Top Medical Journal Warns of GMOs, Herbicides & Public Health

When it comes to the study of human health and the effects our environment has on us, there are very few truly unbiased, independent sources in the world.

I recently shared with our Afternoon Readers some thoughts on how to read with a critical eye. One of the publications that often passes my "sniff test" is the New England Journal of Medicine.

And this top medical journal just sent out a warning about one of the most controversial topics in the health industry today: Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

In an NEJM article, Phillip J. Landrigan, M.D. and Charles Benbrook, Ph.D. discussed in depth the present usage and future impact of GMOs.

Here are a few key points that I took away from it …

Early studies: GM crops pose ‘no unique hazards to human health’

The National Academy of Sciences reviewed the safety of genetically modified (GM) crops twice (2000 and 2004). After looking almost exclusively at the genetic aspects of biotechnology, it concluded that GM crops pose no unique hazards to human health.

However, both reports recommended the development of new risk-assessment tools and ongoing surveillance. Yet, those recommendations have not been addressed for the most part.

Corn, soybean crops engineered to tolerate weed-killers

Corn and soybeans genetically engineered with tolerance to glyphosate ("Roundup") were first introduced in the mid-1990s. These "Roundup-ready" crops now account for more than 90% of the corn and soybeans planted in the U.S.

Now, Roundup-resistant weeds have emerged. They can be found today on nearly 100 million acres in 36 states. Fields must be now be treated with multiple herbicides, including 2,4-D.

2,4-D was one of the components in the "Agent Orange" chemical herbicide that the U.S. used to deprive the enemy of cover in Vietnam’s thick jungles. (Back on Veterans Day, I told you how my dad was exposed to it as a U.S. army intelligence officer.)

And its use is on the rise …

EPA: Three- to sevenfold increase in 2,4-D use is in store …

Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency approved a new combination herbicide with glyphosate and 2,4-D. The product, called Enlist Duo, was formulated to combat herbicide resistance.

It will be marketed in tandem with newly approved seeds that have been genetically engineered to resist glyphosate, 2,4-D and multiple other herbicides. The EPA expects to see a three- to sevenfold increase in 2,4-D use as a result.

Studies predated current knowledge of the negative health effects GM crops can have on the endocrine systems and our DNA.

There’s a lot more to take away from the article, not the least of which that the NEJM writers say that "the science and the risk assessment supporting the Enlist Duo decision are flawed."

They wrote that the science consisted solely of studies funded by the herbicide manufacturers in the 1980s and 1990s and were never published — not an uncommon practice in U.S. pesticide regulation.

These studies gave little consideration to potential health effects in infants and children. They also failed to consider ecologic impact, such as effects on the monarch butterfly and other pollinators.

The second new development is the determination by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2015 that glyphosate is a "probable human carcinogen" and 2,4-D a "possible human carcinogen."

These classifications were based on assessments of the toxicologic and epidemiologic literature that linked both herbicides to dose-related increases in malignant tumors at multiple anatomical sites in animals.

They also linked glyphosate to an increased incidence of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in humans.

NEJM: It’s time to take action …

These developments suggest that GM foods and the herbicides applied to them may pose hazards to human health that were not examined in previous assessments.

The New England Journal of Medicine says, "We believe the EPA should delay implementation of its decision to permit use of Enlist Duo. This decision was made in haste. It was based on poorly designed and outdated studies and on an incomplete assessment of human exposure and environmental effects."

They added, "We believe the time has come to revisit the United States’ reluctance to label GM foods. Labeling will deliver multiple benefits. It is essential for tracking emergence of novel food allergies and assessing effects of chemical herbicides applied to GM crops. It would respect the wishes of a growing number of consumers who insist they have a right to know what foods they are buying and how they were produced."

On a final note: "And the argument that there is nothing new about genetic rearrangement misses the point that GM crops are now the agricultural products most heavily treated with herbicides and that two of these herbicides may pose risks of cancer."

The New England Journal of Medicine hopes the FDA will reconsider labeling of GM foods and couple it with adequately funded, long-term postmarketing surveillance.

No matter what stance you take on GMO crops, I think we can all agree more studies need to be done on the long-term health effects of these new foods we are putting in our bodies.

Related stories: The Great Organic Food Debate, Is Organic Really Better?

As GM crops continue to be produced, I believe it is our right to know if the foods we buy do in fact come from GM crops. That way, we can make the choice for our families at the grocery store.

Would you and your family support GMO labeling? Would it change the way you shop for your food.

Happy and healthy investing,

Brad Hoppmann


Uncommon Wisdom Daily

Your thoughts on “Top Medical Journal Warns of GMOs, Herbicides & Public Health”

  1. GMO crops have their downside. So does starvation. GMO crops have saved hundreds of millions from starvation. Starvation is detrimental to human health.

    Many of us have the luxury to eat organic. Guess what, year in and year out, most cases of food poisoning occur from ORGANIC foods. Happened this week at Chipotle Restaurants.

  2. Are we living in a free country? It is difficult to answer yes…I do not care what some sciences’ Dr Frankensteins have to say about scientific evidence (follow the money; as you’re always say). My common sense is telling me that GMO and all the chemicals use in food production are killing us. Arguments as for example, increased population has no sense…we already know that after few years the GMO production is declining (there is enough land to sustain much higher population…look at the EU: farmers are prosecuted for producing too much milk or other products, crap). And as a consumer I have the rights to know what I’m buying. People who passed the law protecting Monsanto and other similar companies should be held responsible…this day may come soon…
    There are studies which already proved negative effect of GMO and chemicals used with them…frogs which in their third generation lost their abilities to reproduce, rats with all kind of cancers, dying bees.

  3. As much as we may not like it, GMOs help feed the world. Without these products there would be more famine and food prices would skyrocket. While labeling is a necessity for allowing us choice, it will not help to feed the world.

  4. The article is a fear mongering article. I would not call
    the New England Journal of Medicine a top medical journal. And the article is an opinion piece that lacks reseach
    study citations to back up its claims. GMOs do not pose any allergen
    risk – there was one instance long ago where a gene from a peanut was
    used in another plant and the FDA decided that was a bad idea so only
    organisms that have no allergen potential can be used for genes.
    There’s lots of ways herbicide resistance is being battled and as for
    the herbicide effects on humans, wash your foods before you eat them
    if you’re concerned the chemical is still active (which it probably
    isn’t because they test that). It you live long enough, you will get
    cancer of some sort and it’s probably not food related. We are just
    destined to die.

  5. I already try to shop organic as much as possible. I also look for pasture raised meat. I tried to convey the importance of GMO labeling to my state representative. Either he just does not get it or, he is in the pocket of Monsanto. He claims we have the safest food supply in the world. Safe yes, clean no. I have family that farm on a large scale. This their livelihood. They have to comply to make a living. The family has had multiple cancers and other health related problems. This should be telling us something. We have to fight Monsanto and companies like it. Elect officials who care about their constituents and not being supported by the big guns.

  6. Tom Vilsak (former Iowa Governor) is the man Obama put in charge (with overwhelming Congressional approval) of the USDA. Like so many other politicians & bureaucrats that look out for “We the People” from time to time, Tom is an attorney. Care to guess who Tom represents when he’s not protecting you & me from the recurring abuses of GMO giants Monsanto, Dow Chemical & 3M? That’s right: Monsanto, Dow Chemical & 3M. Once a client, always a client!

    What conflict of interest?. “Move along! Nothing to see here!…..”

  7. After putting our all our eggs in one basket with the scientific community for he last 50 years of the food pyramid, and global warming, it makes me think who is really benefitting from all of this research. Doing work in grad school, it was pretty easy to see that any research project could be designed with whatever outcome you desired that project to have. It begs for me to think how many people are dependent on grants from the government, private industry, and yes special interest groups of all stripes that desire to have scientific studies deliver the “right ” results on research for their cause and or product. This in turn provides more grants that further agendas of groups and careers of academics payed for by the good ole middle class tax payer. I am a scientist by trade and work in the agricultural community. I have a garden at home and even though i do not use pesticides or fertilizer, I am not Naive enough to believe I have an organic garden. I have come to this conclusion by observation. My city sprays for mosquitos twice a week from June thru July. Come through my neighborhood late at night. Kinda hard for me to say that my vegetables or organic. We have a long rode to hoe in this country because peopele are tired of faulty science being ramed down our throat in every part of our lives.
    We desperately need unbiased, scientific research that will truly help the farming community feed an ever growing world. Orgainic is great, but the cost and low production will never, I repeat never feed the growing population facing the world today. As one who also has to ultimately pay for all of this research whether through the products I buy or the government that doles out the grants, I am ready to get my money’s worth! Label the product, and let me make the decision, and the free market will determine it’s fate.

  8. After putting our all our eggs in one basket with the scientific community for he last 50 years of the food pyramid, and global warming, it makes me think who is really benefitting from all of this research. Doing work in grad school, it was pretty easy to see that any research project could be designed with whatever outcome you desired that project to have. It begs for me to think how many people are dependent on grants from the government, private industry, and yes special interest groups of all stripes that desire to have scientific studies deliver the “right ” results on research for their cause and or product. This in turn provides more grants that further agendas of groups and careers of academics payed for by the good ole middle class tax payer. I am a scientist by trade and work in the agricultural community. I have a garden at home and even though i do not use pesticides or fertilizer, I am not Naive enough to believe I have an organic garden. I have come to this conclusion by observation. My city sprays for mosquitos twice a week from June thru July. Come through my neighborhood late at night. Kinda hard for me to say that my vegetables or organic.

  9. Thanks Brad for highlighting a serious health concern. And thanks also for making the case that in our complex world, the capitalist system needs regulation to level the playing field for businesses and to protect the health and safety of consumers, workers, children and communities.

  10. I’m not sure about your personal stance or Money & Markets stance on this herbicide issue with regard to the recommendation and/or purchase of stocks that manufacture these poisonous materials. Seems to me that people who buy stocks should vet companies on a social responsibility scale – whether it be for chemicals, tobacco, etc. and/or other injurious products or actions that cause health issues. What is the Money and Market stance? Maybe, if we really put our money where our mouth is, we can affect change.

  11. I support having GMO foods labeled.. There has not been any legitimate long term studies on the effects of GMO’s and unfortunately the government still supports (lies about) GMO’s in the United States and the public trusts them.

  12. I would like for all GM foods that are already out there to be labled. I would not knowingly buy foods that have roundup in them. I have the right to know if I am eating foods that may cause cancer.
    One of the most important reason to stop using the GM foods is the fact the the honey bees are dying off and there seems to be a link to Roundup. The extinction of the pollinators could have a devastating effect on the food supplies for the whole planet. It is important to stop it now and to have unbiased scientific studies done before it goes any further . Why take a chance now and find out when it is too late?
    Thank you for the opportunity to discuss and shed light on this dangerous hazard.
    Sincerely Leann Enos

  13. I have been buying organic and non gmo but it is increasingly difficult to find what I need.
    My concern is, the organic crops are being contaminated by cross pollination and the wind carrying the seeds from these crops genetically modified. I read about this. It is truly frightening what is happening. Monsanto is making a lot of money from this and we are like sheeple.

  14. If mother nature intended for our bodies to injest poisions and drugs into our foods, she would have done so originally. Quit making us sicker. Pharmaceuyical company(s) can not patent true natural foods. They can and do develop products (foods) with chemicals which they then charge absorbent prices for prescriptions for hundreds of dollars in the U.S. and pennies in other countries.

  15. Yes, I certainly do support labeling of GMO products. Why is the industry so indifferent to public concerns?

  16. Hi Brad,
    Yes, we would fully support GM products labelling. I watched a video from America a few months ago revealing GM research done by Monsanto. It was scary and a big scam. Is it right to think FDA is corrupted?
    By the way, I like your health related articles on Saturdays as always.
    Best wishes

  17. The USDA has been very negligent in their failure to insist on the testing of GMO’s before they were allowed to be sold to the consumer. European countries refuse to allow GMO foods to be imported, because their scientists have studied the GMO’s and discovered that they are extremely detrimental! The lab animals fed GMO’s developed large malignant tumors! The ultimate effect was sterility, resulting in the anihalation of the species! Apparently, the companies that developed GMO’s had a great deal of political influence and were able to convince government officials that GMO’s were going to transform the agricultural industry by making plants more disease resistant as well as more nutritional. However, just the opposite is the reality! This is a nightmare!! So this is why we need GMO labelling to prevent disease and death. I lost a wonderful young nephew, who was a fine strapping football player who graduated from Notre Dame on a scolarship. He died from Lymphoma after a year of chemotherapy!! This broke my heart!! He had so much to live for!!

  18. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that anything with herbicide in it is not going to be good for you or nature. Spraying into the ground will cause changes that are not good for the future. Common sense has been pushed to the side, along with responsibility. We do everything in our power to kill the earth for our childrens future.

  19. “No matter what stance you take on GMO crops, I think we can all agree more studies need to be done on the long-term health effects of these new foods we are putting in our bodies.”

    No, we all can’t agree because you seem to be unaware of the hundreds of studies over the past 25 years. Please see the bottom of the post for the general scientific consensus including decade long EU study involving over 500 independent research groups. I also provide over nine other sources, ranging from the World Heath Organization to the American Medical Association to the United Nations (based upon research by national regulatory authorities from countries like China and Canada) to the German Union of Academies of Science and Humanities. Almost everything you come into contact every day that’s more likely to kill you–the bridge you drive over every day to work, your car’s airbags, your office building’s fire alarms– have been studied much, much less.

    Based upon the study you’re referencing, shouldn’t labeling efforts be directed at “May Contain Glyphosates”? GMOs are a broad technology. Golden Rice, for example, adds Vitamin A to rice to help combat hundreds of thousands of cases of blindness and death in the poorest countries (where their diet consists of primarily rice). That form of GMO has absolutely nothing to do with pesticides or glyphosate use. It’s supported by major organizations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

    There is not a single credible peer-reviewed study demonstrating that GMOs as a technology are more harmful than conventional techniques (like cross-breeding and radiation). To the contrary, there is broad scientific consensus that it’s as safe. You’ll note the New England Journal of Medicine study specifically addresses GMOs affecting herbicide use only and NOT the broad technology of GMOs.

    Labeling should only be required when there is peer-reviewed evidence and it should be limited to specifically to what the study covers. You, like many consumers, will incorrectly associate pesticide use with all GMOs. If lasers have been demonstrated to blind pilots and put lives at danger, you ban pointing lasers at pilots. You might even call for labels on high-powered lasers, warning not to aim at airplanes to prevent potential crashes. But you don’t put a label on your DVD player that says “Warning: This product contains lasers that may cause death.”


    (1) American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Board of Directors (2012). Statement by the AAAS Board of Directors On Labeling of Genetically Modified Foods, and associated Press release: Legally Mandating GM Food Labels Could Mislead and Falsely Alarm Consumers

    (2) A decade of EU-funded GMO research (2001-2010) Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. Biotechnologies, Agriculture, Food. European Union. 2010. doi:10.2777/97784. ISBN 978-92-79-16344-9. “The main conclusion to be drawn from the efforts of more than 130 research projects, covering a period of more than 25 years of research, and involving more than 500 independent research groups, is that biotechnology, and in particular GMOs, are not per se more risky than e.g. conventional plant breeding technologies.” (p. 16)”

    (3) Ronald, Pamela (2011). “Plant Genetics, Sustainable Agriculture and Global Food Security”. Genetics 188 (1): 11–20. doi:10.1534/genetics.111.128553. PMC 3120150. PMID 21546547.

    (4) American Medical Association (2012). Report 2 of the Council on Science and Public Health: Labeling of Bioengineered Foods “Bioengineered foods have been consumed for close to 20 years, and during that time, no overt consequences on human health have been reported and/or substantiated in the peer-reviewed literature.” (first page)

    (5) David H. Freedman. The Truth about Genetically Modified Food Scientific American, August 26, 2013. “despite overwhelming evidence that GM crops are safe to eat, the debate over their use continues to rage, and in some parts of the world, it is growing ever louder.”

    (6) World Health Organization. Food safety: 20 questions on genetically modified foods. Accessed December 22, 2012.

    (7) FAO, 2004. State of Food and Agriculture 2003–2004. Agricultural Biotechnology: Meeting the Needs of the Poor. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome. “Currently available transgenic crops and foods derived from them have been judged safe to eat and the methods used to test their safety have been deemed appropriate. These conclusions represent the consensus of the scientific evidence surveyed by the ICSU (2003) and they are consistent with the views of the World Health Organization (WHO, 2002). These foods have been assessed for increased risks to human health by several national regulatory authorities (inter alia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, the United Kingdom and the United States) using their national food safety procedures (ICSU). To date no verifiable untoward toxic or nutritionally deleterious effects resulting from the consumption of foods derived from genetically modified crops have been discovered anywhere in the world (GM Science Review Panel). Many millions of people have consumed foods derived from GM plants – mainly maize, soybean and oilseed rape – without any observed adverse effects (ICSU).”

    (8) Union der Deutschen Akademien der Wissenschaften (German Union of Academies of Science and Humanities) Commission Green Biotechnology Are there health hazards for the consumer from eating genetically modified food? . Accessed in 2013. “food derived from GM plants approved in the EU and the US poses no risks greater than those from “conventional” food. On the contrary, in some cases food from GM plants appears to be superior with respect to health.”

    (9) French Academy of Sciences French Academy of Sciences Announces Support For Genetically Modified Crops, French Academy of Science. “Les plantes génétiquement modifiées”, Décembre 2002.

    (10) 14 Italian scientific societies produced a Food Safety Consensus Document that said: “GMOs on the market today, having successfully passed all the tests and procedures necessary to authorization, are to be considered, on the basis of current knowledge, to be safe for use in human and animal foods.”

  20. brilliant thanks for sharing
    will send this viral
    why are the chemical/herbicide companies trying to deliberately kill the poplulation? That is the real question.. because they know the truth of what they are doing.. they are not stupid. They are not just doing it for profit either. If you create and use a know poison… there is not rational for calling it something else just to kill weeds, when they know we will ingest it and die of cancer.
    So who is behind this evil?

  21. Yes, label for GMO …AND whether or not the product has been sprayed with 1. Sprouting inhibitor, 2. Ripening agent for uniform ripening and harvesting, and 3. Food coloring. None of these practices should be concealed … as they are!

  22. Thank you!
    I would definitely support GMO labeling and would buy non-GMO products.
    The FDA, EPA, etc are in the pockets of corporate America and the common folks suffer from the bigger is better, get rich policies regardless of any negitive side effects.

  23. Thanks for reporting this. I very much like the socially responsible columns that you have been putting out lately. It is nice to see someone as active in the investment world taking note of these reports that are vital to the health of all of us. Keep up the good work!

  24. They should be labeled. If they say there’s nothing to worry about then they shouldn’t worry about the labels.

  25. I fully agree with your sentiment regarding the possible dangers of GMO foods. We grow a large garden, using heritage (non-hybrid) seeds. We just planted our second crop of lettuce, using seeds from the first crop! The plants have sprouted!

  26. The DARK Act will only cause more problems in the labeling of food. You still won’t know which food contains GMO’s. It only makes me distrust the government even more about what is in our food. Years from now when people are sick and dying from all these “poisons” in our food we can look back on our Reps, Congressmen and women and our Senators and even our President for not putting people first but literally securing the bottom line for Monsanto and other corporations.

  27. I already avoid GMO food whenever possible, as long as I can afford to do this. You get these herbicides served up in your plant based food for sure. Sadly, these are concentrated in our meats also, because all the animals are fed diets composed almost entirely of GMO corn and soybeans. Unless you buy organically raised meats, you may be getting more toxicity there than from your vegetables. I think that labeling would cause a shift in consumer purchases to non-GMO foods and that would eventually cause a shift back to more wholesome foods being produced en mass. This should lower the price of non-GMO foods available for purchase by consumers. Till then, I will keep paying the price.

  28. It would be helpful to have GMO foods labeled as such. I personally buy locally-grown fresh fruits and vegetables as much as possible, but even some of them may have been GMO-tainted. I avoid corn and soybean products and most packaged foods. I also drink a “de-tox” herb tea regularly, and drink Kangen water, which has a 9.5 pH level. The big food/chemical companies should be required to let us know if the foods we buy are from GMO seeds or have been sprayed with deadly herbicides.

  29. GMO is banned in many countries for a reason, yet we have our government voting on not labeling GMO food, because our government is bought by these lobbyist, we are guinea pigs!!!

  30. Yes I think that all foods should be labeled so that those of us who read labels for other things like sugar, salt oils used etc, can also include whether the food was a GMO raised crop. And it should be done now and not take several more years from now when more people have been exposed because of the negligence and/or reluctance of the FDA. People with friends and family that are being treated for cancer, a disease that is rising rapidly, should be able to know this information when we are adjusting our diets.
    Sharon Wangsness, Retired RN. San Jose, Ca

  31. I highly support GMO labeling!!!!

    Since I already get an email from you, please do not send me include me in any others. Thank you.

  32. Yes, I certainly would support GMO labeling. I already try to avoid foods that I think might contain GMOs—and labeling would make it easier. I think it is time we go even further and ban these corrupt unhealthy GMO foods.

  33. My hat comes off to you for discussing this issue — most are too politically correct or are fearful of backlash to speak out. I have Farmed Organically since the early 80’s and advocate for Organics on a daily basis. A few years ago I relocated from WI. to MO. and since have been working diligently to assist Organic Valley in developing an Organic Dairy pool in the State of MO. A few months ago we signed Producer Agreements and in Sept. of 2016 there will be Missouri Farmers shipping Organic milk to Organic Valley . The Organic Transition will start 9-1-2015, most of the Farmers are in the Certification process now and just waiting for their Organic certificates. This is a huge step for most of these Dairy Farmers, as they have spent most of their lives using Ag. chemicals. These folks are going against the norm and are risking their livelihoods to better themselves and the people who consume their products. Organic Valley has and will continue to invest a significant amount of resources of time, people and money to help accomplish this task. It is so important for folks to support what they believe in — please support the Organic Valley brand wherever you live, as it has your families best health in mind. Organic Valley is putting their money where their mouth is and so are the Missouri Farmers who are the first producers to join in this effort. I am very outspoken about folks who throw rocks at the other side per se — we win no debates this way. Many Organic Farmers today were Conventional Farmers yesterday — most have a very enlightening story to tell, if asked. Many people do not realize that the few GMO studies that claim to have been done regarding Human Nutrition, have only been done for very short periods of time, which yields them useless and non-scientific by nature. You presented your opinions and your concerns well, no one should be offended by your delivery. Keep up the good work.

    Dairy Farmer in Missouri

  34. hi brad
    i try only to eat organic food and what i grow
    from experimenting for the last 60 yrs and trying different diets. i have come to the conclusion that man doesn’t do well on cooked food. one cannot get enough nutrients out of cooked food, as one gets older the body is not as efficient in digesting food and raw food is easier to digest and assimilate
    i am 81 and still backpack and hike.
    a woman across the street from me says i could not be 81, because i still ride my bike around town. the average person knows next to nothing about how to stay healthy and doctors know even less—

  35. Many things I could comment about with facts to back them up. I will comment on only one point. I May not have the exact percentage, but roughly 60 percent of Americans are on either food stamps or social security. By observation this group of American consumers can not afford the increased cost that the American farmer needs to produce food under the umbrella called organic. Please remember that 1.5 percent of the population produces all the food 100 percent of us consume. Labeling is less important than feeding a hungry nation which America is quickly becoming.

  36. Absolutely! These poisons should be banned and GMO labels should be required.
    I buy organic foods as much as possible…. the only choice until everything has a label!!

  37. I was thinking the decline in honey bees was being influenced by GMOs, as well as the herbicides being used. Please make all GMO products be labeled.

  38. I fully support GMO labeling. I donated more to this cause than any other political cause ever. What we eat is one of the highest priorities of everyday health. How many more will have to suffer from the consequences of GMO food before we realize how ‘late to this party’ the US is–64 countries in the rest of the world have figured this out.

  39. I not only support GMO labeling, but also the elimination of GMOs from our food supply. Independent studies by soil biologists, nutritionists, and others have proven that the poisons in GMOs are destroying the soil micro organisms, and chelating the minerals so that they are not bio-available to humans. This makes them nearly nutritionless, as well as poisonous. Please research the website to read the many unbiased articles and studies about GMOs.

  40. We need GMO labeling to be able to feed ourselves and our families safely. If I know, via packaging, which foodstuff is GMO treated and which are organic you can bet your sweet life it would be organic in my cart.

  41. We all have a right to know what’s in the food we eat. The problem is
    that when big money is involved our leaders turn a blind eye. If there
    are no health issues with gmo foods why are large companies against labeling. The American people are in a better position to choose what’s right for their family, than some bureaucratic in Washington who’s in the pocket of some large company’s.

  42. It is refreshing to see your concern of GMO Labeling, and that more studies should be performed. I believe that people are finally waking up to this abomination of genetically modified foods. Once we have the majority of the population opposing these foods, we can finally put a stop to the big Corporations who are trying to take over the world’s food supply.

  43. This op-ed, Mr Hoppmann, confuses cause with effect.

    Glyphosate must be manufactured in factories and applied to fields.

    Glyphosate had been used to treat crops, years before the genes for glyphosate resistance were identified.

    Getting rid of GMO crops will not cause Glyphosate manufacturing to stop. It is used on non-GMO crops as well.

    2,4-D-resistance is a natural genetic property. Clover dies, grass lives, when sprayed with 2,4-D.

    Getting rid of GMO’s won’t stop the use of 2,4-D.

    I make these simple and insulting points, Brad, because this is a classic example of the reason we must Say What We Actually Mean.

    A law prohibiting the sale of unlabeled GMO crops, won’t protect you from Glyphosate or 2,4-D.

    To protect you from Glyphosate, would require an entirely different law, mandating that food grown with Glyphosate, be so labeled.

    To protect you from 2,4-D, would require a law mandating that food grown with 2,4-D, be so labeled.

    I don’t particularly care about 2,4-D or Glyphosate residues, because they biodegrade so quickly.

    My personal GMO-issue gripe, is the main moneymaker for Monsanto: Bacillus thuringensis toxin.

    Monsanto’s Bt corn, internally generates the Bt toxin, which is a neurotoxin that kills insects when they eat the corn.

    Legislation in Congress, promoted by Monsanto’s lobbyists, seeks a law mandating that corn which creates the Bt toxin, never be so labeled when sold to consumers.

    Meanwhile, contract language in the license agreement farmers must sign, if they purchase Monsanto Bt corn seeds, mandates farmers never to plant the corn they grow, but to sell it to consumers, then buy more seeds from Monsanto, when planting.

    The blatant hypocrisy here is astonishing.

    Monsanto wants to discriminate against Bt corn seeds that farmers might create on their own (by merely saving some corn from last year’s harvest and planting the corn as seeds). And they also want a law, prohibiting consumers from discriminating against Bt corn.

    Of course, that’s only the beginning of the hypocrisy at Monsanto.

    Monsanto used to be a diversified multinational chemical producer, They owned the original trademark for glyphosate…”Roundup” – brand herbicide.
    They’d been in the fertilizer business for decades before that. Farmers recognized the company and the brand name.

    But that wasn’t how they went into Chapter 7 bankruptcy and dissolved.

    What bankrupted Monsanto and zeroed out it’s shareholder’s equity, was an industrial fluid made at their St Louis works, called Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB).

    PCB is simple to make. Get some biphenyl. Put it in a kettle full of scrap iron. Close the lid. Suck out the air. Pump in chlorine gas. Apply heat. You get a mixture of greasy stuff that’s difficult to burn.

    One of the hundreds of possible combinations of chlorine and biphenyl, causes a birth defect. Because there’s no practical way to remove it from the mixture, PCB is now prohibited, and companies who used it, must store it, for lack of anywhere it can be sent for final disposal.

    Monsanto’s PCB factory put out hundreds of pounds of greasy PCB that didn’t meet their specifications and was discarded. They gave it to an oil-spraying company, who spread it on the gravel streets of Times Beach, Missouri, to control dust.

    Times Beach has never been completely cleaned up.

    Taxpayers now bear the cost of a multi-billion-dollar ongoing cleanup project. The Government sued Monsanto to recover some of the billions that were spent. Monsanto went bankrupt and dissolved.

    All of their non-PCB products now belong to other companies…as do their factories. The shareholders’ money went into the (unfinished) Times Beach cleanup.

    A San Francisco tech startup, Celgene, had the idea for Bt corn, and got a marketing idea.

    What if they bought the name, “Monsanto”?

    So they did.

    Bt corn, and glyphosate-resistant corn, are marketed under the Monsanto name, because farmers recognize it.

    There’s literally no other connection between glyphosate manufacturing, and Monsanto.

    Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when we set out to deceive.

  44. As a Vietnam Vet I can tell you that no chemical used to make agent orange, agent white should be used in the production of the food we consume. We should not have to worry about the water we drink and the food we eat or the air we breathe. Labeling GMO foods should be mandatory. With a label you have a choice as to which foodstuff you want to buy. With out a label it very difficult to tell which is or isn’t a GMO product. This not only effects your quality of life but that of your children and unborn children. My neighbor was a scientist, worked at a very high level for a research firm. She only buys her foodstuff from local growers. Where she can observe how it’s grown. She warned me that I should do the same for health reasons.
    Thank you for a great article. As a side note I sold all my Monsanto shares some time ago after looking into this subject. Brought on by a fellow Nam Vet who lost his kidney function from agent orange. It was proven by the VA which was very difficult to do.

  45. Thanks again for another great article. It’s so refreshing to see someone in your industry have some insight into the machinations of Monsanto and the potential health concerns from spraying our food supply with poisons.
    Monsanto is evil

  46. Having good, healthy, nutrient rich, and safe food to eat is becoming more and more difficult. Knowing about targeted plans (Codex Alimentarius, Agenda 21) to reduce the population size, it comes at no surprise to me that the food system is targeted in a gradual, deliberate approach.
    For me, I choose to raise my own food and supplement w organic. That to date has provided a bit of a safety net. However, I noticed even foods labeled organic coming from China are to be suspect as well. I foresee that it won’t be too long before we’ll no longer know which organic food is truly safe to eat and which has also been poisoned. When the war machines (powers that be/were) stop at nothing–as a devouring cancer on the earth) to gain–what? Money, Perceived dominance, Population reduction? It, to me, is an indicator of how sick and perverse our so-called leaders and governments have become.
    These poisons that are being sprayed on humanities food need to be completely outlawed and the bandits running the system need to be thrown out of office. Additionally, the current system needs a complete overhaul. It is lamentably defective and no longer is a benefit to humanity.

  47. Yes, I would like to see GMO foods labeled. This is because GMO foods are not the result of breeding or an extension of traditional farming methods. Seeds are infused with the genes of comletely foreign species. For example, a tomato seed can be infused with the genes of a fish. So then the resulting plant would have some attributes that belong to a fish. This could be very bad for a person who is allergic to sea food.
    GMO plants can be infused with the genes of any type of creature, from different species of plants, animals, fungii, viruses or even human genes. So a tomato is no longer a tomato if it is part fish, and there’s no knowing what a person is eating anymore.

  48. Thanks for caring and continuing to address this subject. I buy any corn or soy products, but the lobbyists run the country and we need to keep trying to be heard.

  49. Yes! I support GMO labeling! I always buy “non-GMO” instead of no label products. What I feed my family is very important to me!

  50. I am a colon and rectal surgeon for 45 years with special interest in colon cancer. There is no doubt that the increase in cancers of all types are due exposure to the tremendous toxic substances in the food we eat, inhalation of pollutenants in the air. In my medical school and residency pediatric allergy and asthma was uncommon, there was no such speciality as Pediatric Allergist. Our govt. has no interest in taking measures to protect the American Public as long as our election systems do not change. They are beholden to the interest of companies who contribute most money to their election. I remember my professors telling us that colon cancers being rare below the age of 50. We are operating on patients below the age of 30 with colon cancer. The American public need to be aware of what they are eating and be proactive

  51. Excellent Brad, thank you for taking the time to gather the “latest” on this topic. Caution should be the way our government agencies hande the sciences behind the advancements, but money has a way of influencing opinions and decisions.

    Great summary!

  52. We would indeed support GMO labeling. Shopping for our family would change with this labeling.

  53. I definitely support GMO labeling but it may be too late If Congress has passed their so-called safe labeling law.

    This would prevent GM labeling and even cause non-GMO farmers to have to undergo hugely expensive testing and certification to be able to say they were producing non- GMO foods.

    It would also negate Vermont’s law that was voted on and passed by the people.

    These same manufacturers have had to label any such foods they export to the Euro countries but they apparently want to keep us in the dark.

    Don’t believe me? Check out

    I’m in business and for business but I’m not for poisoning out food supply with more cancer causing chemicals or foods just for the sake of profit.

    I’ve already lost four members of my family from cancer so, yes, I’m sensitive to this issue.

  54. And the neonicotinoid pesticides that are killing the bees have now been found to be killing birds as well. How’s all this for allowing Monsanto, Dow, and Bayer among others to control our food chain?

  55. Thanks Brad for this info…I’ve long thought Monsanto has had a strangle hold herbicides, farmers are required to use in the planting of their crops. Which also includes the GM seeds. With development of Enlist Duo which has glyphosate a known carcinogen also makes me wonder the long term effect on human development within our DNA going forward.. To me, it’s more than a little scary how one or more company’s are able to determine how people could be controlled by en jesting their products let alone different forms of cancer. Not sure either how much control the FDA will play out either…since they have known affects Enlist Duo and said or done nothing…..

  56. Monsanto and the farm lobby have too much money, power and political contributions for our elected officials to do anything. Having been around farming all my life, there is little control/enforcement of application practices for herbicides and pesticides like dosage rates, mixtures, wind drift and applicator ignorance of the dangers involved. Being a pancreatic cancer survivor, so far, and having lost a brother to Parkinsons’s disease, this is a pretty sensitive subject to me. The govt. needs to make manufacturers prove their safety case before marketing.

  57. I am concerned and I demand access to the information about the GMO use in the food I buy.

  58. I’m a hobby bee keeper and something has been going on with the decline in honey bees…ccd(colony collapse disorder) as you may have read. I believe one of the main sources is from herbicides called neonicanoids made by Bayer and others. We do believe in organic read your articles…nice job. I believe GMO’s are a huge problem.


  60. Our family already buys food based on a lack of harmful chemicals every chance we get. Actually I am going this afternoon to buy from a farmer in a nearby community who grows and harvests pasture raised chickens and eggs.

    If government has a function it is to assure the truth and transparency of our food and water supply so that we can make our own decisions. With facts available the market will determine production methods. If we don’t buy food from suppliers who use Roundup and Agent Orange, they will quit producing it.

  61. So it is not the GMO that is the problem, It is the tolerance for ‘stronger’ chemicals ??????

  62. I do support GMO labeling; however, I do not think it will ever happen. The food lobby and Monsanto own the FDA. I do think that there is already some sort of labeling that is market driven. Some consumers are willing to pay a premium for non GMO labeled food (me included); therefore, the food companies have started to sell products that are labeled as such. So instead of having a GMO labeling law we have products that are labeled non GMO. Therefore, consumers can assume that if a product is not labeled non GMO that it is probably GMO.

  63. Non-labeling of GMO’s is a tragic, rapid paced decision which is solely based on a financial incentive. Human’s have become a “dime-a-dozen” commodity.

  64. At my current age, I’am not concerned, but for my one year old grand daughter, I’am very concerned.

  65. Labeling of food, if it’s GMO or not and what chemicals are used, should be a “no-brainier”. Consumers have the right to know what we are buying and what we are actually putting in our bodies. Of course foods should be labeled. Companies (ie Monsanto) are developing (and have developed) seeds that are coated with pesticides so they don’t need to be sprayed on the crops, they are now part of the plant, which I think is outrageous. How can they think this it is safe to consume foods grown this way? As a society, we should be alarmed.

  66. Truth in advertising. Anything wrong with giving us a choice? We are already experiencing resistant weeds and insects. We do not adapt as quickly. EPA, do your job. You are pursuing a questionable global warming agenda but “mysteriously” show no concern for the environment in this regard.

  67. WHY shouldn’t we know what is in the products we eat??? Many parts of the world outside the U.S. have gone to labeling or eliminated use of GMO seeds. What about the economic and health impact on 3rd world countries that cannot afford GMO seeds and all the chemicals required. Another move by big corporations and our government to impose their Fascist ideology on us. Brad, How can one person (OB) and 535 complicit elected officials take our country down the drain?
    IDEA: What if we put together a list of the top 12 issues that clearly are anti-American and are blatantly “IN-YOUR-FACE” and buy a full page of the WSJ to publish it in? Address it to OB and the 535.

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