'Labour' Can Be Intense Pleasure Not Pain
From Natural Childbirth To GM Humans

Is Profound Ignorance A Suitable Platform
From Which To Begin Building Genetically Engineered People?

April 2009

motherandchild.jpg (30856 bytes)

A mother's joy of a new child does not have to wait until after the challenging process of giving birth is over - but are genetic engineers ultimately set to unwittingly undermine such basic human experiences and capabilities?

Completely contrary to the accepted dogma of modern medicine, evidence indicates that the process of childbirth can be a genuinely pleasurable physiological and emotional experience - especially if the birth is guided by a 'doula' who knows what they are doing.

If there are multiple accounts of this situation, as recently described in the Sunday Times and other media, then modern science would appear to have some fundamental gaps in its understanding of the human physiology and its natural capacities.

So, built on the foundations of such ignorance, how acceptable are proposals to allow the genetic engineering of children, as arrogant faith in the superiority of technology over millions of years of natural development continues to spread through academia, industry, and government?

Already there are indications that in attempting to deal with one set of human 'problems' the genetic engineers are set to create a new suite of them.

This kind of 'brave new world' syndrome has been attacked, in the form of  biotech's older sister, the pharmaceutical industry, in a recent documentary. In it the BBC describes some of the many inappropriate and unnecessary drug based interventions in the field of 'health' which have lead to what it terms 'the medicalisation of normality'.

This is a phenomenon which has also come to afflict childbirth.

"I am well aware how many women reading this will open their eyes wide in disbelief and dismiss my experience as some sort of exhaustion-induced fantasy. Before it happened to me, I would probably have done the same. Confessing to my friends, who have, in most cases, experienced agonising 10- or 20-hour labours, that mine was the most enjoyable seven hours of my life has been tough enough.... Like most mothers-to-be, I was terrified by the idea of birth. A typically pragmatic lawyer, I had decided on a hospital birth with every painkiller at my disposal, even before I became pregnant. I couldn’t see the point in bravely trying to go it alone when medical science could offer me so many options to make it easier. As my pregnancy progressed without any complications, however, my feelings changed. I began researching more natural, alternative methods. I plumped for a doula. I loved the idea of a woman who would come to my home when I went into labour and was totally independent of the hospital, but experienced enough at delivering babies to help me through it. (Doulas, unlike midwives, don't assist in the actual delivery or provide medical care, but act as professional coaches who offer emotional and practical support during childbirth.) ... When my contractions started at midnight, it was my doula whom I called. I was a week overdue and wanted someone who wasn’t emotionally involved with me. My mother and husband were sleeping, and I decided not to wake them up. I knew they would start panicking. But my doula was calm, relaxed and hugely positive about how wonderful the experience was going to be. I spent three hours on all fours in my living room before my husband and mother even woke up. As my contractions intensified and I got closer to giving birth, I remember starting to feel the sensations. It was the most incredible feeling that began in my pelvis and rippled through my entire lower body. It was wave upon wave of what can only be described as pure pleasure.... when I went online, I found hundreds of women blogging about similar experiences. After the birth, I was so excited that I wanted to share what had happened with friends, but their reactions quickly taught me that this was probably something I should think of as my own private but wonderful experience and keep it to myself."
Isobel Patterson, 31, lawyer from Brighton, on giving birth to her first baby
Sunday Times, 22 March 2009

"In an essay in Sunday's Outlook section, Dartmouth ethics professor Ronald Green asks us to consider a neo-eugenic future of 'designer babies,' with parents assembling their children quite literally from genes selected from a catalogue. Distancing himself from the compulsory, state-sponsored eugenics that darkened the first half of the last century, Green instead celebrates the advent of a libertarian, consumer-driven eugenics motivated by the free play of human desire, technology and markets. He argues that this vision of the human future is desirable and very likely inevitable.... Once we begin genetically modifying our children, where do we stop? If it's acceptable to modify one gene, why not two, or 20 or 200? At what point do children become artifacts designed to someone's specifications rather than members of a family to be nurtured? .... Our desires for good looks, good brains, wealth and long lives, for ourselves and for our children, are strong and enduring. If the gene-tech entrepreneurs are able to convince us that we can satisfy these desires by buying into genetic modification, perhaps we'll bite..... We want all these things, yes, and genetic technology might help us attain them, but we don't want to run the huge risks to the human community and the human future that would come with altering the genetic basis of our common human nature."
Genetically Modified Humans? No Thanks.
Washington Post, 15 April 2008

In This Bulletin

'The Natural Bliss Machine'
How Much Does Modern Science Really Understand

About The Nature Of The Human Physiology?

'Reproductive Roulette'
The Ultimate Genetic Mayhem Scenario
Genetically Modified Humans Eating Genetically Modified Foods

Brave New World - An End To Natural Childbirth

"This year marks the 75th birthday of Aldous Huxley's novel Brave New World, first published in February 1932. That novel became one of the most discussed works of literature of the 20th century. Its title, which Huxley took from Shakespeare's play The Tempest, has passed into the language--from Huxley, not from Shakespeare--as a descriptor for any development, or any imagined future, based on biotechnological attempts to enhance or transform human nature, or even just nature.... Marriage, childbirth, and family life have been abolished.... Brave New World was one of two great visions of the future as imagined by two Englishmen who came to maturity in the early years of the 20th century. Huxley, born in 1894, was the older of the two. George Orwell, younger by nine years, was of course the author of Nineteen Eighty-Four, which described a future quite different from Huxley's, and much nearer to the author's own time. In the later 20th century it was common for high-school seniors to be told to read both Huxley's book and Orwell's, then to write an essay comparing the two visions and passing an opinion on which future was more probable.... Now, from our longer perspective, the similarities of the books are more striking than their differences. Both show human beings bereft of liberty. Both show a coarse popular culture triumphant--the propaganda movies, machine-written novels, and vapid pop songs of Nineteen Eighty-Four, the 'feelies' and electromagnetic golf of Brave New World.  Most telling, both portray static, 'end of history' worlds, in which all change has ceased, along with the quest for knowledge....In a letter dated September 15, 1931, when he must have been finishing up Brave New World, Huxley wrote: I have been very much preoccupied with a difficult piece of work--a Swiftian novel about the Future, showing the horrors of Utopia and the strange and appalling effects on feeling, 'instinct' and general weltanschauung of the application of psychological, physiological and mechanical knowledge to the fundamentals of human life."
Huxley's period piece: Brave New World turns 75
National Review, 5 March 2007

'The Natural Bliss Machine'
How Much Does Modern Science Really Understand

About The Nature Of The Human Physiology?

"I didn't feel pain. I was in bliss."
Claudia Montes, a New Jersey mother of three, on the experience of giving birth to her third child naturally
ABC News, 9 December 2008

'The Natural Bliss Machine'

It is remarkable how 'evolution' has apparently allowed the process of human childbirth to become a truly punishing experience for the mother. Not for no good reason is the process called 'labour', but even that is typically a major understatement for what is commonly regarded as an ordeal for the female of the most 'advanced' species.

This is not usually the case with other animals, who give birth largely without trauma as any livestock farmer knows (although there are difficult births, especially where inappropriate cross-breeding takes place, they are not the norm).

It would seem that somewhere along the way we humans, despite all our scientific 'progress', have lost the plot.

A recent account from the Sunday Times suggests there is the potential for something very different - where the process (in addition to the product) of giving birth can be blissful.

Thousands of women are reporting this type of experience, although how universally applicable this capacity might be is not an area yet tackled by science. However, what is already clear, is that the opposite experience (not even something in between) for childbirth seems to have become the norm.

Yet the latter represents something of a strange artefact to have emerged from the process of 'evolution'. That the physical process of giving birth can be one of joy rather than pain would seem to be a much more constructive start to a human life and the initiation of the post-foetal relationship between mother and child.

Clearly there are some basic things about the human physiology that modern science does not yet recognise - not even something as fundamental and commonplace to humanity as childbirth, it would seem.

Accompanied by so much ignorance can we expect genetic engineers to make an even bigger hash of things than other 'health' professionals have done as time goes on? For some 'scientists' have clear ambitions to move genetic engineering into the field of human reproduction. It is only a matter of time before we have GM humans, if the genetic engineers are allowed to get their way.

And then who knows what irretrievable damage will be done to the unrecognised depths of nature's most sophisticated 'bliss machine'.


'Unnecessary Intervening In Nature'
Meddling Men In White Coats
Childbirth And The Scourge Of The High Tech 'Scientific' Mindset

"Over the past few centuries childbirth has become increasingly influenced by medical technology, and now medical intervention is the norm in most Western countries. Richard Johanson and colleagues argue here that perhaps normal birth has become too 'medicalised' and that higher rates of normal birth are in fact associated with beliefs about birth, implementation of evidence based practice, and team working. Until the 17th century, birth in most parts of the world was firmly in the exclusively female domestic arena, and hospital birth was uncommon before the 20th century, except in a few major cities. Before the invention of forceps, men had been involved only in difficult deliveries, using destructive instruments with the result that babies were invariably not born alive and the mother too would often die. Instrumental delivery with forceps became the hallmark of the obstetric era. In the 19th and 20th centuries, medical influence was extended further by the development of new forms of analgesia, anaesthesia, caesarean section, and safe blood transfusion....Obstetricians play an important role in preserving lives when there are complications of pregnancy or labour. In developed countries, however, obstetrician involvement and medical interventions have become routine in normal childbirth, without evidence of effectiveness... decreases in maternal, perinatal, and infant mortality in the West owe much to the impact on health of developments in disease control, smaller family sizes, and higher standards of living, including improved diet. It also cannot be assumed without careful attention to the evidence that access to obstetric care has invariably had beneficial effects. In England and Wales in the early 1930s, for example, maternal mortality was lower among women with husbands in manual occupations, who were mainly cared for by midwives, than among those who were married to men in non-manual occupations, who were more likely to have care from doctors. Over the past two centuries, especially in parts of the world with thriving private practice, obstetricians have increasingly taken over responsibility for normal birth in addition to their involvement in complicated births.... The extent of medicalisation in Spain is reflected in some of the highest caesarean section rates in Europe (26.4% in Catalonia with a 40% increase over five years); obstetricians have been criticised for not allowing women to participate in decisions about their maternity care. Long term morbidity after childbirth can be substantial, and this is particularly related to instrumental and caesarean delivery.... So what can be done to 'de-medicalise' birth? A study commissioned by the Canadian health minister suggests that maternal or newborn programmes in Ontario can maintain low caesarean section rates over time, regardless of their size, location, level of care they provide, and population they serve....The Scandinavian countries and the Netherlands, which did not follow the trend towards steep increases in caesarean sections during the 1990s, have a tradition of perceiving birth above all as a normal physiological process and of valuing low intervention rates....The National Childbirth Trust—a UK parents organisation—is concerned about medicalisation and erosion of midwifery skills and confidence. It believes that women do not so much make informed choices as find themselves constrained by the culture of the unit they attend.....The highest rates of normal birth seem to be associated with successful community focused approaches...The rate for normal births at the Edgware Birth Centre in London and at a birthing centre in Sweden were 85.6% and nearly 90% respectively.... If the growing trend towards medicalisation is to be halted and reversed, the 'blame and claim' culture must be addressed. Childbirth without fear should become a reality for women, midwives, and obstetricians. True team working is needed, with development of a shared philosophy of care and mutual respect."
Has the medicalisation of childbirth gone too far?
British Medical Journal, 2002 April 13; 324(7342): 892–895

"What other countries (with lower birth mortality rates than our own) have been finding is that women who give birth upright or in the all-fours position have less pain in labor and birth, have shorter labors and pushing times, less shoulder dystocia (where the baby’s shoulders get stuck in the pelvis), and fewer perineal tears. In addition to all of the above benefits, current American-based studies also suggest the following benefits to giving birth on hands and knees: fewer maternal and infant injuries and infant deaths related to shoulder dystocia, less painful and more efficient contractions, impressive rate of rotating posterior babies to anterior within 10 minutes, shorter labor, and the potential to decrease risk of both instrumental and cesarean deliveries. The question becomes, why is the all-fours position helpful, and since it is, why are not all women delivering this way?...Births that take place outside of the hospital generally result in this position being used more freqently, presumably because the mother is encouraged to choose the most comfortable position for her. Within the hospital, there may be several reasons for the lack of use of the all-fours position. These may include: patient risk factors that necessitate intervention, which is easier to use on a patient lying down, assumption that the patient is supposed to be on her back, preference of the hospital staff, or routine interventions (whether necessary or not) that require a lithotomy position....Speak to your care provider to learn if this is a good option for you, and don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion if your care provider is unfamiliar with this practice."
Why giving birth on all-fours could be better for you
Associated Content, 17 December 2007

"In the decade through 2002, something momentous happened to babies in the wombs of American women, especially white women. The average time fetuses spent there decreased from 40 weeks to 39. The decline, reported in a 2006 study in the medical journal Seminars in Perinatology, appears to have little to do with nature. Instead, earlier births may be the outcome of 'increased use of induction (of labor) and other obstetric interventions such as cesarean delivery,' said a January report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Prematurity rose 20 percent since 1990, the report said, and the rate of low birth-weight babies hit a 40-year high. 'We are shortening the gestational age,' said Dr. Carol Sakala, program director for the research and advocacy group Childbirth Connection. 'That is a big interference with mammalian evolution, human evolution.' Researchers, midwives, birth coaches and mothers point to such data as symptoms of a flawed system of birthing in America, one they say over-manages, over-medicates and over-monitors labor and delivery, often leading to unnecessary cesarean-section births. 'People are taught in medical school that pregnancy and birth are disasters waiting to happen,' said Susan Rachel Condon, a midwife for River and Mountain Women’s Health in Gardiner. 'Ninety to 95 percent of the time, birth is a natural physiologic event that if it’s not meddled with will have a good outcome.' Obstetricians recognize that tools such as ultrasound sometimes miscalculate the size of babies, prompting cesareans, and that labor-induction – which has doubled since 1990 to nearly 1 in 4 births nationally — increases the risk of cesarean delivery if a woman is unready. But they say they use technology to the best ends possible, even when, for example, a fetal monitor of a laboring woman wrongly indicates the baby is in distress....The tendency to intervene in nature is perhaps no more stark than in the newest childbirth development: the trend of first-time mothers to have cesarean sections out of convenience or fear of labor. A 2007 study in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that 2.2 percent of births in a 2003 Massachusetts sample were first-time cesarean sections with no medical cause, quintuple the rate of 1998. The optional cesareans cost 76 percent more ..... while mothers were twice as likely to be re-hospitalized within 30 days..... Midwife Susan Rannestad of Gardiner said the cesarean-section rate in her home-birth practice is 4 percent, compared to 30 to 40 percent for local physicians. 'I know they get sicker women in their practice but should it be 10 times or just double?' she asked.... She and others pointed to North Central Bronx Hospital – where more than 80 percent of births are attended by midwives and the cesarean rate is third-lowest in the state, 18.5 percent in 2007, according to state Health Department figures. Statewide, fewer than 10 percent of births are attended by midwives and the rate is 34 percent. 'It’s absolutely way too high,' said Shayna Kapple, 36, of Stanfordville, who had two cesareans ....  'If you look at history, women haven’t changed with the way we birth babies. That leaves doctors and the interventions that weren’t offered 40 years ago.' When Kapple goes into labor for her fourth child in early June, Jennifer Rush, 35, of Poughkeepsie will be with her as her doula or birth coach. Rush, who has assisted at hundreds of births, will help Kapple through labor by encouraging her to walk, applying a heating pad, and keeping her calm and focused. Women who have had doulas say they are an invaluable resource for mother and partner and reduce the chance of cesarean by, for example, encouraging them to stay home through early labor. 'We try to get them into their body ... to realize that your body is meant to do this,' said Rush, who recently gave birth to her fifth child, a daughter. 'Most mothers don’t grow babies that are too big for them. Give them the opportunity, and most babies come out.'”
Modern medicine increasingly intervenes in the birth process
Poughkeepsie Journal, 29 March 2009

"Kathryn Mora said her first experience giving birth wasn't at all what she had hoped.... The doctors in the delivery room, she said, barely acknowledged her. 'The doctors were talking about their golf game when I was experiencing the most important day of her life,' Mora remembered. Mora said she received an injection in her spine. Numb from the waist down, her baby was yanked out with forceps and rushed away quickly. She wouldn't see her newborn son, Scott, for 10 hours. 'I said then, 'this is never going to happen to me again',' she said. That was more than 40 years ago. About two years later, in preparation of the birth of her next child, John, Mora and her husband, Luis, took classes to help her to relax. They also found a doctor who performed natural childbirth. 'It just went so beautifully,' Mora said of giving birth naturally. That experience led Mora to dedicate much of her life to educating women on the benefits of natural childbirth.... Mora, a journalist who has written a number of articles on the subject, and now has ventured into filmmaking. Mora will screen her first documentary, 'BIRTH' on Thursday, at the Center for Digital Imaging Arts at Boston University, 274 Moody St., Studio C. During the 30-minute film women who, like Mora, gave birth with drugs and medical intervention, and then gave birth naturally, share their experiences. 'My approach is that women who have had the experience are sharing he experience,' Mora said. 'They are the narrators of the film.'"
Filmmaker explores the natural side of childbirth
Daily News Tribune, 13 March 2009

Relaxation Is Key
And Its Difficult To Do That In A Typical 'Medicalised' Hospital Environment

"'I found giving birth very sensual,' says Caslake, who didn’t take painkillers for the birth of her two sons, Aaron, 18, and Tomas, 17.... It was her 'pleasurable experience' that led her to train as a midwife. 'I knew I wasn’t unique,' says Caslake, who helps to run Yours Maternally, an independent midwifery service. 'By encouraging women to trust and relax in their bodies during birth, I can help them to experience less painful, more pleasurable births.'....[this] is closely related to the degree of relaxation, trust and safety that a woman feels. Most women anticipate with dread the 'birth ordeal', a state of mind that will make muscles contract and adrenalin levels rise before labour even begins....Hospitals and doctors don’t really do the trick....'You become tense and are more prone to feeling pain. It’s why women can have trouble with labour and birth at hospital.' [says Andrya Prescott, of the Independent Midwives Association]."
Inside story: delightful deliveries
London Times, 24 June 2006

'Reproductive Roulette'
The Ultimate Genetic Mayhem Scenario
Genetically Modified Humans Eating Genetically Modified Foods

Drugs, Drugs, Drugs - To Be Followed By Biotech, Biotech, Biotech

'The Medicalisation of Normality'
"Health journalist John Naish asks if we are turning normal human behaviour and normal stages in human development into medical conditions. It is estimated that 10 per cent of British people take anti-depressants and 10 per cent of American children take Ritalin to control their behaviour. It seems that a new mental illness is invented every week, covering every potential quirk in the human condition, such as Restless Leg Syndrome, Social Anxiety Disorder, Female Sexual Dysfunction and Celebrity Worship Syndrome."
The Medicalisation of Normality
BBC Online, 30 March 2009

"Thanks to pushy pharmaceutical companies, ethusiastic doctors, and headline hungry health journalists, we're treated to a constant parade of new illnesses that classify anything apparently less than 'normal' [as a disease]."
The Medicalisation of Normality
BBC Online, 30 March 2009

"Children with three parents might sound like monstrous chimeras, but they are among us already. In the late 1990s, an American team created the first genetically engineered humans by adding part of the egg of one woman to the egg of another, to treat infertility. When the US Food and Drug Administration got wind of the technique it was promptly banned, though related methods have been used in other countries. Now a research team in the UK is experimenting with creating three-parent embryos. This time, the goal is to prevent children inheriting a rare group of serious diseases caused by faulty mitochondria, the powerhouses in our cells....The prospect of trying to prevent mitochondrial diseases by creating babies with two mothers raises a host of issues. On the one hand, if the Food and Drug Administration felt that three-parent embryos were unsafe, what's changed? On the other hand, if this approach really is safe, wouldn't it make sense to equip our children to live longer, healthier and more active lives by giving them the best possible mitochondria? The answers to these questions offer insights into some of the most intriguing aspects of sex, health, disease and longevity - and even into the origin of species.....mitochondria evolve to match our climate by regulating internal heat generation. Mitochondria may produce less heat in the tropics, but at the cost of leaking more free radicals, which predisposes individuals to diseases like diabetes. Conversely, people adapted to northern climates generate more heat internally and are less likely to get diabetes, but at the cost of more male infertility. So you choose a trait and pay the penalty. Would you opt for a mitochondrial variant that boosted your child's athleticism, for example, if you knew it would lead to poor health later in life? Then there is an even more fundamental problem. Of the 1500 or so mitochondrial proteins, just 13 are encoded by mitochondrial genes and produced locally. The rest are encoded in nuclear DNA, made elsewhere in the cell and exported to mitochondria. These two sets of proteins, encoded by different genomes, have to work together intimately, yet mitochondrial DNA mutates around 20 times as fast as nuclear DNA. If such mutations mean the two genomes don't function well together, then an individual is more likely to suffer from a range of diseases. ....The issue of compatibility means there is an inherent danger in any attempts to boost health, longevity, fertility, athleticism or IQ by transplanting mitochondria: putting the wrong mitochondria and nucleus together could harm children rather than improving them. Leaving aside the ethics, the risks appear to outweigh the benefits."
Genetically modified humans: Here and more coming soon
New Scientist, 4 June 2008

"Once we begin genetically modifying our children, where do we stop? If it's acceptable to modify one gene, why not two, or 20 or 200? At what point do children become artifacts designed to someone's specifications rather than members of a family to be nurtured? .... Our desires for good looks, good brains, wealth and long lives, for ourselves and for our children, are strong and enduring. If the gene-tech entrepreneurs are able to convince us that we can satisfy these desires by buying into genetic modification, perhaps we'll bite..... We want all these things, yes, and genetic technology might help us attain them, but we don't want to run the huge risks to the human community and the human future that would come with altering the genetic basis of our common human nature."
Genetically Modified Humans? No Thanks.
Washington Post, 15 April 2008

Biotech's Potential Influence On Reproduction May Not Be Just Confined To GM Babies

"Genetically-modified maize can affect reproduction in mice, an Austrian study has found..... the authors of the study were keen to point out that these were only initial findings and that further tests were needed to confirm the effect of GM foods on other animals and on humans....'Confirmation of these preliminary results is urgently needed through further studies,' the study's author, Juergen Zentek, added. Environmental groups like Global 2000 and Greenpeace were quick to seize on the study to call for a ban on all GM crops. EU Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou has requested a copy of the study and will then pass it on to the European food safety authority for expertise, her spokeswoman said."
GM crops found to affect reproduction in mice: Austrian study
Agence France Presse, 12 November 2008

"With no genetically modified food labelling or monitoring, America is now running a 'don't look, don't ask' GM junk food culture. It is one that, in effect, complacently assumes that GMOs are safe because people don't foam at the mouth as soon as they ingest them. The same approach with trans fats, another man made food, turned into thousands (1,400 a year in Massachusetts alone), and ultimately millions, of undetected premature deaths across the globe. Having already gone through the trans fat experience it remains something of a shock to learn that, despite the billions invested in, and earned from, this technology, there has only ever been one published study on the direct human impact of eating GM food. And it found unexpected effects...... Given that the first study raising health concerns in relation to trans fats was published in 1957, and yet New York City only began banning them in 2006, perhaps it is reasonable to project that the first bans on GM foods might begin arriving sometime around 2060. The trouble is, by then there may well be little else available left to eat."
Ban Trans Fats Now, GM Foods Only Later?

NLPWessex, September 2008

'Trust Us - Like You Trusted The Bankers And Their Regulators'

"All policymakers must be vigilant to the possibility of research data being manipulated by corporate bodies and of scientific colleagues being seduced by the material charms of industry. Trust is no defence against an aggressively deceptive corporate sector."
Tobacco industry efforts subverting International Agency for Research on Cancer’s second-hand smoke study
THE LANCET • Vol 355 • 8 April, 2000

"The charge sheet is horrifying, inexorable and convincing. The multinational firm Monsanto, which sells 90 percent of genetically modified organisms (GMO), massively lies to many people and even the whole planet with great success - the power that money and the - apparently unlimited - support of the United States government bestows. You already know all that if you watched Marie-Monique Robin's extraordinary documentary, 'The World According to Monsanto'’"
‘The Monstrous Monsanto Universe’

Le Monde, 12 March 2008

The full version of the above investigative documentary can be viewed on-line by typing 'The World According To Monsanto' into the search tool of YouTube or other similar web video archive sites. Alternatively the documentary is available for purchase on DVD (click here for more details - DVD plays in English, French and German languages)

worldmonsantousa.jpg (67224 bytes)

"This letter is a response to the piece by Mick Willoughby in the June issue [of CLA Land & Business magazine], which in my view was full of unsupported assertions and bullet points dressed up as facts. Those presumably came directly from the Monsanto Corporation, passed on to Mr Willoughby during his visit to their St Louis headquarters. He should not believe everything he is told, and he might find it educational to view the recent French film The World According To Monsanto which carefully documents the corporation's methods of conducting science and doing business. I found it terrifying.... There is a 'revolving door' between the GM industry and the state-funded bodies that are supposed to regulate its activities and protect the public. Most of the approvals for GM crops are based on 'advocacy science' provided by the GM companies and protected from public scrutiny."
'Star Letter' - Why The Genes Don't Fit - Jim Bowen
Country Land & Business Association (England and Wales), Land & Business Magazine, July 2008

"The perception that everything is totally straightforward and safe [with GM food] is utterly naive. I don't think we fully understand the dimensions of what we're getting into."
Professor Philip James, Director of the Rowett Research Institute,
and author of the Food Standards Agency
'James' Report commissioned by Tony Blair
Scottish Daily Record, 3 February 1998

'Women Against Men In White Coats'

"Americans are also divided in their assessment of the benefits and dangers of genetic engineering.... there is a clear gender difference in attitudes surrounding genetic engineering . A large number of men have had a positive view of genetic engineering for the past decade, but American women have been almost equally divided on the issue."
Attitudes Toward Science and Technology Policy Issues
SCIENCE & ENGINEERING INDICATORS - 1996 - National Science Board

"Almost everything we grow, everything we eat is the root result of human intervention, human breeding and so on. But this [GM technology] is unnatural in a different sort of way from the kinds of breeding programs that have characterized humanity for ten thousand years.... So the question which people have, I believe, not only a right but a duty to ask, is how wisely will we use these unprecedented new powers? What are the risks associated with doing something this new and this profound at the very wellsprings of life? How are they going to be managed? How will we have credible oversight? How will we have credible and effective monitoring of the introduction of this technology? Certainly, humanity's record for using technology wisely, sensitive to its potential effects on society, on people, on environment is, at best, mixed and hardly encouraging....We have not yet identified, yet alone cloned, the gene for wisdom, and some skepticism about our ability to manage powerful new technologies is appropriate.... "
Robert Shapiro,Chief Executive of Monsanto

Speech on genetic engineering presented at State of the World Forum
Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco, CA , October 27, 1998

"A group of New Zealand mothers led by a former pop star have launched a provocative billboard campaign to protest their government's decision to allow agricultural genetic engineering.  The billboard ads feature a four-breasted woman attached to a milking machine. Members of Mothers Against Genetic Engineering in Food and the Environment, also known as MAdGE, oppose releasing genetically modified organisms into the environment. They want the government to reverse its decision to lift a ban on genetic engineering, a change that goes into effect on Oct. 29. The group's members say such projects, such as a plan for generating genetically engineered cow milk, will lead to a world in which genetic engineering has gone wild, perhaps not as wild as women with four breasts hooked up to milking machines, but at least as disturbing. Alannah Currie, the group's founder, said she designed the ads to provoke an ethical debate. 'Just because science can, should science? And how far will they go?' said Currie, who is a former member of pop group the Thompson Twins. MAdGE has posted five ads in Auckland and two in Wellington. The billboards will stay up until the end of October....The billboards were created in response to efforts by AgResearch, the country's largest biotech company, to insert human genes into cows to create designer milk. Members of MAdGE suspect Fonterra, the country's largest milk company, of planning similar experiments. However, Fonterra denies the accusations."
Moms Battle Genetic Engineering
Wired, 18 October 2003

What You Can Do About It


"A new [GM] opposition campaign — http://www.bangmfood.org — was endorsed in the November issue of The Ecologist magazine, an influential voice in the global environmental movement."
A fruitless campaign
Nature 456, 421-422 (27 November 2008)

'Ten Reasons Why We Don't Need GM Food' - Find Out More

* Download the BanGM food.org information leaflet (pdf)
* View the astounding TV documentary 'The World According To Monsanto'
* Take action by writing to your political representatives about what is really going on and what the solutions are - the BanGMfood.org site tells you how

Visit the BanGMfood.org web site for more information - Click Here

'We Need A New Way Of Thinking' - Consciousness-Based Education

NLPWESSEX, natural law publishing