Not long ago the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) raised the allowable concentrations of Monsanto’s Glyphosate (also known as “Roundup Herbicide”) on food crops. This sparked global outrage by citizens, scientists, researchers and activists all over the world because Glyphosate has been linked to cancer, birth defects, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and more. You can view those studies and read more about that here.
Now, they’ve approved unlimited amounts of the GMO Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Toxin Residue in your food.(1) You can take action here. Crops with a Bt trait have been modified to produce a protein that is toxic to multiple forms of insect larvae, it is an insecticide. They’ve been used for a number of years as topical sprays in agriculture. The justification for crops that are genetically engineered to carry the Bt trait is that it allows farmers to protect their crops while eliminating or decreasing the amount of pesticides sprayed. GM Bt toxins are not the same as topically applied Bt spray, again plants are genetically modified to produce the Bt toxin from within.
How can the EPA claim that Bt residues are completely safe? Why do we continue to put our trust in government and believe everything they say? Is it so shocking that governments and the corporations that run them don’t really have our best interests in hand? According to the EPA, they are “reasonably certain” that no harm will result from the constant consumption of Bt-tainted foods. Multiple studies have proven this to be false.
“There is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue, including all anticipated dietary exposures and all other exposures (including drinking water) for which there is reliable information.”(2)
Monsanto and the EPA said/say that the Bt toxin produced inside the plant is destroyed in the human digestive system and would not have any impact at all on those who consume it. They were/are wrong.
A study published by doctors at Sherbrooke University Hospital in Quebec found Bt-toxin in the blood of 93 percent of pregnant women tested, 80 percent of umbilical blood in their babies, and 67 percent of it in non-pregnant women. Multiple toxins from GMOs were detected in maternal and fetal blood. The study also found that the fetus is considered to be highly susceptible to the adverse affects of xenobiotics, which are foreign chemicals found within the organism that is not naturally produced. (3)
This alone caused multiple countries to halt shipment of GM corn into their country.
Bt toxins were also detected in the gastrointestinal contents of livestock feed GM corn. This raised concerns about the toxin in insect-resistant in GM crops. They are further proof that Bt toxins may not be effectively eliminated in humans and that there may be a high risk of exposure through consumption of contaminated meat. (3)
The study concluded that these modifications should not be approved safe for consumption given the clear fact that further study is warranted.(3) This study (one of many) directly contradicts Monsanto and the EPA’s safety claims. This is a pesticide; it breaks open the stomach of certain insects and kills them.
I’d also like to mention that a recent study determined that meal-derived DNA (including GMOs) fragments carry complete genes that can enter into the human circulation system through an unknown mechanism.(6) You can read more about that here.
Some studies have even linked Monsanto’s Bt toxin to cancer, damaging kidney cell lines and more, especially when it’s combined with Round-up herbicide. (4)
In government-sponsored research in Italy, mice fed Monsanto’s Bt corn showed a wide range of negative immune responses.(5)
To view more articles on GMOs from Collective Evolution, click HERE
Below is an excerpt written by Jeffrey Smith, a consumer activist, author and politician. For more on his background you can click here. He’s done a lot of research and provided more information below that I thought would be good to share. I obtained this excerpt from here. Before you judge the source, it’s important to examine the sources cited for information given.
Farmers have used Bt-toxin from soil bacteria as a natural pesticide for years. But they spray it on plants, where it washes off and biodegrades in sunlight. The GM version is built-in; every plant cell has its own spray bottle. The toxin doesn’t wash off; it’s consumed. Furthermore, the plant-produced version of the poison is thousands of times more concentrated than the spray; is designed to be even more toxic; and has properties of known allergens—it actually fails the World Health Organization’s allergen screening tests. (4)
The biotech companies ignore the substantial difference between the GM toxin and the natural bacteria version, and boldly claim that since the natural spray has a history of safe use in agriculture, it’s therefore OK to put the poison directly into our food. But even this claim of safe use of Bt spray ignores peer-reviewed studies showing just the opposite.
When natural Bt-toxin was fed to mice, they had tissue damage, immune responses as powerful as cholera toxin(5), and even started reacting to other foods that were formerly harmless.(6)Farm workers exposed to Bt also showed immune responses.(7)The EPA’s own expert Scientific Advisory Panel said that these mouse and farm worker studies “suggest that Bt proteins could act as antigenic and allergenic sources.”(8)But the EPA ignored the warnings. They also overlooked studies(9)showing that about 500 people in Washington state and Vancouver showed allergic and flu-like symptoms when they were exposed to the spray when it was used to kill gypsy moths.
Now thousands of Indian farm laborers are suffering from the same allergic and flu-like symptoms as those in the Pacific Northwest simply from handling genetically engineered cotton plants that produce Bt-toxin. According to reports and records from doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies, as well as numerous investigative reports and case studies, workers are struggling with constant itching and rashes; some take antihistamines every day in order to go to work.
When they allow livestock to graze on the Bt cotton plants after harvest, thousands of sheep, goats, and buffalo died. Numerous others got sick. I visited one village where for seven to eight years they allowed their buffalo to graze on natural cotton plants without incident. But on January 3rd, 2008, they allowed their 13 buffalo to graze on Bt cotton plants for the first time. After just one day’s exposure, all died. The village also lost 26 goats and sheep.
One small study in Andhra Pradesh reported that all six sheep that grazed on Bt cotton plants died within a month, while the three controls fed natural cotton plants showed no adverse symptoms.
Getting back to the Bt-toxin now circulating in the blood of North American adults and newborns—how did it get there? The study authors speculate that it was consumed in the normal diet of the Canadian middle class. They even suggest that the toxin may have come from eating meat from animals fed Bt corn—as most livestock are.
I’d like to speculate on another possible source. But I warn you, it’s not pretty.
The only human feeding study every published on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) was conducted on Roundup Ready soybeans. Here’s their back story: Scientists found bacteria growing in a chemical waste dump near their factory, surviving the presence of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. The herbicide normally kills bacteria, but this organism had some special gene that allowed it to survive. So Monsanto scientists figured, “Let’s put it into the food supply!”
By forcing that genes from that bacterium into soybean plants’ DNA, the plants then survive an otherwise deadly dose of Roundup herbicide—hence the name Roundup Ready.
In the human study(10), some of the subjects were found to have Roundup Ready gut bacteria! This means that sometime in the past, from eating one or more meals of GM soybeans, the gene that had been discovered in the chemical waste dump and forced into the soy, had transferred into the DNA of bacteria living inside their intestines—and continued to function. That means that long after we stop eating GMOs, we may still have dangerous GM proteins produced continuously inside of us.
When the results of the study emerged, the funding from the pro-GMO UK government mysteriously dried up, so they were not able to see if the same type of gene transfer happens with Bt genes from, say, corn chips. If it does, it means that eating Bt corn might turn our intestinal flora into living pesticide factories—continually manufacturing Bt-toxin from within our digestive systems.
I don’t know of a test that can confirm that this is happening, but the Canada study may be showing the results—where Bt-toxins are found in the blood of a very high percentage of people.
If the “living pesticide factory” hypothesis is correct, we might speculate even further. Bt-toxin breaks open the stomach of insects. Could it similarly be damaging the integrity of our digestive tracts? The biotech companies insist that Bt-toxin doesn’t bind or interact with the intestinal walls of mammals, and therefore humans. But here too they ignore peer-reviewed published evidence showing that Bt-toxin does bind with mouse small intestines and with intestinal tissue from rhesus monkeys.(11)In the former study, they even found “changes in the electrophysiological properties” of the organ after the Bt-toxin came into contact.(12)
If Bt-toxins were causing holes in the intestinal walls of newborns, the passage of undigested foods and toxins into the blood from the digestive tract could be devastating. Scientists speculate that it may lead to autoimmune diseases and food allergies. Furthermore, since the blood-brain barrier is not developed in newborns, toxins may enter the brain causing serious cognitive problems. Some healthcare practitioners and scientists are convinced that this is the apparent mechanism for autism.
Thus, if Bt genes were colonizing the bacteria living in the digestive tract of North Americans, we might see an increase in gastrointestinal problems, autoimmune diseases, food allergies, and childhood learning disorders—since 1996 when Bt crops came on the market. Physicians have told me that they indeed are seeing such an increase.
The discovery of Bt-toxin in our blood does not confirm all this speculation, but it does provide food for thought. And hopefully, that food is non-GMO—but not if Monsanto has its way. They are now introducing a new variety of sweet corn that has two types of Bt-toxin, and also has the Roundup Ready gene. So besides containing the insecticide, their toxic Roundup herbicide will also accumulate in the kernals.
Our Institute for Responsible Technology joins other organizations worldwide calling for an immediate ban on GM food crops, and the commencement of rigorous independent scientific research on the safety of GMOs in general, and Bt-toxin in particular.
1 Maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides associated to genetically modified foods in Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. Reprod Toxicol (2011)
2 J Agric Food Chem, 16 November 2008
3 International Journal of Biological Sciences 2009; 5(7):706-726
4 Advances in Food and Nutrition Research 42 (1998), 45–62.
5 Intragastric and intraperitoneal administration of Cry1Ac protoxin from Bacillus thuringiensis induces systemic and mucosal antibody responses in mice
6 Scandanavian Journal ofImmunology 49 (1999): 578–584
7 Environmental Health Perspectives 107
8 Plant-Pesticides Risk and Benefits Assessments
9 Bacillus thuringiensis: An epidemiological study, Oregon, 1985-86
10 Nature Biotechnology, 22, 204-209.
11 Safety Assessment of the Bacillus thuringiensis Insecticidal Crystal Protein CRYIA
12 Cry1Ac protoxin from Bacillus thuringiensis sp. kurstaki