If its bad for rats, how come we eat it?

This is an excerpt from the book Seeds of Deception.  It details a test study performed by Arpad Pusztai, a distinguished protein scientist with over 300 published scientific articles in his field.

I was mortified when reading this excerpt that the US government continues to allow the use of GM food without regards to the general health of the population.  The media blackout and the constant miss-direction of information presented to the population is staggering.  Without addressing root causes of GM foods, how are we to get a handle on today’s issues of allergies, obesity etc.  What about the issues that we don’t know of?  The manufacture and FDA claims that these modified proteins are destroyed in the intestine, yet this and many other studies have shown cross abortion of the proteins in our very own human DNA!!!  These issues will take years to develop, and many more years before the community starts drawing conclusions as to the cause of these issues.  By the time we know categorically that GM food is harming us – it will be too late!

The excerpt:

Genetically modified potatoes were already being sold and consumed in the United States.  Their DNA was spliced with a gene from a soil bacterium similar to Bacillus Anthrax.  The added gene caused the potatoes to create their own pesticide called Bacillus thuringiensis toxin or Bt.  If insects had the misfortune to eat one of these genetically modified wonders, the Bt, which was manufactured by every cell of the plant, quickly killed the insect.  The same Bt-creating genes have also been placed into the DNA of corn and cottonseed, also sold and consumed in the United States, and all officially classified as pesticides by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  However, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has made it clear that in their view, genetically modified crops were assumed to be safe and to offer similar nutritional value as their natural counterparts. This assumption is the cornerstone in U.S. policy, allowing millions of acres of GM food to be planted, sold and eaten without prior safety training.

Puszatai needed to validate the testing standards he was developing, therefore he gene spliced a potato in the exact same fashion the seed producers do, then proceeded to perform (probably the most comprehensive) food testing on rats.  Here is his findings…

What Pusztai and his team found was quite a shock.  First, the nutrition content of some GM potatoes were considerably different from their non-GM parent lines, even though they were grown in identical conditions.  One GM potato line, for example, contained 20% less protein than its own parent line.  Second, even the nutritional content of sibling GM potatoes, offspring of the same parent grown in identical conditions, were significantly different.

But these findings were completely eclipsed by Puszatai’s other, more disturbing discoveries.  He found that rats which were fed GM potatoes suffered damaged immune systems.  Their white blood cells responded much more sluggishly than those fed a non-GM diet, leaving them more vulnerable to infection and disease.  Organs related to the immune system, the thymus and spleen, showed some damage as well.  Compared to rats fed non-GM control diet, some of the GM-fed rats had smaller, less developed brains, livers and testicles.  Other rats had enlarged tissues, including the pancreas and intestines.  Some showed partial atrophy of the liver.  What’s more, significant structural changes and a proliferation of cells in the stomach and intestines of GM-fed rats may have signaled an increased potential for cancer.

My first SkyWarn report

I am excited.  I made my first SkyWarn report today.  After driving home at night in an intense thunderstorm (electrical), I found 1” hail in the road.  So, I had to call this in.

 

image

Here is my official report.  Sweet!!!

Seeds of Deception

I just purchased and received this book from Amazon.  WOW!!!  I haven’t even made it out of chapter 1 and I am already disgusted with the FDA and the food industry.  Worse yet, I learn that a seed giant Monsanto has lobbied hard to push GM foods in the USA!!!

The author has a web site dedicated to this topic.

50 HARMFUL EFFECTS OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED (GM) FOODS

http://www.raw-wisdom.com/genetically-modified-food

Is organic foods safe?  Does the organic industry contain GM food?

Carrying GM pollen by wind, rain, birds, bees, insects, fungus, bacteria – the entire chain of life becomes involved. Once released, unlike chemical pollution, there is no cleanup or recall possible. As mentioned, pollen from a single GM tree has been shown to travel 1/5th of the length of the United States. Thus there is no containing such genetic pollution. Experiments in Germany have shown that engineered oilseed rape can have its pollen move over 200 meters. As a result German farmers have sued to stop field trials in Berlin. In Thailand, the government stopped field tests for Monsanto’s Bt cotton when it was discovered by the Institute of Traditional Thai Medicine that 16 nearby plants of the cotton family, used by traditional healers, were being genetically polluted. US research showed that more than 50% of wild strawberries growing inside of 50 meters of a GM strawberry field assumed GM gene markers. Another showed that 25-38% of wild sunflowers growing near GM crops had GM gene markers. A recent study in England showed that despite the tiny amount of GM plantings there (33,750 acres over two years compared to 70-80 million acres per year in the US) wild honey was found to be contaminated. This means that bees are likely to pollinate organic plants and trees with transgenic elements. Many other insects transport the by-products of GM plants throughout our environment, and even falling leaves can dramatically affect the genetic heritage of soil bacteria. The major difference between chemical pollution and genetic pollution is that the former eventually is dismantled or decays, while the later can reproduce itself forever in the wild. As the National Academy of Science’s report indicated – “the containment of crop genes is not considered to be feasible when seeds are distributed and grown on a commercial scale.” Bioengineering firms are also developing fast growing salmon, trout, and catfish as part of the “blue revolution” in aquaculture. They often grow several times faster (6x faster for salmon) and larger in size (up to 39X) so as to potentially wipe out their competitors in the wild. There are no regulations for their safe containment to avoid ecological disasters. They frequently grow in “net pens,” renown for being torn by waves, so that some will escape into the wild. If so, commercial wild fish could be devastated according to computer models in a study of the National Academy of Sciences by two Purdue University scientists (William Muir and Richard Howard). All of organic farming – and farming per se – may eventually be either threatened or polluted by this technology.

Organic food is no healthier, study finds

http://www.reuters.com/article/scienceNews/idUSTRE56S3ZJ20090729

LONDON (Reuters) – Organic food has no nutritional or health benefits over ordinary food, according to a major study published Wednesday.

The article today continues to ignore the implications of GM food.  It may be true that organic food has no additional nutritional value (as tested in the lab) but how can we ignore the impact of GM food and its implications on allergies, and other medical complications.  What about obesity?

So I smite at this generalization.  Organic food has significant nutritional value if only for the fact that the body can process it!!!

GM Foods

My wife has some major allergies so it was a surprise when I became aware of how bad Genetically Modified (GM) food is.  This article (rense.com/general86/doct.htm) gave a scary overview of the lack of government oversight on our food source and the seed manufactures.

One report I read stated that there has been a significant increase in soy allergies since the introduction.  A non clinical study test performed by an allergist performed skin scratch test with both non GM soy and GM soy on the same patient at the same time.  The non GM soy scratch site showed no indication of an allergic reaction whereas the GM soy site showed a significant reaction to soy.

Another report is linking the impact of GM foods to obesity.  This report indicated that the human body doesn’t know how to process these modified foods, therefore it stores them in favor of traditional food.  Since the body can only store the food our bodies gain weight and become obese.  This can lead to secondary complications such as diabetes.

The US food source can contain over 80% GM foods whereas Europe (and it’s consumers) are very reluctant to introduce GM food.  Why?

Today on Drudge Report (www.drudgereport.com) there was an article about the government considering additional taxes on obese foods as a way to combat obesity (similar to taxes on cigarettes have reduced smoking).

I will follow up with links and documentation.

fuel economy in the US

I was reading my 2005 statistics book (a great book to thumb through when you have 5 minutes of free time) when I came across stats on fuel economy for US car and light truck.

Staggering! Since the fuel crisis of the late ’70s the average fuel economy for a car has levelled out at 24mpg!

In almost 30 years since then we have not improved the average mpg. Worst yet, the ratio of light trucks (including SUVs and minivans) has significantly increased such that the aggregate fuel economy in domestic travel has infact decreased.

What will the new guidelines do? Very little unless we change our purchasing habits.

A Freudian Slip

One of my favorite topics is the significance of religion on society.  And not unlike most days, I was chatting about how religion influences society (in context of a paper I am thinking of writing) – specifically Catholicism when I made a Freudian slip:

Man created God in his own image

But, when I thought about it – it made sense.  If humanity has an innate need to believe that there is a higher power in the universe then why wouldn’t the slip make sense?

Here is an interesting read: Can we coexist with Islam in peace? The posting was about trying to justify the statement that God created man in his image but concluded that in the context of multiple religions and cultural diversity how does that make sense?

… more to come …

Yaesu FT-2800 – An update

2 weekends ago; I finally got my new radio installed.  Well, after some quick research I found that running power through the firewall was going to be a nightmare (Ford Taurus has a very strong firewall).  So, I decided to run the power via the door’s weather strip.  Turns out that my friend (and mentor: N0PI) did the same.

Well, it is working.  I can reach out and touch people at 65watts. 

Tomorrow, I will finally be certified as a Metro Skywarn spotter.  Yeah!  This class was postponed from 4 weeks ago.  So, now that I have my radio in the car, and with my certification  I will be set to serve the community.

Yaesu FT-2800

I just purchased my first base radio.  I decided to buy the Yaesu FT-2800 65W transceiver.

I haven’t installed it in my car yet because the weather has been so cold and I need to run power from the battery inside the car.  I will need to find an access point through the firewall for my 10ga wire (I plan to bring 45A in).

Once installed, I will be able to reach out and touch all those repeaters on my 55 mile one-way trip to work (3 repeaters in total).

 

So, I have plans for this radio.  Next week (3.25.09) I shall be certified as a SkyWarn spotter.  Yup, I love weather!!!

Sparx EA – missing dot.net framework

I have been working with Sparx Enterprise Architecture for a couple of weeks as our Rational Rose license was very old (and expensive).

One feature I liked in rose was the ability to include the MFC library in my designs.  Well, after 2 days of research I have finally figured out how to include the base DOT.net framework into Sparx.  Wasn’t easy.

Basically, there is a feature to import binary objects (dot.net resources).  So, just point Sparx to the dot.net resource folder (/windows/Microsoft.NET/Framework/v2.0) and start importing.

I have most of the common dot.net framework imported, and have generated an XMI file that you can use.

Times are tough

My company is not immune to the economic slowdown.  I was told that the business is shutting down for two weeks at Christmas.  Sure we’ve done this before and the truth is, I was planning to take time off anyway.

But where does this end?  Are pay cuts in the future?

I’m Sick

I’ve caught a cold this weekend, and it sucks.  I can’t breath through my nose.  My head hurts.  Good thing it’s Saturday.

I am trying to figure out a better solution to mediawiki (the engine behind http://en.wikipedia.com).  I want a simple way for our engineering group to post documents and share them with other members.  A wiki is a good solution, but their editors suck.  I have fallen in love with Microsoft’s Windows Live Writer (using it right now to write this blog).  It uses XML-RPC technology. 

What really sucks is that most php based wiki does not support XMLRPC.  Some commercial ones do, but I don’t want to spend the money.

Is there a better solution than a wiki?  I am not sure I want a full blown CMS though.

The Big 3 bailouts

Can you believe it?  Another private sector going to the federal government cap-in-hand asking for money.  When will this end!

Here is my problem, what happened to capitalism?  If you make a mistake in your business, you cant get a free pass from the government.  You either re-organize yourself, get a private loan or go out of business.

The best thing that could happen to the 3 automakers (Ford, GM and Chrysler) is that they go bankrupt (chapter 11).  This will force them to restructure (under the guidance of the bankruptcy judge.

One of the reasons why they are begging for money is that the unions have broken their backs.

Today, one of the unions was quoted as saying that they would "not provide any concessions".  Guess what unions; if the business goes bankrupts (chapter 11), your precious contracts go out of the window!  These contracts will be worth nothing.  So, work with the company that is feeding you, clothing you and housing you so that both of you can get yourself out of this pickle.

My welcome message

Welcome to my nth attempt at a blog. Why (you may ask) am I trying again? Well, I see value in blogging. It allows me to have a voice to my opinions (and yes, they are my opinions. If you don’t like them – COMMENT).

So, what should you expect?

I have something to say in the following areas:

  • Energy
  • Sociology
  • Politics
  • Religion (not specifically main stream – read on and you’ll get my drift)
  • Pre-history
  • Science (a big topic)
  • Computers (yeah, I had to add this since I am a professional software engineer)
  • Talk – Just a general category

There are probably more things to cover, but this is a great start.

Alright, talk to you though the blogs…

– Martin