About Ban GMOs Now

 

“GM agriculture is a recipe for disaster, as this report will make clear. It is also standing in the way of the shift to sustainable agriculture already taking place in local communities all over the world that can truly enable people to feed themselves in times of climate change. Future generations will not forgive us if we do not stop the GM takeover now.” – Dr. Mae-Wan Ho, June 2013

The title of this website was inspired by a report of the same name, “Ban GMOs Now – Health and Environmental Hazards, Especially in Light of the New Genetics,” by Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Dr. Eva Sirinathsignhji, Institute of Science in Society; July 2013 (52 pages).

ban gmos now report (image 2)

 

“I have talked about bad science, corrupt scientists, and a GM world in which fantasy becomes reality and in which words mean whatever you want them to mean. Good science, driven by integrity and concern for the common good has been replaced with corporate greed, media manipulation and the vilification of scientists whose views happen to be uncomfortable. This would be good material for a farce if it were not so serious. The science of GM crops and foods is poisoned and corrupt, and is therefore unfit for public consumption. After years of high-pressure salesmanship, the public still feels threatened. People are still unconvinced by the blandishments of the GM industry and the Government, and those of us who are looking at things closely are angry. Very angry. We are not going away, because the stakes are simply too high. If the biotechnology industry and the Government persist in their obsession with the failed technology of GM food-crop modification, they will continue to be involved in guerilla warfare with consumers and voters. Is that what they really want? And in that conflict there will be no winner. We will all be losers.” Dr. Brian John, “The Science of GM Crops and Food – Fit For Public Consumption?” GM-Free Cymru; May 10, 2003

“We were told Bollgard [Monsanto’s Bt cotton] yields very well … We said, we will also get great yields … That fellow came to our Komala meeting and said he got 16 quintals per acre, ‘I sold 16 quintals.’ We believed. If you say something, we believe, what else can we do? Now you are asking me to talk. I am talking. I don’t know whether you will get me to safety or drown me. We are not literate. Fools. How can we withstand the educated? Why must they [seed companies] earn like this: do this fraud, be unfair and rob people? But we work hard, don’t we? Leaving our children, our homes, from dawn to dusk we work here. What can we do? Nothing to eat, nothing to wear. Eat once and sleep. What is the use of telling all this? If someone comes to us and asks us to plant it again, we will smash his face.” – Mekaleswari quoted in “Bt Cotton in Andhra Pradesh: a Three Year Assessment,” by Abdul Qayum & Kiran Sakkhari, 2005

“We must as citizens and professionals join together to reverse the present situation. Publicly funded, independent research grants need to become a hot political issue. That would be the most efficient remedy for chronically unanswered questions and the corporate take-over of science. In conclusion, we once more quote Mayer and Stirling: ‘Deciding on the questions to be asked and the comparisons to be made has to be an inclusive process and not the provenance of experts alone.’ But then again, whom should society rely on for answers and advice should the time come when all science resource persons work directly or indirectly for the GE producers?” – Terje Traavik and Jack Heinemann, “Genetic Engineering and Omitted Health Research – Still No Answers to Ageing Questions,” Third World Network; 2007

“[I]f the food movement could show that famine is an empty threat then it would also have shown, by clear implication, that the chemical health risks and the ecological devastation that these technologies represent are what is unnecessary. The movement would have shown that pesticides and GMOs exist solely to extract profit from the food chain. They have no other purpose.” – Jonathan Latham, PhD, “How the Great Food War Will Be Won,” Independent Science News; January 12, 2015

“We do not believe that Bill Gates Foundation through its pet project AGRA, together with partners like Monsanto can save the world from Hunger. They should stop politicizing hunger. The technologies that are promoted by them for our people are not farmer nor environmentally friendly. Some of them have not been tested fully to determine their effects on the environment and consumers.” – Mariann Bassey (FOE Nigeria), “AGRA’s Technology Push in Africa,” Friends of the Earth International; September 2012 (7 pages)

“Society stands on the precipice of forever being bound to transgenic agriculture and transgenic food. Coexistence between transgenic seed and organic seed is impossible because transgenic seed contaminates and eventually overcomes organic seed. History has already shown this, as soon after transgenic seed for canola was introduced, organic canola became virtually extinct as a result of transgenic seed contamination. Organic corn, soybean, cotton, sugar beet and alfalfa now face the same fate, as transgenic seed has been released for each of those crops, too. And transgenic seed is being developed for many other crops, thus putting the future of all food, and indeed all agriculture, at stake.” – Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, et al., Petitioners v. Monsanto Company, Defendants, First amended Complaint; June 1, 2011

“When genetically modified organisms are released into the environment, they cannot be removed, and it may take decades or centuries to fully realize the consequences. The impacts will affect the entire world, not only those people who create and release the organisms.” Teresa Carlson, “Genetic Engineering: A Question of Ethics,” Mälardalen University, Sweden; November 2006

“The coexistence of genetically modified (GM) crops and non-GM crops is a myth because the movement of transgenes beyond their intended destinations is a certainty, and this leads to genetic contamination of organic farms and other systems. It is unlikely that transgenes can be retracted once they have escaped, thus the damage to the purity of non-GM seeds is permanent. The dominant GM crops have the potential to reduce biodiversity further by increasing agricultural intensification. There are also potential risks to biodiversity arising from gene flow and toxicity to nontarget organisms from herbicide-resistant (HT) and insect-resistant (Bt) crops. Unless whole regions are declared GM agriculture free, the development of distinct systems of agriculture (GM and non-GM) will be impossible as GM agriculture emerges at the expense of all other forms of production.” – Miguel A. Altieri, “The Myth of Coexistence: Why Transgenic Crops Are Not Compatible With Agroecologically Based Systems of Production,” (2005)

“The nondisclosure of the fact that their food was developed using bioengineering techniques removes the right of informed choice. This fails the assessment from any ethical perspective … U.S. citizens have been deprived of their autonomy and freedom of choice, just as the farmers have been deprived of their independent livelihoods and the plants have been deprived of their essence. Individuals have the fundamental right to know what they are buying and eating, as well as the responsibility towards others and the natural world … The government must fulfill its responsibility to protect its citizens … and not betray their trust by forcing them to bear the risk of GMOs without informed consent.” – Debra M. Strauss, “Defying Nature: The Ethical Implications of Genetically Modified Plants,” Journal of Food Law & Policy Vol. 3, No. 1; 2007

“Regulators have been assuring the public that ‘GM food is safe’ because people have been eating GM food since its first release in 1994 and no one has been found to fall ill or die from it … By now, the evidence against the safety of GM food and feed has accumulated to such an extent that the regulators should be answering a charge of criminal negligence at the very least in continuing their campaign of denial and misrepresentation, while failing to impose a ban on further releases of all GM crops until and unless they have been proven safe by thorough independent investigations.” – Dr. Mae-Wan Ho, Joe Cummins & Peter Saunders, “GM Food Nightmare Unfolding in the Regulatory Sham,” Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease, vol.19; May 14, 2007 (19 pages)

“A credible risk analysis cannot claim a technology is safe unless it includes all the ways that people can use it – including how they can misuse it … when those who represent a government or an industry are trying to break into a market with a new and untested technology, and they don’t include important variables like human factors in the analysis, then they should be held accountable for whatever disaster or havoc that may ensue.” – Denise Caruso, Intervention: Confronting the Real Risks of Genetic Engineering and Life on a Biotech Planet, The Hybrid Vigor Institute (2006)

“‘Science is science,’ declared my college biology professor, alluding to its own rigorous standards, openness, and integrity. Today, my response would be ‘not quite.’ For in the autocratic, commercially driven hands of multinational corporations, ‘science’ becomes the instrument of an overall business plan that results in serious corruptions of scientific attitude, method, and peer-reviewed accountability. This confidential, proprietary ‘corporate science’ closes off Alfred North Whitehead’s definition of science as ‘keeping options open for revision.’ It becomes … the central chattel in a comprehensive business strategy to corporatize global agriculture. This is accomplished through a remarkable matrix of controls and public subsidies that takes monopolizing corporate behavior and its wildcat offshoots to historically unforeseen depths of danger to people and planet.” – Ralph Nader, forward, “The GMO Deception,” ed. Sheldon Krimsky & Jeremy Gruber (2014)

“Unfortunately, it is impossible to verify that genetically modified crops perform as advertised. That is because agritech companies have given themselves veto power over the work of independent researchers. … Research on genetically modified seeds is still published, of course. But only studies that the seed companies have approved ever see the light of a peer-reviewed journal. In a number of cases, experiments that had the implicit go-ahead from the seed company were later blocked from publication because the results were not flattering … It would be chilling enough if any other type of company were able to prevent independent researchers from testing its wares and reporting what they find … But when scientists are prevented from examining the raw ingredients in our nation’s food supply or from testing the plant material that covers a large portion of the country’s agricultural land, the restrictions on free inquiry become dangerous.” – The Editors “Do Seed Companies Control GM Crop Research?” by the Editors, Scientific American; July 20, 2009

“[U]ltimately the GMO debate is not about pro-science versus anti-science.  Rather, it is about corporate influenced scientific research or scientific research grounded in the public good.  In this internal battle for the conscience, ethics and integrity of science, scientists ignore Einstein’s ethical caution that technologies, including genetic engineering, should be developed with scientific certainty that people’s health and safety will not be impacted.  In the GMO debate, while the fate of people, their health, and environment are at stake, so are the ethics, credibility and integrity of scientific research.” – Professor Chaumtoli Huq, “Bioethics, Scientific Research and the GMO Debate,” Law at the Margins; September 22, 2013

“When those with a vested interest attempt to sow unreasonable doubt around inconvenient results, or when governments exploit political opportunities by picking and choosing from scientific evidence, they jeopardize public confidence in scientific methods and institutions, and also put their own citizenry at risk. Safety testing, science-based regulation, and the scientific process itself, depend crucially on widespread trust in a body of scientists devoted to the public interest and professional integrity. If instead, the starting point of a scientific product assessment is an approval process rigged in favor of the applicant, backed up by systematic suppression of independent scientists working in the public interest, then there can never be an honest, rational or scientific debate.” – Brian Wynne, et al (over 100 signatures), “Séralini and Science: an Open Letter,” Independent Science News; October 2, 2012

“There is a compelling case for banning all environmental releases of GMOs now, and with that the glyphosate herbicides. Action can be taken locally in communities, villages, towns, municipalities, regions, as well as nationally and globally. It must be done now; for time is running out. We need to shift comprehensively to non-GM sustainable ecological farming in order to feed ourselves under climate change. We the people need to reclaim our food and seed sovereignty from the corporate empire before they destroy our food and farming irreversibly.”Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Dr. Eva Sirinathsignhji, “Ban GMOs Now – Health and Environmental Hazards – Especially in Light of the New Genetics,” Institute of Science in Society; 2013 (52 pages)

“By any reasonable measure, the finding [of the Human Genome project published in 2001] signaled the downfall of the central dogma; it also destroyed the scientific foundation of genetic engineering, and the validity of the biotechnology industry’s widely advertised claim that its methods of genetically modifying food crops are ‘specific, precise, and predictable’ and therefore safe … Without detailed, ongoing analyses of the transgenic crops, there is no way of knowing if hazardous consequences might arise. Given the failure of the central dogma, there is no assurance that they will not. The genetically engineered crops now being grown represent a massive uncontrolled experiment whose outcome is inherently unpredictable. The results could be catastrophic. Why, then, has the central dogma continued to stand? To some degree the theory has been protected from criticism by a device more common to religion than science; dissent, or merely the discovery of a discordant fact, is a punishable offense, a heresy that might easily lead to professional ostracism.” – Barry Commoner, “Unravelling the DNA Myth – The Spurious Foundation of Genetic Engineering,” Harper’s Magazine; February 2002 (14 pages)

“The core issue behind the ethics of genetic engineering is that is it right to change the nature of life on earth to suit man’s desires better? … From a theological point of view, genetic engineering is intrinsically wrong. Genetic engineering is unnatural. Anything that is going against the laws of nature is questionable and immoral … Genetic engineers are gambling with their unproven introductions. … As citizens, we must take responsibility for the future. We are at a time in our world’s history where we can no longer afford to violate the laws of nature in our haste for progress. We must not only acknowledge, but also honor the intimate relationship we share with everything in the universe. There is an order in the universe, a seamless web that nourishes and connects us all from the tiniest seed, to the beating of our hearts, to the stars in the galaxies. Every time we act without reference to this underlying intelligence of natural law, we harm ourselves, we harm each other, and we harm our planet.” – Dr. Surjit Kaur, “Sikh Perspective on Modern Scientific Technology,” by Dr. Surjit Kaur, Institute of Sikh Studies, Chandigarh; 2010

“Most studies are performed by industry. Even peer reviewed published papers (if available at all) very often show involvement of industry. There are very few independent studies. Further, the scientific standards of the industry studies do not fulfill basic scientific standards.” – Christoph Then & Andreas Bauer-Panskus, “Flaws in EFSA’s Risk Assessment: Examples from Eight Genetically Engineered Crops,” Testbiotech (2014)

“In our view, the science and the risk assessment supporting the Enlist Duo decision are flawed. The science consisted solely of toxicologic studies commissioned by the herbicide manufacturers in the 1980s and 1990s and never published… These studies predated current knowledge of low-dose, endocrine-mediated, and epigenetic effects and were not designed to detect them… It failed to consider ecologic impact, such as effects on the monarch butterfly and other pollinators. It considered only pure glyphosate, despite studies showing that formulated glyphosate that contains surfactants and adjuvants is more toxic than the pure compound.” – Philip J. Landrigan, M.D. and Charles Benbrook, PhD, “GMOs, Herbicides, and Public Health,” New England Journal of Medicine, August 20, 2015

“It’s time we ask ourselves: How long are we going to let Monsanto bully farmers and politicians into controlling the very source of life on earth? How long will we tolerate the growing monopolization and genetic engineering of seeds by an aggressive cabal of chemical and pesticide corporations who pose a deadly threat to our health, our environment and the future of our food? And when does ‘how long’ become too late? … The fable that GMOs are feeding the world has already led to large-scale destruction of biodiversity and farmers’ livelihoods. It is threatening the very basis of our freedom to know what we eat and to choose what we eat. Our biodiversity and our seed freedom are in peril. Our food freedom, food democracy and food sovereignty are at stake.” – Janek Ratnatunga, “Costing Life: Air, Water and Food,” Vol. 12, No. 1; 2014

“[T]he global food crisis is not a problem of food supply but the consequence of ill-advised policies imposed on the Global South by international aid, trade, and financial institutions. These policies have benefited the transnational food industry at the expense of the world’s most vulnerable populations, who are also the stewards of the biodiverse food systems necessary to respond to the looming climate crisis. As a consequence of these misguided policies, billions of small farmers in the Global South have been driven off their land and into urban slums at a rate that vastly exceeds the availability of urban employment.” – Carmen G. Gonzalez, “The Global Food Crisis: Law, Policy and the Elusive Quest for Justice,” Yale Human Rights & Development Law Journal, Vol. 13, Issue 2; 2010

Life is not simply about individual genes – it is organized into cells, organisms and interactions with the environmentUltimately “life” can only ever be seen as a whole. Genetic engineering, on the other hand, treats living organisms as if they were simply an accumulation of DNA, whose individual components can be recombined like pieces of Lego. The strategy behind this is to reduce the actual complexity of life functions, and then concentrate on the apparently controllable individual parts. The segment selected to be investigated, controlled and manipulated is only ever an ancillary construction often determined by economic interests, and frequently having nothing at all to do with biological reality. The genome and the epigenome are in constant interaction with the environment. They are part of a complex system that has been optimized over billions of years, the characteristics of which amount to far more than its individual parts. Life in its present forms and its further evolution are a continuum dating back billions of years … All the indications are that we are currently just at the start of environmental pollution on an unprecedented scale: The uncontrolled spread of technically created genomes and organisms into the biosphere of planet earth. There is clearly a need for statutory regulation: Each and every release of a genetically manipulated organism must – insofar as it is not prohibited – be at least controllable in its spatial and temporal dimensions. Ethical boundaries need to take the integrity of the genome into consideration. Genes and living organisms must be excluded from patenting.” Christoph Then, “Biotechnology, genetic engineering and our responsibility for nature,” Testbiotech


 

Resources for further research

 

Glyphosate and cancer: Buying science – How industry strategized (and regulators colluded) in an attempt to save the world’s most widely used herbicide from a ban,” by Helmut Burtscher, Peter Clausing and Claire Robinson, GLOBAL 2000 (Friends of the Earth Austria); March 2017 (72 pages)

Conflicts of interest among committee members in the National Academies’ genetically engineered crop study,” by Sheldon Krimsky & Tim Schwab, PLoS One, Vol. 12, No. 2, e0172317; February 28, 2017 (17 pages)

Technological Approaches to Sustainable Agriculture at a Crossroads: An Agroecological Perspective,” by Miguel A. Altieri, Clara I. Nicholls and Rene Montalba, Sustainability, Vol. 9, No. 3; February 27, 2017 (13 pages)

Transcriptome and metabolome analysis of liver and kidneys of rats chronically fed NK603 Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize,” by Robin Mesnage, Matthew Arno, Gilles-Eric Séralini and Michael N. Antoniou, Environmental Sciences Europe, Vol. 29, No 6; February 7, 2017  (9 pages)

Effective policy options for reducing environmental risks from pesticides in the UK,” by Evelyn Underwood and Nick Mole, PAN UK & IEEP; February 2017 (84 pages)

Pollinators in Peril: A systematic status review of North American and Hawaiian native bees [including the list of all valid native bee species and their current conservation status],” by Kelsey Kopec, Center for Biological Diversity; February 2017 (62 pages)

Transcriptomic response of wolf spider, Pardosa pseudoannulata, to transgenic rice expressing Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ab protein,” by Juan Wang, Yuande Peng, Kaifu Xiao, Baoyang Wei, Jilin Hu, Zhi Wang, Qisheng Song and Xuguo Zhou, BMC Biotechnology, Vol. 17, No. 7; January 18, 2017 (10 pages)

Herbicide resistance and biodiversity: agronomic and environmental aspects of genetically modified herbicide-resistant plants,” by Gesine Schütte, Michael Eckerstorfer, Valentina Rastelli, Wolfram Reichenbecher, Sara Restrepo-Vassalli, Marja Ruohonen-Lehto, Anne-Gabrielle Wuest Saucy, and Martha Mertens, Environmental Sciences Europe, Vol. 29, No. 1; January 2017 (12 pages)

Grabbing the bull by the horns: it’s time to cut industrial meat and dairy to save the climate,” by GRAIN; January 2017 (13 pages)

Transgenic crops – Risks and uncertainties: More than 750 studies despised by regulatory bodies of GMOs,” by Gilles Ferment, Leonardo Melgarejo, Gabriel Bianconi Fernandes and José Maria Ferraz, Family Agriculture and Agrarian Development; 2017 (451 pages)

Modeling the status, trends, and impacts of wild bee abundance in the United States,” by Insu Koha, Eric V. Lonsdorfa, Neal M. Williams, Claire Brittain, Rufus Isaacs, Jason Gibbs, and Taylor H. Rickett, PNAS, Vol. 113, No. 1; January 2016  (17 pages)

International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics opinion on reproductive health impacts of exposure to toxic environmental chemicals,” by Gian Carlo Di Renzo et al, International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Volume 131, Issue 3; December 2015 (7 pages)

Social Impacts of GM Crops in Agriculture: A Systematic Literature Review,” by Klara Fischer, Elisabeth Ekener-Petersen, Lotta Rydhmer and Karin Edvardsson Björnberg, Sustainability 2015, Vol. 7, No. 7; July 2, 2015 (23 pages)

GM Crops and the Rat Digestive Tract: A Critical Review,” by Irena M. Zdziarski, John W. Edwards, Judy A. Carman and Julie I. Haynes, Environment International, Volume 73; December 2014 (11 pages)

Do Financial Conflicts of Interest Bias Research? An Inquiry into the ‘Funding Effect’ Hypothesis,” by Sheldon Krimsky, Science, Technology & Human Values, Vol. 38, No. 4; July 2013 (22 pages)

Farmer’s choice of seeds in four EU countries under different levels of GM crop adoption,” by Angelika Hilbeck, Tamara Lebrecht, Raphaela Vogel, Jack A. Heinemann and Rosa Binimelis, Environmental Sciences Europe, Vol. 25, No. 12; May 20, 2013 (13 pages)

Hands off our maize! Resistance to GMOs in Mexico,” by GRAIN, April 2013 (17 pages)

GM maize in Mexico – An irreversible path away from agricultural biodiversity, farmer livelihoods and the right to food within the center of origin of maize,” by GRAIN et al, November 2012 (11 pages)

Our View,” by K. Neil Harker, John T. O’Donovan, Robert E. Blackshaw, Hugh J. Beckie, C. Mallory-Smith, and Bruce D. Maxwell, Weed Science Vol. 60, Issue 2; April–June 2012 (3 pages) [Note: This is a brief publication from six scientists which exams glyphosate herbicide-resistant weeds (or superweeds) and critiques the various “‘solutions’ that have emerged” regarding the explosive growth of these weeds].

The potential for underutilized crops to improve security of food production,” by Sean Mayes, F. J. Massawe, P. G. Alderson, J. A. Roberts, S. N. Azam-Ali and M. Hermann, Journal of Experimental Botany, Vol. 63, No. 3; 2012 (5 pages)

Recent long-distance transgene flow into wild populations conforms to historical patterns of gene flow in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) at its centre of origin,” by Ana Wegier, A. Piñeyro-Nelson, J. Larcón, Amanda Gálvez-Mariscal, Elena Alvarez-Buyllaand Daniel Piñero, Molecular Ecology, Vol. 20, Issue 19; October 2011 (13 pages)

Field versus Farm in Warangal: Bt Cotton, Higher Yields, and Larger Questions,” by Glenn Davis Stone, World Development Vol. 39, No. 3; March 2011 (12 pages)

Genetic Engineering: A Question of Ethics,” by Teresa Carlson, Mälardalen University, Sweden; November 2006 (8 pages)

The Health Effects of Genetically Engineered Crops on San Luis Obispo County – A Citizen Response to the SLO Health Commission GMO Task Force Report,” Compiled by Mike Zelina, Teresa Campbell, Andrew Christie, Mark Phillips, Nancy Reinstein, PhD, RD, Elizabeth Johnson; August, 2006 (59 pages)

Software and seeds: lessons in community sharing,” by Roberto Verzola, GRAIN, October 22, 2005 (5 pages)

False hopes, festering failures: Bt cotton in Andhra Pradesh 2005-2006; Fourth successive year of the Study reconfirms the failure of Bt cotton,” by Abdul Qayum and Kiran Sakkhari, Deccan Development Society, Andhra Pradesh Coalition in Defence of Diversity & Permaculture Association of India; 2006 (15 pages)

Bt Cotton in Andhra Pradesh: a Three Year Assessment – The first ever sustained independent scientific study of Bt Cotton in India,” by Abdul Qayum & Kiran Sakkhari, Deccan Development Society [DDS] and the AP Coalition in Defence of Diversity [APCDD]; April 12, 2005 (55 pages)

Did Bt cotton fail AP again in 2003–2004? A season-long study of Bt Cotton in Andhra Pradesh,” by Abdul Qayum and Kiran Sakkhari, Deccan Development Society; 2004 (52 pages)

Problems in monitoring horizontal gene transfer in field trials of transgenic plants,” by Jack A. Heinemann & Terje Traavik, Nature Biotechnology, Vol. 22, No. 9; September 2004 (5 pages)

 

 




सत्यमेव जयते – Satyameva Jayate

(Truth Ultimately Triumphs)

 

Copyright © Jeff Kirkpatrick 2016-2017 Ban GMOs Now All rights reserved.