Interviewer: What are the different ways plants are genetically
altered. You mentioned Roundup. Describe a little bit more about the
process and the reason that the pesticide is put into there, if you can get
into those issues.
Jeffrey Smith: Years ago, the scientists from Monsanto found bacteria
going into a chemical waste dump near their factory, surviving in the
presence of Roundup Herbicide. So they figured, great, let's put it in the
food supply. So, they took the gene out of the bacteria. They can make
millions of copies of that gene. Put a start signal so that it operates and
an end signal. And then, they can put it into a gun and shoot that gun into
a plate of millions of cells hoping that some of genes make it into the DNA
of some of cells and they cloned the results. Or, they find bacteria in the
soil called Bt, or Bacillus thuringiensis, which produces its own toxic
insecticide and they take that gene, make millions of copies, put it into
cells and then grow them into corn plants.
The two main traits for genetic engineering are those that drink poison or
produce poison. The herbicide tolerant crops are sprayed with Roundup or
Liberty and they are "Roundup ready" or "Liberty Link." So they don't die
when sprayed with herbicides that would normally kill them because they are
genetically engineered to survive. But they drink the poison and deposit it
into the food portion of the plant, which we eat.
The other version produces a toxic insecticide, which breaks open the
stomach of insects to kill them. They justify putting this Bt toxin into
our corn because they claim that Bt toxin has a history of safe use in
agriculture because its natural component from soil bacteria has been used
by farmers and gardeners. They ignore the [??] public studies showing that
hundreds of people had allergic and flu-like symptoms when exposed to Bt
and when it's exposed to mice, they had damaged intestines and immune
They also claim that Bt toxin has no impact on humans or mammals. Well, we
know that [??], etc. reacted to Bt toxin. But we also now know that when
they took the Bt toxin from Monsanto's corn and exposed it to human cells,
it poked little pores or holes in those cells causing leakage. That's how
it kills insects. So, it does interact with human cells like it interacts
with insect cells.
They also claim that the Bt toxin was destroyed during digestion in the
stomach and therefore, was not a problem for humans. They found the Bt
toxin in the bloodstream in 93% of pregnant woman tested and 80% of their
unborn fetuses. So, we have a toxin which is known to cause allergic and
immune reactions in our food supply, possibly poking holes in the walls of
our intestines. Possibly then getting into our blood supply because of the
holes it created, then circulating into the blood of the unborn fetus where
the blood/brain barrier is not developed, or it might get into the brain,
poking holes in brain cells. This is a tremendous danger, none of which is
being evaluated before the crops get on the market.
Interviewer: What about another type of altering where you can make
tomatoes survive in colder climates, things like that? How does that fit
into that and how does that work?
Jeffrey Smith: They did create a tomato crossed with a fish gene, fish
from an arctic climate that has an antifreeze protein. So, it creates a
tomato, or in this case, also a strawberry, that doesn't freeze as easily
and Is not destroyed as much during the frost. It turned out to be bitter
and they never commercialized it. The tomato they did commercialize in 1994
was designed not to go bad as quickly. So, it stayed on the shelves for a
longer period of time. And so, it might be losing its nutrients and losing
its vitamins, etc., but it still looks red and juicy. So, it's kind of a
fake-out fruit. That was taken off the market by 1997.
The other GM crops besides the poison drinkers, the herbicide tolerant and
the poison producers, the ones that produce Bt toxin, are zucchini, yellow
crookneck squash and papaya. They're designed to not be susceptible to
certain plant viruses. So, they actually put a viral gene into the crops.
Viral genes produce viral proteins. More than 100 studies have shown that
viral proteins of all types work with the virus by dismantling the
protection mechanism against viral infection. So, if we're eating papaya
that's genetically engineered or zucchini or crookneck squash, we may get
cols more often or hepatitis or AIDS or any type of virus if this protein
is dismantling our defenses against viral infections. Viral proteins can
also be directly toxic to cells and linked to things like cancer. None of
these are evaluated.