Argentina – a Poster Child for the Health Hazard of GM seeds
By Dr. Mercola
Roundup Ready soy is now being cultivated on a massive scale across the globe, along with the exponentially increasing use of the herbicide Roundup. Monsanto’s “Roundup Ready” soy beans are genetically modified to survive otherwise lethal doses of glyphosate, the active ingredient in the company’s herbicide Roundup.
It’s a win-win for Monsanto. But it’s a loss for just about everyone else. Not to mention a health hazard for the environment, and the animals and humans that eat these crops.
Argentina’s Bad Seeds
One of the countries most affected by genetically engineered soy is Argentina, whose population is being sickened by massive spraying of herbicides. Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, is blamed for the dramatic increase in devastating birth defects as well as cancer.
In the film People and Power — Argentina: The Bad Seeds, film maker Glenn Ellis investigates the destructive and health-harming trends associated with the burgeoning use of genetically engineered soy.
In Cordoba, he speaks to Alternative Nobel Laureate Professor Raul Montenegro about the problems associated with excessive pesticide use.
“Montenegro, a world-renowned biologist, looked the part of a pioneer, in a khaki shirt and jungle boots.’I have pesticide in me,’ he said, almost as soon as he opened the door. Here we all have pesticide in our bodies because the land is saturated with it. And it is a huge problem. In Argentina biodiversity is diminishing. Even in national parks, because pesticides don’t recognize the limit of the park,” Ellis writes.1
More than 18 million hectares in Argentina are covered by genetically engineered soy, on which more than 300 million litres of pesticides are sprayed. Studies strongly suggest that the glyphosate these crops are doused with can cause cancer and birth deformities; both of which are occurring at increasing rates in areas where spraying is done.
Sterility and miscarriages are also increasing. Experts warn that in 10 to 15 years, rates of cancer, infertility and endocrine dysfunction could reach catastrophic levels in Argentina.
Birth Malformation Skyrocketing in Agricultural Centers of Argentina
Ellis also met with Dr. Medardo Vasquez, the neonatal specialist who heads up the Children’s Hospital in Cordoba. Dr. Vasquez tells him:
“I see new-born infants, many of whom are malformed. I have to tell parents that their children are dying because of these agricultural methods. In some areas in Argentina the primary cause of death for children less than one year old is malformations.”
Ellis is also shown a chart of two steeply climbing graphs, rising in tandem with each other — one representing the increase in soya plantations over the last 15 years; the other the rise in birth defects across the province during that same time. In the village of Malvinas Argentinas, which is surrounded by soy plantations, the rate of miscarriage is 100 times the national average, courtesy of glyphosate.
Aside from chemical spraying, silos containing genetically engineered crops are another contributing factor. The chemically treated crop produces contaminated dust, which is then ventilated outdoors without filtration, where it is carried with the winds and breathed by the local residents.
Despite all the evidence to the contrary, Monsanto still maintains its innocence. In a written statement to Ellis, the company said:
“Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides have a long history of safe use when used according to label directions in more than 100 countries around the world. Comprehensive toxicological studies have demonstrated that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup® branded agricultural herbicides, does not cause birth defects or reproductive problems.”
Stunning Report Illustrates Nutritional Deficiencies and Hazards of GMO Corn
In related news, a report given to MomsAcrossAmerica2 by an employee of De Dell Seed Company (Canada’s only non-GMO corn seed company) offers a stunning picture of the nutritional differences between GMO and non-GMO corn. Clearly, the former is NOT equivalent to the latter, which is the very premise by which genetically engineered crops were approved in the first place. Here are a small sampling of the nutritional differences found in this 2012 nutritional analysis:
• Calcium: GMO corn = 14 ppm / Non-GMO corn = 6,130 ppm (437 times more)
• Magnesium: GMO corn = 2 ppm / Non-GMO corn = 113 ppm (56 times more)
• Manganese: GMO corn = 2 ppm / Non-GMO corn = 14 ppm (7 times more)
GMO corn was also found to contain 13 ppm of glyphosate, compared to zero in non-GMO corn. The EPA standard for glyphosate in American water supplies is 0.7 ppm. In Europe, the maximum allowable level in water is 0.2 ppm. Organ damage in animals has occurred at levels as low as 0.1 ppm… GMO corn was also found to contain extremely high levels of formaldehyde. According to Dr. Huber, at least one study found that 0.97 ppm of ingested formaldehyde was toxic to animals. GMO corn contains a staggering 200 times that amount! Perhaps it’s no wonder that animals, when given a choice, avoid genetically engineered feed like the plague.
GE Crops are NOT the ‘Most Tested’ Product in the World
It’s important to realize that genetically engineered (GE) foods have never been proven safe for human consumption over a lifetime, let alone over generations. Monsanto and its advocates claim genetically engineered crops are “the most-tested food product that the world has ever seen.” What they don’t tell you is that:
• Industry-funded research predictably affects the outcome of the trial. This has been verified by dozens of scientific reviews comparing funding with the findings of the study. When industry funds the research, it’s virtually guaranteed to be positive. Therefore, independent studies must be done to replicate and thus verify results.
• The longest industry-funded animal feeding study was 90 days, which recent research has confirmed is FAR too short. In the world’s first independently funded lifetime feeding study, massive health problems set in during and after the 13th month, including organ damage and cancer.
• Companies like Monsanto and Syngenta rarely if ever allow independent researchers access to their patented seeds, citing the legal protection these seeds have under patent laws. Hence independent research is extremely difficult or nearly impossible to conduct. If these scientists get seeds from a farmer, they sue them into oblivion as one of their favorite tactics is to use the legal system to their advantage. Additionally, virtually all academic agricultural research is controlled by Monsanto as they are the primary supporters of these departments and none will risk losing their funding from them.
• There is no safety monitoring. Meaning, once the GE item in question has been approved, not a single country on earth is actively monitoring and tracking reports of potential health effects.