Tag Archives: GMOs

Activism Green Living Healthy Living Real Food Toxin Alert!

What GMOs and Fund-Raising for Disease Have in Common

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Before the clock runs out on this month’s breast cancer and GMO awareness, I’d like to point out some facts that may not be obvious to some consumers.

No doubt you’ve seen the pink ribbons all over food labels in the grocery store or on fast food products like KFC.  These labels are easy to spot on packages, cups, cans, boxes, and other containers of many foods and beverages.

But there’s something else to notice too – a majority of these foods bearing the pink ribbon for cancer awareness are full of harmful, toxic ingredients. Don’t believe me? Just pick up one of these food products and have a look.

Not only are many of these ingredients indecipherable and dangerous, many of them are also from genetically-modified substances. This means they originated from a laboratory where abominations of nature take place on a regular basis: the genetic material of one species is extracted in a laboratory setting and inserted into another to achieve desired traits such as resistance to pesticides or to produce some other entirely different outcome than the organisms would normally be able to achieve – such as inserting spider genes into goats to produce silk. These are also known as transgenic organisms.

Doesn’t this seem like a contradiction?

There are many others besides food corporations such as companies and organizations who sponsor the pink ribbon campaign and donate a portion of the money to “curing cancer” – automotive, entertainment, department stores, clothing companies, jewelry companies, personal care product manufacturers, sporting goods, and the list goes on.

There are many organizations, universities, health authorities, and other entities that are undermining citizens’ rights to correct health information. Recently, Stanford University conducted a faulty study showing there is virtually no difference between conventional and organic foods. This study is false and doesn’t take into account the vast amount of toxins and chemicals used in commercial farming, all of which have been proven to affect nutritional quality and integrity of  the foods grown this way, as well as the soil which is the foundation of all life on this planet.

Where does Stanford get their funding for their research? As always, follow the money. Many of their sponsors are big agricultural companies and others which have a  vested interest in nullifying the importance of eating real, organic foods.

This is yet more evidence of big corporations trying to strong arm consumers into buying their toxic products and not supporting the organic and sustainable industries.

Here’s an idea: Instead of recommendations about getting mammograms and exposing women to more 1,000 times more radiation than what you can get in a chest x-ray, what if medical and health authorities provided some guidance about what could really make a difference in cancer and other disease rates – such as removing personal care chemical, and other products from households and places of business?

And, what if doctors and clinicians gave their patients sound advice about diet? To remove all sources of chemically-laden foods and beverages, and replace with real, healthy food from organic or organic-practicing sources? I ask, wouldn’t this be a more intelligent way of combating this terrible disease that is considered number …on the list of causes of death?

Incidentally, these preventative measures we are told to use actually cause cancer. Yes, you read that right. Read about how chemotherapy and radiation contribute to an increase risk in cancer. Mammograms are also linked to an increase in cancer as well since they use radiation, and radiation is cumulative in the body. Studies from Cornell University and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory show how exposure to radiation actually triggers modifications in the micro-environment of the cell, which has a profound impact on future cancer development.

From Dr. Lenoard Coldwell’s site, describing how these procedures contribute to an increased cancer risk:

“The reason is that signals from a cell’s microenvironment, altered by radiation exposure, can cause a cell’s phenotype (made up of all its biochemical and physical characteristics) to change by regulating or de-regulating the way a cell uses its genes. The result can be a cell that not only becomes pre-cancerous but that passes this pre-malignant condition on to future cells.”

Cancer and GMOs

The French rat study

In September of this year, a study conducted in France revealed that rats fed GM corn developed massive tumors.  Both GM corn and Monsanto’s flagship product Roundup were implicated in this study, and scientists discovered that rats exposed to even the smallest amounts of these substances showed serious kidney and liver damage, and also experienced development of mammary tumors, which occurred as early as four months in males, and seven months of age in the females.

Dr. Michael Antoniou, molecular biologist from King’s College London  and member of CRIIGEN, the independent scientific council said, “This research shows an extraordinary number of tumours developing earlier and more aggressively – particularly in female animals. I am shocked by the extreme negative health impacts.”

Bovine growth hormone rGBH

The connection between cancer and GMOs is not new. From the Institute for Responsible Technology:

“Milk from rBGH-treated cows has much higher levels of IGF-1, a hormone considered to be a high risk factor for breast, prostate, colon, lung, and other cancers. IGF-1 levels in milk from treated cows with rBGH can be up to 10 times higher. Studies suggest that pre-menopausal women below 50 years old with high levels of IGF-1 are seven times more likely to develop breast cancer. Men are four times more likely to develop prostate cancer. IGF-1 is implicated in lung and colon cancer.”

 Countless other studies exist showing the link between GMOs and cancer, and other disorders:

In the last 5 or so years, I have come to realize that these companies whose products bearing the pink ribbon and organizations promoting breast cancer awareness and other causes do so because it is a genius marketing tool which sells more products.

These companies play into the emotions of people and rely on the fact that breast cancer awareness and “prevention” such as getting a mammogram are high profile ideas and activities. And this awareness causes women everywhere to live in fear that they too will develop cancer in the future, and should take an “active” role in doing what they can to prevent something happening to them or someone they know and love.

This phenomenon is known as “pink-washing“. Like many marketing schemes, it is designed for one purpose and one alone: to make money.

Corrupt fundraising organizations

Susan G. Komen, perhaps the most well-known organization conducting fund-raising for breast cancer research has shown its colors time and time again. SGK has relentlessly been caught in case after case of fraud and misrepresenting themselves to promote awareness and a cure for cancer.

This organization that is widely heralded as a pillar in the health community does not spend one dime or campaign effort, by the way, on addressing changes in diet to eliminate toxins from our diets and lifestyles to help reduce our cancer risk.

They have denied ties to pharmaceutical companies and industry leaders such as AstraZeneca – who makes regular donations of  educational grants to Komen, and to companies like G.E. - of which they own stock – who are leaders in manufacturing cancer drugs and mammography devices for “early cancer detection.”

Read The British Medical Journal’s article How a charity oversells mammography, and for a very thorough examination of how SGK spends their money, Butter Believer’s post, I will not be pink-washed: Why I won’t support Susan G. Komen for the cure.

This report from Bloomberg discusses how people who were asked to spend time doing various activities to promote various disease “cures” learned that the money they helped to raise didn’t actually go where it was intended, and felt betrayed.

In another example, from 1999 to 2011, InfoCision was hired by The American Cancer Society to gather funds to cure cancer. By 2010, $5.3 million was raised How much of that went to cancer research? None! Tax filings show that it all went to InfoCision, and the society experienced a loss for that year. Not only did they keep the entire sum, but also raked in $113,006 in fees from the society.

So the truth is, a very small portion of what is spent on these products actually goes to Susan G. Komen or other organizations claiming to raise money for breast cancer. ABC News revealed that Campbell’s Soup gave just 3.5 cents from the sale of each can of soup.  In Yoplait’s pink ribbon campaign, you would have to eat 3 cups of yogurt daily for 4 months in order to raise just $36 to fight breast cancer. Money raised to go to money-hungry, powerful corporations who are day in and day out collecting money to line their own bank accounts….meanwhile, the cure for cancer remains mysteriously absent.

What can you do to counteract big agriculture, biotech, and support sustainability?

  • Please support Proposition 37, California Right to Know campaign that will be voted on next week in the election and which would require mandatory labeling on GM foods in the marketplace. At least 23 other states are planning to introduce initiatives for this measure in the near future. Please keep a watch out for this coming to your own state.
  • Don’t buy processed, packaged foods and other products, and support your local sustainable farmers who do things right!
  • Ask your farmers questions when you buy food about safe farming practices.

www.mypicshares.com

Want to read more about how fundraising for disease doesn’t actually find a cure?

Does fundraising for disease pay off?

Is cheap food really cheap? The hidden costs of industrial food

Is reactive medicine cheaper than prevention?

Healthy Living Healthy Meat Real Food Toxin Alert!

In the Face of the Feed Crisis, Beef Expert Claims Ruminants Can Digest “Anything”

www.mypicshares.com
Yesterday as I was driving home from taking my son to school, a report on NPR about the issues with the rising cost of feeding commercial cattle in today’s wavering economic market made my blood boil.

What I heard made me realize the issues we are having with GMOs in our food supply are compounding due to the fact that the industry which relies almost solely on corn, grain, and soy to feed cattle will stop at nothing to cut costs and convince the public at the same time that these methods and activities are not only safe but necessary to “feed the world”.

It also made me realize the  industrial food industry will also stop at nothing to reassure the public that their far-fetched and wholly unsafe practices are not only just fine but somehow “better for the environment”… including, telling lie upon ludicrous lie to get it done with false science and bad political maneuvering.

“Alternatives” to corn, soy, and grain

The discussion went into how droughts and wildfires, which have ravaged range lands this season, are forcing farmers to look for more “efficient ways” to feed their cattle. According to the report, beef scientist Tim DelCurto from Oregon State University has alternatives for ranchers and feedlot owners that provide lower cost feed now that corn and soy prices are skyrocketing. These include:

“Grass seed straw, distillers grains leftover from ethanol production, cannery waste and potato processing byproducts such as misshapen green beans, carrots and even French fries.”

DelCurto believes that ruminants can easily adapt to other feed and it doesn’t affect their health. He said, “I think one of the unique attributes of beef cattle, and sheep fit this too, unique attributes of ruminant animals is that they can digest virtually anything.”

This month, DelCurto will speak at several University of Idaho Extension classes where he will be sharing these “cost saving tips” with cattle ranchers.

It is this twisted way of thinking which has ushered in the predominance of antibiotic and hormone use in commercial cattle farming today, which has greatly contributed to inflammatory disease in both cattle and humans, including digestive, endocrine, and auto-immune disorders, antibiotic resistance, and super bug bacteria which can’t be managed by normal medical care.

It is beyond shameful that we are allowing our universities to be used to support big agriculture’s agendas, which for decades have had negative consequences for our food system, health, and environment.

Other news reports have been flooding the wires over the couple of weeks about the use of even more unsavory substances for feeding cattle as a way to counter the effects of rising feed costs:

“cookies, gummy worms, marshmallows, fruit loops, orange peels, even dried cranberries”

These substances are being used as alternatives to the starchy corn, soy, and grain feeds used by conventional farming facilities to put weight on cattle. All of these alternatives to soy, corn, and grain are highly processed and many are by-products of the commercial farming, food, and chemical industries…and many of these contain GMOs as well. Really? Cookies and gummy worms?

It should go without saying, but these “experts” and “scientists” have it all wrong.  It’s absolutely unthinkable that anyone calling themselves a caretaker of the environment or steward of the land would even suggest the preposterous notion of feeding cattle these kinds of substances is acceptable. Does it really seem reasonable that animals being slaughtered for meat should be fed these substances? And if they are allowed to consume them, what affect might that have on their health, and our health when we eat the meat from these animals?  Our ancestors would have never agreed to this practice.

These measures used by the food industry are not about taking care of the health and well-being of anything or anyone involved, they are about profits.

The GMO factor

Corn, soy, and grains are not healthy feed for cattle, which are ruminants and are intended to graze on green grass.  Even without the GM component, these feeds cause health problems for animals consuming them. Cattle who eat this kind of feed develop acidity in the digestive tract, and because cattle become vulnerable to disease and sickness, farmers administrate antibiotics.

A recent study showing the results of a life-time of feeding  rats a certain type of genetically engineered corn common in the U.S. food supply looks even more unfavorable. These findings were published in the peer-reviewed journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology, and showed the development of massive tumors in the bodies of rats and also included liver and kidney damage, and premature death. There have been over 30 additional studies showing the presence of toxic or allergic reactions in animals consuming GE foods.

It may seem like if these issues were such a threat, you’d see people dying of premature death everywhere. But consider that rats don’t live very long, their life span is at most 3-4 years. Human life spans are much longer, the average being about 75. The fact is, many people are experiencing chronic health issues that have not been seen before on the scale that degenerative disease is occurring, but are being allowed to continue living through the intervention of drugs, surgeries, and other medical procedures. Genetic engineering is a relatively new development, but GMOs have been in our food supply now since 1996.  The long-term effects of consuming GE foods simply aren’t known yet.

Meanwhile, Monsanto and other seed companies are working night and day trying to get more GM crops approved. Mounting evidence is showing that GE crops are failing to live up to the hype that has been propagated about their “benefits”.

Informed scientists such as Dr. Donald Huber have spoken and written about the dire consequences of chemical-based monoculture crops which degenerate soil integrity. His research shows that GE crops cause even more harm to the soil than conventional farming. GE farming uses the application of broad-spectrum herbicides on the genetically engineered mono-crops, resulting in herbicide-resistant super-weeds.  These plants are just about impossible to destroy. Ronnie Cummins from The Organic Consumer’s Association stated: “Scientists estimate that herbicide-resistant crops planted around the globe will triple the amount of toxic broad-spectrum herbicides used in agriculture”.

It should be easy to see the failure of this chemical system in the destruction of vital soil for supporting life, the lack of diversity in continued monoculture crops, the loss of heirloom and indigenous seeds that have been traditionally saved and planted in successive seasons, and the massive debt piled upon tens of thousands of farmers who use these programs to grow their crops and support their families (and who are beholden to Monsanto and other seed companies due to strict contracts they sign).

The fact is, many countries such as Haiti and others have been bullied by Monsanto and other seed companies into using their seeds for farming. In 2010, Haiti rejected the seeds and burned them. In 2011, GM maize was ploughed under in Hungary, according to Ministry of Rural Development Lajos Bognar. It also happened in Zambia as well. All of these countries have food shortages, but also have serious doubts about the safety of GM seeds.

What’s the alternative?

Joel Salatin, grassfed beef farmer in Swope, VA has explained the virtues of grassfeeding ruminant animals, and pasture-raising other livestock such as pigs. Instead of mass-scale factory farming that pollutes the environment, soil, water, and harms human and animal health, he advocates for smaller-scale farming that utilizes nature to support the ecosystem of the farm. Salatin’s 100 acre organic spread thrives on the symbiotic relationship between the grazing cattle and roaming chickens to provide nourishment to the land and themselves. This type of farming can and does quite well without hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, and GMOs.

Stanley Fishman of Tender Grassfed Meat has an excellent post describing how properly managed grassfed farms can produce healthy meat for people to eat.  Not only can the farms thrive, they can help with water supply issues which are becoming an increasing excuse for chemical and seed companies to engineer toxic alternatives to traditional farming.

“The world’s water supply can be greatly increased by increasing the number of grazing animals, and having them follow proper grazing practices. Not only will this greatly increase the water supply, but it will result in the creation of great amounts of new soil suitable for growing crops, and increase the size and richness of grasslands, allowing even more herds to graze. And the grassfed meat made available by following this path will provide the food that is far more nutrient-dense and nourishing than a plant-only diet.”

There are also other farmers who are finding ways to keep their stock on range lands and grazing, while preserving the ecology, as nature intended. In southeast Oregon, ranchers are embracing the natural landscapes and allowing their cattle to roam on desert areas, eating high-desert grasses.

In Simon Fairlie’s book, Meat: A Benign Extravagence, he devotes a considerable amount of discussion about small-scale, holistic meat farming and how we can continue to feed the growing populations of the world. This book so succinctly and profoundly lays out the methods and mechanisms by which we should undertake humane and smaller-scale meat production, George Monbiot, environmental activist and vegan, regarded this book as a life-changing read and discarded his support for veganism after reading it.

What can you do?

Supporting our local, grassfed meat farmers which contribute positively to the ecosystem and local economies instead of GMO and commercial farming is imperative. If we don’t abandon these toxic, modern systems of food production, we will wipe out our fertile soil and ability to produce food for the future.

  • Be aware of the fact that 90 percent or more of foods you buy at the store probably contain GMOs. Read labels and avoid these products as best you can. Avoid buying grocery store meats from unhealthy animals, which are full of antibiotics, hormones, and residue from pesticides, GMOs, and other toxic chemicals.
  • Get involved in local efforts in your home state to institute labeling on GMO foods.
  • Educate others by spreading the word!

More information:

Health benefits, grassfed meat, Eat Wild

The grassfed beef challenge: Busting myths about meat - read about the great health benefits of grassfed meats and why the myths about meat being harmful to eat are untrue

Grassfed Cattle, Not Junkfed Cattle

10 reasons to avoid GMOs

Learn how GMOs affect our health

Support the California Right to Know campaign and get involved in your state and local area to label GMOs and boycott GMO foods

4 ways to avoid GMOs in the foods you buy

Photo credit: TheInternational.org