Barbara H. Peterson
In the wake of a discovery of Monsanto’s unapproved genetically engineered wheat springing up in Eastern Oregon, the question has been asked – how did this happen?
Monsanto’s answer is, as expected:
“We’re committed to being transparent about our investigation and sharing information as it is assembled,” said Claire Cajacob, Monsanto’s wheat research lead. “We’re prepared to provide any technical help that we can to get to the bottom of this.”
We don’t know, but we’ll make sure to get to the bottom of this. Don’t worry, we are looking out for you.
Does this sound familiar?
Anniston, Alabama all over again
Let’s take a little stroll down memory lane…
In the Washington Post article (Jan 1, 2002) “Monsanto Hid Decades Of Pollution PCBs Drenched Ala. Town, But No One Was Ever Told” a grim story of Monsanto’s treacherous behavior in Anniston Alabama was revealed. It is summed up in this chilling paragraph: “They also know that for nearly 40 years, while producing the now-banned industrial coolants known as PCBs at a local factory, Monsanto Co. routinely discharged toxic waste into a west Anniston creek and dumped millions of pounds of PCBs into oozing open-pit landfills. And thousands of pages of Monsanto documents — many emblazoned with warnings such as “CONFIDENTIAL: Read and Destroy” — show that for decades, the corporate giant concealed what it did and what it knew.”
This is Monsanto’s history. This is what the company does. This is what Monsanto considers transparency. Can we expect any different just because it morphed into a “life sciences” company and now its public relations staff is touting that Monsanto seeds will save the world?
“Saving the World” through inhibited brain function
Maybe the company simply expects people to believe its public relations fabrication because it knows that eventually, the more GMOs people eat, the dumber they get. Yes, you heard me right. A recent UCLA study shows that changing gut bacteria through diet affects brain function.
Researchers have known that the brain sends signals to the gut, which is why stress and other emotions can contribute to gastrointestinal symptoms. This study shows what has been suspected but until now had been proved only in animal studies: that signals travel the opposite way as well.
“Time and time again, we hear from patients that they never felt depressed or anxious until they started experiencing problems with their gut,” Tillisch said. “Our study shows that the gut–brain connection is a two-way street.”
It is not a stretch to conclude that while the beneficial bacteria in probiotics help your brain to function well, that genetically engineered bacteria contained in the plants and toxic glyphosate, which is sprayed on these crops quite liberally, might just do the opposite. The result? A systematic sickening and subsequent dumbing down of society.
Section 10 of the following linked study shows how glyphosate’s effects could plausibly lead to brain related disorders such as autism, dementia, depression, and Parkinson’s disease:
Back to GM Wheat
So, just how did we get here? We were sold out by the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) to biotech interests.
A March, 2009 report on GMO Compass states:
A majority of farmers in the USA have expressed approval in a poll on genetically modified wheat. They expect gene technology to contribute towards solutions to current problems in wheat cultivation…..
In conducting the survey, the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) approached in writing 21,000 farmers with a wheat cultivation area of at least 200 hectare s [approximately 600 acres, which means no small farmers, only large agribusiness operations]. A third of those addressed participated in the poll. The object of the survey was the opinion of farmers towards a petition that was formulated by the NAWG and contained essential statements towards genetically modified wheat. Three-quarters (76 per cent) of the participating farmers agreed with the petition.
Let’s do the math:
NAWG approached 21,000 farmers. One-third, or 7,000 farmers participated. Out of that 7,000, 76%, or 5,320, approved of GMO wheat. 5,320 is only 25% of the 21,000 farmers originally approached. NOT A MAJORITY OF FARMERS! This statement is simply not true! The pollsters are twisting the statistics to suit their own purposes. What about the other 14,000 farmers, or two-thirds of all farmers who were not represented in the poll?
Five years ago, the Monsanto company abandoned plans for the market introduction of genetically modified wheat, since many farmers feared losses in wheat export to Europe and Asia. “Our farmers still have no interest in herbicide-resistant Roundup wheat,” declared a spokesperson of the NAWG. However, farmers demand increased yield and wheat types that better withstand heat, dryness and cold. As stated by the NAWG, “Our poll is a strong signal that farmers are ready to plant genetically modified wheat.”
Monsanto clearly benefits from the pollster’s twisted statistics. Who cares about the truth, full steam ahead! Field trials are already underway. [NOTE: The following quote has been taken off of the GMO Compass site, but you can still see the information from the subsequent graphic]:
Field trials are underway in many countries, including countries in Europe, to find out if experimental GM wheat plants are actually resistant to fungal infection and thereby produce grains won’t be laden with dangerous mycotoxins. (GMO Compass)
So, it comes as no surprise that over 1500 acres of GMO wheat trials have been approved by the USDA for current and future implementation. The Oregon contamination issue is just a bump in the road. An inconvenient glitch.
The following information is taken from Information Systems for Biotechnology:
Information Systems for Biotechnology (ISB) provides information resources to support the environmentally responsible use of agricultural biotechnology products. Here you will find documents and searchable databases pertaining to the development, testing and regulatory review of genetically engineered (GE) plants, animals and microorganisms within the United States and abroad.
Here is the search that I conducted on the site:
Add it up, and it comes to over 1500 acres devoted to field testing of GMO wheat. Notice that the USDA gets its fingers in the pie too for a test acre.
So, the question of the day is – Did Monsanto really stop field testing GMO wheat like it says it did? Can we believe anything this company says through its public relations department? I don’t think so. In fact, if you do believe anything coming out of Monsanto’s mouth to be true and honest, you’ve been eating too many GMOs.
The company tested glyphosate-resistant wheat in 16 states, including Oregon, from 1998 to 2005. The last Oregon trial was in 2001, according to the USDA, and Monsanto ultimately withdrew its application to have the GM variety approved after it became clear export markets didn’t want it. The company said it closed the testing program in a “rigorous, well-documented and audited” process that should have left no modified plants or seed remaining.
Monsanto suspended field trials of herbicide-tolerant wheat in 2005 and resumed them in 2011, with 15 trials at sites in North Dakota and Hawaii, the data show. The specific herbicides that the crops are engineered to tolerate aren’t disclosed in most of the recent permits, with Monsanto invoking confidentiality claims.
In light of these current approvals and the fact that field trials were conducted in 16 states over a period of seven years, supposedly suspended and in 2011 started up again,do you really think that Monsanto doesn’t know how this “isolated incidence” of contamination happened in Oregon? But, just for the record, tell me again, Monsanto, how you have no idea how the Oregon contamination occurred.
©2013 Barbara H. Peterson