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By Silvia Wu Guin and Fernando Alvarado de la Fuente
Bt proteins, incorporated into 26% of all transgenic crops in the world, have been found to be harmful to a large number of insects not considered pests. Would you accept it on your family's daily plate? In the mush of his creatures? In the breakfast omelette? A team of scientists has warned of the dangers of releasing Bt crops for human use.
At the moment 98% of all transgenic seeds that are grown and sold in the world correspond to four products: soybeans, corn, rapeseed and cotton. 82% of them are resistant and for this reason they are abundantly sprayed with Glyphosate, a powerful herbicite and cancer promoter. 26% contain Bacillus thuringiensis Bt. You will say this adds up to 108%, if a part close to 8% has both characteristics, that is to say they are doubly dangerous, let's see why.
The varieties of Bt maize, which owe this ancestry surname "Bt" to the fact that they introduced genes from Bacillus thuringiensis to common maize. Now, Bt has been known for years, as its derivatives are used in pest control, either by dusting or spraying crops; no more than - beware - in all these cases, the Bt remains externally, intermingled in the soil or on the plants. We have known insects forever, and the truth is that their survival instinct is such that they will always find a way to evade Bt regardless of the number of times this product or any other pesticide is used. So, faced with such a challenge, instead of designing production systems that balance the insect population to coexist in harmony (which is the agroecological proposal), a group of skilled scientists came up with the brilliant idea of incorporating the insecticide into the map. genetics of corn.
Certainly, Bt is not an inert substance like DDT or parathion, Bt is a bacillus from which a portion of its genetics is extracted to incorporate it into corn. Thus, wherever the insect bites, it will always run into Bt and die. Machiavellian, right?
Bt proteins, incorporated into 26% of all transgenic crops in the world, have been found to be harmful to a large number of insects not considered pests. This shows, once again, the narrow vision of the short term, not foreseeing what this practice may entail in the future.
In fact, the review does not seek to raise awareness of the rights of arthropods, but it does warn of what can happen by consuming a Bt corn, in which each of its millions of cells includes the biological mandate to process the insecticidal toxin of the Bt. Would you accept it on your family's daily plate? In the mush of his creatures? In the breakfast omelette? A team of scientists has warned of the dangers of releasing Bt crops for human use.
The dangers of glyphosate
Just as Bt genes are paired with maize, which might not generate so much citizen alert, because finally "why so much fuss about insects that in the long run will survive humans"? take note of this other scientific advance. In addition to pest insects, scientists have set out to sweep away weeds from the field, which they also consider another pest and label them "weed". Surely you have heard that some crops must grow without company next to them to avoid competition and thus another agrochemical product called herbicide is justified, which serves precisely to make a soybean, corn or rapeseed crop grow exclusively accompanied by their peers. The challenge was how to achieve a herbicide that is powerful, but does not kill the crop by the way? This is how scientists created transgenic soybean seeds capable of resisting herbicides despite being marinated in them (marinated because field herbs also generate resistance to herbicides, so it is increasingly required to use more to control them) . What is the point? you ask, the point is that the herbicide used (and sold by Monsanto as part of the technological package) is glyphosate, a product with a tremendous criminal record against our health.
Let's see what Dr. Jorge Kaczewer refers to in his article ‘Toxicology of glyphosate: risks to human health’
"Recent toxicological studies conducted by independent scientific institutions seem to indicate that glyphosate has been erroneously classified as toxicologically benign", both at a health and environmental level. Thus, glyphosate-based herbicides can be highly toxic to animals and humans. Toxicity studies revealed adverse effects in all standardized categories of laboratory toxicological tests at most of the doses tested: subacute toxicity (lesions in salivary glands), chronic toxicity (gastric inflammation), genetic damage (in human blood cells), disorders reproductive (decreased sperm count in rats; increased frequency of sperm abnormalities in rabbits), and carcinogenesis (increased frequency of liver tumors in male rats and thyroid cancer in females). At the eco-toxic-epidemiological level, the situation is aggravated not only because there are few laboratories in the world that have the equipment and techniques necessary to evaluate the impacts of glyphosate on human health and the environment.
Also because those who initially conducted the toxicological studies officially required for the registration and approval of this herbicide in the United States have been prosecuted for the crime of fraudulent practices such as routine falsification of data and omission of reports on countless deaths of rats. and guinea pigs, falsification of studies by altering annotations of laboratory records and manual manipulation of scientific equipment so that it provides false results. This means that the existing information regarding the residual concentration of glyphosate in food and the environment may not only be unreliable, it is also extremely scarce. "
Later paragraphs continue with another description "Every pesticide product contains, in addition to the" active "ingredient, other substances whose function is to facilitate its handling or increase its effectiveness. In general, these ingredients, misleadingly called" inert ", are not specified in the product labels. In the case of glyphosate herbicides, many "inert" ingredients have been identified. To help glyphosate penetrate plant tissues, most commercial formulations include a surfactant chemical. Therefore, the toxicological characteristics of market products are different from glyphosate alone The most commonly used herbicidal formulation (Round-up) contains polyoxyethylene-amine surfactant (POEA), related glyphosate organic acids, isopropylamine and water.
The following list of inert ingredients identified in different commercial glyphosate-based formulas is accompanied by a classic description of their acute toxicity symptoms. The effects of each substance correspond, in some cases, to symptoms verified in the laboratory through toxicological tests at high doses. Most symptoms were compiled from reports prepared by the manufacturers of the different formulas.
- Ammonium Sulfate: Eye irritation, nausea, diarrhea, respiratory allergic reactions. Irreversible eye damage in prolonged exposure.
- Benzisothiazolone: eczema, skin irritation, allergic photoreaction in sensitive individuals.
- 3-iodo-2-propynylbutylcarbamate: Severe eye irritation, increased frequency of miscarriage, skin allergy.
- Isobutane: nausea, nervous system depression, dyspnea.
- Methyl pyrrolidinone: Severe eye irritation. Abortion and low birth weight in laboratory animals.
- Pelargonic acid: Severe eye and skin irritation, respiratory tract irritation.
- Polyoxyethylene-amine (POEA): Ocular ulceration, skin lesions (erythema, inflammation, exudation, ulceration), nausea, diarrhea.
- Potassium Hydroxide: Irreversible eye damage, deep skin ulceration, severe ulceration of the digestive tract, severe irritation of the respiratory tract.
- Sodium Sulphite: Severe skin and eye irritation concomitant with vomiting and diarrhea, skin allergy, severe allergic reactions.
- Sorbic acid: Skin irritation, nausea, vomiting, chemical pneumonitis, angina, allergic reactions.
- Isopropylamine: Extremely caustic substance of mucous membranes and upper respiratory tract tissues. Lacrimation, coryza, laryngitis, headache, nausea "
"The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has already reclassified pesticides containing glyphosate as class II, highly toxic, for being irritating to the eyes. The World Health Organization, however, describes more serious effects; in several studies with rabbits , rated them as "strongly" or "extremely" irritating.
"In humans, symptoms of poisoning include skin and eye irritations, nausea and dizziness, pulmonary edema, drop in blood pressure, allergic reactions, abdominal pain, massive loss of gastrointestinal fluid, vomiting, loss of consciousness, destruction of red blood cells, abnormal electrocardiograms and kidney damage or failure. "
We reiterate, 82% of transgenic crops are full of carcinogenic glyphosate. And there is something else… there is herbicide resistant Bt corn. Consequently, not only do you have corns with all their cells containing Bt, moreover, Bt corns that grew soaked in glyphosate.
For more references, check the article "Glyphosate: The poison that devastated the Ituzaingó neighborhood" in Sharing # 5-2009, written by Darío Aranda.
In another article compiled in Compartiendo # 52-2008, entitled ‘Spain cultivates transgenics dangerous to health,“ the following is reported:
"In Spain alone this year 98 experimental fields have been cultivated with a transgenic maize whose health damage has recently been demonstrated. 93 municipalities throughout the country have hosted open-air trials with this transgenic, which poses serious risks of contamination .
In Spain, this corn (known as NK603 x MON810) has been experimentally cultivated in the open air since 2004 by the companies Monsanto, Pioneer and Limagrain Ibérica, in more than one hundred experimental fields in Catalonia, Extremadura, Madrid, Galicia, Navarra , Castilla y León, Castilla La Mancha, Aragon and Andalusia. An accumulated total of almost half a million square meters cultivated with this transgenic during the last years, with the risk that it poses of contamination of other corn fields.
The Ministry of the Environment gave the green light to these trials claiming that: "It is considered that in the current state of knowledge and with the proposed use measures, the trials do not pose a significant risk to human health and / or the environment. "
"On November 11, a study commissioned by the Austrian Ministries of Health and Agriculture on the effects of GMOs on health was presented at a scientific seminar in Vienna. This research, one of the few carried out on long-term impacts From the consumption of GMOs, he concluded that the fertility of mice fed the genetically modified NK603 x MON810 corn was seriously damaged, which is approved for import into the European Union for use in human and animal feed.
Now that this corn has been shown to pose a health risk, the entire approval process is called into question. We cannot feel safe with the GMOs on the market. We cannot continue to tolerate that multinationals experiment with our health with the approval of the Government and the European authorities, "added Sánchez."
Studies subsidized by companies that sell GMOs imply that they are safe and, furthermore, question the dozens of independent studies that show otherwise. What is happening with science and scientists, has he prostituted himself to defend the interests of transnational corporations?
For these reasons we want the Consumer Code to oblige the labeling of transgenics. Do you want to eat or feed your transgenic children without knowing it? We DO NOT.
Excerpted from the article: Twelve Disagreements with Friends of Monsanto, from Silvia Wu Guin Y Fernando Alvarado de la Fuente, March 25, 2009. http://connuestroperu.com