Frankenfoods to Frankly Horrific
by Robert Bruce Baird
The Rockefeller Foundation is an outgrowth of the Rothschild family desire to help develop a world where people can be managed according to a plan people are not participants in establishing. Maybe you are against certain elements of this plan; I am, but I know we need a plan and there is no other plan except by default a plan to de-populate the world. You might even say the two above-mentioned plans are connected after you read this.
I know Dr. Warren Weaver of the Rockefeller Foundation understood nuclear threats were a mere ‘hide the ball’ initiative despite being horrifically able to destroy life on Earth. He said that because in the mid-60s he was working on far more scientifically important research. It included the human genome since the days this Foundation moved away from Frederick T. Gates the Theologian evangelical who was a founding director of it. At that time they began to support Dr. Black in the late 1920s research on early man and his bones found in China.
In the interim or around the same time Weaver was the Foundation’s chief scientist we had Ezra Taft Benson as the U. S. Department of Agriculture head. He wrote a cover comment on the book None Dare Call It Conspiracy, which is still well worth reading. He then became the head of the Mormon Church and I believe in concert with other esoteric people in Salt Lake City a council of religious leaders which support far-reaching intrusions you have never heard about. That is a very brief introduction to what now begins to be discussed by this author. The Taft family are top Merovingian and eastern establishment people from colonial times and Ezra expanded their reach geographically and geometrically. In this article from a Pittsburgh paper you have Benson and Weaver commenting side by each. Averill Harriman and Brown Bros. were found guilty of supporting Hitler and one of their paladins or running dogs was Prescott Bush. Harriman later raised Shrub as your Manchurian Candidate on Jupiter Island, but that is a far larger use of science and media than I intend to address here. It would behoove the truly interested reader to read the thread The Most Important Man of the 20th Century (Colonel Edward Mandell House) to get a feel for the pre-war era connections to these plans including how the Rockefellers established the FED.
THE GMO REVOLUTION
By 1992, President George H.W. Bush was ready to open the Pandora’s Box of GMO. In an Executive Order, the President made the ruling that GMO plants and foods were “substantially equivalent” to ordinary plants of the same variety, such as ordinary corn, soybeans, rice or cotton.5 The doctrine of “substantial equivalence” was the lynchpin of the whole GMO revolution. It meant that a GMO crop could be considered to be the same as a conventional crop, merely because GMO corn looked like ordinary corn or GM rice or soybean, and even tasted more or less like conventional corn, and because in its chemical composition and nutritional value, it was “substantially” the same as the natural plant. That determination that GMO plants were to be treated as “substantially equivalent” ignored the qualitative internal alteration required to genetically engineer the particular crop. As serious scientists pointed out, the very concept of “substantial equivalence” was itself pseudo-scientific. The doctrine of “substantial equivalence” had been created primarily to provide an excuse for not requiring biochemical or toxological tests.
Because of the Bush Administration’s “substantial equivalence” ruling, no special regulatory measures would be required for genetically engineered varieties. Substantial equivalence was a phrase which delighted the agribusiness companies. That wasn’t surprising, for Monsanto and the others had created it. Its premise was deceitful, as Bush’s science advisers well knew. Genetic modification of a plant or organism involved taking foreign genes and adding them to a plant such as cotton or soybeans to alter their genetic makeup in ways not possible through ordinary plant reproduction.
Often the introduction was made by a gene “cannon” literally blasting a plant with a foreign bacteria or . DNA segment to alter its genetic character. In agricultural varieties, hybridization and selective breeding had resulted in crops adapted to specific production conditions and regional demands. Genetic engineering differed from traditional methods of plant and animal breeding in very important respects. Genes from one organism could be extracted and recombined with those of another (using recombinant DNA, or rONA, technology) without either organism having to be of the same species. Second, removing the requirement for species reproductive compatibility, new genetic combinations could be produced in a highly accelerated way. The fateful Pandora’s Box had indeed been opened. The fictional horrors of the “Andromeda Strain” the unleashing of a biological catastrophe, was no longer the stuff of science fiction. The danger was real, and no one seemed to be overtly concerned. Genetic engineering introduced a foreign organism into a plant in a process that was imprecise and unpredictable. The engineered products were no more “substantially equivalent” to the original than a tiny car hiding a Ferrari engine would be to a Fiat. Ironically, while companies such as Monsanto argued for “sub*stantial equivalence” they also claimed patent rights for their genetically modified plants on the argument that their genetic engineering had created substantially new plants whose uniqueness had to be protected by exclusive patent protection.
They saw no problem in having their cake and eating it too . . With the Bush Administration 1992 ruling, that was to be upheld by every successive Administration, the US Government treated GMO or bio-engineered foods as “natural food additives” therefore not subjecting them to any special testing. If it wasn’t necessary to test normal corn to see if it was healthy to eat, so went the argument, why should anyone have to bother to test the “substantially equivalent” GMcorn, soybean, or GM milk hormones produced by Monsanto and the other agribusiness companies? In most cases, the Government regulatory agencies simply took the data provided to them by the GMO companies themselves in order to judge that a new product was fine. The US Government agencies never ruled against the gene giants.
Nature’s Most Perfect Food …
The first mass-marketed GMO food was milk containing a recom*binant Bovine Growth Hormone, known as rBGH. This was a genetic manipulation patented by Monsanto. The FDA declared the genetically-engineered milk safe for human consumption before crucial information on how the GM milk might affect human health was available, diligently holding up to the doctrine of sub*stantial equivalence. The rBGH hormone constituted a huge temptation for struggling dairy farmers. Monsanto claimed that if injected regularly with rBGH, which it sold under the trade name Posilac, cows would typically produce up to thirty percent more milk. For the struggling farmer, a thirty percent jump in output per cow was astonishing and virtually irresistible. Monsanto advertised that farmers should “leave no cow untreated”.
One state agriculture commissioner termed rBGH “crack for cows” because of its extraordinary stimulating effects on milk output.6 Monsanto’s new Posilac rBGH hormone not only stimulated the cow to produce more milk. In the process it stimulated production of another hormone, IGF-l, which regulated the cow’s metabolism, in effect, stimulating the cell division within the animal and hin*dering cell death. This is where problems began to appear. Various independent scientists spoke out, warning that Monsanto’s rBGH hormone increased the levels of insulin-like growth factors, and had a possible link to cancer. One of the most vocal scientists on the matter was Dr. Samuel Epstein, from the University of Illinois’s School of Public Health. Epstein, a recognized authority on carcinogens, warned of a growing body of scientific evidence that the Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF-l), was linked to the creation of human cancers, cancers which might not appear for years after initial exposure. Not surprisingly, hormone stimulation that got cows to pump 30% more milk had other effects.
Farmers began to report their cows burned out by as much as two years sooner, and that many cows had serious hoof or udder infections as a by-product of the rBGH hormone treatment, meaning that some of them could not walk. In turn, the cows had to be injected with more antibiotics to treat those effects. The FDA countered the growing criticism by using data pro*vided by Monsanto, which, not surprisingly, severely criticized the independent scientists. With Monsanto’s chief rBGH scientist, Dr. Robert Collier, with tongue firmly in cheek, retorted that, “In fact the FDA has commented several times on this issue …. They have publicly restated human safety confidence … this is not something knowledgeable people have concerns about.
That was hardly reassuring for anyone aware of the relationship between Monsanto and the FDA leadership. In 1991, a scientist at the University of Vermont leaked to the press that there was evidence of severe health problems affecting rBGH-treated cows, including mastitis, an inflammation of the udder, and deformed births. Monsanto had spent more than half a million dollars to fund the University of Vermont test trials of rBGH. The chief scientist of the project, in direct opposition to his alarmed researcher, had made numerous public statements asserting that rBGH cows had no abnormal levels of health problems compared with regular cows.
The unexpected leak from the upstart whistleblower was embarrassing for both Monsanto and the University receiving Monsanto research dollars, to say the least.9 The US General Accounting Office, an investigative arm of the US Congress, was called in to investigate the allegations. Both the University of Vermont and Monsanto refused to cooperate with the GAO, which was finally forced to give up the investigation with no results. Only years later did the University finally release the data, which indeed showed the negative health effects of rBGH. By then, however, it was too late. In 1991, the Food and Drug Administration created the new position of Deputy Commissioner for Policy to oversee agency policy on GMO foods.
The agency named Michael R. Taylor to be its first head. Taylor came to the job as a Washington lawyer. But not just any old garden variety of Washington lawyers. As ·a food and drug law specialist with the Washington power firm, King & Spalding, Taylor had previously successfully represented Monsanto and other biotech companies in regulatory cases. 10 Monsanto’s chief scientist, Margaret Miller, also assumed a top post in the FDA as Deputy Director of Human Food Safety at the beginning of the 1990’s. In this position, Dr. Miller, without an explanation, raised the FDA standard by 100 times for the permissible level of antibiotics that farmers could put into milk. She single-handedly cleared the way for a booming business for Monsanto’s rBGH hormone. A cozy club was emerging between private biotech companies and the government agencies that should be regulating them. It was a club more than a little fraught with potential conflict of interest.
As one of its top officials, Taylor helped the FDA draw up guide*lines to decide whether GMO foods should be labeled. His decision was not to label GMO foods. At the same time, again under Taylor’s guiding hand, the FDA ruled that risk-assessment data, such as data on birth defects in cattle or even possible symptoms in humans arising from consumption of GMO foods, could be withheld from the public as “confidential business information:’ Were it to leak out that Monsanto, Dow or other biotech com*panies were creating grotesque deformities in animals fed GMO foods, it might be detrimental for the stock price of the company, and that would damage the full flowering of private enterprise. This, at least, seemed the logic behind the perverse kind of “Shareholder value ueber Alles:’ As FDA Biotechnology Coordinator James Maryansky remarked, “The FDA would not require things to be on the label just because a consumer might want to know them.”
A lawyer for Monsanto, Michael R. Taylor, had been placed in charge of GMO food policy within the government’s principal food safety body. As a suitable postscript, honoring the adage, “we take care of our friends;’ Monsanto rewarded the diligent public ser*vant by appointing Michael Taylor to be Vice President of Monsanto for Public Policy after he left the FDA. 13 FDA and Monsanto Milk the Public By 1994, after a suitable amount of time had elapsed, the FDA approved the sale of rBGH milk to the public. Under the FDA rules, of course, it was unlabeled, so the consumer could avoid undue anxiety about giving himself or his children exposure to cancerous agents or other surprises. He would never know.
When Monsanto’s Posilac caused leukemia and tumors in rats, the US Pure Food and Drug Act was rewritten to allow a product that caused cancer in laboratory animals to be marketed for human consumption with*out a warning label. It was as simple as that. Though Monsanto claimed that its rBGH was one of the most thoroughly examined drugs in US history, rBGH was never tested in the long-term for (chronic) human health effects. A generally accepted principle in science holds that two years of testing is the minimal time for long-term health studies. rBGH was tested for only 90 days on 30 rats. The short-term rat study was submitted by Monsanto to the FDA but was never published. The FDA refused to allow anyone outside the administration to review the raw data from this study, saying that publication would “irreparably harm” Monsanto. Monsanto has continued to refuse to allow open sci*entific peer review of the 90 day study. This linchpin study of cancer and BGH has never been subjected to scrutiny by the scientific community. 14 Not content to feed GMO milk exclusively to its own unwary population, the US Government exerted strong pressure on Mexico and Canada also to approve rBGH, as part of an effort to expand Monsanto’s rBGH market globally.
However, the FDA-Monsanto campaign got a nasty setback in January 1999, when the Canadian counterpart to the FDA, Health Canada, broke ranks with the US and issued a formal “notice of non-compliance” disapproving future Canadian sales of rBGH, sometimes also called rBST or recombinant Bovine Somatotropin. The action followed strong pressure from the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association and the Royal College of Physicians, which presented evidence of the adverse effects of rBGH milk, including evidence of lameness and reproductive problems. Monsanto had been very eager to break into the Canadian market with its rBGH, even to the point, according to a Canadian CBC television report, that a Monsanto official tried to bribe a Canadian health official sitting on the Government review committee with an offer of $I-2 million, to secure rBGH approval in Canada without further studies. The insulted official reportedly asked, “Is that a bribe?” and the meeting ended.
Moreover, a special European Commission independent com*mittee of recognized experts concluded that rBGH, as reported in Canadian findings, not only posed the above-named dangers, but also major risks especially of breast and prostate cancer in humans. In August 1999, the United Nations Food Safety Agency, the Codex Alimentarius Commission, ,ruled unanimously in favor of a 1993 European Union moratorium on the introduction of Monsanto’s rBGH milk. Monsanto’s rBGH was thus banned from the EU.16 This setback was not to daunt the persistent bureaucrats at the FDA, or their friends at Monsanto. Since GMO labeling had been forbidden by the FDA, Americans were blissfully unaware of the dangers of drinking the milk they were encouraged to consume for better health.
“Nature’s most perfect food” was the dairy indus*try’s slogan for milk. With regard to reporting the UN decision and the negative Canadian conclusions, the US media were respect*fully quiet. Americans were simply told that the EU was trying to hurt American cattle farmers by refusing imports of hormone-fed US beef. One concerned FDA scientist who refused to sit by idly was FDA Veterinarian Dr. Richard Burroughs, who was responsible, from 1979 until 1989, for reviewing animal drugs such as rBGH. From 1985 until the year he was fired, Burroughs headed the FDA’s review of Monsanto’s rBGH, thus being directly involved in the evaluation process for almost five years. Burroughs wrote the original proto*cols for animal safety studies and reviewed the data submitted by rBGH developers from their own safety studies. In a 1991 article in Eating Well magazine, Burroughs described a change in the FDA beginning in the mid-1980s. Burroughs was faced with corporate representatives who wanted the FDA to ease strict safety testing protocols. He reported seeing corporations dropping off sick cows from rBGH test trials and then manipulat*ing data in such ways as to make health and safety problems “disappear.”
SEEDS OF DESTRUCTION
Burroughs challenged the agency’s lenience and its changing role from guardian of public health to protector of corporate profits. He criticized the FDA and its handling of rBGH in statements to Congressional investigators, in testimonies to state legislatures, and in declarations to the press. Within the FDA, he rejected a number of corporate-sponsored safety studies, calling them insufficient. Finally, in November 1989, he was fired for “incompetence.” The FDA failed to act on the evidence that rBGH was not safe. In fact, the agency promoted the Monsanto Corporation’s product before and after the drug’s approval. Dr. Michael Hansen of Consumers Union noted that the FDA acted as an rBGH advocate by issuing news releases promoting rBGH, making public state*ments praising the drug, and writing promotional pieces about rBGH in the agency’s publication, FDA Consumer.ls
In April 1998, two enterprising award-winning television journalists at Fox TV, an influential US network owned by Rupert Murdoch, put together the remarkable story of the rBGH scandal including its serious health effects. Upon pressure by Monsanto, Fox killed the story and fired Jane Akre and her husband Steve. In an August 2000 Florida state court trial, the two won a jury award of $425,000 damages and the Court found that Fox “acted intentionally and deliberately to falsify or distort the plaintiffs’ news reporting on rBGH.”19 With their ample financial resources, Fox Television and Monsanto took the case to a higher court on appeal and got the decision reversed on a legal technicality. The FDA kept silent.
Monsanto continued to market rBGH milk unabated. As one former US Department of Agriculture official stated, the guiding regulatory percent for genetically modified foods was, “don’t tell, don’t ask:’ which meant, “If the industry does not tell government what it knows about its GMOs, the government does not ask:’20 That was little reassurance for the health and safety concerns of the population. Few ever realized it however, as on the surface it appeared that the FDA and other relevant agencies were guarding their health interests in the new area of GMO foods.
WASHINGTON LAUNCHES THE GMO REVOLUTION
15 In January 2004, after FDA inspectors broke their silence by declaring having found unacceptable levels of contamination in rBGH, Monsanto finally announced it would reduce the supply of Posilac by 50%. Many thought Monsanto would quietly discontinue production of the dangerous hormone. Not easily deterred by anything, least of all evidence of danger to human health, Monsanto announced a year later that they planned to increase the supply of Posilac again, initially to 70% of its peak level. They had come under enormous pressure not only from citizens concerned about health consequences, but also from farmers who realized that the 30% rise in national milk output from dairy herds had only served to create an even larger glut of unsold milk in a nation already in surplus. It had also triggered collapsing milk prices. By then, Monsanto had moved on to corner the global market in seeds for the most important staples in the human and animal diets.
Monsanto’s Cozy Government Relations
The relation between the US Government and giant GMO seed producers such as Monsanto, DuPont or Dow AgriSciences was not accidental.
The Government encouraged development of unregulated GMO crops as a strategic priority, as noted, since the early years of the Reagan Presidency, long before it was at all clear whether such engineering of nature was at all desirable. It was one thing for a government to support long-term laboratory research through science grants. It was quite another thing to open the market’s floodgates to untested, risky new procedures which had the potential to affect the basic food supply of the country and of the entire planet.”