Insecticides from Genetically Modified Corn Found in Adjacent Streams

Monsanto is famous for dumping the byproducts of their chemical and biopiracy enterprise into the backyard of unsuspecting neighborhoods, and ecologies. Take for instance, Anniston Alabama, where Monsanto, whose chemical spin-off is now called Solutia,  dumped millions of tons of PCBS into a land fill near their western Anniston plant.  PCBs contaminate the soil, air, and water. Some residents near the site have PCB contamination in their bodies at levels hundreds of times higher in parts per million (ppm) than the “recommended” non-toxic dose. A series of lawsuits were brought by Anniston residents. One, Owens v. Monsanto settled in April 2001 for $43 million dollars. More recently, Tolbert v. Monsanto Co. et al., and the state court case, Abernathy v. Monsanto Co. settled for 600 million. This is only one small example on an astonishing roster of disasters such as Aspartame, Agent Orange, rBGH, and Bollgard. One only has to only search Monsanto on Wikipedia to find ample examples of their environmental, sociopolitical track record.

Now, the “Cary Institute aquatic ecologist Dr. Emma Rosi-Marshall and colleagues report that streams throughout the Midwestern Corn Belt are receiving insecticidal proteins that originate from adjacent genetically modified crops.”

The tissue of  BT corn,  is  genetically modified to express insecticidal proteins known as Cry1AB. This protein  wards off  European corn borer, a common pest to corn farming. Now the dissolved Cry1Ab protein is showing up in streams and headwaters. What do these proteins do if ingested by frogs, fish, humans….anyone? 

 There have been no long-term studies performed on rats or humans, regarding the effects of BT Cotton before it entered the market, nor after. See the article here:

Insecticides from genetically modified corn found in adjacent streams.

One reason, is that this “technology” is very young, another is that Monsanto is not “required” to do long-term testing before the product enters the market.

In fact, it might interest my readers to note that the FDA doesn’t even require a watch dog “approval” of new GM crops.  From their own website,

“The FDA established an informal process by which firms can inform the Agency that they have completed a food or feed safety assessment. FDA requests that firms submit a summary of their assessment to the Agency. It is our expectation and experience that all firms have complied with this request for all plant varieties that have been commercialized to date. This process has worked well to date and permits the Agency to identify and resolve any safety or regulatory issues before products reach the market.

The Agency encourages developers to consult early in the development phase of their products, and as often as necessary. When a firm has accumulated the information that it believes is adequate to ensure that the product complies with the relevant provisions of the FD&C Act ..” is thus approved to enter the market, where you an I and every living thing, become the guinea pig in a long-term studies.  The burden of proof is only on the company producing the genetically modified organism. 

As critical thinkers, do you see a conflict of interest in allowing a profit motivated multinational to do their own testing of their products? Why would it be in their interest to omit data, or craft data in such away that achieves a favorable final result?  By the way on January 6, 2011 a recorded First Quarter Earnings conference call reveals that Monsanto’s sales have increased 13%. In 2010 Monsanto net sales were 10.50 billion.

Don’t despair. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. So, whose going to push?

Inshallah, KV

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