Posts tagged ‘sheep’

Drop that Corn Chip! – Scary GMO studies

Two days ago, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) urged doctors to “educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM (genetically modified) foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks.” Further, they’re calling for long-term independent studies, labeling, and “a moratorium on GM foods.”

The findings of negative health effects of GMOs in animal studies are frightening and diverse: “There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects.” A quick scan of the article’s end notes shows more than 20 cited scientific studies.

“There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation,” as defined by recognized scientific criteria.

Here are some highlights of the effects in animals:

Rats:
-Death of most offspring of rats fed GMO, compared to 10% mortality in control group.
-smaller, fewer babies of GMO fed mothers, and those babies are also less fertile
-even the embryos “had significant changes in their DNA”
-Testicles of GMO fed rats turned colour from pink to blue (what?). Sperm was altered.
“Even Monsanto’s own research showed significant immune system changes in rats fed Bt corn.”
– “7 of 20 rats fed a GM tomato developed bleeding stomachs; another 7 of 40 died within two weeks.” Oh, and by the way, Monsanto’s own study also showed evidence that major organs were poisoned.

Sheep:
-death of “all sheep fed Bt cotton plants…within 30 days”, compared to healthy non-GMO cotton eating sheep

Buffalo and Cattle:
– “premature deliveries, abortions, infertility, and prolapsed uteruses” and high mortality rate in those calves that were actually born.
-Infertility in both cows and bulls
– “On January 3rd, 2008, the buffalo [who usually grazed on non-GMO cotton plants] grazed on Bt cotton plants for the first time. All 13 were sick the next day; all died within 3 days”

Pigs:
-sterility, false pregnancy, “others gave birth to bags of water” (yikes!)

On a completely unrelated note, “the incidence of low birth weight babies, infertility, and infant mortality are all escalating” in the US population.

Here’s the really scary thing:

The only published study on humans revealed that when you eat GMO soy, the inserted gene “transfers into the DNA of bacteria living inside our intestines and continues to function.” That gene? It’s a pesticide. Sure, it’s a organic-approved natural bacteria pesticide (fatal to caterpillars that eat it), but the difference is you can’t wash off a pesticide that’s inside your food’s DNA. (Read “The ABC’s of Bt” on Dave’s Garden.)

Put more plainly, eating a corn chip produced from Bt corn might transform our intestinal bacteria into living pesticide factories, possibly for the rest of our lives.

Our lightbulb powering friend David Suzuki adds, “Anyone that says, ‘Oh, we know that this is perfectly safe,’ I say is either unbelievably stupid or deliberately lying.”

So how do you avoid eating GMO? You really can’t. If you check the lables of any packaged food, it invariably contains soy or corn (or it’s sneaky friend high fructose corn syrup, sometimes listed just as “fructose”). Almost all of that is GMO. Although many fresh fruits and veggies at the grocery store are less likely to be GMO, the tomatoes most likely are (you can improve your chances by buying organic). Of course, you’ll never know, because the GMO folks have gone to a lot of trouble to make sure your food isn’t labled. Because it’s safe, of course, so you shouldn’t have a choice. I try my best to avoid them by growing my own food from herloom seeds, but even these I can’t be sure are 100% GMO free, because unintentional GMO contamination happens all the time, through natural pollination, and pollen drift, by which the wind causes pollen to float “in from fifty miles away”.

How long before our entire food supply is contaminated? Give your MP a call and ask them. If you think you’d rather not eat GMO food, read the “Pocket Shopping Guide to avoiding GMO foods”, and let companies know if you’ve dropped them for a (hopefully uncontaminated) non-GMO brand.

In the mean time, read this article for more details.

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May 21, 2009 at 7:55 am 5 comments

Rabbit Poo!

Today I made friends with a woman who breeds rabbits for use as pets. Because I came to take her poo.
What would I want to do with several bins of rabbit poo? Because you can’t run a closed loop system (self sustaining) garden without animals to help you fertilize, and rabbit manure is the greatest fertilizer made in this part of the world (next to worm castings, but I’d need a LOT of worms). Plus, it’s the only manure that doesn’t need to be composted first. And the roll-y pellets don’t smell. Here’s how rabbit manure stacks up against other standard manures:

Rabbit manure: Nitrogen(N): 2.4 Phosphorus(P):1.4 Potassium(K): 0.6
Most concentrated of animal manures in fresh form. No composting needed.

Cow manure (dairy): N:0.6 P:0.2 K:0.5
Often contains weed seeds, should be hot composted.

Steer manure: N:0.7 P:0.3 K:0.4
Often contains weed seeds, should be hot composted if fresh.

Chicken manure: N:1.1 P:0.8 K:0.5
Breaks down quickest of all manures, but it will probably burn your plants (and it reeks) so it should definately be composted.

Until I get out of the city, I’m very lucky to have a new rabbit breeding friend!

and finally, because I had never heard of Peruvian sea bird manure until today:
Peruvian Seabird Guano (pelletized): N:12 P:12 K:2.5
“Legendary fertilizer of the Incas. Use in soil as a long lasting fertilizer, or make into tea (1 tsp pellets to 1 gallon water).”

There’s lots to learn about fertilizer here.

May 9, 2009 at 8:45 pm 1 comment


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