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Seeds of Deception

(Thursday, Aug. 7, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- The following are news releases promoting two books.

1. Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You're Eating

At a time when the U.S. is claiming Europe’s restrictive genetically modified (GM) food policy is illegal and baseless, an explosive exposé shows that the foods are in fact unsafe. The book, Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You’re Eating , presents overwhelming evidence documenting serious potential health problems associated with these hi-tech foods that Americans eat everyday. Moreover, the book reveals how corporate influence and political collusion have allowed GM foods on the market.

To keep the potential dangers hidden, whistle-blowers were harassed, stripped of responsibilities, or fired. Evidence was stolen. Research data was omitted or distorted. The FDA even withheld information from Congress after a GM food supplement killed nearly a hundred people and disabled thousands. According to author Jeffrey M. Smith, “Internal documents made public by a lawsuit reveal that the FDA’s own scientists warned that GM foods could lead to unpredictable toxins, allergies, and new diseases. They insisted that each GM food be subject to long term safety testing before it was approved.” The agency’s political appointees—including a former lawyer for biotech giant Monsanto—overruled the scientists’ recommendations. No safety tests are required and few have been conducted.

According to Arpad Pusztai, an expert on GM foods, “ Seeds of Deception is a major event in informing the public about the safety or (more precisely the lack of it) of genetically modified foods ” Pusztai himself had been silenced with threats of a lawsuit after he unexpectedly discovered that rats fed an experimental GM food developed immune system damage and other serious health problems in just ten days. Pusztai later reviewed an industry-sponsored study and found that seven of forty rats fed a GM crop died within two weeks; others developed stomach lesions. The crop was approved without further tests.

September Publication May Influence International Policy

In May, when the U.S. filed a challenge with the World Trade Organization (WTO) disputing Europe’s GM food policy, Trade Representative Robert Zoellick stated, “Overwhelming scientific research shows that biotech foods are safe and healthy.” According to Andrew Kimbrell, director of the Center for Food Safety, “The evidence in Seeds of Deception refutes U.S. science and safety claims, and undermines the basis of their WTO challenge.” The book’s September publication coincides with the major WTO meeting in Cancun, Mexico from September 10-14, and will likely benefit from the considerable media attention on the topic.

Kimbrell says, “The book also presents a compelling argument that nations may use to ban GM foods altogether.” Countries gain the right to impose such a ban on September 11, three months after the UN biosafety protocol was signed by 50 nations. “The revelations in the book,” says Kimbrell, “are being made public at a pivotal time in the global GM debate, and could tip the scales against the biotech industry.”

Author Jeffrey Smith has worked in the field of genetically modified foods for nearly a decade—with non-profit and political groups, and at a GMO detection laboratory. He proposed legislation to protect children—who are most at risk from the potential health effects of GM foods—and to protect farmers from genetic drift. Seeds of Deception is published by Yes! Books, and is distributed by Chelsea Green Publishing. The foreword is by Frances Moore Lappé. Orders can be taken at www.seedsofdeception.com or by calling 888-717-7000.



Dangers of Genetically Engineered Foods—a Partial List

(Footnotes refer to pages in the book Seeds of Deception by Jeffrey M. Smith.)

Industry manipulation and political collusion—not sound science—allow dangerous genetically modified (GM) foods on the market. Government employees who complained were harassed, stripped of responsibilities, or fired. 77-83* Scientists were threatened. Evidence was stolen. Data was omitted or distorted. FDA scientists warned that genetically modified (GM) foods could create toxins, allergies, nutritional problems, and new diseases; their superiors, including a former attorney for Monsanto, ignored their recommendations for long-term safety tests. 131-140 None are required. 146

There are only ten published animal feeding studies on GM foods—two are independent. One found damage to the immune system and vital organs, and a potentially pre-cancerous condition . 12-13 When the scientist tried to alert the public, he lost his job and was silenced with threats of a lawsuit. 18-20 Two other studies likewise showed evidence of a potentially pre-cancerous condition. 37 And an unpublished study revealed that laboratory rats fed a GM crop developed stomach lesions and seven of the forty died within two weeks. The crop was approved without further tests. 37, 137-140

Industry studies appear rigged to avoid finding problems . With genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rbGH), for example, researchers injected cows with only one forty-seventh the normal dosage before reporting hormone residues in milk. 91-92 They heated the milk 120 times longer than standard, to report that pasteurization destroys the hormone. 93-94 They added cows to their study that were pregnant before treatment, to claim that rbGH didn’t impede fertility. 89 Cows that fell sick were dropped from studies altogether. 80-81 Similarly, nutritional differences between GM and natural soy varieties were omitted from a published paper. 35-36 Feeding studies diluted GM soy by 10 to 1, 34 and tests on GM corn used 1,250 times the amount of a digestive enzyme recommended by international standards.

There are no tests to guarantee that GM food is not allergenic. Although recommended international testing standards can minimize that possibility, GM corn on the market today would most certainly fail those tests. 179

The only human feeding trial of GM food ever conducted confirmed that engineered genes transferred from a soy burger and soy milkshake to the bacteria inside the digestive tract after only one meal. The World Health Organization and the British and American Medical Associations are concerned that if the “antibiotic resistant marker genes” used in GM foods transferred to gut bacteria, it could create super-diseases— immune to antibiotics. 59-60 Scientists are also worried that the “promoter” used inside GM foods may transfer to bacteria or internal organs. Promoters permanently turn genes on and might create unpredictable health effects, including the potentially pre-cancerous cell growth found in the animal feeding studies mentioned above. 37

Although the biotech industry says that millions have been eating GM foods without ill effect, this is misleading.

  • About 100 people died and 5-10,000 fell seriously ill from a genetically modified food supplement L-tryptophan . 107-125

  • Milk from rbGH-treated cows contains an increased amount of the hormone IGF-1, which is one of the highest risk factors associated with breast and prostate cancer .94-97

    Soy allergies skyrocketed by 50% in the UK, coinciding with the introduction of GM soy imports from the U.S.160-161

  • Food related illnesses in the U.S. increased substantially, corresponding to the period when Americans have been eating GM food. There is no way to confirm a connection since no one has looked for one.

Former Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman said, “What I saw generically on the pro-biotech side was the attitude that the technology was good, and that it was almost immoral to say that it wasn’t good, because it was going to solve the problems of the human race. . . . If you’re against it, you’re Luddites, you’re stupid. That, frankly, was the side our government was on. . . . You felt like you were almost an alien, disloyal, by trying to present an open-minded view” 152-153 The meticulously documented facts in the book Seeds of Deception , demonstrate how dangerous this closed-minded attitude is, and how it has put an entire generation at risk.

For further information or a galley, contact:

Andrea Vardi

2. "Don't Worry (It's Safe to Eat) The True Story of GM Food, BSE and Foot and Mouth Author: Andrew Rowell 'Don't worry - it's safe to eat' is a familiar phrase said by politicians and scientists to placate consumers, first on BSE and now on genetically modified (GM) food.

Investigative journalist Andrew Rowell's new book exposes the hidden links between scientists, corporations and the government that have warped policy on three potent issues: genetic engineering, BSE and Foot and Mouth disease.

This timely publication - coming in the middle of the public debate on GM - raises serious concerns about GM. As Britain decides whether to become a GM Nation or go GM Free, the book exposes the myth of the GM revolution and asks searching questions about the safety of GM food. It details how the regulations on GM that are meant to protect us are inadequate and flawed.

Rowell tells the story of BSE - how the epidemic is continuing and how critical scientists were silenced during the crisis. The same happened with the Foot and Mouth crisis, leading scientists were marginalized while millions of animals were needlessly slaughtered.

In the last chapter Rowell offers radical solutions to provide safe food and science that works in the public interest.


BUY A COPY WITH A 10% DISCOUNT: http://www.earthscan.co.uk/asp/bookdetails.asp?key=3981


'An essential read for those who wish to break the chains of corporate control of the food chain. All you need to know to be effective in resisting the might of the global argi-business machine'
Tony Juniper, Director, Friends of the Earth

'A gripping account of the human drama, scientific controversy and commercial politics that surround the biotechnology revolution'
Dr Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy, City University, London

'A brilliant exposé of the dangerously cosy relations between the regulators and the regulated. Rowell emphatically demonstrates that the man in the official white coat is no longer on our side. Read this book and act!'
Zac Goldsmith, The Ecologist

For more infomration visit: http://www.earthscan.co.uk/asp/bookdetails.asp?key=3981 Hardback ISBN: 1-85383-932-9