POWERED BY THE GLOBAL HEALTH EDUCATION INITIATIVE
GMOs: Engineering the Nature out of Humanity
Before you watch this webinar…
Check out our introductory blog post + short video on GMOs: Engineering the Nature out of Humanity with Dr. Zach Bush.
Webinar Summary & Resources
Move into Co-Creative Relationship with Nature >
How + Why GMO’s Got Started >
GMO Farming, Foods + the Marketplace >
GMO Marketing vs Facts >
More than Just Glyphosate: 2,4-D, Dicamba + Liberty Link >
The Myths of GMO Corn >
The Damaging Health, Environmental + Economic Effects of Herbicides >
How are These Chemicals Getting Approved? >
Why Has the Disease Prevalence Become Widespread so Quickly? >
Genetically Engineered Animals >
Human Genetic Engineering >
Move into Co-Creative Relationship with Nature
(0:00) The current state of creation and regulation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is bleak,but Dr. Zach Bush encourages us to recognize the power of coming together and connecting to the hope that community can engender. It is important that humans become awake and aware of this information while raising our consciousness to imagine a more beautiful, co-creative relationship with nature and life. To know and also share this information is vastly important. (11:36) Dr. Zach Bush opens the presentation with a moment of silence, the invitation to connect with our breath, with that which is beautiful to us and the world that we long to see.
Imagine where we might go together. Imagine what the world could become if we took the human ingenuity that’s gone into the genetic modification of organisms around the world, and instead we took that human ingenuity to actually ignite life itself.
– Dr. Zach Bush
How + Why GMO’s Got Started
At its inception, Monsanto cloned a gene from a form of agrobacterium that was found growing at a Roundup factory. Researchers found that this particular bug’s amino acid production was not affected by glyphosate and was still able to maintain protein production when exposed to the strong chemicals. A protein from this bacteria was inserted into corn that did not previously exist inside the plant. Their goal was to enable the corn to also survive extreme antibiotic use. In 1996, the U.S. approved the first genetically modified corn, setting a precedent for a “new way of farming”.
(16:14) There are 22 amino acids that exist for all proteins. Within these are a subset of 9 essential amino acids that cannot be made by human cells. Humans rely on natural environmental systems and food to produce these essential amino acids. Some of these necessary building blocks are found via the shikimate pathway, which is present in bacteria, fungi and common plants.
Glyphosate inhibits plant growth by blocking an enzyme known as EPSP synthase within the shikimate pathway. EPSP synthase is involved in the production of multiple essential amino acids and other molecules that account for upto 35% of the plant’s mass.
The genetic modification technique that is used, for instance, in the “Roundup Ready” crops typically involves inserting genes into a crop’s genome to boost EPSP synthase production so the plant can survive the chemical spraying. The ‘gain of function’ gene inserted is derived from bacteria, and it is not naturally occurring in the multicellular plants, animals or humans that it is inserted into. (20:18) Because of this bacterium’s tendency to over-express a single protein, it is highly adept at creating tumors in over 140 species of different plants.
(23:51) The agrobacterium used for this genetic modification process only has to abut a plant cell to transfer the genetic information. In a natural environment, the transfer of new genetic material into DNA is a highly regulated, specific process within an organism. However, this artificial transfer is not specific or targeted. The transferring mechanism can then create “slippery genes” because it can insert into any neighboring multicellular organism, not just the intended organism. These nonspecific transfers overcome the receiving organism’s regulatory processes and therefore can become a part of the DNA. (25:49) This genetic modification process also uses the cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMv 35s), which is one of the most highly penetrating viruses for food crops out there. This virus is a gene promoter that “flags” the organism into making a lot of protein from the inserted DNA trait.
(28:06) The newer version of genetic engineering uses CRISPR-Cas9 technology. CRISPR is an enzyme insertion technology that differs from the earlier transfer using bacteria. With this process, we can now directly inject a strand of mRNA into a system and get the Cas9 enzyme to amplify the whole process. It then turns these cells into genetic manufacturing devices in a more direct way than the older process, and it accelerates gene engineering.
The CRISPR process bypasses the innate biologic regulatory systems with synthetic RNA so that the process happens much faster. Ironically, when Cas9 is naturally occurring, it is one of the primary mechanisms that keep organisms from viral infection and acts as part of the innate immune system. With this technological modification process, it instead manipulates genetic information and inserts it directly into the genome, bypassing all natural regulatory processes; and the new genetic trait can be passed down to the next generation.
GMO Farming, Foods + the Marketplace
(31:17) FDA-approved GMO foods from 1995-2017 included squash, soybeans, cotton, papaya, canola, alfalfa and sugar beets. The government subsidies on sugar beets are so high, that farmers get paid extra money to grow them even beyond their ability to sell. Because of this, farmers often switch over to sugar beets when their crops start to fail. They then intentionally kill their soil with massive amounts of glyphosate to create poor soil quality so the GMO sugar beets will grow better.
(34:33) By 2003, USDA reports that 93% of all soy and 85% of all corn grown in the U.S. are herbicide resistant, genetically engineered varieties. Similarly, around 93% of all cottonseed oil and more than 90% of all canola oil produced in the U.S. is herbicide-resistant, genetically engineered. Monsanto reports that by 2009, within 3 years of its introduction to the market, 95% of all sugar beets planted were genetically engineered to be able to tolerate high doses of Roundup.
GMO Marketing vs Facts
(35:50) The industrial chemical agricultural companies tell us that we need genetic modification and distribution because it enables us to “Feed the World.” But if we look at the statistics, is that true? The data instead shows us two things: 1) we have not actually produced more bushels per acre and 2) we have only increased chemical usage.
(41:41) A study by Charles Benbrook showed that herbicide tolerant crops have increased herbicide use by 527 million pounds over the 16-year period (1996-2011). This also multiplies the cost per acre for farmers up to three times, bankrupting farmers all over the country as their cost for inputs continue to rise. This trend further pushes the U.S. more towards mega farms and mega chemical industries.We now see multinational organizations buying up all the farmland in the country that are no longer financially viable.
More than Just Glyphosate: 2,4-D, Dicamba + Liberty Link
(44:43) 2, 4-D (2, 4 dichlorophenoxyacetic acid) is an herbicide and chemical warfare agent that was developed in the 1940’s. It is a primary ingredient in Agent Orange, a chemical herbicide perfected during the Vietnam War and used as a potent herbicide to kill the jungles of north Vietnam and Cambodia. It is now repackaged as an herbicide for agricultural use and sprayed on crops. 2, 4-D kills by inducing an immediate, unregulated tumor-like growth within the vascular system of plants, which chokes out the nutrient supply to the plant and kills it. 2,4-D is best absorbed into the human bloodstream through ingestion. The skin is a relatively good boundary against this chemical; however, sunscreen, insect repellents and alcohol consumption may increase the amount of 2, 4-D absorbed through the skin. Only 75% of 2,4-D exits the body in the first 4 days after exposure, leaving the remaining 25% in the body to bio-accumulate and cause unregulated growth.
(48:03) Agent Orange and 2,4-D turned the luscious and verdant jungles of Cambodia and N. Vietnam into wastelands. burning the eyes, skin and lungs of all living beings around it. In addition to the devastation to the verdant jungles of Cambodia and northern Vietnam, an Agent Orange birth defect emerged in the following decade. It showed up in the first generation of babies with musculoskeletal malformations.
(49:34) GMO corn that is glyphosate and 2,4-D resistant was approved in 2014 so that farmers could now spray both chemicals into the same field at the same time and the genetically modified plants can still survive. However, it creates rapid devastation in the rest of the environment, harming all other plant, soil and animal life. This further separates us from nature’s template for adaptation and biodiversification and, instead, artificially adapts for monotony and homogeneity.
(52:34) 2,4-D was detected in more than 85% of the children and adult urine samples studied in Ohio and North Carolina. As a radically aerosolized compound, 2,4-D can easily bind to most household surfaces; and the highest exposure source in the home was found in carpet dust.
(55:26) Dicamba is a chlorophenoxy herbicide with a wide variety of mechanisms of toxicity disruption that is specific to energy production and metabolism. Dicamba is the most volatile of the herbicides because it stays airborne so easily, causing widespread damage to surrounding farms, orchards, gardens and forests. In fact, Dicamba is 200x more toxic in the airborne drift than Roundup.
(57:49) The chemical companies repeatedly use regulatory agencies to sidestep responsibility and shuffle their way out of any liability for the harm caused by their products. Dr. Zach Bush emphasizes that we, the consumers, are the foot on the accelerator of this industry. Our purchases and investments are what enable these companies to perpetuate this chemical use.
We are the foot on the accelerator. We are the fuel in the gas tank. We are the thing driving this. It is our drug-like behavior and our desire for always more convenience that is driving this chemical industry to do what it does. That is both depressing and incredibly empowering because it means if we change our behavior, we will radically change these industries overnight.
– Dr. Zach Bush
(1:05:57) The EPA keeps two separate pathways for the approval of these inputs: one process for approving the GMO’s themselves and an entirely separate process for approving the chemicals sprayed on those GMO’s. This fractured process means the regulatory bodies never have to evaluate long-term and far-reaching effects.
(1:08:21) Dr. Zach Bush also shows us an example of how the EPA can continue the use and distribution of these chemicals despite judicial intervention.
(1:11:00) The active ingredient in Liberty Link is glufosinate which inhibits the production of glutamine, one of the most critical nutrients in the human body for both immunity and reproduction. Plants die within 4 days of this herbicidal application. Combined with the widespread use of glyphosate, we have now eliminated 4 of the 22 essential amino acids necessary to build a human body. Glyphosate and glufosinate also work synergistically to dismantle the human gut lining and create infertility.
(1:16:43) Dr. Zach Bush gives us a tour of some of the marketing used by these chemical companies showing how Bayer, for instance, is able to keep their products on the market despite millions of dollars of payouts and litigation. They value their monetary profits and stakeholder relationships more than anything else.
(1:19:57) The latest “Roundup Ready” soybeans tolerate the use of glyphosate, dicamba and glufosinate, so we can now poison a single crop with all three of these deadly compounds. These soybeans are already approved and in use in the U.S. Cotton is also a highly chemically treated crop, and genetically modified cotton makes its way into our clothes and feminine products with the residue of these chemicals.
(1:23:13) This system of industrially dirven agriculture and products means there are more and more chemicals sprayed on fewer and fewer crops each year; and it means that farmers are always having to buy new seed and new inputs. The family highlighted in the Farmer’s Footprint documentary almost doubled the amount of bushels per acre within 18 months of ceasing the chemical spraying and GMO seeds. This increased their productivity and also their bottomline, which enabled them to expand. The solutions are not only at hand, but they lead to better outcomes immediately. If we continue to allow third parties, banks, regulatory systems and chemical companies to control the economics of our food, there will never be an end to the slippery slope that we are on. Take the time to meet farmers and get to know the people who grow your food. Connect them with opportunities that can support them into growing into a regenerative food system.
Let’s put the consumer back in touch with the farmer, and we will see an intelligent design come out of the food industry.
– Dr. Zach Bush
The Myths of GMO Corn
(1:28:53) There are approximately 90 million acres of corn grown in the U.S. grown each year. And, in the last decade since the introduction of GMO crops, the yields have actually plateaued for the first time since 1926.
“There is no evidence that genetically engineered crops actually changed the trajectory of yield improvements in this country.”
– Dr. Zach Bush
(1:32:08) Is this corn feeding the world? No. Only 10-15% of the corn grown in the U.S. is exported. The vast majority of this corn goes into feeding animals in the industrial agriculture system (including fish). Most of the increase in demand for corn since 1980 is entirely for ethanol, which is used as a fuel additive that is actually highly corrosive to engines. If we understand the process by which GMO corn is grown, it is greenwashing to say that ethanol is a better alternative for the environment than fossil fuel. The demand for ethanol is manufactured so that chemical companies can push more of their products onto farmers.
(1:34:45) Not only are we not feeding the world, but we aren’t even feeding ourselves. Kansas is 95% agricultural use by acre, yet Kansas imports 95% of its food. This is because they aren’t growing real food; they are growing GMO corn for ethanol. In Kansas, 1 in 5 children struggles with hunger. The amount of poverty that this agriculture system creates in our farm states has become so extreme that we are literally starving.
(1:36:56) Dr. Zach Bush proposes that farm waste, not corn, is a more efficient and regenerative biofuel source. The 2016 Billion-Ton Report determined that the U.S. currently produces 400 billion pounds of biomass waste annually. This waste is not being efficiently used, with only 30% of that used for compost or other energy recycling programs. This leaves 260 billion pounds of carbon biomass available for other biofuel production.
The Damaging Health, Environmental + Economic Effects of Herbicides
(1:39:33) The use of glyphosate and other industrial agricultural chemicals has fundamentally changed the cancer map in the U.S.. We have 80-85% of the glyphosate sprayed in the U.S. collecting into the Mississippi River tributaries, which terminate in the Mississippi delta region. Before 2006, this area was never the epicenter of cancer; but it is now where we see the highest rates of cancer throughout the whole world. This is where
(1:43:11) In Indiana, 60% of the rivers and 80% of the lakes are unsafe for drinking or recreational use. Not only can shifting our agriculture benefit the health of humans and the environment, but it also can have a positive economic impact. The Governor of Pennsylvania recently put aside a small amount of budget for converting farmers to regenerative models. Within one year, they became the #2 largest producer of organic foods in the country.
(1:45:41) Because many herbicides used in chemical farming are water-soluble, these toxins quickly and easily contaminate an entire water system. An environmental study published in 2007 on the Mississippi River delta area found that glyphosate was detected in 77% of air samples and greater than or equal to 86% of rain samples. (1:46:57) The EPA’s reaction to these damages is to avoid all responsibility and liability as they continue to approve these products for widespread use.
(1:50:40) Trace levels of glyphosate in the gut undermine and destroy the microbiota and lining inside the gut. The result is in an immediate impact of neurochemical disruption such as mood disorders, sleep disorders, inflammation and sexual drive collapse. Even if there is a singular exposure event to these toxins and no subsequent exposure, there is still a generational impact as each generation accrues more and more metabolic injury. Dr. Zach Bush shows the alarming rates of disease such as dementia, depression, diabetes, cancer, obesity and autism and how their spiking prevalence correlates to our use of chemical agriculture exposure. Now, all of us by age 28 are showing some signs of neurodegeneration and memory loss. If we keep going at this rate, we are headed for 1 in every 3 children with autism by 2035.
(1:54:26) Within a single generation, we have doubled the rates of cancer in men. Cancer is an entirely environmental disease, and we doubled the toxicity of that environment from 1990-2015. Dr. Zach Bush points out a study done with triplets in which two of the children had autism spectrum disorder and the other had a seizure disorder. The difference between these children was not their genetics but instead a strain of clostridium that is resistant to different chemicals in our environment. (1:57:00) This study clearly demonstrates the relationship between glyphosate as a causal agent in autism.
(1:58:04) Microbial dysbiosis underpins the breast cancer phenomena in the U.S. As we dump these herbicides into our food, we change the microbial distribution in the body. This not only happens in the gut of autistic children, but it also happens in the breast microbiome. Every single organ system in the body, including the brain, has its own microbiome. In a healthy state, these environments express biodiversity. In an unhealthy state, such as that caused by the antibiotics found in agricultural chemicals, our microbiomes become homogenous and cause disease.
(1:59:03) Dr. Zach Bush takes us through several graphs that demonstrate the precise correlation between glyphosate usage and many different types of cancer incidence including: myeloid leukemia, bladder cancer, thyroid cancer and liver cancer. (2:01:35) Statistics showing death from senile dementia also perfectly overlap with the increased use of glyphosate.
Is glyphosate a carcinogen? I can’t even believe it’s a debate anywhere in the world anymore.
– Dr. Zach Bush
(2:02:26) One of the best correlations with COVID-related death was sleep deficiency. The immune system goes into a complete dysregulated state after just 2 days without rest; and we see that glyphosate use also correlates with an increase in sleep disorders.
(2:04:07) In western developed countries, where there is more widespread use of agricultural chemicals, sperm counts dropped 50-60% in 30 years. More recent data suggests this decline is accelerating. Now we are estimating one in three males in all Western countries are now infertile by sperm count and sperm motility problems.
How are These Chemicals Getting Approved?
(2:06:04) The science regarding chemical farming products is very clear. But, if they are so obviously dangerous, how do these products keep getting approved? The FDA and EPA are not permitted to consider studies that show multigenerational toxicity data in animals and humans, which is some of the most incriminating evidence. They are also not allowed to consider the consequences of the biologic alteration, which results in the approval to spray these antimicrobial carcinogens directly on and into food crops. These agencies’ ability to split the regulatory responsibility also allows them to isolate the inquiries into these products and separate what they are from how they are used.
The studies showing the epigenetic effects of these toxins is very concerning. Even if there is only one exposure to a single pregnant person with no subsequent generational exposure, there is still the potential for an explosion of tumors and obesity that persist and increase in the following generation. We also see the frequency of multiple diseases go up 5x, which continues to increase disease downstream. Dr. Zach Bush cautions us that we have not even begun to see the epidemics from this exposure yet.
(2:12:51) Chemical exposure to these products harms the genetic categories that biology is most dependent upon. (2:17:13) We see these harmful downstream disease effects not only in animal studies but also in human studies. Dr. Zach Bush shares his personal experience submitting this evidence to the EPA and their refusal and inability to acknowledge the very clear science.
Why Has the Disease Prevalence Become Widespread so Quickly?
(2:21:37) How does all of this disease amplify so quickly across generations? The cauliflower mosaic virus, which is used to insert genetic modifications, hides another gene called Gene VI, which was discovered around 2000. (2:23:32) Gene VI overrides the natural process of regulation so that the inserted genetic trait is massively amplified within the species. It disrupts protein synthesis control and, therefore, amplifies viral behavior.
(2:25:54) RNA silencing is also an important viral defense mechanism in both plants and animals, and Gene VI inhibits this process. This raises two important bio-safety concerns: 1) Gene VI leads to aberrant genetic expression and 2) Gene VI interferes with the plant’s ability to defend themselves against viral pathogens.
(2:27:50) Even without the spraying of Roundup, we see the downstream effects that create high amounts of kidney disease in humans just from consuming the genetically engineered crop. Studies showing this are policed by chemical companies even though they are unable to scientifically disprove or refute the evidence. (2:31:17) A paper published in 2006 shows that eating genetically engineered crops increases kidney disease,The demand for kidney transplants tripled from 1996-2013 in the U.S. The cost of dialysis has increased globally as we increase GMO and herbicide/pesticide use. (2:34:06) From a market perspective, we also see a spike in the profits of pharmaceutical companies as they sell the drugs to allow for a kidney transplant.
Genetically Engineered Animals
(2:37:53) As the water systems are destroyed with the use of toxic chemicals, there has been a stark decrease in the salmon population, which has clearly declined from 1990-2010. Genetically engineered salmon were developed in 1989 and approved in 2017. They are given an unregulated growth hormone so they grow at least twice as big, twice as fast. (2:40:55) The problem with this is that unregulated growth hormone is a disease, which we see in conditions such as acromegaly also known as gigantism. These conditions lead to rapid mortality. It is naive to think that humans can isolate themselves from these genetically engineered information, especially if we are consuming it.
(2:47:28) Pigs are the most identical mammals to humans. As of December 2020, the U.S. now has FDA approval for genetically modified pigs in the human feed system. Because pigs and humans are so genetically alike, it will be very easy for horizontal gene transfers to happen between the two species. (2:49:08) These pigs are created for antibiotic resistance, which is, ironically, one of the biggest problems in meat production globally. So they will be using a gene that is mobile and can transfer to other parts of the biome and create widespread antibiotic resistance. (2:56:27) It has already been proven that these genes do not stay in the pigs but are transmissible to humans. (2:58:29) It is estimated that antimicrobial resistance could be responsible for 10 million deaths annually by 2050, and that is accelerated with the approval of these genetically engineered pigs.
Human Genetic Engineering
(3:03:25) Through the use of mRNA injections, we have now entered a large-scale population experiment in direct human genetic engineering. Through the use of CRISPR technology, companies created techniques that clip out genes from Sars-CoV2 to create spike protein mRNA strands. This became the Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines. Biologically, mRNA should not be able to enter cells and immediately begin making protein, especially massive amounts of protein. There should be a million checks and balances intermediating that process. We have no evidence that these prophylactics create immunity or decrease infection; and we have no long-term data on the possible risks and side effects.
Per the CDC website, it is likely that we will see the vaccination products and recommendations follow the path of the genetically modified crops and their associated antibiotics —every year a new chemical stew and modification being administered to maintain the facade of health and resilience. Instead of addressing the root causes of these diseases, which lie in the widespread use of these approved pollutants and toxins, our regulatory agencies are proposing additional chemicals and engineering.
(3:13:27) There are no FDA-approved vaccines for Sars-COV-2; and because the FDA did not approve them, the agency is also not liable for any of the damage that they do. There are viruses within and all around us; humans are capable of developing resilient and adaptive relationships with the virome that result in overall health and well-being.
(3:15:45) We view a clip of Nobel Prize-winning scientist Jennifer Doudna who co-developed the CRISPR technology in a 2015 TED Talk. She explains the process by which humans are innately able to develop immunity to viruses on their own, and how this immune memory gets passed from generation to generation. Our immunity is not dependent on antibodies.
(3:19:09) Dr. Zach Bush encourages us to take in this information and imagine a future where humanity can align our ingenuity with the intelligence of nature. We all deserve a better, more beautiful, future created from the experience of love and respect for the world that we live in.
A coalition of farmers, educators, doctors, scientists, and business leaders aiming to expose the human and environmental impacts of chemical farming and offer a path forward through regenerative agricultural practices.
Bayer/Monsanto; Availability of Petition for Determination of Nonregulated Status of Maize Genetically Engineered for Dicamba, Glufosinate, Quizalofop, and 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid Tolerance With Tissue-Specific Glyphosate Tolerance Facilitating the Production of Hybrid Maize Seed
Transplant Box Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Application (Kidney, Liver, Heart, Lung), By Region (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, MEA), And Segment Forecasts, 2020 – 2027