Listen to the Podcast:
Join Jeffrey Smith as he explains the State of GMOs at the end of 2019. Listen as he expounds on the victories, and how far we still have to go, in the fight for an organic, non-GMO world.
Jeffrey mentions the Institute of Responsible Technology's initiative Protect Nature Now. If you want to learn how you can help to protect the planet for yourself and future generation go to protectnaturenow.com.
Notes for this week's Podcast
[1:38] We got to see the inner world of Monsanto through their documents that were exposed during their trials. Juries sided on behalf of the plaintiffs, awarding them billions of dollars in damages.
[4:19] Monsanto knew about the health dangers of glyphosate from the beginning - Jeffrey tells us about the fraudulent science they used to cover it up.
[7:18] The high profile coverage of the trials has enabled jurisdictions all of the United States, and in over 20 other countries, to be bold in banning Roundup.
[9:43] A study by Dr. Skinner showed us that the effects of glyphosate are worst in our offspring. Our grandchildren will have major side effects from GMOs that we ingest.
[10:52] Major governments all over the world are pushing for more GMOs with less transparency and regulations.
[12:17] Hornless cattle were the poster child for gene-editing, until it was discovered they have antibiotic resistant bacteria in every cell of their body.
[16:12] There’s still time for growth! Organic food sales have increased, particularly among millennials.
This week's Transcript
Hi everyone, this is Jeffrey Smith from the Institute for Responsible Technology.
Today we're looking at the trends of GMOs over the past year. It's like the State of the Union for GMOs in 2019. I looked over scores of emails and reports, etc. and they seem to fall into these broad categories.
First of all, there are the amazing trials (three of them actually started the year before) where Monsanto/Bayer was convicted by three juries, of causing the cancer of the plaintiffs and hiding the evidence. This along with the International Agency for Research on Cancer's Declaration that glyphosate causes cancer and is a probable human carcinogen. Many countries and jurisdictions are getting rid of Roundup. That's one area.
Two, there's more information. Guess what? Glyphosate and Roundup are worse than before
Three, there's a whole big war going on about the new GMOs, particularly gene editing, and that's very serious. We'll talk about that.
And four, there's generally good news about the conversion of shoppers as they become awake to this information.
So let's look at those four categories and describe what went on in 2019 with GMOs. So, first of all, one of the aspects of the trials was that we got to see the inner world of Monsanto through their documents and it was amazing.
It exposed how they spent $17 million trying to counteract the effects of the cancer declaration, per year - $17 million per year, and to jump on people who were trying to expose it. Now in one of the trials, they actually read off a memo with my name on it.
I had published an article about how GMOs were worse for a chip for children and they described their interdepartmental conference as whack-a-mole because they described going after me as liked the whack-a-mole game at an arcade.
The response by the other Monsanto executives was, "Funny you should use the word whack-a-mole, we've been using that for two years," describing what they do when individuals like us expose their science as fraudulent. So I'm the mole that they wack with their large budget, but it hasn't stopped us from presenting the evidence.
Now one of the more emotional scenes regarding the trial, in addition to the actual verdicts - I was speaking at the Heirloom Seed Expo in Santa Rosa, California in September of this year with one of the attorneys from the trial. We were about Lee Johnson, who was the first plaintiff who was the first trial. He set the precedent and he was awarded $289 million, which was later lowered to about $80 million.
His trial was rushed because he had a terminal life expectancy. He was not expected to live long. He had gotten very serious non-Hodgkin's lymphoma all over his body, was in a lot of pain, and had in that state, stepped up to Sue Monsanto, which was amazing.
Towards the end of the lecture, he and his wife - who had driven up from Venetia where they live, walked into the room and there was a standing ovation and people were crying. It's very emotional. He came up, and he spoke about his experience, and he answered questions.
I had the good fortune to meet the other plaintiff. In fact, when the couple, the Pilliods, won their over $2 billion jury verdict, I happened to go to dinner with them and the attorneys, Emily Johnson and his wife, and it was surreal.
Because what was shown at the trial was that Monsanto knew from the beginning. In fact, their very first study that they did on animals regarding carcinogenicity was from a lab called IBT, which did fraudulent research. In fact, three people went to jail because they basically only did fraudulent research. And one of the people that went to jail had been at Monsanto - he went to IBT, then back to Monsanto and he went to jail.
Then the next research study on mice showed, according to the FDA scientist, it probably causes cancer. And Monsanto argued it! They had a hired gun.
Even before they hired the person, they said, "He's going to argue that the data does not show that Roundup causes - or that glyphosate causes cancer." And sure enough, he had never even looked at the slides before, when that was written. But when he looked at the slides, he made up that one of the control mice had tumors. No one else could see it.
They all were looking at the same slides, but he circled it and said, "This is a tumor." No one else saw it, but they argued about it for years and the EPA finally gave up. Not only did they give up, but they actually became Monsanto's lap dog.
People like Jess Roland, working at the EPA, were working on behalf of Monsanto. Jess Roland was in charge of the committee that determined that glyphosate doesn't cause cancer. How? Because they looked at Monsanto studies, not at the peer-reviewed published studies that the World Health Organization did.
We also know that Monsanto had hired Dr. Perry to look at studies to try and conclude that glyphosate doesn't cause cancer through the mechanisms that he's an expert in. He said it actually does! So they let him go and ghost wrote a study with exactly the opposite impacts.
We learned, for example, that when they wanted to show that Roundup wasn't absorbed into the skin, they cut cadaver skin off of a human dead body, baked it in an oven until it was really well done and tough. Then they froze it. Then they applied the glyphosate and it was hardly absorbed at all. So that's what they reported.
They didn't tell the EPA that they had rigged the skin because when they tried it on regular cadaver skin, it was three times the level of absorption that was legal. So they hid that evidence from the EPA. So this was the kind of results that were made available at the trial.
It was interesting, there were three trials and there were restrictions on the evidence in the first two, primarily. Even with those restrictions by the judges, there was enough evidence so the jury overwhelmingly, unanimously, not only condemned Monsanto-Bayer but gave very large damages.
In the third one when the jury was given all the information, the punitive damages for two people was $2 billion. So now there are 42,700 more people waiting for their day in court and that battle is going on right now.
But in the meantime, the high profile coverage of that has helped many jurisdictions around the world to be bold in banning Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides from Key West to Los Angeles, the University of California. More than 20 countries by now have bans or restrictions including Malawi, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Bermuda, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Costa Rica, Australia, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Mexico. All have either outright bans or restrictions on Roundup. So the momentum is growing.
Now because Roundup is failing in the fields, there are now genetically engineered crops that resist both Roundup and Dicamba. Dicamba floats into the air, moves with the wind, lands, and damages other crops, and it's also devastating to the environment.
Now, major problems are happening in States all over the Midwest where Dicamba resistant crops are being planted. Millions of acres damaged. The local agricultural leaders there are absolutely up in arms, and the EPA backs Monsanto, over and over again.
So that's the general Roundup/Dicamba world and what's going on. Generally good news for phasing it out. There's also good news on the science front, not good news for our bodies, showing that glyphosate can cause human breast cancer and there are very clear delineations of how that occurs.
They also confirm that glyphosate, which is patented as an antibiotic, can damage the human microbiome and the rat microbiome. In fact, they found out that one of the mechanisms used by the microbiome is through something called the shikimate pathway, which produces the precursors to serotonin, melatonin, and dopamine.
We've been talking for years about the fact that if glyphosate damages the shikimate pathway in plants, which it does, then it should be damaging it in humans. Which could lead to lower levels of serotonin, melatonin, and dopamine, which could explain the anxiety and depression and all and sleeplessness and all these other things that people relate to GMOs and Roundup. Well, we have evidence now that it does damage the shikimate pathway and the microbiome.
We also know that the exposure to Roundup, according to Dr. Skinner, of the Washington State University affected multi-generations. They injected pregnant rats with Roundup, or glyphosate, and they found that their children were fine, the grandchildren were not fine, the great-grandchildren suffered the most.
90% had serious problems - There were a lot of deaths during birth, obesity, problems with the prostate and kidneys, in 90% of the great-grandkids of the pregnant rats that were injected.
There's also supporting evidence that nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and other liver problems, results from exposure to glyphosate and Roundup. Same thing with kidney damage. And there's more evidence of environmental problems - devastation to amphibians in South America, problems with the honeybees, damage to the soil. All that continues. Every single month new information comes out.
Now, the third category is the new GMOs, particularly gene-edited crops. It was the goal of the biotech industry to try and convince regulatory agencies and consumers, that gene editing was not GMOs, but just the same as breeding that was safe and predictable and should be ignored.
Well, they were able to convince the Australian regulators - no requirements on gene-edited animals, plants, or microorganisms. Some European nations are trying to lobby for the same. Japan eliminated the need for labeling gene-edited organisms. They've got support in Argentina and Brazil and Chile. Even in the United States.
Of course, the Trump administration wants to eliminate the regulation and forced the rest of the world to. In fact, that's playing out with Brexit because the bilateral trade agreement - meaning the trade agreement between the US and the UK - will probably lift all restrictions on GMOs in general, not just the gene-edited crops.
The USAID is now promoting the promotion of gene-edited crops, et cetera, through $70 million. So there's a full-court press by these pro-GMO governments. And at the same time, there is a raft of information showing that gene editing isn't safe.
Hornless cattle that were being heralded as the poster child for gene-edited animals - the proof that we need no regulation, turned out to harbor, in every cell of the cow's body, antibiotic-resistant genes from bacteria. It made its way into the genome of the cow.
Now we know from other research done this year that antibiotic-resistant genes, which are found in many GMOs, can persist in sewage sludge. Meaning we eat it, we poop it out, it gets spread on fields and it ends up now in the environment.
So now there are these antibiotic resistant genes in these hornless gene-edited cattle where it could possibly transfer to pathogenic bacteria in the cows, or in the fields when they poop out, or possibly when we eat it and it comes out that way. So, fortunately, they stopped the process of growing a herd to introduce these gene-edited cows.
But they didn't stop promoting gene-editing as harmless. At the same time, they found that mice, when they were gene-edited, had retroviruses that ended up inside their DNA from goats or cows because goats and cow serum are used in the Petri dish.
So there is all sorts of evidence, and these are just two of many different studies that show that GMO 2.0 is absolutely a disaster and it can create massive collateral damage in the DNA. Just like other GMOs.
What we're concerned about in particular is the fact that it's so cheap and easy, that we're talking about the possibility of hundreds of thousands or millions of GMOs, particularly the bacteria, being introduced throughout our ecosystem in the next 10 or 20 years replacing nature.
So future generations don't inherit the products of billions of years of evolution but inherit the products of laboratory creations from a technology whose number one most common result is surprise side effects.
Now we saw with the mosquitoes that were genetically engineered, not the gene-edited, the other types of GMOs. Their trait failed in the Cayman Islands and they basically left with their tail between their legs.
But they had also released millions of mosquitoes by then in Cayman, in Brazil, in Panama, in four countries. And it turns out that when they tested it in Brazil, they tested the mosquitoes after their release and the mosquitoes were supposed to be self-limiting. Giving birth to sterile offspring so that there would be no genetically engineered mosquitoes in the environment ever.
Well, up to 60% of the samples that were tested over the next three years showed that we now have a completely corrupted gene pool. Where the gene-edited - the genetically engineered mosquito had mated with other mosquitoes and created combinations that never existed in nature.
Also this year, the GMO salmon was approved to be grown in a laboratory in Indiana and labeled. But many other countries are interested in it. What happens if it gets out?
There's evidence from other genetically engineered fish that it could wipe out natural salmon or cause problems with other species. So again, we're talking about irreversible contamination of the gene pool.
So the Institute for Responsible Technology, in one of the major things this year, I have to add - released a new campaign at ProtectNatureNow.com to organize global opposition to random releases of gene-edited organisms into the environment to protect the gene pool of nature. Because once you release it, it's irreversible. So check out ProtectNatureNow.com.
There are also consumer victories. The global organic food sales since 2000 were up about fivefold, 483%. That is enormous. In the US, there was a growth since 2009, 129%. 52% of organic shoppers are millennials.
This gives us a lot of hope for the future that the younger generation, not just the older folks, the younger generation are dedicated now, more and more, to organic.
Now since 2013, the sales of non-GMO verified products are up 900% from $3 billion to $30 billion. Some people estimate that that might be 50% of the different items in supermarkets have been verified. 76% of Americans have some familiarity with the non-GMO project verification.
Right now we know that the non-GMO project does not test for Roundup, and Roundup is sprayed on non-GMO crops like wheat, and oats, and beans, and lentils. So eating organic is particularly important. If you can't get organic, at least get non-GMO. But even then avoid the foods that are sprayed a lot with glyphosate. Go to responsibletechnology.org for a list of foods and their glyphosate levels.
Another aspect of consumer response was the Impossible Burger - with the growth of rejection of the Impossible Burger. I'm going to predict by this time next year there's going to be a wave of rejection of the Impossible Burger and it's going to lose a lot of the footings that it had.
If it's not already, by this time next year, eliminated because of the significant evidence we're getting from people who eat it and feel sick afterward.
So these are some of the trends for this year and we're glad to be participating in those trends, not just observing. IRT has done 1,000 lectures in 45 countries, 1,000 interviews with the media, billions of media impressions, millions of views of our videos, of our hundreds of videos. We've trained 1,500 people to speak on GMOs, and we're out there in many countries, in many aspects of social media, giving information, exposing the dangers.
So we are very happy to report, not only the trends as an observer, but the trends as participants. So next year it's pretty critical. It's pretty critical that people become aware of the true nature of the gene edited crops and other GMO 2.0, and that we start seeing global opposition building for the random release of these GMOs, which have irreversible damage.
But we already saw the reversal of the trends and the fortunes of Monsanto-Bayer with Roundup and the global rejection of that. We've already seen how more and more countries realize that Monsanto-Bayer and other biotech companies are lying to us. So it becomes easier to convey the lies about GMO 2.0.
At the same time, there are more organizations and individuals in the world today concerned about planetary survival than ever before. So when we introduced the concept that we could irreversibly replace nature and destroy the products of billions of years of evolution in one generation.
By the way, in seven of the seven talks that I have given over the last two and a half months, where I asked the audience a question, "What would you consider a worst planetary threat - GMOs or global warming?" The majority were GMOs, equal or worse.
So there's already awareness out there about the dangerous, I don't need to debate about GMOs and global warming. That's just to put it in the perspective that we have already tens of millions of people concerned about climate change. They're sensitive to the issues about planetary survival.
We are in a situation where we're actually having a receptivity, fertile ground, for our messaging. So that's a little look for next year. A little, a little prediction. All right, there you go. That was 2019 in a short amount of time.
Let's see if there are any comments.
Yes, you're most welcome. I hear people say, through these comments as we're doing a live Facebook - more and more people saying that they are avoiding GMOs and avoiding Roundup and getting better.
Now Henry Roland's just joined. Henry runs The Detox Project and that's one of the trends I forgot to mention. Thank you for joining Henry. We have predicted this, so our predictions often work. Actually, they usually are successful.
We predicted that there would be glyphosate certifications, non-glyphosate certifications and Henry has, I think the biggest - glyphosate residue-free as a certification with more and more major companies coming to his organization to test. To verify that there's no glyphosate.
Because as you know, a few minutes ago I said that non-GMO alone doesn't protect you from glyphosate. That's why you need to go to organic. But here's another choice. Be non-GMO and glyphosate residue-free.
Now it's still not as good as organic necessarily because organic also doesn't allow atrazine and all these other things. But it's a really good combination and sometimes you'll see non-GMO on products that have never been genetically engineered. If you know the list of what's GMO and you don't see a non-GMO statement there, but you see glyphosate residue-free - again, you know that there are no GMOs because there's never been a GMO pumpkin made and it's just pure pumpkin, for example, and it's glyphosate residue-free.
That's another way to determine if your foods are clean. So thank you, Henry, for your work and for the others now coming forward with glyphosate residue-free type certifications. I think that we're going to see more of that on labels this year.
All right. Thank you, everyone. Enjoy a great holiday and look forward to safe eating and a protected ecosystem in 2020.
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