Pesticides are absorbed into the tissues of fruits, vegetables, and legumes, so we cannot simply wash them off and declare them safe to eat. GMOs do not create higher crop yields. Switching from conventional to organic food has the potential to reverse eczema, infertility, and other health conditions. Today, Jeffrey Smith of the Institute for Responsible Technology discusses the importance of understanding the “secret ingredients” that are making us sick. He explains how many chronic ailments and degenerative diseases are tied to GMOs, pesticides and herbicides. He discusses the new technique of “gene editing,” reviews the problem of Roundup, and offers suggestions for removing these secret ingredients from our diet altogether.
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An apple a day keeps the doctor away unless it is sprayed with pesticides. There are many secret ingredients lurking in our food and on our food that may be unknowingly compromising our health. This is Episode 276. Our guest is Jeffrey Smith of the Institute for Responsible Technology. He is the leading anti-GMO consumer advocate and filmmaker. In this episode, he discusses with us his documentary’s secret ingredients. He exposes the problem with genetically modified organisms, Roundup, an herbicide that contains carcinogenic compounds and other pesticides. He explains how these are the leading cause of many chronic ailments and degenerative diseases. He educates us about the difference between conventionally grown and organic food and why it is critical to switch to the latter. Coming up, Jeffrey talks to us about how gene editing, another form of genetic engineering that could be an even greater threat to the planet’s survival than climate change.
Welcome to the show, Jeffrey.
We are glad to have you back. I understand that at the conference you were talking about your new movie, Secret Ingredients. I wanted to ask you, there are lots of health documentaries out there, why did you decide to make Secret Ingredients?
The impact of the movie appears to be more effective at converting people to organic diets than anything else. I’ve never seen anything that was more effective because this focuses on the health dangers of GMOs and Roundup that are found in non-organic foods. It does in a way that it presents people who switched to organic and their health and their lives were turned around. Autistic boys who are no longer on the spectrum, infertile couples who now have children, people who had cancer, skin conditions, allergies, brain fog and who are overweight, they switched to organic and they got better. The doctors in the film verify that these are not one-offs. They have the same experience in their clinics every day when people switch to organic.
Jeffrey, how did you find the people to focus on in the documentary?
First of all, starting in my previous documentary, Genetic Roulette, which isn’t as good as Secret Ingredients, which I did with Amy Hart. Tons of people started to change their diet and report to me that their lives changed, their kids were no longer violent, impulsive and being thrown out of school, just dramatic changes. I started asking audiences, “How many of you noticed a change in your health when you switched to a non-GMO and organic?” I got 150 lectures worth of people, some of them doctors who are reporting on behalf of thousands of patients each verifying this incredible transformation. Amy Hart and I brought a video camera to a chiropractic conference. We said, “If anybody wants to make a testimonial on camera about a transformation of themselves or their patients, let us know.”
Kathleen DiChiara was the first on the list for the day’s interview. Her story was compelling. I had heard thousands of stories and this one was simply over the top. She had a family with 21 chronic conditions between the five members. She was paralyzed and had all sorts of issues. Her son was autistic. Her husband had a breast tumor. Her other son had mood issues and digestive problems. The other son had eczema all over his body. She lost her job because she was too unhealthy. She switched to become an expert in nutrition. She took an accredited course. She spent 1,700 hours studying it and read 200 books and listened to 800 hours of interviews. She started experimenting with her family. She noticed that when she removed gluten, preservatives and commercial dairy, things got better, but they were still managing the particular symptoms. When she switched to organic, that’s when everything got better.
She had been testing on the family as an experiment and came up with the goods right in front of her. Her son at the time was still on the autistic spectrum, but he wasn’t exhibiting any symptoms. When the parents went into the last diagnosis by the licensed professional, we have on camera when he was declared no longer autistic. It was dramatic. There were many scenes. At the end of this interview with Kathleen in the hotel room at this chiropractic conference, Amy Hart made it very clear, “This is our person. We needed to go to her house.”
There were people waiting in the hall for that. The next person that was interviewed was Marcia Schaeffer, a chiropractor who was putting infertile couples on organic diets along with the chiropractic and they were getting pregnant. At the point that I had talked to her, she had over 50 with no fails. Anyone who followed the protocol was getting pregnant. By the time we finished the movie, it was 92 out of 92 couples, and now it’s more.
Talk to us because you know science. What is it about the food that isn’t organic, that has ingredients in it that are damaging our health?
The ones that we focus on are GMOs and Roundup. There are other nasty synthetic chemicals that are sprayed on non-organic foods, but we can get all the mileage we need out of GMOs and Roundup. In fact, we can get a lot of mileage out of Roundup. You could think, “Roundup is sprayed on Roundup-ready crops.” If you avoid GMOs, you avoid Roundup. If you’re paying attention, that’s not true. Roundup is now sprayed on the grains in this country, the beans in this country and also on a lot of fruit and vegetable fields. A lot of it was sprayed right on the grains and right on the beans. It’s sprayed to kill the crops. It drives them down. It forces immediate ripening for some of the grains. It dries down these other crops. It also kills the weeds for the next growing season. They’re going to be harvesting anyway so they spray.
The issue is that it’s in high concentrations, for example, in oats, chickpeas, lentils, mung beans and wheat. It’s throughout the food supply. If we look at Roundup, for example, it can grab minerals and make them unavailable so it creates a mineral deficiency. It can block the shikimate pathway used by gut bacteria that produce the serotonin, melatonin and dopamine precursors so that neurotransmitter deficiency can be devastating to all sorts of mental conditions, sleep, pain and Parkinson’s.
It can cause leaky gut gaps between the cell walls, non-leaky gut, but leaky brain and leaky organs. It kills off the beneficial gut bacteria because it’s an antibiotic. It hunts and kills the beneficial ones, not the pathogens. It damages and kills off or destroys mitochondria which are the energy centers of our cells and linked to also cancer and longevity. It also can mess up the hormonal balance. It can damage the DNA and it can promote cancer, and I’m just getting started.
If you look at the main foundations, even cellular intercommunication, which is called the gap junctions. It causes intercellular communication and it’s reduced by 50% in one study. That is one of the mechanisms for causing cancer. It can interfere with detoxification both in the liver, through the P450 cytochrome pathway and also through the NRF2 pathways in each of the cells. All of the other toxins that we’re being exposed to in the environment, whether it’s by food, water, air, touching, all of them can become more dangerous if their normal detoxification pathway is blocked by glyphosate, which is the chief poison in Roundup.
Glyphosate is like the accomplice to letting these other toxic criminals into our bodies or making them more potent.
It opens all the doors of the prison.
I’m totally picturing this and what makes me sad is I’m thinking of people who don’t know this information. They look at the price when they go to the store and they see organic berries versus regular berries and think, “I’m not going to get organic. The regular ones are on sale. They have no idea what might be on those berries.” In the case of berries, we could wash them off. What I hear you saying is in the wheat, legumes and chickpeas, it’s integral. It’s within the plant itself. Am I hearing you correctly?
Yes, and anything that’s sprayed with Roundup, it’s systemic. It’s something that you can’t wash off. It goes right inside. If you spray Roundup on Roundup-ready crops, then it’ll be absorbed into the plant. There’s a surfactant that glyphosate is combined. It drives it right through the plant tissues and about 15% go out through roots or maybe 20%, depending. The rest stay in the plant.
The objective of the Roundup is to deter insects from ruining the crop.
Roundup is a weed killer, not an insecticide. What happens is if you spray it, you spray it on the whole field. Where it lands on the weeds, it drives it into the weeds and it kills the weeds. It happens to drive into the crops as well. It’s like they don’t have any intention or desire to necessarily get the Roundup residue levels high in the genetically engineered crops. They’re focused on the weeds. The GMO crops allow you to spray right over the top of the field because they’re genetically engineered to survive otherwise deadly doses of Roundup.
Soy, corn, cotton, canola, sugar beets and alfalfa are all Roundup-ready, but oats are also sprayed just before harvest. Later in the growing season, then these GMOs and the way that they’re formed, the oats are opened up to the spray themselves. The oats get the spray right in the food portion. Oats are one of the highest recorded grade-level that I know of for residues of glyphosate, but that was dwarfed by hummus, navy beans, peas and other things. It’s not just from the United States, it’s from other countries as well.
You want to be careful if you’re getting grains or beans and make sure that it’s organic. The berries, I have to find a list right now, which we have a list on our site at ResponsibleTechnology.org of the residue levels for Roundup. We’re also posting a list and we got what percentage of crops in the United States are sprayed with Roundup. That gives you an idea of what to avoid, but in reality, it’s safer to go organic or grow your own or know your source. If it’s not organic, you’d know who grew it and that they did not use spray.
The people who are spraying these crops, are they the ones wearing those hazmat suits? I feel like I’ve seen memes. I’m like, “Is this for real? Are these people spraying them, but totally covered because they know how poisonous this all is?”
I have been talking to the lawyers of these trials. The jury determined that Roundup caused cancer of the plaintiffs and that Monsanto was hiding the evidence. In one case, Monsanto circulated documents so that people in the company who used Roundup would wear rubber gloves, rubber boots, certain protective gear and masks. When they advertised it on television, they showed people in shorts and tank tops. There was no warning about what to wear for the general public. Their own people were given strict warnings. The lawyers took a Tyvek suit from an applicator and put Roundup on it and it dripped through the bottom. Even the suits that are designed to protect against contamination do not hold back the glyphosate because it has this surfactant that drives it through the material.
It’s interesting that when Monsanto was testing Roundup with the surfactant to see if it was penetrating human skin, they took cadaver skin, dead body skin. They found that 10% got into the skin, which is much higher, more than three times higher than the allowable level. They hid that information from the government and instead did a Monsanto-style experiment. I’m very aware of this because I’ve been studying their style of checkbook science for a long time. They took human cadaver skin and they baked it in an oven. You know what happens to meat when you bake it in an oven, it gets tough.
It still wasn’t strong enough to protect. They then froze it in a deep freeze and then took this leather-like substance and applied Roundup and lo and behold, very little got in. They reported that as how protected human skin is in this rigged research that had no bearing on reality. They were committing fraud and submitting the fraudulent results to the EPA. That came out in the Monsanto documents made public from these lawsuits. Anyone applying Roundup should be wearing these hazmat suits and still being protected because they don’t necessarily protect. I don’t know what kind of thickness you’d need to protect, but it’s being sold as safe. They’re demonstrating it with people wearing shorts and tank tops and sometimes bare feet.
That’s alarming. My question is since that lawsuit has been settled and they were fined and some of the gig is up for Monsanto, can we expect them to use less Roundup or can we expect our food supply to become safer as a whole?
Unfortunately, they’re still sticking to their guns. Monsanto was purchased by Bayer, the aspirin maker. They continue to put out false and misleading information claiming that Roundup is safe. They have their own lapdogs in the EPA that are working on their behalf. We know that from the documents made public. They had people doing Monsanto’s bidding at the EPA. The EPA claims that Roundup is not dangerous, does not cause cancer. They’re trying to stop the countries, the jurisdictions and the companies that are abandoning Roundup. There’s more and more.
At RoundupRisks.com, we have little training videos for people who were able to stop the spraying of Roundup at their school or the park or by their county or by their city, and convinced them to switch to mountain toxic, healthy alternatives. People can do that locally. If you have dogs or cats, you want to avoid allowing them to be roaming in areas that have been sprayed. As we’re talking about the food, pet food is filled with Roundup residues as well. In fact, there are many glyphosate levels in standard dog food that they have the highest level of Roundup in their urine that had been tested 30 to 40 times higher than humans. We think that’s why they have the highest cancer rates of any mammals. One out of every 1.6 dogs is expected to have cancer. Glyphosate, the chief poison, causes cancer in animals, according to the World Health Organization’s Chief Cancer Committee.
I was talking to my neighbor and he had to put his dog down. I said, “What happened?” He said, “He was riddled with cancer.” I wondered how would his dog get cancer? How do dogs get cancer? As a matter of fact, this is not the first dog I’ve heard of that has cancer. It is on the rise. You know the statistics, you’ve given me a reason to consider that glyphosate could be at play.
You can send people to PetsAndGMOs.com. We have a list of popular dog and cat foods and their levels of glyphosate. We have some that we recommend that are organic or non-GMO and don’t use glyphosate. We have some of their levels as well. We have a video of many veterinarians who have seen the light. As one of their primary tools for treating animals is changing their diet from those that are filled with GMOs and Roundup to those that are clean.
I was talking to Dr. Barbara Royal, who’s an author, and she happens to be Oprah Winfrey’s veterinarian. She says the first thing that she does is put dogs and cats on a healthy diet. When she sees them a few weeks later, 80% to 90% of the problems are managed. Those cases, maybe half of them, are completely gone and the other half don’t need anything because it’s being worked out. Only 10% or 20% still need to have attention. She said when she was going through vet school, they hardly talked about cancer or dog allergies. Now, they’re completely riddled with cancer and dog allergies in their practices. It started to rise after GMOs were introduced.
I heard of a family who started feeding their dog better and their dog got healthier. When I say better, going to more real foods and more organic stuff. They realized, “We’re feeding our dog this way. Maybe we should be feeding ourselves this way.”
Sometimes it’s the pets that convinced the pet parents. Sometimes it’s the pet parents that are convinced to do it to their pets. What I think, however, is that there’s still a disconnect and here’s why. Forty-six percent of Americans are seeking non-GMO food for themselves but only a tiny percentage of pet owners are seeking non-GMO and organic food for pets. If we can connect the dots with the people who are already aware of the dangers of GMOs and Roundup for themselves, connect the dots and say, “What are you feeding your dog or cat?” They’ll go, “I didn’t think of that.”
If they can switch, then we can end up with a tipping point in pet food that’s already lively in the human food world. There are many people seeking non-GMO that the food industry is stripping it out systematically in large numbers, but it’s not happening in the pet food industry. We need people to help with that. If you go to PetsAndGMOs.com, there’s a 2-minute video and a 10-minute video, please post it on your social media channels, all of them. Post it often and ask people to share it. It will save the lives of pets. It’ll improve the health of pets and it can help drive the tipping point in the pet food industry.
I want to ask you, who is defending GMOs besides Monsanto? I know there’s still a big debate about if they are safe if they’re okay for the population. Some people have even said with GMOs, we can feed the world. Who is behind that and why?
The Feed the World Argument was a public relations firm that was working on behalf of Monsanto in the late 1990s. They figured let’s try and use that guilt written narrative to force the developed world to adopt GMOs for the sake of the developing world. They chipped in, the biotech companies, $50 million a year for five years to create that PR narrative. However, science blows it apart. GMOs don’t increase yield, which is a-ha, it can decrease yield with GMOs and have mixed results in other cases. The top experts at Feed The World were pulled together and the scientists to put together a UN report with over 400 scientists as authors, over 58 different countries signed onto the report. It concluded the GMOs have nothing to offer to feed the world, eradicate poverty or create sustainable agriculture. It’s a myth.
There’s another myth. When the GMOs came on the market in the mid-1990s, they said, “It’s safe and predictable.” It’s not. It’s unsafe and unpredictable. There is gene editing, which is another form of genetic engineering, creating GMOs that don’t necessarily introduce genes from other species but just manipulate the genome in laboratories. They say, “This is safe and predictable.” They’ve convinced the government of Australia that has no regulations whatsoever for gene-edited plants, animals and microorganisms.
It’s the US government, which is trying to do the same and trying to force other countries to do the same. Yet they are very dangerous and could theoretically be far more dangerous than the GMOs already on the market. It’s so cheap and easy to use gene editing that you can get a do-it-yourself kit for $160 on Amazon. I wouldn’t recommend it because you could be contributing to the replacement of nature in this generation. Where instead of passing on the future generations, the products of the billions of years of evolution we pass on the products of laboratory techniques are the number one most common result is surprise side effects.
That’s why some people call these genetically modified and gene-edited plants frankenfoods because they’re not food anymore, are they?
In this case, we’re talking more than just the foods. We’re talking about bacteria, viruses, trees, grasses, anything with DNA is up for grabs. There is a gene rush like a gold rush going on and Frankenstein, they combine many different things to create the Frankenstein monster or they combine or alter nature in ways to create these frankenfoods, frankeninsects and frankenfish. At the Institute for Responsible Technology, we’re raising money to sound the alarm on this potentially existential threat that 7 out of 7 audiences where I’ve spoken have declared it as a greater threat to planetary survival than climate change.
We have a three-minute video at a completely unbranded site because we want everyone to be sending people to ProtectNatureNow.com to watch the three-minute video and there are links at the bottom of that page to other resources about this new existential threat. We have a rather big task to get the entire world aware of it so we can get new policies in place by governments, universities and institutional review boards.
We want to alert everyone. We’re starting a new movement and we’re in a rush because right now gene editing is out there. The biotech industry is successful in convincing governments that there’s no harm. Whereas we point out, for example, that there are genetically engineered bacteria that was almost released in the ‘80s that could have altered the weather patterns on the planet. There are other bacteria that could have, according to one scientist, ended terrestrial plant life. These are catastrophic, cataclysmic, potential events that were nearly avoided, at the last minute avoided. Now we’re talking about creating technology. We can set up your own lab for $2,000 to create all sorts of genetically engineered bacteria and release it.
It’s potentially cataclysmic. With the process of gene editing, you can edit let’s say a mammal-like mouse. When you use these molecular scissors to cut the DNA, you have no control over what happens next. One thing that happens next is that when the cell starts to repair that cut, it can pull DNA from its environment. It can pull bacterial DNA. It can pull DNA from the serum that’s used to support the cell. You end up with retroviruses from other animals inside the mouse. You end up with bacterial DNA that has antibiotic-resistant genes inside hornless cattle. We have experiences already where the very process can create a potentially catastrophic effect. This is the gene-editing that’s supposed to be safe and predictable.
I’m glad that you are sounding the alarm. People need to be made aware of what’s happening on this big level. On a micro level, you’ve also given us some advice on how to protect our own family’s health and our pet’s health by avoiding GMOs, glyphosate and pesticides. I’m grateful for all of that. I want to wrap things up by asking you the question I often pose at the end. If the reader could do only one thing to improve their health, what would you recommend that they do?
It’s normally something that I would say is eat organic. When you mentioned telling your families to avoid, a lot of people come up to me and say, “How do I tell my brother? How do I tell my spouse? How do I tell my kids? They’re not paying attention.” I said, “You can’t do it. You’re discredited because you are a spouse or a sister or a family member. Let me do it. Let Amy Hart and I do it. Let’s show them the film, Secret Ingredients.” What happens is people who are already organic, become more organic, more committed. People who have been resisting it for years, they sometimes become more outspoken in favor of it than the people that have been trying to get them to change. I would say, “Yes, it’s eating organic, but I would say on the way, watch the movie Secret Ingredients with your family and friends.”
If you go to SecretIngredientsMovie.com, you can get a community license to show it. It’s inexpensive and you could show it for the rest of your life and you can even take those people and they’ll see it. If you want, you can organize group potlucks in your area. You can bless people who will be thanking you. I tell you, at the Western Price Conference and it comes all over that I speak to, people come up to me in the hallways and say, “You saved my life. You change my life. You saved my family.” What I did is I talked about the dangers of GMOs and Roundup, and they made changes. Now, you hit play. You put them down in a seat and have plans. You can be saving people’s lives. Think about what we would do, how much energy and effort we would do to save a life. Here it is simple.
I’m going to cook up some sprouted, organic popcorn and get my family around the TV. That is a great idea because I often hear that as well. People say, “How can I persuade my family?” One thing people also do in our groups is they share the podcast, but here are nice visual stories. It will be told with scientists and others saying this is not a one-off, but this is a pattern of people recovering their health as they make this switch. Thank you for your work, Jeffrey. I look forward to talking to you again sometime.
It’s my pleasure.
About Jeffrey Smith
Jeffrey Smith reminds us of the dangers of what’s NOT found on ingredient labels. Jeffrey Smith is the founding executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology. He is a best-selling author, award-winning filmmaker, and a leader in the anti-GMO movement. His books, Seeds of Deception and Genetic Roulette, expose industry and government lies that hide GMO health risks.
His most recent documentary, Secret Ingredients, (co-directed with Amy Hart) features emotional stories of families who recover from serious diseases after switching to organic food. Jeffrey is preparing to launch a new worldwide movement to counter the existential threat posed by gene-edited organisms—if released in large numbers, they could irreversibly replace nature with a corrupted gene pool. And he is assembling top thought leaders to provide timely inspiration and guidance as part of a global online program called A Magnificent New Normal.