The Gene Revolution and Genetically Modified Organisms
Updated: 19 March 2019
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There is NO scientific consensus on the safety of GMOs
Don't let anyone tell you there is. Here's ammunition to fight this.
The GMO Book to End All GMO Books?
Altered Genes Twisted Truth markers
Altered Genes, Twisted Truth
Research scientists Anthony Samsel and Dr. Stefanie Seneff have recently managed to extricate from the EPA the formerly trade-secreted research records of Monsanto from three decades ago in their development of their Round-up herbicide. The records stunningly reveal the company's knowing manipulation of its own data to try to cover the obvious toxicity the herbicide was creating. This is the modern equivalent of the exposure of the tobacco industry's knowing lying about tobacco's addictive and carcinogenic properties -- only the health consequences may be greater in this case.
Article         Interview

  1. The 1980's genetic engineering (GE) process used to produce GMOs became old, out-of-date science after the Human Genome Project revolutionized our understanding of gene function.
  2. The GE process is extremely inaccurate and is liable to produce dangerous unexpected proteins, the possible effects of which should be tested for -- and yet are not.
  3. The GE process bears no resemblance to the thousands of years of traditional breeding, despite industry/government claims to the contrary.
  4. Most GMOs are designed to survive the glyphosate ("RoundUp") herbicide, which permeates the plant, cannot be washed off, and is associated with a stunning range of chronic illnesses.
  5. As a result of all the above, industry safety claims that GMO and non-GMO foods are equivalent are false (as they admit when they apply for patents on those foods).
  6. The GMO industry is desperately fighting GMO labeling because identifying who is and isn't eating GMOs would finally make possible a scientific proof of large-scale harm.

How to avoid GMOs
1. Eat organic foods -- these are guaranteed to be non-GMO and with no poisons
2. Eat foods labeled "non-GMO," certified by The Non-GMO Project --
    though for some foods (mostly seeds/grains) there is a risk of RoundUp contamination
3. Use the Non-GMO Shopping Guide (similar risk)
4. Use the Center for Food Safety's Guide to Avoiding GE Fish
    (list of companies committed (or not) to not using/selling GE fish)
5. Otherwise, avoid foods with ingredients based on the GMO big-four:
    corn, soy, or canola or cottonseed oils -- i.e., most non-organic processed foods
6. Weston A. Price Foundations's avoidance advice.

Government: "Could you kindly rephrase that in equivocal, inaccurate,
vague, self-serving and roundabout terms that we can all understand?"

"No one gets up in the morning saying 'I want to go buy a genetically engineered food.' They offer no benefts -- no more nutrition, no more flavor, no nothing. They only offer risks to the consumer. So the average rational person, of course, would say, 'Why would I buy a food that offers me no new benefits, but only offers me risks?'"
-- Andrew Kimbrell, director, Center for Food Safety
"Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong -- these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history."
-- Winston Churchill
(quoted by Dr. Stephanie Seneff, "Seeds of Truth" lecture, below)

"The future is not going to judge us by how many tons of pesticides we applied or did not apply but how willing we were to sacrifice our children as well as jeopardize their own health based upon failed promises, greed and flawed science."
-- Dr. Donald Huber, Professor Emeritus, Purdue University
(quoted by Dr. Thierry Vrain in Food Revolution interview)

"Genetic engineering is a technology with a hugely inequitable distribution of profits and risks."
-- Dr. Molly Anderson, Professor, College of the Atlantic
(presentation, 3/21/14)

Recommended for People Just Getting Started

Quick Overview: My Summary sheets
Big Picture (Book): Seeds of Deception, Jeffrey Smith -- IMHO the best introductory survey of the health problems.
Big Picture (Audio): You're Eating What?, Jeffrey Smith (MP3; also CD with a track-by-track content summary)
Science/Health: Seeds of Truth, Dr. Stephanie Seneff (YouTube video; or MP3 audio w/out intro and Q&A)
Practical: Non-GMO Shopping Guide

Some grounds for optimism
When I talk with people about this, they tend to find it scary, and want to hear some good news. The good news is that there is a solution to this -- a market solution. All over the world, it has been found that when people learn the truth about GMOs, and GMO foods are labeled, people refuse to buy them. The dominoes then fall, through retailers to wholesalers to producers, and GMOs become a thing of the past. Much more powerful than government "regulation." So spread the word!

"Non-GMO" not always enough?   Crop Desiccation
Buying organic to avoid GMO effects is even more important when you realize that even non-GMO crops (e.g., NOT corn, soy, cotton, and canola) can be contaminated with dangerous glyphosate (RoundUp) due to having been sprayed prior to harvest to kill the vegetative part of the plant, a process called desiccation, used to speed up and coordinate ripening time. You can't wash glyphosate off. Examples: cereals, legumes, flax, sunflower, kiwi, wine, raspberries, apples, alfalfa, sugar cane. Potatoes aren't involved with glyphosate, but are sprayed with carfentrazone-ethyl.

GMO Resource List
1. GMO summary sheets (mine)
2. GMOs and health
3. The Big Feeding Safety Studies
        4. Important GMO resources
    a. Websites/organizations
    b. Books
    c. Audio files and CDs
    d. Video files and DVDs
    e. Articles, other text resources
        5. Avoiding GMOs
6. "Bad Science" --
    attacks from the scientific community
7. Geopolitical -- food as a weapon
8. Industry's version -- their "answer" site
  1. GMO Summary Sheets (mine)
    1. The GMO transgenic process and its risks -- an outline of basic background info on DNA and proteins, and the steps in the process of creating a GMO (PDF, 2pp)
    2. GMO-related dangers -- an outline of threats to health, farming, the environment, and control of world food supply (PDF, 2pp)
    3. A Few Myths (and Truths) about Genetic Engineering and GMOs -- Nine common myths (of many)

  2. GMOs and Health
    1. "No Scientific Consensus on GMO Safety" -- the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility's (ENSSER) definitive detailed statement, signed by almost 300 scientists (local printable PDF)
    2. The science of GMO toxicity (mp3) -- The British genetic engineer Michael Antoniou (co-author of the huge compendium of scientific studies GMO Myths and Truths) does an excellent job of explaining the many ways in which the "transgenic" process used to create GMOs can (and has) created dangerous toxins and allergens.
    3. Glyphosate
      Most GMOs are designed to be herbicide resistant, the most common of which is Monsanto's RoundUp, whose active ingredient -- glyphosate -- has numerous fundamental biochemical functions that tie it to the whole host of chronic diseases that have exploded since the mid-90's appearance of GMO foods. Further, the "inactive" adjuvants in RoundUp increase glyphosate's toxicity many fold.
      1. Dr. Stephanie Seneff on the biochemistry of glyphosate health threats, so metabolically fundamental that it is potentially linked to all the chronic diseases that have risen so rapidly since 1996.
        1. Interview w/Jeffrey Smith (mp3; 2013) -- covers the gamut of biological/metabolic systems disrupted by glyphosate.
        2. Seeds of Truth (YouTube -- or the converted MP3 audio version w/out intro and Q&A)
        3. Roundup: the Elephant in the Room (YouTube)
        4. Interview w/Dr. Mercola (YouTube, 7 parts)
        5. Controversial scientific paper: "Glyphosate's Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases" (PDF)
      2. Dr. Don Huber, emeritus Perdue University professor, internationally recognized expert on soil microbes, and long-standing member and chair of USDA advisory committies, who has been threatened, attacked, and vilified for his work on GMOs. He does an excellent job outlining the consequences of glyphosate's four major threats --
        • irreversible chelation of essential minerals, disabling many enzyme systems
        • broad-spectrum antibody activity against beneficial microbes (but not pathogens), creating dangerous leaky gut and damaging the immune system,
        • damage to the liver's ability to detoxify poisons and drugs, and
        • endocrine hormone disruption.
        1. Excellent interviews by Food Integrity Now
          1. April 8, 2014     (local MP3)
          2. September 25, 2015     (local MP3)
      3. Colony Collapse Disorder (mp3) -- segment of the April 2014 interview outlining glyphosate's direct 1-2-3 role in the decimation of pollinators (much greater than, though supportive of, the deadly role of neonicotinamides)
    4. Report: GMOs and Exploding Gluten Sensitivity
        Summary     (local copy, PDF)
        Full Report     (local copy, PDF)
    5. Buy organic or not? (local PDF, 2pp)
      A list of which fruits, vegetables, and nuts are relatively safe if you can't get organic, and which aren't
      (one weak point: it doesn't take account of GMO or desiccation issues)

  3. The Big Feeding Safety Studies
    1. The 1989 L-Tryptophan epidemic -- not strictly a study, but the only direct linkage between large-scale serious health damage (eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS); over a thousand cases, many deaths) and the ingestion of food derived from the genetic engineering process.
      1. Toxic L-tryptophan: Shedding Light on a Mysterious Epidemic -- William Crist's 2005 series of articles on his 8-year study of the issue
      2. Local PDF of the above for those who prefer printed material (43pp).
      3. Jeffery Smith's summary of the issue.
      4. Local PDF of the above for those who prefer printed material (5pp).
    2. Arpad Puztai's 1996 bombshell -- the first massive chink in the GMO dike
      1. Anniversary of a Whistleblowing Hero -- Jeffrey Smith's lively description of Pusztai's work, "downfall," and rejuvenation
      2. Biotech Propaganda Cooks Dangers out of GM Potatoes -- Smith's debunking of the massive attack on Pusztai
    3. The 2012 Séralini Study
      1. What it was about and what it found
      2. Ten things you need to know about the Séralini study
      3. Séralini's response to the suppression of his ground-breaking animal-feeding study showing kidney/liver toxicity and mammary tumors
      4. "Shooting the Messenger" -- ENSSER's detailed response to attacks on the study (and comments on the study's removal from the journal in which it was published)
      5. Great example of the instantaneous, bogus, disingenuous attacks on the study and the man himself (Henry Miller is a key industry attack-dog)
      6. Wikipedia's article shows how risky reliance on Wikipedia can be if you don't already know a lot about a controversial topic.
      7. Ratted out: Scientific journal bows to Monsanto over anti-GMO study -- William Engdahl (printable DOC)
      8. Emails reveal role of Monsanto in Séralini study retraction  (July 2016)
    4. Dr. Judy Carman's 2013 Pig Study -- the first major formal scientific real-world agricultural study
    5. Horizontal DNA transfer to gut bacteria -- the only human feeding study
    6. The Glyphosate Toxicity Studies You're Not Allowed To See -- I include this only to contrast the above extensive open feeding studies with Monsanto's brief studies used to gain European (i.e., German) regulatory acceptance but kept as a "corporate secret" by both Monsanto and the regulators.

  4. Important GMO Resources
    1. The DARK Act
      my page on the various incarnations of the "Deny Americans The Right To Know" Act
    2. Websites/Organizations (no relative importance implied in this ordering)
      1. GM Watch -- excellent newsletter for keeping abreast of current developments
      2. Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT) -- produceer of many audio/video resources)
      3. Food Revolution -- producer of "mini-summit" audio series
      4. Earth Open Source -- a wealth of articles, videos, and significant reports
      5. Food Integrity Now -- a source of a number of excellent free podcasts
      6. Environmental Working Group (EWG) -- research and advocacy on environmental and health risk (with a special GMO section)
      7. Center For Food Safety -- The Center and its founder Andrew Kimbrell have been a major force in stopping all kinds of food dangers via lawsuits and education.
      8. ENSSER -- European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility, for "the advancement of science and research for the protection of the environment, biological diversity and human health against negative impacts of new technologies and their products"
      9. Weston A. Price Foundation -- another wealth of resources, on many aspects of healthy eating, not just GMOs.
      10. Food Democracy Now -- advocacy group on GMO and other food-related issues.
      11. GMO Free USA -- advocacy group to email bomb food companies and organize boycotts to force GMO removal)
        1. Science compilation -- references to 1300 scientific studies, surveys and analyses showing potential or actual adverse effects of GMOs
      12. The Non-GMO Project -- certifies non-GMO products, has an online tool to determine if a given product is non-GMO
      13. The Organic and Non-GMO Food Report -- a wealth of categorized articles (and a magazine, costly)
      14. NHNE Pulse -- a large collection of GMO-related links and videos
      15. Dr. Stephanie Seneff's webpage -- articles, reports, power-point presentations, links to videos
      16. International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) -- 3-year global effort to "evaluate the relevance, quality and effectiveness of agricultural knowledge, science, and technology (AKST); and effectiveness of public and private sector policies as well as institutional arrangements in relation to AKST"
      17. GMO Testing

    3. Books
      1. Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture To Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public, by Steven Druker (2015)
        This is perhaps the most comprehensive not-overly-technical book on the GMO enterprise in existence, written by the lawyer who extracted the evidence showing that the FDA ignored (and continues to ignore) the emphatic advice of its own scientists that there were inherent potential risks in genetically engineered food that needed to tested and monitored. This resulted in violation of the legal requirements for GRAS ("generally recognized as safe") approval for every GMO food on the market, meaning they are all illegal.
        Among other things, Druker covers
        • the careful hiding of known risk by the early genetic engineers to avoid regulation
        • the first major GMO epidemic,
        • the fascinating newly-discovered complexity of gene function, regulation, and position (none of which was known at the time the simplistic "rDNA" GMOs were conceived),
        • the high risk relative to conventional breeding,
        • and the significant inferiority of the usual GMO safety research studies when compared to the comprehensiveness and strictness of protocols for testing infinitely-simpler safety-critical computer programs.
        (Personal note: I started putting tabs at each point that I thought was vital to GMO understanding, and ended up with this.)
        1. Amazon
        2. Interview, with Food Integrity Now -- good coverage of Druker and the case against the FDA; 8/25/15  (MP3, no ads;  original)
        3. My response to a typical biotech-style attack on Druker and the book. Consider this a review of the book. (PDF)
        4. Interview, with Dr. Joe Mercola  (MP3, 1hr 40min, from 2 YouTube videos; only the latter part of the interview available)
        5. Steven Druker Busts GMO Myths  (Youtube, 23min; local MP3)
        6. GOOD NEWS!  Surprise! Cornell is taking the GMO safety debate to a new level -- Druker finds a sudden openness to science in Cornell's previous virulently-pro-GMO Alliance for Science (here's his lecture there)
      2. GMO Myths and Truthsknown as the most comprehensive detailed treatment of GMO issues; each chapter covers a category of myth, and contains myth/truth headings with comprehensive coverage of the truth, with all assertions connected to chapter endnotes (free PDF, 330pp)
        1. 4th edition -- condensed softcover, 1918 (announcement/review of 3rd edition)
        2. 2nd edition -- famous 2014 free PDF version (330pp)
      3. Seeds of Deception, Jeffrey Smith -- IMHO the best introductory survey of the health problems
      4. Genetic Roulette, Jeffrey Smith -- another comprehensive detailed treatment, with paired pages: general info across from technical details (so a politician can read one side and give the rest to staff)
      5. Modified: GMOs and the Threat to Our Food, Our Land, Our Future -- an effective narrative journalism combination of quest, road-trip, and coverage of the issues, introducing the reader personally to many of the players in the GMO world, in an ostensible attempt to provide balance to the issue.
      6. Institute for Responsible Technology bookstore -- Seeds of Deception, Genetic Roulette, The World According to Monsanto
      7. Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation, F. William Engdahl -- "Control food and you control people," the history of the concept of food as a weapon, back through the Green Revolution to the plan arising out of WWII for world domination (a vital topic not covered by the many otherwise excellent books on GMOs);
        see also an interview about the book.
      8. Hope, Not Hype, Jack Heinemann -- "the future of agriculture, guided by the IAASTD"; apparently only available from the New Zealand publisher, but can be downloaded (176pp PDF) from the publisher's site or here.
      9. Institute for Responsible Technology brochures (bulk pages) -- Non-GMO Shopping Tips, Non-GMO Shopping Guide, Health Risks, Baby Guide

    4. Audio files and CDs (in addition to those in the GMOs and Health section above)
      1. Institute for Responsible Technology audio resources
        1. including You're Eating What?, Jeffrey Smith (MP3) -- IMHO the best introductory survey of GMO health problems (a 2004 lecture given in 37 countries; but even 10 years later, in spite of not including a couple of significant subsequent studies, it is still completely relevant); also included in The GMO Trilogy in Video below
          • CD of the same lecture
          • track-by-track content summary of this CD, prepared by me (PDF, 2pp)
        2. Don't Put That In Your Mouth, Jeffrey Smith (CD) -- Another excellent lecture; a bit more up-to-date, but (in my opinion) not quite as good for first-comers. It's main disadvantage is that it is a CD which must be purchased (unless given by someone) and is one solid track, making it harder to get to particular pieces of information.
          • transcript of this CD, with a contents list and time-stamps for each of the main sections (PDF, 20pp)
      2. Food Revolution's GMO Mini-Summit series (October 2013) -- 13 interviews (MP3s and PDF transcripts) with experts on all aspects of GMO. It's expensive ($97), but IMHO worth every penny. I've re-listened many times to many of these, and it has helped my understanding immeasurably.
      3. Food Integrity Now's blog has a multitude of excellent interviews with experts in the field of GMO concerns.
      4. Seeds of Destruction, F. William Engdahl -- interview about the book; (see more in "Geopolitical", below)

    5. Video files and DVDs (in addition to any listed in other categories)
      1. The Future of Food -- an excellent film covering all the vital bases of this issue, in spite of being (like Jeffrey Smith's audio lecture) 10 years old; available through Maine interlibrary loan (including Bar Harbor)
      2. Institute for Responsible Technology video resources
      3. Institute for Responsibile Technology's DVDs -- The World According to Monsanto, Scientists Under Attack, Everything You HAVE to Know about Dangerous Genetically Modified Foods, Your Milk on Drugs, Hidden Dangers in Kids Meals, GMO Trilogy, and:
        Genetic Roulette Movie: The Gamble of Our Lives -- GMOs and rising disease rates, and Monsanto's strong-arm tactics (bonus DVD includes many other features)
      4. Earth Open Source video resources
      5. Environmental Working Group's video resources
      6. Dr. Thierry Vrain Ted Talk (former Canadian government pro-GMO scientist/spokesman)

    6. Articles and other text sources
      1. The GMO Reality Check -- EXCELLENT fact-filled yet inspirational article
      2. Lessons in Bioengineering (University of Nebraska)
        1. Overview of the process of plant engineering
        2. DNA and DNA Extraction
      3. Outlines of selected excellent interviews from the "GMO mini-summit" presented by Food Revolution in October 2013.
        (The MP3 sound files and PDF transcripts are available for sale from Food Revolution.)
        1. Dr. Michael Antoniou -- UK non-food genetic engineer, excellent on the science
        2. Andrew Kimbrell -- founder and head of the Center For Food Safety
        3. -- good on science and politics
        4. Dr. Stephanie Seneff -- MIT scientist, excellent on the biochemical threat of glyphosate (Roundup herbicide)
        5. Dr. Thierry Vrain -- former GMO spokesman for Health Canada (Canadian FDA), good on science and politics
      4. Small Planet's GMO fact sheet (PDF, 2pp; local copy)
      5. Seed company consolidation 1996-2013, by Philip H. Howard (local PDF) -- see also below.
        Excellent graphic showing how hundreds of seed companies have been bought up by five chemical and three seed giants.
      6. Sustainability and innovation in staple crop production in the US Midwest, Jack Heinemann et al -- comparison of results of GM and non-GM ag management, using Europe and US. (read an interview about this paper)
      7. Coexistence is Impossible -- an excellent piece on the impossibility of GM and non-GM agriculture existing side by side, due to moving contamination by both pesticides and GM seeds/pollen.
      8. Poll -- (New York Times, July 2013) Public attitudes towards GMOs (93% want labeling) -- summary and methodology

  5. Avoiding GMOs
    1. Non-GMO Shopping Guide
    2. iPhone non-GMO app
    3. The Center for Food Safety's Guide to Avoiding GE Fish
          (list of companies committed (or not) to not using/selling GE fish)

  6. "Bad Science" -- attacks from the scientific community (and insights as to where they are wrong).
    "Bad science" is the standard canard levelled by pro-GMO forces at any study or report that raises questions about GMOs (just search for gmo "bad science" for a big dose). I'm appropriately reversing that misnomer here.
    1. Science Magazine
      1. Standing Up for GMOs, Science, September 2013 -- attack on opponents of Golden Rice (local PDF copy, 2pp)
      2. Golden Rice: Scientific Realities, GMWatch -- serious critique of Golden Rice
      3. Golden rice insights -- part of conversation between John Robbins (Food Revolution) and Michael Hansen (Consumer's Union)
    2. Scientific American
      1. The Truth About Genetically Modified Food, David Freeman, Scientific American, August 2013 (local PDF copy, 7pp)
      2. Labels For GM Foods Are A Bad Idea, editorial, Scientific American, August 2013 (local PDF copy, 2pp)
      3. (I hope to have detailed debunking versions of these up soon)
    3. The New Yorker (not scientific, but attacking)
      1. Seeds of Doubt -- a 8/25/14 New Yorker article by Michael Specter on Vendana Shiva; starts out appearing to be objective, but moves gradually into what becomes an all-out attack on her credentials and credibility. It is just one example of character-assassination used against effective GMO critics, and apparently indicative of the joint PR venture between Monsanto and New Yorker publisher Conde Nast.
      2. Shiva's detailed and effective response  (local PDF version)
    4. My detailed response to a GMO safety claim

  7. Geopolitical -- Food as a Weapon
    1. The Doomsday Seed Vault, F. William Engdahl
        Summary (PDF, 2pp)
        Full (PDF, 11pp)
    2. Seeds of Destruction, F. William Engdahl (under Books and Audio, above)
    3. Podcasts from The Corbett Report, with associated references
      1. Episode 025 - Shut Up and Eat Your GMOs
      2. Episode 041 - Food is a Weapon
      3. Episode 026 - Meet the Rockefellers

  8. GMO-Answers -- want the industry's take on all this?

Consolidation of over 300 companies into 8 giants