From the Editor
Cows ate GM maize and died Public enquiry needed
Could this be the "three mile island" or the "thalidomide" of GM: the
clinching evidence that there is something seriously wrong with most if not all
GM food and feed? Twelve dairy cows died in Hesse, Germany after being fed
Syngentas Bt176 GM maize; and other cows had to be slaughtered due to
mysterious illnesses. Protestors in front of the Robert Koch Institute suspect
a cover-up. But is there a news blackout as well?
There has been no coverage in the mainstream media; not even after ISIS
circulated a detail report, showing how Bt176 has the worst of features common
to practically all commercially approved GM crops. Not only is Bt176 unstable
like all GM varieties analysed so far, it is also non-uniform, so that
different samples of the variety gave different results. Either of those
features would make the GM variety illegal under European law.
The dead cows in Hesse are not an isolated case. In 1999, Pusztai and
colleagues reported that GM potato engineered with the snowdrop lectin
adversely affected every organ system of young rats, in particular, it made
their stomach lining twice as thick. Scientists in Egypt found similar effects
in mice fed a Bt potato. Several years earlier, the US Food and Drug
Administration already had data showing that rats fed a GM tomato with an
antisense gene to delay ripening developed holes in their stomach. Add to that
the report from Aventis (now Bayer) which showed that glufosinate-tolerant T25
GM maize (about to be approved for growing by the Blair government) killed
twice as many broiler chickens compared to non-GM maize, and a host of
anecdotal evidence that livestock, wildlife and lab animals avoid GM feed when
given the choice, and failed to thrive or died when forced to eat it.
There must now be a public enquiry, not only into the safety of GM food
and feed, but especially on why this and other evidence have been
systematically misrepresented, suppressed, ignored and denied in the rush to
commercialise GM crops and GM food and feed. It amounts to a serious abuse of
science and scientific evidence, and our governments scientific advisors
must be called into proper account.
Britains pro-GM scientific establishment appears to have entered
into an elicit relationship, willingly or otherwise, with a gang of biotech
corporate warriors remarkably metamorphosed from their previous Marxist
tendencies - who promote their agenda by infiltrating the establishment and
using smear tactics borrowed from Americas far-right to discredit
Read the evidence and judge for yourselves. Theres plenty more: US
Department of Agricultures own data showing that GM crops increased
pesticide and herbicide use by more than 50 million pounds between 1996 and
2003; Roundup Ready herbicide linked to sudden death of GM soya and fusarium
head blight in wheat; and the regulatory sham surrounding Bt crops thats
allowing synthetic, altered toxins of both known and unknown toxicities to
enter our ecosystems and food web.
Send a copy of this issue to your government representatives demanding a
public enquiry. (Contact sam@I-sis.org.uk
for bulk purchase at cost.)
Nanotech & nanotox
Another area where science and technology have gone way ahead of safety
considerations is nanotechnology, in particular, nanoparticles and nanotubes.
The science is fascinating, and the possibilities enormous, but
thats precisely why it raises a host of new safety concerns. It seems
that all kinds of substances acquire entirely new properties when shrunk to the
nanoscale (about a billionth of a metre). They become super-efficient
catalysts, they concentrate light energy enormously, acquire new electrical
properties, and so on.
But the first evidence of the hazards has already emerged. Nanotubes
could be worse than asbestos, and both nanotube and other nanoparticles can
accumulate in organs and tissues.
Fortunately, at least some scientists involved in developing the
technology are much more willing to consider and discuss the safety concerns
openly and engage in real dialogue with the public; in contrast to those
scientists involved in exploiting GM.
Biologys theory of everything and the obesity epidemic
When the "Living energies" series was circulated, we received an
unprecedented number of positive responses from people who know too well that
the secret of life is not to be found in genomes and genes or other molecular
nuts and bolts.
I think it may well be in how organisms capture, store and transform
Indeed, a universal metabolism appears to lie at the basis of all life,
which can explain its patterns of biodiversity and many other biological
phenomena. This brings together diverse fields that have hitherto developed
independently, such as bioenergetics, ecology, physiology and yes, even the new
field of food quality research, where it is found that animals do tend to
prefer organically produced food!
And, it could also enable us to better understand a range of
fundamental problems from sustainable systems to the obesity epidemic, and what
to do about it.
Biology is groping its way towards a theory of everything. Thank
goodness not all biology has been swallowed up by genomics and related
There are signs that the National Institutes of Health in the United
States, at least, have read the writing on the wall with regard to genomics;
and are actively inviting generous grant applications from scientists (US
citizens only) that can "change the current paradigms of medical research."
All other governments should take heed.