A Foodie’s Guide to Avoiding GMO$: Going Meta with Steve Druker [#1]
For our inaugural episode of A Foodie’s Guide to Avoiding GMO$, we meet with expert and key investigator Steven M. Druker and together consider why foodies of all stripes should strive to avoid consuming GMO$. We first learned of author and public interest lawyer Steve Druker of the Alliance for Bio-Integrity in a National Geographic “Book Talk” blog post published April 22, 2015 by Simon Worrall entitled Is Genetically Engineered Food A Fraud? The National Geographic blog post discussed his impressive, extensively-researched book Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public.
[Scroll for show notes]
Our neighbor and fellow advocate for a pure food system, Nature’s Touch Nursery and Harvest owner Melanie Blankenship had posted the interview link via social media: thanks Melanie! Upon reading it, I was immediately struck with his clear and logical argument against GMO$: what a relief to find a smart, measured person with the patience to spend so many years researching such an extensive and irrefutable book. This is true patriotism: to defend our country from the chemical rot that threatens its agricultural and nutritive core from within.
When we learned that Steve Druker would also be at the 2015 National Heirloom Exposition in Santa Rosa, California, we made arrangements to meet with this careful and compelling figure in the fight against the sloppy and unsafe “science” of GMO$. We particularly wanted an update on the as-yet-unanswered challenge he made to Monsanto via the Alliance for Bio-Integrity.
- A Challenge to Monsanto: Face Up to the Extensive Evidence Demonstrating that Genetically Engineered Foods Entail Unacceptable Risks and Should Be Promptly Removed from the Market—An Open Letter to Robb Fraley, PhD Chief Technology Officer Monsanto Company (May 19, 2015)
Stop acting like a cowardly chicken, Monsanto. If you cannot refute my book, then it demonstrates that the foods that you and the other members of the biotech industry are producing are unacceptably risky and should be taken off the market. It’s that simple. If you can’t refute my book, then it shows that your products should be off the market.
After the expiration of the two month period allotted for Monsanto’s response to this challenge from Steve Druker and the Alliance for Bio-Integrity, Monsanto appears to be running away from these irrefutable facts about the risks and illegality of their products. On August 19, 2015 in an article entitled Monsanto’s Code of Silence, Colin Todhunter considered Monsanto’s deafening silence to this challenge. The following day, the New England Journal of Medicine published online a short but potent anti-GMO$ essay entitled GMOs, Herbicides, and Public Health by Philip J. Landrigan, M.D., and Charles Benbrook, Ph.D. (August 20, 2015). In desperation, some Monsanto trolls accused these scientists of being anti science: haha!
An Efficient Chemical Delivery System: US Industrial “Food”
Something about losing my mother when I was 30 years old to chemical-inspired cancer makes me furious to witness the profound greed that attempts to force inferior and unsafe agricultural technologies into the unstable present and the unknown future, all for the sake of too much profit. Although she certainly used unpronounceable unnatural chemicals on our flower gardens, Mom’s cancer likely stemmed from her excessive daily consumption of aspartame-laden diet soda. She died at 62 years old after a 3-year battle with cancer that started in her bladder and continued to spread through her gastrointestinal system. I firmly believe she drank herself to death with diet soda.
The least common denominator industrial “food” system in the United States is first and foremost a chemical delivery system. I distrust GMO$ and am appalled at all the lies that were and are required by so many of our fellow Americans to foist these manufactured organisms on an unsuspecting public. We’re shocked at the level of contempt for one’s neighbors inherent in the decades-long promotion of these toxic and ineffective tools and we’re not going to sit by while they proliferate and intensify.
This book was written to be a strong, accurate resource for the scientific community as well as a good resource and hopefully a good read for the average intelligent reader.
Show Notes—A Foodie’s Guide to Avoiding GMO$ [#1]
[00:00] Introductions; background of Altered Genes, Twisted Truth; copious endnotes for scientists
[03:40] Challenge to Monsanto to refute the key facts of Altered Genes, Twisted Truth
[05:20] Unlike traditional media outlets, independent media like Central Coast Foodie lets Steve Druker speak uncensored; the industrial “food” system in the US is like an alcoholic family (“Everybody’s perfect. We don’t talk about it”); GMO$—an industry built on lies
[07:00] Primary fraud with GMO$ has come from the mainstream scientific establishment: a shameful hoodwinking of the public
[08:50] The size of the lie with GMO$ is almost unbelievable—”If a government is going to lie, lie big”—and the FDA gets away with these enormous falsehoods because the scientific community has provided it cover with their embrace and promotion of lies about the safety and efficacy of GMO$
[10:20] Lies from members of the pro-GMO$ scientific community were used in 2012 to defeat a labeling proposition in California, Proposition 37
[11:30] Testing farmer families and tracking their health issues—no clear data from US farmers but very disturbing data about birth defects following excessive spraying of herbicides in farming regions in Argentina
[14:00] Why Central Coast Foodie cares about banning GMO$; interview clip with Robin Romano recorded during the March 2012 Edible Institute in Santa Barbara (director of The Harvest/La Cosecha and The Dark Side of Chocolate)
[15:30] Information about biodynamic farmer Ralph Johnson’s background and subsequent interest in avoiding GMO$; in biodynamics, the farmers make money for themselves and not for sterile seed manufacturers or other members of industrial agriculture
[18:00] Why Steve Druker cares about avoiding GMO$ and eating a healthy diet free of toxins that exert a chronic effect that weakens the health of individuals and the nation as a whole
[19:30] Devil’s advocate question about Golden Rice and other “GMO$ can save the world” statements that seek to blunt criticism of this untested technology; Ralph notes that while astronauts are always isolated after traveling in space to ensure they don’t introduce unknown particles from space into the planet’s environment, GMO$ are not adequately tested for safety before being released; the US Food and Drug Administration has ignored our stringent food safety laws in favor of corporate profit for biotech firms
[22:00] Consumer resistance to GMO$ in Europe is what has helped restrict the wider use of GMO$ there; FDA compelled on discovery to turn over 40,000 documents to Steve Druker and the Alliance for Bio-Integrity that included many memos from the FDA’s own scientists who cautioned strongly about the safety risks of GMO$
[24:00] RoundUp is now sprayed on wheat as a desiccant to ensure uniform dryness prior to harvest of the crop; the Journal of Interdisciplinary Toxicology published a paper by Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff in winter 2013 entitled “Glyphosate, Pathways to Modern Diseases II: Celiac Sprue and Gluten Intolerance” that linked higher levels of glyphosate application on the US wheat crop to increases in celiac, kidney, Parkinson’s, and other diseases as well as growing numbers of deaths from intestinal infections (view Interdisciplinary Toxicology report)
[25:40] We’re having fun trouncing Monsanto trolls on social media networks by wielding the Altered Genes, Twisted Truth challenge as a sword; cultivate a healthy skepticism about everything
[28:00] Science is on the side of banning GMO$
There’s been a huge fraud perpetrated here.
A Toxic Collection: Our Posts on Industrial Chemicals & GMO$
Biodynamic Gardening Report podcasts with Ralph Johnson, who years ago worked with the nastiest chemicals in the world via Imperial Chemical Industries:
- #45—Biodynamic Results and Carcinogenic Glyphosate (Mar. 27, 2015)
- #38—Reporting from SLO’s Downtown Market (Feb. 5, 2015)
- #22—From Agricultural Chemicals to Organics (Oct. 17, 2014)
More Central Coast Foodie posts and information about why we should garden, farm, and eat without a side dish of toxic chemicals:
- Big Food Death Rattle: Legislative Protectionism Reveals Corporate Desperation (Mar. 15, 2016)
- G-M-nO Thanks: Yes to Our Right to Know (Oct. 7, 2012)
- Gardens Victorious (Mar. 7, 2011)
- Avoid GMO$ Call to Action Index
Music: Boneyard Groove by Hanif Wondir