Co-Formulants in Glyphosate-Based Herbicides Disrupt Aromatase Activity in Human Cells below Toxic Levels

Image added


Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 264; doi:10.3390/ijerph13030264

Co-Formulants in Glyphosate-Based Herbicides Disrupt Aromatase Activity in Human Cells below Toxic Levels

1
Institute of Biology, University of Caen Normandy, EA2608 and Network on Risks, Quality and Sustainable Environment MRSH, Esplanade de la Paix, CS 14032, Caen Cedex 5, France
2
Agro-Environmental Research Institute, National Agricultural Research and Innovation Centre, H-1022, Herman Ottó u. 15, Budapest, Hungary
3
CRIIGEN, 81 rue Monceau, 75008 Paris, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Huixiao Hong
Received: 2 November 2015 / Revised: 19 January 2016 / Accepted: 15 February 2016 / Published: 26 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Endocrine Disruptors and Public Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [5195 KB, uploaded 26 February 2016]   |

Abstract

Pesticide formulations contain declared active ingredients and co-formulants presented as inert and confidential compounds. We tested the endocrine disruption of co-formulants in six glyphosate-based herbicides (GBH), the most used pesticides worldwide. All co-formulants and formulations were comparably cytotoxic well below the agricultural dilution of 1% (18–2000 times for co-formulants, 8–141 times for formulations), and not the declared active ingredient glyphosate (G) alone. The endocrine-disrupting effects of all these compounds were measured on aromatase activity, a key enzyme in the balance of sex hormones, below the toxicity threshold. Aromatase activity was decreased both by the co-formulants alone (polyethoxylated tallow amine—POEA and alkyl polyglucoside—APG) and by the formulations, from concentrations 800 times lower than the agricultural dilutions; while G exerted an effect only at 1/3 of the agricultural dilution. It was demonstrated for the first time that endocrine disruption by GBH could not only be due to the declared active ingredient but also to co-formulants. These results could explain numerous in vivo results with GBHs not seen with G alone; moreover, they challenge the relevance of the acceptable daily intake (ADI) value for GBHs exposures, currently calculated from toxicity tests of the declared active ingredient alone.

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0).
MDPI and ACS Style

Defarge, N.; Takács, E.; Lozano, V.L.; Mesnage, R.; Spiroux de Vendômois, J.; Séralini, G.-E.; Székács, A. Co-Formulants in Glyphosate-Based Herbicides Disrupt Aromatase Activity in Human Cells below Toxic Levels. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 264.

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Abstract republished http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/13/3/264 // Images added

Joint PR: Court Documents Reveal Oxitec’s Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes Could Cause Increased Numbers of Different Disease-Carrying Mosquitoes

 


GeneWatch UK – 2016

29th September 2016

Contact: Jaydee Hanson; +1-202-547-9359, jhanson@icta.org

WASHINGTON- Genetically engineered (GE) mosquito company Oxitec has admitted a major risk of its technology – reducing one mosquito species may increase the numbers of a second disease-carrying species. The information surfaced today when four environment and food safety groups including International Center for Technology Assessment, GeneWatch UK, Food and Water Watch and Friends of the Earth released court documents from the Cayman Islands. Oxitec, a subsidiary of Intrexon, applied for trial releases of its GE mosquito, which, according to the new information, would be inefficient and risky.

Oxitec previously denied that releasing millions of GE Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, with the aim of suppressing wild mosquito numbers, would result in increased numbers of the Aedes albopictus species (known as the Asian Tiger mosquito). The Aedes albopictus also transmits viral tropical diseases such as dengue and zika, and recently has been shown to be a vector of chikungunya, a devastating and sometimes lethal viral disease. The FDA recently approved trial releases of the GE mosquitoes in Florida.

 “These court documents show that Oxitec’s GE mosquito trials are not worth the risk. The State of Florida and its mosquito control boards have in the past effectively controlled disease from multiple mosquito species using much more benign approaches such as vaccines, screens, repellents, larvicides and removing breeding sites like abandoned tires,” said Jaydee Hanson, policy director of the International Center for Technology Assessment.

This new evidence from the Cayman Islands highlights that Oxitec is aware of a major flaw in its single-species, technological approach to eradicating disease-carrying mosquitoes. Oxitec makes clear that the release of the GE Asian Tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus might be needed if the release of the GE Aedes aegypti results in an increase of the numbers of Asian Tiger mosquitoes. Oxitec’s 2014 application to the Cayman Islands Department of Environment states, “Should Aedes albopictus begin to occupy the Aedes aegypti niche upon reduction in their numbers, a concurrent operation will begin to reduce the numbers of Aedes albopictus”.

“It might be a good business model for a company to sell a technology to reduce one mosquito species, so then they can also sell a technology to deal with the species that replaces it,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. “But it’s not worth the effort, expense and potential risk for communities in the U.S. to start down this path.”

Aedes albopictus is a more invasive species than Aedes aegypti and can be found in all east coast U.S. states from Maine to Florida, all southern states, most Midwestern states and in the states along the US-Mexico border from Texas west to California.

“Current permits for releases should now be revoked until regulators recognise the downsides of Oxitec’s technology and the need to consider all the impacts on the ecosystem. The consequences of mass releases of GE mosquitoes could be harmful if other disease-carrying mosquito species move in as a result. Risk assessments in Brazil, the Cayman Islands and the USA need to be revised,” said Dr. Helen Wallace, director of GeneWatch UK.

 The company has also previously hid information about the mosquito’s potential to survive. Company data noted that 15 to 18 percent of its GE mosquitoes survive when fed on cat food containing industrially farmed chicken, which contains the antibiotic tetracycline. Environmental groups have warned that this could lead to the survival and spread of large numbers of GE mosquitoes, when they encounter this common antibiotic in the environment e.g. in discarded takeaways or septic tanks.

“Oxitec has misled the public about the risks. These GE mosquitoes may thrive in the wild or may lead to an increase in more aggressive mosquito populations,” said Dana Perls, senior food and technology campaigner with Friends of the Earth, U.S. “We should be using the least toxic alternatives that don’t have unintended consequences for our environment and health.”

Florida Keys residents will have a non-binding vote on whether they support the release of Oxitec’s genetically engineered Aedes aegypti mosquitoes on November 8, 2016. A separate but related vote will occur in Key Haven, Florida, where Oxitec has received permission from the Food and Drug Administration to release its GE Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in the first U.S. trial. Residents of Key Haven have strongly opposed the release of these mosquitoes.


Source http://www.genewatch.org/article.shtml?als%5bcid%5d=576198&als%5bitemid%5d=576847

Republished in full // images and emphasis added


 

Seralini ruled Defamed


Séralini wins defamation case against French news magazine Marianne

Original author of the defamation was American ex-tobacco lobbyist Henry I. Miller

The French news magazine Marianne and its reporter Jean-Claude Jaillette have lost their case in the Court of Appeals in Paris on 7 September 2016, according to a report from CRIIGEN, the research organisation where Prof Gilles-Eric Séralini is chairman of the scientific council.

Marianne and Jaillette were sentenced for defamation for denigrating Prof Séralini and his 2012 research study showing that Roundup and GMO maize caused ill health effects in rats, including liver and kidney damage and hormonal disturbances.

The study was retracted by the first journal that published it after a sustained campaign of defamation by lobbyists. It was subsequently republished in another peer-reviewed journal.

Jaillette’s defamatory article appeared in Marianne in September 2012, in the same month that Séralini’s study was first published. The article said that “researchers around the world” had voiced “harsh words” about the research, which it called a “scientific fraud in which the methodology served to reinforce pre-determined results”.

Séralini, his research team, and CRIIGEN challenged this allegation. They were assisted by lawyers Bernard Dartevelle and Cindy Gay.

On 6 November 2015, after a criminal investigation lasting three years, the High Court of Paris passed sentence. Marianne and its journalist were fined for public defamation of a public official and public defamation of the researchers and of CRIIGEN.

Marianne and Jaillette appealed against the judgement but the 7 September ruling at the Court of Appeals marks the final defeat for their case.

Details of the sentence have not yet been publicly announced but Prof Séralini told GMWatch via email that the defendants will have to pay a 24,000 Euro fine.

Original author of fraud accusation was lobbyist Henry I. Miller

The initial case presented at the High Court demonstrated that the original author of the fraud accusation, before Marianne ill-advisedly took it up, was the American lobbyist Henry I. Miller in Forbes magazine.

Miller had previously lobbied to discredit research linking tobacco to cancer and heart disease on behalf of the tobacco industry. Since then he has tried to do the same in support of GMOs and pesticides.

For more details of the case, contact Maître Bernard Dartevelle’s law firm on 01 43 12 55 80.

__________________________________________________________

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Article Republished in full / Source – GMWatch / Images added


The perils of planned extinctions

 


1. The perils of planned extinctions

Claire Hope Cummings
Project Syndicate, Sept 6, 2016
https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/gene-drive-conservation-risks-by-claire-h–cummings-2016-09?referrer=/YJvmtosOVo
[links to sources at the URL above]

A cynical move is underway to promote a new, powerful, and troubling technology known as “gene drives” for use in conservation. This is not just your everyday genetic modification, known as “GMO”, it is a radical new technology, which creates “mutagenic chain reactions” that can reshape living systems in unimaginable ways.

Gene drives represent the next frontier of genetic engineering, synthetic biology, and gene editing. The technology overrides the standard rules of genetic inheritance, ensuring that a particular trait, delivered by humans into an organism’s DNA using advanced gene-editing technology, spreads to all subsequent generations, thereby altering the future of the entire species.

It is a biological tool with unprecedented power. Yet, instead of taking time to consider fully the relevant ethical, ecological, and social issues, many are aggressively promoting gene-drive technology for use in conservation.

One proposal aims to protect native birds on Hawaii’s Kauai Island by using gene drives to reduce the population of a species of mosquito that carries avian malaria. Another plan, championed by a conservation consortium that includes US and Australian government agencies, would eradicate invasive, bird-harming mice on particular islands by introducing altered mice that prevent them from producing female offspring. Creating the “daughterless mouse” would be the first step toward so-called Genetic Biocontrol of Invasive Rodents (GBIRd), designed to cause deliberate extinctions of “pest” species like rats, in order to save “favored” species, such as endangered birds.

The assumption underlying these proposals seems to be that humans have the knowledge, capabilities, and prudence to control nature. The idea that we can – and should – use human-driven extinction to address human-caused extinction is appalling.

I am not alone in my concern. At the ongoing International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress in Hawaii, a group of leading conservationists and scientists issued an open letter, entitled “A Call for Conservation with a Conscience,” demanding a halt to the use of gene drives in conservation. I am one of the signatories, along with the environmental icon David Suzuki, physicist Fritjof Capra, the Indigenous Environmental Network’s Tom Goldtooth, and organic pioneer Nell Newman.

The discussions that have begun at the IUCN congress will continue at the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in Mexico this December, when global leaders must consider a proposed global moratorium on gene drives. Such discussions reflect demands by civil-society leaders for a more thorough consideration of the scientific, moral, and legal issues concerning the use of gene drives.

As I see it, we are simply not asking the right questions. Our technological prowess is largely viewed through the lens of engineering, and engineers tend to focus on one question: “Does it work?” But, as Angelika Hilbeck, President of the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER) argues, a better question would be: “What else does it do?”

When it comes to the GBIRd project, for example, one might ask whether the “daughterless mouse” could escape the specific ecosystem into which it has been introduced, just as GMO crops and farmed salmon do, and what would happen if it did. As for the mosquitos in Hawaii, one might ask how reducing their numbers would affect the endangered hoary bat species.

Ensuring that these kinds of questions are taken into account will be no easy feat. As a lawyer experienced in US government regulations, I can confidently say that the existing regulatory framework is utterly incapable of assessing and governing gene-drive technology.

Making matters worse, the media have consistently failed to educate the public about the risks raised by genetic technologies. Few people understand that, as MIT science historian Lily Kay explains, genetic engineering was deliberately developed and promoted as a tool for biological and social control. Those driving that process were aiming to fulfill a perceived mandate for “science-based social intervention”.

Powerful tools like genetic modification and, especially, gene-drive technology spark the imagination of anyone with an agenda, from the military (which could use them to make game-changing bio-weapons) to well-intentioned health advocates (which could use them to help eradicate certain deadly diseases). They certainly appeal to the hero narrative that so many of my fellow environmentalists favor.

But the fact is that we have not created the intellectual infrastructure to address the fundamental challenges that gene drives – not to mention other powerful technologies – raise. And now we are supposed to suspend our critical faculties and trust the techno-elites’ promise to use gene drives responsibly in the service of seemingly positive environmental goals. No open public discussion is needed, apparently. But why should we blindly believe that everything is under control?

In my view, the focus on using gene-drive technology for conservation is a ruse to gain public acceptance and regulatory cover. Why expose something to public scrutiny and possible restraints when you can usher it in through the back door by pretending it will do some good? The risks are too obvious for gene-drive advocates to risk talking about them.

In my 20-plus years of researching and reporting on transgenic technologies, I thought I had seen the worst of the false promises and hype that they engender. But gene drives are unlike anything we have witnessed, and amount to the ultimate test of our self-control. Can we really trust science to guide us, or do we recklessly throw in our lot with technological “silver bullets” as the way forward?

Fortunately, we still have a choice. The fact that gene drives can change the basic relationship between humanity and the natural world is both a challenge and an opportunity. We can do now what we should have done a long time ago, with regard to both nuclear and transgenic technologies: start paying more attention to the dangers of human ingenuity – and more respect to the genius of nature.

2. Argument builds around a genetic tool that can erase an annoying species

By Ron Meador
MinnPost, 7 Sept 2016
https://www.minnpost.com/earth-journal/2016/09/argument-builds-around-genetic-tool-can-erase-annoying-species

What if scientists could wipe out an entire species of malaria-carrying mosquito across sub-Saharan Africa, and other tropical regions of the world, with a bit of genetic editing that would drive its swarms to extinction in just a few years?

Or, with the same tool, stop the spread of Lyme disease by eliminating the white-footed mice that serve as reservoirs for that parasite? Maybe rescue portions of the Galapagos by rubbing out invasive rats?

If this sounds like the stuff of futuristic fantasy fiction to you, you have missed the coverage gathering this summer around the promise and perils of “gene drive” technology, a simplified approach to genetic engineering with a clear capability to erase entire species within just a few generations. (The target insect’s or rodent’s generations, that is, not human ones.)

The topic is front and center this week at the World Conservation Congress in Hawaii, the quadrennial meeting of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Delegates there have voted overwhelmingly to call a temporary halt to development of gene drive techniques until the world has had to chance to reflect upon the many ways in which it could go way wrong.

That action follows publication of an open letter [PDF] signed by such luminaries as Jane Goodall, David Suzuki and Fritjof Capra declaring that gene drive technology, “which has not been tested for unintended consequences nor fully evaluated for its ethical and social impacts,” brings humanity to “a moral and ethical threshold that must not be crossed without great restraint”.

Most mainstream media coverage, however, has carried the sort of cheerful, gee-whiz tone of Saturday’s Wall Street Journal piece headlined, “Mosquitoes are deadly, so why not kill them all?”

There is no shortage of sound answers to that question, but before turning to them let’s talk a bit about the science that has made it necessary and really rather urgent. Since mosquitoes are the primary near-term targets of the technique, they offer a fine illustration.

Making mosquitoes all male

When a male and female mosquito mate, each of their offspring has a 50 percent chance of being female and a 50 percent chance of being male. This is more or less the same for all traits passed down genetically by all species, plant and animal, that reproduce sexually.

With the development of genetically modified crops, like pest-resistant corn, the goal was to insert new genetic traits within the organism. The gene drive method, in contrast, uses a simplified editing technique to make sure that only one version of a trait, like gender, can be passed along.

British scientists have demonstrated, at the petri-dish level, that it is possible to modify the chromosomes of a malaria-carrying Anopheles mosquito so virtually all of the offspring are male.

This carries a dual advantage for disease control: Only females can inject the malaria parasite with their bites. And an all-male population — already shown to be achievable in just a few generations of the fruit fly, that workhorse of testing for genetic inheritance — can no longer reproduce itself.

This is not the only high-tech approach under consideration right now for advanced mosquito/malaria control. It’s not to be confused, for example, with a work on getting insects to carry new genetic material that can resist or kill a virus like Zika. Or torpedoing population growth by introducing insects made sterile with radiation, or outfitted with bacteria that can be passed along to offspring with lethal effects.

Those tools have a lot of potential and have inspired their own controversy. But in potential impact they don’t approach the gene drive with its simple, quick capacity for engineered extinction.

Problem is — assuming that something might just possibly go wrong — it’s an extinction mechanism without a kill switch.

To its credit, the Journal story acknowledges (if only glancingly) that there are arguments for going slow with the gene drive approach to fighting Zika, malaria and other insect-borne diseases. So does an earlier piece (with a highly similar tone and headline) in Time magazine.

The case for precaution

They can be grouped in a few categories, and are discussed in more detail in this fine piece of a month ago in the journal Science:

* Mosquitoes play key roles in ecosystems, such as providing food for bats and other insectivores, and “scientists have minimal experience engineering biological systems for evolutionary robustness”.
* It’s possible that a gene drive might not distribute the intended trait throughout a target population, or might find its work blocked by a naturally occurring mutation, or might spread the trait to nontargeted species.
* It’s also possible that a gene drive could stimulate other unforeseen evolutionary responses over a longer term in both target and nontarget species.
* And, again, the ability to redress any of these unintended consequences could be sharply limited by the lack of reliable reversal mechanisms.

Even scientists championing gene-drive technique recognize and discuss these limitations and risks, but generally as little hurdles to be crossed somewhere down the road.

For example, the entomologist Zach Adelman of Texas A&M, who is trying to engineer a males-only rewrite to the chromosomes of the Zika-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito, told the Journal that he sees the technology as “an all-powerful tool that will win the war for us, but that is exactly the sentiment that people felt when things like DDT first came along. … It’s good to be optimistic. But we need to be realistic as well. “

On the other hand, he says frankly that, “I think it is our moral duty to eliminate this mosquito.”

And at the moment, that notion of a moral imperative in favor of rapid deployment rather than precautionary restraint seems to be dominating the conversation among many scientists — the views of Jane Goodall and the IUCN notwithstanding — and other powerful actors including Bill Gates, whose foundation has invested many millions in both the development of gene drive techniques and their eventual application.

Speaking to a Bloomberg reporter in June, Gates acknowledged that “there’s a still a fair amount of work to be done” and that “nothing is ready to be deployed today,” but these points were secondary to “my basic belief … that children dying of malaria is a bad thing, and that we should be able to meet these objections”.

“Gates says he hopes to see gene editing used against HIV. His foundation has funded older gene-editing efforts against HIV, which were less efficient than [the new gene drive tool]. ‘HIV is still a lifelong disease, and any type of cure approach or some sort of way that you’d protect somebody on a lifelong basis, that would be invaluable, but that’s at a very early stage.’”

And as a former Namibian health minister, Richard Kamwi, told Time:

“A malaria vaccine has been 10 years down the road for 25 years. We need something now, before the tools we have stop working. I want to call on all the researchers and say that where they have been walking, they must start running. Where they have been jogging, they must start sprinting.”

Full article http://gmwatch.org/news/latest-news/17202

Republished in full / illustrations added

 

 

EFSA allows previously banned carcinogens

 



Republished – Full article – Source GMWatch

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) chose the summer holiday ‘dead zone’ period to publish a protocol for the implementation of a major derogation (exemption) from Europe’s pesticide law.

The derogation[1] will allow dangerous pesticides that cause cancer, birth defects, and endocrine disruption to continue to be used in spite of the fact that they are about to be banned under the EU pesticides regulation 1107/2009.

The derogation will be used for pesticides that are still on the EU market but fall into the 2009 pesticide regulation’s “cut-off” provisions for pesticides that are classified as carcinogens, reproductive toxins, or endocrine disruptors.[2]

Examples are glufosinate (a pesticide used on glufosinate-tolerant GM crops that causes birth defects), epoxiconazole (which causes birth defects and liver cancer), flumioxazin (a reproductive and endocrine toxin), pymetrozin (which causes cancers, reduction in fertility and effects on endocrine organs).

The derogation will allow such pesticides to be used on specific crops in case of a “serious danger for plant health”.

In EFSA’s view, herbicides can qualify for this derogation even though the agency admits in its published opinion that “weeds in a strict sense do not directly pose a threat to plant health”.

This appears to be at the very least illogical and at worst possibly in contempt of the European legislation.

EFSA promotes chemical treadmill for control of herbicide-resistant weeds

EFSA states in its opinion that due to the growing resistance of weeds against herbicides, for every crop in the EU, a range of herbicides needs to be available with different mechanisms of action – in some cases as many as four different classes of herbicides.

This means that if three classes of herbicides are available for a given crop, the derogation can still be applied to the classified-dangerous herbicide as the fourth herbicide.

EFSA mentions that priority has to be given to non-chemical methods.[3] But under the agency’s protocol, such methods can be easily dismissed as being less reliable and effective.

EFSA recommendations “a scandal”

Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe calls EFSA’s recommendations for controlling resistant weeds “a scandal”. PAN says, “Weeds will in the worst case cause a reduction of the yield of a crop and not be a serious danger to plant health.” The group adds that including herbicides in the new derogation is “a grave misuse of the rules”.

PAN says that instead of recommending reducing the use of pesticides by sustainable practices like crop rotation and mechanical weeding, “EFSA promotes the all-out use of synthetic pesticides to fight weeds. Resistance caused by overuse of pesticides needs to be countered by use of more pesticides, according to the Authority. This is the chemical treadmill – a dead-end street.”

PAN adds that EFSA completely ignores the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive[3], which states that pesticides can only be used as a last resort: “The ‘plant health’ panel at EFSA[5] seems to have no knowledge of sustainable crop growing and dismisses available and widely used non-chemical methods.”

Hans Muilerman of PAN Europe said: “The EU member states should not accept this EFSA protocol since it is undermining sustainable agriculture and decades of environmental and health policy.”

Notes

1. The derogation grants an exemption from Article 4.7 of the pesticides regulation 1107/2009.
2. Regulation 1107/2009, article 4.1.
3. Directive 128/2009
4. http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/plant-health/working-groups

Source: Pesticide Action Network Europe
http://www.pan-europe.info/press-releases/2016/09/food-authority-efsa-gives-extra-swing-pesticide-treadmill

Read this article on the GMWatch website and access sources at:
http://www.gmwatch.org/news/latest-news/17199

Genetically Modified Organisms in Agriculture

 

 

 

 

“Is gene manipulation really harmful in agriculture?”

“With the huge world population organic farming is not sustainable to feed everybody where drought, diseases can kill entire crops or herds. True or false?”

You have a couple of questions here, let me start with “Is gene manipulation really harmful in agriculture?”

It could be either but Gene Manipulation has never been proven to be safe.

Let’s start there, where we are today.

Excerpted from an article by Dr. Thierry Vrain

I know well that Canada does not perform long term feeding studies as they do in Europe. The only study I am aware of from Canada is from the Sherbrooke Hospital in 2011, when doctors found that 93% of pregnant women and 82% of the fetuses tested had the protein pesticide in their blood. This is a protein recognized in its many forms as mildly to severely allergenic. There is no information on the role played by rogue proteins created by the process of inserting transgenes in the middle of a genome. But there is a lot of long term feeding studies reporting serious health problems in mice and rats. The results of the first long term feeding studies of lab rats reported last year in Food and Chemical Toxicology show that they developed breast cancer in mid life and showed kidney and liver damage. The current statistic I read is that North Americans are eating 193 lbs of GMO food on average annually. That includes the children I assume, not that I would use that as a scare tactic. But obviously I wrote at length because I think there is cause for alarm and it is my duty to educate the public.

Dr. Thierry Vrain, Former Pro-GMO Scientist, Speaks Up Against Glyphosate

Monsanto Investigation 5

GMO’S ARE NOT SAFE!!

http://www.gmoseralini.org/faq-items/ten-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-seralini-study/

Evidence of GMO harm in pig study – GMO Judy Carman

Animal Evidence | GMO EVIDENCE

Human Evidence | GMO EVIDENCE

Lab Evidence | GMO EVIDENCE

Genetically Modified Food, panacea or poison? Full documentary

Next you claim – “organic farming is not sustainable” Organic farming is sustainable AND, it might be able to feed the planet, though I acknowledge that some conventional farming practices may require the use of some petrochemicals, that’s not what GMO has brought us, chemical use has sky rocketed as have our autism and cancer rates.

NAS Report Shows GM Crops ‘Clearly Not the Answer to World Hunger’ – Sustainable Pulse – excerpt – The report also found there was no evidence that GMO crops have improved yields. The report found “no significant change in the rate at which crop yields increase could be discerned from the data.”

Even if it’s true that 100% organic cannot, at this time, sustain the planet, even though we use chemicals in conventional farming, they are not causing the health problems that Genetically Modified Organisms are, so that would still be no valid reason to continue to produce foods known to be toxic, never proven safe by the corporations who now control almost all the seeds.

Our current practices are unsustainable and Genetically Modified Organisms are a complete failure.

Losing Ground Uploaded on 6 Apr 2011

GM Crops Farmer to Farmer – Uploaded on 14 Jun 2011

Uploaded on 3 Mar 2009 Willie Smits: How to restore a rainforest

Farmers using Genetically Modified Organisms, which have never been proven to be safe, are allowed to STEAL LAND AND CROPS from organic and conventional farmers!!

Genetically Modified Organism are not sustainable!

The Future of Food – Introduction Uploaded on 12 Nov 2007

 

Can we feed 10 billion people on organic farming alone?

EXCERPT: Scaling up organic agriculture with appropriate public policies and private investment is an important step for global food and ecosystem security. The challenge facing policymakers is to develop government policies that support conventional farmers converting to organic systems.

Can we feed 10 billion people on organic farming alone?

John Reganold
The Guardian, 14 Aug 2016
https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/aug/14/organic-farming-agriculture-world-hunger
[links to sources are at the URL above]

* Organic farming creates more profit and yields healthier produce. It’s time it played the role it deserves in feeding a rapidly growing world population

In 1971, then US Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz uttered these unsympathetic words: “Before we go back to organic agriculture in this country, somebody must decide which 50 million Americans we are going to let starve or go hungry.” Since then, critics have continued to argue that organic agriculture is inefficient, requiring more land than conventional agriculture to yield the same amount of food. Proponents have countered that increasing research could reduce the yield gap, and organic agriculture generates environmental, health and socioeconomic benefits that can’t be found with conventional farming.

Organic agriculture occupies only 1% of global agricultural land, making it a relatively untapped resource for one of the greatest challenges facing humanity: producing enough food for a population that could reach 10 billion by 2050, without the extensive deforestation and harm to the wider environment.

That’s the conclusion my doctoral student Jonathan Wachter and I reached in reviewing 40 years of science and hundreds of scientific studies comparing the long term prospects of organic and conventional farming. The study, Organic Agriculture in the 21st Century, published in Nature Plants, is the first to compare organic and conventional agriculture across the four main metrics of sustainability identified by the US National Academy of Sciences: be productive, economically profitable, environmentally sound and socially just. Like a chair, for a farm to be sustainable, it needs to be stable, with all four legs being managed so they are in balance.

We found that although organic farming systems produce yields that average 10-20% less than conventional agriculture, they are more profitable and environmentally friendly. Historically, conventional agriculture has focused on increasing yields at the expense of the other three sustainability metrics.

In addition, organic farming delivers equally or more nutritious foods that contain less or no pesticide residues, and provide greater social benefits than their conventional counterparts.

With organic agriculture, environmental costs tend to be lower and the benefits greater. Biodiversity loss, environmental degradation and severe impacts on ecosystem services – which refer to nature’s support of wildlife habitat, crop pollination, soil health and other benefits – have not only accompanied conventional farming systems, but have often extended well beyond the boundaries of their fields, such as fertilizer runoff into rivers.

Overall, organic farms tend to have better soil quality and reduce soil erosion compared to their conventional counterparts. Organic agriculture generally creates less soil and water pollution and lower greenhouse gas emissions, and is more energy efficient. Organic agriculture is also associated with greater biodiversity of plants, animals, insects and microbes as well as genetic diversity.

Despite lower yields, organic agriculture is more profitable (by 22–35%) for farmers because consumers are willing to pay more. These higher prices essentially compensate farmers for preserving the quality of their land.

Studies that evaluate social equity and quality of life for farm communities are few. Still, organic farming has been shown to create more jobs and reduce farm workers’ exposure to pesticides and other chemicals.

Organic farming can help to both feed the world and preserve wildland. In a study published this year, researchers modeled 500 food production scenarios to see if we can feed an estimated world population of 9.6 billion people in 2050 without expanding the area of farmland we already use. They found that enough food could be produced with lower-yielding organic farming, if people become vegetarians or eat a more plant-based diet with lower meat consumption. The existing farmland can feed that many people if they are all vegan, a 94% success rate if they are vegetarian, 39% with a completely organic diet, and 15% with the Western-style diet based on meat.

Realistically, we can’t expect everyone to forgo meat. Organic isn’t the only sustainable option to conventional farming either. Other viable types of farming exist, such as integrated farming where you blend organic with conventional practices or grass-fed livestock systems.

More than 40 years after Earl Butz’s comment, we are in a new era of agriculture. During this period, the number of organic farms, the extent of organically farmed land, the amount of research funding devoted to organic farming and the market size for organic foods have steadily increased. Sales of organic foods and beverages are rapidly growing in the world, increasing almost fivefold between 1999 and 2013 to $72bn. This 2013 figure is projected to double by 2018. Closer to home, organic food and beverage sales in 2015 represented almost 5% of US food and beverage sales, up from 0.8% in 1997.

Scaling up organic agriculture with appropriate public policies and private investment is an important step for global food and ecosystem security. The challenge facing policymakers is to develop government policies that support conventional farmers converting to organic systems. For the private business sector, investing in organics offers a lot of entrepreneurial opportunities and is an area of budding growth that will likely continue for years to come.

In a time of increasing population growth, climate change and environmental degradation, we need agricultural systems that come with a more balanced portfolio of sustainability benefits. Organic farming is one of the healthiest and strongest sectors in agriculture today and will continue to grow and play a larger part in feeding the world. It produces adequate yields and better unites human health, environment and socioeconomic objectives than conventional farming.

John Reganold is a Regents Professor of Soil Science & Agroecology at the Washington State University.

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Continue reading “Can we feed 10 billion people on organic farming alone?”

Monsanto and the Seralini retraction

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In September 2012 the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT) published the research of a team led by the French biologist Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini, which found liver and kidney toxicity and hormonal disturbances in rats fed Monsanto’s GM maize NK603 and very small doses of the Roundup herbicide it is grown with, over a long-term period. An additional observation was a trend of increased tumours in most treatment groups.

In November 2013 the study was retracted by the journal’s editor, A. Wallace Hayes, after the appointment of a former Monsanto scientist, Richard E. Goodman, to the editorial board and a non-transparent review process by nameless people that took several months.

Did Monsanto pressure the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT) to retract the study? French journalist Stéphane Foucart addresses this question in an article for Le Monde.

The article shows the total subordination of Goodman to Monsanto. It also reveals how Hayes played a double role in the retraction of the study, acting behind the scenes to encourage Monsanto scientists to join the reviewing panel that would feed their views into the decision to retract.

Influence of chemical companies on academics

Foucart examined emails disclosed as a result of a freedom of information request submitted by the food transparency organisation US Right to Know (USRTK). Foucart writes that the emails “reveal the influence of the chemical companies on some academics”.

Foucart points out that scientific papers are normally retracted only due to fraud, plagiarism, or honest error. Séralini’s study did not fall into any of these categories and was the first to be retracted on grounds of “inconclusiveness”. Supporters of Séralini challenged a newcomer to the editorial board of FCT, in charge of biotechnology. Richard E. Goodman is a Professor at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln (USA) and specialist food allergens. He is also a former employee of Monsanto, which he left in 2004.

FCT biotechnology editor had “remarkable closeness” to Monsanto

Foucart writes that emails obtained by USRTK show “a remarkable closeness” between Goodman and his old employer. In reality, however, as Foucart points out, the relationship between Goodman and Monsanto is not so old. Goodman himself wrote in a message of 2012 that “50% of [his] salary” actually comes from a project funded by Monsanto, Bayer, BASF, Dow, DuPont and Syngenta, and consists of establishing a database of food allergens.

This fact, Foucart notes, creates “links, or even a subordinate relationship” between Goodman and Monsanto. Foucart goes on to explain how that subordinate relationship manifested in an incident that happened in May 2012, before the publication of the Séralini paper in September of that year:

“After the publication of a newspaper article in which he is quoted, Goodman, not yet an editor at FCT, is sharply brought to order by a Monsanto employee. The latter tells the professor that his opinion seems to have been interpreted by the journalist as ‘suggesting that we do not know enough about biotechnologies to say that they are safe’. In return, Goodman wrote a collective message to all his correspondents in the six biotechnology companies that fund his work. ‘I apologize to you and your companies,’ he wrote, adding that he was misunderstood by the journalist.”

Industry financing of science imposes control over researcher

Foucart comments that the financing of scientific work by industry means for university researchers a commitment that goes far beyond the simple production of knowledge: “It imposes a form of control over the public discourse of the researcher.” In August 2012, Goodman took the lead and warned his sponsors that he would be interviewed by National Public Radio on the safety of GMOs. “Would you participate in a media training session before the interview?”, asked one of his correspondents. It is not known whether Goodman accepted this proposal, as he did not respond to Le Monde’s inquiries.

A month later, in September 2012, the study by Gilles-Eric Séralini was published. Goodman was not at the time a member of the editorial board of FCT. On 19 September, Foucart writes, Goodman informed his Monsanto correspondent about the publication of the Séralini’s article and that he “would appreciate” it if the firm could provide him with criticisms. “We’re reviewing the paper,” the Monsanto correspondent replies. “I will send you the arguments that we have developed.” A few days later, Foucart writes, Goodman was named “associate editor” of FCT, on the decision of the toxicologist Wallace Hayes, then editor of the journal.

This appointment was not publicly announced until February 2013. Foucart notes that the addition of Goodman on the editorial board of the magazine was actually a direct and immediate consequence of the publication of Seralini. On November 2, 2012, when the “Séralini affair” was in full flow, Hayes announced in an email to Monsanto employees that Goodman would from now on be in charge of biotechnology at the journal. Hayes added: “My request, as editor, and from Professor Goodman, is that those of you who are highly critical of the recent paper by Séralini and his co-authors volunteer as potential reviewers.”

Foucart comments that Hayes was formally inviting Monsanto toxicologists to appraise for acceptance or rejection studies on GMOs that are submitted to the journal for review. The documents consulted by Le Monde did not say if Hayes – who has not responded to Le Monde’s inquiries – limited this request to Monsanto scientists.

This confirms that we at GMWatch were right to question the arrival of Goodman on the editorial board. It also shows that we were right to criticise the non-transparency of the second round of review (the first review being the one that led to the study being published). Some observers told us they thought it was acceptable that the reviewers remained anonymous, since peer-review is generally an anonymous process. But this particular ‘review’ – of a paper that had already passed peer-review, had been published for a year, and had nothing wrong with it beyond the fact that, in common with countless other scientific papers, it was “inconclusive” on some endpoints – was a highly irregular process of dubious legitimacy from the start. Therefore we believe that the identity and interests of the reviewers should have been published.

Another GMO-critical study rejected by FCT

Foucart notes that there is no way of knowing for sure if all this had an impact on articles accepted by the journal. But in 2013, according to information received by him, FCT rejected the first academic study of chronic toxicity of a Monsanto GM maize – MON810 – in Daphnia magna, a type of waterflea. The study suggested harmful effects on this small freshwater crustacean, which is used as a model organism by ecotoxicologists.

It was Goodman who informed the authors of the rejection, highlighting the negative reports of the peer reviewers. The study was eventually published in 2015 in another journal. Unlike the Séralini study, it was not challenged (probably because, unlike a rat feeding study, such a study would not be deemed by regulators to be relevant to humans).

Goodman asks Monsanto for scientific arguments to counter critics

In some cases, Foucart reports, Goodman seems to defer to the judgement of Monsanto’s toxicologists which he has to evaluate an article containing aspects that are beyond his knowledge. “I’m looking at an ‘anti’ [presumably ‘anti-GMOs or pesticides’] paper,” he wrote in October 2014 to one of his Monsanto correspondents. “They cite a Sri Lankan study of 2014 on a possible link between glyphosate exposure and kidney disease, as well as a mechanism [to explain this toxicity].” Goodman added: “I’m not enough of a chemist or toxicologist to understand the strengths and the weaknesses of their logic: can you give me some solid scientific arguments about whether it is, or is not, plausible.”

Glyphosate, the active ingredient of Roundup herbicide, is a key product of Monsanto, as it is sold with the company’s GM glyphosate-tolerant crops.

According to Foucart, nothing in the documents consulted by Le Monde supports the idea that Goodman played a role in the retraction of the Séralini study – that decision was taken by Hayes. In January 2015, Goodman resigned his position at the journal, due to time constraints.

Hayes’s conflicts of interest

However, Hayes clearly did play a key role in the retraction. And he has plenty of conflicts of interest that might have influenced his decision.

Hayes has had a long career as an industry toxicologist. He is senior science advisor at Spherix Consulting, “a global team of experienced advisors who provide their clients in the food, dietary supplement, consumer product, and pharmaceutical industries with scientific solutions that result in regulatory success.”

Hayes’s previous appointments include:

* Vice President and Corporate Toxicologist for food giant RJR Nabisco, with responsibility for all regulatory and toxicology issues related to the safety of ingredients and food contact substances for food and drink products worldwide.

* Corporate Vice-President of Product Integrity at the Gillette Company, with responsibility for “the safety evaluation and regulatory compliance of a variety of consumer products, plant safety, environmental stewardship, and quality control. While at Gillette, Dr Hayes was responsible for managing regulatory and toxicology issues worldwide. All contact substances used in Gillette products (including personal care products) were cleared within his division.”

Industry interests prioritised over science

Hayes’s interests and Goodman’s current Monsanto connections should have precluded them from having any authority over the fate of the Séralini study and other studies submitted to FCT. In addition, the names of the reviewers who fed their views into Hayes’s decision to retract the study should have been declared and made public and any conflicts of interest should have led to exclusion from the panel.

Instead we have a situation in which a lack of transparency at the journal FCT allowed industry interests to take precedence over scientific considerations. In the process, the reputation of honest scientists has been unjustly maligned and public trust in science has been damaged, perhaps irretrievably.

Report: Claire Robinson

Read this article on the GMWatch website and access sources here:
http://gmwatch.org/news/latest-news/17121

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Endocrine Disruptors… fueling our cancer epidemic

We can’t talk about Genetically Modified Organisms without talking about RoundUp…your food….an Endocrine Disruptor.  Sterilizing our males, fueling an epidemic of breast cancer and prostrate cancer….

Published on Aug 28, 2014

Documentary by Stéphane Horel (France, 2014).
French title: Endoc(t)rinement

A countdown has begun in Brussels. Europe is considering a ban on endocrine disruptors, ubiquitous chemicals that hijack children’s hormonal systems and impair their health. But the potential regulation is a threat for a vast array of economic interests. The future generations mandate an astute baby to lead a behind the scenes investigation of European democracy where industry, scientists and NGOs fight for influence.

The result of an 18-month investigation, Endocrination exposes the indulgence and sensitivity of the European institutions towards corporate influence. Attack of independent researchers, instrumentalisation of science, conflicts of interest: the film also lifts the veil on the various strategies used by the chemical and pesticides lobbies, borrowed from the tobacco industry’s tool-box, to short-circuit the forthcoming regulation.

http://www.stephanehorel.fr

Published on Aug 16, 2014

A documentary by Stéphane Horel on endocrine disrupting chemicals (2010).

Our ordinary everyday lives are steeped in chemical products. Invisible, they are encrusted in plastic, in detergents and toasters, concealed in our food, in toys, in shampoo. They have invaded everything, including our bodies.
Thanks to the consumer society, petrochemicals, with their magicical powers and unfamiliar barbaric names are happily strolling around our little insides. These phthalates, brominated flame retardants, parabens, bisphenol-a, all have the regrettable habit of invading our hormonal intimacy. They are endocrine disruptors. The pioneer scientists taking part in this documentary say that from breast cancer to obesity, this chemical invasion is closely tied up with the diseases of modern society.
These findings are more than dramatic, but the film takes a step back from the straight facts, alternating wry humour and poetry. The paper cut-out animation shows parallel sketches of the destinies of human beings and laboratory animals. 1950-60s TV commercials show radiant couples dancing between two-door fridges: a love story between modern man and the marvels of plastic and the profusion of electric appliances, pure allegories of the frenzy of progress.

With Linda Birnbaum, Philippe Grandjean, Jerrold Heindel, Andreas Kortenkamp, Niels Skakkebaek, Ana Soto, Shanna Swan.

The IARC WG concluded that glyphosate is a ‘probable human carcinogen’, putting it into IARC category 2A due to sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in animals, limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and strong evidence for two carcinogenic mechanisms.

Continue reading “Endocrine Disruptors… fueling our cancer epidemic”

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