Son of a Farmer

“Everything is connected. That bond is what keeps this Planet dancing round in poetic choreography. That connection is what keeps us all alive. What we do to the Earth, we do to ourselves. If we are capable of destruction, we are most certainly capable of healing. ” – Eric Herm

Eric Herm, (organic farmer, author, activist and musician) translates modern day agriculture and life through various mediums and venues in his own unique West Texas manner. With plow, pen, guitar and sarcastic wit, Herm plunges forward into a world of tumbleweeds, sandstorms, droughts, GMOs, and rural existence.

Huber Interview in Acres USA

A recent interview in Acres USA Magazine’s May 2011 Issue with Dr. Don Huber sheds a lot of light on GMOs, Roundup, and Roundup Ready crops. Dr. Huber is a plant pathologist who has specialized in biology and control of soilborne pathogenic fungi, microbial ecology, biological control, microbial interactions and host-parasite physiology. In short, he’s spent more than 50 years as a plant pathologist. He recently retired from Purdue University. Dr. Huber sent a now infamous letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on January 11, 2011, highlighting his concerns with GMOs, glyphosate, and a newly-discovered organism that “promotes diseases of both plants and mammals, which is very rare.” This new organism is linked directly to GMOs and the herbicide Roundup (or other herbicides now containing glyphosate.) Glyphosate is the active ingredient used to kill vegetation in these particular herbicides. Roundup has been used predominantly with Roundup Ready crops since the early 1990s. Roundup is also used as a commercial spray for lawns and gardens all across the United States.

In interviews, I’ve compared planting and eating GMOs to “making love to a toxic blow-up doll every night. It’s a poor substitute for the real thing.” That continues to be my best analogy of this dangerous subject. So long as we don’t realize what we are doing, it is difficult to know how severe the problem truly is. Education and awareness are our main sources of winning this fight. As more scientists like Dr. Huber continue to come forward with their studies, I’m confident we’re getting closer to that realization here in America.

Here are some quotes from Huber in that interview:

On diseases, pathogens caused by GMOs and bio-genetic technology:

“They find it (newly discovered organism) with cattle and pigs and horses and poultry…In trying to identify how the animals were being infected, they began looking at the feed and found that soybean meal was just loaded with it. They also find it in silage and corn products…The Fusarium fungus that causes Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) is very compatible with this new organism…This new organism may be an opportunistic that is able to take advantage of a weakened condition and then really move forward.”

“High infertility and abortions in animals with corn and soybean feeds containing high populations of this organism.”

On glyphosate, the active ingredient in the Roundup herbicide that kills plants:

“The difference with glyphosate is that it is not specific to just one mineral nutrient, but immobilizes many of them and doesn’t affect a primary mechanism to cause death by itself. It merely turns of the plant’s defense mechanisms so that soil-borne fungi that would normally take weeks to months to damage a plant can kill it in just a few days after glyphosate is applied.”

“It’s not quite analogous, but you could say that what you’re doing with glyphosate is you’re giving the plant a bad case of AIDS. You’ve shut down the immune system or the defense system.”

“That can be quite damaging to the crop and actually limit uptake of nutrients required by the crop as much as 60 to 70 percent, and that’s pretty much across the board…the plant can’t utilize them because of glyphosate’s toxicity.”

“There is an increasing level of glyphosate in our food chain, and with the toxicological date that’s now available, the levels are often many times the level that would send up a very serious concern from a clinical laboratory standpoint. Some of that data shows that quite low levels of glyphosate are very toxic to liver cells, kidney cells, testicular cells, and the endocrine hormone system, and it becomes important because all of the systems are interrelated. We’re finding high levels of glyphosate in manure. You have to ask how the chicken got it or how the hog or cattle got it, and of course, that’s through their feed. Is it all moving through the animal or is it also into their meat and other tissues?”

“It (glyphosate) can stunt the plant for a time before the plant recovers in a sterile soil. But in a non-sterile soil, you shut down that secondary system responsible for defense against those soil pathogens and it’s like tying both hands behind the back and letting them trounce on it.”