Friday, January 28, 2011



GM maize trials to begin in East Africa

By Katy Migiro

NAIROBI, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Confined field trials of genetically modified maize will begin in Kenya and Uganda this year once regulators approve it, the U.S.-based non-profit African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) said.

Scientists from Kenyan and Ugandan government research bodies, Monsanto (MON.N) and research body International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) developed the 12 varieties of Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) due to be planted.

Maize is the most widely grown staple food in Africa and is badly affected by drought. The scientists aim for the drought-resistant GM maize to increase yields by 24 to 35 percent.

"Everything we have seen in the simulated trials shows that we can safely test transgenic maize varieties in carefully controlled and confined field trials in Africa," James Gethi, the WEMA-Kenya country coordinator, said in a statement seen by Reuters late on Thursday.

Scientists conducted mock trials in simulated conditions in Kenya and Tanzania in 2009. The transgenic maize will now be planted in 1-2 hectare confined fields once Kenya and Uganda give regulatory approval.

The world's poorest continent, where agriculture contributes up to a quarter of GDP in some countries and is an important source of foreign exchange, is increasingly turning to genetically modified crops to bolster food supplies.

But critics and consumers, mostly in Africa and Europe, have questioned the safety of GM foods and have banned their import or cultivation due to fears they could harm humans and wildlife.

If the maize is approved, it will be licensed to AATF, which is funded by the United States and British governments.

"The expected WEMA transgenic drought-tolerant maize seed will be sub-licensed to local seed companies royalty-free for a term or duration to be determined based on future product deployment agreements," AATF Communications Officer Grace Wachoro said in a statement to Reuters.

"The confined field trials will enable the project to address safety issues."
AATF said the resulting trial maize crop will be destroyed in accordance with Kenyan and Ugandan research regulations.

Trials are also planned for South Africa, Mozambique and Tanzania.

More than 30 countries, including all of the European Union, have restricted or banned the production of GM crops because they are not considered proven safe.


I am deeply concerned and worried about the serious health hazards, the irreversible environmental damage and the negative socio-economic consequences that could result from open-field trials (to be followed by commercial cultivation) of the WEMA GM maize in Tanzania and throughout the region.

In fact, there is ample independent scientific and empirical evidence from around the globe which clearly links GM maize - and GMO’s in general - to serious human and animal health hazards, irreversible environmental and ecological destruction and negative socio-economic consequences for both farmers and countries growing GMO’s.

In a study released by the International Journal of Biological Sciences, analyzing the effects of genetically modified foods on mammalian health, scientists have linked three of Monsanto's GM maize to organ damage.

The data “clearly underlines adverse impacts on kidneys and liver, the dietary detoxifying organs, as well as different levels of damages to heart, adrenal glands, spleen and haematopoietic system,” reported Gilles-Eric Séralini, a molecular biologist at the University of Caen.

Furthermore, several EU states and other countries around the world have banned GM maize and other GMO crops based on independent scientific and empirical evidence which link GM maize and other GMO crops to serious negative health hazards on both human and animals and to serious irreversible damage and destruction to the environment and the entire ecosystem. The German government has recently banned Monsanto's GM Maize (MON 810)- the only GMO crop authorized by the EU - calling it "a danger to the environment.."

Tragically, however, at the same time East African countries are set to begin open-field testing of Monsanto's so-called "drought-resistant" GM maize to " fight hunger and poverty..." The AATF is blindly pursuing regulatory approval for open field testing of its WEMA GM maize in Tanzania and throughout the region, irrespective of the documented scientific and empirical evidence on the hazards and consequences associated with GM maize/GMO’s, and in violation of the Precautionary Principle contained in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which Tanzania has ratified.

I have written to the Executive Director of the AATF – Mr. Daniel Mataruka – to express my worries and deep concern about this issue. Unfortunately - although not surprisingly - I have not yet had a response from the AATF. I am enclosing a copy of my email below for your information.

Daniel Mataruka
Executive Director
The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF)
P.O. Box 30709
Nairobi 00100, Kenya

Re: Safety of open-field testing of Monsanto’s WEMA GM maize in East Africa

Mr. Mataruka,

I am writing to you regarding the open field trials of the 12 so called ‘drought tolerant” varieties of Monsanto’s Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) scheduled to begin this year in Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Mozambique and Tanzania, as indicated in a press release by the AATF published on your website.


I hereby wish to briefly share with you and draw your attention to the following documented independent scientific evidence linking GM Maize to grave human and animal health hazards and to inevitable and irreversible environmental genetic pollution and environmental destruction, before you open Pandora’s box with your dangerous experiments…


Scientific study links Monsanto’s GM Maize to organ damage

In what is being described as the first ever and most comprehensive study of the effects of genetically modified foods on mammalian health, an independent scientific study published by Prof. Gilles-Eric Séralini - a molecular biologist at the University of Caen (France) and President of the Scientific Council of the Committee for Independent Research and Information on Genetic Engineering - in the International Journal of Biological Sciences has linked three of Monsanto’s GM maize with organ damage.

Three varieties of Monsanto’s GM corn – Mon 863, insecticide-producing Mon 810, and Roundup® herbicide-absorbing NK 603 – were approved for consumption by US, European and several other national food safety authorities. The data used for this approval, ironically, is the same data that Professor Seralini and other researchers used and studied to link Monsanto’s three GM maize varieties with organ damage.

The data “clearly underlines adverse impacts on kidneys and liver, the dietary detoxifying organs, as well as different levels of damages to heart, adrenal glands, spleen and haematopoietic system,” reported Séralini.

Link to the study:

This latest study conforms with a 2007 study by professor Seralini on Monsanto’s (Mon 863) maize, published in Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, using the same data. (see below)

In May 2005, a report by the Independent in the UK revealed that secret research conducted by Monsanto on its GM maize MON863 showed significant variations between the rats fed with conventional maize and those fed with MON863 . These included an increased number of white blood cells in the males, reduced immature red blood cells in females, a significant increase in blood sugar in the females or a higher frequency of physical irregularities in the kidneys of the males, such as reduced weight and inflammation.

Prof. Gilles-Eric Séralini has conducted an analysis of the Monsanto study, the results of which are briefly summarized below:

The study revealed that rats fed the GM maize for three months showed signs of liver and kidney toxicity, as well as differences in weight gain between the sexes.

Professor Seralini writes:

"Our counter-evaluation show that there are signs of toxicity and that nobody can say scientifically and seriously that consumption of the transgenic maizeMON863 is safe and good for health," "We have the first signs of toxicity that appear at the level of body weight, the kidneys, and the liver, and that are also different between the sexes indicating deeper effects at the hormone level."

"Considering that the human and animal populations could be exposed at comparable levels to this kind of food or feed that has been authorised by several countries, and that these are the best mammalian toxicity tests available, we strongly recommend a new assessment and longer exposure of mammals to these diets, with cautious clinical observations, before concluding that MON863 is safe to eat," "The GM maize should not be allowed to be licensed as food or feedstuff in EU countries," said lead author of the study, Professor Gilles Eric Séralini

Environmental group Greenpeace has demanded an immediate and complete recall of MON863 from the global market, and also called on an urgent reassessment of all other authorised GM foods by governments.

"It is the first time that independent research, published in a peer-review journal, proves that a GMO authorised for human consumption presents signs of toxicity," said Arnaud Apoteker from Greenpeace France.

The study is published on-line in the peer-review journal Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology.

Furthermore, several other independent scientific studies have found serious negative human and animal health effects associated with GMO consumption.

In fact, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) has issued and published an alarming statement which states that “ there is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects.”

The AAEM writes:

Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food consumption including infertility, immune dysregulation, accelerated aging, dysregulation of genes associated with cholesterol synthesis, insulin regulation, cell signaling, and protein formation, and changes in the liver, kidney, spleen and gastrointestinal system.”

A recent 2008 study links GM corn with infertility, showing a significant decrease in offspring over time and significantly lower litter weight in mice fed GM corn. This study also found that over 400 genes were found to be expressed differently in the mice fed GM corn. These are genes known to control protein synthesis and modification, cell signaling, cholesterol synthesis, and insulin regulation. Studies also show intestinal damage in animals fed GM foods, including proliferative cell growth and disruption of the intestinal immune system."

"The strength of association and consistency between GM foods and disease is confirmed in several animal studies.” Specificity of the association of GM foods and specific disease processes is also supported. Also, because of the mounting data, it is biologically plausible for Genetically Modified Foods to cause adverse health effects in humans " concludes the AAEM


Furthermore, several EU states and over 30 countries around the world have declared a moratorium and banned GM maize and other GMO crops based on documented independent scientific and empirical evidence which link GM maize and other GMO crops to grave negative health effects on both human and animals and to serious irreversible hazards to the environment and the ecosystem as a whole.

Germany bans Monsanto’s GM Maize, calling it “ a danger to the environment.."

The German government has banned Monsanto's GM Maize (MON 810) last year - the only GMO crop authorized by the EU - calling it "a danger to the environment.."

“The decision was announced on by German Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner, writes the BBC. Ms Aigner, said she had concluded that "there is a justifiable reason to believe that... MON 810 presents a danger to the environment". Ms Aigner said the decision to ban it now, based on new data, was purely scientific, not political.”

France, Greece, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria and Hungary have all banned Monsanto's genetically modified maize using the EU’s precautionary principle because of serious scientific concerns on the long-term effects of the GM maize on the environment. The cultivation of all other GM crops is banned in the EU.


Genetically modified maize contaminates crops in seven German states
Despite a Europe-wide ban

Genetically modified maize has contaminated local maize crops in seven German states, according to research from Greenpeace. The state's agriculture ministry confirmed the research on Sunday. "This is, to date, the largest scandal concerning genetically modified seeds in Germany," said Alexander Hissting, an agriculture expert with Greenpeace.

The scandal occurred in March of this year, when Pioneer and other agribiotech corporations sold 23 different varieties of maize seeds contaminated by Monsanto’s illegal NK603 to farmers who cultivated them on 3,000 hectares (7,400 acres) in seven states in Germany, where contaminated farmers had to destroy their crops. [6] According to the German-based Foundation on Future Farming [7], the seed companies refused to accept liability and have not compensated farmers for up to hundreds of millions of Euro in economic losses.

Greenpeace says the corn already growing in the fields must now be destroyed, which could lead to millions of euros in losses for farmers. According to the organization's research, blood tests in animals have shown genetically modified corn to have a significant effect to the liver and kidneys.

"Putting the consumer at risk is not up for discussion," said Hissting.,,5657053,00.htm

“Massive Genetic contamination” of local maize in Spain

A report published by Greenpeace titled “ Impossible Coexistence” warns about the health and environmental hazards of GM Maize commercially grown in Spain and the “massive genetic contamination” of local maize crops:

The commercial cultivation of GM maize in Spain is causing “massive genetic contamination” according to Greenpeace.

“ The first cases of GE contamination have already occurred in Spain. In 2001, organically grown maize in the Navarra region was contaminated by Bt176 maize and, as consequence, farmers suffered losses since the crop couldn't be marketed as organic produce.

"In several cases the affected farmers suffered economic losses, as they were not able anymore to sell the contaminated maize at a premium market value,"claimed the report.

"Despite guarantees by various Spanish governments that guidelines and controls would ensure safety, farmers and consumer choice the reality has been the opposite.
"The Spanish experience demonstrates that GM and non-GM co-existence is a fallacy
," said Ritsema.

"Testimonials from farmers demonstrate that the unabated growth of the GM industry now represents the single largest threat to their livelihoods, especially in the regions Aragn and Catalonia where GM crops are mainly cultivated."

Greenpeace claims that the report, written in cooperation with farmer organisation Assemblea Pagesa and civil society group Plataforma Trangnics Fora!, is based on research including laboratory tests of samples taken from the maize fields of 40 Spanish organic and conventional farmers.

It claims to show that in almost a quarter of the investigated cases, unintended and unwanted presence of GM maize was found in the maize fields of non-GM farmers. The pressure group says that contamination was as high as 12.6 per cent.

The Spanish situation highlights the need for measures to prevent the genetic contamination of conventional and organic crops and should serve as a warning for the other European countries.

"This report should be taken as a warning to the Commission and Europe in general of the dangers of GM production, " said Greenpeace campaigner Geert Ritsema

Allowing contaminated seeds to be put on the market would lead to a creeping and unmonitorable contamination of all European farmlands by GMOs that would make it impossible to sustain a GE-free supply after a few years. GE companies should instead be made legally and financially liable for the environmental and economic damages their products can cause.

Preventing genetic contamination and other negative effects of GE crops should now be the number one priority for the Spanish Government instead of actively promoting GE agriculture in Spain. We call on Spain to apply the precautionary principle and to stop the growing of GE crops. The Spanish example should be a warning signal to other European countries not to allow GM crops.

As a result, Greenpeace is calling on the Spanish authorities to suspend the cultivation of GM in Spain. It is also calling on EU ministers and the European Commission to prevent the cultivation of GM crops in other EU countries.

Link to the report:

Genetic contamination of local maize in Mexico

Furthermore, a scientific study published in decembre 2008 in the Journal of Molecular Ecology confirms the genetic contamination of native Mexican corn in southern Mexico, as reported earlier by Chapela and Quist in 2002 (see below). The study found evidence of the 35S Promotor, a trait widely used in genetically modified crops to promote herbicide or disease resistance.

Source :

link to study:

On 17 September 2001, Mexico’s Secretary for Environmental and Natural Resources released partial results of its own study, confirming that transgenic maize had been found in 15 of 22 areas tested in Oaxaca and nearby Puebla. [15]

Just over two months later, Chapela’s team published in Nature. ‘We report’, wrote Chapela and Quist, ‘the presence of introgressed transgenic DNA constructs in native maize landraces grown in remote mountains in Oaxaca, Mexico, part of the Mesoamerican centre of origin and diversification of this crop’. In plain English, they were reporting contamination of native corn by its GM equivalent.

‘Whatever the source, it’s clear that genes are somehow moving from bioengineered corn to native corn’, says Chapela. ‘This is very serious because the regions where our samples were taken are known for their diverse varieties of native corn, which is something that absolutely needs to be protected. This native corn is also less vulnerable to disease, pest outbreaks and climatic changes.’ [17]

In January 2002, the Mexican Ministry of the Environment confirmed their findings from the previous year and said that in some remote regions of Oaxaca and Puebla, between 20–60 per cent of tested farms had traces of transgenic material. [53]

In April, Jorge Soberon, the executive secretary of Mexico’s National Commission on Biodiversity, announced the findings of the Mexican government’s research at the International Conference on Biodiveristy at The Hague. Soberon confirmed that the tests had now shown the level of contamination was far worse than initially reported in both Oaxaca and Puebla. A total of 1876 seedlings had been taken by government researchers and evidence of contamination had been found at 95 per cent of the sites. One field had 35 per cent contamination of plants alone. [86]

There have now been episodes of GM contamination in Argentina, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, India, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Zealand, Sweden, Thailand, the UK and the USA, amongst others. [95]

In fact many biotech scientists have signed on to a statement that says that GM contamination is inevitable and scientific evidence confirms the “inevitable” and irreversible hazards of genetic contamination of local food crops by GM crops.

Nature Biotechnology candidly pointed out, ‘gene containment is next to impossible with the current generation of GM crops … gene flow from GM crops to related plants thus remain a primary concern for regulators and one that companies need to address’. [91]

Even C.S. Prakash from– the pro-biotechnology industry’s spokesperson par excellence – has stated that the fact that GM contamination has occurred is now not disputed by the GM opponents. ‘Quist and Chapela have subsequently presented data that further supports the presence of transgenes in maize landraces – a point that has not been disputed’, argued Prakash [85] ‘It is important to recognize that the kind of gene flow alleged in the Nature paper is inevitable...’ [90]

My question to you Mr Daniel Mataruka regarding the safety of open-field testing of WEMA GM Maize in East Africa:

In view of the above independent scientific evidence documenting the health and environmental hazards associated with GM maize and the “inevitable” and irreversible genetic contamination of local maize crops by GM maize:

a) How can you guarantee the safety of the WEMA GM maize on both human & animal health, the environment and the ecosystem?

b) Have you carried out independent scientific health and environmental risk assessment studies for each one of the 12 varieties of the WEMA GM maize as legally required by article 15 of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety?


1. Risk assessments undertaken pursuant to this Protocol shall be carried out
in a scientifically sound manner, in accordance with Annex III and taking into
account recognized risk assessment techniques. Such risk assessments shall be
based, at a minimum, on information provided in accordance with Article 8 and
other available scientific evidence in order to identify and evaluate the possible
adverse effects of living modified organisms on the conservation and
sustainable use of biological diversity, taking also into account risks to
human health.

As stated in Annex III of the Protocol : RISK ASSESSMENT -Objective

The objective of risk assessment, under this Protocol, is to identify and
evaluate the potential adverse effects of living modified organisms on the
conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity in the likely potential
receiving environment, taking also into account risks to human health.

c) What regulatory, precautionary and preventive measures have the ATFF, Monsanto and its institutional partners put in place to prevent and protect the local maize crop from “inevitable” (and irreversible) genetic contamination resulting from the open field testing of the WEMA GM maize in East Africa?

d) And finally, who will be legally and financially liable in case of damage to both human & animal health and to the economy, the environment and the ecosystem as a whole resulting from the open-field testing (and planned commercial planting) of the WEMA GM maize?

I thank you for shedding some light into my interrogations, and I look forward to your response.

Note: Although the AATF has acknowledge receipt of my letter (see below), they have not yet responded to my inquiry.

RE: Safety of WEMA Maize...Thursday, January 13, 2011 2:54 AM
From: "Muchiri, Nancy (AATF)" View contact details
Cc: "Wachoro, Grace (AATF)"

Dear Arya,

This is to confirm receipt of your mail and enquiry to which we will respond as soon as possible.

Kind rgds for now

Nancy Muchiri
Communications and Partnerships Manager,
P.O. Box 30709, Nairobi, 00100, Kenya
Tel: 254-20 422 3700 • Direct line 254-20 422 3733 • Fax 254-20 422 3701
Via USA – Tel: 1 650 833 6660 • Fax: 1 650 833 6661 • Cell 254 735992206

Notes & references

4. Testimonies of Contamination, Greenpeace, 15 October 2009. This report documents the socioeconomic and human impacts of GM contamination, based on testimonials from farmers and food producers who have been directly or indirectly harmed as a result of contamination in Spain, the only EU Member State whose government allows the commercial cultivation of GM maize. The testimonials depict the stark reality of serious contamination of conventional and organic crops and the food chain. Download report:
6. These include five seed varieties sold by Pioneer Hi-Bred and 18 by Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow AgroSciences and other agri-biotech companies. The contamination was discovered by Lower Saxony’s Ministry of Agriculture at the beginning of March 2010. For details see:
7. Foundation on Future Farming:
14 Quist and Chapela (2001) op cit, p541.

15 Dalton (2001) op cit.

16 Quist and Chapela (2001) op cit, p543.

17 Yang,S (2001) Transgenic DNA Discovered in Native Mexican Corn, According to a New Study by UC Berkeley Researchers, University of California Press Release, 29 November.
53 ETC Group (2002) GM Pollution in the Bank? Time for “Plan B”, News Release, Winnipeg, 4 February; Magallon Larson, H (2002) Interview with Author, 5 March.
86 Brown, P (2002) ‘Mexico’s Vital Gene Reservoir Polluted by Modified Maize’, The Guardian, London, 19 April.

90 Prakash, C (2002) Joint Statement of Scientific Discourse in Mexican GM Maize Scandal, 24 February.

91 Nature Biotechnology (2002) op cit, p527.

95 Villar, J (2001) GMO Contamination – Around The World, Friends of the Earth International, Amsterdam; Hager, N (2002) Seeds of Distrust, Craig Potton, Nelson, pp12–20.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Photo d'un bébé au Paraguay contaminé par les herbicides ( Round Up Ready de Monsanto) pulvérisés dans les plantations industrielles de soja OGM en Amérique du Sud, exporté en Europe pour nourrir le bètail... ( Source: GM Watch)


MonSatan et l’industrie agro-alimentaire américaine et brésilienne ( Cargill, ADM, Bunge, etc.) doivent être tenu responsable et jugé pour Génocide et Crime contre l’Humanité et Crime contre la Nature.

Un rapport scientifique publié en septembre 2010 dresse un bilan désastreux de la monoculture industrielle du Soja OGM de Monsanto cultivé à grande échelle en Amérique du Sud et exporté au sein de l’UE pour nourrir le bétail dans les pays Européens et pour produire des agrocarburants – au détriment de la production vivrière locale – en empoisonnant et en chassant les petits paysans de leurs terres et en détruisant et en polluant l’environnement tout entier ( déforestation, pollution des terres, de l’eau et de l’écosystème tout entier)

Les consommateurs européens qui consomment de la viande nourries avec du soja et du mais OGM ( bœuf, porc, volailles, etc.) ainsi que les produits issus de ces animaux ( lait, fromage, œuf, etc) sont directement responsable de ce génocide humain et environnemental – soit par ignorance ou pire par indifférence…

Le SEUL moyen efficace de mettre en terme à ce génocide humain et écologique, c’est de boycotter et de ne plus acheter la viande et les produits des animaux nourris avec du soja et autres « aliments » OGM…

Malheureusement, la législation européenne actuellement en vigueur au sein de l’UE n’exige pas l’étiquetage des animaux nourris aux OGM ni des produits issus de ces animaux.

Donc, les européens doivent faire pression sur les politiques afin de rendre l’étiquetage des animaux nourris aux OGM obligatoire et éviter comme la peste d’acheter et de consommer les viandes et les produits issus des animaux nourris aux OGM.

Ainsi, tout l’industrie du soja OGM s’écroulera (sans violence) et l’on pourra mettre un terme au génocide humain et environnemental de la culture du soja OGM en Amérique du Sud.

Voir les documentaires suivant sur les conséquences socio-économiques, sur la santé et sur l’environnement de la culture du soja OGM au Paraguay :

Les champs de la mort

Paraguay’s painful harvest :

Extrait du rapport scientifique sur les conséquences de la culture du soja OGM en Amérique du Sud : Le Soja OGM: Durable? Responsable?

Effets du glysophate ( ingrédient actif de l’herbicide Round Up Ready de Monsanto pulvérisé sur les plantations de soja) sur la santé et l’environnement

Une nouvelle étude confirme le lien entre le glyphosate et les malformations congénitales

" En 2009, un scientifique du secteur public argentin, le professeur Andrés Carrasco, a révélé dans ses conclusions que, à des doses largement inférieures à celles utilisées en agriculture, les herbicides à base de glyphosate causent des malformations chez les embryons de grenouilles. De plus, des embryons de grenouilles et de poulets traités aux herbicides à base de glyphosate ont présenté des malformations semblables à celles observées chez les bébés humains exposés à ce type d’herbicides.

Le professeur Carrasco a relevé que « les conclusions du laboratoire sont comparables aux malformations observées chez les humains exposés au glyphosate pendant la grossesse. » Il a ajouté que ses conclusions ont des graves implications pour les humains parce que les animaux de laboratoire ont des mécanismes de croissance semblables à ceux des humains.

Le professeur Carrasco a observé des malformations chez des embryons qui ont reçu une injection de 2,03 mg/kg de glyphosate. La limite maximale de résidus autorisée dans le soja dans l’Union Européenne est de 20 mg/kg, soit une teneur 10 fois supérieure
Études épidémiologiques sur le glyphosate

Des études épidémiologiques sur l’exposition au glyphosate montrent un lien avec de graves troubles de santé, notamment:

• naissances prématurées et fausses-couches,32
• myélome multiple (un type de cancer),33
• lymphome non-Hodgkin (un autre type de cancer),34 35
• altération de l’ADN.36

Des études montrent que le glyphosate a des effets toxiques graves sur la santé et l’environnement. Les ingrédients ajoutés ou les adjuvants du Roundup accroissent sa toxicité. Les effets nocifs du glyphosate et du Roundup ont été constatés même avec les teneurs couramment utilisées en agriculture et trouvées dans l’environnement.

Les conclusions sont notamment:

• Dans les cellules humaines, le Roundup cause la mort totale des cellules en 24 heures. Ces effets sont observés avec des teneurs largement inférieures à celles recommandées pour l’usage agricole et correspondant aux faibles teneurs de résidus retrouvés dans les aliments pour humains ou animaux.6
• Les herbicides à base de glyphosate sont des perturbateurs endocrinaux (c’est-à-dire des substances qui interfèrent avec le fonctionnement hormonal) dans les cellules humaines. Ces effets sont constatés avec des teneurs jusqu’à 800 fois inférieures aux teneurs de résidus autorisées dans certaines cultures utilisées dans l’alimentation animale aux états-Unis. Les herbicides à base de glyphosate endommagent l’ADN des cellules humaines à ces teneurs.7
• Les adjuvants du glyphosate et du Roundup endommagent les cellules placentaires humaines à des concentrations inférieures à celles recommandées en agriculture.8 9 10
• Le glyphosate et le Roundup endommagent les cellules embryonnaires et placentaires humaines à des concentrations inférieures à celles recommandées en agriculture.11
• Le Roundup est toxique et mortel pour les amphibiens, chez lesquels il a causé une chute de 70 pour cent des variétés de têtards.12 Une expérience utilisant des concentrations plus faibles a provoqué une mortalité de 40 pour cent.13
• Les herbicides à base de glyphosate et l’AMPA, principal métabolite du glyphosate (produit de décomposition du glyphosate dans l’environnement), modifient les points de contrôle du cycle cellulaire chez les embryons d’oursins de mer en interférant avec le mécanisme physiologique de réparation de l’ADN.14 15 16 17 On a observé que cette perturbation entraîne une instabilité génomique et éventuellement à l’apparition de cancers chez l’homme.
• Le Roundup est toxique pour les rats femelles et cause des malformations du squelette chez leurs foetus.18
• L’AMPA, principal produit de décomposition du glyphosate dans l’environnement, altère l’ADN dans les cellules.19
• Ces conclusions montrent que le glyphosate et le Roundup sont très toxiques pour bon nombre d’organismes et pour les cellules humaines.

Le soja OGM RR est-il propre pour la consommation ?

Depuis que le soja OGM RR a été approuvé pour la commercialisation, des études ont révélé des effets pervers chez les animaux de laboratoire nourris à ce soja, contrairement aux groupes témoins nourris aux aliments non-OGM:

• Les souris nourries au soja OGM RR ont présenté des changements cellulaires dans le foie, le pancréas et les testicules;61 62 63
• Les souris nourries au soja OGM ont montré des signes plus aigus de vieillissement dans leur foie;64
• Les lapins nourris au soja OGM ont présenté des troubles enzymatiques dans les reins et le coeur;65
• Des changements dans l’utérus et les ovaires ont été observés chez les rates nourries au soja OGM.66
• Dans une étude multigénérationelle sur des hamsters, la plupart des individus nourris au soja OGM avait perdu leur fertilité à la troisième génération. On a également constaté une croissance plus lente et une mortalité plus élevée parmi les chiots.67
• Les conclusions semblent indiquer que le soja OGM RR pourrait poser des risques graves pour les humains. Les différences observées entre les animaux nourris aux OGM et aux aliments non-OGM contredisent l’hypothèse selon laquelle le soja OGM est en substance équivalent au soja non-OGM.

Du soja OGM RR caché dans les aliments animaliers

Environ 38 millions de tonnes de produits de soja sont importés chaque année en Europe, dont l’essentiel est utilisé pour les aliments pour animaux. Seuls 5 millions de tonnes sont certifiés sans OGM. Les produits d’animaux élevés à base d’aliments OGM n’ont pas besoin de porter une étiquette OGM, en avançant les hypothèses que:

• l’ADN des OGM ne survit pas au processus de digestion des animaux;
• les animaux nourris aux OGM ne sont pas différents des animaux nourris aux aliments non-OGM;
• la viande, le poisson et les oeufs des animaux nourris aux aliments OGM ne sont pas différents des produits des animaux nourris aux aliments non-OGM.
Mais ces hypothèses sont fausses. Diverses études montrent qu’on trouve des différences dans les animaux alimentés au soja OGM RR par rapport aux animaux alimentés sans OGM, et qu’on peut détecter de l’ADM OGM dans le lait et les tissus (c’est-à-dire la viande) de ces animaux.
• L’ADN des plantes ne se décompose pas entièrement dans l’appareil digestif, mais se retrouve dans les organes, le sang et même dans les petits des souris.68 L’ADN des OGM ne peut pas faire exception.
• L’ADN OGM provenant du maïs et du soja OGM a été observé dans le lait des animaux nourris aux produits des cultures OGM. La pasteurisation ne détruit pas l’ADN OGM.69
• L’ADN OGM issu du soja a été trouvé dans le sang, les organes et le lait des chèvres. On a observé une enzyme, la déshydrogénase lactique, à des concentrations très élevées dans le coeur, les muscles et les reins des agneaux nourris au soja OGM RR.70 Cette enzyme s’échappe de cellules endommagées, signe que des cellules ont peut-être été touchées.

Ces études montrent que des différences peuvent être observées chez des animaux nourris au soja OGM RR et ceux élevés à base d’aliments non-OGM, et que de l’ADN des OGM peut être détecté dans le lait et les tissus corporels (viande) de tels animaux.

Le soja OGM RR a-t-il un meilleur rendement ?

Les médias répètent souvent, sans faire preuve d’esprit critique, que le soja transgénique a un meilleur rendement. Mais ce n’est pas exact.

Au mieux, les cultures OGM ont une productivité équivalente à celle des cultures conventionnelles, mais le rendement du soja transgénique est constamment plus faible. Un examen de plus de 8 200 essais de variétés de soja réalisés dans des universités aux États-unis a montré une diminution du rendement de 6 à 10 pour cent du soja OGM RR par rapport au soja non-OGM.71 Des essais sur le terrain du soja OGM et non-OGM montrent que la moitié de la baisse de productivité est imputable à l’effet perturbateur du processus de transformation génétique.72 Cependant, on a aussi observé que le glyphosate réduit la résistance et le rendement des cultures (voir « Le glyphosate a des effets négatifs sur les sols et les cultures »).Des données venant d’Argentine montrent également que les rendements du soja OGM sont équivalents ou inférieurs à ceux du soja non-OGM.

Conséquences environnementales

Le soja OGM RR stimule l’explosion de « super mauvaises herbes »

Les mauvaises herbes résistantes au glyphosate (super mauvaises herbes) sont le principal problème des agriculteurs qui cultivent le soja OGM RR. Les monocultures du soja axées sur l’usage d’un seul herbicide, le glyphosate, créent les conditions d’une plus forte utilisation d’herbicides. Au fur et à mesure que les mauvaises herbes deviennent résistantes au glyphosate, il faut plus d’herbicide pour les détruire. On atteint un point où le glyphosate perd toute efficacité et où les agriculteurs sont obligés de revenir à des herbicides plus anciens et toxiques tels que le 2,4-D. Cela accroît les coûts de production et aggrave la dégradation de l’environnement.

De nombreuses études confirment que l’usage généralisé du glyphosate sur le soja RR a entraîné une explosion des mauvaises herbes résistantes en Amérique du Nord et du Sud, ainsi que dans d’autres pays.

Le soja OGM RR réduit-il l’usage des pesticides/herbicides ?

La réduction de l’usage de produits agrochimiques est un principe fondamental de la durabilité. L’industrie des OGM a longtemps prétendu que les cultures OGM ont permis de réduire l’usage de pesticides (« pesticide » est utilisé ici dans un sens technique pour inclure les herbicides, les insecticides et les fongicides. Les herbicides font partie des pesticides).

Amérique du Nord: dans un rapport publié en 2009, le Dr Charles Benbrook, agronome, a étudié les allégations selon lesquelles les cultures OGM réduisent l’usage de pesticides, en utilisant des données du ministère de l’Agriculture américain (USDA) et du National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) de l’USDA.92 Benbrook a constaté que par rapport à l’usage de pesticides en l’absence de cultures tolérantes aux herbicides OGM et Bt, les exploitants agricoles ont appliqué environ 318 millions de kilogrammes de pesticides de plus suite à la plantation de semences OGM au cours des 13 années de leur commercialisation. En 2008, les espaces occupés par les cultures OGM exigeaient plus de 26 % de pesticides supplémentaires par hectare que ceux couverts par les variétés non-OGM.

Les cultures tolérantes aux herbicides OGM ont fait monter l’usage des herbicides de 382,6 millions de kilogrammes en 13 ans - annulant complètement la modeste baisse de 64,2 millions de kilogrammes de l’usage des insecticides chimiques attribuable au maïs et au coton Bt
le Dr Benbrook calcule une augmentation de 41,5 millions de kilogrammes de l’usage d’herbicides en 2005 due à la culture du soja OGM RR, par rapport au soja non-OGM. Au cours des 13 années concernées, l’usage d’herbicides sur le soja OGM RR a augmenté de 175,5 kilogrammes (soit environ 0,55 kg par hectare). Le soja OGM RR est à l’origine de la hausse de 92 pour de cent de l’usage d’herbicides sur les trois cultures tolérantes aux herbicides.

Amérique du Sud: En Argentine, selon Monsanto, le soja OGM RR représente 98 pour cent des plantations de soja. Le soja OGM RR a entraîné une montée en flèche de l’usage de produits agrochimiques dans le pays.

Le Dr Charles Benbrook a analysé les changements de l’usage d’herbicides en Argentine dus à l’expansion du soja OGM RR cultivé par semis direct entre 1996 et 2004, en se basant sur les données de la CASAFE (association argentine de l’industrie des produits phytosanitaires).97 Il a constaté que parallèlement à l’expansion du soja RR, les taux d’application du glyphosate sur le soja par hectare ont constamment augmenté. Chaque année, les agriculteurs ont été obligés d’appliquer plus de glyphosate par hectare que l’année précédente pour lutter contre les mauvaises herbes. La quantité moyenne de glyphosate utilisé sur le soja a augmenté de façon constante chaque année, passant de 1,14 kg/hectare en 1996/97 à 1,30 kg/hectare en 2003/04.

Les agriculteurs ont également dû pulvériser plus souvent. Le nombre moyen d’applications de glyphosate sur le soja a augmenté chaque année, passant de 1,8 en 1996/97 à 2,5 en 2003/04.98 Cela s’expliquait par la prolifération des mauvaises herbes résistantes au glyphosate, car les agriculteurs ont été obligés d’utiliser de plus de plus de glyphosate pour essayer de lutter contre les mauvaises herbes. Ceci est une approche fondamentalement non durable de la production du soja.
On prétend souvent que l’essor de l’usage de glyphosate est positive parce qu’il est moins toxique que les autres produits chimiques qu’il remplace.99 Cependant, les conclusions des études détaillées ci-dessus (« Effets du glyphosate sur la santé ») montrent que le glyphosate n’est pas inoffensif.

De plus, depuis 2001 en Argentine, les quantités d’autres herbicides, y compris le 2,4-D et le dicamba, produits toxiques, n’ont fait qu’augmenter. Ceci est dû au fait que les agriculteurs recourent aux herbicides qui ne sont pas à base de glyphosate pour essayer de lutter contre les mauvaises herbes résistantes au glyphosate.10
Le soja OGM RR en Argentine: problèmes écologiques et agronomiques
Le modèle de culture du soja OGM RR - semis direct et usage abondant des herbicides - a eu de graves effets environnementaux et agronomiques en Argentine, notamment:

• la prolifération des mauvaises herbes résistantes au glyphosate;
• l’érosion des sols;
• la perte de la fertilité des sols et des nutriments;
• la dépendance d’engrais synthétiques;
• la déforestation;
• une désertification potentielle;
• la disparition d’espèces et une baisse de la biodiversité.

La production du soja OGM RR appauvrit les sols en Amérique du Sud

L’expansion de la monoculture du soja en Amérique du Sud depuis les années 1990 a entraîné l’intensification de l’agriculture à large échelle. Cela a eu pour conséquence une baisse de la fertilité des sols et l’augmentation de l’érosion, ce qui a rendu certains sols inutilisables.103 Une analyse des nutriments des sols en Argentine laisse entrevoir qu’ils seront entièrement épuisés dans 50 ans au rythme actuel d’appauvrissement de ces éléments nutritifs et d’accroissement des champs de soja.104 Les agriculteurs ont abandonné leur pratique traditionnelle de la conservation des sols par la rotation des cultures pour s’adapter à l’expansion rapide du marché du soja.

Les régions où les sols sont pauvres nécessitent de grandes quantités d’engrais synthétiques et minéraux après deux années de culture.106 C’est une approche non durable de la gestion des sols tant du point de vue économique qu’écologique.

Conséquences socio-économiques

Argentine: l’économie du soja

L’Argentine est souvent citée comme un exemple de la réussite économique du modèle du soja OGM RR. Plus sérieusement, les critiques de l’économie du soja affirment qu’elle a eu des conséquences sociales et économiques graves sur les personnes ordinaires. Ils déclarent que le soja a affaibli la sécurité alimentaire nationale et le pouvoir d’achat alimentaire dans une grande partie de la population, et aggravé l’inégalité dans la distribution des richesses.

Une étude de 2005 menée par Pengue a montré que la production du soja RR a provoqué de graves problèmes sociaux en Argentine, notamment:

• l’exode de populations traditionnellement agricoles vers les villes d’Argentine;
• la concentration de la production agricole entre les mains d’un petit nombre de grands exploitants agrocommerciaux;
• la réduction de la production alimentaire et la perte par une grande partie de la population d’un accès sûr et fiable à un régime alimentaire diversifié et nutritif.

Il a relevé que l’introduction du soja RR en Argentine a eu des effets dévastateurs sur la sécurité alimentaire en détournant les cultures alimentaires. La production du soja a, dans les cinq ans précédents, détourné 4 600 000 hectares de terres autrefois réservées à d’autres domaines deproduction tels que la laiterie, les arbres fruitiers, l’horticulture, le bétail et les céréales.139

Sans aucun doute, l’économie du soja n’a pas réussi à alimenter la population argentine. Les statistiques du gouvernement montrent qu’entre octobre 1996 (année d’introduction du soja OGM) et octobre 2002, le nombre de personnes n’ayant pas accès au « Panier alimentaire de base » (la référence du seuil de pauvreté pour le gouvernement) est passé de 3,7 à 8,7 millions, soit 25 pour cent de la population. Au second semestre 2003, plus de 47 pour cent de la population vivait en dessous du seuil de pauvreté et n’avait pas accès à une alimentation équilibrée.140
La production du soja OGM RR est une forme « d’agriculture sans agriculteurs » et est source de chômage. Dans les monocultures de soja RR, la quantité de travail exigée baisse entre 28 et 37 pour cent par rapport aux méthodes de culture conventionnelles.141 En Argentine, la production du soja RR par la haute technologie ne demande que deux travailleurs par 1000 hectares par an.142


Paraguay: déplacement violents de populations

Le Paraguay est l’un des principaux producteurs mondiaux du soja OGM RR, avec une production estimée à 2,66 millions d’hectares en 2008, une hausse par rapport aux 2,6 millions d’hectares en 2007. Le soja OGM RR représente environ 95 pour cent des cultures de soja.

L’expansion du soja dans le pays est liée à de graves violations des droits humains, notamment la confiscation de terres. Un documentaire de la chaîne de télévision britannique Channel 4,, intitulé Paraguay’s Painful Harvest (La Douloureuse récolte du Paraguay), a décrit la façon dont la culture industrielle du soja OGM RR a entraîné de violents affrontements entre les paysans (campesinos), les propriétaires terriens étrangers et la police.158

Certains paysans déplacés essaient de regagner leurs terres par des initiatives d’« invasions de terres. »159 Selon le Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, le gouvernement du Paraguay a utilisé l’armée pour les réprimer.160

Le résumé et le rapport scientifique complet est disponible au lien suivant:

Voir aussi les documentaires suivants sur les violations des droits humains et les conséquences socio-économiques de la culture du soja OGM au Paraguay:

Les champs de la mort

Paraguay’s painful harvest :

A méditer et couts à intégrer dans le « prix aubaine » la prochaine fois que vous achetez/mangez votre steak/hamburger, lait, fromage, poulet, œuf, etc.

En effet, tous ceux qui mangent de la viande nourries aux OGM ainsi que leurs produits sont directement responsable – par ignorance ou pire par indifférence - du génocide humain et écologique de la culture du soja en Amérique du Sud…

Bon appétit !

Tuesday, January 11, 2011




I am writing to you regarding the scientifically documented health and environmental hazards associated with genetic contamination of GM maize and other GM “food” crops shipped to Africa and worldwide as “food aid” by pharma and industrial GM crops grown in the US.

HIV linked to maize consumption in Africa

I recently came across a USAID-funded scientific research paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which was undertaken to “ test the hypotheses that consumption of mycotoxin-prone staple foods is related to the incidence of HIV infection in Africa.

The author writes: “fumonisin has been proposed as a positive factor in HIV pathology. Fumonisin is predominantly a contaminant of maize (11) resulting from fungal growth (Fusarium verticillioides) after damage by pests such as the cornstalk borer (Busseola fusca)"

Alarmingly, the lead researcher & author of the paper - Jonathan H William - found that “ HIV transmission frequency is positively associated with maize consumption in Africa.

Link to the study:

However, there is not an iota of scientific evidence in the literature that correlates fumonisin-contaminated maize with HIV transmission. The author himself writes “ there is no evidence in the literature of some property of normal maize that could influence the susceptibility of humans to HIV infection.” “The basis for the relation between maize and HIV needs careful consideration. Clearly, these are preliminary findings that need further research."

I am naturally alarmed and extremely worried about the findings of this study since maize is a staple food for over 300 million Africans across the continent who consume it daily.

ProdiGene & HIV "edible" maize vaccine

While doing further research on this subject, I came across an investigative article written by Robert Wingfield (1) which carried out further research into this issue and found a disturbing link between the conclusions of this study, USAID and a US biotech company called Prodigene that developed a GM 'pharma" maize containing a key protein found on the surface of the monkey form of HIV (gp120) to be used as an “edible vaccine” against the HIV virus…

An article published in the New Scientist 3 on 12 April 2002 titled - Edible HIV vaccine breakthrough – states:

Maize genetically modified to contain a key protein found on the surface of the monkey form of HIV has been created by US company ProdiGene. This development brings an edible, more effective, HIV vaccine for people a step closer, says the US National Institutes of Health."


The Journal of Drug Targeting also published an article 4 on the same subject in January 2003 titled - Advantageous Features of Plant-based Systems for the Development of HIV Vaccines relating to the development of genetically modified maize to express “the SIV major surface glycoprotein gp130 (analogous to HIV gp120).


ProdiGene & USAID...

Furthermore, during the course of his investigative research, Robert Wingfield found that the CEO of Prodigene –Anthony G Leos - was appointed on the Board of USAID in 2002 by President George Bush...

An article published online states:

Anthony G. Laos Appointed to Board for International Food and Agriculture Development by President Bush

Article Excerpt

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- ProdiGene, Inc., a leader in the development and manufacturing of recombinant proteins from transgenic-plant systems, announced today that Anthony G. Laos, President and CEO of ProdiGene was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as a member of the Board for International Food and Agriculture Development (BIFAD).


USAID & GM Food Aid

USAID, as you know, has been distributing millions of tons of GM maize and other GMO crops as (so-called) “food aid” across Africa over the last 15 years & is aggressively & fraudulently promoting GM food crops in African agriculture to "fight hunger and poverty..." USAID itself clearly states that among other things its role is to "integrate GM into local food systems" and "spread agricultural technology through regions of Africa."

As Greenpeace writes in its report titled "USAID and GM Food Aid":

" The problem of GM maize in US food aid is partly due to the fact that the US
government provides a considerable proportion of its food aid in the form of maize from US farms, which is then shipped to areas of need. The simple fact is that USAID has chosen to supply GM maize as food aid."

" It is clear that the current program of food aid donation is the latest twist in a crude 10-year marketing campaign, led by USAID, designed to facilitate the introduction of US-developed GM crops into Africa. USAID clearly states, however, that among other things its role is to "integrate GM into local food systems" and "spread agricultural technology through regions of Africa.

As Robert Wingfield writes :

" In summary, we have the president of a company producing HIV tainted strains of corn on the board of an organization ( USAID) that is involved in providing genetically modified crops to sub Saharan Africa, where corn consumption is now being linked to HIV infection rates."

Disturbing fact and link...


Robert Wingfield further writes:

" More information has come to light about Prodigene since this article was originally published. The following two articles explain what happened to Prodigene and establish a link between Prodigene and the Obama administration.

Rajiv Shah, Obamas Top USAID appointee, was working under a man named Tom Vilsack at the USDA. Tom Vilsask was involved with Prodigene and the push for limited regulation on biopharma crop growers.

ProdiGene eventually went out of business, but not before it received a $6 million investment from the Governors Biotechnology Partnership, chaired by Iowa governor, Tom Vilsack, currently Shah’s boss at the USDA.

Vilsack didn’t want any restrictions placed on experimental pharma crops. In reaction to suggestions that pharma crops should be kept away from food crops, Vilsack argued that ‘we should not overreact and hamstring this industry.’”

Furthermore, Roger Beachy, director of the Monsanto-funded Danforth Plant Science Center, now diector of the newly-formed National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)-the institute Rajiv Shah helped to establish when he got to the USDA - joined Vilsack in support of ProdiGene and against regulation of pharma crops when he was still the director of the Danforth Center. He said in 2004 that scientists must be free to experiment in open fields: A ban would significantly halt the technology of producing drugs more cheaply in plants" than through current methods, Beachy said. And if work on biopharming to grow industrial chemicals were halted, "then you have stopped another kind of advance that we're looking for to give an economic advantage to our farmers.

After a short stint at USDA, Rajiv Shah has been picked by the Obama Administration to head up the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)."

Furthermore, another article published online titled - Who is Rajiv Shah, What are Haiti concerns about Shah/USAID: USAID-supported Bio tech firm develop HIV tainted GM corn: HIV Infection Rates Increase with eating US Corn in Sub Sahara Africa – states :

" Rajiv Shah, Obama's head of USAID, worked for USDA, is connected to Monsanto and the spread of GMOs and has connection with the defunct Prodigene and their pharm-seeds and may be promoting the interests of Monsanto and Prodigene as USAID's head.

Monsanto has given corn seeds to Black Haiti under USAD's Rajiv Shah reign, his connections to Monsanto and Prodigene, spermicidal-corn is relevant to know. Also relevant to know, in light of US food aid and US food dumping in Haiti and especially in light of Monsanto's gift of corn and other hybrid seeds to Haiti is the connection of US corn in Black Africa to increased HIV rate. That US corn consumption is now being linked to HIV infection rates in Black Africa.

Link to the (highly disturbing) bio article on Rajiv Shah:

My questions to you :

How do you – as Administrator of USAID - justify and explain the troubling link between ProdiGene, Anthony G Leos and USAID…?

And what were/are your own personal connections, interests and relations with ProdiGene...?

Gp120 HIV maize vaccine…promotes HIV!

Furthermore, a study done by HIV researcher Dr Veljko Veljkovic - virologist in the Laboratory for Multidisciplinary Research, Institute of Nuclear Sciences in Belgrade,Yugoslavia - showed that any Aids vaccine containing the gp120 glycoprotein or the gene coding for it could strongly interfere with the immune system and make the host more vulnerable to the virus.

As Dr. Veljko Veljkovic explains:

“The envelope glycoprotein, gp120 of HIV-1, is similar to the region of human immunoglobulins that binds antigen, a crucial feature of the immune response. Thus, any AIDS vaccine containing the gp120 could interfere with the immune system and make people more vulnerable to the virus. There is evidence suggesting that gp120 can interfere with and undermine the immune system and can readily recombine with viruses and bacteria (used as vectors) to generate new pathogens. In the longer term, this could accelerate disease progression in HIV patients that do not yet have symptoms.

And as Dr. Mae-Wan Ho from the London-based Institute on Science in Society (ISIS) further writes:

Most AIDS vaccines are based on the HIV glycoprotein gp120, that a number of virologists have warned, not only undermines the immune system of individuals but is also likely to create deadly viruses and bacteria that can spread through entire populations.

But A company in Texas, ProdiGene, is now putting gp120 into GM maize as a ‘cheap, edible oral vaccine’ against HIV. This will surely lead to widespread contamination of our food crops with disastrous consequences, as Vejkovic and I have written in a correspondence now published in the journal. Not only is this extremely hazardous for human beings. It will affect all organisms in the food chain and multiply the opportunities for this gene to recombine with bacteria and viruses in the environment, of which 99% cannot be cultured and are hence completely unknown.

source :

ProfiGene & genetic contamination

Furthermore, as you already know, in 2002 ProdiGene was involved in two genetic contamination incidents in which two strains of its GM pharma corn contaminated maize and soya crops in the US.

As Dr. Mae-Wan Ho further writes :

" Worries about food crop contamination, which have dogged the industry from its inception, were confirmed in fall 2002 when the USDA discovered that ProdiGene, a pharma/industrial crop company, had allowed corn plants engineered to produce a veterinary drug (vaccine for pig diarrhea) to emerge as volunteers in a Nebraska soybean field. The company harvested the pharma corn along with the soybeans, and subsequently transported the contaminated soybeans to a grain elevator where thousands of bushels of commodity soybeans were contaminated."

" ProdiGene was also responsible for a separate incident that same fall, in which pharma corn in Iowa genetically modified to contain the glycoprotein gene gp120 of the Aids virus HIV-1 that has been built into GM maize as a “cheap, edible oral vaccine” was suspected of having cross-pollinated with feed corn in adjacent fields."

A plant geneticist at the University of California commented that the government were lucky to find the Prodigene pharm crops, and he said,

What if the GM corn had come up inside a corn field? It could have crosspollinated and you’d have no idea where it was” (Cohen 2002).

And the Union of Concerned Scientists wrote:

Considering all the potential routes for contamination of food with pharm crops, it is a frightening possibility that the Union of Concerned Scientists believe that contamination of the food system may already have occurred."

Genetic contamination of food crops by pharma & industrial crops

In the spring of 2003, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) convened an expert workshop on protecting the U.S. food and feed supply from contamination by crops genetically engineered to produce pharmaceuticals and industrial chemicals.

The experts who participated in that workshop wrote the technical report A Growing
Concern: Protecting the Food Supply in an Era of Pharmaceutical and Industrial Crops
independently of UCS, which developed policy recommendations based on its own analysis of this report.

Excerpts from the report

" Food crops, primarily corn, are currently being genetically engineered to produce pharmaceuticals and industrial chemicals. These crops are referred to as “pharma” crops when they produce drugs, hormones, and other therapeutic agents,and industrial crops when they produce compounds such as plastics for use in industry. Many of these substances are being produced in corn and other food crops visually indistinguishable from their non-industrial counterparts.”

There are two major routes by which pharmaceutical and industrial transgenes can inadvertently contaminate commodity crops and, therefore, the food and feed supply. One of these is the physical mixing of seedpharma seed can be inadvertently spilled or mixed during seed production, harvest, storage, transport, and handling.

Contamination can occur by direct mixing of the crops in the growing year or potential future contamination from volunteer plants the following year.

The other route is pollen, which contains the male reproductive cells necessary for the fertilization of plants and the production of seed.

Pollen containing genes for the pharma product can pollinate commodity crops, leading to contamination during the growing year.

The potential contamination of food crops with the hundreds, if not thousands, of drugs or industrial compounds promised by this industry poses new and serious risks to the safety of the food system.

The U.S. commodity corn and soybean production systems are structured to mix grain
from many sources before it is ultimately used. Without substantial modification, such a system cannot protect the human food and animal feed supply systems from contamination by pharma crops

UCS observations & conclusions based on the report

" After careful analysis, we have concluded that current U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations governing such crops, although stronger than they have been in the past, are still insufficiently stringent to assure the complete protection of the food supply in the United States."

" Our report concludes that the current production process and production areas for corn and soybean cannot be used without substantial modification to ensure virtually zero contamination of the human food and animal feed supplies."

" Moreover, the routes of contamination in existing commodity crop production systems are so numerous that even very strong regulatory systems may not be sufficient to prevent the contamination of the food system with crops genetically engineered to produce pharmaceutical and industrial compounds."

" The problem of pharma crop seeds being mixed with normal seed after harvesting is also a real possibility. Mistakes have already been made with other GE crops. For example, a variety of GE corn meant only for animals feed known as Starlink, turned up in foods across the U.S."

" Considering all the potential routes for contamination of food with pharm crops, it is a frightening possibility that the Union of Concerned Scientists believe that contamination of the food system may already have occurred."

The entire report can de downloaded at the following link :

Furthermore, many other scientists have expressed the same concerns and fears about genetic contamination of food crops by pharma crops. The US National Academy of Scientists warn that ‘it is possible that crops transformed to produce pharmaceutical or other industrial compounds might mate with plantations grown for human consumption, with the unanticipated result of novel chemicals in the human food supply’. [97]

Dr Norman Ellstrand, a professor of genetics at the University of California, Riverside, and a leading expert on corn genetics, says that ‘if just 1 percent of [American] experimental pollen escaped into Mexico, that means those landraces could potentially be making medicines or industrial chemicals or things that are not so good for people to eat. Right now, we just don’t know what’s in there’. [98]

Even pro-GMO industry representatives have expressed concern about this grave issue: ‘Most people are assuming that plants being used for these purposes [bio-pharming] will not enter the food supply, but if you assume that you need to have controls in place to make sure that does not happen,’ says Michael Taylor, ex Vice-President of Monsanto.

Just one mistake by a biotech company and we’ll be eating other people’s prescription drugs in our corn flakes’, argues Larry Bohlen, from Friends of the Earth in the USA. [99]

My question to you regarding the safety of GM maize and other GMO "food" crops shipped and distributed in Africa and worldwide as "food aid":

In view of the above documented scientific and empirical evidence regarding the inevitable genetic contamination of maize and other food crops by pharma and/or industrial GM crops in the US:

a) How can you guarantee & prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that the GM maize and other GMO (so-called) “food” crops shipped & distributed in Africa and worldwide by USAID as (so-called) “food aid” has not been inadvertently contaminated by pharma and/or industrial GM crops – such as ProdiGene’s “edible maize vaccine” containing the gp120 HIV virus - and is therefore safe for human and animal consumption, for the natural environment and the ecosystem as a whole?

b) What regulatory, safety, precautionary and preventive measures has USAID developed, put in place and implemented to prevent genetic contamination of GM maize and other GMO “food” crops distributed in Africa and worldwide as “food aid” by pharma and/or industrial GM crops?

I thank you for shedding light into these interrogations and I look forward to your response.


A concerned Human Being and a seeker of Truth.


97 Committee on Environmental Impacts Associated with Commercialization of Transgenic Plants of the National Academy of Sciences (2002) Environmental Effects of Transgenic Plants: The Scope and Adequacy of Regulation, National Academy Press, p68.

98 Schapiro, M (2002) ‘Sowing Disaster?’, The Nation, 10 October.

99 Friends of the Earth (2002) Drugs And Chemicals Will Contaminate Food Supply Concludes New Report, Press Release, Washington, 11 July.