Posted by Bob Lord
Okay, let's get the obligatory Happy Thanksgiving out of the way. Happy Thanksgiving.
So, what better day to write about our screwed-up food industry than Thanksgiving, and who better to do so than Ellen Brown? Her post at Truthdig today, Monsanto, the TPP and Global Food Dominance, is packed with information we all should know, but probably would be happier in the short-term if we didn't.
Don't make my mistake -- wait until after your Thanksgiving meal to read it. Ditto for the rest of this post.
The essence of Brown's post is that Monsanto is stealing years of life and quality of life from all of us in America. It's all about the herbicide glyphosate, a chemical commonly known as Roundup. Roundup is Monsanto's cash cow. It kills all vegetation in its path, and a good bit of animal life as well, except the genetically modified crops grown from the seeds Monsanto sells. Those crops are glysphosate resistant. But there's a catch. Although the glyphosate does not kill those genetically modified crops, it accumulates in their tissue at a much higher level than it does in non-modified crops.
And how much of our food is genetically modified? Only between 60 and 70 percent, according to Brown.
If you've already finished your Thanksgiving meal, follow me after the jump for the impact of glyphosate (Roundup) on our health.
Because of the insidious way in which it works, it has been sold as a relatively benign replacement for the devastating earlier dioxin-based herbicides. But a barrage of experimental data has now shown glyphosate and the GMO foods incorporating it to pose serious dangers to health. Compounding the risk is the toxicity of “inert” ingredients used to make glyphosate more potent. Researchers have found, for example, that the surfactant POEA can kill human cells, particularly embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells. But these risks have been conveniently ignored.
The widespread use of GMO foods and glyphosate herbicides helps explain the anomaly that the US spends over twice as much per capita on healthcare as the average developed country, yet it is rated far down the scale of the world’s healthiest populations. The World Health Organization has ranked the US LAST out of 17 developed nations for overall health.
A bit on how glyphosate works:
Human enzymes are affected by glyphosate just as plant enzymes are: the chemical blocks the uptake of manganese and other essential minerals. Without those minerals, we cannot properly metabolize our food. That helps explain the rampant epidemic of obesity in the United States. People eat and eat in an attempt to acquire the nutrients that are simply not available in their food.
Then, Brown gets a bit more specific:
Glyphosate’s inhibition of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes is an overlooked component of its toxicity to mammals. CYP enzymes play crucial roles in biology . . . . Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body. Consequences are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
More than 40 diseases have been linked to glyphosate use, and more keep appearing. In September 2013, the National University of Rio Cuarto, Argentina, published research finding that glyphosate enhances the growth of fungi that produce aflatoxin B1, one of the most carcinogenic of substances. A doctor from Chaco, Argentina, told Associated Press, “We’ve gone from a pretty healthy population to one with a high rate of cancer, birth defects and illnesses seldom seen before.” Fungi growths have increased significantly in US corn crops.
In the end, GMO's could be the end of human life itself:
The endocrine-disrupting properties of glyphosate have been linked to infertility, miscarriage, birth defects and arrested sexual development. In Russian experiments, animals fed GM soy were sterile by the third generation. Vast amounts of farmland soil are also being systematically ruined by the killing of beneficial microorganisms that allow plant roots to uptake soil nutrients.
In Gary Null’s eye-opening documentary Seeds of Death: Unveiling the Lies of GMOs, Dr. Bruce Lipton warns, “We are leading the world into the sixth mass extinction of life on this planet. . . . Human behavior is undermining the web of life.”
And, if the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) is implemented, we may lose what little control we have over what we eat:
According to Barbara Chicherio in Nation of Change:
The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) has the potential to become the biggest regional Free Trade Agreement in history. . . .
The chief agricultural negotiator for the US is the former Monsanto lobbyist, Islam Siddique. If ratified the TPP would impose punishing regulations that give multinational corporations unprecedented right to demand taxpayer compensation for policies that corporations deem a barrier to their profits.
. . . They are carefully crafting the TPP to insure that citizens of the involved countries have no control over food safety, what they will be eating, where it is grown, the conditions under which food is grown and the use of herbicides and pesticides.
Here's the best spin I can put on all this: I'm betting the wine industry in not yet in Monsanto's clutches, so wine may be our last refuge. Drink up!!!