tagged w/ Say NO to GMO
The above paragraphs summarize published data that clearly show the following:
(1) Compounds structurally related to a common small molecule can have a lethal effect when present as even a minor contaminant in a food supplement.
(2) The GM enhancement of a metabolic pathway by the overexpression of genes for that pathway can have unpredictable consequences in the form of synthesizing a toxin.
(3) Finally, in the case of golden rice, it is argued that biologically active compounds derived from aberrant plant carotenoid synthesis could have profound effects on human development.
Similar arguments can be made for NEP-derived fatty acids that are directly incorporated into brain lipids and about NEPs overproducing vitamin E. Aberrant fatty acid composition of brain lipids is implicated in Alzheimer’s disease,45,46 and vitamin E has a role similar to RA in mammalian development.47 The excess consumption of a nutrient can also have negative effects. For example, a clinical trial with vitamin E supplementation showed that a relatively small dose increased the risk of heart failure,48 and smokers who supplemented their diet with -carotene had an increased risk of lung cancer.49 Therefore, there is a potential for nutrient toxicity in NEPs because upper tolerable levels of many nutrients are not well established (p. 107)35 and are likely to vary between individuals and lifestyles.
The information presented here shows that not only the potential harm of the product should be considered for risk assessment, but the GM process itself. The data clearly invalidate the argument that "the regulatory trigger for risk assessment should be based upon the physical features of the product rather than the process by which the product was generated."50 While it is true that traditional breeding methods can give rise to potentially hazardous products, the most recent assessment of GM food safety by the National Research Council35 stated that GM “has a higher probability of producing unanticipated changes than some genetic modification methods" (p. 118), but it curiously concludes by stating that the risk of GM technology is no greater than conventional breeding methods.
There are, in fact, no data comparing the food safety profiles of GM versus conventional breeding, and the ubiquitous argument that since there is no evidence that GM products make people sick, they are safe (see, for example, McHughen and Smyth,50 Bradford et al.,51 and Miller et al.52) is both illogical and false. There are, again, simply no data or even valid assays to support this contention.53 Without proper epidemiological studies, most types of harm will not be detected, and no such studies have been conducted.
The necessity of labeling all GM products and particularly NEPs is therefore critical if there is any hope of monitoring adverse health consequences due to their consumption. For example, it would have been impossible to identify the source of the toxic tryptophan supplement if the product were not traceable through labeling. It follows that before NEPs producing biologically active molecules such as -carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, or vitamin E are introduced into the food chain, great care must be taken to do rigorous, multigenerational animal safety assessments with the hope of identifying risks to health (for methods, see, for example, the 2007 publication by the National Toxicology Program54 and Pusztai and Bardocz55). In addition, the products must be labeled and traceable, and the unpredictable and unintended metabolic changes that may occur in NEPs require the thorough testing of the entire edible portion of the plant, not just the designated product as is almost always done by biotech companies...
David R. Schubert
Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California
JOURNAL OF MEDICINAL FOOD
J Med Food 11 (4) 2008, 000–000
The above paragraphs summarize published data that clearly show the following:
THERE is a frenzy among policy makers and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) fronting Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) to be elevated to the first priority in government's realm to addressing challenges to reduced agricultural productivity in the country.
The thinking is that with the numerous pests and diseases out breaks in the fisheries, livestock, forestry and crop sectors, products of genetic modification will do a wonder and correct the situation almost at once.
Their argument is that GMOs are superior, because they are developed with exact desired traits like milk and beef production in the livestock, but also diseases and pests resistance in crops, as opposed to other conventional means like hybrids.
For the last ten years, this school of thought is spending colossal sums of money in luxurious hotels toying with this idea, at the expense of a dwindling agricultural productivity.
Their actions and influence are overshadowing the Government's strategy and competitiveness to develop tangible interventions in the agro-sector. While I agree that GMOs are good, they are not necessarily superior. My submission is that while GMOs shall offer some help to farmers, it's being over glorified.
The short to midterm problem with the agro-sector currently is the inability of policy makers to focus attention where it is due. The bureaucrats, who hide in technicalities, often blow out GMOs as the immediate saviour, which I like to differ.
Look at the banana bacterial wilt problem, which the country is grappling with. While the policy makers were still demanding for billions of shillings to address the problem through research, ordinary farmers were already carrying out "survival" farming practices. It has indeed come to be understood and accepted in scientific circles that with good agronomical skills like tendering to the plantation, mulching, cutting off the male bud to avoid bees visiting reduced the wilt prevalence in Mukono and other areas. These formed part of the survival practices.
Indeed, a GMO banana variety, as the researchers note would take the next about 10 years to materialise. The gene, which the scientists at Kawanda are researching, is only targeting one disease - the black sigatoka. This implies that other disease and climatic challenges, will still stay, requiring closer farmer-to extension officer interaction to better farming. Will the dwindling soil fertility, disappearing rangelands, pastures and bush fires also be addressed through genetic modifications? Certainly not.
My view is that farmers are ahead of scientists when it comes to planning for the direction of the sector - which is a dangerous precedent. But you wouldn't blame the farmers.
Look at the numerous league of new crops being indiscriminately introduced without clear policy planning like moringa, jatrophaa neem tree, aloe vera and silk warm.
A few profit driven multinatinationals often conspire to promote the crops, with a hope of a ready market. But in a few months, they disappear. While the immediate escape route for the so called technocrats is that Uganda is a liberalised market economy, my conviction is that the policy makers do not the right varieties introduction studies.
Indeed GMOs cannot be our first line of defense. Poor policy development and execution is the bigger problem.
THERE is a frenzy among policy makers and non-governmental organisations (NGOs)... more
Campesinos in the department of San Pedro occupied Brazilian-owned farms on Oct. 1 to block the entry of transgenic soy, and began planting other crops such as sesame and yucca on the plots.
Some 120 campesinos occupied two 600-hectare (1,480 acre) farms, according to local media reports.
Cristino Peralta, the San Pedro correspondent of the daily ABC Color, said that the farmers immediately began planting the sesame and yucca after occupying the plantations.
"There was no law enforcement intervention," he said. "The group's leader Florencio Martinez said that the occupation marked the start of the recovery of Paraguayan territorial sovereignty."
San Pedro is considered Paraguay's best farmland, but it is also the country's poorest department. President Fernando Lugo worked as a bishop there for a decade.
Land is concentrated in the fewest hands in Paraguay than in any other Latin American country. Only 351 landowners hold 9.7 million hectares (24 million acres), while, according to civil society organizations, there are more than 350,000 families with insufficient quantities of land or no land at all.
The demonstrators said that they took over the Brazilian-owned plantations in protest of what they called the government's failure to implement land reform. Paraguay has also seen other campesino protests against transgenic soy plantations and the indiscriminate use of farming chemicals.
Lugo had requested that the campesinos give his government 100 days starting Aug. 15 to seek financing for land reform. The period ends on Nov. 22.
According to campesino leader Elvio Benitez, the government "continues without finding a solution to the lack of land of thousands of our compatriots, while the Brazilian's presence is getting bigger and bigger. We can't do anything else but occupy the Brazilian-owned haciendas because the soy crops are causing deforestation, eliminating natural forests and contaminating people with its pesticides."
People are standing up worldwide to the hoax that is GM food. We have enough conventional NATURAL food to feed the people of this planet. Good to see people standing up to the fake unnatural test tube food these mutli nationals are trying to shove down their throats for profit.Campesinos in the department of San Pedro occupied Brazilian-owned farms on Oct. 1 to... more
No genetically modified crops are grown commercially in Japan, perhaps one of the countries in the world with the strongest consumer opposition to "unnatural" GM foods. Yet, Monsanto and the US government continue their shameless push for the stuff. Again and again, imported foods have been found to be contaminated with illegal GM varieties, including the infamous Starlink corn, that had not been approved in the US either (it was recalled and never heard from again).
Now, a US government official is visiting Tokyo to seek Japan's "help to promote the safety of genetically modified crops among Japanese consumers," as a way to "ease the global food crisis," notes NHK World.
Dr. Nina Fedoroff, the Science and Technology Adviser to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, was interviewed by NHK in Tokyo on Thursday, and said "the planting of genetically modified crops has been spreading rapidly in the United States and stressed the need to spread this kind of crop globally to cope with the food crisis."
Food crisis? This summer, what did Monsanto do? With US corn, 60 percent is GM -- and nearly all of it contains Monsanto's genes. During this global food crisis, Monsanto just raised the price of its corn seed $100 a bag. Talk about a novel way to solve the food crisis.
Linn Cohen-Cole at OpEdNews has more details:
"Notice, too, that Monsanto is drastically raising prices while it is making phenomenal profits, while food prices are rising dramatically (related often to its grains), leading to food riots around the world, and while fuel is skyrocketing and Monsanto's corn is now the basis of biofuel, and while our economy is tanking. All the while Monsanto claims that genetically engineering is a wonder - the way to help farmers around the world and to feed the hungry."
Time after time, Japanese consumer organizations, housewives, NGOs and co-ops have demonstrated in the streets of Tokyo to protest against imports of GM foods. Most of the soy and corn that enter Japan is either carefully sourced as "non-GM" (using expensive traceability schemes such as IP handling) or simply used as animal feed.
Food oil makers also don't need to disclose on food labels if they use GM oil seeds, and many consumers are surprised and angry when they learn that they have in fact been eating GM soy or corn, unwillingly. Consumers Union of Japan is particularly upset about how food exporting countries, such as Australia, side with the GM industry, ignoring consumer concerns. South Korean consumers also share the same concerns, making waves with large demonstrations in Seoul, and joining events here in Japan.
Keisuke Amagasa at the Tokyo-based 'No! GMO Campaign' will speak on October 16 at the World Foodless Day event about "How genetically modified foods are accelerating the food crisis." An outspoken critic of Monsanto and gene patenting policies, he says:
"Japan does not produce any GM crops. However, because Japan imports GM canola from Canada, GM contamination has already occurred and it is spreading to a much greater degree than one could imagine. If GM crops are cultivated, then this kind of pollution will spread even more. Judging by the ominous precedent of Canada, once GM crops are cultivated, segregation between GM and non-GM will become almost impossible, and keeping pure non-GM varieties away from GM contamination will be very hard. The clear conclusion from the findings is that cultivating or importing GM crops, leads to GM pollution and once this pollution begins, it can cause irreversible damage."
Despicable.No genetically modified crops are grown commercially in Japan, perhaps one of the... more
FDA won't require label for genetically altered meats
The debate over whether to label genetically modified foods shifted a step away from disclosure today as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a draft guidance saying the agency will not require a label on food made from genetically engineered animals.
The draft will be open for public comment until Nov. 18.
The FDA will study all genetically modified foods for safety issues before approving them for market consumption, the draft said. There are no genetically engineered animal products on the market, the FDA's Web site said, although some products are undergoing a safety review.
"It is likely that for the first [genetically engineered] animal approval(s), we will convene a public advisory committee meeting prior to the completion of the approval," the FDA's Web site said.
The FDA will regulate any recombinant DNA modification under the animal as a "new animal drug" under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, even though some of the some of the genetic modifications might involve splicing the DNA of one animal into a completely different species. Examples include the insertion of the spider-silk protein gene into goats for the production of a filament-rich milk and the introduction of a mouse gene into pigs to alter the composition of pig manure.
The classification would allow manufacturers to avoid having to use a separate label for any products coming from genetically engineered animals. The FDA says the foods would undergo strict testing and that any approved foods would be safe for human consumption.
But that's missing the point, said Michael Hansen, senior scientist at Consumers Union. Many label requirements have little to do with food safety.
"We require labeling of juices whether they come from concentrate or if they're fresh-squeezed or whether milk is homogenized or not, so along those lines, we think that all genetically engineered animals present in the food chain should labeled as such," Hansen said.
Other problems could arise if genetically modified animals get into the wild population, Hansen said.
It's called the Trojan Gene Hypothesis, Hansen said — the idea that the offspring of genetically engineered animals are weak. For example, some salmon are engineered to grow to larger sizes. Salmon choose their mates based partially on the size of the male, so the genetically altered fish would be preferable. However, genetically engineered fish have fewer offspring that have a lower survival rate, so the salmon population could decrease dramatically after only a few generations of breeding, Hansen said.
Bush Aid Package Includes GM
FDA won't require label for genetically altered meats
The debate over... more
Social responsibility and environmental sustainability will take centre stage at the 2nd International Non-GMO Soy Summit, which will take place in Brussels on 7-9 October 2008.
The event will provide an interactive platform for industry members where they will work together to develop new strategies and alliances to meet the growing demand for non-GMO soy and derivatives and also select the winner of the Summit Development Grant for 2008.
Dedicated to corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability
PUTTING PEOPLE BEFORE PROFITS
All profits from the Summit will be donated to a Third World community development project,
voted for by the Summit participants.
The page explains much more about this conference and its goals.
There are alternatives and there are many groups working to bring us healthier choices. You can say no to GMO.Social responsibility and environmental sustainability will take centre stage at the... more
Before the Appleton Wisconsin high school replaced their cafeteria's processed foods with wholesome, nutritious food, the school was described as out-of-control. There were weapons violations, student disruptions, and a cop on duty full-time. After the change in school meals, the students were calm, focused, and orderly. There were no more weapons violations, and no suicides, expulsions, dropouts, or drug violations. The new diet and improved behavior has lasted for seven years, and now other schools are changing their meal programs with similar results.
Years ago, a science class at Appleton found support for their new diet by conducting a cruel and unusual experiment with three mice. They fed them the junk food that kids in other high schools eat everyday. The mice freaked out. Their behavior was totally different than the three mice in the neighboring cage. The neighboring mice had good karma; they were fed nutritious whole foods and behaved like mice. They slept during the day inside their cardboard tube, played with each other, and acted very mouse-like.
The junk food mice, on the other hand, destroyed their cardboard tube, were no longer nocturnal, stopped playing with each other, fought often, and two mice eventually killed the third and ate it. After the three month experiment, the students rehabilitated the two surviving junk food mice with a diet of whole foods. After about three weeks, the mice came around.
Sister Luigi Frigo repeats this experiment every year in her second grade class in Cudahy, Wisconsin, but mercifully, for only four days. Even on the first day of junk food, the mice's behavior "changes drastically." They become lazy, antisocial, and nervous. And it still takes the mice about two to three weeks on unprocessed foods to return to normal. One year, the second graders tried to do the experiment again a few months later with the same mice, but this time the animals refused to eat the junk food.
Across the ocean in Holland, a student fed one group of mice genetically modified (GM) corn and soy, and another group the non-GM variety. The GM mice stopped playing with each other and withdrew into their own parts of the cage. When the student tried to pick them up, unlike their well-behaved neighbors, the GM mice scampered around in apparent fear and tried to climb the walls. One mouse in the GM group was found dead at the end of the experiment.
It's interesting to note that the junk food fed to the mice in the Wisconsin experiments also contained genetically modified ingredients. And although the Appleton school lunch program did not specifically attempt to remove GM foods, it happened anyway. That's because GM foods such as soy and corn and their derivatives are largely found in processed foods. So when the school switched to unprocessed alternatives, almost all ingredients derived from GM crops were taken out automatically.
Does this mean that GM foods negatively affect the behavior of humans or animals? It would certainly be irresponsible to say so on the basis of a single student mice experiment and the results at Appleton. On the other hand, it is equally irresponsible to say that it doesn't.
Before the Appleton Wisconsin high school replaced their cafeteria's processed... more
Driven by the increasingly pressing need to provide a stable food supply for its surging population (1.3 billion and growing), China has decided to engineer its own "Green Revolution" by embarking on a massive $3.5 billion GM crops R&D initiative, reports Science's Richard Stone. With this new biotechnology infrastructure in place, the Chinese hope to discover and patent their own genes "of great value" -- engaging in direct competition with the likes of Monsanto and ADM -- and to help their farms evolve "from high-input and extensive cultivation" to "high-tech and intensive cultivation."
Uh oh!!Driven by the increasingly pressing need to provide a stable food supply for its... more
Doug Cameron reported in today's Wall Street Journal that, "A group of U.S. agribusiness companies including Archer Daniels Midland Co. are uniting in the intensifying food-versus-fuel debate, forming an alliance to promote the idea that technology can ease global supply shortages.
"The Alliance for Abundant Food and Energy - which includes seed makers Monsanto Co. and DuPont Co., as well as farm-gear maker Deere & Co. - wants to spread its belief that renewable fuels won't cut into food supplies if new technologies, such as genetically modified crops, are used to their fullest. The group is also working hard to protect government subsidies for ethanol production.
"ADM, Monsanto and others have seen their own profits soar in recent years, as booming demand for agricultural products in emerging markets has pushed up commodity prices and spurred additional production."
And Reuters writer Lisa Shumaker reported yesterday that, "A new group is adding its voice to the debate on using crops to produce alternative fuels such as ethanol amid rising food prices and shortages in some countries.
"The Alliance for Abundant Food and Energy in Washington D.C. was created by Archer Daniels Midland Co, DuPont Co, Deere & Co, Monsanto Co and the Renewable Fuels Association (www.foodandenergy.org ).
"'There are critics who are trying to create an either-or decision between food and fuel,' said Mark Kornblau, the alliance's executive director. 'We believe this is a false choice. Today, more than 90 percent of crops in the United States and around the world are used exclusively for food.'"
President FarmPolicy.com, Inc.
There you have it. Unequivocal proof that these biotech agribusiness corporations don't care one whit about you.The battle lines have been drawn. It is them against us and this planet. Profit trumping sustainability and fair access to food and water. I don't think it is then too dramatic to state that this is a battle for our lives. These companies with the full backing of our own government, including those who voted for their subsidies (and yes, that also includes Obama) are set on total control of our food and water supply in order to control us.
In the last post I placed here on this topic today regarding Monsanto raising the price of corn seed during a food crisis it was stated that it is time this be given serious attention... well, I go one further here... this requires serious ACTION.
Please go to the article link and there you will find a petition calling for the boycott of Monsanto. The people this will affect, mainly the poor, farmers, and people living in developing countries must join together to fight this insidious takeover of our lives. And yes, it's that serious. Click on the tag, 'Monsanto' to see much more on exactly what is transpiring on a global scale and why the majority of this world is AGAINST GMOs and allowing Monsanto to patent life itself.Doug Cameron reported in today's Wall Street Journal that, "A group of U.S.... more
Do you know who Monsanto is? They are a chemical corporation which made Agent Orange and after that, PCBs, with which they drowned the town of Anniston, Alabama for decades, even after knowing for sure that PCBs were highly carcinogenic. They make organophosphates, including glyphosate (Round-up) - which are highly neuro-toxic.
With this background in illness and killing, Monsanto then began "doing" your food. It genetically engineers food.
But before you say "Oh, that's good because genetic engineering is making food better, adding vitamins, growing bigger crops, ..." I have bad news for you. Please go to http://www.responsibletechnology.org and listen to Jeffrey Smith's lecture on how genetic engineering works and what it does to organs.
And as the greater yield PR, I suggest you read: http://www.i-sis.org.uk/IBTCF.php about the Bt-cotton fraud in India while Monsanto claims to have increased yield by 160%. http://www.monsanto.com/biotech-gmo/asp/news.asp?newsId=nr20070917&yr=2007 What do Indian farmers say? Indian farmers call Monsanto's Bt-cotton seeds, the Seeds of Death. http://www.organicconsumers.org/ge/indiacotton012406.cfm
Beyond India, there are also problems. http://www.slogefree.org/news07/a-disaster-in-search-of-success-bt-cotton-in
Who to believe? Isn't this the same Monsanto that for four decades denied that PCBs caused cancer, while sitting on thousands of documents to the contrary? http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/ features/2008/05/monsanto200805
It works like this: Monsanto gets George HW Bush to put one of its employees on the Supreme Court. From there, Clarence Thomas is in time to rule that genetically modified organisms are no different from normal organisms. Science by legal decision. Pandora's box of endlessly mutant organisms being let loose onto the world by Monsanto's influence over Bush and via one single law.
Clarence Thomas also ruled for an extreme extension of the intellectual property laws that allow Monsanto (and other biotech companies) to call their scrambling of DNA, "inventions" and through that, patent them. So, when a farmer buys GE-seeds, he doesn't buy just buy seeds, he buys himself into a deep, deep trap. For after buying the seeds and planting them and tending the plants all season, when the harvest comes and the farmer goes to collect seeds from those plants, Monsanto steps in and says "those are mine." Monsanto, in effect, claims to own biology itself, not just the process by which it screwed with the seeds, but all seeds forever from those seeds. In this way, this Monsanto as god way, it turns farmers into tenant farmers on their own land.
The two main crops in America, corn and soy - the basis of most our food, and now grains that are used for biofuels - are controlled by Monsanto. 90% of soy is GMO and of that, 90% of those traits "belong" to Monsanto. And for corn, the largest crop, 60% is GMO, nearly 100% are Monsanto "owned" traits. http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_9716.cfm
Now, maybe the news that Monsanto is raising the price of its GE-corn by $100 a bag will have due significance, since farmers have lost other seed companies, are threatened in saving their own seeds, and thus are left not only with a massive monopoly but one that then through patents, "owns" the farmer.
Notice, too, that Monsanto is drastically raising prices while it is making phenomenal profits, while food prices are rising dramatically (related often to its grains), leading to food riots around the world, and while fuel is skyrocketing and Monsanto's corn is now the basis of biofuel, and while our economy is tanking. All the while Monsanto claims that genetically engineering is a wonder - the way to help farmers around the world and to feed the hungry.
It's time to pay serious attention.
Do you know who Monsanto is? They are a chemical corporation which made Agent Orange... more
Baphethile Mntambo has been farming organically for the past five years because she knows that avoiding chemicals will in the long-term benefit her yield.
She decided not to plant genetically modified seeds because she has heard that they cannot be saved for the next season and will eventually deplete her soil. But she is not entirely sure how and why.
"I have heard about GMO, but I don't understand what it is exactly," she says. "The only thing I know is that it will cost a lot of money to buy the seeds, the fertiliser and the pesticides."
Mntambo is one of 50 small-scale farmers in the Valley of a Thousand Hills in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province who have been taught how to farm organically by non-governmental organisation Valley Trust. The farmers learn to plant seasonal crops that will provide their families both with food security and an opportunity to generate income by selling their produce at local markets.
"We decided to promote organic farming to create sustainability for small-scale farmers. We believe it is the only way to give them food sovereignty and stability," explains Valley Trust food security facilitator Nhlanhla Vezi.
The Valley Trust used to cooperate with the Department of Agriculture, according to Vezi, but the collaboration ceased when the department started to put pressure on small-scale farmers to form cooperatives if they wanted its support. "The Department makes very attractive offers to provide farming equipment, water piping and seeds, but then uses this as a strategy to push GMO because of agreements they have signed with multinational GM seed patent holders," says Vezi.
Rural farmers are often lured into planting GM seeds by the Department of Agriculture by promises of substantial bank loans and the prospect of huge earnings, agrees Lesley Liddell, director of Biowatch, an NGO promoting alternatives to GMO farming by encouraging farmers to inter-crop, use natural fertilisers and non-chemical crops. "But in the end, most farmers end up in huge debt, because they can't save seeds and are obliged to buy the matching GM fertilisers and pesticides."
Yet, small-scale farmers are often so desperate for financial support that they consider planting GMO crops against better knowledge if they are offered the seeds for free. "I know that GMO is not good in the long run, but if someone gave me these seeds I would still plant them," says Tholani Bhengu, another small-scale farmer who works with the Valley Trust. "For me, the most important thing is to bring food on the table every week. I can't afford to think now about what will happen next year."
Because small-scale farmers in rural Africa often have little or no formal education, they are generally unable to make informed choices around GMO farming. "We encourage them to attend portfolio committees that discuss GMO regulations, but the farmers' knowledge is very limited, so it's difficult for them to contribute. They understand the issues but not the legislation," says Liddell.
That last quoted paragraph is exactly why these small scale farmers are the targets of multinationals like Monsanto. And as well in South Africa, mandatory labelling is not required.
They are using the poverty these farmers live in as a way to force them into planting GM crap... and when their GM crops fail because of drought or cross contamination, no one is there to bail them out and they have to rebuy seed and "herbicide" again if they wish to plant as they get deeper in debt while Monsanto and other companies reap the benefits.
Insidious.Baphethile Mntambo has been farming organically for the past five years because she... more