Listen to the Podcast:
In today's episode of Live Healthy Be Well Jeffrey speaks with Alan Lewis, of Natural Grocers about the labeling sham involving the USDA. This is a MUST listen for all of us who rely on the labeling of GMOs to keep ourselves and our families safe from these dangerous elements. Now, the USDA, which is run by a very pro-GMO director is watering down the rules for labeling making it easy for GMO food producers not to disclose anything about their food.
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 https://www.responsibletechnology.org/
Notes for this week's Podcast
This week's Transcript
Speaker 2: (00:08)
I'm with Alan Lewis. Now I've known Alan for a long time. Alan is an amazing advocate. I like to say an activist dressed in corporate clothing, but don't tell his boss, Alan, you worked for natural grocer and you have done some amazing stuff for our food supply. Thank you. Well, thanks. And it's great to be here, Jeffrey. I appreciate the invitation and you know, right back at you with those compliments, I, I'm not sure how long you've been doing this, but as long as there's BNG, Ben GMOs, Jeffrey Smith. Yeah. That's about it. When it landed, when it started growing and, uh, Iowa, I was starting to fight against it 24 years ago. And we've been fighting against the, um, madness of the government, which has aligned itself ma you know, joined at the hip with Monsanto has been bought by bears. So Monsanto bear, and what happened in 2016 was Vermont had passed a labeling law that was going to go into effect.
Speaker 2: (01:21)
And the, the biotech industry is so powerful on the executive branch and also in the Congress. And even in the, uh, and the legal courts, they, they were able to create and pass a bill, which we call denying Americans, the right to know the dark act, um, that made it impossible and illegal for States to require labeling of GMOs. So the entire anti GMO movement, it was like letting the air out of the tire. You know, the Institute for responsible technology, we had over 10,000 activists working at 117 different tipping point network groups most were working on labeling and it just went, but they did something diabolical at the same time. They said, Oh, the reason we're going to do it is we're going to handle our own. We're going to make our own GMO labeling law. And we're going to take it out of the hands of the FDA and give it to the USDA because we know the USDA, the agriculture department is always run by a pro GMO guy.
Speaker 2: (02:27)
Villsac was the biotech governor of the year under, under our previous administration. And the Sonny Purdue was about to governor of the year. Uh, he was also a biotech governor of the year before he was a secretary of agriculture. And so they know that they can control the agenda. And so they did come up with a fake labeling bill. And now you are part of a group led by center for food safety, suing the USDA over this sham of a bill, this sorrowful ridiculous pathetic bill, which means nothing. So people say, Oh, you have labeling in the United States. No, we don't. So Alan, I want to throw it over to you. And why don't you just tell us, just pick one aspect of this bill, making it ridiculous.
Speaker 3: (03:20)
And there's two parts to that. The, as if I remember correctly, cause I, the dark app rolls off my tongue really easily, but the national bio-engineered food disclosure act is actually designed to prevent the disclosure of GMO foods. It's that's Heidel is the opposite of its intent and, and the, uh, and the text of the law. Right now, we're in a situation where the USTA under the current administration and Sonny Purdue has gone several steps further and taken the dark act to the actual provisions of the statute and created the regulations around them and the regulations watered down the requirements to the extent that it, you, you really won't have to disclose anything. And, um, and there won't be any enforcement anyway. So the, you know, the most, there's four points here and I'm going to just share one and then we can talk a little bit, but the first is the idea that we no longer have GMO or genetically engineered foods. We will not be allowed to describe them that way. There are now bio-engineered and bio-engineered, um, I challenged the average citizen to tell anyone what that means or to recognize what that means. So the idea that they've created an alternate nomenclature that isn't readily accessible to the citizens subject to these law or the businesses, um, is the first clue that you have that the intent of the law. And that was double down on the regulations is the opposite of its name.
Speaker 2: (05:03)
And they have a little, little note, like have a little, a bee seal where like, you know, it's like a smiley CLA, this is good. It's like, it's like healthy farm.
Speaker 3: (05:15)
Well, the original ones were patterned after the British petroleum green and yellow sunburst. It, it was a, when I held up the two, I would always get the audience to just laugh and astonishment. But the current, the current version of the logo actually shows a dying flower under a setting sun. And when I point that out to people, I say, this is quite apt considering how GMO cropping systems work.
Speaker 2: (05:44)
I love that, you know, we did a cut. We did a contest online for those, for those people who are, who like our Facebook page Institute for responsible technology. We S we sometimes do contests, and this was a contest to what does bee really stand for. And I am proud of our winner. I am, as soon as I heard it, I went, Oh, that is so buy elsewhere.
Speaker 3: (06:11)
Very, very good. So, you know, natural grocers has been around for 66 years now, I think 65, 66 years. And we've been deeply committed to transparency and clean, healthy food. So we were one of the original certifiers running around the farms in our, around our stores, making sure that pesticides weren't being used, that synthetic fertilizers weren't being used and that nothing was commingled on that food before it got to our store. So now we're in a situation where the government is saying, if there's no genetic material in that sugar, in that oil, in the, whatever the ingredients are in that food, then we cannot even say that it was bioengineer, that it was genetically modified and that it was likely grown with glyphosate in the adjutants and the other dangerous toxic events in Roundup. Let me make this, let me tell our customers. You're not allowed to say it. Nope. We're not allowed to say it because there's no genetic material.
Speaker 2: (07:16)
Well, when you say there's no genetic material, let's be clear. It's, it's no genetic material. That's been, you know, no DNA and you can verify, but you can verify that it's been genetically engineered
Speaker 3: (07:29)
That, you know, but for the listeners that is entirely beside the point, by the time you take sugar, let's shit, corn, for instance, GMO corn, and highly processed it and take all the genetic material out. So you only have the sugar molecules, you have already done so much damage to the soil, to the animals, to the environment. And all of that stuff has with it. The residues of glyphosate and the other herbicides that are being used, like the CAMBA in two 40, and they have the residues and the adjuncts. Now, this is really critical because 24 years ago, when you started, you had a hunch based on your scientific knowledge, that it wasn't the food itself, right. Necessarily that was going to cause the problem. It was the whole agricultural cropping system and the chemical toxicity that's developed for 24 years, but simultaneously the science behind the gut biome, our digestive system, our nutritional system, and it's direct correlation with complex chronic disease. Boom, Jeffrey Smith was right all along. Is this food dangerous? Well, the food, maybe not is everything that it carries with us. It's taken a generation of Americans and humans across the globe and put them into all sorts of complex chronic diseases. It's debilitating the species.
Speaker 2: (09:01)
And I would say it is both the, the meal. You, it is both the chemicals and the genetic engineered crops themselves. I mean, Sarah linis study was classic. He took rats and fed them Roundup ready, corn that had been sprayed with Roundup. They got multiple massive tumors, early death and organ damage fed Roundup alone. They had the same thing he said was, Oh, it's the Roundup alone, but wait ladies, but wait, it's also, they just, they fed the corn without being sprayed, the GMO corn. They had the same thing, multiple massive tumors, early death and organ damage. So yeah, it's the food and the, and the Roundup separately and together now.
Speaker 3: (09:39)
Yeah. For people, you know, being active and aware of this issue, the 30 year old argument has been, we have tens of thousands of studies that show that cannot show there is harm from the food. And those studies were all carefully concocted to show no harm from food to your point, the way that is done, you can successfully do that. But now there are 10,000 studies that show that, that food with the residues and the potential new gene edited, uh, recombinant genes in that food are having significant effects on our own genetic makeup, in our biome and causing dysbiosis and, and complex diseases like Parkinson's. And Alzheimer's so when you hear, Oh, this food is safe, I've got 10,000 studies, boom. You stop when you say, no, you don't. And I got 10,000 more from the last 10 years, that'll put you in your grave.
Speaker 2: (10:39)
And actually when you look at their studies, you can deconstruct them and show how they, most of the studies they point to are not safety studies, they're commercial studies like, you know, they'll do it on chickens and check out the fat pad of the chickens. And that has nothing to do with human safety. The ones that do have to do with human safety, they're typically designed to avoid finding problems. And yet they still find problems and cover it up, which is another subject for another discussion. But coming back to this point, which I wanted to be, I used to work at a GMO detection laboratory, and we would look at using something called PCR, which is a name that people are familiar with now because of COVID. We would use this technology to amplify the amount of DNA and then characterize it. I wasn't a technician.
Speaker 2: (11:25)
I was a VP. So, um, what we learned was that certain things like high fructose corn syrup, you could not find in the final product, uh, lecithin, you know, soy, LFS, that's the thing he would be there if you had, if you had a whole jar of lecithin, but if it was in the product at the small amounts that you use, you wouldn't be able to find it, uh, oil, highly refined oil. You won't find DNA there. So you can have, um, a lot things that have been processed, where you separate out the DNA, proteins, et cetera. Now, the USDA law says, if you cannot find the DNA in the final product, you don't have to label. It has be right. Right. Which means that that eliminates 90% of all the products on the marketplace right there. So all the products with soy oil and lecithin and high fructose corn syrup and hundreds of derivatives of soy and corn and cellulose from cotton and canola oil and cottonseed oil, all of these things will get a pass.
Speaker 2: (12:37)
So, so if you're looking for the bee to know that you're avoiding GMOs, forget it, because if you're doing that, you're not paying attention. You're being deceived. That's one reason we call this a sham bill you're being deceived. Um, and it's an, it's a conscious deception. Everyone knows that consumers, when they are polled survey, after survey is consistent, then it doesn't matter that it's not in the final product. I want to know if it was used. In fact, Europe used to have that rule that if it wasn't in the final product, you didn't have to label it. And there was a revolt and they changed it, right?
Speaker 3: (13:19)
One of the double down on that, the inconvenient truth. Now, 24 years ago, you couldn't get that this stuff where you couldn't detect it reliably, or, or you couldn't quantify how much was in there. But with photography, you can go down to three parts per trillion. We know this, we can find this genetic material. And that's part of the dark act scam is that instead of saying, putting a low detect level on there of, of one part per billion and say, if you can find this genetic material and this amount, then you need to label it. But they're not doing that. They're setting a broad standard. And I don't remember quite what it is, but it's very, very high relative to the detection capability today. And then they're taking a wholesale approach and saying, we know that all of these commodities are going to test below our high residual limit. So we're going to put them on the don't need to disclose list. And that's where you're going to see a tremendous amount of fraud, where there are lots of those commodities and Hy-Vee process degree ingredients that still have that genetic material in there.
Speaker 2: (14:29)
All right. So now we have a situation where most items are excluded. Anything from gene editing is excluded. Gene editing has so many dangers, some unique dangers that the old stuff of genetic engineering doesn't have when you put it in there,
Speaker 3: (14:47)
[inaudible] animals and microbes, which is a whole new fun game. Yeah. So you can,
Speaker 2: (14:52)
When you do gene editing, you put in, um, a cider and an assassin, the cider finds the place in the DNA and then the assassin cuts it. And what happens is it stays there and then it continues to do work. So you can create a little cell and genetically engineered and test it. And then a year later you can start, okay, let's use that cell line. It's still been working the whole time and it's continued to work. So there are problems with gene editing. We won't go into there. They're so dangerous. And yet it is excluded completely. So all the new GMOs are excluded. So now you have this very, very thin number of products that require some sort of notification or disclosure. So the first way they disclose is let's put beet E on the thing and confuse people, right? But there's another way that we can confuse and obscure and delay and make it very hard for customers to figure out what's going on. And that is the famous QR code,
Speaker 3: (15:56)
The famous QR code, a bunch of randomly placed dots, which are a code for a reader that, that a will in that is hidden. The, the, a site address for a website page that supposedly has a disclosure on it. But a couple of things I pointed out to the USDA during all the comment period that I'm sitting in my laptop right now, if I had that product label in my hand with the QR code, it does me no good. I cannot scan it sitting in my lab, in my laptop, you know, and I said, you have to put a human readable URL on that bottle. And in fact that was more or less mandated in the law. And it's one of the things that the regulation from sunny Purdue and this administration has just made a mockery of the intent that the law, they admitted so hard to find out, even if you want to scan that code or want to find it out, and you think it's GE or B, he, you can't right. And then other people have to send a text or call a phone number and get a recording. Um, they did everything they could to, uh, to, to, to eliminate the possibility that the regular consumer worrying a mass, keeping their toddler happy, trying to shop in a grocery store. Wouldn't ever be able to find out the information they're entitled to.
Speaker 2: (17:22)
I'm going to give the good news after this, by the way, there's really good news about this fake labeling bill. I'm not sure if you would agree with me. So there's also discrimination in the QR code. If it only shows you through the QR code that it's saying, we're only catering to those people that have a smartphone and are shopping in an area that has, uh, access. Um, so we're not taking, talking about a certain, uh, age group that has never, that doesn't use it or economic group that doesn't use it. So there's a discrimination. And then you have to have the time, not only to figure it out how to do it. And, but also then once you get it, you get on the website and you have to find it. Cause there's, I don't think there's any,
Speaker 3: (18:02)
You can speak English too. And, um, you know, I don't know what percent of the population is excluded based on that, but there's a lot of these disclosures being a native English speaker that I can't understand anyway, um, they've taken every step they can. So
Speaker 2: (18:21)
Are we done with the sham piece? Because it's so bad. I'm, I'm kind of like, it's like toxic. I'm just like wanting to hold it at a distance and say, this is the best. This is what Monsanto us Monsanto's USDA created. Um, are we ready to go to the good news?
Speaker 3: (18:40)
Sure. Let's have some good news. Cause I can go along with the bad news for a lot longer. So I'll, I'll hand it off to them.
Speaker 2: (18:45)
Okay. Okay. I don't want to cut you off. I mean, we're okay. We're getting our energy. Is there anyone who hears this realizes that the only way that you can verify that something is non-GMO is to use a verifiable non-GMO claim. Some companies are going to make the claim that they are non-GMO because they do not require labels by the USDA. So they could be using 100% genetically engineered soybeans to make soybean oil hundred percent. And they could say, it's not GMO because it has no GMO in the final product, according to the USDA. So they'll twist it, right? People have already done that for years and we call them out on it. Right? So what this means is that those companies that have pushed the USDA to try and obscure the fact so that they can put on a non-GMO label or they can put on a QR code or whatever, anything that is simply self labeled as non-GMO becomes suspect.
Speaker 2: (19:56)
And so it forces the food industry to now pay for and participate in a trusted third party verification, like the non-GMO project, which we endorse and support because no, one's going to believe companies because the non-GMO label is not defined generically. So some people could say non-GMO because it doesn't require labeling by the USDA. We would argue that that is false. And fraudulent, someone say non-GMO because they simply ask their farmers non-GMO but never check. Or sometimes it's an affidavit. Sometimes it's a weak test. Sometimes it's a strong test. Sometimes they have a high rejection threshold. It's a wild West out there. When Cheerio said we're non-GMO I called him up. I said, what do you mean non GMO? And they said, um, let me check. It's proprietary. You're us. It's non-GMO but you don't tell us what it means. I'm sorry. It's proprietary. And I said, dude, I started asking the questions.
Speaker 2: (20:53)
What type of testing do you use? Is it just affidavit? I'm sorry, sir. It's proprietary. So it tells everyone that since we can't trust the USDA and we can't trust companies, we run the other way. It also tells you that some companies will put QR codes on their package for other information. Now people are going to say, Oh, if it's a QR code, it's part of the scam. It means that they're just trying to hide the fact that they're doing GMOs and they will be penalized for having supported this fake laypeople. Cause a lot of the companies supported this fake labeling bill. So what, another thing, another thing that was interesting. So, so the, the end result is if we can educate consumers about the ridiculous nature of the USDA system, it not only means that we can ignore it completely, but if you're simply going for going for non-GMO, you know what to look for. And if you're listening to me, you're also going for organic because organic does not allow the use of Roundup and other toxic chemicals. And so that's really where you want to go. So
Speaker 3: (21:59)
On that note, on the good news, when you look at COVID and the consumer, the general consumer population response people are so refocused on immune defense and staying healthy. Um, and you see that the sales of organic and non GMO project verified products are far above the sales are far above the increases shown by regular conventional supermarkets where people are shifting their, their restaurant shopping to buying ingredients, to cook at home. And that is a big piece of good news is then even though with all of the fear and financial pressures that COVID is presenting the most people, um, they're redirecting that energy towards how can I protect myself in the long run from more environmental toxins in this general toxic assault, uh, from the agro chemical industry.
Speaker 2: (22:53)
Well, so, um, you can't share your numbers, um, because you're a private company and you wouldn't do that. I will brag about you by the way, natural grocers, all the produce 156 stores,
Speaker 3: (23:09)
57, but you are correct. We are only, only sell certified organic produce.
Speaker 2: (23:14)
Can you say that one more time, please? Allen,
Speaker 3: (23:16)
We will only sell certified organic produce. No, asterick there. That's just, that's just the truth. It says it on the front of our stores and our stores are certified organic handlers. So we're not contaminant in our trucks and our backroom and our scullery or in our displays.
Speaker 2: (23:36)
I'm looking, I'm looking at the questions on here because it's easier to do on my phone. Sorry for the interruption. But yes, congratulations on that. I about you and your company and you have a dairy standard that you set them a whole year, it's like, it's I, um, when people have this general anti corporation thing, I go, no, no, no, no, you don't understand. There's those of us who are really into, you know, creating healthy food and healthy world. And some of us are activists, but some of us are in business,
Speaker 3: (24:10)
This activist, and that's the leadership at natural grocers. I don't get to be on here talking with you, uh, because I'm sneaking around, this is what I'm asked to do by my leadership and the owners of the company. So it's just a tremendous, you're not alone. There are thousands of other independent retailers, independent natural products, retailers that will do the same thing. We actually work together and collaborate on these issues as you well know the stores like infra and good earth. And NPCC for that reason, there's a lot of strength in numbers and we give ourselves a lot of courage.
Speaker 2: (24:47)
I know, I mean, it was, it was a good earth and now, and the Berkeley, uh, natural grocers and El Serita, natural grocers, which is not your company, um, that, uh, uh, pioneered the non-GMO project, which then went to the retailers, which then became something that is now on billions and tens of billions of dollars worth of materials. Okay. So Edward says high fructose corn syrup is a real serious health risk, um, GMOs and deadly pesticides, et cetera. No good food left unless we have a separate supply of oxygen under an airtight dome. Um, yes. Well, it's, it's true that I broke this card. Say if I talked to someone who did research to find that there was mercury and I spoke to us corn syrup, that's like another wake up call, um, Marcela says, get him okay. That's that's for, you know,
Speaker 3: (25:40)
Not going, haven't allow high fructose corn syrup in our, in any food that we sell since it was invented. And it's one of the banned ingredients. If you bring us a product that has it in it, we're like, sorry, cause there's 10 others that don't, and that thing with us and whole foods and the other natural foods setting that minimum standard, those banned ingredients, that's the basis of the natural products industry. So yeah, and yet, you know, the dieticians union that they they're all for, they're all for it, but that's what a sponsorship by Pepsi and Coke will do for you.
Speaker 2: (26:15)
Oh yeah. I don't talk to you about dietitians. Um, so John says, this is worse than the virus it's going to be going on and on and on and affects your health without us even knowing it. Well, yeah, we have, I mean, a lot of our stuff points to more than 30 diseases on the rise and linked to GMOs and Roundup use. All right. So, um, I wanted, I want to give people, um, a interesting way of being an activist. Um, first of all, for years we have been pushing non GMO. And so some people believe that non-GMO is more important than organic and that they don't realize that organic does not allow the use of GMOs, but it also doesn't allow the use of Roundup. So it is a higher, more exalted category. And there's even an, a possibility of having non-GMO project verified and organic on the same label. And there's an advantage to that. Why you say and that we say, why please?
Speaker 3: (27:15)
Well, because consumers respond to that butterfly and then perspective, if you're already organic, adding the non-GMO a butterfly on there is very cost effective and efficient way to communicate that.
Speaker 2: (27:28)
And the Nigeria and the non GMO project requires testing to verify that you are consistently below the 0.9% action threshold.
Speaker 3: (27:41)
And just on the board call today. And the budget for that surveillance testing is really high, but it's so critical to keep everybody aware of the hidden threats.
Speaker 2: (27:51)
So you're on the board of the non GMO project. Yeah. And so if you can get both organic and non GMO project verified, it means that if there has been contamination that it's more likely to be found if it has non-GMO project verification, because organic does not require testing. If there is contamination, it is usually very small.
Speaker 3: (28:15)
Yeah. I mean, it's difficult subject, cause I'm such a big supporter of the organic seal, but I can tell you from the consumer's perspective, having voltage is a one, two punch, it's hard to beat it.
Speaker 2: (28:28)
So my activism here is this, um, I was in a supermarket and I overheard two people talking and one said, which is more important, the organic or the non GMO. And she said, Oh, it's non GMO. And I said, no, would you like to know something? Would you like to know the truth about this? She goes, yes. And I said, and then I, and then I explained it and I, of course I got consent before I gave her the truth and set her straight. And she said, she will change her about her opinion completely. But I said it nicely. I said it friendly in a friendly way. And it completely changed her buying habits. She no longer will look for non-GMO over organic. She understands that having the two together are the best. Um, but in this case, the activism is if someone ever gets caught thinking that it's non-GMO because it doesn't have a label saying, Oh, we have mandatory labeling in the United States.
Speaker 2: (29:31)
Therefore, if it doesn't have the bee or the cube with the QR code, you can eat it and it's non GMO. Then you could say, you know, I may have fought too until I listened to this Facebook live, but it turns out there's a problem. Do you want to hear it? Get the consent. If someone's in a bad mood, they don't want to hear it. Don't start, don't keep talking, get the consent. And then say, it turns out it was basically a Monsanto written bill. Almost all the GMOs are hidden and exempted. So if it, yeah, anyway,
Speaker 3: (30:00)
It's very sad to have to tell customers and friends that they can't trust the government can't trust the USTA. And, and this is the, uh, the bill that USDA will have to pay over the long run is that their authority and credibility is. So then right now for organics as, as, as well as GMOs, because they've allowed organics to scale up and use capos and this kind of thing, but it's, it's, it's heartbreaking to tell people you can't trust the government. Um, but essentially that's what maybe we put it differently. Be skeptical when the government says that GMOs are labeled because 90% of them aren't,
Speaker 2: (30:42)
I, I am skeptical when the government says.dot dot. I mean, having been in the game for so long, having read the actual memos between Monsanto and the EPA, having read the memos of people, you know, it's pretty amazing. I mean, I think the people listening here realize it was Monsanto's former attorney Michael Taylor, who set the policy of the GMOs in the United States for the FDA saying no testing or labeling was necessary and then went to work for Monsanto after that. And then back to the FDA. So I think we have knocked this nail into the ground. Is there anything else you want to share before we, we let people go shop healthy?
Speaker 3: (31:25)
Well, you know, it's kind of, it's kind of good news, but the chickens have come home to roost on the biotech, agro chemical industry, this uptick not uptake, but this epidemic of complex chronic diseases among people under 30 that coincides with the, the consequences of their practices. Um, they know the writing's on the wall and they're trying to find regenerative systems and make money off of this, that, or the other, and pull back from there. So if citizens and shoppers just remain diligent and buy the things that they know we're safe or safer whenever they can, um, we win this battle. But man, the collateral damage among the sick people that have that grew up from, from conception to, to young adulthood being contaminated by these chemicals and by these genetic materials, they're ingesting it. It's a historic tragedy.
Speaker 2: (32:24)
Yes. I agree. Thank you. And I, and I, I do enjoy our comment, our talking together, it's always, we're always getting together an expos which had been canceled and we're getting together at events where we're both speaking. And I appreciate hearing your perspective of what's happening in the food industry, because being in the food industry, even though you're on the organic natural side, you're aware of the others as well in a very deep way. Yeah. It's uh, you have been a, um, an insight you've given me insight into how the turning is occurred, how the turning and the thinking is occurring in the conventional food industry. And it's good to know that they realize that their time is up and they need to make change. Well, I'm glad I left you with some, some optimism there and you're just a goldmine of information and inspiration. So I appreciate you. Thank you so much, Allen. Okay. Everyone safe eating bee means by elsewhere QR code. That will be our next. That will be our next contest. What is QR code? Um, uh, quickly run, right? I'll go with that. Alright. Secretary, say goodbye. Safety to
Speaker 1: (33:42)
Speaker 2: (33:48)
Thank you for listening to live healthy. Be well, please subscribe to the podcast. Using whatever app you're listening to podcasts with, or go to live healthy, be well.com to subscribe. This podcast will inform you about health, dangerous corporate and government corruption and ways we can protect ourselves, our families and our planet. I interview scientists, experts, authors, whistleblowers, and many people who have not shared their information with the world until now, please share the podcast with your friends. They will enlighten and may even save lives.
Speaker 1: (34:19)