German TV report on GM toxic soy in animal feed
The report includes interviews with:
*Prof Andres Carrasco, whose research found that glyphosate and Roundup causes birth defects in very low doses
*Prof Gilles-Eric Seralini, whose research has shown serious risks to health from glyphosate and Roundup
*Prof Walter Pengue, whose research shows the devastating effects of GM soy cultivation on the environment in South America.
http://www.toxicsoy.org for English
http://www.gifsoja.nl for Dutch
Thanks to TraceConsult for the English translation (below) of the German abstract of the broadcast at: http://www.daserste.de/plusminus/beitrag.asp?uid=8p889u88f3j9mzpk&cm.asp
For much of the scientific research mentioned in the broadcast, see the report, GM Soy: Sustainable? Responsible? by nine international scientists, available in 6 languages from here:
GM toxic soy in animal feed broadcast
(© WDR) by Detlef Flintz and Mathias Rauck
Translation and highlighting provided by TraceConsult
Broadcast Tue, 08 Feb. 2011 | 9:50 PM
Week after week, bulk carriers from overseas dock in German ports carrying genetically modified soy. What happens to it? On the Lower Saxony pig farm owned by Henry Dierkes, for example, it is part of the feed rations for 1,500 pigs. Soy is high in protein, causing the animals to put on muscle mass quickly. For the pig producers this is completely normal: "The feeding of genetically modified crops is standard procedure globally I think in pig feed about 95 percent and other types of soy-based feed well over 80 percent." GM soy may not be better than conventional soy feed, but it is cheaper, calculates Henry Dierkes: "Currently, for example, GM-free soy is five euros per quintal (100 kgs) more expensive. That would be about 2.50 euros per pig. If I earn 20 euros per pig then this is more than ten percent."
GM soybeans are grown mainly in North and South America. The cultivation seems simple: No plowing, but only sowing, spraying and harvesting. U.S. company Monsanto developed the corresponding seed for its weedkiller Roundup. Like other herbicides, Roundup contains glyphosate as the active ingredient. Glyphosate kills the weeds but not the genetically modified plant.
In Argentina, for example, the cultivation areas are growing dramatically. The fields often extend all the way to the settlements. Many residents now complain about the high use of chemicals. In fact, according to a study in Argentina, from 1996 to 2003 the area [devoted to soy cultivation] has grown 35-fold. The use of glyphosate, however, has grown 56-fold during the same period.
One explanation for this is that the weeds are becoming less sensitive to glyphosate. Monsanto does not dispute this. Experts have observed that not only glyphosate is sprayed. Thus, the agricultural scientist Prof. Walter Pengue from the University of Buenos Aires says, "The farmer must use more and more agricultural chemicals for weed control. Currently one of the most commonly used herbicide cocktails is a mixture of glyphosate and 2,4 D, a herbicide whose agricultural use had been discontinued globally since the eighties, but it is now used again."
Herbicide a cause of illness?
Fifteen-year-old Magui Arguello was born in the neighbourhood of Buenos Aires. She sits in a wheelchair. She is unable to dress alone and will never be able to run around with other children. Her parents suspect a link between Magui's illness and the high use of chemicals around them. Magui's father Rudolpho says, "A condition like hers hardly existed before, it was almost unknown until she was born. And after that there were four other cases, not quite with the same expression. One child has speech problems, others have disorders of the musculo-skeletal system."
According to the medical diagnosis, the brain of the girl did not correctly develop into two hemispheres. Can glyphosate really be the cause of this? Monsanto considers this impossible. But in Buenos Aires, Professor Andres Carrasco finds parallels. He tested glyphosate on amphibians and also discovered a defective formation of the brain hemispheres. His evaluation: "The mechanism of action inducing such abnormalities is that glyphosate acts as an enzymatic poison."
Monsanto, the company that brought GM soy to the world, declined an interview. When we presented our findings in writing, Monsanto expressed blanket doubt regarding the accuracy of the research and wrote, "Monsanto is not only entirely convinced of the safety of its products, but also of the benefits they bring to our customers, as well as of their contribution to sustainable agriculture."
Final evidence that Roundup causes serious diseases does not exist. Nevertheless, many scientists are not reassured over this matter. In Caen, France, scientists have studied the effect of glyphosate on human cells for over five years. Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini experimented with minute quantities, sometimes of pure glyphosate, sometimes of the complete Monsanto product, Roundup. One result: Cell death within 24 hours. In his opinion, "Glyphosate has been demonstrated to be toxic in numerous studies around the world. For human cells, Glyphosate is toxic even at very low doses, much lower than those applied by the farmer in his field. We found that Roundup is even more toxic than glyphosate glyphosate is only one of several ingredients in Roundup."
Monsanto holds that such cell research is inapplicable to humans. Roundup is safe, the company writes.
Neither at the butcher's nor on packaged foods in Germany can we typically find an indication whether the animal feed used contained any genetically modified soy. Not only pig feed but also poultry and cattle compound feed have this mixed in. Thus, even eggs and dairy products may have been produced with the use of GM soy.
GM soy has become so widespread today that hardly a food manufacturer is capable of ensuring that his animal products were produced without genetically engineered feed. In the production of even the smallest individual ingredients, such as the butter used in the butter cookies or the cheese on a pizza, GM feed may have been used at the beginning. This is excluded only on products bearing the organic label and the green label "Ohne GenTechnik" [GM-free].
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