Criminal Science

Following article by Ethan A. Huff, published at Natural News.com 27 June 2012

Biotechnology giant Syngenta has officially been outed for deliberately hiding data that proves the company’s genetically-modified (GM) Bt 176 corn is directly responsible for killing livestock. Dr. Eva Sirinathsinghji writing for QW Magazine explains that Syngenta is now facing criminal charges for willfully concealing the results of an internal, company-run study on Bt 176 corn from 1996 that was abruptly ended when four cows died after just two days of consuming the “Frankencorn.”

Gottfried Gloeckner, a German farmer from Woelfersheim, originally filed the suit roughly a decade after dozens of his own dairy cows died from exposure to Syngenta’s Bt 176 corn. Gloeckner first began feeding his cattle Bt 176 corn as part of their diet back in 1997 when Syngenta gained government approval to run field trials of the crop on Gloeckner’s property. And by 2000, Bt 176 corn was the only thing Gloeckner was feeding his cows.

Later term spontaneous abortion: one of many deaths associated with Bt GM feed. In India where livestock are left to graze on post-harvest cotton, thousands of livestock deaths have been recorded across central India where Bt cotton is grown. Post-mortem analysis carried out in the laboratory revealed abnormal liver, enlarged bile ducts and black patches in the intestine. The shepherds said that the sheep became “dull/depressed” after 2-3 days of grazing, started coughing with nasal discharge and developed red lesions in the mouth, became bloated and suffered blackish diarrhoea, and sometimes passed red urine. Death occurred in 5-7 days.  One shepherd reported getting diarrhoea from eating the meat of an affected sheep.
Philippine villagers living around Bt Maize fields have also suffered deaths and similar illnesses of fever, respiratory, intestinal and skin problem. Five mortalities were reported in 2003 and subsequently, 38 individuals had their blood analysed and all were positive for antibodies specific to Cry1Ab, indicating an immune reaction to the toxin. As is often the case, intimidation and denial by government officials meant no further investigations. (QW magazine.com)

As this transition from natural feed to GM feed was taking place, however, Gloeckner noticed that his cows were increasingly developing serious illnesses, many of which resulted in the animals’ rapid death. By 2001, five of Gloeckner’s cows had died, and another seven died by 2002, upon which Gloeckner decided to remove all GMOs from his livestock feed. But most of Gloeckner’s remaining cows ended up suffering intestinal damage, decreased milk production, and other ailments that resulted in their having to be put down as well.

Syngenta lied about dangers of Bt 176 corn in 2007 civil court case

At the time, Syngenta partially compensated Gloeckner for the loss of his 65-head herd as a result of Bt 176 corn. But the company ultimately refused to admit that Bt 176 corn was definitively responsible for the harm caused, a sentiment that the German and EU governments also appeared to embrace in their refusal to investigate the situation. So for years, Gloeckner has remained burdened with insurmountable debt from his losses, and with no legal remedy at his disposal.

But the situation changed in 2009 when Gloeckner discovered Syngenta’s 1996 study, which prompted him to initiate legal action against the company. He has since been joined by Bundnis Aktion Gen-Klage, a German activist group, and Urs Hans, a “farmer turned activist,” both of which are also in hot pursuit of justice against Syngenta.

The revelation of Bt 176 corn’s extreme toxicity in cattle proves that Syngenta has been lying for years about the crop’s supposed safety. The company falsely testified in a civil court case back in 2007 that Bt 176 corn was safe, which resulted in the dismissal of charges against the company that Bt 176 corn was responsible for cattle deaths. Now, suspicions that Syngenta was indeed withholding crucial information about Bt 176 corn have been confirmed by Syngenta’s own study.

Syngenta also appears to have manufactured a phony study on sheep several years later in an attempt to whitewash the findings of the 1996 study. A 2008 report from GM-Free Cymru explains that the study, which was conducted in Italy between 2002 and 2005, was a poor attempt at making Bt 176 corn appear harmless and identical to natural varieties of corn. Not only was data obviously manipulated in that particular study, but sample sizes were too small, and the amount of GM materials added to animal feed was miniscule and unrealistic (http://www.gmfreecymru.org/news/Press_Notice10Mar2008.html).

QW Magazine‘s full report on the Syngenta lawsuit:
http://www.qwmagazine.com

Other References

  1. Syngenta charged with lying over cattle deaths, GM Watch, 25th May 2012 http://www.gmwatch.org/latest-listing/1-news-items/13926-syngenta-charged-with-lying-over-cattle-deaths
  2. Ho MW and Burcher S. Cows ate GM maize and died.Science in Society2004, 21, 4-6.
  3. Ho MW. Mass death in sheep grazing on Bt cotton.Science in Society30, 12-13, 2006
  4. Ho MW. GM ban long overdue, dozens ill & five deaths in the Philippines. Science in Society 29, 26-27, 2006
  5. Aris A, Leblanc S. Maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides associated to genetically modified foods in Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. Reproductive Toxicolology, 2011,31, 528-33
  6. Vázquez RI, Moreno-Fierros L, Neri-Bazán L, De La Riva GA, López-Revilla R. Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac protoxin is a potent systemic and mucosal adjuvant. Scand J Immunology 1999 49, 578-84.
  7. Ho MW. More illnesses linked to Bt crops. Science in Society 30, 8-10, 2006
  8. Vázquez-Padrón RI, Gonzáles-Cabrera J, García-Tovar C, Neri-Bazan L, Lopéz-Revilla R, Hernández M, Moreno-Fierro L, de la Riva GA. Cry1Ac protoxin from Bacillus thuringiensis sp. kurstaki HD73 binds to surface proteins in the mouse small intestine. Biochemical Biophysical Research Communications 2010, 271, 54-8.
  9. Sirinathsinghji E. GM feed toxic, new meta-analysis confirms.Science in Society 52, 30-32, 2011
  10. Sirinathsinghji E. Bt Toxin Kills Human Kidney Cells, Science in Society 54, 36-38, 2012

About iain carstairs

I have a great interest in both scientific advances and the beauty of religion, and created www.scienceandreligion.com about 15 years ago with the aim of finding common ground between the scientist and the believer, and to encourage debate between the two sides.
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