According to Monsanto and the biotech industry, “…Phytoremediation is the cleaning contaminated soil, water or air with the use of plants. Many plants are able to grow in contaminated media (soil, water or air). Although the plants absorb pollutants in the water or air, they have developed mechanisms to protect themselves against their toxic effect. They then store the pollutants in specific cell areas in the roots, stems or leaves, or convert them into non-toxic substances.
Examples of contaminants include heavy metals, metalloids (arsenic), pesticides, explosives, solvents, salts and oils. Pollutants which have accumulated in the plants are removed by harvesting. The growth and harvest cycle must often be repeated to completely remove the contaminants from the soil. Suitable plants for removing heavy metal contamination include oilseed rape, mustard, sunflowers, barley and various varieties of grass…” (1)
The burning question is what happens when a plant that has been genetically modified for the pytoremediation (a fancy word for absorption of toxins) of lead, mercury, chromium or any other form of heavy metals escapes the clean up area and cross-pollinates other fields ultimately finding itself in the human food chain?
What happens when you eat GM sorghum that has stored toxic levels of Aluminum or Chromium within or worse when you supplement for your Omega 3 by taking flax seed oil extracted from GM flax with that soaks up pesticide residues that are a type II diabetes drug mimickers from the Sulfonylurea family! Well I hate to tell you that on both instances this has happened. The plants suck up the toxins in any field it is grown in, accumulating within the plant to dangerous and even deadly levels ready for human consumption. (2)
In another study dating back to 2005 Dr. J. Angel writes: “…We are not aware of any studies that have directly examined toxicity to higher animals consuming high metal hyperaccumulator biomass. However, it is quite reasonable to assume that that exposure to and consumption of high metal biomass could be toxic to wildlife. During large-scale phytoremediation, it will be nearly impossible to fence out all herbivores!…” (3)
So in other terms Monsanto and friends just shift the toxins from the contaminated soil directly into the chain of the ecosystem. So insects or cattle that feed off of the toxic rich plant will also get contaminated and the heavy metals will migrate within months not years, all the way up the food chain until they reach the top predator which unfortunately happens to be us humans. Ever ask yourself why the US is pushing Europe to accept higher levels of heavy metal contamination using trade and ‘Codex Alimentarius’ as the bio-weapon of choice? (4)
In conclusion we find that nature is able to absorb heavy metal contaminants and has its own mechanisms of chelating and isolating those metals from getting into the ecosystem without the recruitment of Monsanto. In order to help nature with the process we can plant naturally occurring plants and trees known to naturally break down environmental toxins and isolating heavy metal without creating a greater environmental disaster such as in the case of genetically modified franken plants.
Here’s a guide to such naturally occurring plants and trees that will save us this headache of unleashing the plagues of Genetically Modified Phytoremediation. (5)
1- The definition of Phytoremediation : http://www.gmo-compass.org/eng/glossary/230.phytoremediation.html
2- GM flax contamination now detected in 35 countries: http://www.naturalnews.com/030054_GM_flax_contamination.html
3- Ecological Risks of Novel Environmental Crop Technologies Using Phytoremediation: http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/publications/eptdp133.pdf
4- EU levels Metalurgic toxicity are sometimes 10,000 less then what ‘Codex Alimentarius’ levels: http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/topics/topic/contaminantsfoodfeed.htm
5- Phyto remediation-using plants to remove toxins: (Naturally without using GM plants) http://homeopathtyler.wordpress.com/2010/06/18/phyto-remediation-using-plants-to-remove-toxins/