Jeffrey Smith has spent the past 25 years warning us of the dangers of rampant, profit-driven genetic engineering.
As the founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology and author of Seeds of Deception, as well as producer of the documentary Don't Let the Gene Out of the Bottle, Smith has galvanized much public opinion to question the safety of the GMOs in our food supply, and has been at the forefront of the movement to label GMOs so consumers can decide for themselves whether to consume them.
In our conversation, we focused on glyphosate, one of the active ingredients in the Bayer/Monsanto pesticide RoundUp. Smith shared the predatory business and legal tactics the company uses to force farmers to buy its RoundUp Ready seeds, and highlighted some of the known harms of the chemical.
According to Smith, the release of genetically modified microbes poses a real and dire threat to the entire gene pool of planet earth. He shared an example of a ecological disaster narrowly averted when a student of soil scientist Dr Elaine Ingram discovered that a genetically modified bacteria about to released into the soil turned plant matter into puddles of alcoholic goop.
We talked about the myth of “active ingredients,” and the hubris of technologists who believe that genetic modification will yield predictable, wholly positive results.
Smith cautioned against consuming Impossible Foods faux meats, as they are products of synthetic biology – essentially turning microbes into factories to produce what he terms “Food-shaped objects to be avoided.”
Smith also pointed out the revolving door between Monsanto and the US government regulators charged with our safety, and the conflicts of interest and political machinations it's produced.
For example: Monsanto lobbying Michael Taylor was named by President Obama in 2009 to be senior adviser to the Food and Drug Administration Commissioner on food safety.
For example: ex-Monsanto lawyer and current Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas refusing to recuse himself from cases in which Monsanto is a defendant.
And in 2019 a document came to light showing that Monsanto had compiled dossiers on its opponents, including politicians, journalists and scientists, as part of smear campaigns designed to cast doubt on any criticism of the company or its products.
Smith noted with horror that anyone with a couple of hundred bucks and an internet connection can now buy a gene splicing kit and run their own potentially world-ending experiments, a situation he likened to handing a bomb detonator to a teenager.
Listen, watch, learn — and be very frightened, my friends.
Seeds of Deception, by Jeffrey Smith
Looking for Transformational Change?
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You CAN Change Other People!
Well, that's what Peter Bregman and I claim in our provocative book of that title.
What we really mean is, you can help the people around you make behavioral changes in their own best interests. If you think you're powerless to help people change, it's because you've been going about it the wrong way.
Discover our straightforward, replicable process here: You Can Change Other People.
Audiobook: Use the Weight to Lose the Weight
Listen to Josh LaJaunie and me narrate our latest audiobook, about how to start moving when you're obese.
It's $10, and Josh and I split it evenly 🙂
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The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.
It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.
You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website, WillRidenour.com.
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