GMO facts

To the Editor:

Islander letter writer Tom Rolfes has accused me of using scare tactics in my 10/15 op-ed on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and their accompanying herbicide glyphosate (Roundup). In his response to Crow Suncloud’s recent letter, he asked for facts.

Warnings are not scare tactics if based on facts. I’ve worked on this issue for years, and there isn’t space here to deal fully with his concerns, but here’s a start.

In my op-ed, I presented the fact that when Monsanto’s secret records on their original animal testing of glyphosate were recently obtained from the EPA, they revealed birth defects and a wide variety of tumors. Monsanto managed to hide this by diluting the results with animals from other unrelated studies, an approach it has applied in its subsequent GMO research.

In terms of sources, I haven’t yet had the opportunity to read Rolfe’s “End of Doom.” But in terms of the reports he cited as showing “no adverse health effects on humans” – from the World Health Association (WHO) and National Academy of Sciences – both are over a decade old, from early on in this immense human experiment. They have been proven wrong by previous real-world experience and subsequent research.

Thousands of people were seriously injured – some permanently, some fatally – in a 1989 epidemic caused by a GMO-produced nutritional supplement.

In 2015, the WHO reversed itself and, based on modern research, classified glyphosate (which resides in the cells of GMO plants) as a probable human carcinogen. Monsanto claims glyphosate biodegrades quickly. One has to wonder, then, how it is now present in our soil, our air, our water, our bodies and in breast milk.

In 2012, the most carefully designed, comprehensive animal feeding study of GMO corn and glyphosate, using industry standard rats and covering the full rat lifetime (2 years), showed widespread liver and kidney damage and tumors. These only started appearing after four months. Monsanto’s “safety” studies have generally lasted only three months.

The FDA’s secret records relating to its 1992 approval of GMOs as “generally recognized as safe” reveal that an FDA attorney – who previously worked for Monsanto – overrode the adamant concerns of the FDA’s own scientists that GMO technology raised the possibility of introducing unusual proteins, antigens and toxins, and that all GMOs should be thoroughly tested. However, the FDA itself has never performed a safety test on a GMO food.

I could go on.

In terms of sources of information, note that analysis of GMO research studies has shown a striking correlation between the funder of the studies and whether they do or don’t find problems.

I urge people to visit my webpage of GMO resources at

“Altered Genes, Twisted Truth,” available at the Southwest Harbor Public Library, documents the pervasive deceit that has characterized the entire GMO endeavor.

“GMO Myths and Truths,” available free from, provides hundreds of peer-reviewed real-world and laboratory animal feeding studies that have demonstrated organ damage and cancer from various GMO crops.

“Genetic Roulette” by Jeffrey Smith, also available at the library, covers the myths of GMOs and the scientific research debunking them.

Rolfes is perfectly free to “bring on his GMO foods.” People are also free to smoke. Some of the rest of us would rather look at the independent science and have our GMO foods labeled. The recent Senate hearing on the anti-labeling DARK Act invited only pro-GMO people to testify.

Please call Senators Collins (202-224-2523) and King (202-224-5344) if you’re concerned.

Dick Atlee

Southwest Harbor


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