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Playing with Nature without Understanding the Consequences - Episode 114

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In this week's episode...

The biotech industry's claim that genetically modified (GM) foods are safe is shattered in this groundbreaking lecture. Safety assessments on GM crops are not competent to identify the health problems, and industry research is rigged to avoid finding problems.

This podcast is for anyone wanting to understand GM technology, to learn how to protect themselves, or to share their concerns with others. It is presented in the clear, accessible style that made Jeffrey Smith's Seeds of Deception the world's best-selling book on genetically engineered foods.

The leading consumer advocate promoting healthier non-GMO choices, Jeffrey Smith’s meticulous research documents how biotech companies continue to mislead legislators and safety officials to put the health of society at risk and the environment in peril. His work expertly summarizes why the safety assessments conducted by the FDA and regulators worldwide teeter on a foundation of outdated science and false assumptions, and why genetically engineered foods must urgently become our nation’s top food safety priority.

Mr. Smith’s feature-length documentary Genetic Roulette-The Gamble of Our Lives was awarded the 2012 Movie of the Year (Solari Report) and the Transformational Film of the Year (AwareGuide). Described as a “life-changer” and seen by millions worldwide, the film links genetically engineered food to toxic and allergic reactions, infertility, digestive disorders, and numerous problems that have been on the rise in the US population since genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were introduced.

The Institute for Responsible Technology is working to protect you & the World from GMOs (and while we’re at it, Roundup®...)  To find out exactly how we do this and to subscribe to our newsletter visit

Join us at Protect Nature Now to Safeguarding Biological Evolution from GMOs 2.0. The place to get critical up to date information, watch our short film and most importantly, learn easy ways for you to take action against this existential threat. Visit:

Watch "Don't Let the Gene Out of the Bottle"

Get the book: "Seeds of Deception"

Sign the Petition

IG @irtnogmos

Facebook @responsibletechnology

YouTube @TheInstituteforResponsibleTechinology

Twitter @TheInstituteforResponsibleTechnology

Notes for this week's Podcast
This week's Transcript

Rough Transcript:

Speaker 2: (00:07)
There's another type of insect. This is under development, not yet created as far as we know, but it's being created by the department of defense, which we all have great confidence in is looking out for us. And these are insects that deliver viruses. That'll genetically engineer in the field. So you create their insect, it'll end up genetically engineering, things that it interacts with. So that should be safe, right? Easily contained. Now there's also digital DNA DNA. We have the code let's build from scratch. Let's create what we need.

Speaker 2: (00:53)
There's a revolution in the speed of reading. What the code is that DNA code for different species. As of 2015, there were 2,500 high throughput instruments located in a thousand sequencing centers in 55 countries. And the total would be, I'll read this 35 pedal bases of genome sequencing, which is a thousand million base pairs. 10 years later, 2025. They're expecting a Zetta base, which is a thousand million trillion. So instead of filling up a silo, one, if one grain of sand was one base pair, he would fill up 150 stadiums. We're talking about the possibility and they say by then they'll have sequenced all of the 1.2 described species of plants and animals and have at least 2.5 million plant and animal genome sequences. Once you have the genome sequences, you can then engage in building or changing in a laboratory, mathematically on a computer, and then have it done for you to see what the results are. Here's where bio intelligence, AI, artificial intelligence meets biotech. There are factories without humans, robots powered by artificial intelligence to create genome sequences that are pushed him by people on the internet, want to get their genes created and sent to them.

Speaker 2: (02:46)
So you can have this whole apparatus working for you, ordering jeans, having them sent to your laboratory or your garage, creating new things. And that's going to get cheaper and cheaper and going to have the availability of getting these genome sequences from these different organisms. So if you don't like something about an organism, maybe you want to try making a change and see what if, see what it does now. Unfortunately, we are babes in the woods when it comes to manipulating DNA. Most genes operate as families and networks, and it's a very complicated. So that's why you don't see genetically engineered crops that actually increased yield or effectively grow better in drought conditions or salt conditions, because that involves many, many different genes interacting together. And they got lucky with Roundup ready cause they could, they could do that with one gene or producing the BT toxin insecticide.

Speaker 2: (03:44)
They can do that with that with one gene. But even then it's producing a protein that the system may splice and dice and create many different versions of, we don't know the ones checked, but we do know that we're creating a system where we can play with these elements of nature without understanding the consequences. I was my I've told us yesterday that Monsanto did a big private investigation analysis of my life to try and find skeletons in my closet and discovered that I was a dancer. So now they call me, you know, dance teacher releases, film, critiquing GMOs, you know, that's that because 20 years ago I taught dance. So, uh, in order to pay to write the book that that brought down Monsanto or I was helping to bring down Monsanto. So I was at a swing dance workshop in St. Louis. And I was with some friends. I lived in Iowa at the time. And some other people from the workshop came in during the lunch break and we invited them to sit down with us. And a gentleman sat down across from me and I said, what do you do since I'm a molecular biologist? I said, where do you work? He says, Monsanto.

Speaker 2: (05:04)
I says, what do you do? He says, I test for safety of GMOs. He was a fellow swing dancer. It was lunchtime. I figured I'd go easy with them. And we just had light chat about allergenic constructs, you know, as you do over Thai food. And then I said to him, we know that when you genetically engineer, you insert a gene and you disrupt the DNA, right? At the point of insertion, you also disrupted and hundreds or thousands of other locations by the time you create the plant. But I was just talking about something called insertion mutation, which is well understood and acknowledged. And I said, how do you know this was like in 1980?

Speaker 2: (05:55)
Oh no, not an 80. I, and um, this was like in 2000 and I said, how do you know that the gene that you're disrupting isn't important and could cause problems. And his response reminded me later of what the guy from the mosquito conversation said. He said, we're learning more and more all the time about which genes are important. Now he had already released all these different foods where they may have learned afterwards that certain genes are important that have been changed, but I didn't get into that. I just hit him with the harder question. I said, what happens if all the genes are important? What happens if there are aspects about the sequence of the genome that we don't understand yet? What if it's using aspects of physics like quantum effects, quantum fields, or quantum, quantum mechanics that we don't even know how to test for silence?

Speaker 2: (07:04)
A very long and awkward silence. His friend that had sat down with us said, that's deep, but the guy didn't say anything. After a long, deep silence, he looked up and said, but you know, we need genetic engineering. I said, what? He said, we need genetic engineer. I said, why did you feed the world? Because by the year 2040, and he started going off into the myth that GMO's are designed to feed the world. And I knew he was sincere and I knew he was wrong and research that has come out since 2000 shows that GMOs don't increase average yield. Whereas agro eco era, I grew up ecology can double yields in developing countries. A 12 million farm research study found a 79% average increase in yields, not using GMOs. The UN experts for the ice dad conference said, GMOs have nothing to offer feeding the hungry world, but he didn't know.

Speaker 2: (08:05)
And that was his excuse for playing with the genome in a way that could cause damage that he can't yet figure out. And that reminded me of another scientist who did work for Monsanto. And I had a long conversation with him also about allergenic constructs. And I said to him at one point, you know, do you know for sure that you cannot guarantee that a particular GMO is not going to create an allergic reaction and at least some aspect of the population because you can't test allergens beforehand because people don't even get allergic reactions until multiple exposures.

Speaker 2: (08:49)
And he said, but you know, we need genetic engineering. I said, he said, we need genetic engineering to feed the world for developing countries. I've been to India. I know how bad their agriculture is. We need to help India. So again, at the moment that I asked them about the science about the fact that they were willing to expose the population for something that was almost certainly highly risky and more likely, really dangerous could have an advocate, negative effect. They jumped into the feeding, the world argument, and I've also been to India. And if I talked to him now, I would point out what Monsanto's cotton seeds have done in India. There were not very reliable. They lied. I believe about the effectiveness. And many people believe that their research in their proposals, preposterous proposals increased yield or complete myths. And they went in with the most aggressive strategy, kicking out the non-GMO alternatives and resulting in a genetically engineered cotton seed that very often failed to even give enough money to the farmer who had been convinced by the Monsanto advertising to borrow money from the loan sharks and up to 7% interest per month.

Speaker 2: (10:25)
And they couldn't even pay back the loans from the ridiculous results of this genetically engineered bacteria. I pretended to engineered cotton and faced with the possibility of losing their land and the shame of that many committed suicide. I'm going to give you a number of the estimated number of GM cotton farmers that have committed suicide from, in Monsanto, introducing its genetically engineered seeds 250,000. So this is what this person was arguing for. He's been to India. He knows it needs Monsanto to come in and save them and was willing to risk the health of people because India needed him.

Speaker 1: (11:26)

Speaker 3: (11:32)
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