Bloomberg: Genetically Modified Corn Polluting Streams, Rivers and Lakes With Insecticides

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There was recently a big uproar about the FDA’s decision to approve genetically modified salmon for human consumption without the need to do any chemical testing on the salmon first. As we all know the FDA is a corrupt facade of a public health organization that should be ashamed of themselves and this next report exemplifies just how poorly they represent public health.

FDA won’t allow food to be labeled free of genetic modification: report

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By Raw Story ‘Extra labeling only confuses the consumer,’ biotech spokesman says

That the Food and Drug Administration is opposed to labeling foods that are genetically modified is no surprise anymore, but a report in the Washington Post indicates the FDA won’t even allow food producers to label their foods as being free of genetic modification.

In reporting that the FDA will likely not require the labeling of genetically modified salmon if it approves the food product for consumption, thePost‘s Lyndsey Layton notes that the federal agency “won’t let conventional food makers trumpet the fact that their products don’t contain genetically modified ingredients.”

The agency warned the dairy industry in 1994 that it could not use “Hormone Free” labeling on milk from cows that are not given engineered hormones, because all milk contains some hormones.

It has sent a flurry of enforcement letters to food makers, including B&G Foods, which was told it could not use the phrase “GMO-free” on its Polaner All Fruit strawberry spread label because GMO refers to genetically modified organisms and strawberries are produce, not organisms.

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Intel Hub – The FDA is actively working with corporations such as Monsanto to essentially poison the food supply. The FDA is crawling with former Monsanto execs, the same company that brought us the infamous agent orange toxin and who controls the vast majority of the American food supply. We live in a country where our government BANS companies from labeling their products GMO free!

Bloomberg just ran an article that shows that consumer concern over the safety of genetically modified food is not unfounded.

According to the article scientist found that genetically modified corn, which was altered to cause the corn to produce an insecticide, is polluting the waters and streams near the corn fields were it is grown. Bloomberg reports that 85% of the corn grown in the U.S is genetically modified and the insecticides have been found in the waters up to 6 months after the corn was harvested meaning that the toxins produced by the corn enters the environment and stays there.

Apparently, while the scientists are concerned about the impact the toxins produced by the corn will have on the environment there is no concern over the health and safety of humans consuming the toxins either through direct consumption or as it comes up the food chain after the toxic corn is feed to livestock.

Toxin From Biotech Corn Detected in U.S. Streams, Study Finds

ept. 28 (Bloomberg) — An insecticide produced by genetically modified corn was found in streams in the U.S. Midwest, according to research by the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.Samples at 217 stream sites in Indiana found the protein Cry1Ab, the toxin expressed by so-called Bt corn, in water at about a quarter of the locations, the Millbrook, New York-based institute said on its website, citing a study published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The insecticide enters waterways through runoff and when corn stalks, leaves and plant parts are washed into stream channels, …

These corn byproducts may alter the health of freshwater bodies, the institute said, adding that ultimately streams that originate in the Corn Belt drain into the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes.

Corn is made to produce the Cry1Ab protein, which is toxic to the European corn borer, by adding a gene from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt….

The study was conducted six months after the corn harvest, indicating that the insecticide can persist in the environment

More than 85 percent of U.S. corn in 2009 was genetically modified to repel pests, resist herbicide exposure or both…

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Grist Magazine gives us more information on the new report which you probably won’t find being discussed from any Corporate news sites.

Field of Screams — Transgenic crops’ built-in pesticide found to be contaminating waterways

One of the main arguments offered in support of the wide use of genetically engineered crops is that they reduce overall pesticide use. This is particularly the case with Monsanto’s “Bt” line of corn, soy, and cotton seeds, which are able to produce their own pesticide, a “natural” toxin from genes of the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis. Ironically, commercial pesticide derived from Bt also happens to be one of the only chemical pesticides approved for use in organic agriculture, because it’s produced through a biological process.Biotechnology companies thus consider Bt seeds some of their most “eco-friendly” products. In theory, farmers don’t have to spray pesticide as much or as often on these crops, and therefore pesticide runoff into waterways is much less of a concern. Well, after years of denial, Monsanto finally admitted recently that superbugs, or pests that have evolved to be able to eat the Bt crops, are a real and growing concern…

The fun part? No one has any idea yet of the effects of long-term, low-dose exposure to Bt on fish and wildlife. Perhaps it’s high time somebody did a study on that since, as the researchers dryly observed, the presence of Bt toxin “may be a more common occurrence in watersheds draining maize-growing regions than previously recognized.” Apparently.

So. Not only do genetically engineered crops have worse yields than conventionally bred crops, cost more, lead to pesticide resistance, contaminate other plants with their transgenes, possibly cause allergies and even organ damage, but now we also learn that the plants themselves are possibly poisonous to the environment.

These kinds of genetically engineered seeds keep being touted as the only way we’re going to feed the world. Isn’t it about time we started investing in less toxic alternatives?

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Moreover, while the scientists who performed this research seem “shocked” to have found the toxins in the water and persisting in the environment for months I some times wonder what decision making process these scientists and the FDA uses to come to decisions. For example a study published in FEMS Microbiology Ecology clearly showed that the insecticides penetrated the soil through the root system and persisted in the environment. Common sense would tell you once it enters the soil of course the runoff from rain will carry it into lakes and streams.

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FEMS Microbiology Ecology

Abstract

The insecticidal toxin encoded by the cry1Ab gene from Bacillus thuringiensis was released in root exudates from transgenic Bt corn during 40 days of growth in soil amended to 0, 3, 6, 9, or 12% (v/v) with montmorillonite or kaolinite in a plant growth room and from plants grown to maturity in the field. The presence of the toxin in rhizosphere soil was determined by immunological and larvicidal assays. No toxin was detected in any soils from isogenic non-Bt corn or without plants. Persistence of the toxin was apparently the result of its binding on surface-active particles in the soils, which reduced the biodegradation of the toxin. The release of the toxin could enhance the control of insect pests or constitute a hazard to nontarget organisms, including the microbiota of soil, and increase the selection of toxin-resistant target insects.

Saxena, D. and Stotzky, G. (2000), Insecticidal toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis is released from roots of transgenic Bt corn in vitro and in situ. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 33: 35–39. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2000.tb00724.x Volume 33, Issue 1, pages 35–39, July 2000

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All247News has printed a piece warning of the dangers of Montosa’s GMO corn.

GMO Corn May Turn Your Tummy Into a Poison Production Factory

August 22nd, 2010.
Michael Danielson

The biotechnology industries are quite proud of their pest-resistant, genetically modified (GMO) corn and other crops. When you hear the term ‘pest-resistant’, you might not think, at first, of what that truly means — that the modified plants are creating their own pesticide inside their cells. In short, the plants kill the bugs that eat them, so the bugs learn not to eat them. Of course, that means that humans who consume the pest-resistant GMO corn are consuming pesticide with every bite, but it’s pesticide from inside the corn, so you can’t wash it off. Biotech companies claim that the toxin that their GMO plants create isn’t dangerous to humans, but many studies show otherwise.

Mice fed the toxin suddenly became allergic to many compounds that previously didn’t bother them. Farm workers have had reactions to the genetically modified toxin, and the Federal Court of Canada has recognized that “People with compromised immune systems or pre-existing allergies may be particularly susceptible to the effects of [this toxin].”

When the same toxin that GMO plants create within their cells was sprayed over areas of Washington State, six people went to the emergency room and hundreds more reported flu-like or allergy-like symptoms — all provably related to the spray. Then ponder the fact that, inside the plant, the toxin is more than three thousand times as concentrated as it is in the natural commercial sprays, and you can start to grasp the danger.

That’s not even half of the danger associated with the pest-resistant corn, however. The toxin is consumed when the corn is eaten, but it’s also present in the pollen, which can be inhaled by anyone working near the corn field. One Filipino village was mysteriously stricken with a disease in which the entire village suffered headaches, vomiting, chest and stomach pain, fever, and more — for exactly the duration of time that a nearby GMO corn field was blooming. The sickness recurred every year that the same variety of corn was planted in that field, and vanished when the corn was replaced with a different breed. When the same breed of corn was planted near four other villages in the area, the same symptoms swept the villages, again only during pollination season.

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Thumbnail credit: all247news.com

Categories: ENVIRONMENT

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