations around the planet who still allow GMOs.

Those millions of acres of farmland have literally become drenched with Roundup since 1996. Glyphosate residue is literally everywhere in the environment. In the human body, glyphosate in very small concentrations has highly negative health – both physical and mental health – consequences. When glyphosate destroys each human beings’ beneficial, God-given bacteria numbering in the hundreds of trillions, among the significant poor health results are decreases in levels of serotonin.

When a person’s serotonin levels drop to a certain level, depression results. If a person’s serotonin levels become even lower, mental illness results. Has anyone noticed the increasing number of advertisements on television for antidepressants?

Boiling down Thierry Vrain’s presentation, his message of warning is that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the hugely successful herbicide Roundup, has been proven through scientific investigation by respected scholars as dangerous to human health. Glyphosate does not simply pass through a person’s digestive system; it “sticks” and accumulates – in the human body, animals, plants, forests, waterways, and nearly everywhere in the environment.

How many seconds, minutes or hours of mainstream media time has been solely devoted to discussion/debate over the safety of GMOs and/or Roundup? The unfortunate answer is zero. To what extent are GMO and Roundup a destabilizing factor in international relations, when “secret” and massive trade deals may contain legalese allowing agricultural, genetic technology unwanted by a nearly unanimous majority of citizens in nations potentially signing on to those trade agreements? To what extent are GMOs a factor in the “bread basket of Europe”, agriculturally rich country of Ukraine’s current negative situation?

When will American farmers understand that the world is increasingly rejecting genetic food and glyphosate, and that it would be in their best interests to stop planting GMOs? Not only in the best interests of their bottom lines; but perhaps much more importantly the health and well-being of their fellow American citizens.

Glyphosate kills, period. Why haven’t the men and women elected representatives in the United States Congress understood that scientific fact, and why hasn’t glyphosate been banned for use to produce the food Americans eat?

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(Thank you to OrganicGrowersVideo at YouTube / Thank you to David Foster for his reference to Thierry Vrain’s powerful presentation)

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GMO/Roundup Scientific Debate Intensifies.

Reposted from counterpunch.org on July 1, 2014

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Scientific and Regulatory Reform are Essential

Biosafety and the ‘Seralini Affair’

by GILLES-ERIC SERALINI, ROBIN MESNAGE, NICOLAS DEFARGE and JOEL SPIROUX de VENDOMOIS

There is an ongoing debate on the potential health risks of the consumption of genetically modified (GM) plants containing high levels of pesticide residues.

Currently, no regulatory authority requests mandatory chronic animal feeding studies to be performed for edible GMOs and formulated pesticides. This fact is at the origin of most of the controversies. Only studies consisting of 90-day rat feeding trials have been conducted by manufacturers for GMOs.

Statistical differences in the biochemistry of treated rats versus controls may represent the initial signs of long-term pathologies, possibly explained at least in part by pesticide residues in the GM feed.

This is why we studied the long-term toxicity of a Roundup-tolerant GM maize (NK603) and a whole Roundup pesticide formulation at environmentally relevant levels from 0.1 ppb.

We first published these results in Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT) on 19 September, 2012 after a careful and thorough peer review.

However, 1 year and 2 months later, in an unusual step, the editor-in-chief requested the retraction of our study, while conceding that the data were not incorrect and that there was no misconduct and no fraud or intentional misinterpretation.

According to him, some data were inconclusive, but for reasons already known at the time of submission of the paper. This artiocle summarises the debate resulting in this retraction – which in our view is a historic example of conflicts of interests in the scientific assessments of products commercialized worldwide.

The long-term toxicity study of the NK603 maize and Roundup

An initial study on NK603 maize was submitted by Monsanto Company in support of commercial authorization of the maize. NK603 maize was fed to 4 groups of 20 Sprague Dawley rats (2 doses of 11% and 33% in the diet of both sexes) for 90 days. The blood analyses were performed on 10 rats per group.

The re-analysis of the raw data resulted in a debate on the biological relevance of admitted statistical differences versus controls as the first signs of hepatorenal toxicities.

To solve the problem, a 2-year-long study was carried out using two hundred Sprague Dawley rats to which the following treatments were administered:

  • NK603 maize treated or not with Roundup at three different levels in their feed (11%, 22%, and 33% of the total diet)
  • and Roundup alone, administered via drinking water at three different concentrations, from the admitted residual level in regular tap water (0.1 ppb), to the maximum level authorized in GMOs (400 ppm), up to half of the agricultural dose (0.5%).

They were divided into ten groups, each containing ten males and ten females. No other long-term study has examined the effects of regular consumption of Roundup-tolerant GM maize and of a pesticide formulation, in any dilution, on blood parameters, sexual hormones, and multiple organs.

Statistically discriminant disturbances

We found that these products provoked statistically discriminant disturbances in biochemical markers of livers and kidneys in females at the 15th month, when most of the rats were still alive. At the same time, testosterone and estradiol levels were also disturbed.

At the end of the experiments, these disrupted biochemical markers corresponded to pathologies evidenced in a blinded manner: notably hepatorenal deficiencies, more severe in males, and female mammary tumors, which led to premature deaths.

For instance, after around 700 days, there were up to 3.25 more mammary tumors (the highest rate was observed in females consuming 0.1 ppb of Roundup in water). This could be associated with a 2.4-time increase in pituitary dysfunctions noticed by the end of the experiment (2 years).

Then the attacks began

These findings were immediately dismissed by persons involved in the products’ authorizations, or in collaboration with biotech industries.

A number of them wrote to FCT to nourish a controversy, including Richard Goodman, a former Monsanto employee in charge of the immunotoxicity files of GMOs, and Paul Christou, a patent holder of the methods used to create transgenic plants.

This was rapidly followed by a coordination of national regulatory agencies organized by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), released on 4 October, 2012. The EFSA had previously assessed NK603, and glyphosate, the declared active principle of Roundup, as safe on the basis of regulatory data, which they never fully published.

The EFSA has since published Monsanto’s safety data on NK603 maize, but not on glyphosate. The NK603 data are in a pdf format preventing an easy statistical re-analysis. However, there was no long-term toxicological assessment for NK603, or for Roundup.

Moreover, we demonstrated in several studies that Roundup is far more toxic than glyphosate because of non-inert adjuvants. On 10 October, 2012, the Monsanto Company also sent its criticisms to FCT but did not release its safety data, claiming commercial confidentiality.

Serious yet undisclosed conflicts of interest

Overall, the first wave of criticisms arrived within a week, mostly from plant biologists. We answered all criticisms in FCT on 9 November, 2012. The debate then encompassed scientific arguments.

A second wave of ad hominem and potentially libelous comments appeared in different journals [13-16]. Regrettably, there were no invitations to respond to these exacerbated attacks, which we discovered only by our literature survey. Some of the authors of these articles had serious yet undisclosed conflicts of interest.

The scientific remarks concentrated on the supposedly inadequate choice of the Sprague Dawley rat strain, which is, however, a classic model for toxicology. The Sprague Dawley strain was also used by Monsanto in its 90-day test on the same maize.

In addition, Monsanto measured biochemically the same number of rats per group as in our experiment. Thus, with regard to blood and urine biochemistry, Monsanto gathered data from the same number of rats that we did.

Unsubstantiated allegations of fraud or errors

Paul Christou, the lead author of Arjo et al., demanded that our paper be retracted and insulted us personally. He claimed first in a letter addressed to the editor-in-chief that the publication of our study “does not meet minimal acceptable standards of scientific rigor”and “will damage an entire scientific discipline due to flawed conclusion”.

Then, he attacked us in an article published in the journal Transgenic Research on 20 December 2012.

The quantity of insults and defamations in this paper, authorized and co-authored by the editor-in-chief in a supposedly serious Journal, is excessive. They include:

  • “abject failure to treat the experimental animals in a humane manner”,
  • “inability to formulate a valid hypothesis”,
  • “media fanfare”,
  • “fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements”,
  • “unethical behavior”,
  • “transparent attempt to discredit regulatory agencies”,
  • “ammunition for extremists”,
  • “flawed science”,
  • “disingenuous or inept”, and
  • “unjustified waste of animals” (while at the same time asking for more animals in the groups).

Christou and co-authors suggest that by practising “flawed science”, we are working against “progress towards a better quality of life” and in fact are “actively working to make life worse”. We were not invited to reply.

Christou – further undisclosed conflicts of interest

This behaviour can be explained, though not justified, by the undisclosed conflicts of interests. Christou is not only the editor-in-chief of Transgenic Research, the journal in which he published his article, but is also linked to Monsanto.

He is named as the inventor on several patents on GM crop technology, for most of which Monsanto owns the property rights. These include patents on the plant transformation process used to make glyphosate-tolerant transgenic corn plants.

He worked as a researcher at Agracetus Inc. (later acquired by Monsanto) for 12 years. Then, from 1994 to 2001, Christou worked at the John Innes Centre in the UK, which is heavily invested in GM crop technology. He thus has no mammalian toxicology background.

However, in his published article, Christou only gave as his affiliation his publicly funded position at a research institute.

Christou’s failure to declare his current interests – his inventor status on patents concerning the company that developed the products we tested – could be considered grounds for retraction of a paper in a scientific journal, according to ethical guidelines for scientific publishing.

The Arjo et al article was co-authored by Wayne Parrott, an active member of the Biotechnology Committee at the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI).

ILSI is funded by multinational food, agribusiness, and biotechnology companies, including Monsanto and Syngenta. ILSI has proved highly controversial in North America and Europe due to its influence on risk assessment methodologies for chemicals, pesticides, and GM foods.

Wayne Parrott also has an inventor status in patents on materials and methods for selecting transgenic organisms and transformation vector systems.

False assertions, misrepresentations and defamation

In addition, Christou and his co-authors made numerous mistakes, false and unsubstantiated assertions, and misrepresentations of our data.

The title of Arjo et al’s paper includes defamation and a misrepresentation of our research, implying that it is “pseudoscience” and alleging that it claimed Roundup Ready maize and Roundup herbicide caused “cancer” in rats – a claim we never made.

We did not even use the word ‘cancer’ in our paper although this argument was reiterated in the final letter of the editor-in-chief of FCT when explaining his decision to retract our paper. Tumors do not always lead to cancer, even if they can be more deleterious in a shorter time because of their size or body position, by hurting internal functions.

Arjo et al’s paper begins with a false assertion that is not evidenced in the paper or in the cited source: “It started with a press conference in which journalists agreed not to engage in fact-checking”. The authors made other false assertions about our study, for example, alleging that “the water consumption was not measured”.

In fact, we measured both the water and food consumption, and the stability of the Roundup solution over time. This was indicated in the paper, in which we explained that all the data cannot be shown in one paper and that we concentrated on the most important data; these parameters were only part of a routine survey.

They also falsified the reporting of the data, compiling the mortality data only at the end of the experiment and ignoring the originality and the major findings of the differential chronological effects between treated rats and controls, which we established by measuring tumor size twice a week over 2 years.

Moreover, we respected legal requirements and ethical norms relating to animal experiments, and Arjo et al. present no evidence of the contrary, so their allegation of inhumane treatment of the rats is without substance.

Our responses were simply ignored

Importantly, we had already answered many of the criticisms of our paper made by Arjo et al in a paper that was published before that of Arjo et al.. Their publication was received on 20 December 2012, when our paper was published on 9 November 2012. Our published answers were simply ignored.

Christou and Parrott were not alone in failing to declare conflicts of interest in their criticism of our paper. Since we underlined that 75% of the comments addressed to FCT within a week after our study was published came from plant biologists, it was discovered that several had developed patents on GMOs.

Some authors were employees of Monsanto Company, which owns NK603 GM maize and sells Roundup herbicide. Other more recent papers, published by plant biologists and/or affiliates of the industry-funded group ILSI [15,16], repeated the arguments.

Forbes magazine – false and unsubstantiated fraud allegation

The author of a separate article criticizing our study expressed concern that our results could damage public opinion about GM crops – a sentiment that gives precedence to economic interests over public health. An article in Forbes magazine even alleged, without presenting any evidence, that we had committed fraud.

Surprisingly, even Monsanto authors declared that they had “no conflicts of interest” in their first draft published online on FCT website.

Investigative reports evidenced that many authors of these opinions had failed to disclose their conflicts of interest, including Henry Miller, Mark Tester, Chris Leaver, Bruce Chassy, Martina Newell-McGloughlin, Andrew Cockburn, L. Val Giddings, Sivramiah Shantharam, Lucia de Souza, Erio Barale-Thomas, and Marc Fellous.

The undisclosed conflicts of interest included links with biotechnology companies that develop GMOs and with industry-backed lobbying organizations.

Huge implications for public health

All of this has huge implications for public health. We observed an intense lobbying in parliaments, as well as proofs of conflicts of interests for persons involved in the regulatory decisions for the commercialization of these products.

A series of high-profile conflict-of-interest revelations (not restricted to GMOs and pesticides) led to the resignations of leading administrators involved in decisions affecting the assessment of these products – including:

*the European Commissioner John Dalli;

*and the former chair of the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) management board Diana Banati.

In February of 2013, a strange occurrence following the publication of our paper raised questions about the connections of industry to scientific publishing, described below.

Conflicts of interests in the editorial board

In February 2013, FCT acquired a new assistant editor for biotechnology, Richard E. Goodman. The editor-in-chief has admitted that Goodman was introduced into the editorial board after he sent a letter to FCT to complain about our study.

In his letter, Goodman appears worried about economic consequences but not so much about potential public health consequences. He wrote:

“The implications and the impacts of this uncontrolled study is having HUGE impacts, in international trade, in consumer confidence in all aspects of food safety, and certainly in US state referendums on labelling.”

Further in his letter, Goodman asked for “an evaluation by an independent set of toxicologists”. This is particularly why the Publishing Assistant for FCT asked for our raw data on 15 March 2013.

In fact, we can question the independence of this re-evaluation. After his appointment at FCT, Goodman was a member of the subcommittee that requested our raw data, until we complained to Elsevier publishing group.

Goodman is far from being independent. He previously worked for Monsanto for 7 years. He also has a long-standing affiliation with ILSI. Yet Goodman will now deal with all biotechnology papers submitted to FCT.

Another scientific paper on GMO risks was withdrawn from FCT, without explanation shortly after it had been accepted and published by the journal. The paper was immediately published by another journal according to the authors’ initiative.

The retraction notice

We received a letter from the editor-in-chief of FCT, A. Wallace Hayes, asking us to retract our paper on 19 November 2013, more than 1 year after its publication.

In his retraction notice, the editor-in-chief certifies that “no evidence of fraud or intentional misrepresentation of the data” was found in the investigation, that the results are “not incorrect”“there was no misconduct”, and that the sole reason for retraction is the “inconclusiveness” of the paper.

He argued that no conclusions could be drawn because we studied 10 rats per group over 2 years, because they were Sprague Dawley rats, and because we could not conclude on cancer. In fact, the Sprague Dawley is a standard choice for 2-year studies performed by industry and independent scientists alike.

We also measured 10 animals per sex per group according to OECD 452 guideline on chronic toxicity studies because our study is a chronic toxicity study that was never intended to be a carcinogenicity study.

A violation of official retraction guidelines

We wish to point out that Dr Hayes’ decision is in violation of the retraction guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), of which FCT is a member. ‘Inconclusiveness’ is not a valid reason for a journal to retract a paper. Lack of conclusiveness (which can be discussed) and error are not synonymous.

COPE criteria for retraction included scientific misconduct / honest error, prior publication, plagiarism, or unethical research. None of these criteria applied to our study.

On the contrary, numerous published scientific papers contain inconclusive findings. It is for further studies to build on the reported findings and arrive at a more conclusive position.

In contrast with our study measuring toxicity, the Monsanto study reporting safety with the same number and the same strain of rats, but limited to 90 days, is not subject to the same controversy.

The data in the Monsanto study show statistically significant differences in multiple-organ functions between the GM and non-GM feeding groups – which the authors dismissed as not “biologically meaningful”, using a set of questionable criteria.

The significant effects observed do not have to be linear to the dose to be taken into consideration; otherwise, endocrine effects will be dismissed. In addition, biochemical disturbances do not have to correlate simultaneously with organ lesions, in contrast to the claims of Doull et al in defence of Monsanto.

Concepts invalid for endocrine disruption

These outdated concepts coming from the toxicology of poisons, and are not valid for endocrine disruption. If 10 rats/sex/group are too few to demonstrate a toxic effect, then this number of rats is certainly too small to demonstrate safety.

Overall, in the current system of assessment, any toxic effect is first suspected to be a false positive, arising by chance, rather than questioning whether no evidence of effect is a false negative result. The Monsanto data as presented are thus inconclusive and should also be retracted.

Following the retraction of our paper, many letters were sent to the editor-in-chief of FCT. On 10 December 2013, he published a defence of the retraction, which raised many doubts as to his understanding of our data.

He claimed that we concluded on cancer, although ours was a long-term toxicity study with a detailed statistical analysis of blood and urine parameters.

He also defended the study done by Monsanto claiming that they used 20 rats/sex/group while we only used 10 rats/sex/group. In fact, despite the fact that the Monsanto study used twice our sample size, the Monsanto authors only analyzed blood and urine from half of the animals (10), the same number of sampled animals as in our study.

According to an editorial in Environmental Health Perspectives,

“the decision to retract a published scientific work by an editor, against the desires of the authors, because it is ‘inconclusive’ based on a post hoc analysis represents a dangerous erosion of the underpinnings of the peer-review process, and Elsevier should carefully reconsider this decision.”

Confidentiality and censorship erode the value of science

Recent reviews of the GM food safety literature have found that research concluding that GM products were safe tended to come from industry and that research conducted by those with either financial or professional conflicts of interest was associated with outcomes favorable to the GM sector.

In fact, it appears in our case that consequences of conflicts of interests in science go beyond divergence in scientific interpretations and also rely on unscientific practices: confidentiality and censorship.

Transparency of, and access to, all the raw data obtained by companies and accepted by regulatory agencies (overall blood analyses of rats) as proof of safety for products, is an unavoidable first step to move forward in this debate. It is the only way in which the scientific community can enter the scientific discussion.

This is why we republish our paper in an open access way, together with its raw data allowing debate about our results.

This is not possible for the data used as a proof of safety for commercial authorizations. The Monsanto toxicological data on NK603 maize recently made public by EFSA is not in a statistically usable format and an agreement with Monsanto is requested before use.

Authorization data ‘clearly inadequate’

Moreover, the data examined for Roundup authorizations are clearly inadequate.

For instance, ANSES (French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety), confirmed to us in writing (January 2013) that there were no 2-year studies of Roundup in its whole formulation on animals, adding that there are a few studies of acute toxicity (a few days up to 3 weeks) without any blood tests.

Instead, glyphosate, which is much less toxic than Roundup, is tested alone by Monsanto, in its reports to regulatory authorities.

We strongly emphasize that data with implications for public health are not related to manufacturing patents and should not be kept confidential.

A program of regulatory reform

Removal of confidentiality claims on biosafety data is necessary to adhere to standard scientific procedures of quality assurance, to increase transparency, to minimize impacts of conflicts of interests, and ultimately to improve public confidence in GMOs.

Moreover, in the regulatory assessment of GMOs, chemicals, and medicines, confidential tests are conducted by the applicant companies themselves, often in their own laboratories or in those of subcontractors.

So the second step must be the building of new experiments for new or the most important products, by laboratories independent of the companies. They will be recruited by public tender, with compulsory transparency of the results.

This public research will be funded by companies, at a level corresponding to their previous budget for regulatory testing, but managed independently of the companies. The protocols and results will be submitted to open and contradictory assessments. Thus, there will be no additional financial cost or time delay to the current system.

At stake: public health, the environment, and the scientific process itself

Such reforms will not only radically transform the understanding and knowledge of toxicology and science in general, but will radically reduce public health costs and promote trust in companies and science.

This will move the world towards a sustainable development of products with low, if any, impacts on health and environment.

The reason given to retract our paper – “inconclusiveness” – is unprecedented and violates the norms of scientific publishing. The decision to retract cannot be rationalized on any discernible scientific grounds.

Censorship on research into the risks of a technology so critically entwined with global food safety undermines the value and the credibility of science.

This article is a minimally edited version of the original paper published in the peer-reviewed, public access Journal Environmental Sciences Europe: ‘Conflicts of interests, confidentiality and censorship in health risk assessment: the example of an herbicide and a GMO‘ by Gilles-Eric Séralini, Robin Mesnage, Nicolas Defarge and Joël Spiroux de Vendômois.

GMO And Glyphosate: An Absolute Crime Against Humanity.

Posted on June 9, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

459A few posts ago we shared an interview of Canadian scientist Thierry Vrain, who spoke about the dangers of GMOs and the, what he believes are even more dangerous-to-health, effects of glyphosate – more commonly known as Roundup herbicide. Now another scientist, Dr. Stephanie Seneff, confirms much of what Dr. Vrain said in his interview. While Vrain in that interview spoke to the connection between GMO, glyphosate, and depression from glyphosate’s obstruction of serotonin production in humans, Ms. Seneff agrees but goes further. Unfortunately a lot further.

In addition to depression and other forms of mental illness, depending on the amount of glyphosate in a person’s system, Ms. Seneff has found correlations between glyphosate consumption and autism, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, cancer, end stage renal disease, obesity, digestive disorders, Parkinson’s, dementia – as well as other health problems.

In 1970, 1 in 10,000 children became diagnosed with autism, but as of 2013 that statistic had risen dramatically to 1 in 50. Dr. Seneff believes the sharp rise is due to glyphosate. Roundup, the herbicide which has as its active ingredient glyphosate, is now the #1 selling herbicide in the United States of America, applied to all farmland that has been planted with Roundup-ready genetically engineered crops, and the use of the herbicide has only increased as so-called superweeds have adapted to survive – requiring more applications.

Celiac disease has quadrupled in recent years, and Dr. Seneff sees the cause as Roundup residues in foods; residues are found now virtually everywhere in the environment because of over use/application. In recent years (2000-2009), once again in almost direct correlation with GMOs becoming approved with the accompanying Roundup drenching, Crohn’s disease has increased by 49% and ulcerative colitis by 71%.

Now farmers are spraying/applying glyphosate on their crops just before harvest as a desiccant or drying agent, in effect killing the crops, thereby making it easier to harvest the plants. So, this adds another layer of glyphosate residues to the foods Americans buy off their supermarket shelves – an “added bonus” of sorts.

Suffice it to say, glyphosate is sold and used to such a massive extent – including for lawn “care” – that the residues are now present in quantities justifying one’s calling the United States “Roundup Land.” The United States government has never conducted studies on the human health consequences of glyphosate. Genetic engineering corporations like Monsanto have never conducted tests on mice/rats with durations longer than 90 days, probably for a reason, as French scientist Gilles-Eric Seralini found devastating health consequences (including large cancerous growths) in rats fed GMOs with and without glyphosate residues in over two-year testing.

Breast cancer cells proliferate when residues of glyphosate are present in the parts per trillion. Parts per trillion is a measure that is very, very minute. This helps explain the sharply increased numbers of breast cancer diagnoses since the approval of GMOs in 1996.

There’s a man in the following video who speaks from the pro-GMO position for the first 18 minutes or so before Stephanie Seneff shares her profound academic presentation. For those with a good amount of previous knowledge/awareness of the GMO/glyphosate debate, you may want to bypass the first 18 minutes. For those who are new to the debate on GMOs and glyphosate, it’s recommended to watch the entire discussion as seeing the contrast between pro-GMO and anti-GMO proponents is very instructive, revelatory, and insightful.

Dr. Stephanie Seneff delivers a message that truly needs to become widely heard. GMOs and glyphosate are doing tremendous damage. This highly intelligent, concerned woman scientist must testify before a Congressional committee – as soon as possible. Hear Stephanie Seneff’s devastating message conveying the, frankly, absolute criminal nature of the herbicide/poison glyphosate.

Think very deeply about the harmful effects that continue to destroy the lives of human beings every single day this deadly herbicide remains legal.

Then take whatever actions you think necessary.

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(Thank you to WellesleyChannelTV @ YouTube)

Canadian Scientist Links GMO, Roundup, Depression.

Posted on May 29, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

keyboard7After university studies in North Carolina, Thierry Vrain began his scientific career as a soil biologist before entering the field of genetic engineering in the late 1980’s and early 90’s. This was the “heyday” of genetic engineering, and not only was Thierry Vrain a believer in the new technology, but a very committed enthusiast. He spent many years in Canada’s government agriculture department before retiring around twelve years ago.

A few years post-retirement he began to become concerned about GMO technology and Roundup/glyphosate herbicides, after becoming aware of uncertainties revealed in scientific studies that have been published since those “heydays.” In the interview with “Food Integrity Now” he does an outstanding job of explaining for those without scientific training the process of creating GMOs, in what he assures listeners is “more simple than most people realize.” The woman host does a fine job by asking short, straightforward questions then allowing Dr. Vrain to fully answer. All through the interview she never interrupts her guest, in the best of interviewing styles.

Genetic modification technology is changing a living organism through forcing bacterial genes into animal and plant chromosomes, basically taking new proteins (enzymes) and introducing them in cells, producing a new function – like herbicide resistance. If you want to modify, you look for bacteria that are resistant to Roundup through experimentation then, after finding a suitable one, insert that Roundup resistant bacteria into corn, soy etc., and you have a patentable product that won’t be killed/harmed by Roundup spraying.

The Roundup-resistant bacteria are shot into plant cells as the gene from that resistant bacteria enters the nucleus of the plant’s cells, similar to stem-cell technology, whereupon the “new” plant now has the foreign bacteria gene in every cell. If you want the “new” plant to become antibiotic-resistant, the same process of finding antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the lab is copied, as well as the same insertion process as that used to introduce Roundup-resistant genes.

Then you have created a plant that is both Roundup-resistant and antibiotic-resistant, which can then be patented. When bacteria that match the criteria you are looking for become identified during lab testing, then inserted into the target plant for modification, Dr. Vrain and genetic scientists call this a “successful event.”

The initial dream for genetic engineering of plants/crops was elimination of farmers’ need for pesticides. “BT” crops represent 10-15% of current GMOs over 500,000,000 acres on Earth, which are genetically engineered with bacteria, producing proteins in every plant cell that kill insects when they try to feed on the plant. Unfortunately, just as those in the medical profession have seen with antibiotic-resistant disease bacteria, insects have become resistant to the killing effects of BT crops, so after a few seasons pesticides became necessary to apply.

The other 85% of those 500 million acres of GMOs are Roundup-ready, by far Monsanto’s biggest “success” story, as Roundup is the world’s largest-selling pesticide/herbicide. So much Roundup gets applied to farmers’ crops/fields that glyphosate (Roundup’s active ingredient) residues are now found everywhere in the environment – polluting water, food, rain, soil, animals, and humans. In America’s supermarkets, 80% of the food products contain significant residues of glyphosate.

Thierry Vrain explains that there are certain “myths” which have grown up around the industry-touted benefits of GMOs. Industry sales claims about “increased yields” are what Vrain considers “having no bearing on genetic modification, a play on words, and not real.” Marketing slogans such as “feeding the world” he finds “pie-in-the-sky.”

Regarding anti-GMO activists’ worries and concerns, Dr. Vrain then mentions what he calls “genetic pollution”, where the two kinds of genes in every cell of GMO plants – antibiotic-resistant and/or herbicide/Roundup-resistant – are moving unabated in the natural environment. These genes/DNA are now everywhere in nature, raising more and more concern from both environmentalists and those in the medical profession.

Environmentalists’ concerns are clear and obvious, including spread of possibly toxic, dysfunctional proteins with unknown, because unstudied, negative health consequences. The medical establishment has concerns because intestinal bacteria of humans are perfectly capable of picking up technological byproducts of genetic engineering.

Thierry Vrain believes glyphosate is more dangerous and harmful than GMOs

While genetic engineering technologies have evolved with regard to understanding initially unidentified negative consequences from approval to production in the environment, Dr. Vrain feels that, although there have emerged uncertainties about GMOs, glyphosate – the molecule which makes Roundup “effective” – has a far greater potential of harming living things, and that includes men, women, and children.

Glyphosate is a very small molecule chemical which was first patented as an effective descaling agent. It became discovered that glyphosate also kills bacteria, then Monsanto patented it as a herbicide in 1969. When genetically modified organisms became approved for production, sale, and release into the environment on farmland in 1996, Roundup with glyphosate quickly became the largest volume selling pesticide in the world.

Glyphosate remove metal ions from plant proteins which are necessary for the protein – the plants – to survive. When Roundup gets sprayed/applied it kills every plant but the Roundup-resistant ones which are genetic engineered, not only killing plants but also all enzymes of every living cell. This has led Thierry Vrain to believe that glyphosate is more dangerous – perhaps much more dangerous – to life than GMO crops themselves.

Glyphosate in doses as low as 1 or 2 parts per million (PPM) kill exactly like an antibiotic, according to Vrain killing only the good bacteria in human digestive tracts, while having no effect on the bad ones in the gut which cause disease. This may explain the rising concerns in the medical professions over antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria recently. Medical research in the past 10 to 20 years is telling us that the bacteria in our intestines are not just there for a ride and being fed, are not parasitic at all, and are actually absolutely needed for good health.

The bacteria in our gut are now known as so important that a new name has been given for this newly discovered organ in our bodies – the “Microbion”. Each person has one hundred trillion bacteria in their Microbion, ten times the number of human cells in the body. These bacteria are responsible for many, many aspects of our functioning – of our health. They are responsible for our immune systems. If the Microbion gets damaged, through eating glyphosate for example, the person is going to get very sick because of a compromised immune system.

The Microbion is also responsible for our mental health

Bacteria in our guts are responsible for synthesizing and creating almost all the serotonin in our systems – our brains. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the brain – one of the important ones. A damaged Microbion equals a damaged mental state, and low levels of serotonin lead to depression. Can you say anti-depressant? If serotonin levels become lower still, persons will suffer from mental illness like schizophrenia etc.

“This is very real” said Thierry Vrain in this interview.

“The Microbion is primary; it’s just as important as your brain, heart, or liver. It is extremely important. Basically, to make it very simple, the toxicity of engineered crops is not necessarily from the engineered crops themselves, but is from the pesticide that is applied on all engineered crops. This is where the conversation should be. Food in stores is contaminated with residues of a pesticide that is incredibly toxic to the Microbion. This is reality.”

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(Thank you to Food Integrity Now at YouTube)