Tuesday, February 14, 2012

GM Is Not the Solution for Pest Resistance

I am not against all forms of genetically modified seed.

However, I have researched GM seeds that produce Bt, a pesticide, and GM seeds that are "Round-Up ready" enough to know that this path of using genetic modification to kill insects and weeds is not the answer because pests and weeds become resistant and because Bt and Round-up bio-accumulate in people, with toxic effects.

Today the Washington Post is reporting on pest resistance to Bt. 

Monsanto, which produces Round-up ready and Bt producing seeds, is blaming the farmers for the pest resistance:

Makers of genetically modified seeds say more farmers evading EPA rules

[excerpted] "Seed companies are concerned that bugs’ resistance to modified crops may be increasing. In July, Iowa State University found that some rootworms have evolved resistance to the Bt gene engineered into Monsanto corn. Entomologists in Illinois and other Midwestern states are studying possible resistance in fields where the insects devour roots of Monsanto’s Bt corn."

Majia here: Western thinking suffers from a reductionistic mechanism that encourages us to think about parts that interact mechanistically. We typically fail to think about systems that operate synergistically.

Killing pests and weeds with chemicals is a mechanistic and reductionistic solution that will fail to produce the desired response, as evidenced by the growing problem of pest resistance to pesticides.   

Furthermore, because of our mechanistic reductionism, we as a society fail to recognize the dangers to our own health posed by so many of our chemical solutions. Our myopic attitude is destroying our health.

The following research links illustrate these dangers. 

A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health. Int J Biol Sci 2009; 5:706-726. Joël Spiroux de Vendômois1, François Roullier1, Dominique Cellier1,2, Gilles-Eric Séralini http://www.biolsci.org/v05p0706.htm#headingA11
"We present for the first time a comparative analysis of blood and organ system data from trials with rats fed three main commercialized genetically modified (GM) maize (NK 603, MON 810, MON 863), which are present in food and feed in the world. NK 603 has been modified to be tolerant to the broad spectrum herbicide Roundup and thus contains residues of this formulation. MON 810 and MON 863 are engineered to synthesize two different Bt toxins used as insecticides.

Approximately 60 different biochemical parameters were classified per organ and measured in serum and urine after 5 and 14 weeks of feeding. GM maize-fed rats were compared first to their respective isogenic or parental non-GM equivalent control groups. This was followed by comparison to six reference groups, which had consumed various other non-GM maize varieties.

We applied nonparametric methods, including multiple pairwise comparisons with a False Discovery Rate approach. Principal Component Analysis allowed the investigation of scattering of different factors (sex, weeks of feeding, diet, dose and group).

Our analysis clearly reveals for the 3 GMOs new side effects linked with GM maize consumption, which were sex- and often dose-dependent. Effects were mostly associated with the kidney and liver, the dietary detoxifying organs, although different between the 3 GMOs.

Other effects were also noticed in the heart, adrenal glands, spleen and haematopoietic system. We conclude that these data highlight signs of hepatorenal toxicity, possibly due to the new pesticides specific to each GM corn. In addition, unintended direct or indirect metabolic consequences of the genetic modification cannot be excluded."

Round-up and Birth Defects: Is the Public Being Kept in the Dark?

Huffington Post Lucia Graves "Roundup Birth Defects: Regulators Knew World's Best-Selling Herbicide Causes Problems, New Report Finds"

"Roundup: Birth Defects Caused By World's Top-Selling Weedkiller, Scientists Say"

Round-Up Residue in the Air http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/round-up-residue-in-air.html

GM, Round-Up, and Health

NYT: New Herbicide Suspected in Tree Deaths



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