“The pharmaceutical industry has no interest in having you well, because they don’t make money if you’re well.” ~ “Genetic Roulette” documentary
Every person in this country should watch the documentary “Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives.” I stopped eating corn, canola oil, soybeans, wheat and sugar beets after watching it.
“Genetic Roulette” was written by Jeffrey Smith, executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology. A variety of scientists, agro-ecologists, professors, and researchers contributed to the film, including Don Lotter, Ph.D. agro-ecologist and plant biologist; Colin Campbell, Ph.D. professor emeritus in nutritional biochemistry at Cornell; Joel Bakan, law professor at the University of British Columbia; Shiv Chopra from Health Canada; Arpad Pusztai, Ph.D. and retired plant biochemist from Rowett Research Institute in Scotland; consumer advocate Ralph Nader; and former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich.
The documentary explains that Monsanto, the same company that advertised PCBs, Agent Orange, and DDT as safe, is in charge of 170 million acres of genetically modified crops that are cross-pollinating with fields as far as 500 miles away. This may be causing irreversible genetic damage to our entire food system.
The revolving door from Monsanto leadership to the decision-makers at the Food and Drug Administration, the federal agency that is supposed to be responsible for protecting the public health through regulating food safety, is typified by Michael Taylor, who was a longtime lawyer and public policy executive of Monsanto. The film explains how he became senior adviser to the FDA commissioner and, in 2010, deputy commissioner of the FDA. The FDA gives a lot of leeway to the manufacturers of genetically modified foods, setting up a voluntary consultation process with GMO firms.
With lobbying and alleged bribery, “Genetic Roulette” describes, companies like Monsanto, DuPont, Bayer, Syngenta, and Dow — all chemical companies — have designed and marketed food crops patented to profit from the sale of seeds created to tolerate soaking with toxic chemicals — herbicides and pesticides — that they also sell.
Studies on rats by Arpad Pusztai for the British Government in the mid-1990s show that in 10 days’ exposure to GMO potatoes, rats have slower growth, compromised immune systems, smaller testicles, brains and livers, and precancerous cells. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine, “Genetic Roulette” notes, advises all doctors to recommend non-GMO foods to their patients to avoid reproductive problems, organ failures, cholesterol imbalances and gastrointestinal distress. The meteoric rise of autism in this country (often accompanied by intestinal problems) parallels the use of glyphosates found in Roundup, a Monsanto mainstream weed killer.
I had my own experience with the Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, a common product containing glyphosate. In 2004, when I worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to do a prairie restoration on six acres of my property, they insisted on preparing the proposed site with one application of Roundup. I resisted, but they would not till the meadow or work with me if I did not use this chemical. USFWS personnel told me that Roundup dissipates in three days and is harmless. Within weeks of use, the natural bee colony in my oak tree on the other side of my house had disappeared entirely. I developed lesions on the palms of my hands and my wrists. A dermatologist told me I had psoriasis. It has persisted to this day. (Skin diseases often plague people working in GMO fields, “Genetic Roulette” reports.) The pollinators I hoped to help are few. Few butterflies. Few bees. Ironically, the Roundup did a very poor job of getting rid of the grass.
A report of a 2013 study in the Journal of Environmental Protection explains that Roundup is the most widely used pesticide in the world; 185 million pounds are used in the U.S. alone each year. Glyphosate is the active chemical ingredient. It is absorbed into the plant and root system and cannot be washed off. It pulls the nutrients from crops, destroys the health of soil and water, and destroys biodiversity (bees, butterflies, beneficial insects, birds, amphibians). Then livestock eat largely Roundup-contaminated crops and concentrate the chemicals in their flesh and in their milk, cheese and dairy products.
The genetic alterations to plants changes our genes when we consume them. Our babies’ genes are changed permanently, says Rima Laibow, medical director of Natural Solutions Foundation, in the “Genetic Roulette” documentary.
Monsanto and DuPont, the “Genetic Roulette” documentary explains, paired up the commercialize the epicyte gene, which creates antibodies in a man to his own sperm and in women to sperm, causing infertility in both sexes. Since the U.S. does not have GMO labeling, we don’t know whether this gene is in our food.
What’s more, the documentary describes how spider genes have been injected into goats to milk them for spider protein to make bulletproof vests. Cow genes have been injected into pigs to create more cowhide. Some GMO chickens have no feathers to pluck. Salmon have been genetically modified to grow faster.
A Cornucopia Institute study makes the case that glyphosates in Roundup may be the most significant contributing factor in the explosion of many illnesses and conditions associated with a Western diet, including gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Add in Parkinson’s disease, allergies, mammary tumors, and liver diseases.
“The foodstuffs of the Western diet, primarily grown by industrial agriculture, are increasingly being produced using a two-part system of engineered plant seeds and toxic chemical application,” the study states. “Novel bacterial genes are incorporated through genetic engineering, and toxic chemical residues are readily taken up by the engineered plants.”
“Studies have shown sharp increases in glyphosate contamination in streams in the Midwestern United States following the mid-1990s, pointing to its increasing role as the herbicide of choice in agriculture,” according to the study.
Over 50 countries in Europe, Asia, and South America now require labeling of GMO foods. As a result, they have almost disappeared from the shelves of stores in Europe, “Genetic Roulette” points out.
“We are heading downhill at a rapid rate of speed toward our own extinction,” a narrator in “Genetic Roulette” intones — deep into a human-caused mass extinction. Educate yourselves for the food fight of your lives.
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