Radiation-induced mutation breeding of plants was precursor to modern-day GMOs

Saturday, August 27, 2011 by: PF Louis
Tags: GMOs, mutations, health news

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(NaturalNews) The motives of feeding the world and ending hunger are expressed to keep critics at bay. Although some real issues are occasionally addressed successfully, scientists are prone to meddle with nature without investigating potential hazards.

And there are those, including this author, who say the short sighted technocrats who gleefully meddle with nature are serving a larger vision of depopulation.

The Atomic Energy Plant Mutation Breeding

Not many know about the precursor to today's GMO madness. Shortly after WW II, a movement for peaceful applications of atomic energy, "atoms for peace," began.

Before atomic energy for electrical power or vessel propulsion would manifest, atomic gardens began exposing plants with gamma ray radiation in large circular gardens to produce desired specialty plants or necessarily hardier plants that could resist certain diseases. Some efforts were also put into garden variety plants and flower, selling "atomic energized seeds" to amateur gardeners and professional nurseries.

The circular gardens surrounded a cobalt source of gamma rays on a pole in the center of that circle. The pole could be remotely controlled to slide down into a led shielded tube whenever workers walked in. Fences and alarms were installed to keep others from wandering in. Obviously, they knew of the dangers, but assumed it would be okay to radiate food plants.

The plants being radiated would be in wedges with the largest part at the edge of the circle and the smallest part in the center. Plants closest to the center often died. Plants farther away mutated excessively and were deformed. Farther back plants looked the same but were unpredictably genetically modified.

The stolons (horizontal stems at the base of plants) of those exposed plants would be inserted into a crop field that wasn't exposed to radiation. This created a short cut to hybrid plants or crops which were considered more desirable than the originals.

We know now how none of those experimenting with seed radiation fully considered the implications of the atomic beast providing its energy. Gamma rays were used in atomic gardens or small labs to genetically alter seeds. External exposure to gamma rays is dangerous, leading to radiation sickness and cancer. Ingesting items emitting gamma rays creates an internal exposure that is more dangerous and difficult to remove.

As these dangers became more evident, atomic gardens and seeds fell out of favor as a solution to food supply issues.

A Couple of Survivors

However, two mutated varieties from that era are still prominent. One is the Rio Star grapefruit. It was atomically hybrid in Texas to create a grapefruit whose fruit and juice were more red than any grown in that state previously.

Another atomic survivor is the peppermint plant Mentha piperita. It was susceptible to the fungal disease Vericillium wilt. Thousands of stolons were irradiated at the Brookhaven National Laboratory from the mid-1950s and planted in wilt infested fields.

By 1971, Todds Mitcham cultivars (specially cultivated plants) emerged as the peppermint that would resist the wilt fungus. Most global production of mint oil, used in gum, toothpaste, candies, scented oils, soaps and candles is produce from the atomically modified Mentha piperita. Mint oil is a multimillion dollar business.

Garden historian Paige Johnson, who was interviewed about atomic energy gardens, explained that we don't know the genetic line of lots of foods we take for granted. Someone's garden plants or veggies from what were thought to be heirloom seeds may have anomalies generated by stolons from decades old gamma ray exposed plants.

And we don't know how much current bad health could be attributed to those decades of plant radiating experiments that were the precursors to our modern GMO menace.

Then and Now

It seems the atomic garden hazards have left the agricultural scene. Instead, radiation from nuclear power and radiation from spent military ammunition made with "depleted" uranium threaten us all more than ever.

The current GMO monster menaces human health and more. The health issues from GMO's main gene transfer promoter alone, Ca35S, guarantees immune system dysfunction by ruining gut flora. GMO production scientists assumed the Ca35S would be neutralized in the stomach. It is just another example of a half-baked premise.

As more GM crops and trees infest pristine crops and forests, all plant life is threatened. Once infested, those crops or trees stay that way. There is no return to nature. The GMO monster threatens all of plant life.

A recent UN agricultural study concluded that small organic farms were capable of producing more yield per acre while maintaining topsoil health than large mono-culture Big Ag farms that destroy the topsoil. The UN study proposed this as the future solution to world food supply shortages. This won't happen if Monsanto succeeds with its stated goal of controlling the food supply.

In addition to GMOs, Monsanto is buying up normal seeds and, by way of convoluted corporate legalese, getting those seeds patented too. Monsanto's 100 year product legacy is nothing but toxic chemicals and food additives that endanger plant and human life.

And now after a few short years, GMO farming has proven disastrous. But Monsanto marches on with government support. Are we approaching the end, my friend?

Sources for more information include:

Paige Johnson interview
Scientific paper on CaMV 35S promoter from cauliflower mosaic virus

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