tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN April 24, 2014 4:00pm-6:01pm EDT
disease bacteria that is associated with fuller's. so wrecking the orange crops there. papaya, there is no way to avoiding this ring spot virus. so in a short time and most of the papaya is in hawaii has been protected from the virus by this resistance game. when you eat papaya, if you can find non-gmo papaya, it has about 10,000 times. then there is frozen rice switch as vitamin a to rice. i see no evidence that there is a safety problem, a health problem with rice.
it is opposed because it might be a wedge crop that would somehow get people gmo's gmo's used to the idea of. -- get people used to the idea of gmo's. let's think about what really is a danger. i can assure you that the issue is not how something was made. it is what was actually made and whether it is safe or not. the danger is not -- and i will tell you with the background is in a moment. maybe some of you can guess. but the danger is in food that is actually being engineered or being creative by very well-meaning scientists. you can say they are misguided, but they are trying to do something. as far as the testing occurs, there is no testing on non-gmo crops with a variety of process, genetic alterations, all of the
crops that we have today are not the natural original crop. basically, not only is there a great deal of testing, it's voluntary. you don't think you want to be affected by it. just eat food is labeled it is not gmo. stick to organic foods. it will help your health anyway not to read processed foods. we all know that. so you can improve your diet. what about people who actually would like to modify organisms in order to really cause us harm? bio weapons, oh why and ray, that has nothing to do with this debate. what if you were to take smallpox, which has not been eradicated but still exists, and engineer soa can be transmitted in the air, airborne.
not probably an impossibility. the serious thing. in case you don't know what that would be, here is a photo. you can see it very well but that is a young girl with smallpox. that is what smallpox does. these of the kinds of things in genetic modification that you really need to worry about. i am not worried about gm owes in the least in terms of the food. i find the logic for them to be completely unconvincing. in fact, virtually every science, scientific organization that has any credibility absolutely agrees with that. there are any number of health risks. they are actually real and that we should be worried about, including your cancer, heart disease, stroke. the idea that these diseases are somehow all caused by gm owes, they were not epidemics prior to gmo's. you get the flu vaccine, car accidents, suicides.
what about just people who are having a bad diet? it's not like we don't know what we should be eating. more leads, more festivals, less meat, getting some exercise. these are the things that will really do in our health for most people. what about dietary supplements? completely unregulated? all sorts of contaminants, mercury, that should be heavily regulated. or and our mental toxins, something that i work in. i have a ebony that is selling a genetic test that tests individuals' susceptibility to low levels of mercury. but if you are in a genetically susceptible subpopulation, which is about 20% of boys, you can have delayed development inattention and memory and learning of about two to five years. so this is something serious.
there are some real things associated with the public that are a real problem. this is organic chemicals that are used. there is the reduction of them from 1940 to the present, and just exploding, there is no testing of them. so it's not as though there was not a cost by focusing on something that is really a third issue because we have limited resources.
when we are faxing and focus on one thing, we are taking our energy away from other things that are more real and more present in our lives. no problem with gmo's, are all of these part of the conspiracy that a person with no scientific training has just suddenly uncovered and is telling all of us about? if that is enough for you, here are other organizations. these are real medical and protective organizations. in europe, which is very anti-gmo, in australia, all over the world, the epa which we pay attention to because of global warming or something like that, they say we have not posed our reasonable risk to human health and the environment. i could come up with dozens of these. the australian food safety group will identify no city concerns for any of the gmo is that we have assessed is this reasonable, that is something and extraordinary us poison. are they just ignoring it.
but jeffrey smith knows the truth. here is an editorial in "science magazine," the magazine of the aaa out. it just wrote a report about setting up for gmo's. these are people who have extraordinary reputations the president emeritus of the world society, a paper have no ax to grind, their careers are made. there not in the pockets of the big several industrial groups that are developing these things. and here's jeffrey smith. there is a picture of him supposedly flying. he is probably hopping.
if you can actually do that, that would be a great demonstration. but advanced meditators. zero medical training. yet he pretends to go around and talk to medical groups so they are listening to him. he runs an anti-gmo cottage industry and believe me they are profiting from this controversy. it is not these other people. it is the group of gmo activists that are benefiting from this. ran for congress under the natural law party. yogi fires, which i think he qualified with lower nationwide stress and improve legible and make the country invincible to foreign attack. this is not science and i am not saying there's anything wrong with transcendental meditation. i find great value in it but it is not science.
it is a whole process. a people were engaged in this sort of thing, this deceptiveness, they would be drummed out. that is very clear because individuals and science love to argue with one another about evidence. that is what peer-reviewed is all about. i didn't know about jeffrey smith. i looked this up and i read part of it to see what it was. and it sounds very disturbing. the arguments just don't stand up to scrutiny. they are ridiculous, ok? you can throw around a lot of words that make it sound like it is very deep and very profound, but i suggest you get the book, buy it. and when you read it, go online to this academic review site and they go through a point by point refutation of these clients with peer-reviewed argument, with other publications, and i think
that if jeffrey were scientifically trained, he said they could not make the arguments that he is making, or at least feeling like it was honest. i could have picked many examples, but i don't want to get into this he said she said because, you actually are -- i am not very familiar with all of the arguments in terms of gmo's although i have educated myself recently about them i really wouldn't care how it comes out. if gmo's were a problem, i am fine with that. it takes a lot of energy, even from me. so the claim is this had
multiple health problems. that is a strong statement. that is what it says for 90 days. they showed significant changes in blood cells, kidneys, which might indicate disease. sounds disturbing there is a cover-up going on. that is disturbing as soon there are 90 of these in the book. if you read good, take a look at the website. judge for yourself. perry view -- peer-review did not do this. the european food authority, not a captured organization, i assure you, set up the passport, looked into, set up the comment and what did they find? this options were misleading, no scientific basis, no new safety issues, and no revision determining whether the scorn was safe.
there are 600 studies that look at the safety of gmo. it is so required that only big business can do gmo's now. that has been the effect of all of this. it means that it requires the [indiscernible] gmo's -- so, no, don't bother me. if it is not credible -- if you want to believe it, then fine. but if you don't think that is what is going on in every medical organization around, then it requires very good
evidence to reject the body of evidence that exists and that has caused these organizations get the safety in these products and that does not exist. secondly, this is a hauntingly similar debate to me about things i am very. familiar with in vitro fertilization. my daughter was the process of in vitro fertilization. they kind of arguments that were made when this first occurred were very similar sounding. it happens with every new technology and it gets shifted and shifted. with gene therapy, even with evolution. listen to some of the anti-evolution arguments and they have some of the same sorts of qualities to them. dna, this is a constituent of every living thing. we in just dna. we break it into fragments.
of course, we have fragments of genetics in our guts. and transient, moving from one organization to another. of course they are there. the dna in one organism business something different. we share half the genes with cauliflower's because that is what we are. although life processes are the same. viral bacterial genes. we are exposed to these things all the time. the large kinds of lifeforms, a tiny fraction of the life on this planet is actually bacterial. this is stuff that we are very equipped to deal with. almost every decibel that you eat contains natural insecticides. why is that? because by symbols are in a life-and-death struggle with insects. the problem with insecticides is that you're getting it all over the farmworkers and everything or on the surface of these things. insecticides -- i'm wrapping up.
so gmo's are the most -- modifications to the genetics and we get. that is what evolution is all about. this is happening all around us. it is a thing that sort of pounds industry. so it's a little bit like whack-a-mole. you can argue about it. many people feel it is wrong. we shouldn't play god and we shouldn't reship the natural world around us. in fact, i would bet that the radicals, the zealots in the anti-gmo crowd, is not that you're going to have an accident and a bunch of kids get killed by gmo's because that would actually destroy that industry.
it would probably never recover from that. though wealthier is like other technologies. we will get so used to it that it will be used in a variety of ways. within a generation, it will seem natural. who would ever argue that ibf is going to create monsters. so that is what the big fear is. and if you really wanted to run tests and it was this magnitude of problems associated with these bombs, it would be fraught headline everywhere because i know any number of scientists
and that was using very low tech tools. it was just natural breeding, very transformed. and now we use high-tech tools. and guess what, we are going to apply them not just to plants and animals are around, because that is what we do technology, what about us? we are already doing selection to avoid cystic fibrosis. if you had the capability of altering genetics, there are 60 to 70% of people who say they would enhance the physicality of children if they could with genetic engineering. so this is where this is going. of course there is a lot of angst with it. but the idea that we can stop is absurd. it's not like there is one little technology that is causing all of these weird things. this is happening across a broad technology front. it is not one genie who needed help out of a bottle. it is hundreds everyday. look at the way the internet is going. this is big stuff that is happening and here is what is really going on. that is really the charge that we have to take for us and our children. how do we deal with these incredibly challenging and difficult technologies that are really altering our sense of who we are and what we are and what life is all about. that is where the situation is heading. [applause]
i would like to know what is different about genetically modified organisms and how long they have been around. jeffrey, i will start with you. >> i refer to it as laboratory techniques that insert genes from other species. you can mix and match between species. they have taken spider genes and inserted it into goats. they can milk the goats to get spiderweb proteins to make old proof vests. they have pigs of cow hides. these are examples of crossing between different species. it is very unclear what they are. there are many things that are considered to be natural plant breeding. they are actually moving around genetically in a wholesale fashion.
it is less precise than if you move a few genes around. they have been called genetically modified organisms. using the techniques of molecular genetics essentially to hone the process so that we can actually do things which are very common. many drugs are created by putting in a gene into a bacterium that then produces that in a purer way than going into an animal and taking insulin by purifying it from the organism. there are all sorts of aspects of medicine where we do the same sort of technology, but it is not labeled as gmo.
it is unclear and it is quite nebulous. for example, is a gmo an animal that is consuming gmo produce? does that become genetically modified in some way? would you eat those animals? to me, the slippery slope is when you come in -- >> i will give you a chance to answer. >> you come in and you use this nebulous term and speak of it like it is a thing. it really is not. it is a whole set of properties that are used to create different kind of biology and new strains. many other processes of creating them as well. it uses that in a selective fashion. >> i want to give jeffrey an opportunity to answer the question. we will do some rebuttal here. i want to open up to the audience.
me give you seven or eight minutes. >> perhaps you can yield me your time or a rebuttal? i have all of these notes. he made so many mistakes. first of all, i am not against genetic engineering. i am not against human gene therapy. my line, my boundary is in the food supply. we are affecting everything we and releasing it outdoors. i look with great interest at your presentation. there are many things in here that are talking points of the industry created gm owes -- gmos.
i have had the opportunity to spend a year looking at these things with scientists around the world. i take advantage of the fact that i am not a scientist. i asked many scientists. i run it by other scientists and compare. that is how we produce the book. i can explain why academic review is junk science. i will talk about that in a moment. you said that if you are scared of bt, then you should be concerned about or bought -- organics. bt toxin as a spray washes off and by degrees. bt toxin in crops is produced when thousands of and -- at thousands of times higher concentration than it is sprayed on. it does not wash away or biodegrade. it has properties of a known allergen.
there was an understanding and an assumption i the epa that bt toxin was completely safe for humans. the science advisory panel of the epa looking at studies in mice and form worker studies said that these animals and humans are reacting to the toxin. more study is necessary before they can declare it completely safe. the epa ignored its science advisory panel, which was the most expert allergists and immunologists in the country. they did not do the research that was recommended. you pointed out flood-tolerant rice. it was created by breeding. you said that we eat plants all the time. we eat dna all the time. there are reasons why plant genes do not transfer to gut bacteria.
gut bacteria transferred genes all the time, back in order. plant genes do not transfer any of the bacteria, because they do not have a similarity in the genetic code. most of the genes inserted into gmos are from the bacteria. they typically will not function. the promoters which does not work. it does not work. the promoter that is used with that -- if we get technical, the genes will transfer. all of those natural variables have been removed with gmos.
the only time they've ever looked at it, they found gmos in human gut bacteria. they said it would never happen. if you look at the assumptions that were used by monsanto back in 1996 when they first introduced large-scale production -- so many of those assumptions have proven to be wrong. this is one of the concerns that i have. a professor said it used to take one class a semester to teach with a gene was. now takes a full semester. it is so much more complicated than we thought. we have not yet understood the language of dna sufficiently to make manipulations at this level and release it to the entire population. they discovered a new code in the dna recently. they discovered epigenetic effects.
they are doing tests on gmos. the most common results are surprising. double-stranded rna was exposed to honeybees. they thought it would have no effect. it changed 1100 genes. it completely changed the insect. it was not supposed to be affected at all. they are putting out double-stranded rna gmos. there is a clock that goes off when they are doing gmos research. the patent has a certain life. it may take 50 years to understand the functioning of the dna to reliably and safely manipulate it for the benefit of the environment, but the patent will run out and the return on investment has a time limit. of all the independent
scientists that i have talked to and i've have been to 40 countries, they all agreed that whether you are for gmos organs gmos, they agreed that it was released long before the science was ready. it is based on economic interests. the process itself, i do not agree that it is a relevant. the process of genetic engineering causes massive damage. hundreds of thousands of mutations up and down the ena. far more than conventional breeding. the independent scientists you may have an allergic reaction or died from eating corn that was genetically engineered an unlabeled. the process of genetic engineering switched on that dormant gene.
monsanto soy had a sevenfold increase in a known allergen. this was not intended. this was the background side effects of the process of genetic engineering. the process that is used to create the soy and corn that we eat. we talked about environmental toxins. one of the characteristics that i did not mention is that it messes up the detoxification system anybody. normally is a toxin comes in, enzymes will usher out of the body. roundup messes that out --. all the toxins are amplified. it increases their toxic effect on us. whether it is from what we, vaccines, environmental exposure. it is only amplified. a recent study links roundup sprayed on sugarcane to a huge
death rate based on kidney failure because of the way that it am will effects of arsenic. -- amplified the effects of arts not. as far as being a conspiracy there is, i do not have to be a conspiracy theorist. i have quotes from scientists around the world who agreed that genetic engineering is a dangerous and side effects-prone science. the canadian royal society said that gmos should have unpredicted side effects. i can list the organizations that have a different opinion. i have also talked to some of those organizations that agree with you and i was alarmed at how unscientific their thinking was. i was recently in new zealand having an hour-long interview with food standards in new zealand. they are not credible studies.
they are not wanting to use the most up to date means of evaluating what mutations are taking place and what proteins might be produced. there are responses to why arby's are -- are bizarre. sometimes these studies do not reveal a cause. sometimes animal feeding studies do not reveal a problem, but thousands of public studies do reveal a problem. they are not down from chemical analysis. i said, when you do an analysis of all the proteins created by gmos? they said, we do not want to collect that data. we would not how to interpret it. they are saying, because we do not have enough data to evaluate, we do not want any more data. it is circular logic.
many of these organizations have come under attack by ngo's as being manned by the people. the european food safety authority is the subject of numerous scandals because they are the people who make the decisions on gmos. they are just like the fda. i want to refer to more details. the civic details. i would love the opportunity to respond because there were so many things in their -- i spent years interviewing scientists. it was misinterpretation that you presented just now, which is so easy to show that it has no scientific way. academics have spent years looking at my books and then they misquoted it. they lied about what my book said in order to knock it down. i have an article my website. in my book, i say that these are
the arguments, the ways that the industry deals with information that they find uncomfortable. they nor you or they attack you. if he gets to a point where you have evidence that they cannot deny, they cannot win on a scientific aces, that is when the earthly attack you. they have spent a lot of money investigating my past and they came up with the fact that i like to dance, i meditate, and i don't have a scientific background. i have talked to sciences for 18 years. i have had my materials peer-reviewed. that is all they could come up with. they distorted the evidence and they distorted information to assume that i am aligned with people -- my clients etc.. this concept of profit motive. i have an mba. i was making far more money in the business world, before
dedicating my life to protecting humanity from the dangers of gmos. if i wanted to make money, i would not be in this is this. does anyone know about nonprofits? you are not in it for the money. if you would like to make a donation, talk to me afterwards. [laughter] thank you very much. [applause] >> i do want to open it up to questions. that is part of what we do here. but you did go longer than your initial presentation. let me give you two were three minutes. fact is that of getting into a lot of detail that is difficult to understand, let's talk about a claim that was made -- i interviewed a whole bunch of scientists and everyone is in agreement that this is premature. that is actually not correct. i talk to everybody and they
think you are a wacko. they do not agree with that. when you talk about people in the scientific community, you raise a lot of buyer. >> i was not aware of that. >> let's take a simple thing. a simple thing which is the claim that you made that physicians that you spoke to indicated that 100% of patients were basically cured when i stopped eating gmos. >> i did not think you are. i said, got better. >> ok, got better. that is a strong claim. when i deal with the medical community, i find it very difficult to get anything significant about any ailment that i have and get consistent treatment and interaction over a period of time. the medical system is in shambles. i cannot even fathom how you
would get that kind of data from a doctor -- 5000 patients is a huge medical practice. you are going to have as unitarian effect associated with going off gmos. that is an extraordinary claim. i would like you to answer that, because that, to me, represents the state of this being a poison that is very dramatic. it is and everybody cost base. -- rudy's face. -- everybody's face. there are a lot of people who are not the industry lapp, who is mentioned, but they are very accepting of gmos not being a problem. >> can i answer the question? >> the doctor said it is not just gmos. it is a want of things.
it is still genetic roulette, "of our lives. -- the gamble of our lives. she does not just prescribed anti-gm of diet. i cannot vouch for how important the gmos were. i was repeating information from her. i made a bold step in repeating information from doctors. there are moments -- so many doctors reporting this and we're starting to collect it. there are some people who do not get better. that is absolutely the case. but it creates leaky gut. it suppresses digestive enzymes. indexes out enzymes. etc., etc.. it gets in the way of the body's natural healing mechanisms. it becomes part of a practice
that is valuable. >> let's open it up to questions from the audience. let me recognize you. i will ask two questions. you may take a second to get over. i will ask to overhear. let's try to keep the rich sponsors brief. can you wait until the microphone is near you? this lady. >> thank you. it was a very interesting presentation. i do believe that diet and lifestyle contributes to our health. eating organic food and red dyes and antibiotic, i am 69 years old. i have spent a lot of time in the community. a lot of it i do not believe. we have been told that agent orange was safe. love can now had nothing to do with chemicals.
i am skeptical about the scientific community. my question is, i would like to eliminate gmos from my diet. i eat organic. what can i do as an individual to help get food label as a non-gmo product? our government seems to be hesitant to allow this labeling. it is probably because of the money behind those manufacturers. what can i do as an individual? >> with everyone able to hear the question? >> i will turn it over to jeffrey because i think he is the next or in this. i think you should not be eating processed foods. that is a fairly limited list of fruits and vegetables that have
possible gmos. eat organic foods, and i think you are in good shape. >> organic products are not allowed to use gmos intentionally. there are products that are labeled non-gmo. the non-gmo project is the uniform standard that is used by 16,000 products and 1500 companies. we have a shopping guide. it lists those products and it is also available on an iphone for free. you can download the app. we also have at risk ingredients. those are derivatives of soy, corn, oils, sugar, alfalfa, papaya, zucchini, word is gmos -- no popcorn is gmo yet. their animals that we do not consider genetically modified, but the fda says that there are
unique risks to health for eating milk and meat from animals that are fed gmos. as far as labeling, there is a unique announcement that some of you are not aware of. there is a ballot initiative in colorado that will be there in november for you to vote for all products that are genetically engineered to be labeled. already, the industry can start to unleash a torrent of lies and disinformation. they will try to tell you that this will cost you $400 per person for year. there are countries that require labeling. none of them had increased their cost. companies that sell gmos had taken them out and label them. labeling is bad for smart -- they will say that labeling is bad for farmers and people. this is how they got 51% in
california to vote against labeling and 51% in washington voting against labeling. 93% of the population was in favor of gmo-labeling. >> i do not need to step on your toes here, but let's try to be brief. can you wait until the mike that there? >> i grew gmos, and it is impossible where i am not to grow gmos. it is impossible. we grow gmos in missouri. it is impossible not to grow them, because if we do not use gmos, they will get pollinated by trucks that go by. we don't want to grow them, but we have no choice. it is cross pollinated, we grow it anyway.
with all of us farmers growing gmos across the midwest world crops are grown, where is all this non-gmos product coming from? >> let me restate the question. the question was, farmers were trying to grow non-gmo crops have gmos in seed form loading into their crops. how do you grow them? >> i think your challenge is a real one. what you are talking about in terms of eliminating gmos and not as labeling organic food is completely doing the distribution system. any trap that has been moving around any gmos and goes from one field to another, it is a separate distribution system
that is needed. especially when you get into products where their site of origin is mixed together. you have to keep everything separate. it is almost impossible. it is an enormous undertaking to completely do not. >> there is a new booklet that i can tell you about later about how to protect your farm from gmo contamination. this is one of the problems about gmos. they spread. organic may be contaminated. testing is required and there are still 80.9% tolerance or contamination. this is one of the issues about when you plant the gmos and you change the gene pool of the non--gmo species. you also change the relatives.
canola can cross pollinated with broccoli and cauliflower. this is one of our concerns from the environmental impact of gmos. >> i have a question. i've heard there is zero tolerance for gmos. is that something you would subscribe to? how do you handle something like canola oil work sample work on oil -- for example, or one oil? is that considered a gmo? >> it is not possible right now in canola. the non-gmo project, if it had zero tolerance, no former would grow our products. they would lose their premium results.
we have to think about what is practical. as far as oils, they do not have the dna were the protein. some people consider them completely safe, even if they are made from genetically engineered soybeans. a recent study came out this year and it showed that the roundup ready soybean oil have high levels of chemicals in it. the non-gmo oil does not. the process of genetic engineering create such massive collateral damage. the compounds that are produced in the crops may be different. there may be some fat-soluble toxins that result in genetic engineering and that ends up being in the oil. there are compositional differences. >> one more question if someone has one. carol?
can you wait for the microphone to get to you? >> you mention something earlier about tobacco. it is the scientific aces for what both of you are saying. please address that tobacco thing. >> the question has to do with jeffrey's reaction to tobacco in science. >> how many people have heard of bovine growth hormone but? it is a genetically engineered hormone. the fda says that it does not matter about the bovine growth hormone because 90% is destroyed during pasteurization. it turns out they are referring to a study done by monsanto's friends where they pasteurize the milk longer than normal and they only destroyed 19% of the hormone. they added powdered hormone to the milk and pasteurized it more
than normal. they destroyed 90% of the hormone. when the fda reported that 90% of the amount was destroyed they never refer to the fact that it was under those conditions. in the book, we are pulling out experts -- excerpt from expert reports. monsanto did studies where if you want to design a study to avoid finding problems, here's how you do it. here are the methods. they explain away problems. they do things that no other scientific body had ever done. they find a scientific event and they have completely been unscientific. we quote the experts in there. >> i would assume that this
refers to the idea that the tobacco industry for so long was in such denial about the clear and obvious dangers of tobacco smoke. the same thing happened of mercury and this went on for many decades. there was a lot of resistance and internal effort to try and do that. i can tell you in terms of the fda, i do not know the particular study, but i dealt with the fda. this is a very conservative, safety-sensitive organization. it can be incredibly frustrating to deal with them. here are a bunch of bureaucrats. if they speed something to market, they may get a little pat on the back. if not, the huge career advancing step for them. if they allow something through -- and you see this with recalls in the pharmaceutical industry,
it is career ending. the usual attack or feeling about technology is that actually the fda is extraordinarily conservative and resistant to allowing these sorts of things through also in fact, the pressure from the pharmaceutical industry and what they could bring to bear on the fda and the half of big pharma is far bigger than montana so. -- monsanto. it surprises me that you think the fda will allow junk science to be the basis for regulatory approval. the kind of science is that i have referred to, they look at that stuff and they would have no problem at all saying that it is garbage. not everybody is captured by the monsanto corporation's of the
world. >> let me get a question in here. we a moment for the microphone. >> i am concerned with the lack of the use of the scientific method to draw your conclusion mr. smith. you drew some curves showing use of roundup related to diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, autism. i can draw the same curves correlating with use of i-70 on weekends or my ski days over the last few years. the scientific method uses controlled experiments,
frequently double-blind experiments, not just anecdotal accounts of somebody saying that they stop using gmos foods and they got better. what if you give that person a placebo and said, these are gmos foods? would they feel sick? i would like your comment. i know you made a presentation on the dr. oz show. there was an interesting article in the new yorker magazine a year ago. it was called, is the most trusted doctor in america doing or harm than good? the study that you refer to here as on the dr. oz show was publicized widely throughout the world but it was announced by the european union and rejected in a rare joint statement by the six french national scientific academies. it was ridiculed by scores of sciences. agricultural technology has been under review for decades. no agency in the united states or anywhere else has found
evidence that genetically modified foods are metabolized by the body any differently than any other type of food. that was in february but the 13. >> what was everybody able to hear? >> i actually spent a lot of time analyzing studies and translating this into english. my book does that. it also says in the beginning that if this were cancer studies and a number of other things, we would have thousands of studies to deal with. we actually have only a handful. it is not true that there are 600 safety studies. the number of animal studies that will qualify or less than three dozen. in the book, which has endnotes
and lots of pure review studies, it also says that we do not have the luxury of peer-reviewed studies. we have to be more like epidemiologists. they look at the unpublished studies which are committed to the fda, and they look at theoretical risks based on biochemistry. i couldn't afford you with the details of numerous peer-reviewed studies and in a different audience, i will do that. not a medical audience or a scientific audience, where i go into more detail. here, i took the epidemiological approach. all i did was handed over to another medical organization to review. they said that gastrointestinal problems were caused. i wanted to show patterns.
i was very clear when i showed the cause. this is not causation. if you are looking at it like an epidemiologist, you have to ask, what is the cause? i have provided information that many scientists and doctors leave are the causes -- believe are the causes of why this graph are so closely aligned. there are hundreds of doctors literally just published a petition saying that it never should have been retracted. it is very important. i am going to that forever. if you want the details, go to our website. we will answer every objection with science. >> it is interesting. it is clear to me that since the effects were so dramatic and he poisonings are so broad, it
wouldn't actually take very much to do a human study where you took a small population, suitably controlled, and take them off of gmos. you show the dramatic effect. i guarantee you that it will be published in the journal of the american medical association. it is not like it will be very hard work take very long, according to these results. why doesn't the anti-gmo industry, and it is kind of an industry, simply funds and do those sorts of studies? it is certainly well within their capabilities. >> the wannabes respond? >> i would volunteer you to be a part of the experiment. [laughter] >> i would do it. >> i don't think such a thing would pastor in seasonal review board. before you get into human trials, you go into long-term
animal feeding studies. the industry does not use animal feeding studies. they last a long time and they make it impossible to track chronic problems and intergenerational problems. before you get into the human studies, there is usually a deal that starts of animals and goes to humans. we are not there yet. there is not enough hunting available for long-term -- hunting available for long-term animal eating studies. -- feeding studies. let's figure out with the causation is. >> when you use a drug to try to prove that it is even humans -- gmos material is being consumed quite broadly by the population. all you are talking about is
taking a population, and i'm happy to volunteer. anybody who is eating processed foods, virtually 100% of people. all you have to do is set up a control group and change them in a small way. you would not have to get him exercising or change their diet come the late. just select them and remove gmos. it is not hard to do. tracking very scrupulously. use an external observer. it would be very easy and you do not have a problem in doing that experiment. >> you find a doctor who took 20 seriously ill people off of gmos. he was astounded that the improvement.
now he is doing it with 300. it is a different model. doctors are doing those experiments on people all the time. it is already happening. >> i want to take another question. this lady over here. this lady over here. >> i would like to preface my question with the fact that my family and myself eat nearly 100% organic food. my question is, the both of you comments on whether it is economically feasible to continue to feed our planet where the population continues to grow without using gmos? >> was everybody able to hear the question? >> the most comprehensive study in the world for feeding the hungry planet is called the istaad report. it was signed on by 58 countries. its conclusion, written by more than 400 sciences, was that the
current generation of gmos has nothing to offer fulfilling our goals of eradicating poverty and creating sustainable agriculture. according to concerned scientists, in their work, gmos do not increase yield. many people realize that the sexy new technologies of gmos is taking money away from other technologies that have been shown to aid the world. in addition, we should be clear that it is not necessarily increase the yield that the experts they will feed the world. we have more food for -- per person than any time in human history. it is access to the, poverty issues, which are more fundamental. if you look at the nutrition per acre, then sustainable methods actually increase over conventional and gmos. there was a study done that show that sustainable methods of
agriculture increased deals by an average of 79%. that's my understanding is that that is not true. the one thing i've actually certain of is that if you were to limit all gmos crops, you would end up with a substantial increase in pesticide use. to levels that would not be desired by most people. i would not like to see that. i am more concerned about pesticides. as far as yields and productivity, my understanding is that they are substantially higher, especially when you're looking at issues like the removal of crops because of various infection agents. this is a process. the green revolution has increased productivity in enormous weight. it has leveled off. there will be problems.
we will have to increase in significant ways. i have seen commentary from people that suggested it would be substantial increases. i am not sure. >> in the interest of time, i would like to take three more questions. this gentleman. >> i am bob. i have adhd. this has been very challenging. i do not understand a lot of scientific staff. i have a short question. in 1955, the fda said tobacco is healthy for you. it is good for you. thank you fda. we believe you. that is not a question. that is a preface to my statement. [laughter] explain to me what is wrong. we have weeds, we have tests and
are yields not five, i appreciate the drought resistant crops. we want to increase our yield. we sprayed poison toxins, roundup, on our crops and their cotton to kill the weeds and the pesticides. is this correct? then we digest we -- the court, or the cows and the animals digest the products that have been sprayed with these super pesticides. is that going into us or is it not? we are digesting the residues of the roundup.
we are consuming roundup. your kids are consuming it. is that not true? >> but there are all sorts of pesticides, including roundup. one of the problems with them increasing is the fact that large amounts of the same crops are being planted without a scattering of other crops. when you get past, there is a huge feeding ground. there are lots of ways in which modern art or culture has become -- agriculture has become very reliant on pesticides and fusion amounts of fertilizers. on water usage that is unsustainable. there are a lot of problems with this operation. the use of gmos is part of the solution to the. you can deal with a number of the past issues.
i do not think that jeff would deny that if you were to roll back from our agriculture, mechanized production, you would have food issues. it is not just an accident that we have gone from 60% of the population being engaged in far more to a larger percent of the population. that is why we do not have global hunger. >> just to respond to this, because of the crops, the weeds become resistant to what farmers use. because of the herbicide-resistant crops, the u.s. uses 570 million pounds more herbicide just because of the gmos. the insecticide-producing crops reduces the amount of right by about 150 million pounds.
the amount of pesticides produced in the cops that crops itself is double per acre that which is displaced. we eat that pesticide when we eat the corn. we consume the herbicide and pesticide produced by the corn kernel. the amount produced it has not gone down. >> i want to take one question over here and now we will go way back in the corner. the demographic here is fairly akin to mine. we have on 11-year-old back here. i will encourage everyone to patronize local restaurants. >> i would like to have a little bit of detail. i am hearing and will -- a lot of differences. there is so much going on with regard to getting gmos and those products labeled. you have people organic
community. my question is, there has to be huge difference between me going and buying something that is labeled non-gmo and buying something that is organic. you mentioned something about the popcorn not being non-gmo. but you see the verified non-gmo label. i would like some clarification of the differences between labeling of non-gmo. the question is the difference between organic and non-labeled gmos. >> if something is labeled 100% organic, it potentially does not use gmos. if it is 95% organic, it is non-gmo. if it says it is made with
organic soybeans or something similar, it has to be 70% organic. there is no required testing in organics. there can be contamination in the sea or the field. it is possible to buy it without even knowing it that it is contaminated. non-gmo project has testing requirements. they have a 0.9% threshold. sometimes you will see organic and non-gmo projects on the whole package. that is the gold standard. organic has other attributes. there are many benefits. the other thing is this. roundup is being sprayed on weeds and barley and rye and tomatoes and 100 different types of fruit and vegetables.
it is being absorbed into the crops. if you want to avoid roundup, then i organic is best. if you see organic and non-gmo products, that is the gold standard. it is tested. >> organic has been around a lot longer than gm oh -- gmo. as far as understanding this, it is virtually impossible. you get on the site, and you think it sounds interesting, and then you read the other information. that makes sense. it is very difficult. there is a whole pattern here of confusion. it becomes very simple to think that gmos are awful.
there was a book called the product is confusion or something like that. it is about how you create uncertainty about these things that people do not know what to believe. it is difficult. that is the way it is. not as of gmos, but any number of these things. you get into the technical arguments and it is impossible. one of the aspects of that is looking at people's credentials and using common sense about what their motivations might be. >> i apologize to those of you who saw hands up. if you have questions, perhaps the gentleman will tell you after the program. i want to go to this young lady. cracked it is hard for me to because i also have adhd. i have one question. are gmos good or bad? [laughter]
>> the question gets to the essence of the question. are gmos good or bad? >> you might think that is a planted question. that is my daughter. she is a 10-year-old. i think there is not a problem of gmos. they are neither good nor bad. it is a process. as i was saying before, you can use genetic modification of organisms to create things that are really horrendous and you can use it to create things are beneficial. we need to think about that. as an issue with the labeling. frankly, before i was thinking about it, and this is a few months ago, i thought it made a lot of sense. but when you start thinking about it as a project, and jeff has said a lot about food i would like to know. i would like to know what food
uses pesticides. i would like to know whether that food has been growing where people are paid a living wage. what country does it come from? what you're asking for is an inventory of the entire food system. it would keep track of all the processes involved in producing something that we eat. to me, you can say, let's label that. it is hard when you start getting into processes to deny someone who want something else incorporated on a label. the reason the fda does not support that is because food labeling is supposed to be about health and safety. and they feel, they feel that there is not a health or safety issue associated with the process. there is, in terms of what is created. that is why testing is involved.
>> is an excellent question. i think that gmos -- she is good. i think that someday we may be able to manipulate genes individually i know what is going to happen. one gene could produce one protean and that is exactly how works. it is very easy. they realize that genes are networks and it is extremely complicated and it is getting more complex the more they look at it. genetically engineered to mess up the dna pretty substantially right now. they do not even know how to test to see at they had done something wrong to human health because they do not know all the different laws of nature. i would say that. it is certainly possible that this process will become reliably save. right now, i am confident that the process of health is too
fraught with side effects, two new, and it was rushed to the market before the science was ready. it may be a significant health problem that we are facing. i'm not even talking about the environmental impact. everything that was sent to you tonight is mentioned in a book online. it is very easy to read and it looks at all of the talking wind that points. -- points. it shows what the truth is. i recommend going online. it is open source. you can read it and you will recognize many of the statements that were made tonight. you will see the scientific clarification. it will show that there is a lot of wishful thinking about gmos. a lot of promises have been made that it will feed the world.
they have not actually turned out to be true. >> very quick, this idea of talking point. one of the reason that some of these things may occur as arguments again and again is that they are actually right. many people are saying these things. they are not using them is talking points. the same arguments are made generally because they are well thought out. i think it is a little disingenuous to say that you have nothing against genetically modified organisms if they were tested enough. i have heard the same thing with environmentalism and other stuff. not you personally, but everything is being done to prevent the kinds of testing that you would require in order to certify that something is safe. it is absolutely impossible to prove that something is safe.
you cannot see any damage from it, given the kinds of tests that are done. you cannot make that proof. when field trials are ripped out by activists and when it is made very clear and difficult to do testing with these things, it sounds good to say, we love it, but it is not ready -- actually, we accept it, but it is not quite ready. that is an endless path and we will never get there. it is a very high ground to take. the reality is that the world is racing forward and we cannot stop. all sorts of things are being introduced that have enormous implications. we do the best we can. wisdom and knowledge have their own cost. >> thank you everyone for being here and being so involved. i did not see anybody nodding off.
you were a great audience. i want to think or for their expertise and passion. it has been a privilege to be here. [applause] >> instead action on gm o foods, a law that would make vermont the first u.s. state to enact mandatory labeling of foods made with genetically modified organisms received final approval from state lawmakers wednesday. now heads to the governor's desk. the vermont house of representatives passed that no by 14-30 -- that bill 114-30. in a program coming up tonight, supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg discusses her career and legacy on the high court.
it's an event held last month at the national museum of women in the arts. she also talks about her experiences as a lawyer and how she as a woman argued cases in court. here's a look. theomen of my generation in law had to overcome certain obstacles. ok to make jokes. -- il give you one example was arguing before a federal , and theyew jersey said, "i understand that women have made great progress. why, they even have equal opportunity in the military." , "women are not
allowed to have flight training." the judge responded, "my dear, don't tell me that. women have been in the air always." if you got angry, that will be self-defeating. the trick was to have a sense of humor. so to say, "your honor, i have met many men who do not have their feet planted firmly on the race quicklythen to the next line. , "book tv" with authors of the civil rights movement. , american history
tv with programs on the watergate scandal that eventually brought down president nixon. >> what we are seeing right now, where we aren't getting computational capabilities into our environment -- some technologists this agree, but i personally consider the around withwe carry us or at least 70% of the american population carries around with us to be a trademark example of the internet of things. we are becoming human sensors because we are all carrying around an extremely powerful computer in our pocket, but it also takes the form of effort centers that exist in the physical world around us. it takes the form of radio frequency identification readers that we pass underneath when we access easy pass on the new jersey turnpike. it takes the form of weather sensors that are all around us. certainly, surveillance and cameras. the collected data and send that somewhere else. this is all part of the internet of things, basically be embedding of computers into our real world.
>> the deputy editor of "the futurist magazine," patrick tucker on a world that anticipates your every move. online, our book club selection is "the wrong war." and live, sunday, may 4, look for our next guest, luis j rodriguez, former gang member turned author and poet. "booktv," every weekend on c-span2. >> and our love of our country, we now engage in a strong symbol of american democracy, the respectful exchange of power. i now pass this gavel, which is larger than most gavels here, but the gavel of choice of mr.
>> thank you all. [applause] it's still just me. [laughter] you foreaker, thank your kind words and your service to this institution. secondly, i want to welcome all our new members and families on what is a very special day. all of us who have been here remember visibly that first day that we serve here, and i think any of us can tell you that you will never forget today. >> find more highlights from 35 years of house floor coverage on our facebook page. c-span -- created by america's cable companies 35 years ago and brought to you today as a public service by your local cable or
satellite provider. >> according to the national council for behavioral health, 30% of active-duty and reserve military personnel deployed in iraq and afghanistan have mental health conditions. earlier today, the organization launched an initiative that aims to respond to mental illness by providing training programs for educators and public safety officials. this is an hour. >> well, i think everyone has a .eat ok, let me first say thank you for being with us. i am just thrilled and thrilled to have so many of you that have served our country or whose spouses or sisters or brothers have served our country. i am president and ceo of the national council for behavioral health, and i was coming in this morning, i was thinking about the fact that we are in the
press club and how appropriate that is, given that we will be talking about the military and about veterans, the very people firstve detected our amendment -- protected our first amendment rights -- the right to free speech and the right to have a free press. i am very grateful that we are here and in this space. i have several tasks this morning. what is to briefly tell you about the national council involvement in mental health first aid, to talk a little bit about why mental health or save to acknowledge our congressional champions. some of you in the audience our policy people, and you know how important those champions are to you, and to helping people in your communities. and lastly to introduce our speakers and to facilitate your questions and, hopefully, our answers to your questions. the national council is an association of 2200 not-for-profit organizations. our members are in every state in communities across the
country copper and they serve men and women with mental health and substance use disorders. they serve about 8 million people a year, so their reach is wide and deep. over the years, i have been involved with people with mental health, particularly with people with serious mental health, for well over 30 years. during those years, but when i ran programs or was in a policymaking position, i was involved with and sometimes even funded anti-stigma campaigns. there is something that we have seen and done a lot of and there are many still going on, and they're all very well intended. but i always wondered, they felt elusive to me. it was about what really is the call to action? in 2008 when i was at the national council, i was talking to a colleague who is based in new zealand.
and he told me about a program that have begun at the university of melbourne in australia called mental health first aid. and he not only taught people about mental illnesses and addictions, but it helps them help the people they knew and loved. whether it was family members or friends and colleagues. and having had this long anti-stigma history, i thought to myself, now, that sounds fabulous. first of all, it is first aid and everybody knows first aid. it is like cpr. we wanted to be part of health care and part of the world, and this was another way to get there. at that time, mental health first aid was in a few countries and it was started by two people, a nurse in melbourne who herself suffered with depression and her husband -- her name is betty. her husband tony, who i understand spoke this week.
he was at john hopkins talking about mental health first aid. he is a mental health services researcher. they were walking on the beach and said, why don't we have first aid for the mind? they actually went to work at the university to create the curriculum. working with experts from across the world. so we and our partners, the departments of mental health in missouri and maryland, went ahead and said, we are going to bring this to the usa and we did so in 2008. it is now in 20 countries. we have a youth version in the u.s. by the summer, we expect 250,000 people to have been trained in mental health first aid. it has just had an enormously welcoming reception in this country. it is an evidence-based program. it has inrep.
withrow her long and arduous procedure to get that. -- went through a long and arduous procedure to get that. research began in australia and it is going on in this country and other countries. it teaches people how to reach out and help someone in crisis and make sure that they get the care they need. we trained instructors who come from local communities. those instructors know their committees. in addition to teaching people about how to feel comfortable working and talking and having the difficult conversation, they can also tell people and help people get connected to the resources in their community. and for veterans, it could be a v.a. or local physician or it could be anyplace there comfortable.
so the fact this then becomes locally driven is very important. let me now just for a second talk a little bit about why we thought about mental health first aid for the military. it was the early 1980's and i was running a mental health center in peekskill, new york. we had a whole bunch of programs we ran in peekskill. it is very close to the montrose v.a. and the montrose v.a. had people in their psychiatric unit who had spent years there. they became disconnected from their families and their own communities and wound up in what are called board and care homes in peekskill. a place where you live and gives you meals, but for much of the day, did not have much to do. so we ran a drop in center and they began coming to our drop-in center.
we went camping and we even went to olympic city with all the quarters these to give you on the bus -- atlantic city with all the quarters these to give you on the bus. we worked on a dude ranch in the local immunity. i got to know -- these were men. i got to know many of these men quite well. what a began to realize is, most of them had served in vietnam and we even had a few who had served in korea. and how when they came home, they began this journey of disconnection from their families and their communities. i just knew we could do better. i had had personal experience. my dad served in the pacific in world war ii. like others of his generation, he never talked about that. never. not a word. nor did any of my uncles that had served or my friends parents. but it had taken a toll on him emotionally and physically.
i did not understand that until years later. now, obviously, we know better, but we also know the statistics, right? we know 30% of active duty and reserve military, 3/4 of a million people, men and women, deployed in iraq and afghanistan, have a mental health condition. and we know the military has made great strides. i think the v.a. is an amazing organization that has raised the bar on understanding mental illnesses as well as treating them. but we still have work left to do. less than 50% of returning veterans in need of treatment get it. and the results of that is really a national tragedy and some of you in the audience are actually from suicide prevention organization. and we know now almost 22 veterans a day commit suicide. so we are here to launch mental
health for veterans because we really are our brothers and sisters keepers. each of us can help. each of us can find something we can do to help someone we know who served. if you have been trained in mental health first aid, you have the skills and confidence to do just that -- to help. we have had the support of some extraordinary policymakers on the hill. senators mark agates, kelly ayotte, and represented of lynn jenkins and ron bobber. really representatives and senators from across the country. their advocacy secured $15 million that is going to state and local school districts to train school personnel and mental health first aid for you. we are very grateful to them, what they have done will live on and now we need their help in terms of moving mental health first aid for the military. and we will do that.
the other thing that has happened is eight state and eight more are considering it, are allocating money from state budgets. they are supporting local instructors and local communities. so this is an amazing program that people understand, they can feel, they can touch, and they can support. i am very fortunate today to be with some great speakers. before we do that, i want to introduce and acknowledge jeannie campbell, the executive vice president of the national council. she is way in the back. she served for 22 years in the navy, is another reason why this is so important to the national council. and in addition to everything else she does at the national council, she leads all of our military initiatives. so thank you. with us today, and i'm going to introduce all of them then they will speak and then i will help moderate what we hope will be a robust q&a period.
we have patrick kennedy, a tireless champion for those living with addiction and mental illness. we would not have parity and equality with physical health is a were not for him. he continues to do great things in so many ways, including in the cofounder of one mind. tom tarantino, is the chief policy director for the iraq and afghanistan veterans of america. he is also a former army captain. he served in iraq in both the calgary and mortar platoon leader and was awarded the combat action badge and the bronze star. theresa buchanan is the director of youth initiatives for the national military family association. she manages operation purple, which supports ella terry families expressing the challenges of reunion and reach
integration. we also have two very exceptional mental health first aid trainers. they trained instructors and local communities. sharon thomas parks served three years active-duty in the marine corps before cofounding a suicide and crisis center. she is a licensed professional counselor and has been a national mental health first aid trainer since we began in 2008. liz reagan has also been a trainer since 2008. she has worked with a wide variety of groups as a facilitator and a trainer and she is the wife of a veteran. her husband served in the u.s. air force and southeast asia. and we have a student of mental health first aid, the lovely tosha barnes. she is from taxes, a i've gotten to know in this role and come to really admire and love. and she is a decorated military
veteran, discharged just in january after eight years of service. formally a member of the 82nd airborne, she is currently the volunteer coordinator for the military veterans here network. we are committed to doing more to support our veterans. and mental health first aid is just one piece of a very important puzzle. with that, let me turn the podium over to patrick kennedy. >> thank you very much, linda rosenberg, and thank you, daschle council, for spearheading mental health first aid and today for spearheading it for none other than our nation's heroes, our returning veterans from iraq and afghanistan and for all veterans and for their families. i had the honor of being a cosponsor of the mental health parity and addiction equity act, which simply said the brain was part of the body. that was the law.
the brain is part of the body. it is shocking that that law did not even doesn't -- signed into law until 2008, which means it was historic in this country that insurance companies in addition to the federal government would not recognize the brain is part of the body, would not reimburse for brain illnesses the same way they would reimburse for any other organ in the body. so we have come a long way in just a few years. we have this law in the books. and now in this next two months, in july, that law will be in effect for all insurance companies in this country. so they will have to treat equally all illnesses of the brain as they would any other organ in the body. that is why the timing of mental health first aid is so appropriate to really support now more than ever, because with
this treatment now being reimbursed -- of course, you have to do a lot of work to make sure this comes to fruition, no doubt. but with the system in place, we first need to make sure the people who need treatment get that treatment. and as someone who is a consumer of mental health services, who suffered a long time with a mental illness, there is this phrase -- the elephant in the room. when you're in the midst of suffering from a mental illness, everybody knows it that you, and no one will tell you that you need help. i know i probably would have ended up getting help earlier or staying in recovery earlier had i had the support of people who would have known that by trying to give me help, they were not
interfering in my personal life. they were trying to save my life so we need a change of our attitudes and our mindset when we see someone suffering from a mental illness or addiction. we need to not look at it as a character issue, but the chemistry issue. their brain is ill, but he can get better with treatment. in the first step toward treatment is identifying they need the help and referring them to the appropriate resources that can get them that help. under the parity law, will be reimbursed for that help. so why veterans? we understand brain injury and posttraumatic stress, or the signature wounds of this war in iraq and afghanistan. you know what we call them? invisible. it is shocking that we still call these wounds invisible when in fact the trauma of serving in
a combat zone changes the brain's chemistry because of the stress associated. we know if you have a traumatic brain injury, you suffer a physical wound of war, and yet because we cannot see it on the outside, the government still does not award purple hearts for the signature wound of this war. shocking. shocking. i think that will someday come to change if we begin to do what we need to do to be there for our veterans. let me make this final analogy. our heroes, if they were trapped behind enemy lines by al qaeda or the taliban, would have our first responders, our special forces go in there tomorrow to kick down the doors and bring them home. why don't we apply that same idea to our returning veterans who are held hostage, who are
literally prisoners of their war injuries and their behind the enemy lines up shane and stigma that are associated with having a brain illness? what i see with these mental health first aid, veterans and to help first aid, first responders, is our 911 force. here at home. it has what they are doing is just what our special forces do. they are kicking down the doors of these returning veterans who are alone, isolated, and no one is reaching out to help them but the people who are not trained to know how to help them and to bring them home, not only in body, but to bring them home in mind as well. thank you for letting me be here. now have the honor of turning
the microphone over to one of those heroes who not only served our country in uniform, but is also serving his fellows in uniform and his fellow veterans through his advocacy at the iraq afghan war veterans of america, one of the premier veteran service organizations which is changing the landscape and how our government and how our country receives its returning heroes. tom tarantino. >> thank you. god, i don't think i really deserved all that. but i appreciate it. i want to thank the national council for having us all here and talking about this. and the chief policy officer for iraq and afghanistan veterans of america. we are the first and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization fighting for this generation of lawyers. i myself, being a soldier, i was
thinking last night about first eight. i was thinking about all of the training of had my life. i am not a medical professional. my job was not to kill the people, it was to break things and hurt people. i'm thinking about everything i have learned through the military. everything i learned in high school. you star first aid training in high school. they teach you cpr and how to identify heatstroke and all the stuff you learn in health class. in the military, they teach you skills like how to run an i.v. line, how to treat someone for shock. they do this because by giving first aid for these immediate injuries, it saves lives. it saves lives. and yet the one thing we don't learn how to treat and we don't learn how to identify are the mental health injuries. is it because these injuries -- as patrick said, aren't invisible, but they are not
readily apparent. it is absolutely critical across america that we learn to treat these wounds as they are, as wounds. i talk to soldiers and they say, i don't want to get treatment, i can deal with it. i say, look, man, if you had a hole in your chest and got shot, you would not walk around with it will stop a say, absolutely not. why would i do that? it's the same thing. if you have an injury, walking around that injury is dangerous. it is dangerous to you because you are basically letting your wounds faster. we are on the front lines of the fight to combat suicide. 22 veterans a day are dying by suicide. suicide isn't the problem. it is the end result of a series
of problems, of a series of failures that could have been alleviated at the beginning if someone had known, just like we know how to run an i.v. or check for heatstroke, how to identify mental health injuries from the start. this is critical. this type of training should be everywhere because the only way we're going to get to a point where we can adequately treat mental health women's early on is if we break this down across the american culture. that is one of the things that is so impressive about this mental health first aid program is that it isn't just about veterans. there are not that many vets out there. there are 2.5 million iraq and afghanistan veterans, about 29 across the country. if we only speaking to the veteran community, we will never fix the problem. if we give everyone armed with the same knowledge as we do
about basic first aid in high school and do that for mental health, we will be at a point in this country where nobody has to live with the mental health injury in the shadows. they can get treatment. the one thing we do know is that getting treatment is the most effective way to prevent the tragic consequences of mental health injuries later on. i am incredibly appreciative that this program is out there and incredibly appreciative this is starting to move across the country. i hope we get to a place and i can come back in a few years and talk about how we have all been armed with this basic knowledge. we have these tools in our toolkit, and we can all identify these issues early on. not just to help our bodies, but also to help ourselves. thank you very much. following the is theresa buchanan. she works with operation purple, one of our best friends and
partners in the veteran community and an absolute tireless advocate for quite often the people who are forgotten and are committed, the military families. i thank her for her work. theresa buchanan. [applause] >> tom, thank you for those kind words. i'm delighted to be up to join you, patrick. thank you, linda, and the rest of you, to be on this panel today. as tom said, the families are critically important in this journey. we certainly, since 1969, had been an organization that is advocated for the military family because long before we recognized that our senior leadership were not willing to accept the fact that there were social services and what it would need to provide any type of support to the family, there were those women and years ago sitting around a kitchen table
who formed this organization, who went out there to lobby for those friends who were left destitute after the service member died because the pension at that time went with the death of the retiree. we were part and parcel part of that very first success of the survivor benefit plan that today is commonplace throughout the military services. mental health first aid for veterans. i think what we are hearing today from everyone who up here will continue to hear, really should resonate with us all that the mental health needs and the call for nonthreatening opportunities for veterans, and most important, their families and those in their community, to have access to resources that increase knowledge of the issue and provide responsive strategies remains both a significant concern and an american societal responsibility.
depression. talking about substance abuse, addiction. the self-isolation, whether we like the fact they're called invisible wounds and is hoping sin because of those who are walking around and don't get the same respect and response from our american public as those who do have the physical wounds because they're each suffering entering as badges of honor in her own special way, that where does go to suicide. as tom said, we have embraced that and we are very concerned about 22 veterans a day are committing suicide. and that is the end result of a lesion of other types of things that have gone to for -- legion of other types of things that have gone on before. what about the undocumented family members committing suicide? that is happening, too. those numbers are not being counted.
we are looking for the possibly some legislation being submitted that is going to start to have the requirement to start counting these numbers, but we have untold numbers that are out there. that is one of the things that happens. when these families moved out into the communities, they are lost from the roles of really oversight unless they have reached out for connection with the v.a. 1% have served to protect our freedoms. the rest of us have the responsibility to honor and ensure the healthiest tomorrow for their lives and future productivity. what i like about the mental health first aid for veterans and servicemembers and their families is it stands as a key component and behavioral health support. lagee, the action plan, and we will be talking further about this, but it is really concrete and simple.
where you are assessing for suicide or harm, listening nonjudgmentally, giving reassurance and information, encourage appropriate professional help, encourage self-help and other support strategies. adjustments are taught how to support someone developing signs in an emotional crisis or mental illness. since 2004 when the national military family association launched the operation purple program, there were initially camps for children, military children deployed. we later realized -- recognized the importance of that family model and the work we really could do with families that were struggling with reunion and coming back together after these multiple deployments. and have also moved into similar type family camp programs that we do at environmental education centers with mental health support from the beginning because we want to marry up the aspects from the outside and
treating the brain, giving the brain an opportunity to come to the forefront. we work closely with the focus program, which is families overcoming stress. we also do it for wounded, ill, and injured and have adaptive exercises. the point of my mentioning this is, we learned early on that as you're going through, that children and families psychological well-being was paramount. we have also advocated -- our core mission is advocacy. we have been advocating for mental health support because we recognize there is a dearth of that available because he is to have it but also that it is accessible. again, and we're looking at reimbursements and you can get access to the services -- who
can get access to the services, if they are not equally available, there's not going to be any progress made here. we have also recognize the importance of trained mental health support and we provide scholarships so that we can have military spouses get credentialed so they in turn can join the cadre of dedicated mental health professionals. we also have an app, which serves as a portal to the assistance program that can also provide on your smartphone access and perhaps access to mental health first aid for veterans. one of my big take away that i hope you'll take away is families and communities have all different types of definitions. we don't look at what was perhaps the traditional because they have all become traditional families. we have moms and dads caring for
service members who are connected to the military. we have opened up to where we have partners -- the world has changed. it is important for us to recognize to be inclusive with families. it is also important to realize we're talking about the importance of the families being a support network because the veteran with mental illness or addiction does not stand alone in his or her treatment. the family support is key to the successful support in treatment. we must not forget that. most importantly, we must continue to reduce the stigma associated with seeking treatment. i think we're all going to vow together to work together to truly underscore that seeking treatment is a strength, a sign of strength and not a sign of weakness. mental health first aid for veterans is a major step in the right direction to make that happen. thank you.
>> thank you, linda. i think the national council for this event. i feel honored to be here today. i am sharon thomas parks, a veteran of the united states marine corps. since leaving the marine corps, i have had a long and satisfying career in behavioral health. i have been a trainer for the past six years. i have trained hundreds of people from public safety officers, many of whom are veterans, to university faculty and staff and students, and health care professionals. the most frequent comment i hear from mental health first aid participants is, i wish i had this training 10 years ago. so while i was in the marine corps, i was part of a very cohesive unit. we drilled until practice became second nature.
mental health first eight has a similar approach to repetition -- first eight has a similar approach to repetition. it was kind of a natural fit for me to get involved in mental health first aid. because it provides support for the person who's in the training . winning in battle is not about doing it on your own. it is about being part of a cohesive unit and never leaving your buddies behind. mental health first aid is sort of the same idea, that it is not about leaving someone in distress out there alone by themselves in the world.
when i left -- when i was discharged from the marine corps, i felt alone, isolated, and disconnected. those are three factors that put all of us, particularly veterans, at risk for developing a mental health problem. my transition home might've been a little easier if my family was trained in mental health first aid. fortunately, i just created the support that i needed. i was able to cofound a suicide and crisis intervention center. now, not everybody can do that. and we really should not expect anybody to have to do that. my military training and experience gave me confidence. and i got involved in mental health first aid because it gives people that same kind of
confidence. not to run away in fear from the mental-health problem. it gives people confidence to engage a person who is expressing mental health challenge and to ask, are you ok? do you need help? so winning the battle against mental illness can't be done alone. it is not done alone. if we don't offer help to a veteran in distress, we are leaving a warrior behind. mental health first aid gives people an action plan like teresa mentioned. it is an action plan and it provides the training to help make that action plan become second nature. this is an extraordinaire program that will benefit veterans, their families, and