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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Darwin Is Dead!-Did Darwin Kill God?

If you would like to contribute to our year-long "celebration" of Darwin's 200th birthday, please send your articles, editorials, or any other creative and informative pieces to

(Theologian and philosopher Connor) Cunningham is a firm believer in the theory of evolution, but he is also a Christian. He believes that the clash between Darwin and God has been hijacked by extremists - fundamentalist believers who reject evolution on one side, and fundamentalist atheists on the other. Cunningham attempts to overturn what he believes are widely held but mistaken assumptions in the debate between religion and evolution.

- from the BBC website

Click here to head on over to our friends at Atma Yogi to check out the video series "Did Darwin Kill God?"

Friday, June 26, 2009

Terminator: Damnation

The harsh reality of the growing influence of such companies as Monsanto on our food supply is something we need to be educated about.

After all, the jury is still way out on the safety and effectiveness of GMO seeds. Despite this, these seeds have made their way into our local soils and markets with little regard for anything else but profit and "progress".

Here are a few short pieces to help you understand the underbelly of this new and very unnecessary "revolution" in how we grow and consume our God-given, natural foodstuffs

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Grow Your Own!

Winning the War on Food: Sprouting Seeds and Saving Seeds

With food prices rising, the dollar falling, and the economy reeling, it is becoming increasing important that we learn how to grow a portion of our own food. The first steps are obtaining and sprouting seeds, so we'll explore those topics here.

Enzymes Are Your Friends

It may seem hard to believe, but life forms on Earth are constantly submerged in two of the most corrosive substances in the Universe: Oxygen and H2O. Seen at the microscopic level, we are dissolving like an antacid tablet in
water . What keeps us alive in this highly solvent medium? It turns out that the enzymes in raw food offset the damage we sustain, reversing the aging process. A rare disease called Progeria, Hutchinson Gilford causes extreme premature aging due to lack of enzyme activity. New studies at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences link autism to reduced enzyme activity.

Though we all eventually succumb to the ravages of time and oxidation, we can slow the process by consuming living foods that are rich in
enzymes . Fresh, raw foods like sprouts are among those foods containing the most enzymes, but for the healthiest and freshest sprouts it is best to grow them yourself.

Sprouting Sunflower Seeds

Most of us have tried
sunflower seeds , but it's likely they were no longer alive. The ones we had were probably already shelled, dried, roasted, irradiated, salted, preserved, bagged, shipped, and stored for long periods of time, by which point every last enzyme had perished. Wouldn't it make sense to consume living seeds ? Real seeds will lay dormant for many years or until activated by moisture.

After sprouting, most edible seeds such as Alfalfa, Broccoli and Radish are left in the sun for a couple of days to produce Chlorophyll (a process called Greening or Photosynthesis). Sunflower seeds are ready to eat once they sprout so they are a great first choice for sprouting. Along with containing nearly every vitamin, fresh sprouts actually produce minerals not present in the original seed through a process called transmutation, so they are an extremely cost effective form of nutrition. (Instructions for sunflower sprouts are provided at end of this article).

Seed Types

After learning to grow sprouts you may try growing sunflower greens, whole sunflowers or other vegetables. It is important to understand the main types of seeds:

* Heirloom seeds (also called Heritage seeds) will reproduce the same every generation. Most of us assume all seeds are like this.

* Hybrid seeds are the product of two unique plants and the seeds will gradually revert to the dominant parent over subsequent generations. While providing more variety, these seeds must be purchased again each season to obtain the same crop.

Genetically Modified ( GMO ) seeds are patented and require a license fee and a contract to use certain pesticides. Some GMO crops are designed to produce sterile (terminator gene technology) seeds. GMO seeds mix both plant and animal matter in ways that nature never intended. Recent studies showed that GMO crops have 10% lower yields.

GMO companies like Monsanto are part of the pesticide industry and they have been aggressively buying up seed companies for the past 20 years. Corporations prefer fruits and vegetables that are picked before ripening and have tougher skin in order to survive shipping. However if given a choice, consumers prefer fruit with more delicate skin and flavor. Farmers of generations past dedicated their entire lives to producing seeds for plants that would grow well in their local area, only to have them go extinct due to commercial interests.

"Fair Trade" alliances such as CAFTA and Codex Alimentarius seek to irradiate, patent and/or genetically modify all seeds. The new Iraqi Constitution only permits farmers to plant Monsanto GMO seeds. Canada's ridiculous C-51 legislation seeks to regulate all seeds and plants as "prescribed foods" which would effectively ban seed saving. However, seeds should be regarded as treasures and seed diversification is essential if we are to withstand food viruses such as the one that caused the Great Potato Famine in Ireland in the 1840s.

Stock up on Heirloom seeds while you still can!

Recipe for Sunflower Sprouts


* Sprouting Jar.

* Screen Lid (or cheese cloth and rubber band).

* Sprouting Sunflower seeds (food grade).

* Filtered Water (I prefer distilled).


* Fill jar about half-way with sunflower seeds.

* Add enough water to cover seeds.

* Soak seeds 1-2 hours and drain.

* Turn jar upside down and rest at an angle inside a soup pot to allow excess water to drain.

* Keep seeds in moist, dark area at room temperature 2-3 days.

* Rinse and drain seeds once each day.

* Sunflower sprouts do not grow large and are ready to eat nearly right away.

* The sprout will be about 2-3 times the size of the seed.

* To remove hull, hold the seed with one hand and tug the sprout with the other.

* Store in refrigerator and consume within 2-3 days.

Recommended Material

The Seed Exchange Garden Seed Inventory is a catalog of catalogs offering virtually every available Heirloom seed in the U.S. Seed to Seed, Seed saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners by Suzanne Ashworth is the companion book. An informative DVD documenting the dangers of GMO foods is The Future of Food. Help stop C-51 at .
About the author

Neil McLaughlin is a Computer Scientist and Inventor specializing in 3D Graphics and Simulation.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

ISCOWP Farms 09 Power Point

“Our farm projects are an extremely important part of our movement. We must become self-sufficient by growing our own grains and producing our own milk, then there will be no question of poverty. So develop these farm communities as far as possible. They should be developed as an ideal society depending on natural products not industry.” Letter to Rupanuga 18 December 1974

Our friends at The International Society For Cow Protection have posted their 2009 ISKCON Farms Power Point Presentation.

It's informative, challenging, and inspiring, a vision we can get behind to restore Prabhupada's vital call for rural prosperity and self-sufficiency.

You can download the presentation at the ISCOWP website by clicking here

The Social Role of Cows

From the May 23, 2009 edition of ISKCON News

Click here to read a great article about "The Social Role of Cows"

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Vision of New Vraja Dham

From a recent presentation by HG Radha-Krsna Prabhu at New Vrindaban Dham

This is a excellent and very detailed of the specific wonders and efforts that have made New Vraja Dham a real fulfillment of Prabhupada's vision for Vedic village life.

Istagosthi Notes - May 12, 2009

The visiting devotees from New Vraja Dhama (NVD) in Hungary presented a lot of information about their community, what it does, and how it works.

A total of 25 devotees attended the Istagosthi. There were a number of other options also scheduled at the same timing (a pizza "party" for all the festival workers), so attendance was down a little.

New Vraja Dhama (NVD) is also known as Eco Valley or Krsna Valley and is tucked in Hungary in the middle of Austria , Croatia , Romania and more. Hungary is a very small country about ½ the size of Mumbai. There are 2 temple, 1 in the capital and the farm project (New Vraja Dhama). There are 10 other centers around Hungary . There are about 1000 congregational members.

In Hungary there are 11 Eco villages (according to the standards set by the University there). Of these 11 villages only 2 are sustainable in the 3 areas of Environmentally, Socially, and Economically, one of which is New Vraja Dhama (NVD).

In NVD the temple building is in the center of all the other buildings. And Radhe Shyam are the Center of the Center. Everything in NVD is considered to be the abode of Radhe Shyam, so everything is kept up to a very high standard of cleanliness - the buildings, the surroundings, the grass, the trees, the cow barn are considered like the altar. Even the cow barn looks like you could eat off the floor. The devotees express their love and devotion through offering opulent flower garlands, more than just jewelry.

NVD has 550 acres, 800 different types of trees in the forest. The housing area is made up of apartment buildings with 6 flats in each building.

The temple is in the middle and there is a road called "The Milky Way" which leads to the goshala. There are 130 devotees living directly on the property and these devotees are all fed from the vegetable garden and the orchard. They have 150 beehives and sell a lot of honey. The Missionary Grhastra Community is to establish Varnashrama.

The land was purchased in 1993 and the main building constructed from 1993 to 1996. The Housing Area was developed next and The development of agriculture began in 1995 with $15,000.

About 130 devotees live on the temple property itself (40 couples, 20 children and 30 bramacaris) and another forty live in the nearby village. There are 11 Divisions of Activities with 44 different Departments. The 11 Divisions are: Education, Book Distribution, Social Care, Devotee Supplies, Eco Valley , Tourism, NVD Controlling (Administration - book keeping and preaching), Agriculture, Temple , Development (construction) and Business.

They use fructose and honey and no sugar. They do have to buy their butter to make ghee. But they cook only their own vegetables for the Deities (Radhe Shyam) and they use wood to cook.

There is a handicraft studio. The Social Care and Health Care is especially for the children, elders, mothers, and those will long term diseases.

When babies are born, they are offered to the Deities on the altar. Everything belongs to Radhe Shyam.

Each and everyone is engaged from the youngest to the oldest. There are only 4 children in the gurukula right now.

They have severe winters (almost like at New Vrindaban), they get snow for about 5 to 6 weeks. And their frost average is from the Beginning of November to the beginning of May. There do not have so much rain there

One of the biggest festivals is the Harvest Festival and also the Killing of Ravana. The children go collecting bhoga from the householders to bring to the Deities for Their Feast.

When visitors first see the goshalla they think it is a temple. It is called the Palace of the cows. The goshalla is pristine clean. Even the temple lawyer said he wanted to be born as a cow in that barn. Srila Sridhara Swami came and chanted his rounds with the cows.

The cows are milked by hand. There are cows with no babies that have been giving milk for 2 or 3 years before they even had a baby (about 2 to 3 liters per day). Every wedding ceremony includes feeding the cows chapattis, carrots and apples. The cows give over 3500 gallons of milk (per year?)

The Harvest Festival is the biggest festival of the year and they harvest the grain and grind the grain and offer the first chapatti to Govardhana. Everyone helps.

They produce 8 different kinds of grains, mostly for bread and chapattis.

They have 2 tractors and produce 10 times more grain than they need. There are 8 acres put aside just to cultivate with the oxen which provides enough for the entire community for the whole year. They also produce the grains for the animals.

All the houses are very colorful. They have rabbits, fox, 11 deer and some ground hogs. They deal with some animals by putting bottles in the soil with the top part sticking out. (Cruelty free animal control).

They do not produce anything for the outside market. They just try to produce enough for the devotees.

They grow more than 50 types of vegetables. They began by producing 80 to 100 differently types, including 40 different types of tomatoes. The cooks and pujari department gives a list to the garden about which vegetables are the best for cutting, peeling and storing for the winter and then the garden department tries to grow these things. They now only produce 5 different types of tomatoes that fit these qualifications. They grow cooperatively. They are working to provide for other temples.

The produce for the festivals are separate. They get 30,000 tourists and they are paying $6 - $7 to enter and go on a guided tour.

There are two separate types of tours - a 45 minute tour of the temple. Group tours last from 1.5 to 2.5 hours and care cultural programs for 100 - 120 guests. AT the end of the program everyone passes by the altar and they explain who is there and how their life is centered around the Deities. There is a peacock fan and they ask everyone to make a wish and fan Radhe Shyam (karma kanda).

Also in their website they ask tourists to bring some fruits and or flowers and they have a huge plate on the altar. Everyone sits down for a bhajan, then a pantomime or Bharanatium dance, a short 5 - 10 minute class. Then the guests are invited to dress up (as devotees) if they like or they can pray. So, they give them dhotis and saris and some play kartalas or whompers and at the very end they stand up and even dance.

For this they pay $15 - 20 per person, not including prasadam. Everyone is charged for prasadam. This is one set meal for prasadam, and 1 plate is usually enough. They don't feel preached to.

The "Bucsu" Festival for non-devotees - 6 to 8,0000 people. It is a 3 day Festival. They pay to come and spend 2 to 3 days. In the main tent 500 people with many different programs. There is a handicraft village at the Goshalla.

The Reality Show where guests get to experience "being" a devotee. The 1st room they go into is they are dressed in devotee clothes with Tilak and bindi and they are explain the importance of wearing these clothing. 2nd room - what is mantra meditation, ½ to 1 round together. 3rd room - give them ready made dough and they make a puri and they fry it. 4th room - Guests offer the puri and then told they can eat their puri.

They make sure they give everyone a receipt because the government agency sends representatives to check (in incognito).

They hire a train so people can go around the whole farm easily. Tourists are not allowed to visit the housing area.

They make a prasadam tent which is 1000 square feet.

There are 3 levels of Eco - Consciousness:

Preach to the scientists

The Indians - Living in harmony with the body - pure veg food - do not use any chemicals, yoga, mantra meditation

The Society

The Environment - Develop Eco - Ethics culture can be sustainable.

Living in a way that is in harmony by understanding our own Nature.

Scientific, Educational, Cooperative, representation and lobbying and communication

Scientific level - all fields of activity - Societal - (2 ministries), preventative, environmental protection, nature conservation, agriculture, Land Management, Water Management, Waste Management.

3 Main Results

1. International and cooperation - between Hungary and India (Ministries) on the governmental level.

2. Conferences for Ecological Sustainability. Signed cooperation with 6 universities. We can tutor students on the farm. Universities sending students to farm. They spend 2 to 3 months at the farm for practicum.

3. Ecological Workshops in Universities. They set the up and devotees give the lecture.

They have a Botanical garden with 800 types of trees and 1000 different plants, 109 species of birds.

There is a rain water collecting lake.

Lord Shiva's temple is in the Dhama. Also Srila Prabhupada's Samadhi. There are 650-700 Holy places all around the Farm (Varsana, Nandagram, Brahma ghat and Kaliya ghat.

- little hills and lakes), How Vrindaban manifests in NVD. They will be holding their first International Parikram.

Plans for the future

  1. To expand the housing area and standardize the houses using straw bale on the outside.

  2. Eco Portal - They applied for a grant to construct a research and educational center a conference room for 50 people which can be divided into smaller rooms. It will also have a library and offices.

  3. Ayurvedic Clinic for everyone. Health care. Indian doctors to come for 6 months to volunteer and train up others.

  4. Sewage system - the roots of reeds break down the waster water. A reep plantation which doesn't smell. Everything works by gravity.

  5. Bamboo plantation and Energy plantation.

Questions and Answers: They use 8 acres of crops to feed 150 people year round. They need to have proper storage, a root cellar. Their root cellar is 3 times larger than the prasadam room and is divided into 3. The 1st part is the Root vegetables, the middle section is for the canned fruits, and the 3rd section is all the other fruits. (Cannot mix everything because certain gases make the other food spoil.

How do they can? They made 4,500 (5 liter - 1.5 gallon) bottles of canned fruits and veggies.

The canning arrangement is from the 1st of April until October 31st. Two times per week each devotees on the farm (except those with very specific services) goes into the garden for 1.5 hours in the morning. Currently there are about 60 devotees doing this. The matajis stay in the temple room and listen to a Prabhupada lecture which they are cutting vegetables.

By the main kitchen there are huge vats where everything is cooked. There are gas stoves and woks. Huge pots fit into one wok. They boil the empty bottles and then keep them hot, then add the cooked fruits and veggies and turn the bottle upside down and a vacuum is created, which keep the supplies fresh. They make fruits and jams and vegetable preserves.

There are certain grains that cannot be grown. They cannot grow rice. So for self-sufficiency that have investigated what grains people used during the World Wars and that is what they are planting. They are changing their rice eating habit. Rice acts to cool the body. The hung grains will heat the body. The breed house has spinach and leafy greens in April.

Due to the climate, they start the first veggies in mid June until October. Later on there are some pumpkins and squash.

According to research the grains that will works are Kasha (t) Barley, Amaranth.

No one lies in the temple, everyone lives around the temple Everyone goes to Mangal Arotik and yet there are different stages - pregnant matajis or diseased persons and those with different services sometimes dont' for 2 to 3 days. Just making sure there is an effort, but sometimes cannot come because of children. But the effort is there.

Eco - ethics - social part - there is a whole slide show (1.5 hours), just on this aspect of the community. The rules and regulations of the community are much more than just 4 regulations and 16 rounds and reading SP books. The eco-ethics is a mutually accepted shared ethics and morals that both individuals and the Community accept. This is the basis of everything working together as a whole unit

There is a value system - devotees through these morals and ethics - which is what your life is based on. If your value system is different than this community may not be for you. It is not for everyone. Not everyone can be a missionary or doctor.

Some Grhastra devotees work outside - the Bramacaris all live at the temple.

The main principles of not forcing anyone express to stay. People are encourages to leave if they don't fit in. Joining into a system - Joining a temple community or a village. Who do we want to join????

A place for everyone and everyone in their place. They came together to work on this. Joining the system. How to join ISKCON Hungary. Membership. There are many opportunities even for "nondevotees." : Supporter, sponsor, volunteer, and missionary. The last two can stay in the temple''To join the temple there is a 6 weeks Bhakta program which guests pay for which teaches the culture of how to behave. If they can't afford to pay they can stay for 3 months to work for free stay. This is based on Sri Upadeshamrta.

After this you can apply for a 1 year course. If accepted you can do missionary work - sankirtan, etc for 6 months. Here they get training on the Bhagavad-gita. After 1 year training, the encourage people to go out and start their own lives.

Next there is a 4 year course which is a correspondance course - An approved BA in Vaisnava Theology..

You figure out the nature of a person and engage them accordingly. Bhakta Astrix, music, Sanskrit, Astrology, and Sad dharsha. After the 7th year is over, they have been in the movement for years. They can get initiation anytime in that time period if they are interested, or not. They understand what they are doing and why they are there.

There is a personal Interview with each candidate and 90% of them are encouraged to go outside. They are the supporters, sponsors and congregation. ISKCON was good at making enemies with their own people.

With this system everyone knows the expectations in the beginning. They want to give their lives. They reconfirm their commitments over and over and re-apply. We always try to convert the bad experiences into good learning.

Two times per week in the morning for 1.5 hours, devotees go out to the garden. 80 % are coming from the cities and everyone is encouraged to go out in the garden. This is not so easy but it is emphasized. V

There is an internal education system - the Istagosthis are compulsory to attend.

There is a policy for Grhastras that each can apply to the Administration - head of the farm apply for a grant to expand or start a garden in their own home. The farm is giving the money to the grhastras and they promise to give 10% of the crops to the devotees for free.

Devotees experiencing that they are saving money by growing their own food.

This grant money is for developing, not for maintenance. The grhastras are eager to develop. In the very beginning theywere given some seeds, some greed beans, which grow extremely easily. And then they all became fired up in gardening. Wh didn't want to have a garden.

There is also a financial pushing that if a department does not send someone to the garden (because they have a specific other service), that Department is then responsible to pay to the temple for their employees that have not gardened. This is an incentive for the Department heads to send everyone.

When we look at New Vrindaban we see that you have everything. You have a Holy Tirtha where SP graced this place by his personal presence. You have many devotees who heard SO personally. You all just need to come together. These Istagosthis are great to come together and to figure it out together. You need to figure it out inside our your community.

You have the biggest potential - there are many parts working you just need to figure out what are your next steps.

You have everything. You have much more opulence than you can measure. You have Land, cows, devotees, community.

AND you have lots of bad experience. You have the experiences and the solutions among all of you. Please do not wait for anyone to come to tell you what to do.

Keep having Istagosthis and start working on cooperation. That cooperation will resolve everything here. You will be the most flourishing in the whole world.

You have everything. We would like to encourage you to come together as much as possible. Do the brainstorming work. List all that Srila Prabhupada told you personally. List all the facilities you have. You will see that nothing is missing.

What is going on here?? We never had Srila Prabhupada's personal association in Hungary . Someone brought him a watermelon from Hungary . That is our only direct contact with Srila Prabhupada.

You have all the knowledge. Just don't wait. Sit down maybe for 12 days or 2 weeks straight. You could have a whole structure and plans to go forward and very soon you could have more that we have.

Most Srila Prabhupada disciples are old. You can do it right now in your lifetime. Just start doing it.

Siva Ram Swami has encouraged you all not to depend on him. But he is the driving force and all the success is because of his strong and firm commitment to fulfill Srila Prabhupada's desire. He also tried in UK and moved to Hungary . Poverty was so high that it could work. There are 12 centers in Hungary - what will happen after Siva Ram leaves. He is trying to address that issue right now.

One Yatra President fulfills Srila Prabhupada

S mission. WE have many center leaders, but we have One Mission and One Goal. Cooperation. His vision is so broad that SPM is always asking for advice. He is training us up.

Start having One Vision - not 2 or 3. Come together and work together and just do it.

Don't wait for someone to come new and say follow me. Just do it.

We are going in that direction.

It is a matter of respect. The basis of our success is that we respect the Individual, the environment and have all respect towards Krsna. If respect is there you can make it. If is is not - you won't make it.

Encouraging for me to see that an entire group of people are coming together. None of the managers are there???

How old is the oldest child in Hungary ? 21 who moved with the mother when she was 5 and went to the gurukula and got married and has a daughter.

The Amish people are doing this. They send their children away if they back in 2 year, they are welcome, if not they do not come back. Some Amish do this (not all).

So many communities that can learn from New Vrindaban's mistakes. Try to see the elements that would be proper to apply in our Vaisnava culture.

How many independent people come together???

No private agreements. When someone builds a house - that is considered to be a loan to the community. They are paid back to them if they ever leave the community. If the value has increased, they are paid back. Not like an investment - But they never own the land, it is just given to them for use but it belongs to ISKCON.

  1. Rural lifestyle

  1. Pilgrimage - tourism.

How to balance these two. Challenge how the 2 can work together.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Up With Hope, Down With GMO!

A Moratorium on Genetically Manipulated (GMO) Foods

F. William Engdahl

1 June 2009

US Association of Physicians calls for Moratorium on GMO Foods

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) has just issued a call for an immediate moratorium on Genetically Manipulated (GMO) Foods.

In a just-released position paper on GMO foods, the AAEM states that ‘GM foods pose a serious health risk’ and calls for a moratorium on GMO foods. Citing several animal studies, the AAEM concludes ‘there is more than a casual association between GMO foods and adverse health effects’ and that ‘GM foods pose a serious health risk in the areas of toxicology, allergy and immune function, reproductive health, and metabolic, physiologic and genetic health.’ The report is a devastating blow to the multi-billion dollar international agri-business industry, most especially to Monsanto Corporation, the world’s leading purveyor of GMO seeds and related herbicides.

In a press release dated May 19, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, which describes itself as ‘an international association of physicians and other professionals dedicated to addressing the clinical aspects of environmental health,’ called immediately for the following emergency measures to be taken regarding human consumption of GMO foods:

- A moratorium on GMO food; implementation of immediate long term safety testing and labelling of GMO food

- Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community and the public to avoid GMO foods

- Physicians to consider the role of GMO foods in their patients’ disease processes

- More independent long term scientific studies to begin gathering data to investigate the role of GMO foods on human health.

The AAEM chairperson, Dr Amy Dean notes that ‘Multiple animal studies have shown that GM foods cause damage to various organ systems in the body. With this mounting evidence, it is imperative to have a moratorium on GM foods for the safety of our patients’ and the public’s health.’ The President of the AAEM, Dr Jennifer Armstrong stressed that ‘Physicians are probably seeing the effects in their patients, but need to know how to ask the right questions. The most common foods in North America which are consumed that are GMO are corn, soy, canola, and cottonseed oil.’ The AAEM's position paper on Genetically Modified foods can be found at

The paper further states that Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) technology ‘abrogates natural reproductive processes, selection occurs at the single cell level, the procedure is highly mutagenic and routinely breeches genera barriers, and the technique has only been used commercially for 10 years.’

The AAEM paper further states, ‘several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food consumption including infertility, immune dysregulation, accelerated aging, dysregulation of genes associated with cholesterol synthesis, insulin regulation, cell signalling, and protein formation, and changes in the liver, kidney, spleen and gastrointestinal system.’

They add, ‘There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation as defined by Hill’s Criteria in the areas of strength of association, consistency, specificity, biological gradient, and biological plausibility. The strength of association and consistency between GM foods and disease is confirmed in several animal studies.’

GMO is toxic

The AAEM paper should give grounds for official rethinking of the current quasi laissez faire regulatory stance to GMO in which the solemn word of the GMO seed companies such as Monsanto is regarded as scientifically valid proof of safety. The AAEM study is worth citing in detail in this regard:

‘Specificity of the association of GM foods and specific disease processes is also supported. Multiple animal studies show significant immune dysregulation, including upregulation of cytokines associated with asthma, allergy, and inflammation. Animal studies also show altered structure and function of the liver, including altered lipid and carbohydrate metabolism as well as cellular changes that could lead to accelerated aging and possibly lead to the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Changes in the kidney, pancreas and spleen have also been documented. A recent 2008 study links GM corn with infertility, showing a significant decrease in offspring over time and significantly lower litter weight in mice fed GM corn. This study also found that over 400 genes were found to be expressed differently in the mice fed GM corn. These are genes known to control protein synthesis and modification, cell signalling, cholesterol synthesis, and insulin regulation. Studies also show intestinal damage in animals fed GM foods, including proliferative cell growth and disruption of the intestinal immune system.’

The AAEM study also reviewed the biotechnology industry claims that GMO foods can feed the world through production of higher crop yields. It cited contrary evidence that the opposite appeared to be true, namely that over time GMO harvest yields were lower than conventional yields and required over time, more not less, highly toxic herbicidal chemicals such as glyphosate. The report noted, ‘The several thousand field trials over the last 20 years for genes aimed at increasing operational or intrinsic yield (of crops) indicate a significant undertaking. Yet none of these field trials have resulted in increased yield in commercialized major food/feed crops, with the exception of Bt corn.’ However, the slight yield gain for Bt corn they report was ‘largely due to traditional breeding improvements,’ and not to GMO.

They conclude that because GMO foods ‘pose a serious health risk in the areas of toxicology, allergy and immune function, reproductive health, and metabolic, physiologic and genetic health and are without benefit, the AAEM believes that it is imperative to adopt the precautionary principle, which is one of the main regulatory tools of the European Union environmental and health policy and serves as a foundation for several international agreements. The most commonly used definition is from the 1992 Rio Declaration that states: ‘In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.’

Under intense public pressure, the German Minister of Agriculture recently issued a prohibition of planting for Monsanto MON810 GMO corn. Unfortunately, two weeks later she permitted planting of GMO potato seeds. Amflora, a genetically modified potato manufactured by chemicals giant BASF (a joint venture GMO partner of Monsanto), was declared by the German Ministry as posing ‘no danger for human health or the environment,’ The Ministry cited ‘in-depth examination’ and talks with scientific and economic experts as basis for the reckless decision.

The publication of the sensational critique of GMO by the American Academy of Environmental Medicine has been greeted with stone silence by most major US media and international press.

GMO politics

As I describe in great detail in my book, Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation, GMO was released on the general public in the early 1990’s in the USA under an executive decision by then President George Herbert Walker Bush, reportedly following closed door meetings with leading Monsanto executives. President Bush mandated that there should be no special health and safety tests done by any US Government agency before releasing GMO for food consumption. It came to be known as the Doctrine of Substantial Equivalence.

The US Government, on urging of Monsanto and the GMO lobby, further decided that labelling of a food product as ‘GMO free’ should be prohibited, using the vaguely formulated and entirely unscientific ‘doctrine’ proclaimed by President Bush in 1992, namely that GMO plants and non-GMO or ordinary plants were ‘substantially equivalent’ and hence needed no special testing before being released to the public.

That Substantial Equivalence Doctrine, despite the fact that it directly contradicts the demand of the GMO companies for exclusive patent rights to their GMO seeds as being ‘unique’ and different from ordinary seeds, enabled Monsanto, Dow Chemicals, DuPont and other GMO patent holders to proliferate their products with no control. Most Americans naively believe that the Government Food and Drug Administration and US Department of Agriculture are there to make certain industrial food products are confirmed fully safe for human and for animal consumption before licensing.

That de facto prohibition on labelling GMO foods has meant that most Americans have no idea how much of their daily diet from store-bought Corn Flakes to soybeans to corn and additives in every food on the supermarket shelf contained GMO contamination.

Coincident with the mass introduction of GMO into the human and animal diet in the United States beginning the end of the 1990’s, there have been reported epidemic levels of allergic outbreaks in humans, strange diseases and numerous other health issues. The fact it is forbidden by Federal law to label GMO products means most health professionals are not even aware there might be any connection to a GMO diet for millions of Americans. The US population, since the 1992 ruling of President Bush - a ruling reaffirmed by presidents Clinton, George W. Bush and now by Barack Obama and his pro-GMO Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack - has been in effect treated as human guinea pigs in mass experimentation for substances never independently proven in long-term (ten years or longer) studies to be safe.

It remains to be seen if the scientific critique of the AAEM is given the attention it warrants.

F. William Engdahl is author of Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation ( He also authored A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order (Pluto Press). His newest book, Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order (Third Millennium Press) is now in print and will be available by mid-June. He may be contacted over his website,

© Copyright F. William Engdahl, Global Research, 2009; Courtesy Global Research


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Vedic Village Arises!

An update from our friends at MISCOWP:

Dear Friends of Vedic Village,

Thank you for all of your kind help and support.

Everything we planted so far is thriving: the various kinds of parsnips, beets, lettuce, kale, radish, and other greens are turning the fields green; most of the 1,000 asparagus are already a foot tall; the tomato plants are happy in the gardens; and the potatoes and sweet potatoes are bursting through the ground with their beautiful leaves... but we still have much to do to get all of our crops planted.

If you have some time this weekend, please join us anytime at the farm from 9 to 6pm on Volunteer Saturday at Vedic Village, or from 10 to 4pm on Sunday. Refreshments will be available, the outhouse will finally be finished, and we have all the garden tools you will need.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at 313 434-5121. I hope this meets you having the best day ever!

With warm regards, Tom Milano (Adiraja dasa)

PS We are seeking a donated pick-up truck, delivery van, refrigerator, lawnmowers (push or sit-down). All donated equipment is tax-deductible.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Darwin Is Dead!-The Dangerous Idea

If you would like to contribute to our year-long "celebration" of Darwin's 200th birthday, please send your articles, editorials, or any other creative and informative pieces to

A fascinating review by ID czar Philip E. Johnson of the 1995 publication "Darwin's Dangerous Idea" by Daniel Dennett, which focuses on the larger implications of the acceptance of the Darwinist paradigm on levels such as the political, philosophical metaphysical, and cosmological. All the way to the top!

It's a challenging and even chilling picture that Prof. Johnson paints, and is well worth considering

Click here to read the whole article on our sister site The Harmonist

Here's an excerpt...

Dennett thinks that the dissenters either fail to understand the logic of Darwinism or shrink from embracing its full metaphysical implications. I prefer another explanation: Darwinism is a lot stronger as philosophy than it is as empirical science. If you aren’t willing to challenge the underlying premise of scientific materialism, you are stuck with Darwinism- in-principle as a creation story until you find something better, and it doesn’t seem that there is anything better.

Once you get past the uncontroversial examples of microevolution, however, such as finch beak variations, peppered moth coloring, and selective breeding, all certainty dissolves in speculation and controversy. Nobody really knows how life originated, where the animal phyla came from, or how natural selection could have produced the qualities of the human mind.

Ingenious hypothetical scenarios for the evolution of complex adaptations are presented to the public virtually as fact, but skeptics within science derisively call them “just-so” stories, because they can neither be tested experimentally nor supported by fossil histories.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Darwin Is Dead!-Nature's IQ

If you would like to contribute to our year-long "celebration" of Darwin's 200th birthday, please send your articles, editorials, or any other creative and informative pieces to

Book Review: Nature’s IQ: Extraordinary Animal Behaviors that Defy Evolution

Reviewed by Lavanya-mangala-devi dasi

Why do arctic terns fly 22,000 miles each year? How can a fish have both eyes on the same side of its body? What is the meaning of the complex patterns of dances performed by honeybees?

The answers to these questions and many more are shared in a virtual odyssey into the kingdom of nature entitled Nature’s IQ: Extraordinary Animal Behaviors that Defy Evolution (Torchlight Publishing, Inc. 2009). Released just after the 200th Anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birthday, this English translation from the original Hungarian edition will delight inquisitive children, wizened sages, the young at heart, nature lovers, and Intelligent Design theorists alike. The authors, István Tasi (aka Isvara Krsna das), a Cultural Anthropologist and Theologian, and Balázs Hornyánszky, a Bioengineer, present case after compelling case supporting their thesis that Darwinian Evolution is not a logical sequitur of intricate and idiosyncratic animal behaviors but rather, natural intelligence reflects a supreme intelligence and designer. Richly illustrated, offering 200 exquisitely interesting color plates, this 160-page hardbound book scintillates with detail, intrigue, and wit, beckoning the curious reader onward into ensuing vignettes sparkling with enigmatic adventures of mysterious living entities.

A summary of “Darwin’s frogs” is given on pages 122-123:

Darwin himself discovered the frog in Chile (Rhinoderma darwinii). After female Darwin’s frogs lay their eggs on wet beaches, males sense the scent of the eggs and fertilize them. They then station themselves beside the eggs in groups and guard them for about twenty days. When the developing eggs begin to move in their tiny, jelly-like globules, the males lean over to them and gulp—they seemingly eat them! Of course, they do not eat the eggs but instead place them with their tongue into their long expandable vocal pouch, situated in the lower part of ther body. The eggs continue to develop in the vocal pouch until one day the male suddenly yawns widely, and the fully developed baby frogs jump out of his mouth….

…For viable offspring to hatch, the frog father must know that he has to keep an eye on the eggs. Furthermore, he has to have the instincts commanding the right behavior: when the young are about to hatch, he has to get them into his specially structured vocal pouch. And when they are fully developed, he has to set them free. If any of these elements were missing, the frog’s reproduction would be unsuccessful. Therefore, it is inconceivable that the Darwin’s frog and its special way of reproduction came into existence step by step, as a result of small changes….It is inconceivable that this frog species, with its specialized behavior, came into existence by a sudden large-scale mutation….The chance mutation of these genes causing a series of concerted, appropriate behaviors would be more than a miracle.

This excerpt provides one example of the methodology employed in analyzing and diffusing evolution theory in terms of reproduction and survival of offspring. Other sections cover predation, defense, symbiosis, animal communication, navigation, and mating behaviors.

The final chapter, entitled “The Source of Intelligence,” presents an alternative explanation referred to as “inverse evolution” from the Vedic ontology:

The Vedic account of the origin of species has three main principles: existence of a supreme person, living beings on other planets with special creative and multiplication abilities, and descent by modification.

The authors assert that incredible behavioral complexity, species diversity, amazing instinctual intelligence, and symbiotic relationships of living entities emanate from the source of all created beings, the Godhead, as described in elaborate detail throughout the voluminous ancient scriptures of East India. They conclude that “In reality, nature’s IQ is the creator’s IQ.”

Employing a distinctly innovative approach, Nature’s IQ offers original and valuable insights for the Intelligent Design community; however, Charles Darwin’s followers might also find it interesting!

Nature’s IQ website:

Available from: and