We are the Guinea Pigs of the Biotechnology Corporations!

We the Corporations

by Adelaide Ozer | 2001

 The Experiment

       When I first began my research into genetically engineered food, I was horrified to find that for years we have been part of an experiment we have not consented to.  This makes us experimental subjects without any choice.  We are the guinea pigs in this experiment and the planets ecological system is the test site.  Scientists are creating unthinkable genetic modifications in our food, mixing animal, insects and even human DNA into animals and plants, and the reason of course is the giant biotechnology corporations are desperate for profits at any cost. 

The technology is grossly under-researched; the scientific basis of genetic engineering is still not fully understood and relies on lengthy hit-and-miss tests to get results.  The biotech industry wants it all kept quiet as they push products onto the market with unprecedented speed to recoup their billions of dollars in accumulated genetic research and investment costs.  It is important for us to be informed and to be up to date with genetically engineered food, the health risks it poses to humans, animals, birds, insects, and the damage it causes to our environment also the threats it poses to farmers.  In developing countries farmers face a double risk to their livelihoods: ecologically, from the uncontrollable spread of GM seeds into complex ecosystems, and economically, from giant biotechnology corporations who control and own patents on the seeds.

[1] Animal experimentation is going on all over the world the genes from chicken, cows, rats and humans have been engineered into commercial fish species in order to increase the growth rates- GM salmon, for instance, have been engineered to reach six times their natural size. Yet once such fish escape from the farms in which they are produced, nothing can stop them from breeding with natural stock and passing their deformities into the gene pool.

[2] Some of these experiments with salmon are being carried out very close to us in New Zealand in fact.

[3] Another experiment carried out in New Zealand is by the New Zealand government.  The research project is planning to put human genes into cows so that their milk is more like human breast milk. Scientist Phil L’Huillier who is heading the project, say’s the first two or three years will be spent putting transgenic embryos into cows and breeding from them to produce transgenic calves which will in turn breed to produce herds of up to 30 animals for milking. We all should be concerned because it deals with the safety of something very basic to human life: our food. There is lack of consideration for a large segment of the population that has ethical or religious beliefs that classify genetically engineered plants carrying animal or human genes as being totally unacceptable as foods.

[4] An award-winning scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster David T Suzuki PhD say’s, “We have learnt from painful experience that anyone entering into an experiment should give informed consent”. That means at the very least food should be labelled if it contains genetically modified organisms so we each can make a choice.  He sums up the cost of new technologies saying, we only have to reflect on DDT, nuclear power, and CFCs, which were hailed as wonderful creations but whose long-term detrimental effects were only found decades after their widespread use. Now, with a more wise and balanced perspective, we are cutting back on the use of these technologies. But with genetically modified foods, this option may not be available.  The difference with GM food is that once the genie is out of the bottle, it will be difficult or impossible to stuff it back. If we stop using DDT and CFCs, nature may be able to undo most of the damage or even nuclear waste decays over time.  But Genetically Modified plants are living organisms. Once these life forms have become established in our surroundings, they can replicate, change, and spread; there may be no turning back.

[5] A new development “Terminator Technology” is about to be release onto the market. The seed and agrochemical industry have developed “Genetic Seed Sterilisation “ they are new patents, which will threaten farmers and food security.

A Platform for Inducing Chemical Sales: The new generation of patents goes beyond the genetic neutering of crops. The patents reveal that companies are developing suicide seeds whose genetic traits can be turned on and off by an external chemical "inducer" -- mixed with the company's patented agrochemicals. In the not-so-distant future, we may see farmers planting seeds that will develop into productive (but sterile) crops only if sprayed with a carefully prescribed regimen that includes the company's proprietary pesticide, fertilizer or herbicide. The latest version of Monsanto's suicide seeds won't even germinate unless exposed to a special chemical, while AstraZeneca's technologies outline how to engineer crops to become stunted or otherwise impaired if not regularly exposed to the company's chemicals. RAFI calls it "Traitor Technology."

The spectre of genetic seed sterilization is so serious that Terminator technologies will be debated at several United Nations bodies, including UN Food and Agriculture Organization in April, the Convention on Biological Diversity in May, the UN Commission on Science, Technology, and Development in May.

[6] It has been estimated that approximately 30,000 untested new genetically engineered food products have reached our market shelves.  Genetically altered supplements and foods have already caused debilitating allergies, permanent crippling, and deaths simply because consumers were unaware.

[7] Thirty-Seven people have died and 1,500 people in the U.S. were permanently disabled from toxic and deadly bacteria created during the production of genetically engineered tryptophan.

Reference:

[1] Dr Arpad Pusztai, formerly of the Rowett Research Institute speaking on Granada TV’s World in Action (1998)

[2] Dr Frank Sin at the University of Canterbury www.canterbury .ac.nz/publish/research/97/A19.htm

[3] Auckland Feb 8 1999 (Agence France Presse)

[4] Canada’s most famous Scientist Warns of Hazards of GE; Food for life-Summer 2000 Experimenting with Life by David Suzuki.

[5] The Terminator Technology: RAFI-USA Press Release

Rural Advancement Foundation International- RAFI Press Release-27 January 1999

[6] Consumer alert Avoiding Dangerous Foods by Peter M.Ligotti 

[7] Nordlee,J.A. et al (1996) The New England Journal Of Medicine 688; Mayeno, A.N. et al (1994) Tibtech 12:364.)

 

Genetic Engineering

Genetic engineering, genetic modification or genetic manipulation all comes under the same heading.  Biotechnology and all three terms mean the same thing, the reshuffling of genes usually from one species to another.  Scientists are giving birth to their bizarre creations transferring genes from fish to tomatoes, human to pig, scorpion to potato, and just about any unsavoury combination you can imagine.

Genetic engineering is a radical new technology, one that breaks the fundamental genetic barriers-not only between species, but between humans, animals and plants.  By combining the genes of dissimilar and unrelated species, permanently altering their genetic codes, human beings can’t normally exchange genes with a carrot or a mouse, but with DNA technology it can happen, novel organisms are created that will pass the genetic changes onto their offspring through heredity.  Scientists are now snipping, inserting, recombining, rearranging, and editing, and programming genetic material.  Animal genes and even human genes are being inserted into plants or animals creating unimaginable transgenic life forms.

[7] Genetic modification", or more specifically, "transgenic technology" is a set of techniques for manipulating, or engineering the genetic material, DNA, enabling molecular geneticists to cut and join, mutate, copy and multiply genes, and most importantly, transfer genes between species. A major vehicle for genetic manipulation is artificially constructed, parasitic genetic elements, or vectors, used to multiply copies of genes, and to carry and smuggle genes into cells, which would normally exclude them.  Once inside the cells, these vectors slot themselves into the host's genome, to genetically transform the cells to make transgenic organisms.  The integration of the vector DNA, as indeed any foreign DNA into the host-cell genome is a very imprecise, random process, known to cause many genetic disturbances with harmful or lethal effects.  Vectors used in transgenic technology are usually a mosaic recombination of natural genetic parasites from different sources, including viruses causing cancers and other diseases in animals and plants, with their pathogenic functions "crippled". The vector most widely used in plant genetic manipulation is derived from a tumour-inducing plasmid carried by the bacterium Agrobacterium tumefacient ENS.  In animals, vectors are constructed from retroviruses causing cancers and other diseases.  Thus, a vector currently used in fish has a framework from the Moloney Murine leukemic virus, which causes leukaemia in mice but can infect all mammalian cells.  It also has bits from the Rous sarcoma virus, causing sarcomas in chickens and from the vesicular stomatitis virus causing oral lesions in cattle, horses, pigs and humans.

[8] There is serious concern about the dangers of using genetically engineered viruses as delivery vehicles (vectors) in the generation of transgenic plants and animals.  This could destabilize the genome and lead to horizontal gene transfer to other species, including mammals. This may cause dangerous new diseases, resistance to antibiotics, and severe immune reactions. Genetic engineering also interferes with RNA editing and molecular folding, which may cause the information of prion-based diseases similar to BSE – mad cow disease.

 

How to get the gene into the other cell.

[9] There are different ways to get agents from A to B or to transform a plant with a "new” gene.  A vector is something that can carry the gene into the host, or rather into the nucleus of a host cell.  Vectors are commonly bacterial plasmids. One of the methods used is the "shotgun technique" also known as "bio-ballistics", which blindly shoots masses of tiny gold particles coated with the gene into a plate of plant cells, hoping to land a hit somewhere in the cell's DNA.

 

What is a plasmid?

Plasmids can be found in many bacteria and are small rings of DNA with a limited number of genes.  Plasmids are not essential for the survival of bacteria but can make life a lot easier for them.  Whilst all bacteria -no matter which species - will have their bacterial chromosome with all the crucial hereditary information of how to survive and multiply, they invented a tool to exchange information rapidly.  If one likens the chromosome to a bookshelf with manuals and handbooks, and a single gene to a recipe or a specific building instruction, a plasmid could be seen as a pamphlet.  Plasmids self-replicate and are thus easily reproduced and passed around.  Plasmids often contain genes for antibiotic resistance.  This type of information, which can easily be passed on, can be crucial to bacterial strains, which are under attack by drugs, and is indeed a major reason for the quick spread of antibiotic resistance.

 

Working with plasmids

Plasmids are relatively small, replicate very quickly and are thus easy to study and to manipulate.  It is easy to determine the sequence of its DNA, that is, to find out the sequence of the letters (A, C, G and T) and number them.  Certain letter combinations such as CAATTG - are easy to cut with the help of specific enzymes. (Proteins) These cutting enzymes, called restriction enzymes, are part of the Genetic Engineering 'tool-kit" of biochemists.  So if I want to splice a gene from a fish into a plasmid, I have to take the following steps:  I place a large number of a known plasmid in a little test tube and add a specific enzyme that will cut the plasmid at only one site. After an hour I stop the digest, purify the cut plasmid DNA and mix it with copies of the fish gene; after some time the fish gene places itself into the cut ring of the plasmid. I quickly add some "glue" from my 'tool-kit" – an enzyme called ligase - and place the mended plasmids back into bacteria, leaving them to grow and multiply. But how do I know which bacteria will have my precious plasmid?  For this reason I need marker genes, such as antibiotic resistance genes.  So I make sure my plasmid has a marker gene before I splice my fish gene into it.  If the plasmid is marked with a gene for antibiotic resistance I can now add the specific antibiotic to the food supply of the bacteria.  All those, which do not have the plasmid, will die, and all those that do have the plasmid will multiply.

Reference:

[7] PERILS AMID PROMISES OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS – Dr Mae-Wan Ho Biology Department, Open University, U.K.  November 1996

[8] Ref: (Green, A. E.

(1984) Science 263:1423 Osbourne, J.K. et al (1990) Virology 179:921;Mae-Wan Ho (1996) Biology Dept, Open University

Reference:

[9] What is Genetic Engineering? By Ricarda Steinbrecher, The Women's

Environmental Network Synthesis/Regeneration 18   (Winter 1999)

 

Propaganda Strategy

Who benefits from such technology, people in need, or people who need more.

Public Relations companies employed by the genetic industry devise strategies that manipulate the public opinion with information placement in media and campaigns designed to show us the benefits of biotechnology.  The reason we are led to believe is to (1) Feed the growing population of the world, especially the Third World, (2) Reduced chemical inputs, which would be good for the environment (3) Higher yields, benefiting farmers and consumers, (4) To improve the nutritional value of the food.

(1) Dr Mae-Wan Ho Biology Department Open University, U.K. November 1996, wrote in her article Perils amid Promises of Genetically Modified Foods. Dr Mae-Wan hoe Say’s, despite the lowest prices on record, more than 800 million people still go hungry and 82 countries – half of them in Africa- neither grow enough food, nor can afford to import it.  Infant mortality rates –a sensitive indicator of nutritional stress have been experiencing an upturn in recent years, reversing a historical trend. Large numbers of children suffer from malnutrition in developing countries. In India alone, 85% of children under five are below the normal, acceptable state of nutrition.

(2) Concerns about Roundup ready soybeans increasing the amount of toxic chemicals sprayed on US farmlands that are just as serious.  Farmers using RRS seeds will now be able to dump twice as much Roundup (a toxic herbicide) onto their cropland, further damaging soil fertility and polluting the ground water. In California, Roundup has been found to be the third most commonly reported cause of pesticide poisoning among farm workers.

(3) 1976/7 Yield of genetically altered Bt cotton was lower than natural cotton crops. In the US farmers complained of massive pest infestations from insects the cotton was supposed to resist.  Others suffered malformed cotton plants.  In Australia, cotton growers rated the crop as very poor value; the 30,000 hectares of Bt cotton planted was only 60% effective.  In the U.S.A, it has been reported that over 800,000 acres of herbicide resistant GE cotton were planted in 1977.  The US Dept. of Agriculture is concerned about complaints from farmers in Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Louisiana who reported that bolls were falling off their plants.  Crop failure was apparently a problem in hundreds of thousands of acres, with farmers reporting losses of up to US$1 million.

(4) Pioneer Hybrid seed company genetically altered soybeans by adding a gene from the Brazil nut.  The intention was to enhance its nutritional value, but the bean never reached the market because some individuals suffered allergic reactions to the novel soybean.

Reference:

(1) Article- Farmers facing problems with genetically altered crops and products (Natural Food Commission) Website http//www.Naturallaw.org.nz/genetics/.

(2) Article- US Consumers & Farmers Battle Genetically- Engineered soybeans ( Ronnie Cummins- US Director of Pure Food Campaign and Ben Lilliston Editor director of Sustain) Website

http//www.purefood.org

(3) And (4) same article as in Ref: (1)

 

Ethical or Religious Concern

[10] Both consumers and the biotechnology industry recognize that the transfer of genetic material/information from humans or other animals to food producing organisms will violate vegetarian, ethical, and religious beliefs of certain segments of the population.  From the point of view of modern molecular biology and biochemistry, the essential component involved in such animal-plant transfers is not the material of the DNA molecule, because, of course, that material is identical in both plants and animals.

The essential component is genetic information.  The biotechnology industry and regulatory bodies have attempted to skirt this issue by arguing that the recombinant gene put in the food or food ingredient is not animal material but is a copy of a gene from an animal source, claiming that no animal material has been introduced into the food.  The superficial nature of this argument is obvious.  It is little more than a play on words. Industrial voices elaborate on this argument stating that, indeed, many genes are common to plants, animals, and microbes, and therefore there is no real distinction between animal and plant genes.  For instance they would say that both animals and plants have genes for the enzyme hexokinase.

This view exposes a superficial appreciation and understanding of the actual molecular biological facts. Although genes for proteins that are common to both plants and animals are related, there are significant differences the information contained in those genes. That is, the cow hexokinase gene is different from the tomato hexokinase gene in information content.  Therefore, the structures and functions of cow and tomato hexokinase differ, as well. The fact that a change in the information content of a gene translates into a change in the function of the enzyme encoded by that gene implies that a change in genetic information, brought about through recombinant DNA manipulations, has material consequences.

It should also be pointed out that, in general genes common to a wide variety of species are not the focus of agricultural genetic engineering.  Instead, there is far more commercial interest in using genetic engineering to confer on a species new characteristics by transferring to it genes that are unique to some other species. Transfer of genes that are highly similar to genes naturally present in an organism is in most cases of little commercial value.

Thus, it is scientifically untenable to claim, as the biotechnology industry and regulatory agencies wish to do, that the rabbit hexokinase gene is no longer a rabbit gene once it is introduced into a tomato plant.  No matter how many generations the rabbit hexokinase gene is propagated in tomatoes, the gene still corresponds in information content to the rabbit gene, and the catalytic and kinetic properties of the enzyme still correspond to those of rabbit hexokinase, and not tomato hexokinase. It may not be rabbit material, but it is still rabbit information.

Dr Fagan concludes that the arguments raised in the US Discussion Paper are not based on scientific fact.  More to the point, purely scientific grounds are not even relevant to the issue of ethically and religiously based choices in food consumption.  Setting aside arguments such as those discussed in [10] it is a simple fact that there exists a growing segment of the population that has ethical or religious beliefs that classify genetically engineered plants carrying animal or human genes as being unacceptable as foods.  This situation is not the result of misunderstanding of the nature of recombinant DNA manipulations or of ignorance of the principles of modern biology.  By and large, the segment of the population holding these beliefs is among the best educated. Lack of understanding of the technology cannot be used as an excuse for discounting the concerns of this group. A labelling policy that does not sincerely take into account the ethical and religious concerns of this growing segment of the population will not induce these individuals to ignore their beliefs and purchase plant-animal recombinant foods. Instead such a policy will cause them to restrict their food purchases even more stringently, and to promote reverse labeling, both of which are likely to impact negatively on the market share of genetically engineered foods.

Reference:

[10] A Science- Based, Precautionary Approach to The Labelling Of Genetically Engineered Foods, by John Fagan Ph.D.

 

Dangers of Genetically Engineered Foods

There is increasing scientific evidence agribiotechnology; and to apply the precautionary principle to this new technology. At the 12th (1999) annual Scientific Conference of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), more than 600 delegates from over 60 countries voted unanimously for against the use of genetically modified organisms in food production and agriculture.  The delegates called on governments and regulatory agencies throughout the world to immediately ban genetic engineering in agriculture and food production since it involves:

         Negative and irreversible environmental impacts.

         Release of organisms of an unrecallable nature.

         Removal of the right of choice, both for farmers and consumers.

         Violation of farmers' fundamental property rights and endangerment of their economic independence.

         Practices, which are incompatible with the principles of sustainable agriculture as, defined by IFOAM.

         Unacceptable threats to human health.

To regard many genetically engineered (GE) crops and food as being adulterated and even potentially toxic, and therefore posing potential risks to human and other consumers (including insects, birds, and wild and domesticated mammals) and to the environment is not unreasonable considering the following scientifically documented findings:

         [1] There is evidence that foreign DNA can enter the body via the gastrointestinal tract and cross the placenta (1,2).

         [2] Genetically modified organisms can produce unanticipated toxins (3,4) or allergens (5).

         [3] Gene transfer can occur between transgenic plants and bacteria, the ecological consequences of which can be catastrophic (6).

         [4] Milk from cows injected with r-BGH, which is not analogous to normal BGH (7), has elevated insulin-like growth factor that is implicated as a risk factor in human breast cancer (8,9).

         [5] Considering the documented evidence that horizontal transfer between species is a natural phenomenon (10-16), the precautionary principle must be applied in creating transgenic organisms that could transfer novel genes and viral vectors to other species (17-19).  The ecological, evolutionary, and public health consequences of such transfers we will only know after the fact. Horizontal gene transfer is even likely to take place in the digestive systems of protozoa, nematodes, insect larvae, and other soil macro-organisms (12).

         [6] That genes, like viruses, can infect (20,21), should serve as a warning to us all of the potential risks of transgenic organisms serving reservoir for new diseases, and as a medium for the evolution of new pathogens because of their altered physiology and biochemistry.

         [7] Unanticipated multiple side effects of gene insertion (called pleiotropic effects) have been well documented.  Viral "promoters" and "enhancers" that boost expression of transgenic could result in the production of high levels of Bt toxin and other chemicals in transgenic crops.  Even more serious harm to the ecology of the soil may result, because this Bt toxin does not rapidly degrade in certain soils after the crop has been harvested and the remains used compost.  This toxin in transgenic crops is likely to accumulate more and more in the soil after each crop, and will poison many beneficial insects and other organisms essential for the ecological health and fertility of the soil. This could affect the nutritive value of crops grown in sterilized soil. (22) Genetic alterations in crops like soybeans to make them resistant to herbicides may result in unpredictable, unnatural genetic recombinations and change the biochemistry and nutritive value. Higher levels of phyto-estrogens are produced in beans grown in the presence of the herbicide glyphosate, which may be of particular risk to children (23).

         [8] The highly controversial research findings of a reputable scientist, Dr Arpal Pusztai from the UK government's Rowett Research Institute, revealed adverse health effects in rats fed genetically engineered potatoes. He reported abnormal organ development and weakening of the immune system attributable to either the cauliflower mosaic virus that was used as a promoter (and in many other transgenic crops), or to the active genetically spliced insecticidal lectins present in these G-E potatoes. Liver, brain, and heart sizes of the rats all decreased. (24)

         [9] Some 99 percent of commercial transgenic crops incorporate virus genes, either as promoters or to control virus infections. These virus genes can recombine with other viruses and may result in new diseases and more invasive pathogens (25-29). With the inclusion of antibiotic-resistance markers, transgenic crops could therefore increase the probability of new viral and bacterial pathogens and the spread of antibiotic and drug, resistance genes.

         [10] DNA released from living and dead cells can persist in the environment and be transferred to other organisms. An organism may be dead, but its "naked" DNA released from decaying cells may remain biologically active for potentially thousands years, especially in certain soils and marine sediments. (30) Naked DNA (nucleic acids) ingested by mice can be transferred to offspring and be voided and spread in animals' feces. (2)

         [11] One must therefore consider not only the "fate" of transgenic organisms but also the genes and viruses or parts thereof, that have been inserted into them. Such "naked DNA", in the form of recombinant and modified nucleic acids, has been found capable of surviving and remaining functional longer after organisms' death than was assumed previously. (6,30) Furthermore, xenobiotics, especially dioxins and various agrochemicals, can act as mutagens (31), altering the structure and sequence of DNA and also increasing the permeability of cells and the incorporation of foreign DNA into living organisms.

         [12] The instability of transgenic crops is a major concern. There is, in fact, no data documenting the stability of any transgenic line in gene expression, or in structure and location of the insert in the genome. Such data must include the level of gene expression, as well as a genetic map and DNA base sequence of the insert and its site of insertion in the host genome in each successive generation. No such information has been provided by industry, nor requested by regulatory authorities. (32)

Conclusions:  Contamination of the "life stream" by naked recombinant DNA, by transgenic viral vectors, and antibiotic resistant genes is probably already taking place.  Since a recall is impossible, our best hope if it is not already to late to control genetic pollution, is a five-year worldwide moratorium on the creation and release of all genetically engineered living entities and products, from new vaccines, to transgenic crops, so that science-based risk assessments can be properly completed.

POSTSCRIPT    The British Medical Association released an interim statement on "The Impact of Genetic Modification on Agriculture, Food and Health", citing a critical need for more data on allergen city and possible toxicity of GM foods. This statement included the following points concern:

Information about the effect of genetic modification on the chemical composition of food, and in particular its safety is needed urgently.

Reference:

Dangers of GE Foods & Crops--Dr. Michael Fox References are available upon request, from www.hsus.org)

WILL GENETICALLY ENGINEERED CROPS MEAN ADULTERATED AND TOXIC FOOD, BODIES, AND ECOSYSTEMS? By Dr. Michael W. Fox, Senior Scholar/ Bioethics The Humane Society of the United States 2100 L Street, NW Washington, DC 20037

Mandatory Labels for GE Foods in Australia and New Zealand

This Year Mandatory GM labeling approved in Australia by a Feedstuffs Staff Editor.  The health ministers comprising the Australia New Zealand Food Standards (ANZFSC) approved July 28 a resolution requiring strict mandatory-labeling requirements for genetically modified (GM) foods.  As adopted, the resolution:

Requires labeling of food and food ingredients where novel DNA and/or protein is present in the final food, and requires labeling of food and food ingredients where the food has altered characteristics.  Exempted from these requirements include:

         Highly refined food where the effect of the refining process is to remove novel DNA and/or protein;

         Processing aids and food additives except those where novel DNA and/or protein is present in the final food;

         Flavors that are present in a concentration less than or equal to 0.1% in the final food, and food prepared at the point of sale.

The standard allows an ingredient to contain up to 1% of unintended presence of GM product.  ANZFSC also has endorsed the principle of due diligence and verifiable documentation (such as an audit trial) or testing for compliance purposes.  It also noted that the protocol for compliance would elaborate on those processes used to produce highly refined food, which means manufacturers not have to test individual batches of foods produced using such recognized processes.  The council said it would keep under review developments in GM food labeling.  The revised standard is to take effect 12 months from time of publication and be reviewed and a report prepared for the council on its implementation three years from that date.  Publication of the resolution is expected in September, which would put the standard into effect by September 2001.

The New Zealand Grocery Marketers Assn. has been generally supportive of the decision, noting it was practical, meaningful to consumers and will minimize associated extra costs. At the same time, the group has noted possible concerns with trade from the U.S., the potential implication that GM food is unsafe and the imposition of more onerous compliance provisions than apply elsewhere. The group also has said it believes few products currently on the shelf would have to be labeled.

Under the resolution, U.S. and other nations’ food exports to the Australian and

New Zealand markets would need to be labeled consistent with the standard.

Reference:

Feedstuffs (magazine) Aug 7, 2000

Partial List of GE Companies and Products

This information on products which are genetically engineered, foods which may be genetically engineered, and companies involved in genetic engineering was compiled by Irene Archer from information found on the genetic engineering mailing list and other sources. Some of the information may apply to Canada and some to the US or both.  If you live in a country that may receive imports from the U.S. and Canada, you should avoid non-organic foods as a safety precaution.  In our own country or if another country is exporting to our country they may be doing genetic engineering.  Eat only organic food if possible.  Even if you buy seeds to grow your own food, buy only organic seeds.

 

The following information in this category is not about genetic engineering but is for Religious groups and Vegetarians to note:

A & D vitamins can contain emulsifiers from Pork

Apple juice, which is clarified, contains gelatin

Beta Carotene contain lard or gelatin in processing

D3 has sheep lanolin used in the process

Lcysteine is made from Human Hair

Lactose may contain pork rennin or whey in processing

 

Companies Involved in Genetic Engineering

Agritope, Asgrow, Calgene, Ciba-Geigy, DeKal, DNA Plant Tech. Dupont Ecogen Hoechst/AgrEvo, Monsanto, Mycogen, Northrup King, Novartis, Petro, Seed Plant Genetic Systems, Research Seeds Rhone, Merieux Rhone, Poulenc, Sandoz, Zeneca, Cornell University is involved, Hawaii University is involved.

BRAND NAME PRODUCTS, WHICH MAY BE (OR ARE) GENETICALLY ENGINEERED OR CONTAIN GENETICALLY ENGINEERED INGREDIENTS

BT corn, Coca Cola, Fleishmanns margarine, Fritos, Green Giant Harvest Burgers, Karo Corn Syrup, Kraft Salad Dressings, McDonalds French Fries, Nestle Crunch, Quaker Oats corn meal, Roundup Ready Soybeans, Similac Infant Formula, Fritos (corn), Nestle chocolates (soy), NutraSweet (Aspartame), Fleishmann’s margarine (soy), Land O Lakes butter (rBGH), Cabot Creamery Butter (rBGH),

 

FOODS WHICH MAY BE GENETICALLY ENGINEERED OR CONTAIN GENETICALLY ENGINEERED INGREDIENTS:

[Note: Organically grown ingredients are free of genetic engineering.]

Amylase is used in making bread, flour, whole-wheat flour, cereals, starch, glucose syrup, cider, wine, beer etc, Baking powder - additives in processing, Bread - soy in, Canola Oil, Catalase is used in making soft drinks, egg albumen, liquid whey cereals - soy in, Chymosin (rennet), Corn Products, Corn Starch, Corn Syrup, Food Supplements - yeast in, Fruit juices may be processed with genetically engineered products. Glucose Syrup, Ice Cream - soy in etc.  Lactase, Maize, Pasta - soy in potatoes, Rennet, Soft Drinks - in the processing or corn syrup, Soy Products like soy sauce, burgers, frankfurters, powders etc.

Soybeans, Squash, Sugar - in the processing, Tofu, Tomatoes, Yeast.

 

AVOID ALL OTHER CONVENTIONAL (NOT CERTIFIED-ORGANIC) TOMATOES, POTATOES, CORN, SOY, CANOLA OIL, COTTON SEED OIL, AND YELLOW CROOK-NECK SQUASH:

TOMATOES: Genetically engineered with bacteria-derived kanamycin resistance

Genes, Antisense backwards DNA, antibiotic marker genes, viruses, and DNA of

Flounder and North Atlantic shellfish. This and the following genetically engineered foods have antibiotic marker genes used to facilitate the genetic engineering process.  They can cause allergies and autoimmune disease.

POTATOES: Genetically engineered with wax moth insect DNA; genetically

Engineered to produce its own pesticide internally with the DNA of bacillus

Thuringiensis bacteria.

CORN: Genetically engineered to tolerate high quantities of the chemical pesticide

Glufosinate, and genetically engineered with a virus and the DNA of the bacteria

Bacillus thuringiensis.

SOY: Genetically engineered and DNA-altered by Monsanto with bacteria; capable of tolerating heavy doses of Monsanto's Roundup brand chemical pesticide (Glyphosate).

YELLOW CROOK-NECK SQUASH: Gene-spliced with two experimental viruses

And arbitrary marker genes, capable of causing unpredictable and unexpected

effects.

CANOLA OIL: Genetically engineered and DNA-altered with California bay turnip

and various viruses and bacterium in order to produce high quantities of lauric acid.

COTTON SEED OIL: Genetically engineered and DNA-altered with Arabidopsis

Bacterium, and viruses to be able to withstand large applications of the chemical

Pesticide bromoxynil. Bromoxynil causes birth defects in human beings.

PAPAYA: Some have been genetically engineered.

 

GENETICALLY ENGINEERED PRODUCE BEING FIELD TESTED (NOT ON THE MARKET YET):

Barley, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Chicory, Cranberries, Creeping Bentgrass, Eggplant, Gladiolus, Grapes, Lettuce, Peas, Peppers, Raspberries, Strawberries,

Sugar Cane, Sweet Gum, Watermelon, Wheat.

 

READ LABELS CAREFULLY: BE CAREFUL WITH ALL PROCESSED FOODS WATCH OUT FOR CONVENTIONAL, NON-ORGANIC CORN AND SOY, BECAUSE THEY ARE IN SO MANY PRODUCTS:

Avoid corn syrup, fructose, and fructose corn syrup in almost all beverages and sodas (even health food brands), and in almost all sweet products, yogurt, and aspirin. Avoid corn oil, corn starch, corn meal, baking soda, baking powder, glucose syrup; Avoid soy; soy flour in baked goods; pizza, cookies, cakes, pasta; fillers in meat products, (for example Big Macs) vegetarian meat substitutes, (for example tofu, tofu burgers, tofu hot dogs) soy milk, infant formula, baby foods; diet and protein shakes, protein bars; chocolate and candy bars; margarine; ice cream; pet food; soy oil in salad dressings & snack chips; soy sauce; lecithin and soy lecithin. In all, well over 30,000 products!

 

AVOID rBGH MILK & DAIRY PRODUCTS

Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rBGH), marketed through veterinarians and injected into dairy cows, causes increased milk production and horrible mastitis. These cows then require constant medical supervision and continuous high doses of antibiotics. Their milk contains high levels of pus.  The cow's milk and dairy products made from this milk also contain rBGH, bovine growth hormone. This hormone increases cancer risk in human beings.

 

AVOID ASPARTAME

This is known as the artificial sweetener Equal or NutraSweet and is made up of three chemicals and a genetically engineered enzyme. It has been implicated in many diseases. It breaks down into formaldehyde in the body.

 

EAT ONLY ORGANIC RENNETLESS

CHEESE Most non-organic cheeses are made with genetically engineered rennet called chymosin.

 

AVOID DOUGH CONDITIONER

This is a code word for a combination of genetically engineered enzymes and other components found in cheaper breads and baked goods.

 

OTHER GENETICALLY ENGINEERED ADDITIVES AND ENZYMES

Avoid Amylase (used in making bread, flour, whole wheat flour, cereals, starch), Catalase (used in making soft drinks, egg whites, liquid whey) and Lactase

 

MEAT AND POULTRY

Most livestock are being fed genetically altered feed, as well as a disgusting Mix of ground-up and often diseased and discarded animal carcasses. The only safe beef and poultry will be those fed only organically grown grain. Avoid commercially produced seafood. Commercial pork has been genetically altered with DNA from human beings. Great time to decide to be vegetarian.

 

FAVOR DAIRY PRODUCTS FROM COMPANIES THAT DO NOT USE (rBGH) BOVINE GROWTH HORMONE

Research and buy only from suppliers that promise on the package or in other writing that their products are rBGH-free.  Be especially careful with butter. Buy only organic butter, because even otherwise good companies buy cheap rBGH milk to make butter, or else they buy their butter (rBGH) from other companies.

I have especially devoted a section on Formaldehyde Poisoning from Aspartame (NutraSweet) or Equal.

Detailed scientific and general documentation regarding the toxicity of NutraSweet, Equal, diet coke, diet Pepsi, and other aspartame containing items. Web page includes real life reports of acute and chronic toxicity due to long-term ingestion.  Also included is extensive scientific and general information and resources.

 

Formaldehyde Poisoning from Aspartame

In 1997 there was an increase in aspartame users reporting severe toxicity reactions and damage such as seizures, eye damage and vision loss, confusion, severe migraines, tremors, depression, anxiety attacks, insomnia, etc.  In, the same years, Ralph Walton, MD, Chairman, The Center for Behavioral Medicine showed that the only studies which didn’t find problems with aspartame where those funded by the manufacturer (Monsanto).  Given the agreement amongst independent scientists about the toxicity of aspartame, the only question was whether the formaldehyde exposure from aspartame caused the toxicity. That question has now been largely answered because of research in the late 1990s.

The following facts shown by recent scientific research:

1.Aspartame (NutraSweet) breaks down into methanol (wood alcohol).

2.Methanol quickly converts to formaldehyde in the body.

3.Formaldehyde causes gradual and eventually severe damage to the neurological system, immune system and causes permanent genetic damage at extremely low doses.

4.Methanol from alcoholic beverages and from fruit and juices does not convert to Formaldehyde and cause damage because there are protective chemicals in these traditionally ingested beverages.

5.The most recent independent research in Europe demonstrates that ingestion of small amounts of aspartame leads to the accumulation of significant levels of Formaldehyde (bound to protein) in organs (liver kidneys, brain) and tissues.

6.Excitotoxic amino acid such as the one, which is immediately released from Aspartame likely increases the damage caused by the Formaldehyde.

 

DO YOUR HOMEWORK!

Readers are urged to follow up by printing and reading the extensive and heavily referenced discussion related to aspartame and methanol/formaldehyde poisoning (suitable for scientists and laypersons) at http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame/abuse/   

See also, www.aspartamekills.com

This document details the research showing Formaldehyde toxicity from Aspartame and demonstrates the techniques the manufacturer used to help hide these facts.  Finally, an updated discussion of Formaldehyde dosage from aspartame has been added to answer questions raised by what appears to be a manufacturer public relations campaign.  Please read this document only after reading the first methanol/formaldehyde document linked to above.

Keywords: NutraSweet Monsanto

Reference: 

Aspartame (NutraSweet) Toxicity Information Center Main Page

(Case histories of aspartame poisoning, scientific docs, statements from experts, Healthier sweeteners)

 

Aspartame Is Dangerous For Everyone!

[1] I realize that the average consumer has a ‘We've all got to die of something attitude," but they don't realize that before this stuff kills them that they are going to have a miserable declining existence with lots of pain, disease and other problems.

[2] Toxic sweeteners to avoid: neotame, aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal), sucralose (Splenda), acesulfame-k (Sunette, Sweet-n-Safe, Sweet One).

NOTE:  If you are a diabetic- It is important to work closely with your healthcare practitioner when you change your diet. Diabetics can safely use STEVIA (listed below) and usually small amounts of LICORICE ROOT and FRUCTO-OLIGOSACCHRIDES.  Some diabetics who are allowed to use small amounts of  and also use small amounts of Sucanat or Florida Crystals listed below.  Please consult your healthcare practitioner.

[3] Alternatives

Please do not switch from one dangerous artificial sweetener (aspartame) to another (e.g., acesulfame-k. A list of "healthier" sweeteners and sources on web page below.  Please use these more natural, time-tested sweeteners to promote long-term health as opposed to destroying it.

Website:  Holistic Medicine Web Page

 “ Healthy” Sweeteners - Articles & Resources.

[4] A well-researched and well-documented book about these techniques (and a "must-read") is:

Toxic Sludge is Good For You!  (Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry)

By John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton

Common Courage Press, Monroe, Maine (USA), c1995

ISBN 1-56751-061-2 or ISBN 1-56751-060-4 (paperback)

“This book will help you understand what tricks to expect from Monsanto as scientists and the general population recognizes the dangers of aspartame.  It is a real eye-opener and I highly recommend it.”

--An Aspartame Victim

 

See: Biotechnology Myths

Website: www.holisticmed.com/ge/my

By Miguel Altieri, PhD

 

Read: PERILS AMID PROMISES OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS

By Dr Mae-Wan Ho Biology Department, Open University, U.K. November 1996

 

Read: A Science-Based, Precautionary Approach To The Labeling Of Genetically Engineered Foods

By Dr John Fagan Ph.D.


Mandatory Toxic Drugs for Babies and Children

Health Concerns  |  Biotech Harvest

Taking Over the Food Supply

Frankenfoods