Ep.88: The Dangers of GMO’s with Jeffrey Smith
Today I interview a very interesting researcher and advocate for human beings and the planet, Jeffrey Smith. He’s the founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology and he’s been educating people for 22 years about the health dangers of genetically modified organisms. There are a lot of genetically modified foods out there and in this conversation you will learn how to speak up against GMO’s, have a voice, know which foods are genetically modified, and know how to avoid them.
Check out his Healing From GMO’s Summit: Click Here
Watch Robyn’s GMO video: Here
Robyn: Hi there. It’s Robyn Openshaw, and welcome back to Vibe. I am getting ready to leave on my three weeks in Switzerland, where I take Green Smoothie Girl followers to do a liver detox. Some people stay for a week, some people stay for two weeks.
I’ve been going there for eight years now. I was on a research tour for three and a half years. Every chance I could get a week, or two or three weeks, to go to several different clinics, [I would]. I was researching to write a book on nontoxic cancer treatment worldwide. I didn’t actually write the book, and not because I’m not a finisher. Usually, I finish my projects. That’s a whole other subject.
I basically found that there are a lot of practitioners doing good work to help cancer patients heal, but I couldn’t really prove it very well. I couldn’t really prove it, except with the anecdotal evidence, and plus these businesses kind of go in and out of even being in business, with what kind of work they do.
It’s hard for them to run a business, treating people with other modalities besides chemotherapy and radiation, which is a bit of a monopoly here in America. And it’s not because it works so well, not because it’s so effective and helpful to people, but just because pharmaceutical companies that produce chemotherapy are very, very powerful inside all of our medical institutions and it’s just what our oncologists are trained in.
So I was wondering what people do to heal after chemo and radiation, and I was wondering what people do who would rather die than do chemo and radiation. And there are more and more people like that.
We’ve all seen folks go through chemo, and many people would say that the cure is worse than the disease and they’d just rather opt out. It’s not that they’d really rather die; it’s that they want to seek alternative care that will rebuild their immune system, and detoxify them from whatever chemical agents and stresses on the body caused the cancer in the first place.
Lots of people are doing good work all over the world. I didn’t write the book; that’s actually a whole side tangent.
But we have three weeks. The whole place is booked and sold out. I’m there for three weeks. My dear friend, Dr Tom O’Bryan, does three weeks of liver detoxes right after me. His weeks sold out in two days when we told his audience about it. So I’ll be posting about it. I’ll be there from June 17th through July 8th. If you’re listening to this during that window, I’m sure you can see me post about it on the Green Smoothie Girl page and my own personal page a little bit too on Facebook.
But today I am interviewing a very interesting researcher, and advocate, for human beings and the planet. His name is Jeffery Smith, and he’s the founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology. He’s been educating people for 22 years about the health dangers of genetically modified organisms.
There are a lot of genetically modified foods out there and he’s been teaching us how to speak up, how to have a voice, how to know which foods are genetically modified and how to avoid them. He was named 2017’s person of the year by masters of Health Magazine. And he’s put together a brand new summit. It’s called “Healing from GMOs and Roundup”.
It’s a little bit different from his prior work, where he teaches us how to avoid GMO foods and products. This particular series is where he interviews 18 experts about how people can heal from their exposure to Glyphosate, and Roundup, and genetically modified foods. Those two issues cannot really be pulled apart very well, because genetically modified foods are actually gene spliced to be Roundup ready, and so they are all sort of part and parcel of the same issue.
So for sure sign up to participate in his free summit. It will be airing for free for a week in July, but you want to get your seat in the summit right now. You can sign up at greensmoothiegirl.com/gmosummit. That’s greensmoothiegirl.com/gmosummit.
So welcome to the Vibe Show, Jeffrey Smith.
Jeffrey: Thank you.
Robyn: I am so excited to ask you all these questions today, because I feel like GMOs are a subject that are on people’s radars. I haven’t told you that one of my most watched videos has had literally millions of views – and we’ll make sure that that video is in the show notes – but in it I talk about how we have to vote with our dollars because our government isn’t protecting us very well.
That video’s had millions of views. It’s had tens of thousands of shares. And I feel like there are a small minority of people who are very clued in to the impact of genetically modified foods and plants in general on our health.
But I want to go deep with you today about this issue. Talk a little bit about, how bad are GMOs really for our health?
Jeffrey: Well, that’s an excellent question, and we have new data that is really eye opening. I’ve been telling people about the dangers of GMOs for 22 years, and people would come up to me early on and say, “I can tell the difference if I eat a GMO. I can feel it.”
And I was skeptical. Even though I was aware that rats could have major damage to their organs in just 10 days, I was somehow convinced that the effects on humans would be more of a background trend in disease rates, but not something that people would actually be able to feel.
In 2006 I started introducing physicians to the documented health risks of GMOs while speaking at medical conferences, and they started prescribing non-GMO diets to their patients. And then, in 2009, I went to a conference where I had spoken each year, an environmental medicine conference. And I started interviewing the doctors, and I was shocked that they were saying that their patients were all getting better from GMOs. They had reacted more, and had bigger, and larger, reactions on GMOs. There was more inflammation with GMOs. And that they could see the difference, and their patients could see the difference.
One doctor said, “I prescribed non-GMO diets to everyone, and they all got better.” I was skeptical and I said, “Well, what percentage?” She said, “I said everyone.”
A hundred percent, well okay, 98 percent have improvement. And I said, “How many patients have you prescribed it to?” And she calculated for about a minute or two, and then looked up and said, “About 5,000.”
So I went to her clinic, and started interviewing the patients. And sure enough, the results were incredible. So soon after, I started asking audiences that I was speaking at, in over 150 lectures, including medical conferences, “What have you noticed in yourself or your patients, when there was a switch to non-GMO and largely organic?”
And it was overwhelming. The largest response was always a gastrointestinal and digestive improvement. Then there was increased energy, and reduced brain fog. And there was loss of weight, and there was allergies, and autism, and kidney problems, and diabetes. It was all across the board.
So we surveyed 3,256 people through the Institute for Responsible Technology subscription list. I asked, “Which diseases or disorders did you notice changed when you switched to a non- GMO Diet?” And there were 28 different conditions, and it matched exactly the kind of conditions that we heard when we had asked the audiences at the 150 lectures.
So right now there was anecdotal evidence, which, when you build it up, becomes data. But then if you look at the livestock that were switched to non-GMO feed, they get better in many of the same diseases and disorders, as do pets.
And if you look at the animal feeding studies, where the lab animals were force fed GMOs, or the Roundup herbicide that’s sprayed on most GMOs, they suffer from either these disorders or their precursors. And then if you look at the specific modes of action of GMOs and the Roundup herbicide, and in some cases the bt toxin, which is the toxin created by certain corn varieties, you can predict these problems.
Robyn: Ok, so can we really separate the GMO issue from the Roundup issue? Roundup being Glyphosate, which I think 20 million tons of it have now been sprayed on crops worldwide. Some countries are slowing down in their willingness to let their farmers spray it. I know Europe has some initiatives. And they just voted again in the last year and I think very, very narrowly kept limits on Roundup.
Here in the U. S. we’re in love with it though. We spray it on everything. We spray it twice on wheat. Are GMO crops always sprayed with Roundup? How do you separate those two issues, and which one is the worst one, if that’s even a valuable question at all?
Jeffrey: It’s an excellent question, and it’s a question that has bugged scientists for years. There was an attempt to identify the differences by Dr. Seralini, and I interview Dr. Seralini in the upcoming series, “Healing from GMOs and Roundup”.
He took a genetically engineered Roundup ready corn, which is engineered to be sprayed with Roundup. I’ll say that there are six types of GM crops that are specifically engineered to be sprayed with Roundup: soy, corn, cotton, canola, sugar beets and Alfalfa. So he took the GM Roundup ready corn, and he fed it to rats over a period of two years. And they had multiple massive tumors, early death, organ damage.
Now the corn was sprayed with Roundup, so it was a combination, and you couldn’t tell, so he did two other – well actually did more than two – but he did other experimental groups.
One ate the Roundup ready corn that had never been sprayed with Roundup. Another group had Roundup in their water, but not any GMO corn. It turns out that the groups that had either the corn alone or the Roundup alone also had multiple massive tumors, early death and organ damage.
So individually and together, they created this massive destruction of the health of these rats. Now, if you look at the data of what Roundup does, there’s a lot more evidence. There’s a lot more research.
Unfortunately, GMOs were put on the market in the United States without any required safety testing by the FDA. That was because Monsanto’s former attorney, Michael Taylor, was in charge of policy at the FDA. And after he gave a green light to GMOs without testing or labeling, he became Monsanto’s vice president and then went back under the Obama administration to be in charge of food safety for the United States. Very ironic and very tragic.
But we don’t have sufficient testing. We know that, from an early test in the 1990’s, simply the process of genetic engineering itself caused massive collateral damage in the DNA, which can increase allergens, toxins, new diseases and nutritional problems.
And rats that were fed these genetically engineered potatoes had potentially precancerous cell growth in the digestive tract, smaller brains, livers and testicles, partial atrophy of the liver, and damaged immune system in 10 days. And it was the generic process of genetic engineering that was responsible.
But Roundup has so much more evidence, and if you look at it, it’s absolutely devastating. Roundup, the full formulation, and Glyphosate, the so-called active ingredient (I say so-called because there are other ingredients in Roundup that are a thousand times more toxic than Glyphosate itself). And Roundup can be 125 times more toxic than Glyphosate itself. But if you look at the research, [is shows], and I think you’ll appreciate when I give you a list of what it does.
It was declared by the World Health Organization as a probable human carcinogen. But also as a definite carcinogen for animals. It is a mineral chelator, meaning it blocks the absorption and use of minerals by the body, which can shut down key metabolic pathways. It is a patented antibiotic that preferentially kills the beneficial bacteria, not the nasty stuff.
It’s been shown to create gaps between the walls of the cells, leaky gut, leaky brain, other things. It suppresses the digestive enzymes. It damages the microvilli, which are the digestive fingers along the intestines. It is a mitochondrial toxin, and it also can create birth defects – and at higher doses, is an endocrine disruptor. And so we see a tremendous amount of disruption in the body, at all these fundamental levels.
If you track about 30 different diseases and their prevalence in the United States, and you track it against either GMOs or the amount of Roundup- or Glyphosate-based herbicides sprayed on GMO soy and corn, there is a remarkable parallel between the disease rise and the use of GMOs or Roundup.
And we know that correlation does not mean causation, but when you have all the other pieces in place – the probable or likely causative factors, the effects on lab animals, pets, livestock and humans – then we think that, actually, GMOs and Roundup may be responsible for sickness in the tens of millions or hundreds of millions of people around the earth. It’s just absolutely devastating.
Robyn: I think the animal studies are really important, because you might say when it comes to humans, if we’re educated and we are very specifically only purchasing products that we know to be non-GMO, we are also buying products that were tailored to people who care about their health, and are willing to pay a little bit more.
And so we are also opting out of the Roundup, and probably a lot of other sprayed herbicides, because then we’re also getting organic; we’re also going to have those products have a lot less chemical additives, because they know their audience. They’re not aiming for, you know, the people who are buying the Cheerio’s in the Kroger store, or the Walmart. And so the animal studies [work] where it’s easier to isolate that this is actually the genetically modified food that’s causing the problems. You agree with that?
Jeffrey: Yes, and the issue is with most of the GMO studies, they compare feeding animals with GMOs or Roundup to laboratory animals that are eating standard rat chow or mouse chow. And the chow, which is the standard laboratory ration, has GMOs in it. It has Roundup in it, and heavy metals. So there has been [conflict], and this actually works in favor of the biotech companies because it masks the problems.
So when Dr. Seralini showed that there were massive number of tumors in 80 or 90 percent of his rats, compared to about 10 percent in the control group, the biotech industry said, “Well, actually, those rats typically get 80 or 90 percent tumor rate.” And so if you don’t compare it to your controls, but you compare it to historical controls, which is a nonscientific mishmash, then there’s no problem at all.
But Dr. Seralini pointed out that his control group ate a diet that was specifically designed to exclude GMOs and Roundup, and all of the other historical controls were the rats that ate GMOs and Roundup. So that’s why they had 88 percent of tumor rates. So even though the peer reviewed studies are supposed to isolate, the way that they’re done typically is not that clear.
You also mentioned about avoiding GMOs in the things that we normally get. I want to point out, and you said, you know, it’s sprayed on wheat. Wheat is not genetically engineered. It’s been crossbred to carry certain characteristics, but it hasn’t had genes inserted into its DNA like the other 11 GMO crops. But it’s sprayed with Roundup just before harvest to dry it down as a desiccant, as are oats and barley and rye. Basically the cereals and the grains, like lentils, and also a lot of fruits and vegetables, potatoes, sugarcane. Roundup is used a lot in agriculture, so we recommend not just going non- GMO, but going organic, because organic does not allow GMO or Roundup or the other toxic synthetic chemicals.
Robyn: Okay. I’m always explaining to people that wheat is highly hybridized, so the wheat you buy might have been hybridized, you know, 200 different times, but it’s a different issue. It’s a different issue than genetically modified foods.
So let’s just run through those again. You said them very quickly. I think a lot of people who are educated about health and wellness know that corn and soy have the vast majority of it grown in the U. S., and is genetically modified, which is where we’re getting most of our corn and soy. So unless it says non-GMO, unless it says organic, you can assume that it is genetically modified because the vast majority of it is. So corn, soybeans, sugar beets, alfalfa, keep going…
Jeffrey: Cotton, which is used for cottonseed oil, and by the way that’s sprayed with Glyphosate. Cotton products often have Glyphosate residues, including tampons. And, then canola. Those are the six main GMOs.
Then you have the minor GMOs, which include Papaya from Hawaii or China, some Zucchini, some yellow squash. A small amount of apples and potatoes that are designed not to brown when cut, so that they can be precut and not brown, and those may be even more dangerous than anything we have seen so far.
Then there’s also the milk, meat, and eggs from animals that have been fed GMOs. If it doesn’t say organic, or 100 percent grass fed, than it may likely be fed GMOs. And even with the grass fed, we want to make sure that the alfalfa is not planted on that grass.
Those are the basic GMOs. There’s also genetically engineered bovine growth hormone, which is injected into some dairy cows. Most American dairies have on their labels that they don’t use artificial hormones; rbst or rbgh, they all mean the same thing.
So these are the things. And we have a website with non-GMO shopping guide, to help people find products that are non-GMO. But as I said, the number one recommendation is to buy organic, and if you can’t buy organic then at least buy non-GMO.
Robyn: Okay. Because I think people are confused by the labels. I want to ask you how you feel about the Non- GMO Project, and if you feel that that’s become really bureaucratized and political? Is it meaningful? Do you think it’s a great organization?
If it’s organic, it is also non-GMO. If it’s non-GMO, it is not necessarily also organic. Correct?
Jeffrey: That’s an important distinction. So you can buy a non-GMO loaf of bread, which has Glyphosate residues because the wheat may be sprayed with Roundup, but it may not contain any soy, corn, etc. Or if it does contain soy or corn, then they have verified that the system is set up to exclude GMOs, and is working pretty well.
So the Non-GMO Project is a very, very good organization in terms of a great standard that’s being worked on and refined all the time. It has tremendous buy in from the natural products industry, and now more and more from the mainstream companies. And it really has been a fantastic facilitator for the shift to non-GMO, and the tipping point, which is now underway where companies are more and more removing GMOs.
Now when you look at organic, organic does not allow the intentional use of GMOs. But the organic standards do not require testing to see if contamination has occurred. The Non-GMO Project, however, does require testing if there are at risk ingredients in the product, if there are one of the 11 GMO crops, and they also look at GMO enzymes and cooking agents, et cetera.
So If you have something that’s organic and Non-GMO Project verified, that’s really the gold standard, because it has the prohibitions of organic and if there’s an at-risk ingredient, it’s also been tested.
And just to be clear, whether it’s organic or Non-GMO Project verified or both, they still may contain trace amounts of GMOs because that’s the nature of nature: to cross pollinate and spread. The Non-GMO Project has a .09% threshold, so it’s not a hundred percent guarantee.
My rule of thumb is this: if you see the same product, organic and Non-GMO Project verified, two different products on the shelf, then I would choose the organic. But if you see another product that is both, that’s the gold standard because then you have the testing piece as well.
Robyn: We should mentioned here that Jeffery Smith is coming out with a new series, called “Healing from GMOs,” where he has interviewed 18 experts. It’s a little bit different than what he’s been doing for the last 22 years, where he’s teaching people how to avoid them, and how to send a message to those who make the decisions that we don’t want them. But now he’s talking about how to heal from the effects, of the fact that the vast majority of us have eaten a lot of genetically modified foods.
And so we’re suffering from many, many conditions that are probably, at least, caused in part, if not completely, by eating GMOs. It’s called “Healing from GMOs and Roundup.” You can sign up for it right now. It’s going to go live, and it’ll be free for a short time in July, but you can sign up for it now at greensmoothiegirl.com/gmosummit.
So make sure you sign up for that because I think there are a lot of issues around this whole debate about GMOs, where Monsanto and the biotech industry has spent a lot of money courting our policy makers – all the way up to our President here in the US.
So you want to understand these issues. You want to be able to talk about these. I would love to have an army of folks who follow Green Smoothie Girl, who can talk intelligently with friends about why to avoid genetically modified foods in the first place and products. Because if we’re wearing cotton clothes that aren’t organic, we are absorbing Roundup, and we have some of the same exact issues from clothes that we wear, and sheets that we sleep on.
So lots of issues here to understand, with these 18 experts interviewed on this summit. Again, it’s greensmoothiegirl.com/gmosummit.
What are some of the things that you learned from these experts? You mentioned Dr. Seralini and you have interviewed a lot of other very high profile or deep researched experts. What are some of the things that you learned that were really amazing?
Jeffrey: I was actually blown away. I’ve been doing this for 22 years. I’ve traveled to 45 countries. I’ve given a thousand lectures, and I’ve done a thousand interviews, and written books, and made movies. And I really feel like I know a lot about the subject, but when people ask me, “What more can I do besides avoiding GMOs?” I would always say it’s above my pay grade.
I’m not a nutritionist. I’m not a doctor. I would just basically defer and say, “See your doctor, see someone else.” But actually, because of all my work, I pulled together the world’s leading experts, or many of them, and Dr. Seralini is an example.
He’s the top researcher in the world on GMOs and Roundup. And one of the things he did was to test certain herbal combinations on human cells, to see how it detoxed Glyphosate. And it turns out he was able to verify some of the practices of indigenous people, about adding herbs at a certain time in the preparation. But not too many, because if it was too many, the cell does not actually detox, it actually deals with the [abundance] of the herbs. So that was fascinating, that he was able to verify some of the indigenous wisdom.
And we have David Sandoval, and a formulator, who figured out how to create a product to help pull the Glyphosate out of the tissues and remove it from the body. They did a pre-clinical trial and found that the percent of the Glyphosate in the urine was reduced by 74 percent. So the amount of Glyphosate in the urine was reduced, even without changing the diet.
We had Zach Bush from Restore, who has a mind blowing set of two life-changing interviews, where he completely rewrites our understanding of health and the microbiome. And how 15 million year old soil has these carbon snowflakes, created from ancient microorganisms, that help intercellular communication and the binding of the gut.
It goes on and on. We have Joe Mercola, Josh Axe, Lee Cowden. I was blown away by Dietrich Klinghardt, who had found something really interesting. He said that the people who are the sickest in his clinic have no Glyphosate in the urine until he does the Glyphosate detox protocol. Because what’s happening is, their body is not releasing the Glyphosate as effectively, so you can’t find it in the urine. But they’re really sick, and this is including autistic kids, etc.
When he puts them on the detox protocol, then the Glyphosate starts coming out and they start getting better. We also have Barbara Royal who talks about the amazing impact of changing the diet on pets, and how 50 to 70 percent of the pets get better when all she does is change the diet, before she does anything else.
We have people talking about food, we have people talking about specific things. It’s very interesting. I didn’t focus on a particular type of detoxification or mineralization, etc. I simply asked the question, “What can you do to help repair from the impacts of GMOs and Roundup?”
If you remember that list we went through earlier…it’s a mineral chelator, so we have to re-mineralize. It’s in antibiotics, so we have to build up the gut bacteria. It suppresses the digestion, so we need to build that up. It causes endocrine disruption. It’s a mitochondrial toxin. So there’s certain things that feed the mitochondria.
What I was looking at were people who understood the fundamental structures of health. And I was deeply educated by it, because I realized that, rather than chasing a thousand things, they had the fundamental types of gut bacteria that could help strengthen entire systems, the fundamental systems that needed to be upgraded, and deal with inflammation effectively.
So even though it’s called “Healing from GMOs, and Roundup”, it actually becomes a healing. You know, how to heal and maintain health. I’m very excited about it. I just completed all the interviews, and I can’t wait.
Robyn: So I have people tell me all the time, “I can’t afford to eat organic foods. I have to really watch my grocery budget. I’m on a limited income. I’m living on disability.” Whatever they say, I’m hearing this less than I did 10 years ago. We have big companies like Costco, who’ve made a major commitment to providing us with more organic foods. I think there are literally thousands of organic products for sale. I wish more of their produce was organic, but they’re making really, really good inroads. And the cost has come way down.
And it’s because of your work, and others, who are just tirelessly educating the public. Because it all has to start with the public. We have to want those products. We have to be willing to spend a little bit more initially for them, but I love that we’re seeing the price come way down. So I don’t think it’s as big of an issue as it used to be that organic products are more expensive.
But let’s assume that there are plenty of people who think that they cannot afford organic, or truly cannot afford them. What foods then would you advise people are highest in Glyphosate, and really should be avoided at all cost, based on their toxicity level?
Jeffrey: That’s a great question, and unfortunately the government regulators that test all these other herbicide residues were somehow convinced by Monsanto early on to avoid the testing for Glyphosate residues. And the FDA said, “Oh, now we’re going to do it.” And then they said they’re not. And then they said they’re going to do it.
A freedom of information act request revealed some internal memos between FDA scientists and others saying, “Oh, by the way, it’s being found in virtually everything I’m testing at my house that I bring home from the supermarket, including the levels in corn that are above the legal limit.” And when the FDA was asking, “Why didn’t you report that to the EPA, which you’re supposed to” they said, “Oh, it wasn’t an official sample.” So it’s hard to say which ones are clean, because it’s used so often.
But I can tell you we have in our “Healing from GMOs and Roundup” interview Larry Bohlen, from a laboratory that does the testing. And he put on the screen, let’s say 30 different products, showing levels of Roundup or of Glyphosate residues. And the highest was oats. So friends don’t let friends eat oats unless they’re organic. I would say wheat and all the cereals. Lentils are very high.
So oats, wheat and lentils. He uses an acronym “OWL”. Oats, Wheat, Lentils, very high. It’s also found in beer and wine, and it’s found in processed foods. I don’t have the list of what’s clear because no one has that. In the interview with Larry Bohlen, you’ll be able to see some of them that have lower levels.
But the good news is that if people are willing to cook and buy organic ingredients, produce, etc. rather than buying just organic processed foods, they can often save money if they’re starting out with a conventional processed food diet.
I have a film coming out in the fall called: “Secret Ingredients” that I did with Amy Hart. And it’s about individuals and families that healed from serious conditions when they switched to organic food. And one of the women who switched to organic food had 21 chronic conditions that went away in their family of five, including her son that’s no longer autistic. She said she could feed her entire family with $20. But, she cooks.
There is also someone that we interviewed for the film, that didn’t quite make it into the film, and they had a family of six. When they switched to organic, after one year, their medical bill dropped from $18,000 to $9,000 and the next year to below $3,000. So people that can’t afford to eat organic may be able to steal some money from their health budget if they’re spending money now to deal with chronic issues that may in fact go away once they make the change.
Robyn: We had a Green Smoothie Girl follower about five years ago who got her family just drinking their quart a day of green smoothie and just making some whole foods changes. And then they tracked how much they were spending on healthcare the year before, and then that year, and their healthcare costs had plummeted. I mean, they were pretty self-funded when it came to their healthcare. They literally saved thousands of dollars in that year. And why not put that money into it, or take a leap of faith to spend more money on the whole organic, mostly plant foods.
You know, I often try to convince my audience of this, that a whole foods, mostly plant-based diet, like I was raised on, is actually the cheapest diet there is. Maybe it might be rivaled by the dollar menu, if you’re eating off the dollar menu, but then you’re just gonna pay and pay and pay when it comes to all the catastrophic things that are going to happen to your health.
So you can choose to spend it on food, or you can choose to spend it on healthcare. And it’s pretty miserable to spend it on healthcare.
Jeffrey: You know what, some of the comments that I’ve gotten from these 18 interviews, several people said (including Michelle Perro, she’s a pediatrician and she’s one of the top pediatricians in the country, named that for several years) that if you put people on the good diet, sometimes you don’t need to do anything else. But if they don’t go on the good diet, then the other things don’t necessarily work.
So it’s very interesting that if you take certain supplements and you take certain procedures, but you’re still eating GMOs and Roundup, the other things may not be very effective. They may start to be effective when you’re not continually exposing your body to these dangerous substances.
Robyn: And like we were alluding to earlier, when you’re eating GMOs and Roundup, you’re buying foods that were made by food manufacturers who know that you’re not the kind of person who cares about that. And you’re a lot more likely to be eating a lot more chemicals, heavy metals, and grains and other foods that have been stripped of all the parts of them that are good for you.
Like they throw away the fiber, because they wouldn’t want to make you actually have to chew your food, or have it be dense at all. They’re going to make it light, and airy, and throw away the fiber and throw away the germ and the grain, which is where all the b vitamins are and many other nutrients.
And so when you’re eating GMO foods and foods sprayed with Roundup, you’re getting a lot more than just the exposure and the toxicity of those two issues. You’re getting like 10 times that in other issues that come along with those same foods. It’s like you just said, it’s so foundational. You cannot take a supplement, and not change your diet. The diet has to be the foundation of good health. Right?
Jeffrey: Absolutely. I mean, I’ll say absolutely is what others have said who are in practice, who have seen thousands of patients and that’s their experience. I’m cautious to not weigh in with opinion outside my area of expertise, but having interviewed the experts, I can say, it’s a consensus.
Robyn: So in addition to changing their diet, what more can someone do to heal from the many years of exposure to GMO foods, before they knew better?
Jeffrey: Well, if I compile a picture from just some of the recommendations, like Tom O’Bryan for example: he has a supplement that he’s developed that breaks down 60 percent of the bt toxin insecticide found in GM corn while it’s still in the stomach. Now that same thing also breaks down all the top eight allergens before it leaves the stomach, but bt toxin is resistant. So, there’s things you can do in case there’s accidental exposure, to reduce its impact.
If you were to look at the general lifestyle presented and the general recommendations by the 18 experts, it’s too much for any individual to do, and they’re not necessarily the same protocol.
Two people talk about infrared saunas, but they have different protocols. One of them, Dietrich Klinghardt talked about taking chlorella a few hours before, so that when the toxins get liberated from the infrared sauna, they get bound to the chlorella, and taken out through the elimination system. Whereas, Lee Cowden has a program for cleaning the lymph afterwards by doing rebounder and a Chi Machine.
And that’s just the physical stuff, but there’s also things like, if you listened to Julie Daniluk, she has specific fruits and vegetables that she recommends to rebuild the way that the liver detoxes, in its two phase detoxification. She’s got a whole program where you don’t need to necessarily take a lot of supplements. But other people say, “Well actually, the fruits and vegetables are denuded in a large part by certain minerals, and you need to supplement.” And some people like Mercola have a long list of very specific supplements that are key to certain metabolic pathways and healthy angles.
Now it’s interesting. I say it’s too much for any individual to do, so it raises the question: Are you going to simply get confused and overwhelmed? Well, we help people sort of sort that out in the Q&A, and a lot of people make decisions very differently. Some people will do a food and supplement diary and figure out what works. Other people will use intuition. Other people will vibe into let’s say, “Oh, I love this guy. I love this product. I love this person. I love this doctor and I want to try what he or she says”.
So my job was not to try and create a protocol. My job was to bring together people who have had success, and ideally success both in the laboratory and in clinical practice. So we have some who were scientists, and some who were clinicians, and some who did a bit of both. And so it’s kind of a survey of what things people can do, in terms of supplements, diet, lifestyle – and then it’s a question of people doing something and then seeing what happens in terms of their health. And I suspect that a lot of people are going to feel a lot better when they weigh in and try certain ones of these recommendations.
Robyn: So again, the Healing from GMOs summit, you can sign up for it to watch it for free during a week in July, so that you get notified of when that week is. You want to sign up at greensmoothiegirl.com/gmosummit.
This is a big question I’m going to ask you, but how did Monsanto become so powerful that our government, our legislature, our executive branch, looks the other way? Why are we so unprotected from the level of regulatory agencies and people who are charged with protecting our health? And who else is implicated besides Monsanto? And what did Obama do? Did he help us on this or hurt us on this? And what’s Trump doing? Talk about the politics of GMOs and biotech.
Jeffrey: Big question. In fact, I’ll take it even bigger. It’s a global issue. As I travel to India, I see a complete corruption of their approval process. In fact, the Supreme Court asked one of the top biologists in the world to attend their approval committee, and I interviewed him and he reported that not a single GMO in the world had been properly tested. It’s basically a pro-GMO rubber stamp committee that he was dealing with. He reported that to the Supreme Court, the Health Minister and the Prime Minister.
And I saw it in Brazil, where I interviewed a minority member of their approval committee who said that it’s like pulling their hair out, because they can prepare a whole long dossier, 90 pages of why this GMO shouldn’t be approved, and no one in the majority actually even reads the dossier. They just rubber stamp an approval.
So as I’ve traveled to these countries, the local anti GMO campaigners informed me of which minister or which ministry has basically been captured by Monsanto. And it’s the same case in the United States, where we have both the EPA and the FDA as well as the USDA.
The current Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, as well as the former secretary under Obama; they both were biotech governors of the year, named so by the biotech industries organization, because they’re promoting biotechnology. In fact, they wouldn’t have been able to be a USDA department secretary unless they were pro-biotech, because there’s such huge sway over agriculture.
In terms of the mechanics of how they manipulate, it’s a little different than how they got there. But how they manipulate is, they have their own people inside these agencies. So when Monsanto wanted to get approval for their bovine growth hormone, not only was Michael Taylor, their former attorney in charge of policy, but the person who was their former PhD working on the testing of the bovine growth hormone, Susan Setchon, became in charge of the FDA’s review.
Margaret Miller was working for Monsanto and did research on rbGH, and then headed a division in the FDA that reviewed her own research, and it goes on. So in the EPA, because of a lawsuit filed on behalf of people who suffered from non-hodgkin’s lymphoma, Monsanto was forced to turn over millions of documents. And it showed that they had their own lapdogs in the EPA, including Jess Rowland, who was basically in charge of determining whether Glyphosate was a carcinogen. And he had worked with Monsanto executives, and was able to help force another government agency to not do an independent evaluation. And even said to his Monsanto handler: “If I can kill this research, I deserve a medal.” And he and others in the EPA worked to kill the other research.
And I have a letter from Marion Copley, a former senior FDA official, to Jess Rowland, saying that Glyphosate is definitely a carcinogen, and is basically accusing Rowland of doing things just to help his bonus, and changing final reports just to benefit companies like Monsanto. And even saying that one person that he works with may be taking bribes, because she’s completely non-logical in her position; it’s completely pro-government.
So we have smoking guns from within the agency, and we even see that when Michael Taylor was in charge of the policy of the FDA over GMOs, his policy said that the agency wasn’t aware of any information showing that GMOs were significantly different. But nine years later, because of a lawsuit, we found out that that was directly in conflict with the actual opinion of the experts at the agency, which said that GMOs are not only different, but dangerous, and needed to be tested. So the scientists who have integrity were ignored. Their concerns were denied.
Now how did they take this position? How did they get there? Well, it’s a complicated situation, but it’s pretty comprehensive. They use lobbying. They do political contributions. They do the revolving door, as we said. They also give money to academic institutions, and then force them to not do research in certain areas. And if someone does research in the areas, then they could threaten to withdraw their funding. They pay money to the agricultural organizations, so they basically dictate terms there. And the land grant universities, which they give money to and organize the research agenda, they then give the biotech agenda to the agricultural extension agents that go to the farms. So it’s a complete lockdown.
I was told by someone who writes for a farm magazine; she said she would like to interview me for some other magazine. I said, “What about for the farm magazine?” And she said, “Oh, we can’t say anything against Monsanto because they’re a major advertiser.”
So you get the point. Basically, they use their money, they use their influence. And they also were able to convince the White House, back under first Regan and then the Bush administration, that GMOs would increase US exports, which were at a deficit. So the Dan Quayle council of competitiveness, under George Bush, determined that GMOs would have no regulations that were of any significance, in order to increase US exports. Well, the opposite happened, and we lost exports as a result, but they were somehow convinced by Monsanto.
Monsanto also carries sway over the media, because when something comes out that’s damning, they are experts at spinning it. So when Seralini’s research came out showing massive health effects, they had their front groups and front scientists all say the same talking points, which were scientific nonsense. But because they continued to say it, they quickly said, “Oh, now there’s a consensus.” And Seralini’s research has been discredited. So it was under-reported and underappreciated, and the impact was basically neutralized.
They also use their influence in the political scene to cause certain people to be fired or gagged. Like the case of Dr. Arpad Pusztai, who was doing research on behalf of the UK government to figure out how to test for the safety of GMOs. And when he found that GMOs were a problem, and went public with an interview on TV, supposedly Monsanto called the White House to speak to Clinton. And Clinton called Tony Blair, and Tony Blair’s office called the director of the institute, and the next morning Dr. Arpad Pusztai was fired after 35 years, silenced with threats of a lawsuit. And his team that was doing the research was disbanded.
So there’s tremendous high level political influence, as well as influence on informational levels. And with the lawsuit that forced Monsanto to turn over its documents, we learned how it planned to create a counter attack when the World Health Organization declared Glyphosate to be a probable human carcinogen. They described how they would ghost write scientific reports, ghost write opinion pieces, how they would orchestrate outcry. It’s all there in black and white, and it describes the kind of thing that they regularly do to take over a topic and to change the world opinion on it, even though it’s entirely unscientific and unfounded.
Robyn: That was a really good overview of the problem. And I know that you could talk at length about the details of each of those ways that the biotech industry, that is extremely wealthy, has a tremendous amount of control over everything: from chemicals and what they are allowed to be used for, all the way to seeds and the production of seeds. And even suing small farmers, as they want to control the entire seed inventory of the world. That would just be majorly profitable for them, if nobody can get seeds if it’s not through them. And then they also control what the seed actually is.
This isn’t intended to depress you, all my amazing listeners. This is intended to help you understand that your government isn’t likely to protect you anytime soon from GMOs and Roundup. However, the work of Jeffrey Smith has made all of us more aware of the potential impacts on our health, of having so many genetically modified foods in our food supply and other products, as well as more under development. Do you know what the next crops are that they want to genetically modify? And why haven’t they done anything with wheat?
Jeffrey: Well, originally, they wanted to introduce wheat, but the backlash against the GMO corn convinced the wheat growers to not do it. But then they infiltrated the major wheat organizations, as they do so well. And now these wheat organizations are saying we want to genetically engineer wheat. \
So part of the containment strategy, for us, is as long as we have export partners that refuse to take GMOs, then the US crop would suffer. Because if Europe doesn’t want to take the GMO wheat, well there’s going to be a cross pollination, there’s going to be contamination, and all of a sudden there’ll be a reduction in sales overseas. And so there’s a big effort to not introduce it to protect exports.
But now in the United States, there’s actually not just exports, there is a tipping point going on because we’ve been educating people about the health dangers, so that many of the major food companies are now saying non-GMO. Ideally, we want them to use the non-GMO Project label so that it’s a very specific public standard, with third party inspections and testing. But, sometimes they’ll just self-certify, and we don’t even know what their criteria are. But in any case, many of them are becoming non-GMO, and we see that the tipping point is underway, which is very good news.
In terms of the future GMOs, the biotech industries plans are to genetically engineer all the seeds. They also want to now introduce all of the livestock, and the grasses, and the trees, and the fish, and the insects. And algae and fungi and bacteria. They want to replace nature. They want to eliminate the products of the billions of years of evolution, and replace it with patented designer organisms and designer genes so that they can make money.
So there’s a kind of a gold rush going on into the DNA, where 24/7, there’s machines that are going and characterizing different genes, and their capabilities and patents being filed. Because of the intellectual property laws, which have been written by Monsanto and the biotech industry, they favor them to basically have an exclusive capacity to market their products during the time that the patent is in force. So they’re rushing things to the market, or want to, long before the science is ready, in order to fulfill the window of opportunity while they have patents going.
Now, the biggest issue coming forward is the gene editing. Gene editing is the newer generation of genetic engineering. Where instead of transferring genes from one species to another using a gene gun, and literally shooting the genes into a plate of cells or infecting with bacteria, they’ll go in with more precise techniques that hunt and find different sequences in the DNA and then make a cut. And then it’ll be rejoined at that point. Or sometimes there’s an insertion of new material.
Now, just like when GMOs in their first generation were introduced 22 years ago, the biotech industry claimed that it was so precise and predictive that it shouldn’t be subject to regulation. Well, it turns out it was very imprecise, and very dangerous, and had massive collateral damage. So now, with the gene editing techniques like CRISPR/Cas9, they’re just dusting off the same arguments. But if you look at the research, it turns out it also causes massive collateral damage, and unpredicted side effects, and will cut at various places, and there could be dozens or hundreds or thousands of different mutations that are unaccounted for.
The problem is that, because they saw the backlash against GMOs, they’re now trying to convince the governments that gene editing should be a loophole, that it shouldn’t even be considered a GMO; it should be considered breeding. And that we should have no regulatory oversight, no requirements for reporting. And if something isn’t patented, then we wouldn’t even know if it was edited, and we could end up with a gene edited gene pool of virtually everything that we’re facing, everything that has DNA, because it’s basically a gold rush to try and make a change and sell a new, improved version of nature.
This is a huge threat. It could reverse all the benefits, all the progress we’ve made so far with more than half of Americans concerned about the dangers of GMOs. And they’re spinning the science like they know how to do.
So. Here’s the message to your audience. Gene editing is genetic engineering. It is not safe. It is not predictable. It is not ready for prime time. Now, at the Institute for Responsible Technology, which I founded, we are not against genetic engineering in all applications. We’re not against the use of GMOs for science, for research. We’re not against human genetic engineering where it is non-inheritable, where it’s just to fix a defective gene in an individual but has no effect on the species. It’s a contained use with consent.
But we are against the uncontained use in two ways. That is the use of GMOs in the food supply, in any way, because it’s an unpredictable, side-effect-prone technology. And the release of GMOs outdoors, where it can spread and affect the gene pool for all future generations, because we have no technology to clean it up.
So this is what we would like to leave people with, that gene editing and what is so-called synthetic biology. These things are dangerous. They should not be used outdoors. They should not be in our food supply.
Robyn: That was very well said. Thank you. I just have one more really big question for you. Well, maybe two, because I’m going to ask you what people can do to make their voice heard besides, you know, vote with their dollars.
So my other question for you is that when Monsanto rose to power, and has continued to become wealthier and more insinuated inside all of our government agencies that are supposed to be, you know, watch dogging our health, the rhetoric was that there would be higher crop yields and that with their breakthroughs in technology, they would be able to feed the world’s poor. And other rhetoric like this that made us feel warm and fuzzy towards the motives of Monsanto, and Dow, and the other biotech companies. Have they even succeeded at this? Is there evidence that they have made any breakthroughs that they can be proud of? And that we should honor them for or have those been broken promises?
Jeffrey: That’s an excellent question. And it’s an important one because they’ve spent $250 million dollars collectively in the late nineties, and early two thousands to convince Americans that GMOs were needed to feed the world. So if people have that impression, it’s part of the disinformation that turns out to be completely a myth. It’s interesting that Bayer is buying Monsanto and will eliminate the name Monsanto. And is dusting off again the same myths, saying, “We are combining together to be able to feed the world in the future.”
Well, the experts at feeding the world, we’re asked to study it, by the UN and by the World Bank and many other major organizations. And they created a report, which was written by more than 400 scientists, that took years to compile, and their conclusion was that GMOs have nothing to offer, nothing to offer their goals of feeding the hungry world, eradicating poverty, or creating sustainable agriculture.
They promoted agro ecology, which is a kind of a beyond-organic, which can double yields in developing countries. Whereas the average GMO does not only not increase yields, it can decrease the yields. So whereas agro ecology can double yields; the highest increase in yields that I’ve seen on a consistent basis was point three percent per year, but the actual seed development, in terms of varieties and regular hybridization, does even better than that. So they have not been successful at increasing yields on average, they have not been successful at developing a technology that’s good for feeding the world.
In fact, you asked about their intentions. If their intentions were truly to feed the world, they would never have developed Roundup ready crops as their primary, because in the developing countries, the weeds that the Roundup kills, they’re also called food and biodiversity. And so they do cross cropping and multiple crops in a field in the developing worlds, and using Roundup is a disaster.
Not only can the glyphosate stay in the soil for months, years and even decades, it destroys the biodiversity. It destroys the bacteria and microbiota of the soil. It forces the farmers to be dependent on chemical inputs. It poisons the food, it damages the ecosystem in many ways, and it ends up in the water supply, even in the air and in the rain, like it is in the Midwest. So it’s a complete disaster.
It’s not their motivation, it’s their hype. GMOs are not designed to feed the world, and are basically incompetent at this time to do so.
Robyn: Okay, very interesting. What can people do to weigh in on this, to educate others, to send a message to policy makers? How can we be involved?
Jeffrey: Well, we have an institute called the Institute for Responsible Technology at responsibletechnology.org and we have so many things that people can do. It really depends on their inclination, their skills, their time. I would suggest that you go to our website at responsibletechnology.org and sign up on our newsletter. And that way we’ll have new things for you on a regular basis.
We released a film on pets and GMOs. So we’re trying to create a tipping point for the pet food industry. It turns out we have eight veterinarians in this short film, describing how when they switched their dogs and cats to an organic diet, dramatic improvements follow. So we have a program where we’re trying to introduce the same effective tipping point technology into other countries. We’re a nonprofit, so we accept and welcome and invite donations.
We have a lot of programs that are unfunded and are sitting on the shelf waiting to be implemented. We actually have been super successful with the small amount of money in the United States. And now we want to spread that success to 16 targeted countries, and expand our success into animal feed and finish the tipping point in the United States.
So, money is very important. And we also have volunteers working, not only with us, but also in their local communities, showing our films, etc. We have something called the Tipping Point Network, and we also have a speaker training program available on our site. So we have a lot of different things, depending on if people want to be a speaker, an activist, a click and send revolutionary where they’re sharing stuff on facebook, etc. So there’s a lot of things people can do.
And I want to encourage people too, that it’s not just for health, but it’s actually, as we talked about, it’s something for all future generations and all living beings. Because if we don’t stop it, then we are going to be passing on to future generations a Monsanto nature. Not the products of the billions of years of evolution, but the distorted, side-effect-prone gene pool, which is something that we do not have a technology to clean up.
So it’s rather urgent, but it’s also an opportunity for people, for the first time in human history, to have a positive influence on all living beings and all future generations. So it’s actually an opportunity, rather than a burden, if you think of it that way.
Robyn: Well you’ve just been a wealth of information, and my audience would be well served to go sign up for the summit that Jeffrey Smith has put together that launches in July 2018. You can sign up at greensmoothiegirl.com/gmosummit if you’d like to be involved in any of those initiatives. I’m going to be getting more involved myself. Go to responsibletechnology.org. Thank you so much for being with us, Jeffrey Smith.
Jeffrey: And thank you so much Robyn. And I want to say, safe eating to everyone.