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What Caused the European Food Industry to Commit to Stop Using GMOs? - Episode 153

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In this week's episode...

In this episode of the Live Healthy Be Well podcast Jeffrey begins by telling the story of how some animals refuse to eat GMO feed.

In addition, he also tells the frightening story of Arpad Pusztai, the scientist and leading researcher in his field who was fired and had a gag order placed on him for revealing the science on the dangers of GMOs. And even more interesting, is how Arpad's research led to the European Union committing to stopping the use of GMOs.

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

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

Rough Transcript:

Speaker 1 (00:08):

The one story that kept coming in different forms, which then was inserted as a single page between every chapter, was How, when given a choice, animals avoid eating GMOs. Not every time, but so often. Cows, pigs, chickens, geese, elk, deer, raccoons, buffalo dogs. I, I was hearing it from people, but I was also reading stories. Um, there was a flock of geese that landed every year in a certain place. I think it was in Nebraska. And when they landed after GMO soy was planted in one field, they all concentrated in the non GMO field. There was a, a pig farmer who showed his, uh, friend, I think it was a reporter, he said, watch this. He called his pigs in. They all ran. He took a, a scoop of corn and threw it out there. They all looked for it, smelled it, and then looked back at him like, are you playing with us?

Are you kidding? And then he scooped from another place and sent it out. And sure enough, the pigs ate it. And the reporter said, what's going on? He said, first one was gmo. There was another farmer who his cows would not eat GMO corn. And so in order to get rid of his GMO corn, he put non GMO corn in the feed bunk and GMO corn on the top. And they, he forced them to eat from the top to the bottom. There was a, uh, a lab that was testing G M O for a private enterprise, GMO or non gmo. And they were testing for their neighbors, and they had a dog. And whenever they threw the corn meal to the dog, the dog was like a testing equipment. The dog would never eat the GMO and only eat the non gmo. Um, there were chickens that wouldn't eat.

It was just going on and on and on. And it was interesting as I traveled around, um, starting in 2003 when, uh, seeds of Deception came out, I would always report on that the fact that animals wouldn't eat GMOs in many cases when given a choice. And there would be always some people that came up to me and said, you know, when I read your book, that was the thing that convinced me more than anything else. So there's like a huge number of people where that's the main thing. Um, even rats in my, in my book I describe, uh, tomatoes, the Flavor Saver tomato, uh, was designed for longer shelf life. And the CEO e of the company, Calgene, that produced the Tomatoes, was interviewed and reported that you could be. He said you could be Chef d be Chef Boy Rd. But these rats, he got it wrong.

They were actually mice. These mice would will not eat these tomatoes. So, but they fed him to humans. So we're eating the stuff that the mice rejected. Anyway, that's, that's a whole series of stories that I've compiled in Seeds of Deception, which are fun. But I had to decide which, what was gonna be the first chapter. Now, typically the first chapter lays out the science, but I figured I could turn people off like that if I just go into the science. So let me read you the first page of the book and I'll see, show you how I wrote the book and kind of why it became the world's bestselling book and remain the be top-selling book for years and years. So this is chapter one, and I'll fill you in on the rest of this story in a minute. It's called A Lesson from Overseas.

When Susan answered the door, she was startled to see several reporters standing in front of her. More were running from their cars in her direction, and she could see other cars in tv, news vans, parking along her street. But you all know that we can't speak about what happened. We would be sued, and it's okay. Now, the reporter from Channel four Television interrupted, waving a paper in front of her. They've released your husband, he can talk to us. Susan took the paper, our pod come here. She called her husband Harpo Pos Tie, A distinguished looking man in his late sixties was already on his way. As his wife showed him the document. The reporter slipped past them into the house, but Apod didn't notice he was staring at the paper. His wife just handed him. He recognized the letterhead once the Row Institute Aberdeen, Scotland.

It was one of the world's leading nutritional institutes and his employer for the previous 35 years until his sudden suspension seven months ago. And there it was clearly spelled out. They had released their gag order. He could speak. The document was dated the same day, February 16th, 1999. In fact, less than 20 minutes earlier, 30 reporters had sat in the Route Institute, press conference listening to its director. Professor Phillip James casually mentioned that the restrictions on Dr speaking to the press had been lifted before James had finished his sentence, the reporters lept for the door. I jumped into their cars and headed straight to the Pooties house on Ashley Park North. An address most were familiar with, having virtually camped out there seven months earlier. Now, those 30 reporters with TV cameras and tape recorders were piled into the Po Thai's living room. So that was how I opened up <laugh> the book.

Uh, there was a story about Apod posi and our podd. In order to write that chapter, and I'll explain what happened. I had to interview Apod for hours and hours. And unlike other writers and reporters, I always sent my reviews of science and situation to the source for fact checking, cuz we knew that Monsanto was gonna challenge it, and I didn't want to get anything wrong. And so every single word in my books have been reviewed by at least three scientists, um, if they have to do with science or stories related to that. So our pod was able to speak about what happened, and it created a frenzy within a week. There were so many articles written about GMOs in the uk. One editor said it divided society into two warring blocks. There was some independent newspapers who were against GMOs, some who were four GMOs.

There was articles every day in major papers. And within the first month of him being able to speak over 700 articles, in fact, it was such an onslaught that in one week, Nestle, Unilever and Nestle has decided to commit to no longer using GMOs in their European brands. And then that followed by everyone else in Europe, but not their US brands because this whole eruption was described by Project Censored, a US media watchdog group as one of the 10 most underreported events of the year. So no one knew what was going on in the United States since I was reading the European Press. This was going on while I was working at the G M O Detection laboratory. I realized there's some interesting information, but it started seven months earlier. You see Rpod psa PTA was one of the greatest scientists in the world. He was the top in the world in his field, field of protein research called lectins.

He in fact, created that, that, um, focus. He worked at the Route Institute and he was their big money magnet. Um, he had done 350 or so different, um, uh, peer reviewed published studies. Um, he had done a tremendous amount of nutritional studies with rats, and it was very, very meticulous and very, very careful. Far more than almost any other laboratory in the world. And the UK government put out a request for quotes to figure out how to test for the safety of GMOs. And there were 28 different applicants. And our pods team won, won the grant of about 3 million. And his purpose was to create the protocols that would eventually be adopted by the European Union to require the safety assessments for the submittal of the G M O uh, products. So he worked with three different institutes and a big team, maybe 20 people to create those protocols.

And they decided as part of their evaluation to use those protocols in terms of a rat feeding study on a genetically engineered potato that was slated to be released, the potato was engineered to produce a toxin to, to kill the potato beetle toxin was called BT Toxin. Uh, no, excuse me. It was called GMP toxin. And, um, this toxin was something that Apod knew about. He had studied it for six years. He had given very large doses to mammals and to rats. They, it had no effect or very little effect. It was not toxic to humans or other mammals. And so when this snow drop lectin protein, which was supposed to be produced in the, in the potato, when it, when he was suggested that we feed it to rats, he didn't think there'd be any problem. He didn't even think that the rat feeding study would be necessary.

But his wife, who was his boss, Susan insisted. So they fed a group of rats, the potato engineered to produce the lectin. They fed another group of rats, the normal potatoes that were not genetically engineered. They fed a third group of rats, the lectin without the potatoes, which was a key ingredient. So they had the GMO potatoes producing lectins, just the lectins, you know, squirted into the diet and regular potatoes. It turns out only the group that had the genetically engineered potatoes got sick. They had potentially pre-cancerous cell growth in their digestive tract. Smaller brains, livers and testicles, partial atrophy of the liver and damaged immune systems in 10 days. Now, the group that ate the lectin with the same balanced diet did not have these problems. So it was not the lectin that was the cause of the problems. It was some other aspect of genetic engineering.

And genetic engineering causes serious health issues that are not predictable. And this was one of the first indications that that was true. And so Apod was very concerned and he got, he was ready to put the stuff together for publishing his research. He got a call from, um, the World Inaction TV show, asking him to be interviewed. He called Professor Phillip James, his director, who gave him permission and they agreed not to release any specific data because it hadn't been published, just to speak generally. And he went on, they interviewed him for half an hour, knocked it down to two and a half minutes. And they quoted him as saying that he would not eat the potatoes, that he'd sta tested, that there were problems, and that it's not, it's not a wise idea to use our, our, the public as Guinea pigs. So that exploded in the news in August, 1998.

Here was the top scientist in his field and one of the most qualified humans on earth to talk about the safety of GMOs because he had been studying for three years how to test her, the safety, saying that they weren't safe, which contradicted all of these other governments, including the UK government. So he, this was on a Sunday night and Monday it exploded at his lab. All these reporters were calling from. And all of a sudden he didn't get any calls and he just figured, okay, it blew over. The director had forwarded all of his calls and emails to him, to his own office. He thought this was gonna get a lot of money for the institute. And he started talking up the research and saying how great it was and even put out a press release that turned out to be wrong, technically wrong.

So when Apod Ptai learned about that, he met with the director the next day, pointed it out that it was wrong, and the director said, oh my God, this is the worst day of my life. He had to issue a correction. But then two phone calls from the UK Prime Minister's office were forwarded through the receptionist to the director. Now, at the time, bill Clinton was the president of the United States. There's an understanding of some that there was a call from Monsanto to Clinton, from Clinton to the Prime Minister of the uk, Tony Blair. And then his office called Professor Phillip James. Twice in the afternoon, now Arpa and his wife were expecting the release of the new press release. Instead, he was called before a very stern looking committee the next morning and informed that his contract was not gonna be renewed, that he was not go, his team was gonna be disbanded, the data was withdrawn.

And because they couldn't cease fire him, they just said basically he has to sit, sit in his office until this contract. In other words, they fired him but continued to pay him until the contract expired. They also threatened him there and in later documents that if he said anything to the press, he could be sued for an indeterminate amount of money. So there was a gag order on him. And then the, the professor, Philip James and the biotech industry set, set upon our rpod po tie as their, as their prey. They put out information that he had made, mistakes that he must have gotten things wrong. They lied about what, how, what the test, uh, revealed. They lied about the structure of the test in order to protect the reputation of the biotech industry. He was unable to speak the people in, in where he was having lunch in his, in his facility wouldn't sit with him.

So he, he, his wife just had lunch in his own office. He was ostracized. He had a heart attack. He, he was absolutely frustrated cuz he could not speak. Then seven months later, the parliament, the Lord House of Lords invited him to testify and that meant that he could get his data back. A lot of his data was stolen by a burglar in the house that came in the house and stole all of his papers. So they really cleaned him out, but they were forced to give back the data and he was able to speak. And then he published his research in The Lancet and additional, uh, releases and it remains the most in-depth animal feeding study ever conducted up to the Sini study. And he also saw a similar fate by, at the hands of the biotech industry. So I knew that there was details in this report that wasn't being handled by the press in the uk.

There was such details and the details I just gave you. No one knew about it. No one knew about the fact that his research implicated the process of genetic engineering. And here was the interesting point that also no one reported. I always asked everyone that I interviewed for the book and since what was the most shocking moment, cuz I figured I'd open the book with it and I didn't. So what I read to you was not the most shocking moment. It wasn't having the gag order lifted. It wasn't being fired from his job. It wasn't discovering the damage with the rats. It was something that I had never anticipated. It was months before four. You see, there was gonna be a vote in Brussels by the ministers in Europe. And the UK Minister of Agriculture wanted gonna do a vote on GMOs and asked Professor Phillip James, the director of the Route Institute to give him some suggestions.

Now he ca he called Arpo and his wife and put on their desk six or 700 pages of the submissions of about six or seven products from the biotech industry to the uk. The reason why James had those submissions, which were secret, was because he was one of the 12 members of the committee to approve GMOs. And Apod realized that James was a committee man. He wasn't a working scientist, nor were any of the other 11 members of the committee. They were political appointees, they were policy people, but no one probably had ever read these submissions ever. And so he was told that the UK Prime Minister wanted to get an opinion on these and could he look it over with his wife? And our pod said, how much time do we have? And he said, two and a half hours <laugh>. So they went directly to the design and the results, just those cuz they didn't have much time.

And our PODD said to me, that was the most shocking moment, learning how absolutely poor that research was. He said, you know, bad science, and this was bad science. They were doing as little as possible to get their foods on the market as quickly as possible. There was nothing of substance in there. So we called the minister and said, I wasn't, I can't give you a strong recommendation after two and a half hours, but there's certainly not enough information here to approve GMOs for human consumption. And the minister said, I don't know why you're telling me this. Those foods are already approved. They've been on the market for two years. That was a shock because people in the UK did not know they were eating GMOs. He just needed a scientific opinion to share in the meeting. So a few months later, when Apod saw these damage to the rats in every single system that he tested, their development, their immune system, et cetera, he realized that the shoddy superficial research conducted by the industry would never find these problems.

They weren't looking for them. They didn't weigh the organs to see that certain ones were less. They called, looked at, they eyeballed it, et cetera, et cetera. And he realized that the process that they used to create the GMOs on the market was the same process used to create the potatoes that caused that significant damage. And so those problems could be accumulating in the human beings eating the GMOs. And that meant that he had to get it out to the world. So that was his most shocking moment. And I'm sad to say Arpa Pui passed away in December last year. And he was a dear, dear friend. And I'm sorry that his, he passed. He was actually unable to speak in the last few years of his life after a stroke. But he was a very, very important man in this world because when he went public, it erupted in Europe and caused the food industry to commit to stop using GMOs, which completely derailed the the schedule that Thetic industry was going by. 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 to subscribe. This podcast will inform you about health, dangers, 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. It will enlighten and may even save lives. Safe eating.


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