Interesting Information: April 2015
ALTERED GENES, TWISTED TRUTH: How GMOs TOOK OVER THE FOOD SUPPLY
Well, here’s a surprising and interesting story–that involves, of course, corruption within the FDA. We should not be too, too surprised since in this era of late capitalism, we are living with many unhealthy products we were told were “safe” by those meant to protect our best interests.
Steven Drucker has unearthed the history of how we got untested GMOs in the food supply, and guess what, Monsanto did not do it. And that is perhaps why the story is so interesting.
Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How GMOs Took Over the Food Supply.
Here’s a few excerpts:
In May 1992, the FDA made a blanket presumption that GE foods qualified to be categorized “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS). They then said that this meant these foods could be marketed without any safety testing at all.
“That actually is a blatant misrepresentation of US food law, but that was the FDA claim,” Steven says. “[They claim] there’s an overwhelming ‘scientific consensus’ they’re safe, and so safe that they don’t need to be tested. Therefore, the FDA let these foods into our market without the requirement of a smidgen of testing.
Moreover, they didn’t even require these foods be labeled, so the consumers at least would be informed about the major genetic reconfiguration that had occurred. This struck me as not only being unscientific but irresponsible and unethical. At the time, I had a hunch it was also illegal.”
As he continued researching the matter, that hunch was confirmed. Not only is the policy governing GMOs at odds with the science, it violates US law. At first, Steven did not think he was sufficiently qualified to launch a lawsuit to contest the FDA’s ruling. But as time went on, it became clear that no one else was willing to stick their neck out to do it.
And, of course, when one sticks out one’s neck and tries to get at the history or the truth, one gets immediately demonized, fired, banished, and so forth.
According to the FDA’s own admission, the agency has been operating for years under a policy to promote the US biotechnology industry. They decided it was more important to promote the industry and uphold the fragile image of GE foods rather than tell the truth and acknowledge the scientist warnings. So they covered up these warnings. Had Steven not sued, the warnings of the FDA’s own scientists still would be unknown to this day.
“We wouldn’t know the extent to which the FDA has been lying all these years. But fortunately, we do know now,” he says. “And what we know is that although the FDA scientists overwhelmingly concluded and warned their superiors that these foods entail unique risks, that they cannot be presumed safe, and that each one of them should be subjected to long-term rigorous toxicological testing, what the public heard from the FDA was that “The agency is not aware of any information showing that foods developed by these methods differ from other foods in any meaningful or uniform way.”
Now, it’s impossible, I think, for any rational man or woman to read just the sampling of memos from the FDA scientists that are posted on the website of the Alliance for Bio-Integrity… and feel that the FDA’s assertion is anything other than a blatant fraud meant to mislead the public, mislead the world, and allow genetically engineered food a free pass to enter the market. It’s just an astounding fraud.”
For close to 20 years, the American public has been exposed to these largely experimental, untested foods, which its own scientists said entail unique risks and could not be presumed safe. The FDA claimed GMO’s could be presumed safe, and that there was an overwhelming scientific consensus backing up their decision, yet the evidence shows that is a bold-faced lie. One document (document #8), is a letter from the FDA’s biotechnology coordinator to an official of Health Canada, written in the fall of 1991, just six months before the FDA’s ruling on GE foods.
Dr. James Maryanski’s letter acknowledges that there is no consensus about the safety of these foods within the scientific community. That admission is in the FDA’s own files. “Even if we didn’t have the memos from the scientists, we would have that admission, and yet, what happened? The FDA basically just buries that and lies about it all,” Steven says. What’s worse, because the FDA is so widely respected, and because the US—which is known to have strong food safety laws—said GMO’s were GRAS, it paved the way for easy approval in Canada as well. Europe also relaxed their stance on GMO’s as a result of the FDA’s lie.
And here’s an interesting twist in the story: the molecular biologists did it.
These lobbying efforts were not backed by the biotechnology industry, mind you. There was no biotechnology industry at that time. This is a key theme of Steven’s book, because it’s easy to forget that there was a time before the biotechnology industry, and very few know who the leaders of the genetic engineering establishment were, or why the technology was invented in the first place. As much as most of us despise Monsanto for their reprehensible behavior, they could never have implemented their strategy if it weren’t for the prior misbehavior of the molecular biologists.
“The biotechnology industry—as irresponsible as they have been by and large—the main guilt lays at the feet of the mainstream molecular biology establishment; the scientists who were doing the research, getting the grants, and wanting to develop this technology. Most of them had altruistic goals. They thought this was going to be used to cure so many ills in the field of medicine… I think they eventually developed an ‘end justifies the means’ psychology…
But when you have so many highly influential, powerful scientists who are working together to convince the world that genetic engineering is inherently safe, and that the research they’re pursuing is safe, that can be somewhat dangerous. And it turned out being very dangerous for the world, I think.
One of the points made in the book very clearly, is that the burden of proof that was placed on new technologies and new products, which ordinarily requires the developer to substantiate the safety of the new technology and its products, got shifted. It got shifted because of the subterfuge and the fraud, and it was put on the shoulders of the critics, the people who had concerns. There were many good scientists who had concerns, but they were all of a sudden put into the position of, You’ve got to prove they’re dangerous,” and the burden of proving safety was removed.”
I hope you take some time to read this history because this kind of thing is happening in so many areas of our nation today. This is late capitalism. We cannot have a democracy as long as these kinds of events are allowed. It is crucially important to know that you cannot trust what you are being told, that you have to look deeper–or we are never going to get out of this mess.