The Coming Famine: a comprehensive look at our food future

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The Coming Famine: a comprehensive look at our food future

In August I attended a book launch by Professor Julian Cribb, a scientist and science communicator. His book is "The Coming Famine, the global food crisis and what we can do to avoid it."

Here is a video of the event. (Technical problems delayed its release.)

http://vimeo.com/32486385

His book is an excellent compendium of factors threatening the global food supply.

The world faces huge problems: 242,000 more people every day, the population to peak at 10 or 11 billion, protein demand growing with economies, our needing over 600 petacalories/day, and the total human food demand doubling by 2060.

The constraints are formidable: peak water, peak land/soil, peak oil, peak phosphorus, peak fish, R&D drought, agricultural finances drought, and climatic extremes.

The world is racing towards disaster unless we act NOW.

The book is NOT all doom-and-gloom. We need to re-invent our farming systems, alter the global diet, and redesign our cities so that they do not squander the resources we need for life. Prof Cribb offers a range of interesting solutions. Whether any of them will be implemented remains to be seen, but unless we have goals we have nothing to aim at.

I enthusiastically recommend that you invest 69 minutes in watching the video. It will help you comprehend much of what is going on in the world today.

 

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Toxic botulism in animals linked to RoundUp

Toxic botulism in animals linked to RoundUp

Dr Mercola recently interviewed Dr Don Huber, whose letter to the USDA warning that Monsanto’s RoundUp, a broad-spectrum “herbicide” that has been linked with spontaneous abortion in animals, continues to be ignored by food and environmental safety authorities. In this important hour-long discussion, Huber, a plant pathologist for over 50 years, explains how RoundUp is destroying our healthy soils by killing needed microorganisms.

Not only did his team discover a new soil pathogen, but he reports that animals are coming down with over 40 new diseases, like toxic botulism. Huber explains that before the widespread use of herbicides, pesticides and genetically modified food and feed, natural probiota would have kept Clostridium botulinum in check.

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The Coming Famine

Certainly an interesting presentation, but I found it newsworthy and inspirational at one end of the spectrum, and infuriatingly frustrating at the other..... It's very good that the subject is brought up of course, but at the start Prof. Julian Cribb states there will be no technological solutions to the dilemma, and then spends the last half hour talking about little else.

He dismisses the importance of the GFC, and yet the lack of funds will make it nigh impossible to sort the entire food problem, unless we reset the economy.  He doesn't seem to understand much about growth, and I think is unbelievably optimistic about the Murray-Darling water problems Australia faces.

I still think it's a conundrum without solution, mostly because as a species we are already well into overshoot.

Mike

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This is complete nonsense

I made an effort not to comment on the first post on this topic about unfounded criticism "news" from a "doctor" who received his formal education long before modern biochemistry was discovered  and who says many clearly ridiculous things that reveal he lacks even a basic understanding of Roundup or glyphosate.  Why is such nonsense (not even economic news) here?  The contents of the "Doctor Don Huber" interview itself revealed that the good doctor does not even understand the basic facts about the Roundup active chemical that he pontificates about.  He stated that chemical herbacides are chelators and do their work as chelators (nonsense)  and from this he dreams up reasons why glyphosate affects all kinds of things and totally ignores what glyphosate is; he said that he didnt even KNOW the most basic fact about glyphosate (is it water soluble or oil soluble: (its water soluble, not oil soluble); at one point there even is a statement that the patent property rights system prevents the government from doing basic studies of this chemical (also complete nonsense).  He stated that basic studies were not done (eg study accumulation in animal tissues: such studies were done in detail long ago and his statements to the contrary also are nonsense).  A college graduate with a degree in biochemistry or exposure to a biochemistry course easily could see through  this  nonsense.  I really wish that we can keep fairy tales out of this site.  We have enough to worry about and focus on without the National Enquirer treatment.  Focusing on make believe gibberish couched in language of technology impedes our understanding of the real problems.  Monsanto is doing enough horrible things systemically, and spending time on this  kind of gibberish deflects attention to the real problems (decrease in genetic diversity, decrease in competition, generation of glyphosate resistant weeds  etc) that do merit our attention.

 I suppose that others now (particularly from down under) will respond to this post by once again personally attacking me for pointing out that the emperor (in this case Dr. Huber) lacks clothers.  However, presenting scientifically illiterate garbage as news diminishes the veracity of the economic articles posted here.  I dont have personal knowledge of the other fields such as economics, but am beginning to wonder if the other "informative" articles on this site are similarly nonsense.  This really hurts the broader message, and for what benefit?

 

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and a merry Christmas to you too........

Well, Mirv, I was hoping someone would comment on the information I posted.  Thank you for your input, I appreciate it.  But the tone of the reply leaves a lot to be desired....

Personally, I find the fact that this site has become almost universally economic in nature deplorable and disappointing.  I believe the future of agriculture and food supply is under great threat because of what is happening to the three E's, TWO of which are NOT ECONOMICS!

Every now and again, some "nonsense" article gets published here.  Whether it be about the "Economy", the "Environment", or "Energy", we who do not have expertise in "Everything" rely on people who do have some expertise in something to pipe up and explain why "nonsense" IS "nonsense".

I've learned an awful lot from this site over the past few years, and mostly about Economics which I always found utterly boring before discovering the CC, and sometimes it's been BECAUSE debate over "nonsense" has come up, clearing the air over what is real and what is not...... so please desist from inferring this site's veracity depends entirely on Economics, it does NOT.

Mike

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I agree

Like you said, Monsanto is guilty enough without making stuff up. There's a lot of pseudoscience going around regarding this kind of stuff. Some of the claims regarding GMO's comes to mind. I think in the excitement or anger to bring up real issues, a lot of false claims get thrown in. It happens. We just have to be vigilent about the facts and remember that not everyone has a science background.

Actually, I feel like a big dummy about much of the economic issues. I'm on the other end with that stuff and always wonder if what I"m reading is true or if I'm understanding things correctly.

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Mirv wrote: I made an effort
Mirv wrote:

I made an effort not to comment on the first post on this topic about unfounded criticism "news" from a "doctor" who received his formal education long before modern biochemistry was discovered  and who says many clearly ridiculous things that reveal he lacks even a basic understanding of Roundup or glyphosate.  Why is such nonsense (not even economic news) here?  The contents of the "Doctor Don Huber" interview itself revealed that the good doctor does not even understand the basic facts about the Roundup active chemical that he pontificates about.  He stated that chemical herbacides are chelators and do their work as chelators (nonsense)  and from this he dreams up reasons why glyphosate affects all kinds of things and totally ignores what glyphosate is; he said that he didnt even KNOW the most basic fact about glyphosate (is it water soluble or oil soluble: (its water soluble, not oil soluble); at one point there even is a statement that the patent property rights system prevents the government from doing basic studies of this chemical (also complete nonsense).  He stated that basic studies were not done (eg study accumulation in animal tissues: such studies were done in detail long ago and his statements to the contrary also are nonsense).  A college graduate with a degree in biochemistry or exposure to a biochemistry course easily could see through  this  nonsense.  I really wish that we can keep fairy tales out of this site.  We have enough to worry about and focus on without the National Enquirer treatment.  Focusing on make believe gibberish couched in language of technology impedes our understanding of the real problems.  Monsanto is doing enough horrible things systemically, and spending time on this  kind of gibberish deflects attention to the real problems (decrease in genetic diversity, decrease in competition, generation of glyphosate resistant weeds  etc) that do merit our attention.

 I suppose that others now (particularly from down under) will respond to this post by once again personally attacking me for pointing out that the emperor (in this case Dr. Huber) lacks clothers.  However, presenting scientifically illiterate garbage as news diminishes the veracity of the economic articles posted here.  I dont have personal knowledge of the other fields such as economics, but am beginning to wonder if the other "informative" articles on this site are similarly nonsense.  This really hurts the broader message, and for what benefit?

 

It might be helpful to understand his background and area of study.  http://farmandranchfreedom.org/Huber-CV  He is not a simple biochemist - that education was likely a pre-requisite to his graduate program.  He is discussing a product that you refer to as a 'modern biochemistry' - RoundUp was introduced to market in 76' which leaves me to believe that glyphosate (main product) was introduced some time before that.

The message that I was able to detract from that is that we need to conduct more research on this as it relates to both human and animal fertility.  Let's pull our head out of the sand and take some proactive measures to ensure that we will have livestock in 10 years from now.

I couldn't think of a larger disaster than to suddenly have reproductive problems in our genetically modified food source.  It deserves a research study program way before the we should worry about 'decreased competition.'

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Nonsense news

My principal argument was that even the most basic points of the article (the ones that were presented from the "doctor" to the reader to persuade us to adopt a new, strange point of view) were completely wrong.  In the same vein, (in my opinion) the biggest problem we face is information overload from the internet, most or much of which is misleading or wrong..  We need to focus on reality and not on garbage.  When  nonsense is presented in a newsarticle  about one topic (chemistry),  then one might think that presentations in other topics (economics) in this forum are also misleading or based on incorrect or dreamed up assumptions.  This blog has assumed the role of news source for many of us and I argue that it should not lead us away from news and into a world of make believe and nonsense.

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Thanks Mike

Thanks for your thoughtful comments.  Actually, most of the "science" articles I read in the popular media are misleading or wrong in my opinion wherein virtually all of the articles on chemistry/biology science I see in this blog are wrong or misleading.  I am pretty sure that other basic scientists that I have known feel the same way about the media and dont bother to comment as  I have but just give up  and live in their own world.

I go back to my basic theme: we are virtually drowning in a virtual ocean of information in this internet based information age. This may be our most important challenge.  My biggest problem as a reader is trying to figure out when an author is simply trying to pull my leg or buy his financial reports by motivating me with BS.  I came to this website as a haven from such nonsense, but when I read articles on subjects that I more familiar with, I am shocked by what I see. 
I took my IRA money out of stocks this year (I dont regret it at all) just before the stock market was supposed to tank.  It has not tanked.  Gold is supposed to be much better than ownership of a company that creates food, clothing or shelter. Yet I cant eat gold and it seems that a company that produces something that I need should be more valuable than a piece of metal in my hand.  Why not invest in companies that are furthest from bankster infection and own/control farmland energy production etc?  When inflation takes off, wouldnt those companies appreciate with prices of their products?  And why isn’t that safer than competing with Chinese citizens in gold ownership games?  A more basic question is:  if the problem is banksters gaming the system to maximize their take, then why are we trying to join them by gaming the system (buying/selling gold) as our response?  Is an ultimate goal to join the get rich quick game-the-system leisure class?  A more balanced view is that gold provides important security, but that most of our efforts should focus on food/water, clothing and shelter.  

If anyone out there is more interested in sharing locavore independent community development information please contact me.

 

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"doctor" Huber's Education

Thanks again for your comments FriscoMike.  One thing however, you say:"It might be helpful to understand his background and area of study.  http://farmandranchfreedom.org/Huber-CV  He is not a simple biochemist - that education was likely a pre-requisite to his graduate program.  He is discussing a product that you refer to as a 'modern biochemistry' - RoundUp was introduced to market in 76' which leaves me to believe that glyphosate (main product) was introduced some time before that.

My point was that he became a "scientist" BEFORE biochemistry/molecular biology was mostly discovered.  He is about 81 years old now and learned science before molecular biology was even discovered.  Molecular cloning did not even start until 20 YEARS after he got his PhD.  Biochemistry was not a real discipline compared to today (most of what is taught in biochemisty class was discovered after he became a scientist, so it is incorrect to characterize that he learned relevant biochemistry as a pre-requisite to his graduate degree. than would have been in the 1950s.

Even such basic topics as this are filled with error and distortion.  I give  up.

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Dr Huber

at http://permaculture.org.au/2011/12/24/the-hidden-epidemic-destroying-you...

Dr. Don Huber is an expert in an area of science that relates to the toxicity of genetically engineered (GE) foods. (Alternative terms for GE foods include genetically modified (GM), or "GMO" for genetically modified organism.) His specific areas of training include soil-borne diseases, microbial ecology, and host-parasite relationships. Dr. Huber also taught plant pathology, soil microbiology, and micro-ecological interactions as they relate to plant disease as a staff Professor at Purdue University for 35 years.

Mirv, dxon'gt you think there's even an outside chance that the good Dr might've kept up with changes since his youth by reading journals etc as any good scientist should...?

Mike

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glyphosate as a chelator
Mirv wrote:

 He stated that chemical herbacides are chelators and do their work as chelators (nonsense) 

Well Mirv, I decided to chase this up, and it appears Dr Huber isn't the only scientist who thinks this is not nonsense...

Glyphosate Tolerant Crops Bring Diseases and Death

New research reveals disastrous ecological impacts of the world’s top herbicide and GM crops made tolerant to it Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Brett Cherry

A fully referenced and illustrated version of this report is posted on ISIS members’ website, and can be downloaded here

Please circulate widely and repost, but you must give the URL of the original and preserve all the links back to articles on our website

  Glyphosate tolerant (GT) crops and glyphosate herbicide (commercial formulation, Roundup) poison nitrogen fixing and other beneficial soil bacteria, increase fungal pathogens, undermine plant immunity to diseases, decrease plant micronutrients available in the soil, and more.

Research findings over the past decades paint a damning picture of the cropping system that has taken over 85 percent of the 134 million hectares of global agricultural land now growing genetically modified (GM) crops (see [1] Scientists Reveal Glyphosate Poisons Crops and Soil, SiS 47). The unprecedented rise in GT crops has been accompanied by a sharp increase in the use of the glyphosate herbicides worldwide, especially in the US [2] GM Crops Increase Herbicide Use in the United States, SiS 45).

The ecological disaster has been unfolding amid mounting evidence of the herbicide’s adverse impacts on human and animal health [3, 4] (Glyphosate Herbicide Could Cause Birth Defects, Ban Glyphosate Herbicides Now, SiS 43), and  the breakdown of the Roundup Ready (RR) cropping system as weeds and superweeds become resistant to the herbicide [5, 6] (GM Crops Facing Meltdown in the USA, Glyphosate Resistance in Weeds - The Transgenic Treadmill, SiS 46) [7].

AND

http://ddr.nal.usda.gov/bitstream/10113/39648/1/IND44313688.pdf

and there are more, but it's Christmas downunder, and I really have better things to do today than research where you are wrong!

Mike

 

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anything is possible in the world of ideas

science is a dialectic to evaluate, use your own logic and not come to a conclusion easily.  You can find stuff on every point of view possible and run around holding up whatever you find and shout about anything. (ie everything has some effect no matter how small and I am not impressed by the results of your internet search).  I can study any two things and find some kind of relationship regardless of how small.   All I was saying is that the original presentation is self contradictory and evinces a lack of understanding.  this obviously is not a suitable forum.  Furthermore this detracts  from the real problems.  I dont have time for this either. 

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Mirv and DTM

I haven't looked at the Dr. Huber video relying on Mirv's comment that his basic science is mistaken.

If he is an expert on the toxicity of GMO organisms he's working in a controversial field. GM products are now so widely dispersed in N. American supermarkets, due to a lack of labelling requirements, that any toxic effects should have already decimated the population.

The real tragedy of genetic modification is that it has allowed a handful of global giants to acquire total control of much of the world's food supply, while the vast monocultures are modifying the environment. Some of the effects he attributes due to Roundup are more likely due to the complete disruption of the existing ecology, particularly the effect of glyphosate resistant plants.

World food supply is dangerously susceptible to a novel mutant pathogen that could wipe out the monoculture of any of our major cereal grains, such as the Ug99 rust that puts all our wheat at risk.

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malnutrition
SteveW wrote:

I haven't looked at the Dr. Huber video relying on Mirv's comment that his basic science is mistaken.

If he is an expert on the toxicity of GMO organisms he's working in a controversial field. GM products are now so widely dispersed in N. American supermarkets, due to a lack of labelling requirements, that any toxic effects should have already decimated the population.

 

Not at all......  it could take a decade or two or more, because it takes that long for malnutrition to show up as a cause of death.  It could be argued that much of your population is already very sick from what they've been eating, GMO or not!

Mike

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Roundup is so passe

Roundup resistant corn is yesterday's solution, due to increasing resistance of weeds. Apparently 2nd generation GMO corn, soybean and cotton resistant to 2,4-D has been developed by Dow, the manufacturer of 2,4-D. As the major constituent of agent orange we can look forward to an agricultural war between chemical giants with US farmland as the battlefield and the residents as collateral damage.

http://www.sott.net/articles/show/239364-Dow-s-New-GM-Corn-The-Return-of-Agent-Orange

Mike, I don't think we'll have to wait a decade or two for people to get sick, 2,4-D is definitely genotoxic (causes birth defects and cancers).

 

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The mind boggles.....
SteveW wrote:

http://www.sott.net/articles/show/239364-Dow-s-New-GM-Corn-The-Return-of-Agent-Orange

Mike, I don't think we'll have to wait a decade or two for people to get sick, 2,4-D is definitely genotoxic (causes birth defects and cancers).

Holy cow......  THAT IS a whole new ball game....  what will they think of next?

The mind boggles.....

Mike

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Damnthematrix wrote: SteveW
Damnthematrix wrote:
SteveW wrote:

http://www.sott.net/articles/show/239364-Dow-s-New-GM-Corn-The-Return-of-Agent-Orange

Mike, I don't think we'll have to wait a decade or two for people to get sick, 2,4-D is definitely genotoxic (causes birth defects and cancers).

Holy cow......  THAT IS a whole new ball game....  what will they think of next?

The mind boggles.....

Mike

 

Just sent in my comment to the regulatory body, following the link near the end of the article. It's sick how these companies are destroying nature and damaging our health.

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Yup

"It could be argued that much of your population is already very sick from what they've been eating, GMO or not!"

This is very true.  Rising rates of cancers, autism, etc. could very well be due to the increase of toxins we are exposed to, via industrialization, in combination with poor nutrition from poorly-produced foods.

The USDA has known for decades that chemical fertilizers produce feed that causes nutritional problems in livestock.  Why would anyone think this does not also apply to humans that eat chemically fertilized produce?  That defies logic.

In my own growing trials, I've seen that "organically" grown produce is vastly superior to chemically grown.  Not just in taste, but the whole plant is much healthier when grown in naturally fertile soil vs. sterile soil with NPK fertilizers.  Plus, organic farming methods improve soil structure and fertility over time, whereas chemical fertilizer use (and the methods that go along with it) destroy farmland.  Simply put, chemical agriculture is not sustainable, for a multitude of reasons.

As to Huber's education, my good friend has his master's in biology.  He says what you learn in the university is outdated by the time you graduate.  You MUST keep current on your own, so when someone becomes a scientist or gets their degree is moot.

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Yup

It could be argued that much of your population is already very sick from what they've been eating, GMO or not!

In 2006 my better half and I flew from Canberra to Vancouver, drove across the prairies (a lifelong ambition) to Winnipeg, thence down to Minnesota and up again, returning much the way we came. Lovely and memorable trip BUT...

we ate as carefully as we could, avoiding the more notorious industrial fast food outlets, preferring Mum & Dad-type restaurants, preferably buying organic and/or from farmers' markets and cooking for ourselves as much as possible. We quite active, doing a canoe camping trip, a lot of walking and generally keeping active. We were no car-seat potatoes.

All to no avail. We returned from the trip fat and bloated and sick, pasty (the trip was during summer!), feeling constantly unwell inside. Nothing major, mind you, just a constant nagging feeling that something was just not right with either of us. It took us ages to get back to feeling healthy and alive again and back to our correct weights.

We really feel that there is something fundamentally wrong with North American food, expecially "road food." Our experience probably wouldn't count for much in any enquiry into food standards, but we know in ourselves that to have continued on with that diet for even a few more months would have had major medical side-effects.

As one result I am most reluctant to visit North America again. Pity, but if every visit from now on is going to make us bloated and sick, the price is simply too high. I do have a  basis for comparison: I spent some months in the US in 1988 and came away well fed and feeling & looking just fine. Something has changed in the interim.

At home we are very privileged: we eat out of our own garden, buy organic grains, grind them and bake our own bread, drink organic unhomogenised milk, and in general avoid industrial foods are far as possible. It's quite a bit of work and we acknowledge that not everybody can do as much as we do, but in terms of our health and well-being it really pays off. We wouldn't swap it for quids.

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glyphosate

I am currently employed as a chemist and have worked in ag chemical R & D several years.  Glyphosate works in plants by disrupting the shikimic acid pathway.  This pathway is found in plants, not humans.  The acute oral LD50 of glyphosate in rats is 4320 mg/kg.  The LD50 of nicotine in rats is 50 mg/kg.  A two order of magnitude difference alone is an eye opener.  Now think about how much glyphosate is smoked each year.

Chemically, glyphosate consists of glycine (an amino acid) and a phosphate molecule. This molecule breaks down very quickly in the environment and is regarded as one of the safest to use.  I personally use it without gloves or a mask and have done so for 25 years.  Two months ago we planted Round-up Ready Alfalfa and have already sprayed it.  The State of California requires no postings for Round-up use and there is no re-entry time limitation.

There are things to be concerned about  on this planet.  Round-up is not one of them.

Nate

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you missed the point Nate
Nate wrote:

I am currently employed as a chemist and have worked in ag chemical R & D several years.  Glyphosate works in plants by disrupting the shikimic acid pathway.  This pathway is found in plants, not humans.  The acute oral LD50 of glyphosate in rats is 4320 mg/kg.  The LD50 of nicotine in rats is 50 mg/kg.  A two order of magnitude difference alone is an eye opener.  Now think about how much glyphosate is smoked each year.

Chemically, glyphosate consists of glycine (an amino acid) and a phosphate molecule. This molecule breaks down very quickly in the environment and is regarded as one of the safest to use.  I personally use it without gloves or a mask and have done so for 25 years.  Two months ago we planted Round-up Ready Alfalfa and have already sprayed it.  The State of California requires no postings for Round-up use and there is no re-entry time limitation.

There are things to be concerned about  on this planet.  Round-up is not one of them.

Nate

No one said Glyphosate would kill you directly by exposure........  but Glyphosate is affecting the SOIL in such a way that it doesn't allow plants to absorb the very things you want them to so that they are nutritious!  You obviously did not look at the video...

I ask you this, if it's so safe, why do the safety instructions say it should not be used in a STREAM CATCHMENT, which is pretty well everywhere?

Mike

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GMO Toxicity

 The important question is what are the effects of eating GM foods.  There is evidence that it is a BIG problem, but the industry has done everything in its power to make sure the public doesn't  know about it.  For example:

Biologist Arpad Pusztai had more than 300 articles and 12 books to his credit and was the world's top expert in his field. 
 
In the early 1990s, Dr. Pusztai was awarded a $3 million grant by the UK government to design the system for safety testing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). 
 
The results of Pusztai's work were supposed to become the required testing protocols for all of Europe. But when he fed supposedly harmless GM potatoes to rats, things didn't go as planned.
 
Within just 10 days, the animals developed potentially pre-cancerous cell growth, smaller brains, livers, and testicles, partially atrophied livers, and damaged immune systems. Moreover, the cause was almost certainly side effects from the process of genetic engineering itself. In other words, the GM foods on the market, which are created from the same process, might have similar affects on humans.
 
With permission from his director, Pusztai was interviewed on TV and expressed his concerns about GM foods. He became a hero at his institute -- for two days. 
 
Then came the phone calls from the pro-GMO prime minister's office to the institute's director. The next morning, Pusztai was fired. He was silenced with threats of a lawsuit, his team was dismantled, and the protocols never implemented. His Institute, the biotech industry, and the UK government, together launched a smear campaign to destroy Pusztai's reputation.
 
Irina Ermakova, a senior scientist at the Russian National Academy of Sciences, was shocked to discover that more than half of the baby rats in her experiment died within three weeks. She had fed the mothers GM soy flour purchased at a supermarket. The babies from mothers fed natural non-GMO soy, however, only suffered a 10% death rate. She repeated her experiment three times with similar results.
 
Dr. Ermakova reported her preliminary findings at a conference in October 2005, asking the scientific community to replicate her study. Instead, she was attacked and vilified. Her boss told her to stop doing anymore GM food research. Samples were stolen from her lab, and a paper was even set fire on her desk. One of her colleagues tried to comfort her by saying, "Maybe the GM soy will solve the overpopulation problem."
 
In November 2005, the supplier of rat food to the laboratory where Ermakova worked began using GM soy in the formulation. All the rats were now eating it. After two months, Ermakova asked other scientists about the infant mortality rate in their experiments. It had skyrocketed to over 55 percent.
 
Results of animal studies have shown:
 
GM peas caused lung damage in mice  
 
Offspring of rats fed GM soy showed a five-fold increase in mortality, lower birth weights, and the inability to reproduce  
 
GM potatoes may cause cancer in rats  
 
Male mice fed GM soy had damaged young sperm cells  
 
Bacteria in your gut can take up DNA from GM food  
 
The embryo offspring of GM soy-fed mice had altered DNA functioning  
 
GM foods lead to significant organ disruptions in rats and mice, specifically the kidney, liver, heart and spleen  
 
Several US farmers reported sterility or fertility problems among pigs and cows fed on GM corn varieties  
 
Bt corn caused a wide variety of immune responses in mice, commonly associated with diseases such as arthritis, Lou Gehrig's disease, osteoporosis, and inflammatory bowel disease  
Investigators in India have documented fertility problems, abortions, premature births, and other serious health issues, including deaths, among buffaloes fed GM cottonseed products.  
 
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Gallantfarms

Did you write this or did you pull it from another source? Can you please provide the sources for your data? In my heart I believe what you posted here but I need references to pass this along to others and I would really like to pass this along. Thanks in advance.

Rich

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Nate
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Posts: 573
Quote: No one said
Quote:

No one said Glyphosate would kill you directly by exposure........  but Glyphosate is affecting the SOIL in such a way that it doesn't allow plants to absorb the very things you want them to so that they are nutritious!  You obviously did not look at the video...

I ask you this, if it's so safe, why do the safety instructions say it should not be used in a STREAM CATCHMENT, which is pretty well everywhere?

Mike

 

Hi Mike,

Soil is loaded with microorganisms which rapidly break down simple molecules. Glyphosate is quickly metabolized in the soil into an amino acid and a phosphate.  Could you provide some scientific basis for "Affecting the SOIL in such a way that it doesn't allow plants to absorb the very things you want them to so that they are nutritious!"  ?  You are right - I haven't watched the video.   I lived plant biochemistry and worked with bright people long enought that I trust my instincts.

Do not use in a STREAM CATCHMENT = CYA.  

I don't like pissing matches.  I trust myself and accumulated knowledge over many decades.  I respect your viewpoints and am sure you will trust yourself, too.

Have a great 2012!

Nate

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Tall
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Posts: 564
Here are some original sources of information

Glyphosate alone is not neccesarly theproblem- as you say Nate, certainly not for acute mammalian toxicity and immediate death.

Wetlands and aquatic animal toxicity

When we buy glyphosate-based weed killer at our local store, we buy a small percentage of glyphosate and a large percentage of a mixture of 'inert ingredients'. This blanket description of 'inert' can be very misleading. The mixtures are not typically listed, may vary in biologic action and are protected as 'proprietary' formulations, so not necessarily regulated. The original 'Roundup' formulation is very toxic to aquatic life, hence the warning not to spray near water ways. It is the inert ingredients at fault here, not the glyphosate.

 

See this scientific abstract – a comparison of toxicity of glyphosate formulations to frogs:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1897/03-71/full

 

However, you can buy glyphosate formulations for aquatic and near aquatic vegetation- read labels if you need to spray near water to protect wildlife.

http://www.monsanto.com/products/Pages/aquamaster-herbicide.aspx

 

 

Mammalian and cellular toxicity
There is emerging information that good old off the shelf Roundup formulation may not be as biologically benign to terrestrial mammals as once thought. This appears to be partly due to one of the inert ingredients: polyethoxylated tallowamine surfactant (POEA), which has some toxicity to cells in culture. Here is a article from the popular press:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=weed-whacking-herbicide-p


Original paper scientific abstract:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=seralini%20POEA


Seralini has conducted multiple studies on glyphosate formulations and Roundup Ready crops. If interested see for a list of scientific reports and some free links to papers: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=%22S%C3%A9ralini%20GE%22%5BAuthor%5D


 

Soil effects

I personally am reluctant to use glyphosate formulations around my food plants because they may apparently bind manganese in the soil, potentially reducing availability to my cultivated plants particularly in dry conditions when soil pH is high. This is an emerging area and much is still being characterized. The jury is out on how much of an issue this is...

An overview:

http://www.btny.purdue.edu/weedscience/2010/GlyphosateMn.pdf


and the original 2010 Iowa State extension report:

http://www.weeds.iastate.edu/mgmt/2010/glymn.pdf


As far as Huber, I am not compelled by his current argument as presented. I hope that he will continue to collect information and better document his findings for others to evaluate more fully. Given how widespread our exposure is, this is an important area that deserves more study.

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gallantfarms
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GMO Toxicity

 Here is a link to a short interview with Dr. Arpad Pusztai from The Organic Consumer's Association website:

http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_18101.cfm

Here are the first few paragraphs of that interview:

Arpad Pusztai was one of the first scientists to raise concerns about the safety of genetically modified foods. In the late 1990s, Pusztai, a respected molecular biologist, conducted research on GM potatoes for the Rowett Institute in Scotland. The potatoes were genetically altered to produce lectins, natural insecticides, to protect them against aphids. Pusztai conducted feeding studies on rats and found that the potatoes damaged the animals' gut, other organs, and immune system. In 1998, Pusztai expressed his concerns about GM foods on a British television program and was promptly suspended and forced to retire from his position. Dr. Pusztai's research was later peer reviewed and published in The Lancet, a leading British medical journal.



You were initially supportive of genetically modified foods, is that correct?



Yes, I thought at the time on the basis of rather poor understanding of genetic modification that it was a good idea. As we progressed with our experimental work we found all the snags and I had to re-assess my ideas.



What negative impacts did you find with GM potatoes you were developing?



The first problem that we encountered was when we tried to correlate the protection of the potato plant leaves against aphid attack with the transgene expression level. We found there was very little or no correlation at all. That is a major flaw, sufficient to question the validity of the whole idea. The next was that the transgenically expressed insecticidal protein did not only damage the aphid pests but also their natural enemies, such as the ladybugs. What was particularly damaging for the validity of genetic modification was when we found that diets based on GM potatoes affected the growth, organ development, and immune reactivity of young rapidly growing rats. The final straw was when we showed that the damage originated not from the transgene and its expressed product but from the damage caused by the insertion of the transgene, probably due to insertional mutagenesis.

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gallantfarms
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GMO Toxicity

 Here is another excellent article covering the story of Dr. Pusztai from the Huffington Post website:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-smith/anniversary-of-a-whistleb_b_675817.html

Here is a quote:

Dr. Pusztai and his team knew that the GNA lectin had not caused the damage. Other rats had been fed natural potatoes spiked with the same amount of GNA insecticide that the GM spud produced—and they did fine. The control group fed natural potatoes without added lectin were also in good shape. And in a previous experiment, Dr. Pusztai had fed rats an enormous quantity of the lectin, about 700 times the amount produced in the GM potato, again with no effect.

The damage to the rats, it appeared, came rather from the unintended side effects of the genetic engineering process. These effects (from gene insertion and cell cloning) may include massive collateral damage in a plant's DNA, with hundreds or thousands of mutations. Important natural genes can be inadvertently turned off, permanently turned on, deleted, reversed, scrambled, moved, fragmented, or changed in their activity level.

Dr. Pusztai wanted to find out precisely what went wrong in his potatoes, so he asked the government to provide more funds to conduct follow-up studies. But Prime Minister Tony Blair, his ministers, and his entire political party, were all unapologetic biotech cheerleaders trying desperately to promote them to a skeptical public. Exposing problems with GMO technology wasn't on the government's agenda. Additional funds were not forthcoming.

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I don't use roundup in my

I don't use roundup in my garden, because it is small and organic but I don't have anything against roundup. .

If there is a coming famine, i think it will be from lack of fuel to ship food economicly from fields with enhanced productivity due to use of roundup.  Farmers would not use roundup if it did not increase yields in a huge way.  It has been in widespread use for over 30 years.  I would think we would be seeing the damage by now if it was such a horrible agent as being depicted here.

I do foresee famine, but it will be due to global conflicts over oil and resources as earth reaches carrying capacity.  We can reach famine and starvation earlier by banning the use of roundup and dropping world food production by greater than 20 percent.

 I use agents on humans everyday that are 100 percent fatal in the wrong hands, but I haven't lost anybody in 28 years of practice --  It all comes down to risk/reward.  Dozens (maybe) of deaths due to roundup or hundreds of thousands due to starvation due to lack of roundup. This could be a self fulfilling prophecy, if the world were to miraculously go to full organic production today; does anyone actually think we could support even half of the current 7+ billion in population?

These pesticide and herbicide products enable the current expansion of population, and I have a hunch that those that oppose them would not shed a tear for the emaciated, poor, 99percenter dead if we stopped using them.

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gallantfarms
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GMO Myths and Lies

 

The claims that GM crops are needed to feed the world are a big fat pack of lies.  They are, in fact, a huge threat.  We need to be going the other way, working with nature!

Also, for those who think that if this stuff were really toxic, we would have seen the effects by now...good grief, look around you!  How many people do you know with health problems.  Food Allergies, Asthma, Immune diseases, Digestive issues, Infertility, all are increasing!  This type of thing makes you sick, not necessarily dead.  Also, the effects are likely to be most evident in children, and in future generations.

This is a long report, but very good:

 http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Environment/documents/2011/10/19/GMOEMPEROR.pdf

I've copied some paragraphs:

The GMO Emperor Has No Clothes, a Global Citizen's report on the state of GMOs.
 
We have been repeatedly told that genetically 
engineered (GE) crops will save the world by 
increasing yields and producing more food. They 
will save the world by controlling pests and 
weeds. They will save the world by reducing 
chemical use in agriculture. They will save the 
world with GE drought tolerant seeds and other 
seed traits that will provide resilience in times of 
climate change.
However, the GE emperor (Monsanto) has no 
clothes. All of these claims have been established 
as false over years of experience all across 
the world. The Global Citizens Report “The 
Emperor Has No Clothes” brings together 
evidence from the ground of Monsanto’s 
and the industry’s false promises and failed 
technology. 
Failure to Yield
Contrary to the claim of feeding the world, 
genetic engineering has not increased the yield 
of a single crop. Navdanya’s research in India 
has shown that contrary to Monsanto’s claim of 
Bt cotton yield of 1500 kg per acre, the reality 
is that the yield is an average of 400-500 kg per 
acre. 
Failure to Yield, a report by the Union of 
Concerned Scientists in the U.S., has established 
that genetic engineering has not contributed to 
yield increases in any crop. According to this 
report, increases in crop yields in the U.S. are 
due to yield characteristics of conventional crops, 
not genetic engineering. 
Australian research shows that conventional crops 
outperform GE crops.
 
Failed Technology: GE crops do not control pests and weeds, 
they create super pests and super weeds
Herbicide tolerant (Roundup Ready) crops were 
supposed to control weeds and Bt crops were 
intended to control pests. Instead of controlling 
weeds and pests, GE crops have led to the 
emergence of super weeds and super pests. In 
the U.S., Round Up Ready crops have produced 
weeds resistant to Round Up. Approximately 
15 million acres are now overtaken by Roundup 
resistant “superweeds”, and, in an attempt to 
stop the spread of these weeds, Monsanto has 
started offering farmers a “rebate” of up to $6 per 
acre for purchasing and using other, more lethal 
herbicides. These rebates offset approximately 
25 to 35 percent of cost of purchasing the other 
herbicides.
Agronomists around the world are alarmed by the 
growing epidemic of herbicide-resistant weeds, 
also known as superweeds, that have evolved 
resistance to glyphosate as a result of the intensive 
use of this herbicide.
 From November 2007 to January 2011, the number of reports of confirmed 
glyphosate-resistant weeds in the U.S. nearly 
doubled from 34 to 66. Infested acreage more 
than quintupled, from 2.4 to 12.6 million acres. 
 
 
Effects on soil health:  A survey was conducted by Navdanya under Bt 
cotton growing areas of Vidharbha (India). Twenty-five 
fields were selected where Bt cotton was grown 
for three years, which was compared with the 
adjoining fields where either other varieties of 
cotton were growing or other crops were growing 
during that period. The areas covered between 
Nagpur, Amravati, Wardha and adjoining areas. 
The result showed significant reduction in acid 
phosphatase (26.6 percent), nitrogenase (22.6 
percent) and dehydrogenase (10.3 percent) 
activities under Bt cotton growing fields.  
The results clearly demonstrated that Bt cotton 
cultivation definitely affect soil biological 
health especially beneficial microorganisms 
(actinomycetes, bacteria) and enzymes (acid 
phosphatase, nitrogenase and dehydrogenase). 
(Effect on Soil Biological Activities due to 
Cultivation of Bt cotton, Navdanya, 2008).
 
GMOs contaminate non-GE crops. 
Contamination is inevitable, since crosspollination is inevitable, within the same species 
or with close relatives.
The most dramatic case of contamination and 
genetic pollution is the case of Percy Schmeiser, 
a Canadian Canola seed grower, whose crop 
was contaminated by Monsanto’s Round-Up 
Ready Canola. Instead of paying Percy for the 
damage of contamination in accordance with the 
“Polluter Pays” principle, Monsanto sued Percy 
for “Intellectual Property theft.”
The contamination of canola in Canada is so 
severe that 90 percent of certified non GE 
Canola seed samples contain GE material (www.
lynnmaclaren.org.au/media-release-major-graintraders-reject-gm-canola).
As Arnold Taylor, Chair of the Organic 
Agriculture Protection Fund said:
“There is no organic canola in Canada any more, 
virtually none, because the seed stock is basically 
contaminated… we’ve lost that crop” (GM Canola 
‘contaminated’, Canadian Farms, The Age.com.
au, July 5, 2011).
 
In 2001, D. Quist and I. Chapela of the 
University of Mexico published a study in 
Nature magazine “Transgenic DNA introgressed 
into traditional maize land races in Oaxaca, 
Mexico (nature, 414, 6863, November 29, 2001 
p. 541-543). Their study showed that native 
maize had been contaminated by GE corn. This 
was in spite of the fact that it is illegal to grow 
GE maize in Mexico.
Mexico is the center of diversity of corn. This 
is where corn was domesticated and where the 
highest diversity of corn exists. According to the 
government, the contamination took place when 
farmers planted corn imported from the US, not 
knowing it was genetically modified.
In April 2002, the Mexican government 
confirmed contamination of native corn by 
GE corn. As Jorge Soberon, Secretary of 
Mexico’s Biodiversity Commission, stated 
“This is the world’s worst case of contamination 
by genetically modified material because it 
happened in the place of origin of a major crop. 
It is confirmed. There is no doubt about it” (C. 
Clover, “Worst ever GM crop Invasion, The 
Daily Telegraph, London, April 19, 2002, P. 
Brown, Mexico’s Vital Gene Reservoir Polluted 
by Modified Maize, Guardian, London, April 19, 
2002).
 
The Way Forward—Agroecological Farming
Many reports discuss alternative farming practices 
that protect the environment, sustain livelihoods 
and rural communities, and provide food security. 
In Indonesia, when restrictions were introduced 
on the use of 57 pesticides used in growing rice 
and subsidies for pesticides were eliminated, the 
volume of pesticides used on rice fell by more 
than 50 percent and yields increased by about 
15 percent. Farmers’ net incomes increased by 
$18 per farmer per season. The government 
saved $120 million per year by ending pesticide 
subsidies. 
In Bangladesh the “No Pest” program led to 
pesticide reduction of 76 percent and yield 
increases of 11 percent. Returns increased by an 
average of 106 percent in the dry season and 26 
percent in the wet season.
 

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