Genetically modified foods are surrounded by secrecy

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To the Editor:

About 10 days ago I received a most comprehensive movie-length documentary about the detriments of genetically modified foods. The documentary featured medical people and people with PhDs, and they showed how genetically modified foods contributed to the proliferation of cancer, birth defects, diabetes, autism, infertility, allergies, obesity, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, muscular dystrophy, irritable bowel syndrome, Parkinson’s, and other digestive and neurological problems.

Eating genetically modified foods is eating DNA that will program your organs. The way genetically modified corn is effective against insects is that each corn kernel produces an insecticide; upon eating this kernel, the insect dies. Mother Nature gives this insect the smarts to avoid this kernel, so it is effective in pesticide control. It has been found that when we eat beef fed on genetically modified corn our organs absorb the capacity to produce this insecticide.

Seventy per cent of all processed food today has genetically modified corn or soy or both. Whipped dressing mayonnaise has soybean oil and modified cornstarch. Cream of mushroom soup has modified cornstarch and hydrogenated soybean oil. Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone has been shown to have many health hazards, including a cancer-accelerating hormone associated with breast, prostate and colon cancer.

An eminent Scottish scientist accidently discovered that genetically modified potatoes severely damaged the immune system and organs of rats, and he was suspended from the prestigious institute where he had worked for 35 years. Mice, rats, cattle, pigs, geese, elk and squirrels will avoid eating genetically modified feed when given a choice.

There is worldwide resistance to genetically modified foods. African nations won’t accept genetically modified foods as aid. In Brazil there are five million farmers suing Monsanto in a joint action suit. U.S. exports of corn and soy are down, and the U.S. is blaming European Union resistance, so in May 2003 the U.S. filed a lawsuit with the World Trade Organization charging EU’s restrictive policy is against international trade agreements. In Canada, the Royal Society of Canada report said it was “scientifically unjustifiable to presume that genetically modified foods are safe.”

Recently, the state of California wanted to legislate that genetically modified foods had to be labeled. Monsanto, DuPont, Pepsi, Bayer, Dow Chemical, Kraft Foods, Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s Campbell’s Soup, Heinz, Sara Lee, Snickers and Welch’s raised $145 million to fight against this legislation. Monsanto was the biggest contributor, and the multinationals won.

Once in a while, we buy No Name creamed corn. I phoned the number on the label and asked if they used genetically modified corn, I was left waiting a long time for an answer; finally the nice lady came on and said she couldn’t tell me if the corn was genetically modified, but if I wanted to be sure, I should buy their organically certified products.

Before I undertook to write this letter, I thought that I would review that documentary that I had filed away. Lo and behold, it has been removed from the Internet. If genetically modified foods are so benign and harmless to us, why all the secrecy and subversion?

Alex Ewashen



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