Mark Lynas - the pro-GMO propagandist for Monsanto, the biotech/chemical/agribusiness industry and the US/Obama administration has been spreading false, misleading, fraudulent and deceitful propaganda on the internet, in the press and in the mass media about the human and animal health, the environmental and the socio-economic hazards of GMO's, and he is actively promoting the widespread adoption of GMO's in Africa as a panacea to " end hunger and poverty..."
Subject: Your article on GMO's
Re: My response to your article titled " To abolish hunger and malnutrition,
Dear Mark Lynas,
"I am not aware of a single substantiated case of GM foods having had any negative effects on health or the environment anywhere in the world. Instead, the impact has been almost entirely positive."
Hopefully the following overwhelming independent scientific, medical and empirical evidence will help to enlighten you on the subject.
You further deceitfully write:
In fact, Gilles-Eric Seralini, professor at the
Carrasco, director of the Laboratory of Molecular Embryology, University of Buenos Aires Medical School and lead researcher of the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET),
“Safety assessment of GM foods has been based on the idea of "substantial equivalence" such that "if a new food is found to be substantially equivalent in composition and nutritional characteristics to an existing food, it can be regarded as safe as the conventional food. However, 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. There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation as defined by Hill's Criteria in the areas of strength of association, consistency, specificity, biological gradient, and biological plausibility. 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. Multiple animal studies show significant immune dysregulation, including upregulation of cytokines associated with asthma, allergy, and inflammation. Animal studies also show altered structure and function of the liver, including altered lipid and carbohydrate metabolism as well as cellular changes that could lead to accelerated aging and possibly lead to the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS. Changes in the kidney, pancreas and spleen have also been documented. 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." 10
Jeffrey Smith, Executive Director of the Institute for Responsible Technology and world renowned expert on the health hazards of GMO, reveals the following disturbing (hidden) information in an article written in the Huffington post on the observed detrimental health effects of GM foods on animals and humans.
"The liver is a primary detoxifier. Its condition can indicate if there are toxins in our food. Mice and rats fed GM feed had profound changes in their livers. In some cases, livers were smaller and partially atrophied. Some were significantly heavier, possibly inflamed. And certain cellular changes indicated a toxic insult from the GM diet”23 writes Jeffrey Smith.
Please read the following two books published by Jeffrey Smith on the human and animal health hazards of gmo's
Moreover, in an article published in the New York Times in july 2007 titled "Change to gene theory raises new challenges for biotech", 28 Denise Caruso writes: "The $73.5 billion global biotech business may soon have to grapple with a discovery that calls into question the scientific principles on which it was founded. Last month, a consortium of scientists published findings that challenge the traditional view of the way genes function. The exhaustive, four-year effort was organized by the United States National Human Genome Research Institute and carried out by 35 groups from 80 organizations around the world. To their surprise, researchers found that the human genome might not be a "tidy collection of independent genes" after all, with each sequence of DNA linked to a single function, like a predisposition to diabetes or heart disease. Instead, genes appear to operate in a complex network, and interact and overlap with one another and with other components in ways not yet fully understood.
According to the institute, these findings will challenge scientists "to rethink some long-held views about what genes are and what they do." Biologists have recorded these network effects for many years in other organisms. But in the world of science, discoveries often do not become part of mainstream thought until they are linked to humans. With that link now in place, the report is likely to have repercussions far beyond the laboratory. The presumption that genes operate independently has been institutionalized since 1976, when the first biotech company was founded. In fact, it is the economic and regulatory foundation on which the entire biotechnology industry is built. The principle that gave rise to the biotech industry promised benefits that were equally compelling. Known as the Central Dogma of molecular biology, it stated that each gene in living organisms, from humans to bacteria, carries the information needed to construct one protein. The scientists who invented recombinant DNA in 1973 built their innovation on this mechanistic, "one gene, one protein" principle. Because donor genes could be associated with specific functions, with discrete properties and clear boundaries, scientists then believed that a gene from any organism could fit neatly and predictably into a larger design - one that products and companies could be built around, and that could be protected by intellectual-property laws. This presumption, now disputed, is what one molecular biologist calls "the industrial gene." II.
Monsanto’s Roundup: “Biodegrable and environmentally friendly…?"
Since 2004, ―super weeds‖ (pigweed, horse weed, ragweed, etc. ) have developed resistance to glyphosate/Roundup and have rapidly spread across Sun Belt states and other grain basket states of the US (Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri). Today,
“Over time, weeds develop resistance to herbicides", explains Javier Souza Casadinho, professor at the
According to the UK-based Soil Association, which campaigns for and certifies organic food, "Monsanto was well aware of the risk of super weeds as early as 2001 and took out a patent on mixtures of glyphosate and herbicide targeting glyphosate-resistant weeds. The patent will enable the company to profit from a problem that its products had created in the first place,”says a 2002 Soil Association report. Monsanto’s technical development manager, Rick Cole, said he believed super weeds were manageable. "The problem of weeds that have developed a resistance to Roundup crops is real and [Monsanto] doesn’t deny that, however the problem is manageable,” he said.
" Soy cultivation has already resulted in the deforestation of 21 million hectares of forests in
Thus, GMO’s are directly and irreversibly destroying the environment, contributing to and significantly worsening climate change and killing the soil – through chemical pollution, deforestation, etc - contrary to the fraudulent claims made by Monsanto and other biotech companies that GMO’s help fight climate change and preserve the environment.
Over 250,000 cotton farmers have committed suicide in
"More than a quarter of a million Indian (cotton) farmers have committed suicide in the last 16 years, the largest wave of recorded suicides in human history ; that’s one farmer every 30 minutes."
A study (yet another) recently published by The Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) at New York University School of Law 35, found that over 250,000 cotton farmers in India have committed suicide over the last 16 years, as a direct result of Bt cotton and GMO’s and the corporate-sponsored pro-GMO agribusiness policies being promoted and pursued by the biotech industry and foreign multinational corporations with political support from the US/Obama Administration and the criminal complicity of the government of India.
The authors of the study write: " It is estimated that more than a quarter of a million Indian farmers have committed suicide in the last 16 years—the largest wave of recorded suicides in human history. A great number of those affected are cash crop farmers, and cotton farmers in particular. In 2009 alone, the most recent year for which official figures are available, 17,638 farmers committed suicide—that’s one farmer every 30 minutes."
Furthermore, as the world-famous and respected anti GMO activist Vandana Shiva clearly states: "Every suicide can be linked to Monsanto. Monsanto’s GMOs do not improve farmers’ lives. They have pushed farmers to suicide. 200,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide in the last decade. 84% of the suicides in Vidharbha, the region with highest suicides are linked to debt created by Bt–cotton. This is neither ecological nor economic or social sustainability. It is ecocide and genocide." 36
Moreover, small holders’ farmers are often driven off their lands by biotech companies, thereby worsening global hunger and poverty. As Marie Trigona writes: "Research shows that the mostly rural communities that suffer the negative health effects of fumigations have not benefited from the soy explosion. On the contrary, in most regions families have been pushed off land taken over by soy farming, leading to a loss of livelihood in addition to the severe health risks. According to a 2002 agricultural census, in four years more than 200,000 families were driven from their traditional farms, and most of the families relocated in working class belts outside of major cities.” 37
As Dr. Mercola writes: "Perhaps their biggest assault to your food supply is what’s known as Terminator Technology. These are seeds that have been genetically modified to ―self-destruct.‖ In other words, the seeds (and the forthcoming crops) are sterile, which means farmers must buy them again each year. The implications that terminator seeds could have on the world’s food supply are disastrous: the traits from genetically engineered crops can get passed on to other crops. Once the terminator seeds are released into a region, the trait of seed sterility could be passed to other non-genetically-engineered crops, making most or all of the seeds in the region sterile. If allowed to continue, every farmer in the world could come to rely on Monsanto for their seed supply!" 38
Mark Lynas further deceitfully write:
Failure to Yield makes a critical distinction between potential—or intrinsic—yield and operational yield, concepts that are often conflated by the industry and misunderstood by others. Intrinsic yield refers to a crop’s ultimate production potential under the best possible conditions. Operational yield refers to production levels after losses due to pests, drought and other environmental factors. The study reviewed the intrinsic and operational yield achievements of the three most common genetically altered foods and feed crops in the
In addition to evaluating genetic engineering’s record, Failure to Yield suggest that it makes little sense to support genetic engineering at the expense of technologies that have proven to substantially increase yields, especially in many developing countries. In addition, recent studies have shown that organic and similar farming methods that minimize the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers can more than double crop yields at little cost to poor farmers in such developing regions as Sub-Saharan Africa.
The report concludes that genetic engineering is unlikely to play a significant role in increasing food production in the foreseeable future. The biotechnology industry has been promising better yields since the mid-1990s, but Failure to Yield documents that the industry has been carrying out gene field trials to increase yields for 20 years without significant results “If we are going to make headway in combating hunger due to overpopulation and climate change, we will need to increase crop yields,” said Gurian-Sherman. “Traditional breeding outperforms genetic engineering hands down.”
Again, Mark Lynas deceitfully writes:
Again, both scientific and empirical evidence debunk your fraudulent claims. In fact the exact opposite is true: Pests have naturally developed resistance to Bt crops, forcing farmers to use a cocktail of more and more toxic insecticides to combat insect resistance. Steve Connor, Science Editor of the UK based Independent newspaper writes 52: "An insect pest that is supposed to be killed by a type of genetically modified cotton crop with an in-built toxin gene has developed resistance and is beginning to spread in parts of the United States, a scientific study has found. It is believed to be the first documented example in the wild of an insect pest becoming resistant to this particular type of GM crop, which was thought to be immune from the problems that have plagued conventional pesticides. The bollworm moth is one of the most destructive pests of cotton crops. The resistant form of the moth's caterpillar was found in a dozen fields in the southern states of
Thus, it is crystal clear from both the scientific and empirical evidence that GMO’s can neither increase crop yields nor reduce pesticides usage, thus directly contradicting the deceitful and fraudulent claims made by you Mark Lynas, Monsanto and the biotechnology industry, that GMO’s can fight hunger and poverty in Africa‖ and feed the world by increasing crop yields while reducing pesticides usage, thus increasing both food production and farmers’ revenue while preserving the soil and environment from chemical pollution.
I invite you to read the following research-based book which provides solid and irrefutable evidence in support of this FACT. Seeds of destruction: The hidden agenda of genetic manipulation, by William Engdhal available at:
Furthermore, GMO's produced in Africa using local staple food crops such as maize, cassava, rice, soya, etc. on vast tracts of confiscated and privatized land using chemical-intensive monoculture industrial plantations will be used for biofuel production (ethanol, biodiesel), animal feed, pharmaceutical products and other industrial products to be exported and consumed in affluent countries, NOT to feed starving Africans...
There is more than sufficient food to feed everyone in
As Mahatma Gandhi rightly stated: "There is enough food in the world to satisfy everyone's needs but not everyone's greed."
“We won‟t solve hunger and stop climate change with industrial farming on large plantations. The solution lies in supporting small-scale farmers‟ knowledge and experimentation, and in raising incomes of smallholders so as to contribute to rural development.”