- The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM)
has just issued a call for an immediate moratorium on Genetically Manipulated
- In a just-released position paper on GMO foods, the AAEM
states that 'GM foods pose a serious health risk' and calls for a moratorium
on GMO foods. Citing several animal studies, the AAEM concludes 'there
is more than a casual association between GMO foods and adverse health
effects' and that 'GM foods pose a serious health risk in the areas of
toxicology, allergy and immune function, reproductive health, and metabolic,
physiologic and genetic health.' The report is a devastating blow to the
multibillion dollar international agribusiness industry, most especially
to Monsanto Corporation, the world's leading purveyor of GMO seeds and
- In a press release dated May 19, the American Academy
of Environmental Medicine, which describes itself as 'an international
association of physicians and other professionals dedicated to addressing
the clinical aspects of environmental health,' called immediately for the
following emergency measures to be taken regarding human consumption of
- * A moratorium on GMO food; implementation of immediate
long term safety testing and labelling of GMO food.
- * Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community
and the public to avoid GMO foods.
- * Physicians to consider the role of GMO foods in their
patients' disease processes.
- * More independent long term scientific studies to begin
gathering data to investigate the role of GMO foods on human health.
- The AAEM chairperson, Dr Amy Dean notes that 'Multiple
animal studies have shown that GM foods cause damage to various organ systems
in the body. With this mounting evidence, it is imperative to have a moratorium
on GM foods for the safety of our patients' and the public's health.' The
President of the AAEM, Dr Jennifer Armstrong stressed that 'Physicians
are probably seeing the effects in their patients, but need to know how
to ask the right questions. The most common foods in North America which
are consumed that are GMO are corn, soy, canola, and cottonseed oil.' The
AAEM's position paper on Genetically Modified foods can be found at http:aaemonline.org.
- The paper further states that Genetically Modified Organisms
(GMO) technology 'abrogates natural reproductive processes, selection occurs
at the single cell level, the procedure is highly mutagenic and routinely
breeches genera barriers, and the technique has only been used commercially
for 10 years.'
- The AAEM paper further states, 'several animal studies
indicate serious health risks associated with GM food consumption including
infertility, immune dysregulation, accelerated aging, dysregulation of
genes associated with cholesterol synthesis, insulin regulation, cell signalling,
and protein formation, and changes in the liver, kidney, spleen and gastrointestinal
- They add, 'There is more than a casual association between
GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation as defined by Hill's
Criteria in the areas of strength of association, consistency, specificity,
biological gradient, and biological plausibility. The strength of association
and consistency between GM foods and disease is confirmed in several animal
- GMO is toxic
- The AAEM paper should give grounds for official rethinking
of the current quasi laissez faire regulatory stance to GMO in which the
solemn word of the GMO seed companies such as Monsanto is regarded as scientifically
valid proof of safety. The AAEM study is worth citing in detail in this
- 'Specificity of the association of GM foods and specific
disease processes is also supported. Multiple animal studies show significant
immune dysregulation, including upregulation of cytokines associated with
asthma, allergy, and inflammation. Animal studies also show altered structure
and function of the liver, including altered lipid and carbohydrate metabolism
as well as cellular changes that could lead to accelerated aging and possibly
lead to the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS).Changes in the
kidney, pancreas and spleen have also been documented. A recent 2008 study
links GM corn with infertility, showing a significant decrease in offspring
over time and significantly lower litter weight in mice fed GM corn. This
study also found that over 400 genes were found to be expressed differently
in the mice fed GM corn. These are genes known to control protein synthesis
and modification, cell signalling, cholesterol synthesis, and insulin regulation.
Studies also show intestinal damage in animals fed GM foods, including
proliferative cell growth and disruption of the intestinal immune system.
- The AAEM study also reviewed the biotechnology industry
claims that GMO foods can feed the world through production of higher crop
yields. It cited contrary evidence that the opposite appeared to be true,
namely that over time GMO harvest yields were lower than conventional yields
and required over time, more not less, highly toxic herbicidal chemicals
such as glyphosate. The report noted, 'The several thousand field trials
over the last 20 years for genes aimed at increasing operational or intrinsic
yield (of crops) indicate a significant undertaking. Yet none of these
field trials have resulted in increased yield in commercialized major food/feed
crops, with the exception of Bt corn.' However, the slight yield gain for
Bt corn they report was 'largely due to traditional breeding improvements,'
and not to GMO.
- They conclude that because GMO foods 'pose a serious
health risk in the areas of toxicology, allergy and immune function, reproductive
health, and metabolic, physiologic and genetic health and are without benefit,
the AAEM believes that it is imperative to adopt the precautionary principle,
which is one of the main regulatory tools of the European Union environmental
and health policy and serves as a foundation for several international
agreements. The most commonly used definition is from the 1992 Rio Declaration
that states: 'In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach
shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where
there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific
certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures
to prevent environmental degradation.'
- Under intense public pressure, the German Minister of
Agriculture recently issued a prohibition of planting for Monsanto MON810
GMO corn. Unfortunately, two weeks later she permitted planting of GMO
potato seeds. Amflora, a genetically modified potato manufactured by chemicals
giant BASF (a joint venture GMO partner of Monsanto), was declared by the
German Ministry as posing 'no danger for human health or the environment,'
The Ministry cited 'in-depth examination' and talks with scientific and
economic experts as basis for the reckless decision.
- The publication of the sensational critique of GMO by
the American Academy of Environmental Medicine has been greeted with stone
silence by most major US media and international press.
- GMO politics
- As I describe in great detail in my book, Seeds of Destruction:
The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation, , GMO was released on the general
public in the early 1990's in the USA under an executive decision by then
President George Herbert Walker Bush, reportedly following closed door
meetings with leading Monsanto executives. President Bush mandated that
there should be no special health and safety tests done by any US Government
agency before releasing GMO for food consumption. It came to be known as
the Doctrine of Substantial Equivalence.
- The US Government, on urging of Monsanto and the GMO
lobby, further decided that labelling of a food product as 'GMO free' should
be prohibited, using the vaguely formulated and entirely unscientific 'doctrine'
proclaimed by President Bush in 1992, namely that GMO plants and non-GMO
or ordinary plants were 'substantially equivalent' and hence needed no
special testing before being released to the public.
- That Substantial Equivalence Doctrine, despite the fact
that it directly contradicts the demand of the GMO companies for exclusive
patent rights to their GMO seeds as being 'unique' and different from ordinary
seeds, enabled Monsanto, Dow Chemicals, DuPont and other GMO patent holders
to proliferate their products with no control. Most Americans naively believe
that the Government Food and Drug Administration and US Department of Agriculture
are there to make certain industrial food products are confirmed fully
safe for human and for animal consumption before licensing.
- That de facto prohibition on labelling GMO foods has
meant that most Americans have no idea how much of their daily diet from
store-bought Corn Flakes to soybeans to corn and additives in every food
on the supermarket shelf contained GMO contamination.
- Coincident with the mass introduction of GMO into the
human and animal diet in the United States beginning the end of the 1990's,
there have been reported epidemic levels of allergic outbreaks in humans,
strange diseases and numerous other health issues. The fact it is forbidden
by Federal law to label GMO products means most health professionals are
not even aware there might be any connection to a GMO diet for millions
of Americans. The US population, since the 1992 ruling of President Bush-a
ruling reaffirmed by presidents Clinton, George W. Bush and now by Barack
Obama and his pro-GMO Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack-has been in
effect treated as human guinea pigs in mass experimentation for substances
never independently proven in long-term (ten years or longer) studies to
- It remains to be seen if the scientific critique of the
AAEM is given the attention it warrants.
- F. William Engdahl is author of Seeds of Destruction:
The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation (<http://www.globalresearch.ca/>www.globalresearch.ca).
He also authored A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the
New World Order (Pluto Press). His newest book, Full Spectrum Dominance:
Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order (Third Millennium Press)
is now in print and will be available by mid-June. He may be contacted
over his website, www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net.