You probably never thought about it but we, all humans on earth, are now, unwittingly, part of the second largest human experiment ever conducted.
The first largest human experiment ever conducted on human populations is the huge use of toxic chemical farming that started after World War II when the chemical companies that developed chemical warfare wanted to find other uses for their chemicals. They discovered the vast untapped market of farming where they could dump their chemicals for "better living." We now know the vast impacts on global systems of poisoning the air, water, and soil that this chemical farming has reaped. The supposed goal of increasing yields to feed the world could have been accomplished with Organic farming while supporting the health of our environment.
Now the second largest experiment ever conducted on human populations is the rapid and vast use of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms). This is pervasive throughout the U.S. Fortunately, many countries in Europe are fighting back, at least for now.
The movie Genetic Roulette exposes the dirt behind Big-Biotech's Big failed experiment: creating, growing, and serving GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) in our food supply. You may also see the terms GM (Genetically Modified) and GE (Genetically Engineered) food.
Genetic Roulette—The Gamble of Our Lives was just awarded the Top Transformational Film of 2012 by AwareGuide! More than 15,000 people from 50 countries voted for 30 films, including three on this year's Academy Award shortlist. But Genetic Roulette was the "clear winner" by a wide margin.
This honor is the second award for Genetic Roulette, which also won 2012 Movie of the Year by the Solari Report. In celebration of all those who voted (and whose lives were transformed by the movie), there is a free screening through February 10, 2013.
The Institute for Responsible Technology produced the movie Genetic Roulette - The Gamble of Our Lives. They, lead by Jeffrey Smith, an expert on GMOs in our food supply, are the leading organization telling the truth about GMOs and fighting to get them out of our food supply.
The Campaign for Healthier Eating in America is designed to achieve a tipping point against GMOs in the US. The number of non-GMO shoppers needed is probably just 5% of the population. The key is to educate consumers about the documented health dangers and provide a Non-GMO Shopping Guide to make avoiding GMOs much easier.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) doesn’t think so. The Academy reported that “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food,” including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. The AAEM asked physicians to advise patients to avoid GM foods.
Click the link above to read detailed evidence of the health risks of GM foods from each of the sections summarized below.
The following is a summary of the 65 Health Risks Presented in the movie Genetic Roulette by Jeffrey Smith.
Part 1: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods
Section 1: Evidence of reactions in animals and humans
Section 2: Gene insertion disrupts the DNA and can create unpredictable health problems
Section 3: The protein produced by the inserted gene may create problems
Section 4: The foreign protein may be different than what is intended
Section 5: Transfer of genes to gut bacteria, internal organs, or viruses
Section 6: GM crops may increase environmental toxins & bioaccumulate toxins in the food chain
Section 7: Other types of GM foods carry risks
Section 8: Risks are greater for children and newborns
You'll find more details on each of the following items by clicking the link above.
1. GMOs are unhealthy.
2. GMOs contaminate forever.
3. GMOs increase herbicide use.
4. Genetic engineering creates dangerous side effects.
5. Government oversight is dangerously lax.
6. The biotech industry uses "tobacco science" to claim product safety.
7. Independent research and reporting is attacked and suppressed.
8. GMOs harm the environment.
9. GMOs do not increase yields, and work against feeding a hungry world.
10. By avoiding GMOs, you contribute to the coming tipping point of consumer rejection, forcing them out of our food supply.
Go to the Non-GMO Shopping Guide web site for downloadable and printable guides to help you shop for non-GMO foods.
GMOInside.org lets you discover which foods contain GMOs. You will be shocked to see how extensive is the reach of GMOs in our food supply. This has all happened without proper food safety testing. New research is showing that GMOs just may not be safe at all and they may cause the opposite of their supposed goals of feeding the hungry and reducing pesticide use.
According to the Center for Food Safety:
"Currently, up to 85 percent of U.S. corn is genetically engineered as are 91 percent of soybeans and 88 percent of cotton (cottonseed oil is often used in food products). According to industry, up to 95% of sugar beets are now GE. It has been estimated that upwards of 70 percent of processed foods on supermarket shelves–from soda to soup, crackers to condiments–contain genetically engineered ingredients."
One connection between food and textiles is in cotton. As stated above, 94% of cotton is GE. Approximately half the cotton is used for textiles and the other half is cottonseed oil for food and whole cottonseed and cottonseed meal for feed for livestock, dairy cattle, and poultry. Therefore, supporting Organic Cotton promotes its use for both textiles for Organic cotton bedding and Organic cotton clothing as well as Organic food.
There's a lot of intentional confusion created in the
marketplace by companies that don't want to go to the effort or expense
of making their products truly environmentally friendly for people and
the planet by getting organic certification.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of greenwashing going on, where a company uses the word "natural" to make a product seem eco-friendly.
However, while consumers perceive the word to be synonymous with
"goodness," it actually has no official definition or government
standards associated with it.
It attracts attention. Natural is good, unnatural is bad. These are the
reasons it's used. There is really nothing "natural" about non-organic
food or clothing. The word "natural" does not mean that a product lacks
On the other hand, "Certified Organic" according to the USDA NOP (U.S. Department of
Agriculture National Organic Program) is a true, specifically defined
standard for what constitutes an organically grown crop whether for food
or textiles (fabrics, clothing, bedding, towels, etc).
GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) is a true, specifically defined
standard for textiles to define an organically grown crop and an organic
and non-toxic manufacturing process including social responsibility
(fair labor) standards.
Let's Be Accurate, Call It "Non-organic" Instead of "Natural"
I prefer the word "non-organic" instead of "natural" in order
to be very clear that there is no certification applied to food and
textiles unless they are "certified organic." In the U.S., the word
"organic" by itself cannot legally be applied to food or textiles unless
they are "certified organic" according to the USDA NOP.
Let's see what "natural", that is "non-organic", cotton may look like.
Non-organic cotton is one of the top crops for its use of insecticides.
The typical spraying application results in volatile organic compounds
released into the air, contributing to green house gases. Additionally,
such spraying harms the health of the soil and pollutes ground water,
lakes, and streams.
Five of the top nine pesticides used on cotton in the U.S. (cyanide,
dicofol, naled, propargite, and trifluralin) are known cancer causing
chemicals. All nine are classified by the U.S. EPA as Category I and
IIâ€” the most dangerous chemicals. Depending on the practices involved,
it can take up to a pound of such chemicals to grow the cotton for one
pair of pants and a shirt.
Not only do these chemicals pollute the air, water, and soil but they're
also retained in the crops as they're grown. In addition, other
chemicals are added to the mix during the manufacturing processes. Most
people with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) can't wear non-organic
clothing. It literally affects their health.
Organic crops are grown without the use of toxic and persistent
pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Organic matter and crop rotation
are used to build stronger, more nutrient rich soil which retains water
more efficiently than non-organic farming. In addition, federal
regulations prohibit the use of genetically engineered seed for organic
Non-organic wool also uses substantial chemicals which may be unhealthy.
In organic sheep production, sheep must be fed 100% organically-grown
feed and forage (pastures). The use of synthetic hormones, vaccinations,
and genetic engineering is prohibited, as is the use of synthetic
pesticides (internal, external, and on pastures).
There are two key distinctions in organic livestock management. First is
the elimination of "dipping," a method of controlling external
parasites in which sheep are submerged in pools containing
organophosphate-based parasiticides. Studies have indicated that
prolonged exposure to sheep dip pesticides cause changes in the nervous
system of humans. (Imagine how the sheep feel about this process!)
Moreover, disposal and "runoff" of dips can contaminate ground water
Secondly, in order to maintain their certification, organic livestock
producers cannot exceed the natural carrying capacity of the land, thus
preventing the devastating effects of overgrazing.
I think this provides a pretty good idea of the distinctions between
"natural" and "organic." Some entities have tried to discredit organic
certification but that's only done because they don't want to spend the
effort and cost involved in cleaning up their act.
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the world's leading organic textile standard and is the most inclusive organic standard in the world. It includes both the farming and manufacturing processes as well as ecological and social criteria.
GOTS is accepted by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) whereas the USDA NOP (National Organic Program) Organic standard only includes farm operations.
Label grade 2: 'made with X% organic'
= 70% certified organic fibres, = 30 % non organic fibres, but a maximum of 10% synthetic fibres (up to 25% for socks, leggings and sportswear)
The only differentiation for subdivision is the minimum percentage of 'organic' material in the final product. This is analogous to leading organic regulations in the food market, such as USDA/NOP. The remaining balance (up to 5% or 30% respectively) may be composed of non-organic fibres, including defined regenerated and synthetic fibres (25% at most for socks, leggings and sportswear and 10% for all other textile products). Blending conventional and organic fibres of the same type in the same product is not permitted.
If raw fibres with the certified status 'organic - in conversion' are used instead of certified 'organic’ fibres, the corresponding label grades are 'organic - in conversion' or 'made with x% organic - in conversion materials'.
“Mother Earth is the living dynamic system made up of the indivisible community of all living systems and living beings, interrelated, interdependent and complementary, which share a common destiny. Mother Earth is considered sacred; it feeds and is a home that contains, sustains and reproduces all living things, ecosystems, biodiversity, societies and the individuals that compose them.” – Bolivia’sFramework Law for Mother Earth and Holistic Development to Live Well, October 2012
Can the Earth have legal rights? Is a radical change in the way governments and people interact with the planet possible? A new Bolivian law says yes, defining Mother Earth as a living system with rights instead of an object open to unlimited exploitation.
Legislation rethinking human relationships with the planet was drafted by some of Bolivia's strongest social movements, including indigenous groups and small-scale farmers, in 2010. That same year President Morales signed an abbreviated version of the document, called the Law of the Rights of Mother Earth. Now, after years of discussions, a much wider reaching text named the Framework Law for Mother Earth and Integrated Development to Live Well is also law.
The wide-ranging document addresses topics including the environment, land distribution, access to employment, healthcare and education, using the concept of “living well” as its core theme. Seen as a return the indigenous values, “living well” is a way of life that values the collective over the individual, and having enough over having a lot. In Bolivia “living well” is also presented as a turn away from capitalism, which regards the planet as a commodity, in favor of sustainability and a harmonious relationship with Mother Earth.
In addition to defining the planet as a living system with rights, the law generally calls for...
On January 30, 2011, the USDA announced a policy that supports the interests of Monsanto and big biotech over the interests of the health of the entire human population. This unconscionable policy will undoubtedly cause uncompensated repercussions to human health and organic farming, unless the people of the U.S. lift their voices against this policy.
Gary Hirshberg, Chairman, President and CE-Yo, Stonyfield Farm, speaking on stopping Monsanto and Biotech: "The problem with deregulating GE crops without restrictions is that the dangers of contamination are permanent and irreversible. Whereas Congress has enacted other legislation to correct and reverse past transgressions, for instance the Clean Air Act and clean water legislation, a hypothetical 'clean crop act' would never be able to undo the damage and losses caused by GE crops. Therefore the time to fight for these restrictions is now."
To stand with us in opposition of GE alfalfa, here's how you can help: Read this letter from Maria Rodale, Michael Pollan and other organic advocates. Here's an excerpt from this letter written February 1, 2011:
"In the coming months, we will be seeing USDA proposals to allow unrestricted plantings of GE sugar beets, and GE corn and soy crops designed to resist toxic pesticides, such as 2-4D and Dicamba, highly toxic pesticides that pose a serious threat to our health and the environment."
Now to the quiz. In order for wool
to be certified as "Organic," it must be produced in accordance with
federal standards for organic livestock production. Can you name any of
the 4 main requirements necessary for wool to be considered Organic?
Federal requirements for organic livestock production include:
1) Livestock feed
and forage must be certified Organic,
2) Use of synthetic hormones and
genetic engineering is prohibited,
3) Use of synthetic pesticides
(internal, external, and on pastures) is prohibited and
must encourage livestock health through good cultural and management
Organic livestock management is different from non-organic management
in at least two major ways:
1) Sheep cannot be dipped in parasiticides
(insecticides) to control external parasites such as ticks and lice. This means that the wool isn't loaded with toxic chemicals as may be the situation with non-organic wool. Natural means, including a healthy resistance by the sheep, are used for control measures.
2) Organic livestock producers are required to ensure that they do not
exceed the natural carrying capacity of the land on which their animals
Third-party certification organizations verify that organic producers
use only methods and materials allowed in organic production.
Why does organic wool cost more than conventional wool?
The cost of organic wool is more than that of conventional for several reasons:
1) Organic wool producers receive a higher price at the farm gate as
their costs of production are higher, primarily associated with higher
labor, management, and certification costs;
2) The organic wool
industry is very small relative to the overall wool industry and does
not have the economies of scale and resulting efficiencies of its
conventional counterpart, and
3) Federal organic standards for
livestock production prohibit overgrazing. If the price of wool is low,
the difference cannot be made up by simply increasing production per
unit of land, as is commonly practiced by many non-organic livestock producers.
At Yes It's Organic, we frequently receive calls from individuals who are chemically sensitive or have what is commonly called Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS). There are a wide range of chemicals to which different individuals are sensitive. They range from the pesticides and other toxins used in growing crops to the chemicals used in clothing and bedding manufacturing.
An article in the New York Times, titled "When Wrinkle-Free Clothing Also Means Formaldehyde Fumes" discussed “wrinkle-free finish [clothing and bedding]...that are great right out of the dryer.” It stated:
"Though it is not obvious from the label, the antiwrinkle finish comes from a resin that releases formaldehyde, the chemical that is usually associated with embalming fluids or dissected frogs in biology class.
And clothing is not the only thing treated with the chemical. Formaldehyde is commonly found in a broad range of consumer products and can show up in practically every room of the house. The sheets and pillow cases on the bed. The drapes hanging in the living room. The upholstery on the couch. In the bathroom, it can be found in personal care products like shampoos, lotions and eye shadow. It may even be in the baseball cap hanging by the back door.
Formaldehyde, of course, is just one of many chemicals that may be involved in clothing and bedding manufacturing.
Individuals with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) may be the warning to the rest of us of just how polluted our lives have become. No one thinks they will become chemically sensitive. It's always the "other person"...until it actually happens to them.
Our society and governments have operated on the principle of "let's use it until it is proven harmful." There's a principle that is increasing in popularity called The Precautionary Principle that states that we should prove something is not harmful before it is used.
EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson delivered a speech that is incredibly revealing about the risks and negative impact of chemicals in our environment. It's no wonder that an increasing number of people are developing multiple chemical sensitivities.
We, at Yes It's Organic, frequently receive calls from people who can't wear any clothing or use any bedding unless it's organic due to the chemicals in non-organic farming and/or manufacturing processes. Are these individuals a warning sign to the rest of us?
The following is an exact excerpted quote from the Administrator's speech.
"Right now, I want to talk about another issue that is central to everything from restoring public trust to protecting our children to growing our economy: understanding the risks posed by chemicals, and doing our utmost to make sure they are safe.
After World War II, the chemical industry in this country grew by leaps and bounds, earning the US an enviable reputation for innovation but also making chemicals pervasive in our lives. Everything from our cars, to the cell phones we all have in our pockets are constructed with plastics and chemical additives. The technological revolution that my two sons take for granted has done more than change the way we interact with each other – it’s made chemicals ubiquitous in our economy and products – as well as our environment and our bodies.
A child born in America today will grow up exposed to more chemicals than a child from any other generation in our history. A 2005 study found 287 different chemicals in the cord blood of 10 newborn babies – chemicals from pesticides, fast food packaging, coal and gasoline emissions, and trash incineration. They were found in children in their most vulnerable stage. Our kids are getting steady infusions of industrial chemicals before we even give them solid food. Now, some chemicals may be risk-free at the levels we are seeing. I repeat: some chemical may be risk-free. But as more and more chemicals are found in our bodies and the environment, the public is understandably anxious and confused. Many are turning to government for assurance that chemicals have been assessed using the best available science, and that unacceptable risks haven’t been ignored.
Right now, we are failing to get this job done. Our oversight of the 21st century chemical industry is based on the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act. It was an important step forward at the time – part of a number of environmental wins from the 1970s, like the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, not to mention the formation of the EPA. But over the years, not only has TSCA fallen behind the industry it’s supposed to regulate - it’s been proven an inadequate tool for providing the protection against chemical risks that the public rightfully expects.
Manufacturers of existing chemicals aren’t required to develop the data on toxicity and exposure needed to assess potential risks and demonstrate to EPA that chemicals meet risk-based safety standards. EPA has tools to require the industry to conduct testing, but they are cumbersome and time-consuming. As a result, there are troubling gaps in the available data on many widely used chemicals in commerce.
On new chemicals, companies have no legal obligation to develop new information, only to supply data that may already exist.
As with existing chemicals, the burden of proof falls on EPA. Manufacturers aren’t required to show that sufficient data exist to fully assess a chemical’s risks. If EPA has adequate data, and wants to protect the public against known risks, the law creates obstacles to quick and effective action. Since 1976, EPA has issued regulations to control only five existing chemicals determined to present an unreasonable risk. Five from a total universe of almost 80,000 existing chemicals. In 1989, after years of study, EPA issued rules phasing out most uses of asbestos, an exhaustively studied substance that has taken an enormous toll on the health of Americans. Yet, a court overturned EPA’s rules because it had failed to clear the many hurdles for action under TSCA.
Today, advances in toxicology and analytical chemistry are revealing new pathways of exposure. There are subtle and troubling effects of chemicals on hormone systems, human reproduction, intellectual development and cognition. Every few weeks, we read about new potential threats: Bisphenol A, or BPA – a chemical that can affect brain development and has been linked to obesity and cancer – is in baby bottles; phthalate esters – which have been said to affect reproductive development – are in our medical devices; we see lead in toys; dioxins in fish; and the list goes on. Many states – including California – have stepped in to address these threats because they see inaction at the national level."
Watch this video by Birke Baehr, an 11-year old. It's educational and entertaining. You'll enjoy it.
Birke is an eloquent speaker and provides insight into "What's Wrong with Our Food System" and what we should be supporting to move to a healthier food system. It's an encouraging and serious presentation accomplished with humor.
Birke Baehr is spreading the word about how our food is made, where it comes from, and what's in it. He presents a major source of our food - far-away food sources and less-than-picturesque industrial farms. He says keeping farms out of sight promotes a rosy, unreal picture of big-box agriculture and outlines the case for organic and local food production. At age 11, he's planning a career as an organic farmer.