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Bioengineering of our food supply!

Battling the MSG Myth » Archive » Other Harmful Substances and Sensitivities » Bioengineering of our food supply! « Previous Next »

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Gerry Bush
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2000 - 9:08 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello all!

I recently came across this very scary article (alert)! Our country is out of control when it risks the health of its citizens for financial gain. A very reknowned MSg activist is reported to have commented upon reading the following article:

"Reading things like this makes me want to leave the country!"

It begins.....
"Very Important information. Aspartame (GM product) victims and MCS victims
are reacting to Genetically Engineered food and this is a serious report.

> On Tuesday, November 28, Dr. John Hagelin presented a powerful
> statement about the hazards of genetically engineered foods
> to an open meeting of an Environmental Protection Agency panel
> in Arlington, Virginia.
>The Scientific Advisory Panel for the Federal Insecticide,
> Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) held the meeting to
> consider the possible allergenic effects of StarLink corn on
> human health. Starlink, a variety of genetically engineered
> corn that has not been approved by the EPA for human
> consumption, was recently discovered to have contaminated
> corn products being sold at supermarkets around the country.
> Dr. Hagelin's testimony created an explosion of concern among
> the largely pro-genetic engineering audience at the open
> meeting and created a fresh wave of scientific scrutiny about
> the hazards of GE foods. His testimony is reprinted below,
> along with an editorial from the Providence Journal about
> his leadership in the effort to protect our food supply.

> Arlington, Virginia
> November 28, 2000
> Director, Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy
> I speak to you as a scientist who is striving to ensure that
> our best scientific knowledge be applied for the solution--
> and prevention--of society's problems. I am a nuclear physicist
> who has published extensively in superstring theory and,
> during the last three elections, I have been the Presidential
> candidate of the Natural Law Party.
> I want to address an issue much deeper than whether the CRY9C
> protein in StarLink corn is likely to be allergenic. I want
> to address the assumptions that underlie the entire agricultural
> bioengineering enterprise. I am deeply concerned that life
> scientists are implementing bioengineering technologies without
> adequately understanding the lessons we have learned from the
> physical sciences. One of the key revelations of modern physics
> is that phenomena unfold in a far less linear and predictable
> fashion than eighteenth and nineteenth century thinkers assumed.
> Today we know that there are inherent limitations on our ability
> to make precise predictions about the behavior of a system,
> especially for microscopic systems and nonlinear systems of
> great complexity.
> Numerous eminent molecular biologists recognize that DNA is a
> complex nonlinear system and that splicing foreign genes into
> the DNA of a food-yielding organism can cause unpredictable
> side effects that could harm the health of the human consumer.
> Yet, the genetic engineering of our food--and the widespread
> presence of genetically altered foods in American supermarkets
> --is based on the premise that the effects of gene-splicing are
> so predictable that all bioengineered foods can be presumed
> safe unless proven otherwise. This refusal to recognize the
> risks of unintended and essentially unpredictable negative
> side effects is just plain bad science. It is astounding that
> so many biologists are attempting to impose a paradigm of
> precise, linear, billiard-ball predictably onto the behavior
> of DNA, when physics has long since dislodged such a paradigm
> from the microscopic realm and molecular biologicalresearch
> increasingly confirms its inapplicability to the dynamics of
> genomes.
> Moreover, the premise of predictability is not just
> scientifically unsound; it is morally irresponsible. The
> safety of our food is being put at risk in a cavalier, if
> not callous, fashion, not only in disregard of scientific
> knowledge, but in disregard of recent technological history.
> Here, too, lessons should have been learned from the physical
> sciences. Time and again, the overhasty application of nuclear
> technologies led to numerous health and environmental disasters.
> For example, in the early days of nuclear technology, the rush
> to commercialize led to the sale of radium tipped wands designed
> to remove facial hair. Nine months later the cancers came.
> Similarly, the failure to comprehend the full range of risks
> and to proceed with prudence has led to many disasters in the
> nuclear power industry.
> In the case of genetic engineering, even greater caution is
> called for: a nuclear disaster only lasts 10,000 years, whereas
> gene pollution is forever--self-perpetuating and irreversible.
> The irresponsible behavior that permitted the marketing of
> bioengineered foods has not been limited to the scientific
> community, but includes the executive branch of the federal
> government. The FDA's internal records reveal that its own
> experts clearly recognized the potential for gene-splicing
> to induce production of unpredicted toxins and carcinogens
> in the resultant food. These same records reveal that these
> warnings were covered up by FDA political appointees operating
> under a White House directive to promote the biotech industry.
> It is unconscionable that the FDA claimed itself unaware of
> any information showing that bioengineered foods differ from
> others, when its own files are filled with such information
> from its scientific staff. And it is unconscionable that it
> permits such novel foods to be marketed based on the claim
> they are recognized as safe by an overwhelming consensus
> within the scientific community, when it knows such a
> consensus does not exist.
> The StarLink fiasco further demonstrates the shoddiness of
> the government's regulation, since the system failed to keep
> even an unapproved bioengineered crop out of our food. Indeed,
> the contamination was discovered not by the government, but
> by public interest groups. The FDA had no clue and had taken
> no measures to monitor. This incident also demonstrates how
> difficult it will be to remove a bioengineered product from
> our food supply if it is eventually found to be harmful and,
> therefore, how important it is to prevent the introduction
> of new ones and to phase out those currently in use.
> It is high time that science and the truth be respected, and
> that the false pretenses enabling the commercialization of
> bioengineered foods be acknowledged and abolished. I call
> upon the members of this panel to uphold sound science so
> that you can hold your own heads up as the facts about the
> hazards of bioengineered food become increasingly well known.
> I call upon you not only to resist the pressures to approve
> the pesticidal protein in StarLink Corn; I call upon you to
> honestly acknowledge the inherent risks of genetic engineering
> and to affirm that, due to these risks, neither StarLink nor
> any other bioengineered food can be presumed safe at the
> present stage of our knowledge.
> Editorial
> One of the key issues that never got discussed in the
> presidential debates this campaign season was the most
> serious one facing us today. The fact is that our democracy
> has been stolen by the powerful lobbies of the special
> interests. The most conclusive and blatant example of this
> has been the dangerous experiment being conducted by the
> biotech industry on the American people. They have genetically
> manipulated our food supply so that 60 percent of the food
> on our supermarket shelves has been genetically engineered.
> The most outrageous thing is that they did it without the
> knowledge or consent of the American people.
> Forty years ago, most scientists thought DDT a safe and
> promising addition to agriculture. Thalidomide was given
> to pregnant women by their doctors. Nuclear power was touted
> as the cleanest energy source on Earth. Marketed prematurely,
> each of these technological innovations brought unforeseen,
> unwanted and tragic consequences that could have been easily
> avoided through proper long-term safety testing. Haven't
> we learned anything from our mistakes?
> From soil to superviruses: In 1994, a genetically engineered
> bacterium developed to aid in the production of ethanol
> produced residues that rendered the land infertile. New crops
> planted on this soil grew three inches tall and fell over dead.
> The food chain: In 1996, scientists discovered that ladybugs
> that had eaten the aphids that had eaten genetically engineered
> potatoes died.
> The immune system: In 1998, research by Dr. Arpad Pusztai
> uncovered the potential for genetically altered DNA to weaken
> the immune system and stunt the growth of baby rats.
> Monarch butterflies: In May 1999, researchers at Cornell
> University discovered that monarch butterflies died unexpectedly
> from eating milkweed plants that had been dusted with the pollen
> of genetically engineered Bt corn.
> Pregnant mice: A 1998 study showed that DNA from the food fed
> to pregnant mice ended up in their intestinal lining, white
> blood cells, brain cells,and their fetuses. This suggests that
> the genetically engineered DNA in the food we eat can end up
> in our own cells.
> Honeybees: Last May, a leading European zoologist found the
> genes from genetically engineered canola jumped the species
> barrier and were picked up by the bacteria in the digestive
> tracts of bees. This indicates that antibiotic-resistant genes
> in genetically engineered foods can cause the bacteria in our
> own intestines to mutate into superbugs that cannot be killed
> by antibiotics.
> Superviruses: Viral promoters are invasive agents used by
> genetic engineers to trick a cell into accepting and integrating
> an alien gene into the cell's own DNA. Some scientists predict
> that releasing viral promoters into the gene pool could lead
> to the creation of superviruses and novel infectious diseases
> for organisms at every level of life--from bacteria to humans.
> These are just some of the dangers that are discernible in the
> premature marketing of genetically engineered products. The
> biotech industry is eager to point to their so-called successes
> while keeping their failures under wraps.
> Next is the story of rBGH, recombinant bovine growth hormone
> (or the story of genetically engineered milk). A Monsanto
> lawyer drafted a letter to the FDA to get rBGH approved. He
> then stepped down from Monsanto and took an appointment as
> FDA deputy commissioner for policy. He then opened his own
> letter and helped draft the FDA's 1992 policy on genetically
> engineered food and rBGH. The law that followed, in true
> violation of First Amendment rights, states that it's illegal
> to say rBGH is in milk and it's illegal to state that it's not
> in milk. The lawyer returned to corporate life and became
> Monsanto's vice president for public policy.
> Incidentally, rBGH is banned in Canada, Europe, Australia,
> and New Zealand--all major dairy producers. It is also banned
> in other countries. I quote Neal D. Barnard, M.D., president
> of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, from a
> magazine entitled Safe Food News (to get this magazine and to
> sign the national Genetically Engineered Food Alert petition,
> call 1-800-REAL-FOOD).
> "Monsanto's rBGH increases milk production. It also increases
> udder infections (mastitis) and reproductive problems in cows
> and shortens their life span. To treat the mastitis, farmers
> have to give their cows antibiotics. Studies have shown that
>milk from rBGH cows often contains residues from those
> antibiotics.
> And because rBGH-induced mastitis leads to increased amounts
> of white blood cells--or pus--this is also secreted into rBGH milk.
> But the risks of rBGH go far beyond even this. More troublesome
> is the fact that rBGH has been linked to increased risk of breast,
> prostate and colon cancers."
> From pizza to chips, soda to infant formula, ice cream to
> cookies, vitamins to candies, genetically engineered organisms
> are in the foods we feed our kids every day. Virtually every
> food you can think of is in the genetically engineered pipeline.
> And coming soon . . . rat genes in your lettuce, cows that make
> human milk, and bananas with vaccines.
> The only presidential candidate who brought this issue to the
> forefront of his campaign and informed the American people of
> the hazards of genetically engineered foods has been the quantum
> physicist John Hagelin of the Natural Law/Independent Party.
> As he traveled the country during the campaign speaking in
> public forums, he talked frankly about the long-term consequences
> of such experimentation, asking the question:

>"Who gave the biotech companies the right to threaten our
> food and environment? The Clinton-Gore administration and our
> 'Republicrat' Congress, awash in biotech money. We need
> mandatory labeling and safety testing of genetically engineered
> foods, plus a moratorium on the release of these experimental
> lifeforms into the environment until proven safe."

The above is posted by your "chemical sensitivities volunteer" and is intended to provoke thought, discussion and action. Msg sensitivity is just the tip of the "chemical iceberg", so to speak. We are sick because we are being poisoned....and our government is funding the research with our tax dollars.
Carol H
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2000 - 5:03 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It is really scary. In order to make a genetically modified organism, a scientist must in effect, create a prion. If you know anything about mad cow disease then you know what a prion is. Prions insert themselves into the DNA of the victim. In mad cow disease, the result is havoc and destruction in the brain. Scientists are intentionally inserting foreign DNA into your food. If the DNA does its job as intended, it will act as a prion. Europe is seeing a lot of mad cow disease lately, and that is why they are terrified of genetically modified food. They see the link between mad cow disease and genetically modified food because they understand well what a prion is. Mad cow disease is caused when beef cattle which are herbivores, are fed animal byproducts in their feed. A similar disease is seen in cannibalist human societies. It is linked to the food chain. We are not meant to eat everything. Read the fiction book "Dust" by Charles Pellegrino. It's a frightening what-if story that will make the hair on the back of your neck just stand straight up.
Roy Piwovar
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2000 - 6:31 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If you want a preview of the real dangers of biotechnology, check out this site:

If you want to know about the problems of genetically engineered foods in particular, click here:
Carol H
Posted on Friday, December 22, 2000 - 2:17 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thank you, Roy. Excellent links :)
Deb S
Posted on Monday, March 26, 2001 - 8:15 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

[This is copied from a posting on the MCS/CI-exile group list:]

"Mothers for Natural Law will submit a GE petition to the FDA on April 1.
PLEASE, go online and sign. THANKS!
Over the past year we have heard a LOT on the dangers of genetically engineered foods. Please take the time to click on this link and sign a petition at the Mothers for Natural Law site that is being sent to the FDA.
Please do it and pass it on to as many people as possible. There is an April 1 deadline for submitting comments to the FDA on your opinion on genetically modified foods, labelling etc. It's very quick and easy."

I hope everyone takes a couple of minutes to sign this petition.
Christine K.P.S.
Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2001 - 10:52 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Deb S.
Thank you, thank you, thank you...for turning me onto that site. I've signed the petition.

AND, this is exactly what I've been looking for. I'm 31 (soon to be 32 on April 13th) years old and have never voted and never been encouraged to vote. Last year, I registered but just a wee bit too late for that election. I saw the Natural Law Party on the information. Sounded great. But because they aren't a major player I went with another major party. Now, because of that website you posted regarding the petition which in turn led me to the greater affiliation of the Natural Law Party and because I have to change my address, I have to re-register to vote. People tell me they will never win. Well, I have news for them. I'd MUCH rather support a party that I much more fully believe in like them taking a stand on GMO foods and not yet win Presidential Office than stick with a party that surely will win but supports things I don't believe in. How will we ever make changes like the ones that Mothers for Natural Law are pursuing and their stand on healthcare? Sometimes little battles add up to big ones. I've even gotten a friend interested in how I eat re: no MSG. and she believes in no GMO and not messing with the food system. I told her about the petition. I don't know if she'll sign. But, I feel like I have accoplished sooo much this morning and it's only about 10:30 a.m. I must figure out what else I can do to help this cause.

So, again, thank you Deb S. for posting that website. I'm so happy I could cry!!!! Very truly yours, Christine Swann (
Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2001 - 4:23 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I didn't know that vitamins, amino acids and etc
are possibly made from genetically-engineered bacteria. This sure gives me a lot to think
about regarding allergies/sensitivities. Are
fortifide foods laced with these GE monsters?
I'm thinking of all of the foods that have added
vitamins from baby formulas to.....this is
Carol H
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2001 - 3:21 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

M-Y They are pushing fortified foods everywhere they can. In my old nutrition book from college, - Understanding Nutrition by Whitney and Hamilton, version 4e there are absolutely no brand names in the book, and fortified foods are not pushed. In fact, a balanced diet was emphasized instead of a poor one fortified with vitamins. Now, in the newer version of the same book, it is absolutely jam packed with brand names, website links to food manufacturers- in effect- advertising (in the most widely used nutrition college textbook), and a decided bias toward fortified foods, and bioengineered foods. It is so obviously influenced by the food industry it is appalling. Things have only begun to get worse. I can only say I am so glad I took my college nutrition courses, before the food industry learned how to use PR to scam the college text publishers. I am so glad I still have my unbiased texts to use as a resource.
Deb A.
Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2001 - 7:58 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Carol, I still am hoping you will write a "whistle blower" book some day!:)
Tom Fernstrom
Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2001 - 1:40 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear NOMSGers,

My brother brought up a "far fetched" idea about "Mad Cow" disease. What if the cows were reacting to high concentrations of MSG being added to their feed and people eating the tainted beef were also ingesting those lethal doses that might build up in the cows?

Actually because of a cow's unique digestive system, maybe MSG would go right to the brain easier and also be stored in the muscle & fat.

Wouldn't it be great if that were the case? Farmers would get the stuff banned right away because of the financial impact and people might be able to benefit from "saving the cows".
Roy Piwovar
Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2001 - 2:22 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here is an article about mad cow disease:

By the way, Tom, your brother's idea has me wondering if cows are ingesting plants treated with Auxigro, and what effect that might have on meat eaters.
Roy Piwovar
Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2001 - 2:25 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You may also want to check out some of the other stories at the home page of the above web site:
Posted on Friday, March 30, 2001 - 7:33 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Another useful web site: (Either I heard the moderator on PBS or read about it the NY Times -- this site is maintained by a scientist or researcher for his peers.) Within the site, check out "links" -- leads to more info -- if you don't have information overload already.
Tom & Roy - Your comments are interesting (and spooky)-- yet, nothing will surprise me anymore about the food and chemical businesses.
Roy Piwovar
Posted on Friday, March 30, 2001 - 8:25 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


I don't think it's at all far-fetched that chemicals given to cows could also show up in their milk (and the dairy products made from it).
Roy Piwovar
Posted on Friday, March 30, 2001 - 8:33 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By the way, here are more things to think about for mothers considering using formulas for their infants, especially "hypoallergenic" formulas:
Tom Fernstrom
Posted on Friday, March 30, 2001 - 9:16 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear NOMSGers,

I took the below excerpts from the article about mad cow disease at the site that Roy posted on March 29. I wonder if MSG in feed would be in higher concentrations since the feed would contain the brains of other animals (brains being already high in glutamate). Maybe too much glutamate affects the protien by distorting the amino acid strings of the protiens.

I am reminded of a story told by veternarian Joel D. Wallach on his tape "Trust Me...I'm a Doctor". He tells of turkey farmers who began feeding their turkeys this new feed that increased the birds' weight in half the time. Seemed like a miracle feed until the birds started dying enmass from brain aneurisms. It was found that the feed did not contain any copper and that the birds had no access to other copper sources. Without copper, the blood vessels weaken and are subject to expansion and bursting under pressure.

So the theory that mad cow disease is some new protien linked disease may be erroneous and instead the high ingestion rate of MSG by these animals was passed on by using some animals brains as feed for others and thus giving "mega doses" of MSG to these animals daily.

Also when they talk about these brain diseases as potentially inherited, they disregard the fact that familial sensitivities to MSG might be due more to family diet over time rather than hereditary.

The human prion diseases are more obscure. Kuru has been seen only among the Fore Highlanders of Papua, New Guinea. They call it the “laughing death.” Vincent Zigas of the Australian Public Health Service and D. Carleton Gajdusek of the U.S. National Institutes of Health described it in 1957, noting that many highlanders became afflicted with a strange, fatal disease marked by loss of coordination (ataxia) and often later by dementia.
The affected individuals probably acquired kuru through ritual cannibalism: the Fore tribe reportedly honored the dead by eating their brains. The practice has since stopped, and kuru has virtually disappeared. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, in contrast, occurs worldwide and usually becomes evident as dementia.

As I reviewed the scientific literature on that and related conditions, I learned that scrapie, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and kuru had all been shown to be transmissible by injecting extracts of diseased brains into the brains of healthy animals.

Striking Similarities
Ongoing research may also help determine whether prions consisting of other proteins play a part in more common neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
There are some marked similarities in all these disorders. As is true of the known prion diseases, the more widespread ills mostly occur sporadically but sometimes “run” in families. All are also usually diseases of middle to later life and are marked by similar pathology: neurons degenerate, protein deposits can accumulate as plaques, and glial cells (which support and nourish nerve cells) grow larger in reaction to damage to neurons.
Strikingly, in none of these disorders do white blood cells—those ever present warriors of the immune system—infiltrate the brain. If a virus were involved in these illnesses, white cells would be expected to appear.
Recent findings in yeast encourage speculation that prions unrelated in amino acid sequence to the PrP protein could exist. Reed B. Wickner of the NIH reports that a protein called Ure2p might sometimes change its conformation, thereby affecting its activity in the cell. In one shape, the protein is active; in the other, it is silent.
The collected studies described here argue persuasively that the prion is an entirely new class of infectious pathogen and that prion diseases result from aberrations of protein conformation. Whether changes in protein shape are responsible for common neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's, remains unknown, but it is a possibility that should not be ignored
Judy T
Posted on Friday, March 30, 2001 - 6:16 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Roy, I e-mailed the infant formula article to my son. He asked for just this sort of information. Thank you. I sent him the soy conference information in the mail for the same reason. Thank you all.

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