Science Review Letters
(Kritische Wissenschaftsbriefe)

202. Brief
24. Januar 2008

Monsanto, FDA und das Desaster mit der grünen Gentechnik

Ungeschminkte Wahrheit über die grüne Gentechnik: Farmer, die gentechnisch veränderte Pflanzen anbauen, können sich nur über Wasser halten durch die hohen Subventionen der US Regierung. Bestechungssystem, Lümpchen und Vicelümpchen bei Monsanto: Monsanto-Betrug kommt ans Tageslicht - zu spät: gentechnisch veränderte Pflanzen haben sich ausgebreitet, Michael Taylor, der für die Sicherheitspolitik bei der FDA seit 1992 verantwortlich war und dort bis heute alle Sicherheitsbedenken für Monsanto aus dem Wege geräumt hat, ist nun Vize-Präsident von Monsanto geworden. Mehr...

Eines der weltweit renommiertesten Wirtschftsblätter, das Wall Street Journal, berichtet: "Nicht nur hat die biotech industrie über Jahrzehnte negative finanzielle Gewinne eingefahren, generell gräbt sie ihr Loch täglich tiefer und tiefer." Mehr...

Die gentechnische Verschmutzung durch heutige GVOs könnte theoretisch den Effekt der Globalen Erwärmung und des nuklearen Abfalls überdauern. Gentechnisch veränderte Zuckerrüben. Auch kleine Verunreinigungen können sehr schädlich sein, wie ein Beispiel zeigt. Eine Sorte tötete über 100 Amerikaner und hinterließ 5.000-10.000 Kranke und dauerhaft Geschädigte. Mehr...

In Indien haben tausende von Bt-Baumwolle Landwirten Selbstmord begangen. In einer Region waren es acht Selbstmorde pro Stunde. Mehr...

Abstract und Zusammenfassung: Ten years after. Biotech promises come up short. The Wall Street Journal reported, "Not only has the biotech industry yielded negative financial returns for decades, it generally digs its hole deeper every year." The Associated Press says it "remains a money-losing, niche industry". Corporate and government managers have spent millions trying to convince farmers and other citizens of the benefits of genetically-modified crops. But this huge public relations effort has failed to obscure the truth: GM crops do not deliver the promised benefits; they create numerous problems, costs, and risks. Us and canada lose big-time with gmos. Thousands of American farmers who were told to trust this technology, yet now see their prices fall to historically low levels while other countries exploit US vulnerability and pick off export customers one by one. US soy sales also plummeted due to GM content. When Canada became the only major producer to adopt GM canola in 1996, it led to a disaster there as well. The premium-paying EU market, which took about one-third of Canada’s canola exports in 1994 and one-fourth in ’95, stopped all imports from Canada by 1998. The GM canola was diverted to the low-priced Chinese market. Not only did Canadian canola prices fall to a record low, Canada even lost their EU honey exports due to the GM pollen contamination.

GM crops not only close markets and plunge prices, they force governments to shell out huge sums. National Academy of Sciences’ Board on Agriculture: The US government payments to farmers are up by $3 to $5 billion annually due to GM crops.  growers have only been kept afloat by the huge jump in subsidies. Net farm incomes in Canada plummeted since the introduction of GM canola, with the last five years being the worst in Canada’s history. The average GM crop reduces yield. Herbicide tolerant crops lower yields and increase herbicide use. According to a Cornell University study, Bt farmers in China are now earning significantly less than non-Bt farmers. In Indonesia, Bt cotton was also overrun with pests and other problems and was kicked out of the country (in spite of the Monsanto’s bribes to 140 officials over 5 years to try to get their cotton approved.). In India thousands of Bt cotton farmers committed suicide - the rate in one region was one suicide every eight hours.

Contamination inevitable. Buffer zones between fields have not been competent to protect non-GM, organic, or wild plants from GMOs. A UK study showed canola cross-pollination occurring as far as 16 miles. Due to cross pollination, studies have found canola that is resistant to all three types of herbicides. But it gets worse. Canola can cross pollinate with several weedy relatives such as wild mustard. Now these pollinated weeds have also developed resistance to weed killers and become "super weeds." There is no technology to fully eradicate GM contamination from the environmental gene pool. Thus, the self-propagating genetic pollution caused by today’s GMOs could theoretically outlast the effects of global warming and nuclear waste.

GM free zones pop up around the world. Non-gmo tidal wave expected. It is expected that millions of health conscious shoppers will soon make brand choices based on non-GMO content, which will force the rest of the food industry into a European-style rejection of GM ingredients. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, and other democratic presidential candidates have all committed to implement what 90% of Americans have wanted for more than a decade—mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. When asked why they want GM foods labeled, most Americans say it is because they want to avoid GM them.

Industry forced their dangerous agenda. According to the New York Times, "What Monsanto wished for from Washington, Monsanto—and, by extension, the biotechnology industry—got." In fact, after the White House told the FDA to promote the biotechnology industry, the agency created a new position for Monsanto’s former attorney Michael Taylor, who then oversaw the policy for GMOs. Released in May 1992 and still in force, FDA policy states, "The agency is not aware of any information showing that foods derived by these new methods differ from other foods in any meaningful or uniform way." On the basis of this sentence, the FDA claimed that no safety studies are necessary; biotech companies thus determine on their own if their products are harmless. Internal records were made public due to a lawsuit and the deception came to light. But it was too late. GM crops were widespread (and Michael Taylor had been duly rewarded after leaving the FDA by becoming a Monsanto vice president.)

Economic impact of those companies that have invested and used GM foods and crops. Physicians who have studied the subject are convinced that the dangers are real and are prescribing non-GMO diets to their patients

Genetically modified sugar beets. The risks of GM crops are not limited just to its DNA or the protein produced by the inserted gene. The process of creating a GM plant causes massive collateral damage in the DNA—approximately 2-4% of the DNA is different (mutated) compared to its parent. This can result in increased or new toxins, allergens, carcinogens, and anti-nutrients. Thus, in the case of sugar beets, the pulp used for animal feed, the molasses, and even the highly purified sugar, all contain levels of contamination that might harbor an unexpected byproduct of the GM process. Even small amounts of contaminants can be quite dangerous. Consider the food supplement L-tryptophan, produced in the 1980’s by a Japanese company that used genetically engineered bacteria. The genetic engineering process was almost certainly the reason why the supplement contained 5 or 6 contaminants. They were tiny—0.1% to 0.01% of the total amount of product—but their effect huge. This brand killed about 100 Americans and caused 5,000-10,000 to become sick or permanently disabled. It is important to note that the toxic tryptophan passed the US pharmaceutical standard for purity.

farmers admit that they use GM seeds because they fear Monsanto. "Thousands of US farmers have been investigated by Monsanto," for allegedly saving harvested GM seeds and replanting them in the next season—an age-old farm practice made illegal by GMO buyers’ contracts. Monsanto won at least US$15.2 million from nearly 200 lawsuits against farmers and organizations, plus earnings from hundreds of private settlements. Several farmers complained that they either did not purchase Monsanto’s seeds at all, or did not save them. They say Monsanto’s allegations are based on faulty GMO detection tests or on unwanted GM contamination in their fields. Unwilling to challenge Monsanto in the expensive court system, some farmers choose to buy the company’s seeds each year just to prevent the company from targeting them. Mehr...

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