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There really is a war going on for your mind today. And increasingly it's happening in the peer-reviewed and published literature itself; a place where, at least traditionally, it was believed agendas and biases would be filtered out so that the light of Scientific truth would reveal facts long buried under the leaden weight of the lay public's superstitions and pre-scientific cultural beliefs.
What exactly are we talking about here?
Largely unbeknownst to the general public, we are in the midst of a titanic battle within the academic world between those scientists (and journals willing to publish their work) who claim that Roundup herbicide (glyphosate) is toxic and even cancer causing, and those who argue it is not only absolutely safe but that it may even make for an excellent chemotherapy agent for fighting lethal cancers.
A new study published in the journal Drug Design, Development and Therapy titled, "Glyphosate and AMPA inhibit cancer cell growth through inhibiting intracellular glycine synthesis", claims that it "provides the first evidence that glyphosate and AMPA [a glyphosate metabolite] can inhibit proliferation and promote apoptosis of cancer cells but not normal cells, suggesting that they have potentials to be developed into a new anticancer therapy."
Now, juxtapose to this study – which incidentally claims to have no conflicts of interest and is funded by the Department of Defense – one published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology earlier this year, titled "Glyphosate induces human breast cancer cells growth via estrogen receptors," which found that the world's most popular herbicide was capable of driving estrogen receptor mediated breast cancer cell proliferation within the infinitesimal parts per trillion concentration range."[i]
While scholarly and highly technical in nature, these publications have far more than academic implications. Entire global industries have erected themselves upon the 'evidence' of Roundup's safety, namely, the Roundup-Ready GMO food and feed crop franchise laid down by Monsanto over the past few decades. Oppositely, a now global non- or anti-GMO movement, which sides with the precautionary principle, has been gaining increasing support from research indicating glyphosate may be toxic in concentrations range far below its present use in agriculture, and far below EPA contamination limits for our food. Each new study on the topic of transgenes in GM food, their insecticidal proteins (Bt), or the agrichemicals used to farm them, has far-reaching implications to government regulators, the multinational industries at large invested in these technologies, and the general public who still doesn't even have the right to know – through truthful labeling – whether what they are eating contains GMOs -- a clear violation of informed consent, not unlike pouring fluoride into the public's drinking water without asking each and everyone their permission.
Sadly, much of the published research on the topic of GMOs or the agrichemicals used to farm them today is not impartial, objective, or in that regard, 'science' at all. Biotech-related science has become a product; an excretion of its increasingly corrupt industry. Research institutions are front-loaded with cash, and because there is no legal obligation to publish null or negative findings, the industries investing in this "science" can pick and choose what they want the 'truth' to be. This is sometimes called "checkbook science"; write a check to order the science you would like to exist.
Back in 2012, we wrote an expose on this topic titled, "Monsanto-Funded Science Denies the Emerging Roundup-Cancer Link," wherein is described Monsanto's blatant use of contract organizations like Exponent to produce 'science' denying the research showing their products are carcinogenic. Without shame, these publications include 'Conflict of Interest Statements' describing themselves as paid consultants to Monsanto Company.
So, where do we go from here?
We know the science is rigged, or at least vastly misrepresented, e.g. Roundup may kill cancer cells, but so does bleach and chemical weapons grade nitrogen mustard. We know that the mainstream media's persistent denial of the truth, namely, that there is no scientific consensus on the safety of GMOs, has everything to do with who is funding and/or controlling them. We also know that when a study breaks through the filter of politically and financially controlled research, indicating that GMOs/Roundup are harmful, those scientists are often putting their careers and livelihoods on the line – which is why it often shines with an authenticity that only occurs when someone risks everything to tell the truth. [Visit Independent Science News for a continually stream of this kind of good work]
I'm at the point where when I hear someone say 'the science doesn't' prove GMOs are harmful,' I find myself responding somewhat intolerantly – which for me means I do not respond at all. I realize that folks in the pro-GMO camp don't understand the true meaning of Science, which is not a 'set of answers,' but a method for suspending assumptions and asking questions, opening to empirical experience, and letting things speak for themselves. The moment we stop testing assumptions and asking the hard questions – doing Science – its not Science we are engaged in at all but Politics. Those who aggressively deny safety concerns about GMOs are really religious fanatics, i.e. they are members of the church of Scientism, and usually politically naive (or acting, as highly paid actors, so) as well. Perhaps the best way to deal with them is to nod, smile and hope you or your loved ones don't become like them some day.
My final suggestion will probably be considered somewhat radical and it is (etymology: radix = root), but it's the only way I see us moving forward in a permanently constructive manner: stop begging for GMO labeling and let's fight to ban them forever! There really is no other choice, as the other option is to have your choice taken away forever. You can't hermetically seal off your 'organic,' 'non-GMO' farm (or body for that matter) from the glyphosate that is now found in nearly every rain, water, air and groundwater sample tested. As I have written about elsewhere, industrial pollution (in particular, rocket fuel) has put us into a post-Organic era. Nor can you stop the ongoing promiscuity of transgenes from 'biopolluting' every organism capable of receiving (being raped by) them. The gene genie can not be put back into the bottle.
Until the wholesale, unregulated and reckless re-engineering of what remains of our biosphere is halted, the genetic and epigenetic future of our entire species, and yes, planet as a whole, is in limbo. That's the reality. Waiting for another published study to affirm or deny the safety or dangers, is a dangerous distraction from the work that is at hand, and which comes down to each and every choice we make, daily, to support or remove our support from the food system (with our dollars, forks and garden hoes) that has begun a stage of unraveling soon to culminate in collapse from which none of us will escape unscathed.
[i] GreenMedInfo.com, Breaking: Glyphosate (Roundup) Carcinogenic In the Parts Per Trillion Range, June, 2013