Unbelievably Bad Science in the Movie “Seeds of Death”

By: Myles Power Edited by: Hannah

I recently sat down and watched the 2012 anti-GMO documentary "Seeds of Death: Unveiling the Lies of GMOs". The documentary was written, produced and published by Gary Null (an alternative medicine promoter who was once almost killed from one of his own supplements) and claims to expose the dangers of genetically modified foods. It consisted of interviews from apparently "leading" scientists, physicians, professors, attorneys. Most of which, for some unknown reason, are shot in front of a green screen with rather boring backdrops added in post-production.

Seeds of death

Like nearly all other anti-GMO documentaries, it's full of the same scientifically inaccurate statements that we have seen a thousand times before; Roundup ready crops produce Roundup, the bT endotoxins are harmful to humans and GM-food has been shown to produce tumours in rats. All of these ideas can be disproven by a quick Google search or by reading the source material. The documentary also included some familiar faces, like Gilles-Éric Séralini, the lead author of the highly discredited "long term toxicity of Roundup" paper and Mike Adams, a man who believes that the nerve agent sarin is used in water fluorination. However, unlike other anti-GMO documentaries I've watched in the past, this one turns up the anti-SCIENCE to eleven.

By far one of the more hilarious, stupid and demonstrably incorrect comments in the documentary came from a Dr Rima Laibow, MD. According to her website she is a graduate from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and for the past 35 years has been promoting drug-free, natural medicine. However, after reading some of the outrageous and potentially dangerous claims on her website (like "nano-sliver will stop HIV), I question if she even has a basic medicine or science qualification. It also seems that she is aware of her own bullshit, as her website comes with a disclaimer saying that none of the advice given is intended to "diagnose, prescribe for, treat or claim to cure, mitigate or prevent disease conditions".

In the documentary Rima begins to talk about why scientists modify an organism’s genome. She states that “95% of all the genetic modifications are done in order to allow the plants to survive more chemicals being sprayed on them and to allow the animals to survive more drugs being put into them”. This is simply incorrect. Scientists have modified the genome of plants for a whole host of reasons, including resistance to viruses, resistance to pests, higher yields and not just the ability to be glyphosate tolerant. Rima also seems to be unaware that there are currently no GM-livestock on the market and those being developed have been given traits like the ability to mature faster, rather than the ability to “survive more drugs being put into them”.  As hard as I have tried, I have been unable to locate where she got this figure of 95% from and can only surmise that she made it up on the spot.

Rima later went on to say one of the most jaw-dropping, unintelligent statements I have ever heard, which again makes me question her qualifications or the standard of graduates from Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

“And of course what happens is when their genes are changed our genes are changed by consuming them. Just as the super weeds and the super bugs are genetical altered by consuming them. The bug eats the plant, its genes change. The animal eats the plant, its genes change. We eat the animal or the plant our genes change, our babies’ genes change and the change is permanent.”

Whenever I am presented with something as idiotic as the stament above I always find it hard knowing where to start. It was so demonstrably incorrect that even my friend (who I watched the film with and has no scientific background) burst into hysterics at the thought of people having the magic ability to incorporate the DNA of what they have eaten into their own genome. We all know this to be incorrect, because if you eat a carrot, you do not gain the ability to synthesise carotene and turn orange. Considering GMOs are so widely used in America, you would think she would not have a problem talking about an example of this happening in the past or the mechanism of its action but she never does; she simply expects us to take her word on it. For this to somehow work in humans, the DNA from the GMO would have to survive being denatures if cooked. It would also have to survive nucleases from both the plant/animal cells and those within a human gut. On average, less than 5% of DNA survives beyond 7 hours after ingestion. The DNA would then need to pass (intact) though the gut, into your cells (without any help from any proteins) and somehow be spliced into every one of your cells’ genome. In short, it’s impossible and also FYI Rima, weeds don’t generally eat other plants.

So in conclusion, the documentary has shown the calibre of the people behind the alarmist anti-GMO movement. By getting such basic science incorrect, it is an insult to people who have legitimate concerns about the technology and some of the companies involved. It is also a joke that the maker calls Rima Laibow a “leading” physician when she clearly knows nothing about the subject she is talking about. Although this article only focussed on a 50 second clip of the documentary, I can assure you that the rest of it is full of the same level of knowledge (or lack of) and fear mongering. It even goes as far as to say that the planet is on the cusp of the 6th mass extinction because of GM technology. If you have a reasonably strong tolerance for bullshit I would actually recommend watching this film, if only for the awesome rap at the end by a white man in his 40s who can’t remember his own lyrics.

About Myles Power (744 Articles)
My name is Myles Power, and I run the educational YouTube channel, powerm1985. I spend what little free time I have sharing my love of SCIENCE! through home experiments, visiting sites of scientific interest, and angrily ranting at pseudoscience proponents. I am also one of the founding members of the podcast 'The League of Nerds' - which I co-host with James from 'The History of Infection'.

22 Comments on Unbelievably Bad Science in the Movie “Seeds of Death”

  1. The only problem I have with GMOs is the patents– it’s unfortunate that it’s caused many problems within the agriculture community. GMOs are an incredible thing that are causing harm to farmers, not because of their content but because of the lawyers that follow close behind them with a stick.


  2. Laibow is a huge loon. She’s married to Gen. Albert Stubblebine III, the guy depicted in Men Who Stare at Goats. He was involved in MKULTRA and projects he had the US Government fund attempting to use remote viewing for various reasons, one being as a method of warfare. Oh yeah and he thinks (or at least thought) he can walk through walls. Funny how fellow loon Alex Jones will have him on his program without questioning whether he is “cointelpro”, laf…

    As for Laibow herself, she once claimed to be Adam Lanza’s doc and that she held his mother in her arms; both untrue.There’s lots of speculation based on her language and links to Mike Adams (yup the same one in SoD and the same one associated with Alex Jones) that she is a Scientologist or is somehow involved in that. She appeared on Ventura’s conspiracy show about the Bilderberg group. They are both involved in 911 truth and the UFO movement. I’m sure there’s more, I looked into her a while ago after reading a comment she posted on a GM article where she was spewing the DNA incorporation garbage and I seem to remember there being more…

    I have my suspicions that she makes the scare claims to sell her overpriced detox and natural products; however with how loony she seems to be, she might just believe the crap she spews.


  3. Not sure whose payroll you are on but this is not the only research showing the dangers of GM seed use. The US is one of the few countries that doesn’t require labeling. Putin has threatened to go to war with the US if we don’t stop using these seeds and other chemicals that are changing the DNA of everything and killing the necessary insects all over the planet. The fact that we are taking the word of the company as proof of safety brings up tons of red flags. This is the same company that said “Agent Orange” was safe and all these years later exposed people are still suffering its affects. I can appreciate that we should be looking at all sides of this and the movie does not do that but, neither do you.


  4. Listen to how bad this video is. It gives facts that sound like they’re just pulled out of the ass. “Or pay the consequences.”


  5. I am sure this piece of writing has touched all the internet viewers, its really really good paragraph on building up new website.


  6. merlynleroy // May 19, 2014 at 7:05 pm // Reply

    Isn’t “Seeds of Death” a Doctor Who episode?


  7. that`s why other countries are banning this shit while you are serving it for dinner!!


  8. Better check your science, douche bag. Genetics can change as a result of what is eaten. Now go back for another troll paycheck.


  9. I respect your views, but you go right on ahead and keep drinking the Kool-Aid. Whether or not the scientific claims behind it are true or false, nothing good will ever come from tampering with the fundamental nature of our food sources. It’s short sighted and irrational profiteering, plain and simple.


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