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Jeffrey’s Take: Good news this year for Non-GMO & Organic

The following are important links Jeffrey talks about in the video above:

Transcription: Jeffrey’s Take: Brand New Evidence of Roundup Harm; New Existential Danger from GMOs 2.0

This transcript has been edited slightly for clarity

(00:01): Jeffrey Smith

Hello, everyone, Jeffrey Smith, and happy New Year coming up soon. I wanted to give you some good news that you probably are happy to hear–various good news from 2020 with respect to GMOs and organic. Next year starting in January, we’re having our 25th year as an activist in the area of GMOs, and I’ve got to tell you a lot of the good news this year is a big “I told you so” to the industry, things that we have been saying for years and doing for years and are now successful. We’re demonstrating we have a mainstream understanding about plenty of the things that we’ve talked about, even though the biotech industry never admits it. One of the things that I think is among the greatest achievements for 2020 is a result of a poll of global consumers, a huge poll. It showed, among other things, that 48% of consumers around the world think that GMOs would be most likely bad for their health over the next 20 years.

(01:19):

Forty-eight percent – about half of the world’s population – believes that GMO foods are unsafe for their health. This is in huge contrast to what it was like 25 years ago. When I started, no one knew what a GMO was. When I started the Institute for Responsible Technology in 2003, there were no other non-profits who were talking about the health dangers beyond three or four sentences. Don’t ask me to repeat those sentences. I’d seen them for years and they were very ineffectual. So we focused on the health dangers, the book Seeds of Deception, and my tours in 45 countries. That, and other people picking up the behavior change messaging that we helped pioneer, has now convinced 48% of the world’s population–and 51% specifically in the United States–that GMOs are unsafe. This is huge news. This is outstanding. Among the GMOs that we’ve talked about, that I’ve written about, etc., GMO salmon turned out to be a potential catastrophe.

(02:33):

I reported years ago on a fast-growing salmon that was similar to the one that is being introduced–or really being planned to be introduced–to the human food supply in the United States (it already has been in Canada by AquaBounty); that the outdoor release of this salmon could result in a crash or extinction of salmon from the ocean. The FDA review of the salmon, which was designed to be a fast track, was so poor and so ridiculous that a court viewed it as illegal–that they did not take into account the environmental consequences of a salmon release. So that has been blocked. Thank you to our dear friends at the Center for Food Safety. Woo-hoo! So that salmon is not going to be on our plates in the United States very soon. Another industry myth that we have been challenging: in the olden days, back when I was starting out, the biotech industry claimed that any release of GMOs into the environment would be quickly erased because the GMOs would have a survival disadvantage and that over time we would end up restoring a pristine gene pool.

(03:51):

They were pretending that they were in favor of keeping the nature of nature, but they didn’t have any data to back up their claims that a GMO in the wild would die off. Well, research came out this year showing the opposite: that once released into the wild, GMOs can be more likely to proliferate; the crops would have more seeds or more tendency to survive. Also, the generation after its release could be altered in ways that are completely unpredictable, making any safety assessment completely irrelevant because the genome can change spontaneously. So all of their protestations about our concerns about the environmental impact turned out to be based on disinformation.

The trials and the settlements for the Roundup cases are moving forward.

(04:59):

The appeals court for Lee Johnson–you remember, Lee was the first trial against GMOs for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was in the Benicia school district as a groundskeeper. He had a terminal diagnosis for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, so they rushed his case to trial before others, and he was awarded $295 million by the jury. The judge has reduced it since, but like the other two trials, Monsanto-Bayer continues to attack it in court, attacking at each next level. The next level, which is the appeals court, upheld the decision by the local court, blocking yet again Monsanto/-Bayer’s appeal. In that trial, a lot of documents came out verifying that the tests that were done in the United States for glyphosate and Roundup were fraudulent and completely ridiculous. I don’t want to go into it, but totally fraudulent information came out this year showing that research done in German labs on glyphosate, the chief poison in Roundup, was also fraudulent. Because of the increased attention on the cancer-causing characteristics of glyphosate, a lot of rejection has occurred.

(06:25):

Communities have rejected glyphosate. Mexico says they’re going to phase it out, and its future does not look bright. In fact, I was able to publish a talk aimed at Bayer’s shareholders’ meeting, although it was during the pandemic and I wasn’t able to attend in person as planned. I actually released a video and testified on a hundred alternative live streams. I warned Bayer that if they don’t step up and either remove glyphosate completely and/or completely open up their documents to show what Monsanto was hiding, that future juries would give them punitive damages that were very, very severe and that they would face bankruptcy because there’s other diseases associated with Roundup and glyphosate. The number of people, over 125,000, that is part of the plaintiff group are charging that they got their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from Roundup. But that number is tiny compared to the number of people who suffer from other diseases that are created by Roundup.

(07:43):

I laid all this out saying they have to come clean, they have to do the research, etc. that the independent scientists had told them to do years ago. If it shows that it’s linked to these diseases, they need to pull it off the market. In fact, I said they should take it off right away, but as a last-ditch effort, that they should at least do the research in case they’re resistant. Anyway, we now have more evidence. More evidence came out linking Roundup as an endocrine disruptor. Endocrine disruptors operate at tiny, tiny amounts. You could have parts per trillion, and we know parts per trillion of glyphosate causes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in rats and may be that is the reason why 30 or 35% of U.S. citizens have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

(08:40):

Back in 2005, Dr. Seralini, who’s been doing more research on GMOs and Roundup than anyone, found that glyphosate and Roundup had endocrine-disrupting properties, and that one of the things it could disrupt was aromatase, which creates the balance between estrogen and testosterone, so it could affect reproductive health. The Environmental Protection Agency ignored that evidence; they ignore all low dose effects. This year a review paper out of Argentina showed that Roundup was in fact an endocrine disruptor. It fulfilled eight out of the 10 requirements. They said flatly it disrupts endocrine, which means it messes up our hormones. We’ve been talking about this. Now we have much greater evidence, and also several studies that came out this summer verified the reproductive problems of Roundup and glyphosate in a variety of animals and showed that there were problems in the ovaries and the uterus. I also drew attention to the aromatase, which we knew about 15 years ago because of Seralini.

(09:51):

Another class of GMO crops is the Bt crops, not the ones sprayed with Roundup, but the ones that produce their own toxic insecticide called Bt, which stands for bacillus thuringiensis. Bt toxin is from soil bacteria. It’s used by organic farmers. You can spray it on crops and it will kill certain insects by breaking holes in their guts and killing them and then it’ll wash off and degrade in the sun. But genetic engineers placed the genes from that bacteria into corn, cotton, and soybeans, and they produce it, the Bt toxin at thousands of times the level that is found in the spray. It doesn’t wash off because it’s encapsulated in the cells. It doesn’t biodegrade, it’s eaten, so we think it’s extremely dangerous. But also, by putting out this insecticide in so many millions of acres, we had been predicting that the insects would outsmart Monsanto’s toxins and develop resistance.

(11:02):

We have been so accurate in this, that the EPA now proposes to phase out nearly all Bt corn and cotton, because there’s the Bt corn and cotton in the United States and soybeans in South America. They want to phase out maybe 40 varieties of Bt corn because it’s failing in the fields. Speaking of failing in the fields, I remember talking to a former Monsanto scientist who said we need GMOs because we need them for the developing countries like India. Well, I’ve reported in the past that the Bt cotton was a disaster, with maybe a quarter of a million Bt cotton farmers committing suicide when after borrowing money on the secondary market from loan sharks, it turns out it was an absolute disaster because they weren’t getting the yield. Sometimes it was a complete failure economically.

(12:01):

Now a panel of international scientists in August evaluated the 18 years of Bt cotton in India and showed that it has completely failed. So all of the rhetoric that had been put out by the industry that it was such a success turns out to be disinformation. In addition, the industry is still banging the drum that GMO’s increase yields. Trolls online still say,“Well, now we know that GMO crops increase yields.”  It turns out they’re still failing to increase yields. That is completely clear, based on peer-reviewed published studies and case studies, etc. all over the world. Fortunately, Mexico is seeing the light and has said no to GMO corn, and their people during the pandemic are now saying, “Yes,” to organic. Realizing that what they eat is so important for their health and immune system, the demand for organic has been through the roof.

(13:06):

We also found out that when you switch to organic, your glyphosate levels in your urine can drop by 70% in just three days, so please eat organic and stay organic. It was also discovered this year that organic farming of soy, corn, and wheat is more profitable than GMOs and that according to the commodity market outlook, the number of certified organic operations in the US will reach 19,888, a 4% increase this year. Organic corn livestock feed is projected to increase by 6%; organic soybean crushed is projected to increase by 13%; soybean planted areas expanded 19%, and corn by 8%.

Now let’s talk about GMOs 2.0, and our Protect Nature Now campaign. We’ve been talking about the dangers of gene editing and the study came out this year showing that gene edited embryos can create chromosomal mayhem: huge changes that are unpredicted could occur in the human genome when you use gene editing.

(14:21):

The same type of changes can occur in animals, and also similarly in plants. But the FDA came out surprisingly this year saying we need to have strong regulations for gene edited animals, it didn’t mention the plants, probably because of the lobbyists around the industry and the USDA. What’s also interesting is that the scientist who gene edited actual human embryos (and there’s now twins born with gene edited genome), was sentenced to three years in jail. But to people that genetically engineered corn or soy or microbes they turn a blind eye. If you think about microbes, as we have, they’re actually more dangerous to the planet and to humans than editing the genes of higher organisms. Go to protectnaturenow.com and watch the 2-minute trailer for a film we’re releasing next year highlighting the dangers of GMO microbes.

So that’s some good news looking backwards at the changes relating to GMO foods, and the plans we have going next year are about locking down GMO microbes to start.

Okay everyone, Safe Eating and Happy New Year!