Jeffrey Smith is back talking GMOs! Join us as we dive even deeper into the murky world of GMOs and RoundUp. Jeffrey helps bust some myths and explains how we got to where we are now. You want to understand what Roundup (Glyphosate) does to your body so tune in and let Jeffrey explain in layman’s terms. .
In this week's episode...
About Jeffrey Smith
Jeffrey is the founding executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology and the leading consumer advocate promoting healthier non-GMO choices. He was named the 2017 Person of the Year by Masters of Health Magazine for more than two decades or work in 45 countries exposing how biotech companies mislead policymakers and the public and put the health of society at risk.
In 2018, he and Amy Hart released Secret Ingredients, a documentary that highlights numerous individuals and families that healed from serious conditions after switching to an organic diet. His feature-length documentary, Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives was awarded the 2012 Movie of the Year, and inspired millions worldwide to choose healthier non-GMO foods.
His books include Seeds of Deception, it is the world’s bestseller on GMOs, and Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods. He has counseled government leaders and healthcare practitioners from every continent and has been quoted by thousands of news outlets, including The New York Times, the Washington Post, and Time Magazine. He appears on influential radio and television programs, including the BBC, NPR, Fox News, Democracy Now, The Doctors, and the Dr. Oz Show.
Secret Ingredients – SecretIngredientsMovie.com
- “The most effective and efficient tool at convincing people that they absolutely have to eat organic immediately”, Jeffrey Smith
- In the film, all these people get better from different diseases and disorders just after switching to organic food.
- then they realize the role of the food and the secret ingredients in the food
GMOs That Are Sprayed With Roundup
- Cotton (for cottonseed oil)
- Sugar Beets
- Yellow Squash
- Papaya – from China & Hawaii
- Potatoes and Apples (engineered not to go brown)
- Can change expression in our bodies – very dangerous
- In fact, the person who made the potato, the scientist who first worked at Monsanto and then later at J.R. Simplot, Cauis Rommens, wrote a book after that, Pandora’s Potato is the Worst GMO. He realized after he retired that it was a travesty and could be causing massive damage to health.
Other Mom-GMO Crops That Are Regularly Sprayed With Roundup
- Sweet Potatoes
- …and more!
What Roundup (Glyphosate) Does To Your Body
- It’s primary poison is called glyphosate.
- Glyphosate was patented as a chelator.
- It chelates with all sorts of minerals making them unavailable, and these are the minerals we want to have available.
- . The reason it was patented, it was patented as a descaler to clean the mineral deposits inside industrial boilers and pipes. So it was a cleaning chemical.
- It kills the beneficial bacteria in the soil and also in our guts, but not the nasty pathogens.
- It blocks the shikimate pathway which is a seven-step metabolic route used by cells to function.
- The shikimate pathway is used by gut bacteria to produce the precursors to; serotonin, melatonin, dopamine.
- Causes a leaky gut.
- “When you take human cells in a Petri dish that are bound tightly together with tight junctions, and you add Roundup in that Petri dish, they separate. So it loses the tight junctions. If that happens inside our gut, that’s leaky gut.”
- Linked to birth defects.
- Linked to increased cancer numbers.
An Activist’s Timeline
- IRT started talking about the health dangers early on, 1996.
- Jeffrey published Seeds of Deception in 2003. It became a world best seller. He traveled all over the world with that book. People started changing the way they’re talking about GMOs.
- Starting around 2010, I found that people who had been reading my books and reading my articles which were not lightweight. They were detailed and long as to ensure understanding of all the issues we faced with GMOs and glyphosate.
- In 2010, IRT created the Tipping Point Network of groups.
- In 2010 the Non-GMO Project came up. Started to verify products. There was a flood of people trying to get their products, Non-GMO Project verified so that they would get a boost in sales. So there was an 18-month waiting list for getting their verification.
- In 2012, he released the movie Genetic Roulette, and also there was a ballot initiative in California for labeling. Between the two of them, the number of people that were concerned about the health dangers in GMOs went from 51% in 2012 to 61% in 2013.
- Whole Foods, in 2013, said at the Natural Foods Expo West, “We’re going to require products to be either organic, certified, or Non-GMO Project verified by 2018, or they will be considered GMOs.” They also mentioned that when a product becomes non-GMO verified, there’s an increase in sales at 15 to 30%. That was the tipping point for the natural products industry.
- At the beginning of 2014, other products started to do the same, who are not in the natural products industry, first was Cheerios, and then Grape-Nuts. It started in 2014 in the mainstream, and now it’s 46% of Americans say they’re seeking non-GMO food.
- All the major food companies are putting more and more effort into replacing the GM ingredients due to consumer demand.
- Then comes along 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, determines that glyphosate is a class two A carcinogen. In particularly for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
- Now, the lawyers are involved because of the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and they started to defend and take on cases of people that had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that were using Roundup, or the survivors. And winning.
GMOs are the same as Crossbreeding
- The FDA scientists have said GMOs are different, lead to different risks, compared to natural breeding.
- George Wald, the Noble Laureate, said the same thing.
- Belinda Martineau, who did the first GMO tomato. It’s no longer on the market. She says, “Of course it’s not an extension of natural breeding. It’s different. It leads to different risks. It creates massive collateral damage that’s not seen in nature. Those mutations can be dangerous. A single point mutation can kill someone, and there can be hundreds or thousands of them when you do these transformations with genetic engineering.”
GMOs Increase Average Yield & Help Feed the World
- Over 400 scientists contributed to a document for the United Nations. The most comprehensive evaluation, how to feed the world. What do they say about GMOs? Doesn’t apply. It’s not a solution. It does not have any positive impact to feed the hungry world, eradicate poverty, or create sustainable agriculture.
- The NY Times’ article agrees. Doubts About the Promised Bounty of Genetically Modified Crops
- It doesn’t increase average yield, and yet agroecology and things like beyond organic can double yields in developing countries.
Deeper Dive Resources
Secret Ingredients – The Movie
BOOK: Seeds of Deception
BOOK: Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods
Institute of Responsible Technology
Pets & GMOs
Controversy Around the Séralini Study in 2012
Laboratory Rodent Diets Contain Toxic Levels of Environmental Contaminants: Implications for Regulatory Tests
Transcriptome profile analysis reflects rat liver and kidney damage following chronic ultra-low dose Roundup exposure.
Glyphosate Causes Serious Multi-Generational Health Damage to Rats – New WSU Research
RoundUp Risks Website
Effect of diets containing genetically modified potatoes expressing Galanthus nivalis lectin on rat small intestine
New UN Report: Pesticides Don’t Feed the World
BOOK: Pandora’s Potatoes: The Worst GMOs
USDA Certified Organic
Jonathan: Welcome back everyone to another episode of Empowering You Organically. I am your host, Jonathan Hunsaker. Joined by my co-host TeriAnn Trevenen.
TeriAnn: Hey everyone.
Jonathan: And this is part two with our special guest Jeffrey Smith.
Jeffrey: Thank you.
Jonathan: Thanks for being here. Listen, so really quickly before we get into things. I want to talk about your documentary that’s playing right now for free; secretingredientsmovie.com. Anybody that wants to watch it and can watch it for free by going there right now. Tell me, as you were making this documentary. What was the biggest ah-ha moment, or what’s a story that you can share that just blew your mind?
Jeffrey: Well there’s stories that had came before the documentary which was causing me to make the documentary. Like I was speaking on stage in MIT with a scientist about the dangers of Roundup, and asked the audience as I typically do. “How many people noticed the difference when they switch non-GMO or organic?” And a woman stood up and said, “My six and half year old was violent and out of control. They wanted to kick him out of school. I saw your film, the earlier film, Genetic Roulette, and changed his diet and all the problems went away.” I said, “How long did it take?” She said, “One week,” and then she said, “Within a month I had a new son.”
Jeffrey: I talked to a grandmother. She was volunteering at a booth. I was speaking at a conference, and offering books and movies afterwards in my booth, and she was volunteering there. She said, “You know, I saw your film,” this is the earlier film, “And I thought of my grandson. The school calls home almost every day about his bad behavior, and he has trouble breathing. I figured, he needs to change his diet. So I convinced my son to watch the film, and he saw it, changed my grandsons diet. Now he has no more trouble breathing, and they never call home anymore except the day after he eats at the other grandparents’ house.” So it’s evidently a very quick response.
Jeffrey: When I was going around filming with Amy Hart for Secret Ingredients. There’s one family that did not make it into the movie. Here’s something that I want to share from that family. They had a health bill of about $18,000 a year for the six of them. She went to an organic conference to sell stuff. Sell her business, her procedures, and decided, “Well, I probably should switch to organic. Now that I’ve heard about it, it makes sense.” She had no previous understanding. No, they didn’t have lots of organic food. They just switched from straight chemical based food to organic. The next year, their health bill went to $9,000. Split in half. The year after that it went below $3,000.
Jeffrey: So this is something that I hear from people. That switching to organic actually saves money, and I’ve heard that many, many times. Now in the film, you’re going to hear about people with miscarriages. People as, we talked about before, two autistic boys who start out autistic. We’ll just leave it there if you’re just catching part two for the first time. I don’t want to plot spoil everything.
Jeffrey: Basically, it’s amazing. You’ll meet Kathleen DiChiara. When I interviewed her originally, it was like, “Oh my god.” Her family had 21 chronic conditions between the five members of the family. She was an investigator, and she lost her job because she became disabled. She became unable to walk. She was in constant pain. She put it together that it could be the food. So she started to experiment on the family. Systematically taking things out. Getting somewhat better. They did a lot of changes in the food, but it wasn’t until they switched to organic that the problems quickly went away.
Jeffrey: So yeah, she took out the gluten. She took out the processed food. She took out the food dyes, and all these things. They still were managing the signs of chronic conditions. It wasn’t until they switched out a non-GMO and organic, and non-glyphosate, that they went away. In this case it was one set of poisons that was manifesting differently in different people in the same family, which leads us to, what is it about GMOs and Roundup that cause different diseases? What actually do they do to us?
Jonathan: And that was my next big question, is what does Roundup do to your body? We talked about in part one GMO crops that are being sprayed with Roundup, but then you were also sharing why it’s so important to go organic. Not just non-GMO, because there’s so many crops that are being sprayed with Roundup right before their harvested. If I could ask you to please list a lot of those popular foods again that get sprayed right before they’re harvested. Then two, what are the effects of Roundup on the body?
Jeffrey: Beautiful. First of all, the GMOs that are sprayed with Roundup; soy, corn, cotton for cottonseed oil, canola, sugar beets, and alfalfa. For the non-GMO crops, it’s the only major herbicide where there’s not regular testing by the government, because the government has been marching lockstep with Monsanto doing their bidding. Somehow they got convinced that they shouldn’t even need to test for Roundup because it’s so healthy and so safe, which it turns out it’s a disaster. For independent studies, independent tests, we see it on the grains. It’s big on oats and wheat for example, but it’s also in rice and other grains. It’s on the beans, from lentils to kidney beans. It’s sprayed on sunflowers, it’s kiwi, citrus orchids, potatoes, sweet potatoes, vineyards. It’s in a lot of parts of our food supply, but not in organic. It’s not allowed to sprayed in organic.
Jeffrey: Now what happens if you’re taking Roundup. Well, Roundup, it’s primary poison is called glyphosate. Glyphosate was patented as a chelator. Now we think of chelation as binding with heavy metals and taking them out of the body as a good thing. But in this case it chelates with all sorts of minerals making them unavailable, and these are the minerals we want to have available. The reason it was patented, it was patented as a descaler to clean the mineral deposits inside industrial boilers and pipes. So it was a cleaning chemical. You’d pour it in and it would pull the minerals out. It would bind with the minerals and then they’d dispose of it on the ground and noticed, “Oh, it’s killing all the plants.” It was then bought by Monsanto, who patented it as a herbicide, but they also patented it as an antibiotic. It kills the beneficial bacteria in the soil and also in our guts, but not the nasty pathogens.
Jeffrey: Let’s stop and just look at those two qualities for a moment, and there’s more, but those two qualities, and see what it’s doing to our bodies. In the film, Secret Ingredients, we have animation to make this really clear. So if science makes your eyes roll back in your head, it’s fine. It’s very easy. It’s cartoonish. You can get it that way, but I’m going to talk in terms of words now. Minerals are really important for certain things to happen in the body. There’s all these, what are called, metabolic pathways. This causes, this causes, this causes this, but the domino at the front is the presence of a mineral. Unless you have a mineral, everyone’s on strike. Everyone’s sitting there waiting around for that mineral to show up. So you’ve disabled certain metabolic pathways. They’re offline. They’re striking.
Jeffrey: So mineral deficiency is linked to an enormous number of diseases. Now, when you spray Roundup on crops, you reduce the mineral availability in those crops. When you feed the Roundup ready crops to animals, which is the primary food for the livestock in the US. Those are mineral deficient crops, and there’s Roundup residues, or glyphosate residues which further bind with the minerals inside the bodies of the animals. So now we have mineral deficient animals. Now the humans eat the mineral deficient crops, and the mineral deficient animals. They get the residues of Roundup which further binds with the minerals, making them unavailable or less available.
Jeffrey: We have a situation where a lot of the diseases that are linked to mineral deficiency may be triggered or exacerbated by the Roundup and the glyphosate. Now one of those pathways that glyphosate can shut down, it’s called the shikimate pathway. What’s interesting about it is, Monsanto bragged that the shikimate pathway is only found plants, and they pretended that’s all Roundup did, is just, “Block the shikimate pathway since we don’t have the shikimate pathway in humans. It’s safe to drink,” which don’t, you can die.
Jonathan: I did see the video, and I’m sure people have seen it on YouTube …
Jeffrey: Oh yeah.
Jonathan: Where this investigative reporter was interviewing somebody from Roundup, or from Monsanto.
Jeffrey: Who is representing Monsanto.
Jonathan: “Well if it’s healthy then drink it,” and the guy just completely-
Jeffrey: He said, “You can drink it.” The guy says, “Well we have some.”
Jeffrey: “Well I’m not crazy. I’m not crazy, I’m not going to drink it.”
Jonathan: Yeah, exactly.
Jeffrey: The shikimate pathway is used by gut bacteria to produce the precursors to, and now we’ve all heard of this, serotonin, melatonin, dopamine. These are the feel good chemicals and also what helps us sleep. If we don’t have enough of these neurotransmitters, then we may end up with mood problems like depression and anxiety, or pain, or not knowing that we’ve eaten enough and will continue to eat, or maybe problems with insomnia. So it’s interesting when you look back at the survey, of the people saying they got better from different things when they switch to organic food or non-GMO food. You see mood issues, and that can-
TeriAnn: You said depression and anxiety.
Jeffrey: Depression and anxiety, exactly.
Jeffrey: You see insomnia and other sleep disorders, and you see pain. So here’s one pathway that can be causing that. Now, that’s just the mineral chelation. The antibiotics, I mean how many times in the last two years have we heard about the microbiome? It’s the thing now. It’s like the, if you don’t know about the microbiome you haven’t been paying attention. It’s the gut bacteria and other organisms inside of us that actually are incredibly important for health. What they do is they digest our food and produce certain vitamins that wouldn’t otherwise be produced.
Jeffrey: They’ll be part of our immune system. They’re part of detoxification system. If we take an antibiotic, it’s like carpet bombing. It’s terrible for the microbiome. It turns out that glyphosate is an antibiotic, and it’s specifically, specifically dangerous for the good stuff. Not the salmonella, the botulism, and even E coli, but the Lactobacillus, the beneficial bacteria. The stuff that we want. The stuff that we buy in probiotics and in yogurt. I’ve been interviewing people who are experts at the microbiome, and they say that the imbalance in a microbiome is a precursor to most diseases, and we have a big problem with Roundup.
TeriAnn: Well the immune system resides in the gut which we talk a lot about. Leaky gut’s a huge issue. Microbiome is widely talked about now, where it wasn’t before. I keep going back to what you said, where they purchased this chemical. You talk about the video like, “Well then go drink the chemical.” But what people don’t realize is, is it’s like, would you go in your kitchen right now and get some toxic chemical that’s under your kitchen sink and drink it? That is what is going into our food.
TeriAnn: Would you take your kids in the kitchen right now and be like, “Here’s some chemicals, drink them.” That is what is going-
Jeffrey: “Would you like Roundup with that?”
Jonathan: Yeah, “It’s just a spray.”
TeriAnn: This keeps playing. It’s like a video in my head as your talking, and especially when you talked about they purchased the chemical that they were cleaning pipes and pulling things out of. It’s like, would you take your family in right now and say, “Here’s some cleaner, drink it.” That’s what’s going into our food, and people just aren’t awake enough to this yet. Yes it’s a movement. Yes it’s changing. Yes people are getting it, but they’re not getting it enough. That’s clear from where you talked about the rates of how much they’re using this in our food going up, and disease going up.
TeriAnn: There’s so many things that are there to show that there’s a lot that’s going into that being tied together.
Jeffrey: And you mentioned leaky gut. If your audience knows about leaky gut …
TeriAnn: Oh yeah.
Jeffrey: Then listen to these two things. When you take human cells in a Petri dish that are bound tight together with tight junctions, and you add Roundup in that Petri dish, they separate. So it loses the tight junctions. If that happens inside our gut, that’s leaky gut.
TeriAnn: We lose everything. Yeah.
Jeffrey: And also Bt toxin pokes holes in human cells. That’s found in genetically engineered corn. If it pokes holes in human cells, then it may end up causing leaky gut inside the cells. Yeah, that’s another reason why Roundup is to be avoided. Here’s another one, mitochondria. Otto Warburg got a Nobel Prize. He had a mitochondria theory of cancer. There’s a mitochondria theory of aging. Mitochondria reduces the energy in the body. We talk about in the film, you’re going to see people recovering from brain fog and fatigue, and it could be that the mitochondria is no longer being attacked by the glyphosate or the Roundup. Mitochondria is about 10% of our body weight. It’s very important. It’s really critical for health, and there’s many diseases.
Jeffrey: I gave a talk once at a medical conference. It was two days about the mitochondria. It’s like everyone’s all, it’s like it’s the big deal also in addition to the microbiome. Similarly, Roundup is linked to birth defects. Both in animal and lab animals, but also where it’s sprayed. Like in South America, in Argentina, the birth defect rate skyrocketed when they started spraying Roundup by plane. So did cancer, that’s another piece. The World Health Organizations, International Agency for Research on Cancer, determined that glyphosate is a class two carcinogen. That means it’s a probable human carcinogen. It’s a definite animal carcinogen. They just don’t have enough human studies, and it’s a little bit immoral to get a group of people and feed them Roundup like you just said. So we also see that it damages the digestive system, the digestive track, it suppresses digestive enzymes, and I’m just getting started.
TeriAnn: Well you know what’s interesting about that. You talked about earlier in the podcast, people having all of these medical expenses and how much they cut down, cut down, cut down. And when I shared my health journey about going to organic and it was more expensive at first. Even just a few years ago when I went organic, it was so much more expensive. Now that people are starting to buy more and more organic, and consumers are asking and demanding for it, the price is going down. It’s still expensive to switch to an organic diet. However, think about the impact of eating food that’s not organic on your health. Like you’re talking about, how expensive it is to maintain your body and the issues that are happening to your body.
TeriAnn: I don’t even know if maintains the right word, because then you go to the doctor and it feels like they’re filling you full of more crap. It’s just a problem that just goes in a cycle, over and over and over again. It’s like why would you not, knowing this information, why would you not eat organic? Pay the price to eat organic, because over the long term, you’re going to pay more just to sustain health at some normal level, but it’s not even a normal level at that point. For me, as I listen to your stories and I think about when I switched to organic. In the last four years, I can count on two hands how many times my children and I have been to the doctor, and not always for being sick.
Jeffrey: In the film, now we’re doing plot spoiling. I don’t want to give too much away. But yes, the families that went organic, it’s like they go for their annual checkups and people go to the doctor’s office. “It’s unheard of, that you have three boys and they’re in elementary school and they’re not coming in.” It’s incredible.
TeriAnn: Yeah. I mean it’s just interesting when you think it like that.
Jeffrey: Oh, here’s an interesting thing too. When people watch the free showing event for the film. We have a program to help people switch to organic so that their desire can be easily fulfilled. We teach people how to save money.
TeriAnn: That’s awesome.
Jeffrey: So it’s not necessarily a lot more expensive. In fact, there’s a bunch of discounts there so that the program itself can save you money. Yeah, there’s actually, when you put a lot of brain power, we’re crowdsourcing a lot of ideas. How to save time. How save to money. How to ferment, sprout, grow, buy in bulk. Then deeper dives into so many subjects, because this is like, it may have taken you a number of years to learn all these things. Well I’ve been gathering experts and gathering tips and tricks, and now we’re just putting into this 90 day, 13 week program. So at the end of the day, someone’s living the lifestyle and experiencing it. Hopefully they’ve taken advantage of that food symptom diary which we’re including so that they can see the changes in their lives in those 90 days.
TeriAnn: So cool. Love that.
Jonathan: And they’ll learn more about the 90 program by watching the movie, right? So going to secretingredientsmovie.com, and registering there, watching the documentary.
Jeffrey: And immediately after that I described … Here’s the thi ng, everyone, I mean I used to do film festivals with the film. I’d go and talk to the audience and say, “Okay, before we start, rate yourself percentage wise what percentage of your diet is organic. Including going out to eat, everything.” So I’d say, “How many are 0 to 20, 20 to 40,” et cetera. Then I’d say, “How many people,” well, after the film, “Where do you want to be?” I didn’t answer any questions. I just wanted to see the impact of the film. Said, “Tell me what percentage you plan to be. Not want but plan to be at this point. In terms of percentage of organic, how many people plan to be 0 to 20?”
Jeffrey: Now, it might’ve been 40% were eating in the 0 to 20 beforehand. When I asked that question after the film, it’s zero. No one raises their hand at that point. 20 to 40, no one. 40 to 60, maybe one or two. It’s 60 to 100 is in that area where the audience has shifted. I’ll ask people, “How many people have already thought of someone they want to share the film with?” And every single person raises their hand every time. I’ve never seen someone not raise their hand, because they all of friends that have chronic diseases that they think may be related now to GMOs and Roundup, and they want them to try organic.
Jeffrey: I had been talking about GMOs for 23 years and Roundup for most of that time. It’s been easy for me, sharing the information about the dangers, to inspire someone to want to change their life. However, I also hear from people, “You know, I should’ve changed my life five years ago when I heard you, and now I’ve gotten sick, and now I’m changing my life and I see the difference.” Or some people like you say, “I change my life then and I don’t have the same sickness in my family.” But others that have seen it that they know didn’t change, or those who’ve heard my lectures or whatever.
Jeffrey: My job, now that we’ve produced the film. Amy Hart and I did a good job of putting the people in front of you so you can see the transformations that occur. They did the job. They made the transitions. We just put them on camera. Now it’s my job to make it easy for people to fulfill their desires. I’m an activist. I’m not a medical doctor. I don’t do this as a practitioner. I do this for the world. We pioneered the behavior change messaging about GMOs. We were the first non-profit to focus on the health dangers. We created the messaging about it. We’ve taught 1500 people how to speak about it. We had 10,000 activists and groups around North America.
Jeffrey: I’ve given a thousand lectures and a thousand interviews. The purpose is to change the world. We saw, we talked about this in part one. The tipping point of consumer rejection happened in Europe because of a massive coverage about the health dangers of GMOs back in 1999, but not in the US. So we have been educating people as best we can, and guess what? The tipping point is underway now. This whole thing is, I’m thinking about an organic tidal wave around the world.
TeriAnn: Yeah, and it’s a great segue into something that I wanted to touch on in the podcast. You’ve had this amazing evolution of your journey, in where you started to where you are now. I think it is starting to come to the forefront of people’s minds more in the United States. More so than it ever has before. I want to talk about the Monsanto cases that have been going on.
Jeffrey: Oh, one of my favorites.
TeriAnn: And I want to talk about them because the evolution of your journey has brought us here. I’m sure for you, and I’ll let you share your feelings on some of these cases that have come about, and people starting to win feels like a personal victory for you no doubt. I can’t even imagine. Gives me chills just saying it because it’s your life’s work, to not only bring attention to it but to help people change their lives. You’ve brought the attention, and because of the attention you’ve brought to it. Talk about these cases and where we are.
Jonathan: I’m going to freeze you for just a second. Will you talk for just two minutes about the movement and how that’s growing? And then tell us about the cases, because I just everybody to understand. It started in 1999 ish. What’s happened over time? Have you seen it grow? Have you seen the awareness?
Jeffrey: Oh yeah.
Jonathan: And how much has it grown? And then now, where are we leading to now with the Monsanto cases?
Jeffrey: Yeah, it’s good. I’ll put the context for the cases.
Jeffrey: That’s great. I started in 1996. That’s when GMO started to be planted. I lived in Iowa, and that’s where there are a lot of planting, in Iowa. I learned from a genetic engineer, he’s blowing the whistle saying, “It’s not ready for primetime. It’s quite dangerous. It should never be in the food supply. It should never be in the environment.” So the environmental piece, which could be worse than the health issue. It’s that it can remain in the gene pool. The only thing that lasts longer than a contaminated gene pool is extinction. Because if the gene pool is contaminated, it’s passed on from generation to generation, and we have no technology to uncontaminated the corn.
Jeffrey: We can reduce the amount of contamination by adding more non-GMO into the world, but we can’t eliminate it. We’re facing a situation where if we don’t stop it, then the biotech industry could replace nature. I’ll talk about the new technologies and why that’s a particular danger in a few minutes. We started talking about the health dangers early on, 1996. I published Seeds of Deception in 2003. It became a world best seller. I traveled all over the world with that. People started changing the way they’re talking about GMOs. Starting around 2010, I found that people who had been reading my books and reading my articles. I was writing long articles so that I was giving the detail so that it was a complete antidote to the myths that the biotech industry was giving. I wasn’t being lightweight, I was going into depth.
Jeffrey: All of a sudden I had found people who were taking the leadership role. They were reading the materials, and then they had groups. A mom with autistic child had other moms that she was leading. A person at a natural food store had a group that he was leading. We realized we needed to catch up, so we created the Tipping Point Network of groups. Got them started. In 2012, I released the movie Genetic Roulette, and also there was the ballot initiative in California for labeling. Between the two of them, the amount of people that were concerned about the health dangers in GMOs went from 51% in 2012 to 61% in 2013.
Jeffrey: We were focusing a lot on the natural products industry, the Non-GMO Project came up. Started to verify products. Whole Foods, in 2013 said at the expo, “We’re going to require products to be either organic, certified, or Non-GMO Project verified by 2018, or they will be considered GMOs.” They also mentioned that when a product becomes non-GMO verified, there’s an increase in sales at 15 to 30%. That was the tipping point for the natural products industry. There was a flood of people trying to get their products, Non-GMO Project verified, so that they would get the boost in sales. So there was an 18 month waiting list for getting their verification.
Jeffrey: At the beginning of 2014, first was Cheerios, and then Grape-nuts, and then other products started to name, who are not in the natural products industry. They started to say, “We’re non-GMO.” Nestles coffee creamer, non-GMO. It started in 2014 in the mainstream, and now it’s 46% of Americans say they’re seeking non-GMO food. Obviously less people do what they say than say it, but that’s more than we need because the tipping point is underway. All the major food companies are putting more and more effort into replacing the GM ingredients. We’re winning at this point. We haven’t won, it’s not yet taken hold so much in the animal feed, and we need to get people organic not just non-GMO. And get rid of the Roundup altogether by making it extremely unpopular.
Jeffrey: This film as you’ll see when you watch, makes Roundup extremely unpopular. Not just as spray, but to eat it, okay. Then comes along 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, determines that glyphosate is a class two A carcinogen. In particularly for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The Doctors TV show invites Monsanto to defend its chemical. So they’ve groomed and prepared for this. Leaked documents show that they had a full-court press trying to discredit the World Health Organization Committee and their determination. So they sent their toxicologist, Donna Farmer, to the Doctors TV show.
Jeffrey: We got a call from the Doctors TV show, “Can you be on with Donna Farmer by Skype? She’s going to be in the audience, and we’d like to get a counterpoint.” Well, if Donna Farmer knew that I was going to be on, she probably wouldn’t have accepted because Monsanto has a policy not to be in open debate with me. It was too late, because it was coming up the next day. I ended up debating her. I pointed out so many things about Roundup, it was shocking to them. For the next few days they were fact-checking every single thing with me. I remember she said as she finished, “I’m very confident in this chemical, and I’m confident as a mother, and I can back it up as a scientist.”
Jeffrey: Now, the lawyers got involved because of the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and they started to defend and take on cases of people that had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that were using Roundup, or the survivors. A husband died for example. So they were able to get the documents from Monsanto’s inner sanctum, and the emails, and the text messages. They were made public a lot of them. Then I looked up Donna Farmer’s name. In private, in the emails, Donna Farmer says to another person working for Monsanto, “We can’t say that Roundup doesn’t cause cancer. There’s not enough research.” Or, “Donna and I believe that the Roundup, the full mixture, may have caused the tumors in the rats,” or, “The deaths in the rats may be because of Roundup.”
Jeffrey: We have a document that she ghostwrote. She went in there and changed everything. Took out her name. Took out Monsanto’s name. Took out the link between Roundup and miscarriages, and ghostwrote a study. In private, she was clearly aware of the dangers. So I contacted The Doctors, the producer, and I said, “Guess what? We have evidence that she lied on television.” The producer said, “Well, it looks like we might do the show.” I said, “How much time do you think they’ll give us?” She said, “Maybe four minutes.” I introduced her to Brent Wisner, who is the thirty something, really powerful attorney who is defending the people with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from one of the class actions. They went and interviewed him, and they interviewed a plaintiff, and invited him and a plaintiff and me on TV and did an entire one hour show on the Monsanto papers.
Jeffrey: I don’t think they’d ever done that before.
Jeffrey: Entire show. I was very impressed with this guy, Brent Wisner. He was a firebrand. He didn’t hold back. He was telling it like it is. I was there during the trial. I was there during his closing arguments. Man, that guy was good, and he won. The jury awarded $289 million dollars to Lee Johnson, a Benicia school district groundskeeper who had terminal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma according to his prognosis. The judge lowered it to 78 million, but that was a lot. That was a shot heard around the world, because Bayer, the pharmaceutical company, bought Monsanto for 63 billion. They set aside 260 million dollars for all of the lawsuits, and the first jury awarded 289 million, surpassing what they put aside. The stock price of Bayer between that and the subsequent trials went down 40%, 40 billion dollars. They were a 100 billion dollar company. 40 billion dollars.
Jeffrey: Yeah, no kidding. This is like, “Guess what guys, I told you.” I actually published something in a financial website about why it was a bad idea for the shareholders to approve the sale. There was all sorts of liability, and this was just one of them. Right now, there’s all sorts of companies that are taking Roundup off the shelves. Countries that are taking it off the shelves. School systems that are stop using it. We have rounduprisks.com. We have a program to help people stop the spray. I think the film Secret Ingredients will nail the coffin on it, because so many people will see it is more clearly represented as the villain in that film. And I think anything else, because we pulled together everything at State of the Art Science. The fact that this lawsuit happened, was a shot heard around the world. Everyone was reporting it.
TeriAnn: Were you there when the case was finalized?
Jeffrey: So what happened was, I was at the trial, it was in San Francisco, for the closing arguments. Then the jury was out, and I did not go into the jury room, I mean into the courtroom, when they were allowed to give the answer, but I did watch it on video later. As soon as it was available, I put it out there on live Facebook. I went to the press conference that afternoon. Live Facebooked it. Had more than a quarter million views. I interviewed Brent Wisner for three hours afterwards. We have a series on our website of Brent Wisner and I, going into the details. Getting stuff out that no one has ever seen, because you don’t get it all in the trial and it’s never covered in the press. There was some dramatic moments.
TeriAnn: So how did that feel for you? I’m just curious. That’s a big moment.
Jeffrey: Oh my god. It was like, you’re chipping away, you’re chipping away, you’re chipping away, and a big chunk falls and it’s like, “Oh my god.” I didn’t have to do it. I wasn’t the attorney. I did very little in helping the attorneys. I’ve often helped attorneys before, but these guys were on it.
TeriAnn: T hat’s awesome. Amazing.
Jonathan: I’m going to go ahead and wrap up this podcast. I think what you shared and what you’ve done for the world is phenomenal.
Jeffrey: I have to add one thing, because I did mention I would say it.
Jonathan: Do it.
Jeffrey: I mentioned the six GMOs out of eleven crops; soy, corn, cotton, canola, sugar beets, alfalfa. But there’s also zucchini, not all of it. Buy yours organic. Same with yellow squash. Papaya, but only from China or Hawaii. There are potatoes and apples that are engineered not to turn brown when you slice them. I won’t go into the details, but those may be worse than anything we’ve seen, because eating those may reprogram our DNA. Not changing the DNA in terms of its location along the DNA inside ourselves, but what genes express. It could be reprogrammed by eating the genetically engineered arctic apple or innate potato. In fact, the person who made the potato, the scientist who first worked at Monsanto and then later at J.R. Simplot. He wrote a book after that, Pandora’s Potato is the Worst GMO. He realized after he retired that it was a travesty and could be causing massive damage to health.
Jonathan: Now what did they splice together I should say, to create that potato and that apple? What did they mix with it? Was it another plant? Was it an animal?
Jeffrey: Well, it’s double-stranded RNA. They have a gene that they wanted to silence, and they knew the code or the sequence in that gene. They created a complimentary sequence out of RNA that’s created by their inserted gene that flips around like a hairpin and becomes double-stranded RNA. It finds that sequence and it silences it. Unfortunately, that same sequence or similar sequences, are found up and down the DNA. So it can silence many many different genes. It’s also true that if you feed double-stranded RNA to mice or to honeybees, they’ve done studies, it’ll change their gene expression. So if we eat the double-stranded RNA, it might hook up with our genes, find the corresponding sequence, and silence genes. That could be very dangerous.
Jonathan: Yeah, I mean, a lot of the arguments around GMOs is like, “Well we’ve been breeding plants for a long time. We crossbreed and we do this and we do that.” I just want to, before we wrap up, because there’s going to be people out there that that’s the argument. Like, “Well we’ve been modifying for a long time.” Will you speak on that for just 30 seconds?
Jonathan: I know your voice is going here.
Jeffrey: No that’s okay, I’ll squeak through this one.
Jeffrey: The FDA scientist said GMOs are different, lead to different risks, compared to natural breeding. George Wald, the Noble Laureate, said the same thing. Belinda Martineau, who did the first GMO tomato. It’s no longer on the market. She says, “Of course it’s not an extension of natural breeding. It’s different. It leads to different risks. It creates massive collateral damage that’s not seen in nature. Those mutations can be dangerous. A single point mutation can kill someone, and there can be hundreds or thousands of them when you do these transformations with genetic engineering.”
Jeffrey: It’s not the same thing. Speaking of myths, it doesn’t even increase average yield. They say it’s going to save the world to feed the world. I’ve interviewed the experts on feeding the world. They got together and created a report for the UN called the ISTAD report. Over 400 scientists. The most comprehensive evaluation, how to feed the world. What do they say about GMOs? Doesn’t apply. It’s not a solution. It does not have any positive impact to feed the hungry world, eradicate poverty, or create sustainable agriculture. The New York Times did their report saying it didn’t increase yield. It doesn’t increase average yield, and yet agroecology and things like beyond organic, can double yields in developing countries.
Jeffrey: They’ve done studies with 12 million farms. Even increasing yields by itself is not the silver bullet solution to feed the world, because there’s more food per person than any time in human history. Right now we have enough food to feed 11 billion at least, according to the experts, but not everyone has access to it. So it’s access, it’s politics, it’s money, and that means a billion people go to bed malnourished or under nourished. It’s not the feed the world. It doesn’t reduce the use of chemicals. It’s not well tested. It’s not an extension of natural breeding, and a lot of this comes out in the film, Secret Ingredients. We spend most of the time looking at these families and what can go wrong, but there’s a section in the middle where I deal with these one at a time, and you can see the facts come up on the screen as I describe them.
TeriAnn: Well and at this point I’m sure we don’t even know all of the things that can come about because of the mutating mess, and modifying these genes and things. We don’t even know, it’s not been tested, it’s not been researched.
Jonathan: Well we’re finding out because we’re the tests subjects.
TeriAnn: We are, we are.
TeriAnn: But even still, some of these things we just have no idea how it could impact our health. We have no idea. We’ve only scratched the surface.
Jonathan: Simple takeaways here is, eat organic and Non-GMO Project verified for yourself, for your family. The other big takeaway is we have to educate others. The best way to educate others is to show them Jeffrey’s documentary, secretingredientsmovie.com. You can also go to empoweringyouroganically.com. We’ll have all the links to that in our shown notes. Jeffrey, you’ve mentioned some other websites while we’ve been doing this interview. Will you just rattle off a few others that they may want to check out?
Jeffrey: Sure, and I recommend doing it later after you’ve seen the film, because then you can have the motivation.
Jeffrey: I think we’ve covered a lot in this interview. I don’t think it’s as powerful at all compared to seeing the lives transform in front of you in this documentary, and people cry, and people get excited. It’s a very moving documentary, because I can watch audiences and I can tell you that from my own, and every day in the editing booth I cry when I see certain things. Here are some URLs, secretingredientsmovie.com. Then there’s responsibletechnology.org. That’s for the Institute for Responsible Technology, which is co-producing this free showing event. There’s petsandgmos.com. If you’re a pet owner, watch our two minutes film. If you got more time, watch the ten minute version.
Jeffrey: It’s going to be important, because it’s amazing at what you can do to change your pets lifespan as well as your pets health. There’s rounduprisks.com, if you want to get r id of the spraying of Roundup in your area. But I think everything really starts with the film, because that puts it in perspective like nothing else. As part of our 90 day program, we’re not only changing people’s diets, making it easy and less expensive. We’re also introducing opportunities for activism, for education.
Jeffrey: So there’s a pets module, there’s a parents module. If you have a pet or child, then you can get some additional information to help there. If you want to get stop the spray, we introduce it there. In time, not all at once. That’s the whole thing. There are some people who get to the cupboard stage and they see everything, like bang, they see everything, Their life has to change that moment because that’s the way they are. For others it’s a big overwhelming. So we have a 90 day program that people can just go to the next week too and they can speed up, so they can do it faster. We’re trying to make it as easy as possible for everyone.
Jonathan: Excellent. So secretingredientsmovie.com. I’m going to keep saying the URL because I support you 110%. Really believe in what you’ve done. I’m honored that you came on our show with us. We’ll be emailing our list of a couple 100,000 people several times to go watch the movie. I’m introducing you to others and making connections with other people that have email lists so they can get the word out.
Jeffrey: Thank you.
Jonathan: I mean, I just couldn’t be a bigger supporter of yours, what you stand for, the movement …
Jeffrey: Thank you.
Jonathan: What you’re doing for humanity, and so thank you. Thank you for everything that you’ve done.
Jeffrey: Thank you Jon.
Jonathan: Okay, everybody that’s listening, empoweringyouorganically.com. You can get all the show notes, all the resources, secretingredientsmovie.com. Also, subscribe on iTunes. What did you think about these two episodes with Jeffrey Smith? Did you like it? Give us a thumbs up on iTunes. Give us a good rating, a good review. We would love for you to share the love. Again, secretingredientsmovie.com, share it with your friends and family.
Jonathan: Take a second and just email them that link, and just say, “Hey, go watch this.” Send it out to everybody in your address book. Put it on Facebook. Put it on Instagram. You can’t, I’m not going to say you can’t, but it’s very hard to listen to these podcasts and then not do something about it. If all you can do is send an email out, do a Facebook post, an Instagram post, do that. Help spread the word so we can make a difference here. We can get rid of this poison. Get rid of this garbage that’s in our food supply right now, and help people get healthier. Thank you Jeffrey. Thank you TeriAnn.
TeriAnn: Thanks everyone.
Jeffrey: Thank you and safe eating.