Joel Salatin on Spermicides in Genetically Modified Crops

by Ann Marie Michaels on March 2, 2009

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Dow Chemical's GMO team putting spermicides in grain

Would a chemical corporation knowingly put spermicides into genetically modified crops? Joel Salatin says they do.

From Joel Salatin’s Polyface Farm Blog:

So last Friday I had dinner in Minneapolis and met a fellow and his family who are farming north of the twin cities. He had attended Purdue University in Indiana, was an excellent student, and Dow Chemical hired him right out of college. He described the fancy trucks, the fancy dinners, the fancy resort conventions that the company supplied.

His team was working on GMOs and he found out one day that they were putting spermicides into grain to ship strategically to countries around the world where U.S. foreign policy wanted population control. This is part of the U.S. foreign aid package. Appalled at this discovery, he asked the other team members if they had a problem with what was going on — everyone else was fine with it. He handed in his resignation that day.

I find this shocking and hard to believe. But Joel Salatin is a person I trust.

So I googled a little and found these two articles:

GMO Corn Makes Men Sterile
Spermicidal Breakfast Cereal

If they will put spermicides into crops, what else are they doing? Scary, eh?

Photo credit: World of Oddy on Flickr
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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Anna March 2, 2009 at 8:13 AM

First thought was not appropriate to comment for family reading.

Second thought: About how many years ago did this begin?

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cheeseslave March 2, 2009 at 9:11 AM

Not sure — this is the first I’ve heard of it.

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Shannon March 2, 2009 at 9:23 AM

I am not surprised at all by this. I think that we trust the government far too much. We shouldn’t trust them with our money or our food. They certainly don’t have our best interests at heart.

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Kristin March 2, 2009 at 9:28 AM

I knew GMOs were causing sterility but it never occurred to me they might be doing this INTENTIONALLY!

Didn’t know Joel Salatin had a blog up! Thanks for that link.

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Christine Kennedy March 2, 2009 at 10:29 AM

Well, I knew our government was evil, but to go that far? I still haven’t picked my jaw up off the floor yet. This info. needs to get out to the general public ASAP! Thank-you for posting this AM. This is unbelievable.

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Jenny March 2, 2009 at 10:33 AM

That is incredibly disturbing, but I agree with Shannon – we trust the government entirely too much. It makes me very, very angry though.

Jenny’s last blog post..Week in Review: Criminal Nutrition

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Vehement Flame March 2, 2009 at 1:22 PM

ummmm , WHAT?!!!!

Vehement Flame’s last blog post..What to do when your Husband goes away for the afternoon

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Kristen March 2, 2009 at 4:28 PM

Ok this is incredibly scary – what are we going to do when these crops start cross-pollinating with other crops? What if one day all corn has these genes in it – we’re going to destroy our own race.

Makes me want to buy a few hundred acres of forest and plop down a farm right in the middle of it – far, far away from other crops. And I’d still worry :(

Kristen’s last blog post..Sleepies, Sickness, Bedwetting, Birthday, and Anniversary…general update

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cheeseslave March 2, 2009 at 5:20 PM

Love your new user icon, Kristen!

Yep, yep, it is scary…

I do not think the answer is to pull a Walden — we have to join together and put a stop to this. Just like they did in Europe.

This is why we are about to launch the No GMO Blog Challenge!

Coming soon…

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Blue Raven March 3, 2009 at 1:30 PM

This is definitely unfortunate IF we can get direct documentation instead of going on anecdotal evidence. What bothers me is the number of people here complaining how we can’t trust the government with our food. Do you have the least idea what was being sold to people before the government stepped in to regulate it? Would you believe chalk dust and lard dyed yellow and sold as butter? The last several years have seen a decline in the value of government oversight due to severe cutbacks in the FDA combined with cronyism. But an intelligently run FDA gets us a far safer product on the grocery store shelves than what we’d get if they stopped existing.

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Katie March 6, 2009 at 3:41 AM

I loved learning about Joel Salatin’s farm in The Omnivore’s Dilemma recently. If you’ve ever seen Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs, you’ll know why Polyface Farms made me think of that show. I went to the website and recommended that Mike Rowe do an episode at Polyface — he would love all the uses of “poo”! If you know what I’m talking about, go to Discovery’s website and add in a “yay” on the forum. Wouldn’t it be great publicity for grass farming and local growers to see Joel on national TV?

Katie’s last blog post..Food for Thought: The cost of using your kitchen’s appliances

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Jocelyn March 9, 2009 at 11:40 AM

http://uscl.info/edoc/doc.php?doc_id=49&action=inline

Little bit on 1984 ….planned parenthood – not one of the good guys!

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Debbie March 9, 2009 at 8:07 PM

What is to become of us!
We need to educate people. People need to wake up and pay attention to what goes on in the world, and stand up for what is right.
Jocelyn
I read your link. PP is an evil organization, no doubt.

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TeamBettendorf March 10, 2009 at 9:09 PM

This post reminded me of 10 years ago when Jeff was being kicked out of the Air Force for refusing to take the anthrax vaccine. I was at a park on base and this woman and I strike up a conversation. Jeff was all over the news at that time and she starts talking about “this guy that is refusing the shot” in a not so positive way. I quickly informed her that “that guy” was my husband. So she backpedals a bit and says “Oh, why is he refusing the vaccine?” I start to explain “Well, it can cause immune system problems.” and she replies “Oh, my husband is very healthy. Never sick a day in his life.” Ok. I present something else. She has an answer. I say “It can cause sterility.” Her reply?
“We’re done having kids anyway.”
Seriously.

TeamBettendorf’s last blog post..We Love Technology.

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Kris May 23, 2009 at 11:23 AM

Hi there, I’m a student at the University of Delaware, and I stumbled across this page while doing a research paper on unintended or unexpected effects of genetically modified food. Your post on the subject of “spermicidal corn” is interesting, but a bit misinformed.

Firstly, the expression of the gene that produces these contraceptive antibodies occurs in the cells of the corn plant, which means that the protein antibodies are also produced there. It’s impossible for a genetic sequence from plants to enter human cells, a process called “horizontal gene transfer.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horizontal_gene_transfer) This means that eating this corn will not cause the consumer to produce these antibodies, only that the actual flesh of the corn plant will contain these contraceptive antibodies. Absorption of these antibodies by the digestive system is also unlikely, as they’re attacked and denatured by the body’s first line of defenses. If it were possible for this to occur, scientists could have created an edible vaccine by now. (http://www.acfnewsource.org/science/edible_vaccines.html)

This crop was developed with the intent of creating plant-based contraceptives, not an edible biopharmaceutical contraceptive (or biological weapon, depending on whose opinion you ask). In fact, Epicyte, the company that created this species, is also working on the expression of antibodies against the herpes virus in corn, perhaps with the goal of a contraceptive gel that is preventative of herpes. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2001/sep/09/gm.food)

I’m not sure who started the scientifically inaccurate rumor that we can somehow produce corn that makes men who eat it sterile, but that’s scientifically improbable. The sources that you cited in this post (brooklynskeptic.net and alternet.org) seem biased and unreliable. In the interest of scientific accuracy, you may want to research the background of the story a bit more before reporting it.

I agree that American consumers should insist on GM labelling and more extensive premarket testing of transgenic food, but overreacting to a story like this based on biased and anecdotal evidence isn’t the way to accomplish that. Fight with information and persistence, not fanaticism.

Feel free to contact me personally for further discussion on this matter. My e-mail is kgarrand AT udel DOT edu. I look forward to hearing from you!

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Melissa CR September 27, 2012 at 6:46 AM

Hi Kris,
I recently heard Joel speak at my university, the man referenced as the former Dow Chemical employee, so I can vouch for his story. As far as your perspective on horizontal gene transfer, I understand what you are saying and the difficulties of developing this technology, but it is possible and we already have edible vaccines:
http://www.pharmainfo.net/reviews/edible-vaccinesa-novel-approach here is one link but there are many more on this current technology.

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Euradum Liberalhippy November 27, 2009 at 9:15 PM

If you read either of the websites that the author posted, you will see that he is wrong… neither article says anything about the US shipping spermicidal corn to foreign countries.

Actually. i only read one of his links because the other was broken.

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Hunter Reed October 5, 2010 at 1:32 AM

organic farms could actually save us from carcinogens and toxins~,:

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Melatonin Health Side Effects · November 8, 2010 at 8:04 PM

organic farms will be the trend in the years to come because everyone would hate toxic foods in their table “

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LeahS July 19, 2011 at 10:40 PM

whoa. That is something I haven’t heard before. Does anyone have anymore info about this? holey crap.

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:w00t: GO YOU!! THIS ROCKS! The interaction between the art and myself is at an all-time high after seeing this. This is great! Im keeping my eye on you…

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