Recently, I interviewed Jeffrey Smith, and we talked about the risks associated with GMOs and glyphosate, particularly their impact on thyroid and autoimmune conditions. If you would prefer to listen to the interview you can access it by Clicking Here.
Dr. Eric Osansky:
I am super excited to chat with today’s guest, who I have been following for quite a long time. We have Jeffrey Smith, and we are going to be talking about GMOs and glyphosate. Before this conversation, I was sharing an article from 2013 that I wrote, telling Jeffrey that he was the one who motivated me to write the article on GMOs and how potentially they could affect thyroid health. I am absolutely thrilled to chat with Jeffrey.
I am going to dive into his bio here: As a global thought leader on the health dangers of genetically modified organisms for over 27 years, Jeffrey Smith has authored two bestsellers, directed five documentaries, delivered 2,000 lectures and interviews in 45 countries, trained 1,500 speakers, and organized more than 10,000 grassroots advocates. Jeffrey has counseled world leaders on six continents. His meticulous research presented at medical conferences has inspired thousands to prescribe non-GMO and organic diets. The success of the GMO education movement he pioneered is measured in part by the 48% of world consumers who acknowledge GMOs are unhealthy.
Jeffrey and IRT are now sounding the alarm about new genetic engineering techniques, such as gene editing. Unregulated GMO 2.0 can cause health and environmental disasters. The most urgent danger comes from genetically engineered microbes. Jeffrey is stewarding a global effort to prevent their release.
Thank you so much for joining us.
Thank you, Eric. It was fun seeing a 2013 article by you because we haven’t spoken. I have been doing this for 27 years, on the global scale for 20 years. I was at a conference two days ago. Someone said, “You came around 2004 to Navy Pier in Chicago. You brought 100 CDs and passed them out to everyone.” Someone else changed their diet and was growing their own food, planting non-GMO and organic seeds around the world. Not even knowing what’s happening until some chance meeting like this.
Now, we have a lot more evidence linking GMOs and Roundup to thyroid conditions, which I’m sure your audience will want to know. I am excited and thrilled to meet you because evidently, the relationship has been one-way, and now it gets to be two-way.
Definitely. I didn’t realize until you sent me your bio that you have been doing this that long. February 2013, as of recording this, over 10 years ago. You have been doing this for 27 years, which is just amazing.
It is. I am celebrating our 20th anniversary since Seeds of Deception came out, since I founded the Institute for Responsible Technology at ResponsibleTechnology.org. We are about to do a big celebration of the 20 years. I am looking back at the kind of influence. It’s amazing. This is an example of something that I get to add- I get to celebrate you now, Eric.
Thanks again. If we could start off by talking about what GMOs are, just for that maybe a small percentage of people who don’t know what they are. If you could not only talk about GMOs, but what’s meant by GMO 2.0.
Sure. I do want to say that I am going to be showing some jaw-dropping charts in just a few minutes, linking GMOs and the Roundup sprayed on most GMOs with about 40 different diseases, not just linking them, but showing that as the use of GMOs and Roundup increased, these diseases skyrocketed in parallel. It’s not just another health issue to worry about; it may be one of the most serious and impactful environmental insults, which lead the way to all sorts of diseases.
We understand in many cases why. We know the modes of action. We have the animal feeding studies. I wanted to make sure I said that up front because if people know GMOs, and they go, “Okay, yeah, I know them and try to avoid them,” they may not know that Roundup is sprayed on wheat, oats, lentils, mung beans, and more. We will get into that, too. It’s not just avoiding GMOs, but how to protect yourself from both GMOs and Roundup.
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were originally brought to market for food by Monsanto. The reason was that glyphosate was going off patent in 2000. Glyphosate kills bacteria. It’s a big antibiotic. They found bacteria growing in a chemical waste dump near their factory that wasn’t dying in the presence of glyphosate. Great, let’s put it in the food supply. They took the gene from the bacterium that allowed it to survive and inserted it into soybeans, corn, canola, and cotton.
Roundup Ready crops were created, so you can spray the field after the crops had already started growing with Roundup herbicide and not kill those crops, just all of the other plants and biodiversity. It was a method to make weeding easier for farmers.
With glyphosate mixed with the other ingredients like the surfactant and PEOA in Roundup, it’s designed to break into the cell walls of the plant and get inside the plant, where it migrates to the food portion. About 15% leaves the roots, but the rest is still in there. We actually end up eating the soy and corn, cottonseed oil, canola oil that are from seeds and plants that have Roundup in them because of the Roundup Ready crops.
The Roundup is dangerous in ways that are very well understood, and more is coming each day. There was research last week and the week before showing serious issues: children cognitive disorders, kidney problems, and more. The GMOs have been shown to have all sorts of health dangers in virtually every organ and system studied. Now, you have a combination of those two.
It gets worse. The corn in the United States, most of it also produces a pesticide and insecticide to kill insects. They took a gene from soil bacterium, which normally kills insects, but then it washes away or biodegrades. Now it is encapsulated in the corn that we eat. In high concentrations in laboratory settings, it pokes holes in human cells and causes allergic reactions in humans. Now we have three toxic conditions in GMOs: the GMO itself, which has massive collateral damage due to the insertion of foreign genes; the Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides; and Bt toxin insecticide. We have tracked these and the modes of action in the animal feeding studies to a long list of diseases.
The good news is, as we’ll see in one of the slides, people have reported getting better from at least 28 different conditions when they switch to organic food, which does not allow either GMOs or Roundup.
It’s not about just eating these GMO foods directly, but for example, if you were to eat meat, whether it’s poultry or grain-fed beef, I imagine that could also have an indirect impact, too.
Gerald Guest, who was the head of the division of veterinary medicine of the FDA, wrote a memo saying there are unique risks associated with eating the meat and milk from animals that have been fed GMOs. He, like all of the other scientists at the FDA, were ignored.
In fact, their concerns about the health dangers of GMOs, which reveal in memo after memo that became public from a lawsuit in 1998, show that they wanted not only animal feeding studies but human toxicological studies to prove that GMOS were safe. The person in charge of policy at the FDA, Michael Taylor, was Monsanto’s former attorney, later Monsanto’s vice president, and said, “We know of no difference between GMOs and non-GMOs. Therefore, no testing or labeling is necessary.” That was fraud. That was a lie. But we didn’t know it at the time that the policy was created in 1992, which was a look the other way policy, which is still in place.
It turns out what Gerald Guest said makes sense. If an animal is eating grain with Roundup Ready crops, there could be something called bioaccumulation, where the Roundup gets stored in the animal. We know now from radio labeled assays that a lot of it can stay for a couple of weeks and concentrate in the bones and certain organs. Most of it goes out through urine, but some concentrates. In addition, it’s been found in mother’s milk, so we can assume it’s in the cow’s milk as well.
Also, the impact can change the structure and health of the animal. The GMOs and the Roundup can both do that. We have seen massive problems with the health of animals that are fed GMOs. These are serious conditions in pigs with ulcers in the stomach and changes in the microbiome of animals that have caused serious problems.
Veterinarians and pet owners tell us that when they switch their animals to organic, older dogs become like puppies again, and serious chronic issues go away. In fact, I spoke to Dr. Michael Fox, who wrote the column for 25-30 million readers “Animal Doctor.” When GMOs were introduced, all of these pet owners sent him letters saying now there is intractable diarrhea and itching. “Get your pet off of GMOs.” Sure enough, things got better.
Same thing with pediatricians dealing with children. All of a sudden, these complicated diseases came up. When they put the family on organic, things got better.
We have that level of evidence. It goes much deeper. We know that Roundup binds with minerals, making them unavailable. The minerals are still there, but they’re hugged by the glyphosate molecules, and they can’t be used by the human, animal, or plant. Most of the livestock that we eat or get eggs or milk from have as the majority of their diet Roundup Ready crops. They not only have the poison aspect, but they end up minerally deficient. That may explain some of the serious diseases, the chronic and widespread diseases, including the infertility in many of the livestock in the United States and around the world as well as chronic botulism and other things. We now understand the modes of action from that as well.
Yes, now, anecdotal evidence is just that, but it’s compelling if it’s yourself or your friend or your family. A farmer told me about a good friend of his who had their own chickens. They were eating the eggs of the chicken every single day. All of a sudden, one morning, after eating the eggs, the mother and the daughter were rushed to the hospital, having anaphylactic, allergenic shock. The father called the feed supplier and said, “Was there any change?” He said, “Couldn’t get the non-GMO anymore, so I gave you the GMO.” The family didn’t even know it, but the day they ate it, there was a change. I know other people who cannot eat animal products from animals that are fed GMOs. Even though it’s one off here and one off there, it makes a difference if you’re that one-off.
Definitely want to eat not just organic produce, but any animal-based foods, whether it’s eggs, dairy, meat, poultry. And your pets, too. That’s also a good point. Some people tend to focus on just eating organic food themselves, but how about their pets, who are eating GMO food? Appreciate you mentioning that.
You mentioned minerals. We chatted a little bit prior to recording this about thyroid and selenium. Is it all the minerals? With thyroid, selenium is very important. A lot of controversy around iodine and thyroid health. Can glyphosate bind all of these minerals? Does it have an affinity for certain minerals?
The chelation coefficient is higher for certain minerals than others. Manganese, very high. Selenium, high. Cobalt, very high. Vitamin E. You end up with a situation where a lot of the trace minerals, which are in small amounts, are unavailable. We know that thyroid health is intimately connected with selenium. You mentioned magnesium. If the selenium that we are getting in small amounts anyway is bound up with glyphosate, then we may end up with that deficiency, and that’s linked to some more severe diseases.
From a layperson’s view, it’s like all of the workers are there, ready to work, but the foreman hasn’t shown up. The foreman is the mineral. Some call it the key in the ignition. Without that, all these metabolic pathways that help the body sit idle and do not function. When you end up with mineral deficiency, there is a long list of diseases that can result from that. Thyroid conditions are just one of them.
Shall we look at some of the diseases related to GMOs and Roundup that we’ve found from an epidemiological basis?
Yeah, let’s do it.
All right, I am going to share some slides. As you will see on the screen now, this is inflammatory bowel disease in the U.S. from 1990-2011. The orange line is the amount of glyphosate-based herbicides, or glyphosate sprayed on soy and corn. Remember, soy and corn became Roundup Ready. Now, it’s over 90% of both. It was introduced in 1996, which is that big leap up of the amount of glyphosate sprayed on soy and corn. Americans eat more than their weight in GMOs each year. A lot of it is corn and soy.
As the glyphosate increased, inflammatory bowel disease went up. Now, this is correlation, and it doesn’t prove causation. We have a lot of evidence to suggest that this is a causal relationship. In fact, at about 150 lectures, I asked the audience, “What have you noticed you got better from when you switched to a non-GMO and organic diet?” The #1 most common reported benefit was digestive disorders. We surveyed 3,256 people who reported getting better from 28 conditions. The #1 most reported was digestive disorders, 85.2%.
In a peer-reviewed published article that I wrote in the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, not only did I present the evidence of these surveys that we did, but I went into all the potential reasons why GMOs, Roundup, and Bt toxin might cause digestive disorders: leaky gut, problems with the microbiome, suppressed digestive enzymes, damage to the microvilli. Plus the animal feeding studies showing that it actually does.
But I am only going to present the slides showing the correlation. You should know that we have evidence that suggests in some cases pretty much nailed down, causation. I am going to go through these 40 slides very quickly, in about a minute and a half. I will read the name of the disease. Those who are watching can see the dramatically tight correlation between the slope either of the Roundup. In some cases the Roundup is one line, and the percentage of GMO soy and corn is another line. Sometimes, there is a trend showing that if there hadn’t been a new environmental insult, it would have been way less.
Here we have deaths from obesity. Those who can’t see, I will name them:
- Deaths from Alzheimer’s.
- Deaths from Parkinson’s.
- Deaths from hypertension.
- Autism in six-year-olds.
- Acute kidney injury
- Death from kidney failure
- Kidney and renal pelvic cancer
- Liver cancer
- Liver and bowel duct cancer
Thyroid cancer, which I’ll leave on for just a moment. The pre-1990 trend for the age-adjusted thyroid cancer was flat, but it goes up rather dramatically when GMOs are introduced. The R value, means the correlation value, is .9377. A 1 is a perfect correlation. The World Health Organization linked Roundup or glyphosate with cancer, calling it a probable human carcinogen.
- Here’s deaths to acute myeloid leukemia.
- Breast cancer
- Deaths from intestinal infection
- Deaths from disorders of lipoprotein metabolism
- Hepatitis C
- Deaths from senile dementia
- Suicide by overdose
- Birth defects
- Congenital heart defects
- Newborn metabolic disorders
- Newborn genital urinary disorders
- Skin disorders
- Newborns with lung conditions
- Newborn eye disorders
- Newborn blood disorders that are related to the immune system.
- Lymph disorders
- Age-adjusted deaths due to stroke
Now, here’s 28 conditions that people got better from when they switched to non-GMO:
- Digestive problems are at the top, 85%.
- Fatigue, 60%.
- Overweight or obesity, 55%.
- Brain fog, 52%.
- Anxiety and depression, 52%.
- Food allergies and sensitivities, 50%.
- Joint pain
- Seasonal allergies
- Gluten sensitivity
- All the way down the lowest, which is Parkinson’s.
These are examples of two different sets of data. One is self-reports. Some of these are reports from physicians about their patients. Then there is epidemiological evidence. We are not going to bring up the trove of animal feeding studies.
What I will mention is sometimes we have modes of action that are so logical that it’s hard not to mention. Insomnia, how can insomnia be related to GMOs and Roundup? Everyone knows melatonin is something you take if you can’t sleep. It’s a neurotransmitter that governs the daily rhythms. That is converted from serotonin. Serotonin is produced largely in the gut. Its precursor is L-tryptophan. L-tryptophan is produced in the gut by the gut bacteria by something called the shikimate pathway. The shikimate pathway is disabled by glyphosate.
Now we got the other way. If we don’t have a shikimate pathway, we don’t have L-tryptophan. If we don’t have L-tryptophan, we have a deficiency of serotonin, which has its own problems in terms of cognitive disorders, anxiety, etc. There is also less tyrosine, so the dopamine doesn’t necessarily get made. The happy chemicals aren’t there. The serotonin can’t be converted to melatonin, and now we have insomnia.
1/3 of the people who switch to non-GMO and largely organic diets said that their sleep got better. Their insomnia conditions got better. We have personal reports, clinical evidence, modes of action, and epidemiological evidence.
It’s pretty strong. We understand so many modes of action. I want to leave it there, Eric. I think people get that this is absolutely fundamental to healthy life. That is to eat organic. When you eat organic, create a spreadsheet every day, all the symptoms 1-10: your energy level, mood, percentage of organic, and watch what changes. Could be your acne, weight, mood. Who knows what? That’s the question. We don’t know which is related. But track them all and see. Then you will be more committed to an organic diet if you’ve seen the change. If you decide to go back, you can change that, too. You can monitor that and see if your symptoms return.
I’m so glad that you pinpointed insomnia because you covered all of these scary conditions. Some might overlook insomnia, but so many people experience sleep disorders, and yet don’t make that connection. I’ll admit, I’m guilty of that, too. Even though I tell people to eat organic, it’s not because of the sleep issues that they could potentially have. Obviously, there are a lot of other health conditions as you revealed. That’s amazing that just changing one’s diet from conventional to organic, 1/3 of people experience an improvement in sleep, which is quite amazing.
I also want to bring up for those listening with Graves’ and Hashimoto’s, which a lot of people have those conditions, that was on the chart, too. Not specifically those conditions, but autoimmunity. That makes sense with glyphosate’s impact on the gut microbiome, and most of the immune system cells are in the gut.
I can talk a little bit about autoimmunity because I think there is some interesting information. First of all, Roundup Ready soy, when cooked, does not denature trypsin inhibitor, hardly at all, according to Monsanto’s own study that was attempted to be hidden. The amount of trypsin inhibitor was as much as seven times that of natural soy after it was cooked. Trypsin inhibitor in large amounts is extremely dangerous. It blocks the ability of trypsin to break down proteins. When you have proteins lasting longer in the digestive tract, they are more likely to create an immune response, an allergic response. Resistant proteins are one of the characteristics of an allergy.
At the same time, you have Roundup sprayed on the soy. Roundup, you can look at cells in a microscope where you put glyphosate in there, and it splits apart the tight junction. Now you have intercellular leaky gut created by Roundup. It also can affect the zonulin, which is a biochemical pathway related to it. Even without the zonulin, it can do that. It also affects the microbiome. The microbiome, it damages that which keeps the mucosal barrier intact. Many ways that Roundup might be causing this intercellular, between the cells, opening up the tight junctions.
Then you eat corn that has Bt toxin, which might poke holes inside the cell. That is how it kills insects. Now, you may have intracellular leaky gut. That is two different types of leaky gut. Now you have leaky gut, and you have these proteins that don’t have the access to as much breakdown because your trypsin isn’t working as well.
Glyphosate doesn’t stop there. That was the GMO soy. Glyphosate, in studies on carnivorous fish, suppressed the production of enzymes to break down foods, all the digestive enzyme classes. Also, the microvilli that absorb are damaged by glyphosate and Bt toxin. Now you have these holes in the gut. You have undigested proteins, which then can potentially make their way into the bloodstream.
The immune system considers it an attack, and they all gather around and start attacking it. They get out their iPhones and take pictures of it and post it on the body’s Facebook and say, “Anything that looks like this, you should attack.” But it’s pixelated. The rest of the immune system attacks anything that looks like it. The thyroid looks like it, so they attack the thyroid. The pancreas looks like it, so they attack the pancreas. That is basically how autoimmunity works. It’s leaky gut and faulty iPhones. That is an example. It’s a gang-up just in that gut.
On top of that, there is a triggering off the immune system. The Bt toxin can create an immune response. Now, there is a heightened immune response: a systemic immune response, a mucosal immune response. That heightens the reactivity of the immune system at the same time.
We can track not only autoimmune disease to this package of GMOs, Roundup, and Bt toxin, but also gluten sensitivity. In fact, I think I was the first person 11 years ago to raise the relationship. It’s since been the subject of peer-reviewed articles and a lot of clinical evidence. In fact, in our individual reports, gluten sensitivity reduced by 42.2% in the 3,256 people who we surveyed. A lot of people say that sometimes people are gluten-sensitive when they switch to corn. Wrong. If the corn is not organic, or it’s not non-GMO, it might be actually exacerbating the situation.
You brought up years ago that some people, when they have what they think might be a gluten sensitivity, actually might be glyphosate. It could be a combination of both. How about for those who are listening and wondering, “I’ll try to eat organic, but it’s just choosing foods that are non-GMO enough? Ones that have the label non-GMO but are not organic. What are your thoughts on that?
Not good enough. Here’s the reason: I’m not an expert in all the food toxins. I’m not a nutritionist. I follow two or three, Roundup and glyphosate-based herbicides, and GMOs. Roundup is seriously dangerous. It can damage the foundation of our health.
For the geeks among us, I’m going to list the things that glyphosate does on the foundational level, not at the disease level. You have already seen some. It can:
- Block the ability for certain minerals to be used.
- Damage the microbiome.
- Cause leaky gut.
- Cause cancer.
- Birth defects.
- Damage the mitochondria.
- Damage the ability to produce neurotransmitters.
- Mess up the hormones.
- Damage digestive capacity.
I’m just getting started. You don’t want Roundup in your food. Glyphosate-based herbicides, like Roundup, are sprayed on the grains and beans. It’s on the wheat, the oats in particular, the mung beans, lentils, chickpeas. So hummus is out. All these things, unless it’s organic, can contain high levels of glyphosate residues.
If you can’t get organic, then eat non-GMO, and avoid those specific foods whenever you can that have high levels of glyphosate residues. On the website ResponsibleTechnology.org, we have a database of all the different tests that we can find by organizations, including our own, that test for glyphosate residues. You can see which ones have high levels. You can see how organic in almost every case has either very low levels by comparison, or no detectable levels.
Why would it have any detectable levels? Sometimes, there is accidental contamination. Glyphosate is used so much; it’s the most used agricultural chemical in history. 300 million pounds a year. It’s in the air now. It’s in the rain. Even trying to grow organic in certain parts of the country may end up with glyphosate contamination at low levels. We can’t eliminate it completely, but we can certainly reduce it.
The problem with non-GMO essentially is it does not mean that it’s glyphosate-free. You are avoiding GMOs, not glyphosate.
How about water? What water would you recommend? If I may ask, what water do you drink? I imagine you are trying to avoid glyphosate in water as well.
I have a purifier that adds hydrogen to it. We did a couple webinars about it because I was impressed on its impact on the microbiome. I didn’t do any webinars until I got the certificate that it had no detectable levels of glyphosate. In the lab, they added glyphosate at a certain level. Then they put it through the filter. Then they tested the water afterwards. There is a few like that.
If you have a water filter, RO are always supposed to do that, reverse osmosis. I talked to someone two days ago, but they said their RO is not doing that. They may have a faulty RO. You can send your own water for a test for about $250, last time I checked. You can also test your own urine for about $100, or your hair. Hair gives it over time. Urine is more of a spot check. If you change your diet the night before, it can spike. If you cut out glyphosate for a week, it will go down dramatically. Most of it goes out in the urine.
I did a urinary glyphosate test a number of years ago. I don’t think I’ve seen one that doesn’t have any glyphosate. It was within the acceptable limits, but still tried to do things to decrease it, including sauna. I don’t know if there is actual research. When I did a retest, it showed that it was lower. I was already eating organic. Whether or not it’s coincidental, it did seem to help.
I did a whole program called Healing from GMOs and Roundup, where I interviewed 18 experts. I think it was Lee Cowden and Dietrich Klinghardt who both said detoxification using a sauna would be helpful for the process of getting rid of glyphosate. It was interesting. Dietrich said something I hadn’t heard until that point, but I have heard since. His most seriously damaged or unhealthy patients, like the autistic kids, had no glyphosate detectable in their urine until he started the glyphosate detoxification protocols. Then the glyphosate started coming out. It was as if they could not detoxify, and it was being held in their system and wreaking havoc. I have heard that at least one other time by another practitioner who does regular urine testing for glyphosate.
Interesting. If someone does a test, and if it looks great, it just might be that it’s stored in the tissues. It might be worth doing it again. We live in a toxic world regardless. Obviously, we’re doing things naturally to detox. In this day and age, we need to do more than just trying to detox through diet. That’s very interesting.
You probably know exactly. As far as the number of foods that are genetically modified, do you know the current number?
Sure. We’ve held it down to a dozen for many years, but I’m going to transition to GMO 2.0 because this is the issue. Soy, corn, cotton, canola, sugar beets, and alfalfas, those are the main six GMOs with the largest anchorage. Alfalfa, not just alfalfa sprouts, but hay for dairy cows. Canola and cottonseed oil. The sugar beets are not the table beets; they’re for sugar. We also have zucchini and yellow squash. We have papaya from Hawaii or China. We have apples that don’t turn brown when sliced. Don’t buy the pre-sliced apples from Amazon. We have potatoes that don’t turn brown when sliced. They’re throughout the food supply now, so that’s a big problem. There is a recent addition of a pink pineapple, which is weird.
We also have a group that has introduced genetically engineered salmon into Canada. I think it stopped for a while, and they are going to reintroduce it into the United States through catering and restaurants, so they don’t have to label it. In South America, there is an herbicide tolerant wheat. In Bangladesh and India, there is an eggplant, and they are trying to get some other things approved.
Those are the only GMO commercial crops that we know about, except the new gene edited GMOs. Gene editing is a newer way of creating GMOs. Instead of taking a gene from one species and putting it in, using a gene gun or bacterial smuggling, you can cut the genome at specific places. When it reattaches, you can have it build something or take in a foreign gene, or just cut out and knock out a gene so it doesn’t produce a protein.
The way they describe it and the way that I just did sounds very precise. In reality, it’s an absolute massive collateral damage show. In the fact, the journal Nature described it as “chromosomal mayhem,” deletions, additions, scrambling, chromosomes moved onto different chromosome sections.
You can watch a six-minute animated film at Responsible Technology.org called “Seven Reasons Why Gene Editing is Dangerous and Unpredictable.” There is the possibility of new DNA from bacteria or other animals being put in there. There is the possibility of proteins being truncated, causing allergens or toxins. There are epigenetic effects that can be inherited for at least 10 generations. It’s absolutely a disaster when applied to food.
You would think the regulatory agencies would say, “No, you can’t put any gene-edited food onto the market unless it’s thoroughly tested.” They don’t. They have been tricked by the biotech industry, who created an echo chamber of scientists saying, “Oh, it’s safe. It’s natural. It’s precise.” Using the same adjectives they tried to describe GMO 1.0 years ago, and finally people realized that wasn’t true. They have gotten countries to deregulate, turn the other way, on gene edited products that don’t have foreign genes put in, thinking it’s not a GMO. It is a GMO, and it’s very dangerous.
In the United States, no labeling and no testing. In Canada, the UK, Japan, Australia, India, Brazil, Argentina. There is a company that is bragging, Conscious Foods, creating mustard greens and other greens, saying, “We’re gene-editing our salad for delivery to you through catering organizations and restaurants,” so they don’t have to label it. That is a disaster.
Now, virtually anyone can create a gene edited food. A CRISPR lab, which in its most basic form, can cost less than $2,000. You need to do more to create a food. It’s being distributed in high schools. We’re in a situation where stealth GMOs will flood our food supply, and you can’t easily test for them, unless they’re registered, and you know what to look for. Our entire food supply is about to be contaminated unless we do something to stop it.
The Institute for Responsible Technology, which has been pioneering evidence about the health dangers around the world, building up a global movement, we see the possibility of a reversal of all of our wins because of gene editing. That is just in food.
Eric, the worst situation is there is a gene rush to create GMOs quickly to solve all sorts of problems, real or made up, by entrepreneurs and academics, who are going after insects and fish and trees and grass and pets. We are talking about GMOs that once you release, you cannot recall. You don’t know what the outcome is going to be years on. The 24 rabbits released in Australia in 1859 so that visitors felt more comfortable, so they can hunt rabbits. In the 1920s, there was over 10 billion because rabbits multiply like rabbits. We don’t know what’s going to happen when we introduce these GMOs from gene editing.
We do know the most common result of gene editing and GMOs in general are surprise side effects. We may end biological evolution as we know it in this generation now that we have the capacity to redirect the streams of evolution intentionally or accidentally. Even by high school students who are assigned to use CRISPR kits and labs in science class. The most serious, the most dangerous, the most urgent situation is also around the most common species that are genetically engineered, and that’s microbes.
On our website, ResponsibleTechnology.org, you can watch a 16-minute film called “Don’t Let the Gene Out of the Bottle.” It’s about the dangers of genetically engineered microorganisms, and it’s way worse than you can imagine. In the early ‘90s, there was a genetically engineered microbe that was nearly released. If it had been released as scheduled, as you will see in the interview of this former professor at Oregon State University, it may have theoretically ended terrestrial plant life. Another one could have theoretically altered weather patterns. These are just two genetically engineered microbes that might have caused these cataclysms simply doing what they were designed to do but better than the engineers thought in more ecosystems.
When you release a genetically engineered microbe, microbes travel. Microbes mutate. Microbes swap genes with other microbes. The microbes co-evolve with us so that we actually rely on each other. They’re an intimate and intricate part of our health and our ecosystem and our soil. Algae produces most of the earth’s oxygen. Mycorrhizal fungi networks shuttle nutrients between trees, keeping forests healthy. Soil microbes support the health of plants and draw down carbon. Up to 80% of human diseases find their basis in dysbiosis or dysfunctional microbiomes. We have outsourced up to 90% of our metabolic and chemical functions to the microbes living inside us. We can get away with a measly 23,000 genes because we use the genetic information from the 3.5 million genes of the microbial communities living inside us.
But we have co-evolved with that. Now, you introduce a genetically engineered gene that didn’t co-evolve with us. You release it from a science student or university student or someone who is trying to fix the soil, and it ends up in our gut. It changes the nature of nature in ways that we can’t predict. It swaps the gene with genes inside us.
One microbiologist talked about when you release microbes into the soil that are genetically engineered, you equip them with antimicrobials to kill other microbes to survive the competition. You equip them with antibiotic resistance. What if the antimicrobial/antibiotic resistance genetic set is eaten because it’s on soil? You lick your hands, and now some pathogen picks those up. Now it can kill other microbes, and it doesn’t die from antibiotics. It can live long and prosper. That can get out and create new pandemics. We can create these new pandemics just by distributing CRISPR kits to schools.
There is an urgency like never before. Institute for Responsible Technology, we’re taking the lead on building a new global movement. We’d like to invite all your listeners to come to our website, sign up for our newsletter, and please make a recurring donation, even $5. It’s so much more expensive to create new national laws and international treaties than it has been for the 20 years in consumer education.
We’re building movements of movements, health care practitioners. We have a program we’re launching for them. We’re bringing natural products companies and supplement companies, regenerative agriculture, which relies on microbes. The climate change movement, which relies now on drawing down carbon, using the soil microbes, being healthy, and doing what they were designed to do. Ocean preservationists, environmentalists, even the spiritual and religious people who believe GMO means God Move Over. All of them coming together to focus our energies on massive education, popular culture, and new laws and international treaties to lock down and protect the microbiome from this unprecedented threat, from cheap, unregulated, irrecoverable, irreversible, accident-prone gene editing technology.
Wow. Very scary, but very important that you mentioned this. I actually watched that 16-minute video. Definitely recommend visiting ResponsibleTechnology.org. Make that donation. We definitely want to prevent GMO 3.0 from developing. Try to do what we can right now with existing GMO 2.0.
One more quick question, as far as lab-grown meat: Is that also under the category of GMO 2.0? Is that something separate?
Some of it is, and some of it isn’t. You can clone things without it being genetically modified. A lot of them use gene editing at the same time. I’m not an expert on the cloning. I do know that when you create a GMO, you can clone in advance cells before you insert the gene editing or regular GMO mechanism. Once the cell is transformed with the GMO, you then clone it into a plant. That causes massive collateral damage. Hundreds or thousands of mutations from that process alone.
Even if you happen to get lucky, and your gene editing happens not to cut in all the wrong places and create deletions and additions, and any mutations that it will inevitably do don’t turn out to be mission-critical, just growing the plant for food can cause serious problems that may end up in the food we’re eating.
I also am in favor of avoiding these fake meat programs. One example that I think is particularly dangerous in my opinion is Impossible Burger. Impossible Burger not only has genetically engineered soy, sprayed with Roundup. You can calculate how much Roundup is there by sending it to a lab, and it’s high.
The red color that makes it look like fake blood in meat comes from genetically engineered yeast, where they put in genes from the roots of soy. We don’t eat soy roots, so this has never been in the food supply. When they asked the FDA, “Can you give us ‘generally recognized as safe’ status?” The FDA scientists under the Obama administration said, “No way. This has never been in the human food supply. By the way, when you scoop this up from your fermentation vats, this hemoglobin that’s red colored, 30% of that scoop are other stuff you don’t purify out that has 46 other uncharacterized proteins, also not part of the food supply. No, we’re not giving you any letter.”
But because Monsanto was in charge of policy at the FDA over GMOs, the Impossible Burger company said, “All right. We’ll put it on the market anyway. We don’t need GRAS status.” Under the Trump administration, with no additional data, the FDA reversed its position and said, “We’ll call it GRAS.”
We know that many people who have eaten the Impossible Burger have reported problems, sickness, or symptoms. We have heard that from other nonprofits that haven’t yet published their results. It’s hard to point to that. I wouldn’t test it. I wouldn’t test my body on this genetically engineered situation.
I mentioned that you genetically engineer yeast with genes from soy to produce the protein that is normally created in the root. That is called synthetic biology. That is not new. It was used in the ‘80s to create L-tryptophan, the supplement we talked about earlier. That had some problems. It caused the death of 100 Americans, and 5,000-10,000 fell sick from the genetically engineered bacteria used to create the L-tryptophan. We now think it was the GMO that caused the problem. That is now being used to create proteins, enzymes, medicines, and supplements. They are genetically engineering yeast or algae or bacteria and then fermenting it and then supposedly purifying and isolating the byproduct.
What do they do with their yeast and bacteria and algae? What if it escapes? What if it’s not killed completely? That is another source of genetically modified microorganisms. We may end up with them in our gut. The ones that are producing opioids or CBD or medicines may be in our gut, producing it 24/7, or industrial enzymes.
Or the two companies we know about, because they are bragging about it, have genetically engineered soil microbes, up to 43 million acres and up to five trillion microbes per acre. What happens when that gets into the gut bacteria? That industry is about to explode.
We are in an urgent situation, Eric, to stop the release of genetically engineered microbes while we still have a rather young industry with less power, and we are just coming off a pandemic where we realized that microbes can travel, mutate, and wreak havoc. We have a growing ban gain of function movement that have the right idea as a start. They just don’t understand the biology, that it’s not just potential pandemic pathogens that need to be banned from gain of function, but any microbe. Common everyday microorganisms cannot be released if we are to maintain nature as it has been inherited by us to give to future generations.
The good news is I think everyone just got it. It doesn’t take long to go, “Oh my god, that’s so important.” That’s one of the greatest assets. We have all these different groups that rely on a healthy microbiome for their success. They just need to hear this.
Please share this recording with other people. Send them to Responsible Technology. Share the 16-minute video because we need a critical mass. It turns out that ends up changing human history. Somehow, consciousness doesn’t act in a linear, local fashion. We do tend to shift as a system. it takes a critical number of people getting it. Don’t just look at it lightly. Be one of those critical numbers. Understand this. Even just understanding and appreciating and realizing we need to protect nature now. We need to protect nature immediately. Change our relationship with nature, now that we have the ability to damage all living beings and all future generations. That shift in relationship is what we intend to create globally as the antidote to this new dangerous technology.
Protect nature now. That says it all. Thank you so much. Right after you finish listening to this, ResponsibleTechnology.org. Just go on right now. Load that on the website. This is really important. This is one of the most important, if not the most important, interviews I have done. I can’t thank you enough. Any other websites or resources? Is that really the main one?
I would say SecretIngredientsFilm.com. It’s a film that shows how switching to organic can change your health dramatically. It’s the most effective tool to convince people to eat organic. It’s not just for those who are wanting to switch to organic and wanting to know why. It’s for those who are the food fanatics who people run away from because you have been talking about food for so long. Just don’t try it anymore. Let me do it. Show them the film that I did with Amy Hart. Spouses say to me, “I’ve tried for years to get my husband to change. Now he’s more fanatic than I was because he saw Secret Ingredients.” It’s a very powerful film.
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Jeffrey, thank you so much. It was an honor speaking with you. You shared so much valuable information. Definitely take action while you can.
Thank you, Eric. Safe eating.