Michael Spector is one of these journalists. If you have any appreciation of natural medicine you will have a very good laugh by watching his entire presentation at a recent TED conference.
If you want further entertainment then listen to my interview with Jeffery Smith in which he decimates Michael’s ignorant comments on GMO.
Jeffrey Smith, the premiere GMO expert and author of the bestseller Seeds of Deception, and Genetic Roulette, exposes the flimsy rationale, and the complete lack of evidence that tries to pass as “science” when it comes to defending genetic engineering.
Science can, and has, given us answers to the question: “Are genetically modified foods safe?”
But those answers are NOT what industry is reporting, and the reason is simple. If they were, genetically engineered crops would never be allowed to be planted, and GM foods would be banned worldwide.
Smith sheds light on how the deception is perpetrated, and counters the critics’ claims that “GMOs are safe” with science-based evidence.
Dr. Mercola’s Comments:
There are a number of people who object to the information I’m sharing on the internet. Some have a direct vested conflict of interest that explains their behavior, but there is also a large group of people who seek to use science or the scientific method as justification that many of the principles we advocate and instruct you to apply in your life are incorrect.
One of the more prominent media proponents that try to debunk what I teach is an individual named Michael Specter.
He’s the author of a book called Denialism and is a journalist for the New York Times. He recently gave a lecture at a TED conference, criticizing those who would dare to question, among other items, the science of vaccines or genetically modified foods.
He goes so far as classifying those of us who seek to alert the public to the potential dangers inherent with vaccines and GMOs as “endangering public health.”
It is my position that actually the converse is true, and that clear, independent, scientific evidence exists to back up our claims. Those of us who are concerned about the safety of vaccines and GMOs are absolutely committed to the scientific method.
Science does work. The challenge with science that many people fail to appreciate is that it has become progressively easier for many well funded multinational corporations to manipulate and distort the entire process to make it appear as though science is applied, when in fact it’s only superficially being implemented due to massive conflict of interest.
In recent times we’ve seen researchers being exposed for creating entirely fraudulent research; studies are ghostwritten and researchers are paid to put their names on work they’ve had no part in; journalists are paid to write articles that are nothing more than thinly disguised advertising, and the list of scientific deception goes on.
All of this deceptive maneuvering gives industry the appearance of being science based, when in fact they’re oftentimes far from it.
Of course this creates confusion. How could it not?
But there is a simple, rational solution. And that is to pay attention to the source of the funding, for one, and to pay special heed to research that comes from independent sources that have no vested interest in manipulating the end results.
When you do, you’ll find that there is no shortage of scientific based evidence showing a wide variety of hazards that are currently being ignored and glossed over with, in many cases, completely nonsensical PR sound bytes.
Jeffrey Smith is clearly one of the leading experts on genetically modified foods in the world, and his not-for-profit organization ResponsibleTechnology.org has amassed an ever growing number of studies illustrating the grave dangers inherent with GMOs.
Avoiding a Problem Doesn’t Prove It’s Not There – How Industry Manipulates Scientific Results to Justify “Safety”
“These guys have gotten bad science down to a science. They are expert at figuring out ways to avoid finding the problems,” Smith says.
“When genetically modified bovine growth hormone was being tested, one disgruntled FDA employee evidently stole the documents and made them public.
They showed that when Monsanto’s researchers wanted to prove that the [rBGH] injections did not interfere with the cow’s fertility, they secretly introduced cows to the study that were already pregnant before they were ever injected.
And when they wanted to show that the pasteurization process destroys the hormone that’s increased in the milk supply, they pasteurized the milk 120 times longer than normal. That destroyed 19 percent of the hormones.
So they doused the milk with 147 times the amount of the naturally existing hormone, and heated the milk 120 times longer than normal. Under those bizarre circumstances, they were able to destroy 90 percent of the rBGH hormone, and that’s what the FDA reported – that pasteurization destroys 90 percent of the hormone. “
Essentially, the entire scientific method was bastardized and rigged, and used as an incredibly deceptive, yet effective, mechanism to convince people that rBGH was safe.
“In fact, I talked to a former Monsanto scientist who said he was aware that colleagues had fed genetically modified corn to certain rodents and came up with problems,” Smith says. “But instead of pulling the corn off the market or withdrawing the application, they rewrote the study to hide the incidence of the problems.
He also said that three of his colleagues who were doing safety studies on Monsanto’s genetically modified bovine growth hormone stopped drinking milk after they saw the changes in the milk.”
Michael Specter, like so many others, are simply repeatedly parroting the same fabrications despite the fact that the dangers of GMOs are now well documented.
If You Believe in Science-Based Evidence, then You Must Follow Wherever it Leads
Even the FDAs own scientists have stated that GMOs can lead to allergies, nutritional problems, the creation of toxins and new diseases and should require long term safety studies.
But they too were simply ignored.
Smith recounts a story about a South African pro-GM advocate who claimed that even the National Academy of Sciences in the US had determined that GMOs are “absolutely risk free.”
“So I called the National Academy of Sciences of the United States and I spoke to the person in charge of the biotech division,”Smith says, “And she laughed and said, “If we didn’t think there was any extra risk, why would we have released two reports on it?”
She completely dismissed his statement and said it sounded like someone from the biotech industry organization in the United States, although it was their counterpart in South Africa.
So what we have, actually, is a system of denial, distortion, and deadly dangers that are being ignored.”
What you must understand is that much of today’s scientific research is no longer performed through public funding, as it were in the pre-Reagan days, but rather by the industry itself.
This phenomenon explains why “science-based evidence” can no longer be taken at face value, but must first be vetted by looking at who paid the bill, and what sort of results might the one holding the purse strings be looking for. In the case of GMOs, the biotech industry surely is NOT looking for problems.
Fortunately for you, others are, and they’re doing their best to warn you.
Just last year the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) reviewed the available research and issued a memorandum recommending that all doctors prescribe non-GMO diets to all patients because they are causally linked in animal feeding studies to:
- Immune system problems
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Organ damage
- Dysfunctional regulation of cholesterol and insulin
- Accelerated aging
They came to this conclusion and issued this recommendation based on scientific evidence, not on individuals who are trying to deny or hide the fact that problems exist.
The AAEM is the same organization that identified the Gulf War syndrome, chemical sensitivity and food allergies, and about a dozen other environmental health threats. They are on the frontlines, and the organization is designed to look for and investigate the sources causing health problems in the United States.
These are the types of organizations you might want to listen to, as opposed to the Specter’s of the world, who offer little or no actual data to back up their opinions.
Specter’s book, for example, provides very little of the scientific evidence he claims you should listen to, and he completely ignores some of the most importantstudies to date, which, coincidentally, show that his arguments are 100 percent incorrect.
Are GM Crops Just a Newer Version of Selective Breeding?
In order to justify the use of genetically modified foods, many will try to use the argument that we have been essentially genetically modifying our foods for thousands of years, through selective breeding of both plants and animals. In essence, they want you to believe genetic engineering is just an improved version of natural selection.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
“This is really a maddening intentional distortion,” Smith says.
“A Noble laureate said years ago that we should not mistake selective breeding with genetic engineering, because genetic engineering basically creates new organisms overnight that don’t have the benefit of the billions of years of evolution.
Even FDA scientists said in a memo that it is the opinion of the technical experts at the agency that genetic engineering is different, and leads to different risks from traditional breeding.”
Genetic engineering involves taking genes from various species of plants and animals, putting them into gene guns, and blasting millions of genes into a plate of millions of cells, and then cloning the result into a plant.
This can cause hundreds or thousands of mutations up and down the DNA chain. Genes can be switched off, switched on permanently, or change their levels of expression – at random.
“Up to 5 percent of the existing natural genes in the plant can change their levels of expression when a single new gene is introduced. In other words, there is a holistic, not well understood response, plant-wide, throughout the entire genome, where maybe hundreds or thousands of genes change their activity when a newcomer is inserted into the DNA,” Smith explains.
“So this is totally new, totally different.
On top of that, you’re throwing in antibiotic resistant marker genes that are part of the process that might yield antibiotic resistant diseases. This was a major concern by FDA scientists from the British Medical Association.
They’re throwing in viruses, viral promoters, which switch on genes at random. They could switch on genes that already exist in the plant or possibly transfer to our own gut bacteria or maybe our own cells, and switch on genes at random, permanently.
So to me that is an easy argument to overcome simply based on the science itself.”
Further Educational Material…
The angles discussed above are not the only ones Jeffrey Smith delves into in this interview, so for more, please listen to it in its entirety, or read through the transcript.
For example, there’s the assertion that GMOs are necessary for feeding the world and the key to ending hunger. Here too, critics like Michael Specter miss their mark, and Smith explains why.
Lastly, I urge you to take the steps necessary to help eradicate GMOs from the US food supply. It will not happen through government intervention. It can only be accomplished once enough people realize that what they’re eating is a public science experiment gone wild, without any checks or balances whatsoever.
The good news, however, is that you, as an ordinary citizen, have the power to incite change, by steering the market demand toward non-GMO crops and foods. Every time you choose to buy a non-GMO product over a product that contains GM ingredients, you are making a dent in this problem.
So take advantage of local sources of organic foods as often as you can. You can also avoid GM foods by:
- Reducing or Eliminating Processed Foods. Some 75 percent of processed foods contain GM ingredients. Use the Non-GMO Shopping Guide, available for free at www.NonGMOShoppingGuide.com.
- Read produce and food labels. When looking at a product label, if any ingredients such as corn flour and meal, dextrin, starch, soy sauce, margarine, and tofu (to name a few) are listed, there’s a good chance it has come from GM corn or soy, unless it bears the USDA organic seal.
- Buy organic produce. Buying organic is currently the best way to ensure that your food has not been genetically modified.
To learn more about the health dangers of GMOs, and other tips for what you can do to help end the genetic engineering of our food supply, please visit www.ResponsibleTechnology.org.
Source: Dr. Mercola