Leon and Barb talk about GMOs. Topics are: Mexico bans GMO corn, Columbian fight for seed freedom, free trade agreements, Rockefeller agribusiness monopoly and eugenics foundation, GMO ban moving ahead in Josephine County, Oregon despite state Monsanto Protection Act, and scientists who say GMOs not proven safe climbs to 231.


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3 Responses to “GMOs and the Culture of Death”

  1. Judy Kew says:

    The culture of death is not limited to GMOs.


    Wheat . . . is not a health food, it’s making you fat, and your digestive tract hates you for eating it, according to the author of the New York Times best-selling book, Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health(Rodale, 2011).

    So how—and when—did this ancient grain become such a serious health threat? Author and preventive cardiologist William Davis, MD, says it’s when big agriculture stepped in decades ago to develop a higher-yielding crop. Today’s “wheat,” he says, isn’t even wheat, thanks to some of the most intense crossbreeding efforts ever seen. “The wheat products sold to you today are nothing like the wheat products of our grandmother’s age, very different from the wheat of the early 20th Century, and completely transformed from the wheat of the Bible and earlier,” he says.

    Plant breeders changed wheat in dramatic ways. Once more than four feet tall, modern wheat—the type grown in 99 percent of wheat fields around the world—is now a stocky two-foot-tall plant with an unusually large seed head. Dr. Davis says accomplishing this involved crossing wheat with non-wheat grasses to introduce altogether new genes, using techniques like irradiation of wheat seeds and embryos with chemicals, gamma rays, and high-dose X-rays to induce mutations.

    Clearfield Wheat, grown on nearly 1 million acres in the Pacific Northwest and sold by BASF Corporation—the world’s largest chemical manufacturer—was created in a geneticist’s lab by exposing wheat seeds and embryos to the mutation-inducing industrial toxin sodium azide, a substance poisonous to humans and known for exploding when mishandled, says Dr. Davis. This hybridized wheat doesn’t survive in the wild, and most farmers rely on toxic chemical fertilizers and pesticides to keep the crops alive. (It’s important to note, however, that the intensive breeding efforts that have so dramatically transformed wheat should not to be confused with genetic engineering of food, or GMOs. This type of technology has its own set of problems, though.)

    So what does all of this plant science have to do with what’s ailing us? Intense crossbreeding created significant changes in the amino acids in wheat’s gluten proteins, a potential cause for the 400 percent increase in celiac disease over the past 40 years. Wheat’s gliadin protein has also undergone changes, with what appears to be a dire consequence. “Compared to its pre-1960s predecessor, modern gliadin is a potent appetite stimulant,” explains Dr. Davis. “The new gliadin proteins may also account for the explosion in inflammatory diseases we’re seeing.”



    So something happened to wheat in the 1970s during the efforts to generate a high-yield strain that required less fertilizer to make a 24-inch, rather than a 48-inch, stalk. Multiple other changes occurred, including changes in the structure of gluten, changes in wheat germ agglutinin, changes in alpha amylase (responsible for wheat allergy) . . . to name a few.

    But chief among the changes in wheat were changes in the gliadin protein molecule. We know, for instance, that the Glia-alpha 9 sequence, absent from traditional wheat, can be found in virtually all modern wheat. This is likely the explanation underlying the four-fold increase in celiac disease over the past 50 years, since Glia-alpha 9 predictably triggers the immune reaction that leads to the intestinal destruction characteristic of celiac disease.

    But modern wheat also stimulates appetite . . . not a little, but a lot. The introduction of modern high-yield, semi-dwarf wheat was accompanied by an abrupt increase in calorie consumption of 440 calories per day, 365 days per year. This is because modern gliadin in wheat is an opiate. But this opiate doesn’t cause a “high” like heroine; it causes appetite stimulation.

    Big Food companies, commanding tens of billions (not millions, but billions, or 1000 millions) of dollars of revenues per year, employ some very smart food scientists. Among their many responsibilities, food scientists are charged with observing the eating behavior of humans who eat their products, often conducting taste tests and trials to observe eating behavior. (Anyone read Brian Wansink’s Mindless Eating? Great stories of food experiments with human subjects.) Surely food scientists noticed that, somewhere around 1985, appetite was enormously triggered by consumption of crackers, breads, pretzels, bagels and the multitude of other test products made of wheat making entry into the marketplace. After all, the business of food scientists is to observe eating behavior.

    So why didn’t they sound the alarm? Why didn’t we hear food scientists declare “We think there’s something wrong in some of the new foods we are creating. Specifically, it appears that foods created from the new high-yield strains of wheat are triggering appetite substantially”?

    Perhaps they couldn’t, being employed by Big Food companies with a need to maintain proprietary inside information. Or, perhaps they said something like “Shhhhhh! Don’t tell anybody! Let’s just put it in . . . everything!” How else can we explain the fact that, in the 1970s, wheat was only in primary wheat-based foods like breads, cookies, and cakes, but now wheat is in everything: It’s in canned and instant soups, salad dressings, licorice, granola and candy bars, virtually all fast food . . . you name it, wheat’s there. (Remember: Big Tobacco did precisely this kind of thing when they used to dope their cigarettes with higher nicotine content to increase addictive potential. As with many things wheat, tobacco showed us in how many ways big corporations can bend products and issues to their own agenda, your health be damned.)

    Unfortunately, this is just my speculation, given the incredible and difficult-to-explain ubiquity of wheat. So I’m hoping to identify a whistleblower, someone from inside the walls of Big Food, preferably back in the 1980s when this phenomenon got underway. If you have such insights, please post a comment here, anonymously if you prefer.

    In other words, it would be priceless to be able to prove that, not only did food scientists in Big Food know about the appetite-stimulating effects of modern wheat, they used this knowledge to increase revenues.

  2. Barb, My neighbor plants Triticale. This is a wheat/rye hybrid. Fortunately it is not genetically engineered… yet…

  3. Barb T. says:

    I am not sure I heard right but I thought I heard you say your neighbor plants trehala. Is this the crop that is grown to produce trehalose the sugar substitute that Cargill is promoting?