Thursday, June 3, 2010

Don’t’ Wear GMO Clothes; Don’t Eat GMO Foods - Boycott Frankencotten and Frankenfoods

Gentically Modified Crop Use Makes Minor Pests a Major Problem – Part I

Posted by Dr. Mercola, , June 01 2010

Killing Off One Pest Throws Nature Out of Balance

History of Bt Cotton – Increase in Mirid Bugs
Bt cotton was engineered with a gene from a soil bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis. Organic farmers use the natural form of the bacterium as an insecticide, spraying it occasionally during times of high pest infestation. The natural bacterial spray form is broken down within a few days to two weeks by sunlight, high temperatures, or substances on the leaves of plants, and can be "washed from leaves into the soil by rainfall," or rinsed by consumers.

Not so with GM Bt crops. Monsanto engineers isolated and then altered the gene that produces the Bt-toxin, and inserted it into the DNA of the cotton plant. Now every cell of their Bt cotton produces a toxic protein that kills certain pests, including the bollworm -- one of the major pests that threatened China’s cotton crops. The Bt toxin kills pests by splitting open their stomachs. “GM plants produce about 3,000-5,000 times the amount of toxin as the sprays. A Bt-producing GM plant continuously produces the toxin in every cell where it does not dissipate by weather and cannot be washed off.

When Bt cotton was first introduced, farmers were able to temporarily cut back on their use of broad-spectrum pesticides, which GM advocates use to support their flawed argument that GM crops are environmentally friendly. What happened, though, was that as bollworms decreased, mirid bugs, which are not vulnerable to the Bt toxin and were once only a minor pest in the area, increased significantly. Mirids are just as much of a threat to cotton crops as bollworms, so Chinese farmers have upped their pesticide use on the Bt cotton crops to kill the mirid bugs.
So now, not only are farmers planting Bt cotton crops to ward off bollworms, but they are spraying increasing amounts of pesticides to tackle the mirid bugs that only became a problem because of the Bt crops! This is hardly a benefit to the environment.

Mirid Bugs are a Threat to Green Beans, Vegetables, Fruits and Cereal Crops
The mirid bugs are not only a threat to cotton crops, they’re also a threat to green beans, vegetables, fruits and cereal crops as well. Worse still, the evolution of Bt-resistant bollworms worldwide have been confirmed and documented, which means Monsanto’s Bt crops are a miserable failure on all counts. Despite the fact that Bt cotton has done the area no favors whatsoever, Chinese researchers are looking into developing more GM crops that will kill both bollworms and mirid bugs -- even though it’s fairly obvious that a new pest will soon step up to take their place.

What About Bt Crops and Animals?
According to Jeffrey Smith, the leading spokesperson on the health dangers of genetically modified foods, in India animals graze on cotton plants after harvest. But when shepherds let sheep graze on Bt cotton plants, thousands died. Investigations suggests that the sheep mortality was due to a toxin. . . .” most probably Bt-toxin." In one small study, all sheep fed Bt cotton plants died; those fed natural plants remained healthy.

Jeffrey Smith visited one village in Andhra Pradesh and interviewed the villagers and reported: “Buffalo grazed on cotton plants for eight years without incident. But on January 3rd, 2008, 13 buffalo grazed on Bt cotton plants for the first time. All died within three days.
The village also lost 26 goats and sheep.

Buffalo in Haryana, India who are fed the Bt variety of cottonseed and oil cakes, suffered from reproductive disorders, skin problems, and sudden death of both adults and calves.
According to Jeffrey Smith: “Bt corn is also implicated in the deaths of cows in Germany, and horses, water buffaloes, and chickens in the Philippines.”
Related Links:
Doctors Warn: Avoid Genetically Modified Food
10 Reasons to Avoid Genetically Modified Foods
Enjoy Pesticides in Every Bite of GMO Food?

Blogs from
10/11/2008: GE Foods Freak out Rats; GE Sugar Coming To You Soon

10/28/2009: Frankencandy and Tainted Candy for Halloween?

1/07/2009: How To Avoid Foods Containing Genetically Modified Organisms – Go Organic! Scroll down to 1/07/09

Austrian Government Study Confirms Genetically Modified (GM) Crops Scroll down to 2/1/09

1/17/2010: US court rules against Monsanto's GMO sugarbeets, says USDA failed to evaluate the risks Scroll down to 1/13/10

Articles: Genetic Engineering - Frankenfoods and More

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