Author and filmmaker Jeffrey Smith discussed the dangers of eating genetically modified (GM) foods, and how the biotech industry has tried to cover up negative reports. The stakes are high right now, with a Supreme Court battle over approval of genetically modified alfalfa, and the Dept. of Justice combined with the Dept. of Agriculture investigating if Monsanto is a monopoly, he reported. Some countries are taking the threat of GM foods seriously, with India recently banning GM eggplant.
Genetically modified foods are created to either tolerate herbicides or become insect killers themselves. Right now, the main GM crops are soy (91%), corn (85%), canola (85%), cottonseed, and sugar beets, he detailed. A recent study of hamsters fed GM soy beans, showed that by the third generation most of them had become infertile or sterile, died at 5x the rate of the control group, and were slower to reach sexual maturity, Smith said. In testing of farm animals, they demonstrated a marked preference for non-GM feed, and would avoid eating the GM feed, he added.
Monsanto is "amazing in their ability to completely spin the truth," and they rigged research when it came to their genetically modified bovine growth hormone, Smith asserted. Their ultimate goal is to "genetically engineer 100% of the commercial seeds in the world and patent them-- to replace nature!" he continued. The Non-GMO Shopping Guide offers a listing of various food categories and specifies which brands are not genetically modified.
In the last hour, Dr. Betty Martini shared an update on aspartame, the artificial sweetener used in hundreds of products. Based on many studies, she classified aspartame as a poison and said its use is associated with numerous health problems. Because of the bad publicity, aspartame has recently been rebranded as AminoSweet, she noted, adding that such products as Just Like Sugar, and pure Stevia are safe alternatives to artificial sweeteners.
It was thirty years ago today that Mount St. Helens in Washington state erupted, after it was set off by an earthquake. The gigantic explosions were heard hundreds of miles away, entire forests were flattened, and 57 people lost their lives. Check out a gallery of photos from The Big Picture of the volcano and its aftermath.
Photo: USGS/Robert Krimmel
Bumper music from Tuesday May 18, 2010