Posted by Katie on May 1, 2011
Genetically Altered Seeds Raise Concerns -- New Pathogen Possibly Linked to Sudden Death Syndrome in Soy and Spontaneous Abortion in Livestock
Watch Exclusive Video: FoodDemocracyNow.org
CLEAR LAKE, IA -- Today, Food Democracy Now!, a grassroots advocacy organization representing farmers and consumers, called on the Obama administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to institute a moratorium on the sale and planting of Monsanto’s recently approved transgenic or, more commonly referred to, genetically modified (GMO) alfalfa and sugar beet seeds, due to the fact that the current Roundup Ready® corn and soybean crops have been linked to serious threats to American agriculture.
As supporting evidence, Food Democracy Now! is releasing an exclusive video interview with Dr. Don Huber, an internationally recognized American plant pathologist and Professor Emeritus of Purdue University, discussing potential links between genetically modified (GMO) crops, the commonly used herbicide Roundup, and widespread crop losses and spontaneous abortions and infertility in livestock.
WATCH: New Video with Dr. Don Huber: CLICK HERE
Earlier this year, Dr. Huber wrote Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack an urgent letter (available here) detailing the findings of top U.S. scientists, warning that GMO Roundup Ready® corn and soybeans and the widely used weed killer Roundup (whose active ingredient is Glyphosate) have been linked to serious crop failures and likely to reproductive problems in livestock. Even more concerning, the scientists’ early findings indicate that a “new” organism, not previously known to science, is found in high populations in these same affected crops and livestock herds. Since Roundup use is ubiquitous in agriculture today, there is grave concern that the new organism may have travelled up the food chain to animals eating these crops, according to the preliminary scientific research. Dr. Huber’s letter was leaked shortly after he sent it to Secretary Vilsack and then gained widespread attention after being published with Dr. Huber’s permission on the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance’s website.
“We could face potentially disastrous economic consequences and major threats to our domestic and global food supply. By the time scientists confirm whether this can harm animals, or even humans, it may be too late,” said David Murphy, founder of Food Democracy Now! “Because GMO seeds encourage the widespread use of Roundup, and these crops are then routinely fed to cattle, hogs, and other livestock all across our country, these recent discoveries raise major concerns about our current food supply. If the Department of Agriculture fails to issue a moratorium on further planting of the recently approved Roundup Ready® GMO alfalfa and sugar beets until we have independent research determining safety for animals and humans, the consequences could be devastating for all sectors of agriculture. In Dr. Huber's words, this is an 'emergency'.”
Despite Dr. Huber’s warnings, the USDA recently approved two additional Roundup Ready® crops developed by Monsanto - GMO alfalfa, a major forage crop for cattle and other livestock, and GMO sugar beets. Huber warns that if cautionary measures are not taken soon, there could be far-reaching economic, health and food supply issues as the problems are increasing in intensity and becoming more widespread.
Reports from multiple veterinarians, farmers and agricultural consultants in Midwestern states confirm infertility rates in dairy herds of over 20% failing to conceive and up to 45% stillbirths in herds fed crops from fields treated with Roundup. The planting of Roundup Ready® alfalfa increases the potential of animal and human exposure, raising the possibility that it could cause even worse reproductive problems in mammals consuming this feed and the resulting animal products. These new findings about Roundup’s toxicity to soil, animals, and possibly humans are supported by a growing body of scientific evidence from around the world, including several published studies showing that Roundup is an endocrine disrupter and even small amounts can disturb human and rat pregnancies.
In several cases, veterinarians and agricultural consultants advised farmers who were experiencing increased crop diseases and reproductive failures to adopt NON-GMO conventional, traditionally bred hybrids to increase their yields, maintain economic viability and return sound reproductive success to their livestock herds. When these steps have been taken, farmers have experienced immediate remediation of these problems.
In an exclusive interview with Food Democracy Now!, Dr. Huber discusses the findings of this ongoing scientific investigation and the implications it may have not only on the farming community, but the nation’s food supply and also those countries who import GMO crops.
Food Democracy Now! and the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance join Dr. Huber in his call for a moratorium of the USDA’s recently approved Roundup Ready® alfalfa and sugar beets until further scientific studies can be conducted. Dr. Huber’s warning and this new scientific evidence represent a credible threat to U.S. agriculture, the livelihoods of U.S. farmers, their livestock and potentially the American public.
As experts have repeatedly warned, once the GMO seeds are planted, it is impossible to control the spread of their genetically engineered genes, magnifying the potential consequences described in Dr. Huber’s letter.
Due to Monsanto’s long history of intimidating scientists whose findings uncover serious risks in their products, Food Democracy Now! calls on the Obama administration to guarantee That independent and transparent research be conducted on all transgenic or genetically modified agricultural products consumed by animals and humans to guarantee their long-term safety in our food supply.
WATCH: New Video with Dr. Don Huber: CLICK HERE
Compounding this important issue, Monsanto owns patents on all of its genetically altered seeds, making it illegal without express permission for public research to be conducted on the potential health risks. Food Democracy Now! is calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration to provide scientists and the public full access to and transparency on the research of GMOs.
Based in Iowa, Food Democracy Now! represents a concerned community of more than 250,000 farmers and American citizens who want to halt the sale and planting OF Roundup Ready alfalfa and sugar beets until proper research can be done to ensure their safety.