water supply

GMOs in water supply may be behind Fronterra botulism scare in New Zealand

Sunday, August 25, 2013 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: GMOs, water supply, Fronterra

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(NaturalNews) The world's largest dairy exporter, New Zealand, is struggling to maintain its prized reputation as a global leader in high-quality dairy production following a recent botulism scare involving whey protein manufactured by the country's largest dairy conglomerate. New expert analysis of the situation has revealed that the contamination event was most likely caused by pollution from genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in the water and animal food supply and not an isolated dirty pipe as is being widely reported.

Fonterra, the dairy company whose products have been implicated in the scare, had early on discovered that several batches of whey protein concentrate produced at its facility in Hautapu were contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium that the company believed had come from an old pipe at the plant. But, as recently reported by New Zealand's Stuff.co.nz, this explanation appears to be invalid, as Clostridium botulinum has to come from somewhere and does not just appear randomly without a source.

According to Frank Rowson, a veterinarian and farm consultant who recently spoke with the media about the situation, this source is most likely Fonterra's own farms, where animals are routinely fed rations containing GM soy, corn and other unnatural materials. Not only are these transgenic grains problematic for animal health, contributing to the formation of Clostridium botulinum and other harmful pathogens in their manure, but the chemicals, like Monsanto's Roundup (glyphosate), that they are sprayed with also run-off into the soil and groundwater, causing further problems.

"This disease originates in contaminated feed and animal manure, and research all over the world ... shows that GM feeds and the use of increased amounts of glyphosate herbicides increases the prevalence of this disease in pigs, poultry and dairy cattle, and the neurotoxin that causes the disease will pass through the food chain into milk," says Rowson. "The most likely source is on farm or in silage and grains or soy mixed in rations, all of which have glyphosate which stimulates growth of Clostridia and other pathogenic bacteria and fungi."

GMOs, Roundup responsible for contaminating at least 870 tons of food products

Reports indicate that Rowson had already agreed to meet with executives from both Fonterra and the anti-GMO group, GE Free NZ, in a few weeks to discuss the threat of glyphosate contamination in the food supply. But since news of the contamination scare has now gone public, Rowson says officials have decided they also want to meet to discuss this important issue, and to come up with potential mitigatory solutions to resolve it.

As far as the dirty pipe story is concerned, Rowson says it is definitely possible that bacteria became lodged inside a pipe and festered with dirt to create a toxic sludge. But the bacteria still had to come from a source on the farm, the most likely explanation of which would be animals that ate contaminated food or drank contaminated water. And this all links back, of course, to the use of GMO-supplemented animal feed, a practice that has to end for the preservation of New Zealand's lucrative dairy industry.

"The dirty pipe would be contaminated by product from cows or water supply and the organism would multiply in the dirt in the pipe," explains Rowson about how the contamination may have occurred. "That's what gets into the pipes, otherwise, I hope it is not in their water."

According to The National Business Review, at least 870 tons of consumer products distributed all across the globe were affected by the recent botulism scare, as they may contain Fonterra's contaminated whey protein concentrate or its derivatives. Many of these products include ready-made infant formulas and other meal replacement products designed for children, a fact that Fonterra has been open and honest about in its ongoing investigation.

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