STOP THE POISONING!!
This work continues unabated in 2017; progress has brought additional challenges beyond Washington. Please be sure to read the latest UPDATES, including new research, associated meetings and events.
I need to go to Washington to stop the use of glyphosate (a primary ingredient of Roundup®). Know anyone with gut problems? This herbicide contaminates our bodies, mother’s breast milk, most of our food, drinking water, wine and beer, cotton sterile gauze, tampons, pet and livestock feed, and pollutes the environment. It has been linked to many disorders, including: birth defects, gluten intolerance, cancer, autism, dementia, obesity, dead butterflies and honeybees, crippled elk, and climate change. The World Health Organization has deemed glyphosate a potential human carcinogen.
Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world, and one of the most dangerous toxic substances ever created. For 40+ years, it has been registered by the EPA for widespread home, aquatic, and agricultural use! Right now, all over the nation, this poison is being sprayed on our food crops, and at our homes, schools, playgrounds, parks, roadsides, hiking trails and forests. Such practices are unethical, unsafe, and probably unlawful.
I am Dr. Stephen Frantz, a research scientist concerned about the effects of glyphosate on us and future generations. Eight months ago, I wrote an article about glyphosate that caught the attention of Congressman Ted Lieu who has asked me to assemble a delegation of independent scientists to go to Washington to meet with EPA scientists (see: https://www.laprogressive.com/glyphosate/).
A congressional staff briefing plus an all-day meeting with EPA scientists is scheduled for June 14, 2016 in Washington, DC. A senatorial briefing will occur on June 15. My delegation of a dozen scientists represents disciplines from basic glyphosate research to regenerative biological (organic) agriculture. The goal is to stop the registration renewal for glyphosate because it poses unreasonable risks to humans, animals, and the environment; and to underscore that safer alternative agricultural practices can sustain the agricultural sector. With success, this work will benefit everyone, and the environment.
What began as a volunteer effort has evolved into a full-time job that has outstripped my financial resources (I’m retired). Funding is urgently needed for my travel, additional research, laboratory work, and related expenses. I am asking for donations of $3700 to provide the basic necessities. This effort has gained traction, but will require more travel and additional resources to succeed after the June meetings.
Glyphosate contaminates everything — our bodies, our kids, pets, wildlife, the food chain, and the environment. Please donate now to help outlaw this scourge that every day is causing some degree of illness within each of us, our children, and our pets…whether we are aware of it or not!
[Correction re. last night's show on KPFK: I do wish that I could claim some role in bringing the NHL trial to fruition, but it was all thru the fine efforts of the co-lead law firms of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman (CA) and the Miller Firm (VA).]
Rather than writing a point-by-point critique of the NYT article, I would direct readers to watch two excellent presentations by independent scientists in relevant fields who have been willing to let us know the truth about genetic engineering (and the ubiquitous GBHs in agriculture), and why it is not, and likely will never be, a consistently safe technology for widespread application. The first presentation, "Yes! GMOs Are Definitely Toxic", is by Dr. Thierry Vrain, a retired genetic engineer and soil biologist. He was a member of the team of scientists that I took to Washington in 2016 at Congressman Ted Lieu’s invitation. Dr. Vrain is the former: Head, Biotechnology Section, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVolljHmqEs). The second presentation, “GMO's - Are We Gambling with Our Health” is by Dr. Lorrin Pang, District Health Officer, Maui, HI who, for many years, has studied and consulted on evolving GE technologies and the health consequences of same (see: https://youtu.be/RCGIf0GSwX8).
While the biotech industry likes to say that GE foods have no adverse effects, they are patently incorrect because when we actually take the time conduct sufficiently long-term studies and do retrospective data analyses, we find the many adverse effects that are discussed by Dr. Vrain, Dr. Pang, and others (including Stephanie Seneff and Anthony Samsel who are cited). Genetic engineering is damaging in many ways to humans and other life forms; and by the time one determines harm, it typically is too late — think cancer, birth defects, and various strange unintended consequences.
Diet is considered as one of the main drivers in shaping the gut microbiota across one’s life time. It’s complicated, but when you damage the quality and quantity of the hundred trillion microbes (largely bacteria) in your gut microbiome, you can expect some degree of morbidity and mortality. Those microbes communicate with each other and with all organs, including the brain; they essentially run your body and regulate your immune system. A healthy gut microbiome is absolutely essential for good health. GE foods and their associated genetic promoters and markers, and pesticides such as glyphosate, can and do interfere with: human protein structures (we have more than 100,000 proteins to consider); with the overall composition and balance of gut microbial species (we have more than 2100 species); and also damage the gut lining. A moratorium on release of any GE life forms is logically mandated by the precautionary principle. Adequate risk assessments of GE foods by independent scientists are lacking and it is irresponsible on the part of our regulatory agencies to allow (as they already have done repeatedly) release of genetically modified and genetically contaminated life forms into the environment — it’s like releasing the genie that we can’t put back in the bottle — the long-term consequences are unpredictable and irreversible and should not be allowed. Further, any such release should also require informed consent by all individuals likely to be affected…and I know of no such consent regarding the release of GE crops in agriculture and GE foods in the marketplace.
In 2009, the American Academy of of Environmental Medicine recommended that physicians tell their patients to avoid GM foods and for them to document the possible role of GM foods in the disease processes of their patients. There was a clear concern and a need for relevant data. The American Academy of Pediatrics (2016) recommended limiting children’s exposure to pesticides by minimizing foods in which chemical pesticides were used by farmers. It was also recommended that foods should be accurately labelled so consumers could avoid pesticides. Note that effective avoidance of such pesticide exposures would include GE, GBH tolerant and desiccant sprayed crops. According to Dr. Vrain, when Diane Sawyer (ABC News) questioned Dr. Richard Besser (then Chief Health and Medical Editor at ABC News; and former director of CDC) on how to reduce childhood exposure to pesticides, he simply recommended eating organic foods. Since the basic American diet is currently comprised largely of GE and GBH sprayed crops, it is scientifically and medically logical to go organic and to require accurate, easy to understand labelling of pesticide contaminated foods (that would include all GE & those GBH sprayed). U.S. food production must change because GE crops and resultant genetic contamination give us a food system that is not sustainable, is not healthy, is not safe, and contributes heavily to the climate crisis. Unfortunately, the aforementioned recommendations for promoting a healthy and safe food system are not reflected in the content of the NYT article that struggles to convince us that “labelling” (that might be essentially nonfunctional and/or misleading at best) is the necessary cure-all to the GMO controversy.
[FYI, the NYT article can be found at: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/12/us/gmo-food-labels-usda.html?hpw&rref=us&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region®ion=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well
In 2016, I authored an organic fraud resolution that was approved (passed) by the California Democratic Party as CDP Resolution 16-11.08 — Resolution Regarding Fraudulent Organic Products (see attached). In essence, this is to protect consumers from fake organic foods that continue to deliver glyphosate and other toxic ingredients to individuals who wish to protect their health and the health of the environment; and it makes such fraud a criminal offense. It also protects the ethical producers of genuine organic products that adhere to the letter and spirit of the organic movement promoting soil stewardship, nutrient dense produce, humane animal husbandry, and regenerative ecosystems. In early 2016, this resolution was sent to newly elected Sen. Henry Stern for conversion into a bill for the legislature. On numerous occasions, I have followed up with Sen. Stern and staff to learn the status of any such legislation, but a bill has not been forthcoming. Meanwhile organic fraud has become more widespread (the USDA has too few staff and poor guidelines for proper inspection); and, a State “organic fraud bill” is needed more than ever. It’s time for us to ask for action from any legislator who will provide active support; this is an issue that negatively affects all of us. If we do this in California, it should have a rippling effect nationwide. Or, if concerned legislators in any state(s) will support such a bill, let them take the leading position, but let's see it happen.
In a correlative national action, the Cornucopia Institute has just initiated a campaign to convince CEOs of some major retailers to conform to genuine organic standards and stop selling fake organics (see: https://www.cornucopia.org/2017/11/demand-real-organic-food-real-organic-farmers/ ). I encourage everyone to go to this website, download the proxy letter, print, sign and return it to Cornucopia for them to deliver. See attached graphic. Thank you to Zen Honeycutt (Mom’s Across America) for alerting me to this important campaign.