Tag Archives: rat study

Isha’s Epiphany

“I wish I could eat GMOs Mommy”

– Isha, seven

Isha was responding to my blanket response to buycott junk food because it has GMOs.  Isha feels that she is unfairly denied treats.  Which most of her classmates eat.  How to deal with a child who doesn’t understand?  How to deal with a population who’s been denied the right to know what they are eating?

Once I started to understand that if my food here in N. America isn’t certified organic, it probably has GMOs.  This took some time for me to digest after coming back from many years of living in Europe.  Shoppers here are deluded by “natural”.  If food is labelled ‘Natural” and only that, it has no traceable system.  It probably has toxic pesticides and herbicides and GMOs too.

On one end of the food spectrum is obvious junk with artificial colors, flavours, aspartame….  Nobody should eat that #$*.  These products must be categorically banished from food forever.  But in the middle of the food spectrum is, let’s say, run of the mill “Natural” cookies.  The do not have artificial anything on the label.  But they most likely contain GMOs because they have sugar and corn.  Or soy or canola.  Most of the N. American supply is now GMO of these 4 staples.  Or how about milk products or derivatives from cows fed hormones or GMOs?  These ‘natural’ foods have toxic pesticides and herbicides and fungicides too.  This kind of “Natural” product is worse perhaps because moms are lured into a false sense of security of it being healthy and “natural”.

My 12 year told daughter Diya gets it, both the obvious junk and the hidden GMO Junk,  We looked up the lab results on artificial flavours and colours the other day.  But Isha still was begging for GMOs until the other day.  She had an epiphany hallelujah praise the Lord.  She was looking over my shoulder as I was scrolling through my facebook feed.  She stopped me at the Seralini Study Rats which I have been immune to having seen these grotesque images many times over the last year.  The Seralini study methodology was originally criticized by scientists in the employ of big biotech.  But recently his study has now become recognized by the European Food Safety Authority

“Ug, what’s that mom!?” Isha exclaimed, her little face all screwed up “What that those things?” she pointed to the tumors on these poor rats fed GMOs.  So many studies who lone alarming thing after the other with animal fed GMOs: shrunken testes, inflamed pig stomachs….  But it was these pictures that did it for Isha.


“Those rats were fed GMOs throughout their lives”  I responded.

“They ate GMOs?!” she looked like she was going to be sick.


“I’m not eating GMOs ever again” she said decisively.

I could finally breath a sigh of relief.  Isha finally got it.  She understood in a heartbeat that I wasn’t depriving her of GMOs to assert my maternal authority for authority’s sake.

It’s reminded me of the re-education of the N. American public when with came to smoking.  When I was a kid, a nurse came into my school and showed us photos of healthy lungs vs smokers’ lungs.  This got me thinking…  Maybe we should show Seralini’s rats?  Here is a diagram my daughter Diya brought home from her life studies class.  I’ll spare y’ll the other diagrams (yup, I’m refereing to the sex-ed diagrams – btw this paper is a little beat up because we tried to make a paper flute out of it.  Anybody have luck with that?)


To conclude, we were walking in downtown Toronto when we encountered some guy  promoting some online bank.  He was thrusting popsicles into the hands of eager passer-bys.  It was a hot muggy day.   I refused but my daughters accepted.  Half-way though eating them, my 12 year old read the ingredients in the orange popsicle.  In case you were wondering, it didn’t have orange in it.  I groaned.  Artificial colours, flavours, GMO sugar…cellulose.  Cellulose!  Cellulose is tree bark!  We aren’t designed to eat trees!

The girls made a face and looked at the frozen chemical concoctions they had been gleefully sucking on.  “Oh Mom,” their faces fell “We just can’t eat anything.”  I heard despair in their little voices.  This was a tough moment for me.  I don’t want my kids to become paranoid about their food.  But….

I told them that a little bit probably wouldn’t hurt them.  They were only somewhat reassured.  I was uneasy.

Video of My First Rally Speech

“Courage is about doing what you’re afraid to do.  There can be no courage unless you’re scared.”

– Eddie Rickenbacker

Until May 25th 2013, I had never addressed a crowd at a rally.  I was scared and prepared my speech for days.  Speaking at a rally is something I had never seen myself doing.  I like to sing songs in front of people, stir up lyrical and melodic beauty, make people laugh (or cry) – with song.  I have never considered myself an activist.  But I suppose I am becoming an activist if it means that I want to know what’s in and on my food that I then put in my body.   At this time in history, we are activists in N. America if we want to know whether our food has GMOs in them.

64 countries in the world either ban GMOs or require them to be labelled.  There are countless compelling reasons for this.  I realized that if I didn’t do something, how could I rely on others to speak for me, address my concerns?  More selfishly, if I didn’t take some kind of action, I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night, knowing that our bees are dying, our waters are being poisoned and our soils destroyed by GMO agriculture.  Every independent study shows that toxins from GMOS are in our blood and our urine.  These are known carcinogens, hormone disruptors   These are poisons.   They are toxic.  They are in our foods because the companies making them did 3 month-long rat studies saying that they were safe for humans.  This ‘scientific evidence’ was rubber stamped by the FDA.  Europeans and others did similar studies and came to drastically different conclusions.  GMO have never been tested on humans.  The promise of GMOs reducing pesticide use was quickly deconstructed.  I was speaking with two young French biology students yesterday who told me that GMOs were necessary to reduce pesticide use.  What they were not being told was that even with plants that have a pesticide spliced in the gene, farmers still dump copious amounts of pesticides.  I’m going to send them the data this morning to convince them.  The use of pesticides is ever exponentially increasing.

Like the Moms who are marching across America (Moms across America March to Label GMOs) to demand mandatory labelling of GMOs I see Canadian moms following the common sense of our American sisters.  We must stand up for our poisoned soils and waters.

Someone posted this 12 min clip of my Speech at the March Against Monsanto

There are a couple errors.  For the record, I have an Honours BA in Biology from the University of Chicago.  I have an MA in Biopsychology also from The University of Chicago.  I began Doctoral Studies in Cellular Biology in Neurobiology at the University of Barcelona but left after a year.  I have one co-authored scientific article on Rat Behaviour.  All that said, I dont consider myself a “Biologist” not being an academic and not having completed my doctorate in Neurobiology.  Also the bug study In the GMOs versus organic fields wasn’t an independently reviewed study.

My favourite part of the speech is at the end when my daughter leaped into my arms, wearing her favourite green GMO shirt with three armholes.  She likes to put her leg through the third armhole.  The T-shirts, made by Nature’s Path Foods say, “GMO shirts are easy to spot, GMO foods aren’t.”

Demand labelling, demand your right to know what is in your food.

If it’s scary and you feel like you’re becoming an activist, welcome to the club.  What can be more important than how we treat others, how were treat our Mother Earth?  What we put on our bodies?  What we put in our bodies?

You tell me.