Posted By Dr. Mercola | October 20 2010 | 3,338 views
The Indiana Business Journal reports that proteins from genetically modified crops are showing up in Indiana waterways.
According to the Journal, the University of Notre Dame and Loyola University looked at 217 streams, drains and ditches near Indiana cornfields and found genetically modified (GM) bug-killing protein in 50 of them.
The protein is in genetically modified corn and other crops that are engineered to produce their own pesticide when insects bite them. But when farmers mow the fields, the residue remains from the crushed plants – and it's finding its way to the waterways.
"The protein is carried to surface water by runoff and by the leaves and stalks that sometimes wash into streams," the Journal said. "And the protein lingers. The study was conducted six months after harvest."
The paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, says it is not known whether the trace levels of the protein are a threat to invertebrates in the water.
But either way – it's still poison, and it's a poison that was in 85 percent of the U.S. corn crop last year.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
Eighty-five percent of U.S. corn crops last year contained a special gene added that allows them to produce an insecticide. This way, when bugs attempt to eat the corn they're killed right away (specifically their stomach is split open) because the plant contains an invisible, built-in pesticide shield.
The particular gene added to most corn crops is a type of Bt-toxin --- produced from Bacillus thuringiensis bacteria. Genetic engineers remove the gene that produces the Bt in bacteria and insert it into the DNA of corn (and cotton) plants.
They claim that Bt-toxin is quickly destroyed in human stomachs -- and even if it survived, it won't cause reactions in humans or mammals …
But animal studies have already shown that this is not the case, that Bt-toxin does cause health effects in animals, including potentially humans. And now this theory is about to be further tested because the GM toxin is showing up in waterways, where it has the potential to devastate aquatic life and continue to spread, uncontrolled and unrestricted, across the entire United States and world.
GM Insecticide Poisons Widespread in Waterways
Fifty of the 217 streams, ditches and drains near cornfields that researchers tested were found to contain Cry1Ab, a specific type of Bt-toxin, above six nanograms per liter.
The protein is getting into the waterways via corn stalks, leaves, husks and cobs that blow into the water -- a phenomenon that's incredibly common since farmers often leave such material in fields to help minimize soil erosion.
Eighty-six percent of the streams researchers tested contained various corn material with the potential to transmit Bt-toxin into the water. Further, because the study was conducted six months after crops were harvested, it indicates that the GM protein lingers in the environment.
The Research on Bt Toxin is Very Clear …
… And this is not a substance you want in your food or waterways. Jeffrey Smith, a leading spokesperson on the health dangers of genetically modified (GM) foods, has written extensively about Bt toxin, and explains firsthand what the research shows:
"Mice fed natural Bt-toxin showed significant immune responses and caused them to become sensitive to other formerly harmless compounds. This suggests that Bt-toxin might make a person allergic to a wide range of substances.
Farm workers and others have also had reactions to natural Bt-toxin, and authorities acknowledge that "People with compromised immune systems or preexisting allergies may be particularly susceptible to the effects of Bt."
In fact, when natural Bt was sprayed over areas around Vancouver and Washington State to fight gypsy moths, about 500 people reported reactions—mostly allergy or flu-like symptoms. Six people had to go to the emergency room."
A Pesticide Factory in Your Gut?
Notice that the studies above refer to a "natural" form of Bt-toxin, which is sometimes used by organic farmers, in spray form, as a method of natural insect control. This natural Bt has clearly been shown to cause problems, but it appears the GM variety is even worse. Smith explains:
"The Bt-toxin produced in the GM plants is probably more dangerous than in its natural spray form. In the plants, the toxin is about 3,000-5,000 times more concentrated than the spray, it doesn't wash off the plants like the spray does, and it is designed to be more toxic than the natural version.
In fact, the GM toxin has properties of known allergens and fails all three GM allergy tests recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and others."
For instance, Cry1Ab shares a sequence of 9-12 amino acids with vitellogenin, an egg yolk allergen. This means it could cause allergic reactions in people with egg allergies, but the link was never further investigated.
The toxin can also be inhaled from breathing pollen from GM plants, and a UK government committee warned it could then transfer the Bt-toxin DNA into your respiratory system. As Smith states:
"Although no studies were done to verify this risk, years later UK scientists confirmed that after consuming GM soybeans, the foreign inserted genes transferred from the soy into the DNA of human gut bacteria.
If Bt genes from GM corn chips, for example, also transfer, it might convert our intestinal flora into living pesticide factories—continually producing Bt-toxin inside of us."
October is Non-GMO Month!
The Bt-toxin is already contaminating waterways, and it's only a matter of time before this and other GM poisons completely overtake our food supply. So the time to take action to get these toxic compounds out of the food supply and out of the environment is now!
And what better time to get involved than during Non-GMO Month, which is taking place right now.
Together we CAN get GMOs (genetically modified organisms) banned from the United States. Europe was able to do it over a decade ago without any government assistance. All they did was educate the consumers, and that was enough pressure on the food industry to drop their ploys.
If we band together as an effective army we will be able to do this. Please understand that the VAST majority of people in the US do not want GM foods, so this is an EASY battle to win. All we have to do is a bit of organizational work.
How many Americans do we need to convince to avoid eating genetically modified foods to achieve the same victory in the US?
We believe it's only about FIVE PERCENT of US shoppers!
So, changing the shopping habits of about 5.6 million households may be sufficient to eliminate GMOs in the US.
That is our goal!
We already have these numbers on our side. About 28 million Americans buy organic on a regular basis. Eighty-seven million Americans think GMOs are seriously unsafe. A hundred and fifty-nine million Americans, the majority, say they would avoid GMOs if labeled!
Unfortunately, no labeling is required, making your commitment to avoid GM foods all that more complicated. But that's where we come in.
How You Can Help Others to Avoid GMO Foods
Most people want to avoid GMO foods but it is virtually impossible to do so, since the government prevents GMO labeling.
However, Jeffery Smith has compiled a resource for you to avoid the government block of information. It is the free Non-GMO Shopping Guide. We realize that with the challenging economy it is very difficult for many to donate money to help this cause, so we are merely asking for your time and connections with your family and friends.
You can really help by making this message go viral. So if you are convinced that GMO foods should not be in the US, please send this information to everyone you know; post it on Facebook and Twitter…
You can also print out Non-GMO Shopping Guide, and give it to your friends and family.
If you feel more ambitious you can also order the Non-GMO Shopping Tips brochure in bulk, and bring them to the grocery stores in your area. Talk to the owner or manager and get permission to post them in their store.
Who Will You Share this Information With?
You can help nurture this consumer mindset by bringing information to your local natural food store owner, so that she can share it will all of her customers as well. IRT has created a complete Retailer Campaign Kit for this purpose.
You can also share information with your child's school, your health care providers, and food manufacturers. The IRT has created information kits for all of them, available here:
Please remember to share this with your friends and family, but do so lovingly. You don't want to make yourself a pest and risk your relationship with them. But believe me, this is a MUCH easier sell than getting them to stop smoking or eating less sugar since most do not want GMOs anyway, and it doesn't involve giving anything up.
You may even want to share this information with your church or religious leaders. As Jeffrey says:
"There are certain religious groups that think the genetic engineering process itself violates God's laws. So 'GMO' for them really means, 'God Move Over' and not 'Genetically Modified Organism.'"
Must-See Movies to Share!
The IRT has created a film called Hidden Dangers in Kid's Meals, which is a powerful way for parents to get an initiation into the health dangers. It's only 28 minutes long, which is ideal for local access TV.
You can simply bring the film to your local access TV station, and sometimes they'll play it 10, 20, or even 30 times because they're always looking for material and are open to support from the community.
There's also a video called Your Milk on Drugs - Just Say No!, which exposes the dangers of GM bovine growth hormones. Any parent still feeding their child milk from cows injected with rBGH needs to see this
film! They'll never make the same mistake again…Another powerful video you can share with your friends and family is Jeffrey's Everything You Have to Know About Dangerous Genetically Modified Foods lecture.
Your Action Plan
I've already mentioned a number of different ways for you to get actively involved during Non-GMO Month. To recap, and add a few more suggestions, here is a list of Action Item for you to pick and choose from:
- Distribute WIDELY the Non-GMO Shopping Guide to help you identify and avoid foods with GMOs. Look for products (including organic products) that feature the Non-GMO Project Verified Seal to be sure that at-risk ingredients have been tested for GMO content.
- Download the Non-GMO Shopping Tips brochure and keep it with you whenever you shop, or download the free iPhone application that is available in the iTunes store. You can find it by searching for ShopNoGMO in the applications.
You can also order the Non-GMO Shopping Tips brochure in bulk and give it to your family and friends.
- Urge food manufacturers to join the Non-GMO Project and become Non-GMO Project Verified. This is currently the only way for manufacturers to get around the fact that there's no GM-labeling system.
- Urge your local food retailers to join the Non-GMO Project's Supporting Retailer Program.
- If your budget allows support this urgent mission by generously donating to the Institute of Responsible Technology.
- Bring the film Hidden Dangers in Kid's Meals to your local access TV station, or perhaps your child's school, along with some educational material specifically designed for teachers and educators.
- Share Your Milk on Drugs - Just Say No!, and Jeffrey's lecture, Everything You Have to Know About Dangerous Genetically Modified Foods with everyone you know. Post them to your Facebook page, or email the links to your network of friends and family.
- Join the Non-GMO Project on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.
Together, We Control the Future of Our Food
Please join us in this important campaign. Do as much or as little as you can. Maybe you can't make a donation to IRT, but you can distribute 20 Non-GMO shopping guides to your closest family and friends.
Plus, all orders placed through Mercola.com, starting October 6th, will receive a FREE, printed 16-page Non-GMO Shopping Guide.*
No purchase necessary. You may also download the Non-GMO Shopping Guide, for free, here.
Please, support this urgent mission by donating to the Institute of Responsible Technology, a non-profit organization.
Together, we can make a difference. Together, we can reach the tipping point and push GMOs out of our food supply.