Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

Networking For A Better Future - News and perspectives you may not find in the media

Networking For A Better Future - News and perspectives you may not find in the media

Health Supreme

News Blog

Site Map





Food for Thought


Human Potential






The Media

War Crimes


Articles Archive


See also:


Communication Agents:

INACTIVE  Ivan Ingrilli
  Chris Gupta
  Tom Atlee
INACTIVE  Emma Holister
  Rinaldo Lampis
  Steve Bosserman
  CA Journal


Robin Good's
Web sites:












The Individual - Human Ability:


Society - Politics:






September 17, 2003

Frankenfood and the WTO - bite back!


Sign the Citizens' Objection to the WTO!


Biotech companies have invested billions into genetically modified foods (called GMOs) products that nobody needs and nobody wants. Such products take away consumer choice, make farmers dependent on big business and undermine food security in developing countries. Nobody knows what risks they pose to people's health and the environment.

To force GMO products into global markets, George Bush has filed a legal dispute at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), accusing the European Union of blocking trade by restricting GMOs. If successful, not only will the EU have to accept genetically modified food and farming but so will the rest of the world.

You can help stop Bush and the WTO: Bite back and sign the Citizens Objection to the WTO online.

Also see the article of Aruna Rodrigues-Clarke of Sunray Harvesters, India, which puts GMOs into the context of future food security and agricultural production of the developing countries.

Received from: Aruna Rodrigues-Clarke
By way of: Dr. Leo Rebello
Sent: Saturday, September 20, 2003 10:16 AM


" A year after…a massive spraying…there was not a sound of the song of bird….. What was man doing to…our beautiful world.… Who has made the decision that sets in motion…this ever-widening wave of death." From Rachael Carson's "Silent Spring"

Food Security, The WTO, GMOs & The Need for a Global Ethic
Call for a Global Moratorium on GMOs

By Aruna Rodrigues

[Aruna Rodrigues-Clarke of Sunray Harvesters, India, is an economist and project management consultant. She works in the field of photovoltaics (PV) for sustainable energy solutions: promoting PV applications and its commercialisation in a developing economy. This article written by her in Sept. 2003. Special acknowledgement: Devinder Sharma's "The Great Trade Robbery". Aruna's Email :]

In the 1930s, CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons) were presumed by the scientific community, to be one of the most environmentally benign of substances, in fact environmentally safe. Decades later, and well into the foreseeable future, we are faced with the unfortunate legacy of this great error of judgement --- the disastrous impact of these ozone-depleting substances. We should be so humble, especially our fraternity of scientists and technology pundits, to think that we can be so simplistic in matters concerning our natural environment and muck around in any fashion with Mother Nature. But history keeps repeating itself with a wearying regularity, precisely because we are not so humble. We now have dangerously contaminated ground-water, and deadly pesticides have entered our food chain. The effects of such pesticides on the health of our population and other third-world countries make appalling reading. We have even contaminated "mother's milk". Now we face an even more potent threat to the survival of our world. I am of course talking about genetically modified organism (GMOs). Whichever way we vote on the subject, we need to recognise that it is the single most potent technology that the world has known: it has the power to disrupt Mother Nature as nothing else before, even atomic power. Add to this, money and the power of Multinational Corporations, Pharmaceutical and Biotech Companies, ably aided and abetted by the US FDA, the WTO and Bretton Woods Institutions.

This is the potent cocktail of power in all of its guises that confronts us on the issue of GMOs in foods and agriculture. Yet GMOs whether in the form of seeds, foods or agricultural trials, are being 'exported' forcibly and forcefully by America with official approbation. As a consequence they are being released and deployed by the most insidious and devious means throughout our environment without virtually any safeguards: and this is precisely the point.

The Independent Science Panel on GE (ISP) was set up because scientists have felt frustrated by the lack of open debate at Government-sponsored meetings, (including the UK Government) which are stacked by GMO-supporting scientists who routinely back GM foods as being absolutely safe. In this set-up, looking for independent scientists who are not seriously compromised is as rare as encountering an Indian tiger in a concrete urban jungle. On the 10th of May 2003, the ISP published its report "The Case For a GM-Free Sustainable World". In brief, the main points are summed up in the following (quoted, highlighting mine):

1) The scientists are extremely concerned about the hazards of GMOs to biodiversity, food safety, human and animal health, and demand a moratorium on environmental releases in accordance with the precautionary principle. The hazards of GMOs to biodiversity and human and animal health are now acknowledged by sources within the UK and US Governments. Particularly serious consequences are associated with the potential for horizontal gene transfer. These include the spread of antibiotic resistance marker genes that would render infectious diseases untreatable, the generation of new viruses and bacteria that cause diseases, and harmful mutations which may lead to cancer.

2) They are opposed to GM crops that will intensify corporate monopoly, exacerbate inequality and prevent the essential shift to sustainable agriculture that can provide food security and health around the world.

3) They call for a ban on patents of life forms and living processes, which threaten food security, sanction biopiracy of indigenous knowledge and genetic resources and violate basic human rights and dignity.

4) They want more support on research and development of non-corporate, sustainable agriculture that can benefit family farmers all over the world.

I'd like to concentrate on one or two issues of prime importance and of particular topical interest in view of the current WTO negotiations at Cancun. I am sure that the principles involved hold the key to the future and well being of the whole world. The developed countries ignore these issues not just to the peril of the less fortunate, the poor of third world countries, but in so doing, imperil themselves. These are

(a) food security in developing countries and the WTO and
(b) the need for a global ethic and moratorium on GMOs.

As I write, I cannot help but recall some identical issues that Dr. V Kurien, (our legendary milkman) grappled with and what he clearly saw as 'writing on the wall'. I am drawing freely from his address to the 8th World Congress of Food Science and Technology in 1991 for the discussion, which follows. Clearly, in these 12 years, we have not only not moved forward toward a more transparent ethic, but have regressed.

The WTO, Third World Economies and Food Security

Today, we are if anything even more unsettled by a US-EU alliance, insidiously promoting their self interest. This self-interest is being dressed up, with all the sophistication and fancy economics that advanced countries with money and institutional support manage so well, as being to the advantage of the poor in the third world. The WTO is the willing organisation through which such an ignominious cover-up is being stage-managed and relentless pushed through.

Twelve years ago, it was called the theory of "comparative advantage". At that time, one of the International Financial Institutions provided the Indian Government with a set of recommendations on how we should manage our agricultural sector. One of those recommendations was that we should cease to provide incentives to the oil-seeds sector, which had been the driving force for the increased production of oil-seeds in India. By means of the usual sophisticated equations, they arrived at a "producer subsidy equivalent" of around 12%. It was said that we lacked "comparative advantage" and this huge subsidy of 12% was distorting the actual demand scenario and that this was a serious waste of resources.

Naturally, the NDDB whose then chairman was Dr. Kurien, was extremely concerned. Not only did the NDDB have a major involvement in oil-seeds, but India was the largest producer of "peanuts" (pun not intended!) in the world. This being the case, the "wasted" subsidy amounted to a lot of money for a poor country like India. Dr. Kurien, always one to spare no effort in going after the facts, discovered that the US had a producer subsidy equivalent for soybeans that was 15% and that in the EEC (now the EU), the cost of an oil-seed was 67% "producer subsidy equivalent".

Dr. K remarked, "we therefore concluded that we did lack 'comparative advantage'; we could never afford to subsidise our oilseed farmers, or any of our farmers, to the same extent as the US and EEC subsidise theirs. In fact we understand that there are cases where the subsidies to producers are so great that governments then turn around and subsidise consumer and export sales. We certainly do lack comparative advantage".

Not much has changed today except the terminology. We now know that the EU provides a daily subsidy of US $ 2.7 per cow, and Japan provides three times more at US $ 8, whereas half of India's 1000 million people live on less than $ 2 a day.

The craziness gets no saner if we examine the fuller picture of protective tariffs in place in the developed world. On average, farmers in OECD countries (whose members are the world's major industrialised economies) receive price support that is 31% above the equivalent price in international trade. For milk, this rises to 80%, 100% for sugar and 360% for rice. These hugely inflated agricultural prices can only be maintained by punitively high tariff walls averaging around 60%. At the moment, developing countries hand over an estimated $16 billion to the industrialised world in agricultural tariffs!

If we were to follow the logic of the WTO, (faithfully promoting this kind of "comparative advantage" of the developed world), we would find ourselves disbanding our dairy industry in the near future and a lot else besides. It was after all an implied notion of the developed West, going back many years, that 'dairying' should perhaps, not be encouraged in developing countries. What is now happening in country after country, is that poor farming communities in the developing world are losing their farming livelihood. The impacts and implications are terrifying. Surely there is something grossly perverse about such a perspective and agenda for the WTO.

For every recommendation that we do not accept, there are some that are adopted either because we haven't been thorough enough in our critical review or because we haven't uncovered the sheer chicanery of the WTO deliberations. I believe that if developing countries have to be constantly watching their backs wondering what angle and hidden purposes and processes they have left unwittingly uncovered, then the WTO is a pitfall better to be avoided.

The implications for us, for our food security and our development (and development is not just income-based but the development of peoples and nations in human terms) are too serious for us to be playing such WTO games. All those many years ago, Dr. Kurien made the very same terse observation. "The point is not whether advanced nations should or should not spend enormous amounts in subsidising agriculture. The point is that my government was encouraged to make a major shift in its agricultural policy, one that would have serious implications not just for our food security and foreign exchange but for millions of farmers who depend on oilseeds for their livelihood" (emphasis mine).

What shall we say this amounts to, without name-calling? We today, would go much further and say that the WTO is deliberately exploiting and impoverishing third world farming communities to make US, EU and Japanese farmers even better off. This is a serious charge.

Here are some more specifics before we confront the GMO issues, because these need to be thoroughly understood to comprehend the full implications of GMOs in foods and agriculture. Through a variety of instruments, the rich countries have ensured complete protectionism. Trade policies therefore have remained highly discriminatory against the developing country farmers.

In the Philippines, for example, the opening up of the corn market in 1997 reduced corn prices by one-third. At that time, US corn growers were receiving US $ 20,000 a year on average in subsidies, while Filipino farmers in Mindanao had average income levels of US $ 365.

Such is the extent of protection, that it finances the benevolence the OECD exhibits through development-aid to all countries totalling US $ 52 billion. This is dwarfed by the sheer magnitude of agricultural subsidies of US $ 311 billion, that these countries provided to their farmers in 2001.

GMOs: The Hazards

GM crops were first made commercially available in 1996. Since then, each year, the United States has planted more GM crops than any other country and now grows two-thirds of all biotechnology crops on over 96 million acres. Between 1996 and 2002, there has been a 20-fold increase in the area allotted to GM foods in the United States. GM grown foods include corn, cotton, soybeans, canola, squash and papaya and therefore also include products that include these ingredients, which would be edible oils and a vast array of processed foods.

There are no labelling laws in the US requiring companies to label for GMO content. The cold realisation is that farmlands growing organic and conventional crops are now increasingly being contaminated with GMOs. Thus, it is in America's interest that labelling for GMOs does not become law in the developing world and the EU, as this would block agricultural exports from the US.

This would be disastrous for the US, by any yardstick of measurement. The rest of the world must therefore expect a full onslaught by every means possible against any resistance to GMOs. Their promotion is official US policy, quite clear and predictably, typically brazen. It is forcing European, African and the Asian countries into accepting genetically modified foods saying that they have been adequately tested for safety.

The US has also challenged the EU ban on GM foods through the WTO. No less than the President of the United States has alleged that the European ban is discouraging third world countries from growing GM crops for export and resulting in increased hunger and poverty in developing countries! The US has suddenly discovered the cause of world hunger and has added it to their genetic bag of tricks!

It is now established beyond doubt that co-existence between conventional and GM farming is a mirage. Michael Meacher, the erstwhile UK Minister for the Environment said that if we really want to know what would happen if GM crops were allowed to be grown we must ask the Canadians, where GM crops were introduced into the prairies in 1997.

"When the technology was first applied in the prairies seven years ago, the farmers were enthusiastic. Monsanto and the other big biotech companies promised that there would be higher yields, less herbicide usage, little or no cross-contamination and ready containment of "volunteers" (plants that survive the harvest and become weeds when different crops are later planted). It has not turned out like that at all. Yields were found to be lower because contamination was wider than predicted, herbicide use was not reduced, and often had to be increased, and volunteers were much more difficult to deal with than expected. There were no gains to consumers that might have balanced the losses to the farming producers; and the environmental impacts, assumed to be benign on the specious principle that GM crops were "substantially equivalent'' to non-GM varieties, turned out to be seriously adverse. There was damage to wildlife, new super-weeds were generated and ecosystems that support insects and birds were destroyed".

Even more disturbing is that pollution of organic crops is not primarily airborne from pollen, but from contamination of the seed supply. The most famous example of this is in Canada, the case of the farmer Percy Schmeiser. He saved seed from his harvest and planted it the next year, only to find that some of it was GM, even though he had never allowed any GM crops on his farm. Extraordinarily, Monsanto took him to court on the grounds that the company had patented the gene in the GM plants found on his farm and he had infringed the patent. The company won the lawsuit. Percy Schmeiser's farm was sequestered: He has appealed and this case will now be heard by Canada's Supreme Court next year, a verdict that will have international implications.

There are lessons to be learnt from this for India

America is not the only maverick polity. We have a retrograde Gujarat, similarly maverick. Bt cotton has been illegally and widely sown, while an impotent central government looks on helplessly or deliberately inactively, bringing us to the obvious conclusion.

So what happens to our cows and buffaloes in this, the heartland of the dairy industry in India? If the women of Kaira and other districts still cook cotton-seed and feed it to their buffaloes to produce milk with a better fat content, then Gujarat will single-handedly pollute milk and milk products, including baby foods, that are marketed nationally under one of India's most famous brands. The government must act and urgently for the even more pressing reason that "co-existence'', the "framework" to ensure that organic and conventional farming can survive and prosper alongside GM farming, has been demonstrated to be absolutely untrue.

Jeffrey Smith in "Seeds of Deception" chronicles one of the most comprehensive lists of the dangers of GE foods that reads like some horror story and says that "Industry manipulation and political collusion, not sound science, allow dangerous genetically modified (GM) foods on the market. Government employees who complained were harassed, stripped of responsibilities, or fired." [77-83*] Scientists were threatened. Evidence was stolen. Data was omitted or distorted. FDA scientists warned that genetically modified (GM) foods could create toxins, allergies, nutritional problems, and new diseases; their superiors, including a former attorney for Monsanto, ignored their recommendations for long-term safety tests.[131-140] None are required.[146]

There are only ten published animal feeding studies on GM foods -- two are independent. One found damage to the immune system and vital organs, and a potentially pre-cancerous condition. [12-13] When the scientist tried to alert the public, he lost his job and was silenced with threats of a lawsuit. [18-20] Two other studies likewise showed evidence of a potentially pre-cancerous condition.37 And an unpublished study revealed that laboratory rats fed a GM crop developed stomach lesions and seven of the forty died within two weeks. The crop was approved without further tests. [37, 137-140]

Industry studies appear rigged to avoid finding problems. With genetically engineered Bovine growth hormone (rBGH), for example, researchers injected cows with only one forty-seventh the normal dosage before reporting hormone residues in milk.[91-92] They heated the milk 120 times longer than standard, to report that pasteurisation destroys the hormone.[93-94] They added cows to their study that were pregnant before treatment, to claim that rBGH didn't impede fertility". And it goes on ---.

There are no tests to guarantee that GM food is not allergenic. Although recommended international testing standards can minimise that possibility, GM corn on the market today would most certainly fail those tests.

The only human feeding trial of GM food ever conducted confirmed that engineered genes, transferred from a soy Burger and soy milkshake to the Bacteria inside the digestive tract, after only one meal. The World Health Organisation and the British and American Medical Associations are concerned that if the "antibiotic resistant marker genes" used in GM foods transferred to gut Bacteria, it could create super-diseases-immune to antibiotics. [59-60] Scientists are also worried that the "promoter" used inside GM foods may transfer to Bacteria or internal organs. Promoters permanently turn genes on and might create unpredictable health effects, including the potentially pre-cancerous cell growth found in the animal feeding studies mentioned above. [37]".

The FDA has an admitted agenda to promote the Biotech Industry: In a document entitiled "Biodeception", Steven M Drucker Executive Director of "Alliance for Bio-Integrity" uncovers internal files of the US FDA which reveal it has been "deceiving the world about the hazards of genetically engineered foods for almost a decade". The FDA acknowledges it has been operating under a policy "to foster" the U.S. biotechnology industry. (These facts came to light because of a Law Suit filed by S Druckers's organisation which forced the FDA to divulge copies of these files, over 44,000 pages. (Key documents from these files are in a numbered list at

Labelling and liability are also issues both in Canada and the UK. Contrary to the general impression that North America is quite content with GM and not worried by it, several recent polls have shown that 92-97 per cent of Canadians believes that their government should require companies to label GM products. In the EU, labelling of GM food will soon be required above a 0.9 per cent threshold, though that will still not tell consumers what they really want to know - whether this food is GM-free or not. Liability - the question of who pays if an organic or conventional farmer has his business damaged or his livelihood ruined by contamination from GM crops - is now becoming a crunch issue both in Canada and Europe. There is huge resistance from the biotech industry on both sides of the Atlantic to accepting any responsibility for the contamination they cause. They are ably supported by the Government "agenda" in these countries.

GMOs Are An Ethical Issue

GMOs threaten human existence in a fundamental and insidious way, because they directly impact on what we eat. We eat for nourishment and vitality. GMOs is science and technology taking over our very life, our health and basic choices on how we wish to live. These on their own, are very real ethical reasons for concern. Furthermore, it is untenable that a faceless 'conglomerate' of big businesses and their scientists should impose a situation on all of us without us having any choice in the matter, and for all future generations. It is idiocy for us to speak of freedom and democracy and turn a Nelson's eye to something as irrevocable as this 'trans-genie' if it should get out of the bottle. Surely, the pattern for us is that we must seek direction in the mirror of creation itself as opposed to fabricated ideas?

That there are only a few remaining pockets of diverse seed stocks to ensure the long-term resilience of the world's staple foods. All of them are in the Third World. Food scientists indicate that if these indigenous territories are disturbed by biotech's advance, "the long-term vitality of all of the world's food supply is endangered". It is amply clear that the new regulations of WTO, the World Bank, GATT, NAFTA, provide the basis for undermining the autonomy of local economies. GMOs exacerbate this threat to such a degree as to put it into a different orbit. The warning sound bells are already ringing, that GM crops will not feed the world and pose a considerable threat to poor farmers.

The Solution – Toward A Global Ethic and Moratorium

We urgently need to put in place an international moratorium against the use of GMOs, if only because the ignorance is blatant and huge. This is the "precautionary principle" of the ISP. I feel guardedly optimistic that we can meet this objective for a number of reasons:

(a) The growing international awareness with regard to the health of our planet is bringing the environment into increasing prominence. Long term goals are replacing blinkered short term objectives and it is NGOs which have taken the lead working with local communities in the third world. This is the key, NGOs and local communities fostering, keeping watch and protecting. I must believe that this percolating awareness, (clearly, science and technology properly visualised have aided this process) will result in a timely demonstration of the will of ordinary people and farming communities everywhere, to force governments (always corrupt with their own agendas) to legislate for the protection of the environment, both within Nation States and Internationally;

(b) The environment is quite simply an ethical issue, which is why it has always been at the heart of spirituality of peoples everywhere without exception. The sacred bedrock principle then is the recognition that "Nature is God's Creation and we must respect His Creation". There are two aspects involved here, first, the growing awareness of His Creation and then the command to respect, even obey the Laws He has put in place. Genetically engineering His Creation falls outside His Laws and we defy them to our peril. Like in the secular trend, the environment is increasingly gaining formal religious recognition. Mystics and Saints (like St Francis of Assisi who many consider the Patron Saint of the environment) have of course always perceived their spiritual oneness with nature. (But spirituality and religion are not necessarily the same thing and we are all aware of the divisions that 'religion' creates).

It is to a universal spirituality then, which correctly sees that Nature is infused with the breath of God, that we must turn to, for a new world order and global ethic on GMOs, with laws to give it teeth. The premise is universally accepted values and norms, for which the newly constituted ISP and other efforts, individually and collectively, create a growing common ground on the issue of GMOs. "This is probably the first time in history that we can speak of the emergence of universal values - values shared by almost everyone and which are in no sense the enemy of cosmopolitanism, - values of the sanctity of human life, universal human rights, the preservation of species and care for future as well as present generations of children. They imply ethics of individual and collective responsibility which (as value claims), are able to override divisions of interest" (Giddens);

(c) The International Criminal Court, though opposed tooth and nail by the US, has been set-up on the recognition that 'narrow domestic walls' are no longer an automatic protection from prosecution of National Leaders who infringe human rights. The now widely accepted principle of international jurisprudence and universal jurisdiction are enshrined in its statutes. Taking a cue from the above, we need new laws which will uphold the right of individuals and organisations to bring cases with regard to GMOs, to an International Court of Justice. "In the Cartegena Biosafety Protocol negotiated in Montreal in January 2000, more than 130 governments have pledged to implement the precautionary principle and to ensure that biosafety legislations at the national and international levels take precedence over trade and financial agreements at the World Trade Organization" (ISP document). It is imperative that the Biodiversity Bill includes a separate chapter on GMOs, which is given legal teeth to over-ride the WTO.

(d) We must have comprehensive labelling laws for GMOs in foods.

(e) What is "sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander" and Biotech companies must be held criminally liable for the contamination they cause. This is a fair principle of natural justice, based on the "polluter-pays principle". The Percy Schmeiser case is a miscarriage of justice and an aberration of this principle. The imposition of harsh penalties will be one of the most effective deterrents to GMOs from invading our world and both Domestic and International law must include legislation that imposes punitive measures on bio-tech companies, local authorities and Governments in cases where farming lands have been polluted by GMOs. Institutions like the US FDA must be held accountable for gross negligence and cover-ups.

(f) We are more likely to succeed in the short term with law suits which will be strong deterrents to the sort of casual, irresponsible action that we are now witnessing, than succeed in obtaining an international moratorium on GMOs in the immediate future. Access to an International Court will also, I believe, spearhead an international moratorium. Furthermore, Third World Countries are least able to withstand the stealthy onslaught of biotech's advance. Weak national environmental laws, and corrupt governments and institutions, make it virtually impossible to bring environmental cases to court with any success. This has been the track record in India. With GMOs, these difficulties will only increase. Yet we need to urgently salvage what is left of the world's 'hotspots', virtually all of them in the third world. India's need to protect her 'wild' and unpolluted spaces is especially urgent now, due to the dangers we are already exposed to and exacerbated through the bad precedent created by Gujarat. We have true "comparative advantage" in our priceless treasure-trove of a rich biodiversity and an equally true advantage in our heritage of Ayurveda and other traditional forms of medicine. Clearly, an ability to approach an International Court would be hugely empowering and protective of the world's biodiversity.

(g) Finally, we really need the equivalent of a 'Marshall Plan' for the environment with a specific mandate for protecting third world biodiversity including from contamination from GMOs. This logically ought to include financing lawsuits. If this is not possible through a UN mandate, then we must find other ways of managing and delivering funds and expertise where it is most needed.

See also:

A Rejoinder Affidavit was filed on the 18th April 2006 in the Supreme Court [in India]. This is a follow-up of the Public Interest Writ Petition, filed last year for a moratorium on Genetically Engineered crops, pending a comprehensive and transparent biosafety testing protocol. The 'Rejoinder' contains clear and damning evidence from independent world scientists about serious hazards of GM crops to health and biosafety. It effectively destroys the government's stance that GM crops, including those used for animal feed, eg. Bt cotton are safe.

Some of the things discussed by Aruna Rodrigues in this affidavit:

The fact that GMOs in the US have received a blanket GRAS status (meaning that all GMOs in the US are automatically accepted as "Generally Recognized as Safe"), on the strength of a concept, which is the idea that GMO varieties are "substantially equivalent" to natural ones. This of course is equivalent to closing both eyes to the fact that the changes introduced by gene splicing are largely unpredictable.

Transgenic cotton is potentially poisonous. Cotton is used not only for its fiber but the seeds make oil consumed by humans and cottonseed cake which is used as animal feed. As an aside (not part of the affidavit, but interesting in this context), look at this recent report by the Institute for Science in Society: Mass Deaths in Sheep Grazing on Bt Cotton

The recent disastrous drug trial in the UK, involving a genetically modified (monoclonal antibody) drug is cited as one of the reasons why we must approach genetic modification with extreme caution. See also: Six In London Hospital After GE-Drug Trial

The justification for BT (bacillus thuringiensis) corn and cotton, the major transgenic crops, to be considered safe, apparently is the argument - strange as it might seem - that BT toxin has been used successfully and for a long time as a pesticide. ("It's been on the market for years - no need to test it"...)

A report from Dr. Arpad Pusztai and Susan Bardocz is cited, which states that "most GM and parent line crops fall short of the definition of substantial equivalence", and concludes that "the safety of GM foods rests more on, trusting the assurances given by the biotechnology industry than on rigorous and independently verified risk assessment".

... with regard to the growing criticism of EFSA, (European Food Safety Authority), as a deeply compromised watchdog of food safety, several of the EU's 25 environment ministers at their last meeting in March, accused EFSA of failing to take independent and national studies into account for its GMO risk assessments and of not allowing proper access to its research:

"There are questions like whether scientific opinions rendered by EFSA have relied exclusively on information provided by companies that look at short-term effects", and "EFSA cannot give a sound scientific opinion on long-term effects of GMOs. There are also questions on whether GMO companies are providing the right information to the European Commission".

Horizontal gene transfer is an "unintended side effect" of the release of genetically modified crops into the environment. The altered genes transfer from GMO crop to wild or "normal" crop plants. "...genes can also be transferred between distant species that would never interbreed in nature."

Monsanto is said to have lied about the equivalence of their modified soy to the traditional plants, by simply deleting the contrary information from their published study (1996). They report increases in yield from BT cotton, while the farmers "on the ground" see smaller yields.

The most common allergen in soy is called trypsin inhibitor. GM soy contains significantly more of this compared with natural soy. The British Medical Association had warned that GM foods might lead to the emergence of new allergies.

... wild rape or Charlock in the UK being contaminated by GM rape reinforces ... the seriousness of the issue of contamination. Thus secret open field trials of rape and other foods in undisclosed and un-known locations, emphasise the extreme urgency for remedial action if the food chain is to be protected from GM contamination and potential biosafety hazards.

From examination of a report on a Monsanto BT Corn variety: 'Mon 863 feeding study in 3 parts by AP'. "... rats fed Mon 863 developed several reactions, including those typically found with allergies (increased basophils), in response to infections, toxins and various diseases including cancer (increased lymphocytes and white blood cells), and in the presence of anaemia (decreased reticulocyte count) and blood pressure problems (decreased kidney weights). There were also increased blood sugar levels, kidney inflammation, liver and kidney lesions, and other changes."

A peer-reviewed study by Dr. Irina Ermakova, a biologist at the Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and Neurophysiology of the Russian Academy of Sciences showed that when female rats were fed Roundup Ready genetically engineered soy flour before and during pregnancy, and during lactation an astounding 55.6% of the offspring died within three weeks, compared to only 9% from the group whose mothers consumed non-genetically engineered soy flour.

An Australian project to develop genetically modified peas with built-in pest-resistance has been abandoned after 10 years, when tests showed they caused allergic lung damage in mice. It was determined that the results were too dangerous to continue with the project.

Depressing picture

The depressing picture that emerges from this court filing and the brief quotes above is that Monsanto and other GE multinationals are running circles around the national regulators that are supposed to keep our food supply healthy and our environment clean and protected.

We can only hope that actions like this one in India and others around the world will force the legislators and regulators will be made to take a hard look at what is happening and act to curb a technology that has obviously become a killing machine with the potential to wipe out more than a just butterflies.

The relief asked of the Indian Supreme Court is that imports should be certified GMO free, and that the release of any GMO into the environment should be suspended subject to proper bio-safety tests.

Too much to ask? I should say no - those things should have been required long ago.

Read the whole court filing (Rejoinder Affidavit) to the Indian Supreme Court...

- - -

Food & Water Watch . Org
We are very excited to announce the release of the Meatrix 2: Revolting! This spoof of the Matrix movies details the horrors of dairy factory farms, through the adventures of Leo the pig and Moopheus the cow. Entertaining, adventurous, and informative, this short animated film by our partner organization Sustainable Table is worth watching. Check out

For those who have not seen the original cartoon - The Meatrix - it can be found here:


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Wednesday September 17 2003
updated on Sunday September 28 2008

URL of this article:


Related Articles

A lesson from the bees - swarming
Ronnie Cummins of the Organic Consumers Association sums up the news on the biotech front in the latest issue of BioDemocracy News. His conclusion: The biotech monster is mortally wounded, and now cornered ... This is the first time in modern history that a new and unsustainable technology, supported by many, if not most, major corporations and governments, is being stopped dead in its tracks. This is the first, but... [read more]
July 29, 2003 - Sepp Hasslberger

Agribusiness: Farming Subsidies Destroy Food Security
The European "Common Agricultural Policy" and its related monster, US grain and meat export subsidies, have been a cancer on our food production pathways, eating into food quality by stimulating industrial scale production that depletes the earth's mineral wealth. Even more importantly, these policies are driving large numbers of our small farmers off their farms which have, for thousands of years, been the mainstay of food production and have provided... [read more]
July 07, 2005 - Sepp Hasslberger

Agriculture: Chemicals GMO Failing - Try Organic, Sustainable
A recent discovery presages production of hydrogen - not by electrolysis but by the effects of catalytic action and sunlight on water. In the ensuing discussion on this post, the question turns to what would be needed to afford economically decent conditions to the billions of people in developing countries. It appears that both water and energy will be important, but even more decisive than these factors will be low-input... [read more]
October 09, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger

Food Safety: Codex Backs World GM Experiment - Could AFRICA Be Control?
Food is of crucial importance to good health. The international food code, also called CODEX ALIMENTARIUS, was set up in the 1960's, ostensibly to promote the safety of foods. But recently, Codex has come up with an extraordinary piece of advice: "Be careful about those nutrients." A Codex Vitamin and Mineral Food Supplement Guideline adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission in Rome in July this year says just that. On... [read more]
September 15, 2005 - Sepp Hasslberger

WTO / Biotech trade dispute / Codex - Impact on DSHEA
Here is clearer supporting data for"The Growing Threats to DSHEA" post. Chris Gupta --------------------------- Friends of the Earth have just obtained, and published on the Internet, the full WTO interim report on the GMO trade dispute. References to Codex and Codex texts can be found on pages 47, 48, 121, 137, 138, 154, 181, 190, 192, 196, 214, 215, 254, 258, 259, 301 of the descriptive report and on pages... [read more]
March 01, 2006 - Chris Gupta

WTO Orders: Europeans Eat GMO - Africans Next In Line Vow To Resist
8 February 2006 - The World Trade Organization has agreed with major GMO producing countries US, Canada and Argentina that Europe was violating international free trade agreements in resisting the import of genetically modified corn and soybeans. The argument that won the day was that a ban, according to the GM producers, is not "scientifically justified". (WTO rules against EU in pivotal GM case) The EU Commission maintains that it... [read more]
February 09, 2006 - Sepp Hasslberger




Readers' Comments

I'm doing a project in which I'm working on a theoretical proposal to the UN involving GMO. You state that a UN mandate would be useful. Do you know if there is any precedent in UN mandates that would suggest the UN would have such power.

Thank you,


Posted by: J on November 3, 2003 05:25 AM


Hi J,

as the article was written by Iruna Rodrigues-Clarke, I have forwarded (by copy of this message) your comment to her. She would be the person to elaborate on this and maybe you can co-operate on bringing such a mandate about.

Posted by: Josef on November 4, 2003 10:36 PM


Security code:

Please enter the security code displayed on the above grid

Due to our anti-spamming policy the comments you are posting will show up online within few hours from the posting time.



The Individual Is Supreme And Finds Its Way Through Intuition


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

These articles are brought to you strictly for educational and informational purposes. Be sure to consult your health practitioner of choice before utilizing any of the information to cure or mitigate disease. Any copyrighted material cited is used strictly in a non commercial way and in accordance with the "fair use" doctrine.



Enter your Email

Powered by FeedBlitz



Most Popular Articles
Lipitor: Side Effects And Natural Remedy

Lipitor - The Human Cost

Fluoride Accumulates in Pineal Gland

Original blueprints for 200 mpg carburetor found in England

Medical system is leading cause of death and injury in US

Aspartame and Multiple Sclerosis - Neurosurgeon's Warning

'Bird Flu', SARS - Biowarfare or a Pandemic of Propaganda?



More recent articles
Chromotherapy in Cancer

Inclined Bed Therapy: Tilt your bed for healthful sleep

European Food Safety Authority cherry picks evidence - finds Aspartame completely safe

Did Aspartame kill Cory Terry?

Retroviral particles in human immune defenses - is AIDS orthodoxy dead wrong?

Vaccine damage in Great Britain: The consequences of Dr Wakefield’s trials

Archive of all articles on this site



Most recent comments
Uganda: Pfizer Sponsored AIDS Institute Snubs Natural Treatment Options

Lipitor: Side Effects And Natural Remedy

AIDS: 'No Gold Standard' For HIV Testing

Lipitor: Side Effects And Natural Remedy

'Global Business Coalition' Wants More Testing: But Tests Do Not Show AIDS



Candida International

What Does MHRA Stand For??

Bono and Bush Party without Koch: AIDS Industry Makes a Mockery of Medical Science

Profit as Usual and to Hell with the Risks: Media Urge that Young Girls Receive Mandatory Cervical Cancer Vaccine


Share The Wealth

Artificial Water Fluoridation: Off To A Poor Start / Fluoride Injures The Newborn

Drinking Water Fluoridation is Genotoxic & Teratogenic

Democracy At Work? - PPM On Fluoride

"Evidence Be Damned...Patient Outcome Is Irrelevant" - From Helke

Why Remove Fluoride From Phosphate Rock To Make Fertilizer


Evolving Collective Intelligence

Let Us Please Frame Collective Intelligence As Big As It Is

Reflections on the evolution of choice and collective intelligence

Whole System Learning and Evolution -- and the New Journalism

Gathering storms of unwanted change

Protect Sources or Not? - More Complex than It Seems



Islanda, quando il popolo sconfigge l'economia globale.

Il Giorno Fuori dal Tempo, Il significato energetico del 25 luglio

Rinaldo Lampis: L'uso Cosciente delle Energie

Attivazione nei Colli Euganei (PD) della Piramide di Luce

Contatti con gli Abitanti Invisibili della Natura


Diary of a Knowledge Broker

Giving It Away, Making Money

Greenhouses That Change the World

Cycles of Communication and Collaboration

What Is an "Integrated Solution"?

Thoughts about Value-Add




Best sellers from