tagged w/ Boycott GMOs
One year ago we saw a crime of nature unparalled committed by BP. As the Deepwater Horizon exploded sending 11 men to their deaths, a tragedy of immense proportion began to play out on our tv screens, and a twenty four hour feed of the Micondo well was made available for us to witness the killing of the Gulf and the species that live there.
This "accident" by BP in league with Transocean and Halliburton that was so much in our consciousness then has been relegated to unimportant by our media and our government. This crime, unpunished, the criminals, now left free to continue the very behavior that led to this environmental catastrophe as they also repair their image as the stories of illness and death are covered up and ignored is a crime against nature and a betrayal of our future.
And they think we have forgotten. They think we will let it go. They think they have escaped justice. I say, they are wrong.
And just like Jeffrey Smith, I too see the other more insidious spill that will affect generations to come for all time. The spill of an irresponsible science experiment already going horribly wrong. To unleash such a genetic storm upon the world with no idea how it can be reigned in if it goes wrong is not only irresponsible but criminal. But the companies involved and the biotech industry didn't and don't care about that. They knew there was much profit to be made from unleashing this on an unsuspecting global populace, and that even the ill effects could be used to profit from it.
This invasion into our ecosystems, our bodies and the generations to come can no longer go unchecked. It is grievously immoral to allow such a spill to continue especially being aware of the consequences now without knowing just how bad it will get in even ten to twenty years time. And just as with the Gulf disaster, it is government collusion with industry that has seen our futures sold to the highest bidder as our planet is used as a petrie dish!
People reading this, please understand the weight of what is being done to your world and act. We have the power, we have the tools, we have the voices. It's time for them to be heard. Our future depends on it.One year ago we saw a crime of nature unparalled committed by BP. As the Deepwater... more
A new paper shows that consuming genetically modified (GM) corn or soybeans leads to significant organ disruptions in rats and mice, particularly in livers and kidneys. By reviewing data from 19 animal studies, Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini and others reveal that 9% of the measured parameters, including blood and urine biochemistry, organ weights, and microscopic analyses (histopathology), were significantly disrupted in the GM-fed animals. The kidneys of males fared the worst, with 43.5% of all the changes. The liver of females followed, with 30.8%. The report, published in Environmental Sciences Europe on March 1, 2011, confirms that “several convergent data appear to indicate liver and kidney problems as end points of GMO diet effects.” The authors point out that livers and kidneys “are the major reactive organs” in cases of chronic food toxicity.
“Other organs may be affected too, such as the heart and spleen, or blood cells,” stated the paper. In fact some of the animals fed genetically modified organisms had altered body weights in at least one gender, which is “a very good predictor of side effects in various organs.”
The GM soybean and corn varieties used in the feeding trials “constitute 83% of the commercialized GMOs” that are currently consumed by billions of people. While the findings may have serious ramifications for the human population, the authors demonstrate how a multitude of GMO-related health problems could easily pass undetected through the superficial and largely incompetent safety assessments that are used around the world.
One of the most glaring faults in the current regulatory regime is the short duration of animals feeding studies. The industry limits trials to 90 days at most, with some less than a month. Only two studies reviewed in this new publication were over 90 days—both were non-industry research.
Short studies could easily miss many serious effects of GMOs. It is well established that some pesticides and drugs, for example, can create effects that are passed on through generations, only showing up decades later. IN the case of the drug DES (diethylstilbestrol), “induced female genital cancers among other problems in the second generation.” The authors urge regulators to require long-term multi-generational studies, to “provide evidence of carcinogenic, developmental, hormonal, neural, and reproductive potential dysfunctions, as it does for pesticides or drugs.”
Nearly all GM crops are described as “pesticide plants.” They either tolerate doses of weed killer, such as Roundup, or produce an insecticide called Bt-toxin. In both cases, the added toxin—weedkiller or bug killer—is found inside the corn or soybeans we consume.
When regulators evaluate the toxic effects of pesticides, they typically require studies using three types of animals, with at least one feeding trial lasting 2 years or more. One third or more of the side effects produced by these toxins will show up only in the longer study—not the shorter ones. But for no good reason, regulators ignore the lessons learned from pesticides and waive the GM crops-containing-pesticides onto the market with a single species tested for just 90 days. The authors affirm that “it is impossible, within only 13 weeks, to conclude about the kind of pathology that could be induced by pesticide GMOs and whether it is a major pathology or a minor one. It is therefore necessary to prolong the tests.”
GMO approvals also ignore the new understanding that toxins don’t always follow a linear dose-response. Sometimes a smaller amount of toxins have greater impact than larger doses. Approvals also overlook the fact that mixtures can be far more dangerous than single chemicals acting alone. Roundup residues, for example, have been “shown to be toxic for human placental, embryonic, and umbilical cord cells,” whereas Roundup’s active ingredient glyphosate does not on its own provoke the same degree of damage. One reason for this is that the chemicals in Roundup “stabilize glyphosate and allow its penetration into cells.”
Furthermore, toxins may generate new substances (metabolites) “either in the GM plant or in the animals fed with it.” Current assessments completely ignore the potential danger from these new components in our diets, such as the “new metabolites” in GMOs engineered to withstand Roundup. The authors warn, “We consider this as a major oversight in the present regulations.”
cont.http://www.enveurope.com/content/23/1/10 A new paper shows that consuming... more
Reality's biting for Monsanto. John Gilbert, an Iowa farmer tells the Christian Science Monitor about GM crop uptake: "A lot of it, to be perfectly honest, is herd mentality. They believe Monsanto when they say it's going to yield more." But scepticism has begun to set in, with the Christian Science Monitor noting that a common criticism now being leveled at GM firms like Monsanto is that crop yield increases have largely been the result of advances in conventional breeding, but that those features are only being made available in strains sold with genetically-modified traits as well.
1.Monsanto's Fortunes Turn Sour
The New York Times, 4 October 2010
As recently as late December, Monsanto was named "company of the year" by Forbes magazine. Last week, the company earned a different accolade from Jim Cramer, the television stock market commentator. "This may be the worst stock of 2010," he proclaimed.
Monsanto, the giant of agricultural biotechnology, has been buffeted by setbacks this year that have prompted analysts to question whether its winning streak from creating ever more expensive genetically engineered crops is coming to an end.
The company’s stock, which rose steadily over several years to peak at around $145 a share in mid-2008, closed Monday at $47.77, having fallen about 42 percent since the beginning of the year. Its earnings for the fiscal year that ended in August, which will be announced Wednesday, are expected to be well below projections made at the beginning of the year, and the company has abandoned its profit goal for 2012 as well.
The latest blow came last week, when early returns from this year’s harvest showed that Monsanto’s newest product, SmartStax corn, which contains an unprecedented eight inserted genes, was providing yields no higher than the company’s less expensive corn that contains only three foreign genes.
Monsanto has already been forced to sharply cut prices on SmartStax and on its newest soybean seeds, called Roundup Ready 2 Yield, as sales fell below projections.
But there is more. Sales of Monsanto’s Roundup, the widely used herbicide, has collapsed this year under an onslaught of low-priced generics made in China. Weeds are growing resistant to Roundup, dampening the future of the entire Roundup Ready crop franchise. And the Justice Department is investigating Monsanto for possible antitrust violations.
Until now, Monsanto’s main challenge has come from opponents of genetically modified crops, who have slowed their adoption in Europe and some other regions. Now, however, the outspoken critics also include farmers and investors who were once in Monsanto’s camp.
“My personal view is that they overplayed their hand,” William R. Young, managing director of ChemSpeak and a consultant to investors in the chemical industry, said of Monsanto. “They are going to have to demonstrate to the farmer the advantage of their products.”
Brett D. Begemann, Monsanto’s executive vice president for seeds and traits, said the setbacks were not reflective of systemic management problems and that the company was already moving to deal with them.
“Farmers clearly gave us some feedback that we have made adjustments from,” he said in an interview Monday.
Mr. Begemann said that Monsanto used to introduce new seeds at a price that gave farmers two thirds and Monsanto one third of the extra profits that would come from higher yields or lower pest-control costs. But with SmartStax corn and Roundup Ready 2 soybeans, the company’s pricing aimed for a 50-50 split.
That backfired as American farmers grew only 6 million acres of Roundup Ready 2 soybeans this year, below the company’s goal of 8 million to 10 million acres, and only 3 million acres of SmartStax corn, below the goal of 4 million.Reality's biting for Monsanto. John Gilbert, an Iowa farmer tells the Christian... more
This article refers to a report published last week by the US Department of Agriculture attache in Rome, Cynthia Barmore, with the revealing title "How to Influence Public Opinion about Agricultural Biotechnology" .
Insult to European democracy
The report is an insult to Italian democracy, and to European farmers, food producers, retailers and consumers. It is also riddled with misinformation which AgriMoney.com failed to correct.
The USDA describes Italians who oppose GMOs as a "minority composed of fringe groups" and talks of the need for the US to "educate" Italian consumers about food!
The anti-GM "fringe groups" which the USDA hopes to educate include:
* The Italian Government, whose Minister for Agriculture, Luca Zaia  said "A new ethics for agriculture is needed if we truly want to feed the world. My opposition to GMOs is well-known, in fact I do not believe that they are the solution to the hunger problem. We are with the farmers and always with those who work." 
*16 of Italy's 20 Regional Governments - together with 41 provinces and 2,446 municipalities - that have declared themselves as GMO-free zones; 
*Italy's main farming union Coldiretti, with 18 regional federations for 98 provinces, 765 area offices, 9,812 sections, and over 568,000 farms; 
*Italy's biggest retailer, CoopItalia; 
*leading Italian food brands that have adopted GM-free supply chains such as the giant meat and poultry producer BovinMarche , Amadori (one of Europe's biggest producers of chicken and turkey) , and the poultry producer Fileni; 
*the national multi-stakeholder initiative ItaliaEuropa Liberi da OGM  involving 28 organisations representing farmers, large distribution, small and medium sized businesses, consumer, environmental, scientific, cultural and international cooperation interest groups opposed to GM food and farming. During two months in 2007, ItaliaEuropa organised a National Consultation on GMOs which collected 3 million votes against GMOs; 
*the University of Gastronomic Sciences , a government-backed international research and education centre for the renewal of farming methods, the protection of biodiversity, and the development of an organic relationship between gastronomy and agricultural science;
*Slow Food International , the Italian-based globally influential eco-gastronomic network which campaigns for good, clean, fair and GM-free food and farming with 100,000 members in 132 countries - whose founder Carlo Petrini was described by the UK's Guardian newspaper as one of the "50 people who could save the planet."
USDA wrong about the facts
The USDA report describes a Eurobarometer survey from 2005 as "the most recent data" on EU public opinion towards agricultural biotechnology, and claims that 65% of Italians "support biotechnology".
In reality, Eurobarometer's most recent survey on GMOs was published in 2008: it found that 58% of Europeans - incuding 55% of Italians - are "personally opposed" to GM food and farming, while only 21% support their use . The most recent Italian survey - carried out by Coldiretti-SWG in 2009 - found that 63% of Italian consumers believe that GM foods are less healthy than traditional foods, up from 52% in 2003. 
The report's claim that most Italians "support biotechnology" is also misleading, because the vast majority of Europeans have no objection to non-GM biotechnology applications such as Marker Assisted Selection (MAS) of beneficial crop traits, and the production of insulin and other medicines from the contained use of GM bacteria in sealed vats in biosecure laboratories. No objection to these forms of biotech does not indicate support for GM crops!
The USDA: desperate liars towing the biotech line for profit. Amazing isn't it? And this is Obama's USDA now. And they're still lying looking for a target as opposition to this scam grows.This article refers to a report published last week by the US Department of... more
I will answer that question with a resounding YES. GMOs are the greatest scam foisted upon the people of this world. It is the most crucial environmental and social issue of this century and encompasses health, economy, environment (climate change), soil health, biodiversity, and our very lives, as well as our freedom. And the word is getting out and more people are fighting back. This year is the year to say NO MORE GMOs and fight for true food freedom and sovereignty! We do have the power to take back our food with our votes, with our voices, and most importantly with our dollars.
Take that Monsanto!
BTW, this is a great informative video explaining it in three minutes.
Too bad the US media is so complicit in keeping people ignorant to the real threats to their health and freedom. Thankfully there are organizations picking up the slack for their irresponsibility.I will answer that question with a resounding YES. GMOs are the greatest scam foisted... more
Monsanto is in Copenhagen looking to get carbon credits for toxic soy deforestation. You have a chance to let your voice be heard to stop them. Please read the information at the link and sign the petition.
Thanks!Monsanto is in Copenhagen looking to get carbon credits for toxic soy deforestation.... more
Thus making the job of avoiding GMOs all the more easier. Thank you to the Institute for Responsible Technology!
Save Our Seeds
http://www.responsibletechnology.orgThus making the job of avoiding GMOs all the more easier. Thank you to the Institute... more
Rural biotechnology has been promoted as a key tool to combat global hunger and poverty by increasing the productivity of farmers worldwide. The technology relies on genetically modified (GM) seeds and agrochemicals that are tailored to the genetic traits of the seeds. The biotechnology industry promised that farmers could increase their yields, lower production costs and reduce agrochemical use.
1 Instead, American farmers have faced higher costs without higher productivity, risked lawsuits from seed companies, and applied more agrochemicals as weeds and insects developed resistance to the genetic crop traits. The real winners have been the handful of biotechnology companies that patent specific genetic crop traits and sell the GM traits in seeds and affiliated agrochemicals to farmers. A few major chemical and pharmaceutical giants now dominate the seed industry, which once relied on universities for most research and development.
2 Between 1996 and 2007, Monsanto acquired more than a dozen smaller companies, and now controls an estimated 70 percent of all GM corn and 99 percent of all soybeans planted in the United States.
3 The few firms that do exist often have cross-licensing agreements for their patents that create partnerships between companies to sell seeds with specific combinations of traits from multiple firms.
4 A high level of concentration and cooperation can raise seed prices for farmers.
5 Most GM crops are destined for livestock feed, biofuel refineries or processed food ingredients, in part because major U.S. trade partners like Europe and Japan have not authorized the importation of many GM food products because of uncertainty about the possible human health and plant risks.
6 Consumers in these countries do not want to eat GM food.
7 Despite the limited export opportunity, the high cost of the GM seed and agrochemicals, and environmental impacts, international agribusinesses are promoting biotechnology as a key strategy for farmers in the developing world to combat global hunger.
What are genetically modified crops and where are they grown?
Genetic engineering can create, improve or modify crops by changing a plant's genetic traits.
8 Most commercial biotech crops are either herbicide-tolerant, which allows farmers to apply herbicides to kill weeds without damaging the crops, or insect-resistant, which theoretically protects the plants from destructive pests.
9 Biotech crops became commercially available in 1996, and by 2009, the vast majority of the corn, cotton and soybean crops in America were genetically modified.
10 Although biotech firms have promised high-yield and drought-resistant GM seeds, to date, these traits are not commercially available.
You can read the entire report from Food And Water Watch at the link.Rural biotechnology has been promoted as a key tool to combat global hunger and... more
As I write this I am in Washington DC for the International Vaccine Conference and I just did a 12 hour amazing tour of the Capitol that I will describe later, along with pictures that I will post on Facebook. So politics and patriotism is fresh in my mind.
When President Obama took office, many Americans welcomed what was supposed to be an era of much needed change not only for the economy but also for the food industry and U.S. health care system.
Time magazine put it quite well when they described current farm policy as "a welfare program for the megafarms that use the most fuel, water and pesticides; emit the most greenhouse gases; grow the most fattening crops; hire the most illegals; and depopulate rural America."
And as has been recently disclosed by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), between 2003 and 2006, millionaire farmers received $49 million in crop subsidies, even though they earned more than the $2.5 million cutoff for such subsidies. In a speech given at the end of 2008, President Obama stated that this was a prime example of the kind of waste he intends to end when he takes office.
Meanwhile, American medical care is the most expensive in the world. The United States spends more than twice as much on each person for health care as most other industrialized countries. And yet it has fallen to last place among those countries in preventing avoidable deaths through use of timely and effective medical care.
That the system is fatally flawed and in need of a radical overhaul is self-evident.
In fact, according to a 2008 report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 90 percent of Americans believe our medical system should be “completely rebuilt” or that “fundamental changes” are required.
And many are looking toward the Obama Administration to carry out these fundamental changes -- changes that appear, on the surface at least, to be in the works.
But while health care reform is finally on the table, and an organic farm has, for the first time, been planted on the White House lawn, there are an unsettling number of foxes being appointed to guard the U.S. health care and food industry hen houses … foxes that have entirely too many connections to Monsanto, the chemical manufacturer turned agricultural giant that is slowly gaining control over the world’s population, one seed at a time.As I write this I am in Washington DC for the International Vaccine Conference and I... more
Jabalpur: On the eve of Gandhi Jayanti and in protest against the GM Corn open air field trial happening in Jabalpur, more than one thousand five hundred farmers from 20 districts of Madhya Pradesh gathered here today for a peaceful, non-violent demonstration and demanded that the state government declare Madhya Pradesh as a GM-Free state. The activists pointed out that the state government already took the progressive step of declaring that Madhya Pradesh would be made into an organic state. It follows naturally that there should be no GM crop trials or cultivation in the state, they pointed out.
Mr Jayant Verma of Hamara Beej Abhiyan said that companies like Monsanto were notorious for their anti-farmer activities and if GM seeds like Monsanto's GM Corn are allowed, farmers' rights over their seeds and therefore, their agriculture, would be seriously jeopardized. The state government should, as a real solution to the current agrarian distress in the state, should shift farmers towards low-cost, toxic-free ecological farming practices, he said.
The GM Corn trial underway in open air conditions in Jabalpur consists of Monsanto's proprietary technologies centred around herbicide tolerance and insect-resistance and has been sown with the permission of the Central Government. "Both Agriculture and Health are state subjects as per the Indian Constitution. The state government should immediately intervene and exercise its policy of making MP into an organic state", demanded Mr Nilesh Desai of Beej Swaraj Abhiyan.
It is also apparent that the state level apparatus laid down under the Environment Protection Act's 1989 Rules is missing in Madhya Pradesh.
"It is ridiculous to pump in crores of rupees for supporting rural employment in the form of NREGA and then take away existing employment potential in agriculture, especially for women and poor agricultural workers, by bringing in technologies like herbicide tolerance", stated Mr Brij Kishore Chaurasia of Adivasi Sushasan Sangh.
"GM crops do not increase yields as claimed by the industry and pro-GM scientists and it is apparent in the case of Bt Cotton in Madhya Pradesh. This technology, which is irreversible and uncontrollable, will be a bigger trap for farmers than the earlier corporate-driven agricultural technologies. The state government, for the sake of farmers and agricultural workers in Madhya Pradesh, should immediately destroy this trial plot and not allow any more trials in the state like other states like Kerala", said Mr Ishwar Tripathi of Bhartiya Kissan Union. "In this kind of neo-colonialism, agriculture and seeds have become the medium to enslave Indian farmers and we should resist this at all costs".
Mr Sachin Jain from the Right To Food Campaign, MP informed that GM foods are known to cause many adverse health effects and with such unsafe foods, a precautionary approach is the only way forward. He demanded that GM foods should be prohibited through the proposed Right to Food/National Food Security Act.
The protestors burnt the effigy of Monsanto and presented a memorandum in the name of the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh to the district authorities.
A traditional tribal ritual for banishing evil forces like Monsanto and GM Corn was also enacted by the tribal activists. Further, a funeral procession of GM Corn was taken up in a rally through the city. More than 40 networks, groups and organizations that joined this huge protest included: Coalition for a GM-Free MP, Beej Swaraj Abhiyan, Hamara Beej Abhiyan, Lok Jagriti Manch, Bhartiya Kissan Union, Dalit evam Adivasi Mahapanchayat, Right to Food Campaign, Madhyanchal Forum, Kissan Sangharsh Samiti, Jan Pahal, Nagarik Adhikar Manch, Bargi Bandh Visthapith evam Prabhavit Sangh, Adivasi Sushasan Sangh, etc.Jabalpur: On the eve of Gandhi Jayanti and in protest against the GM Corn open air... more
Don't fall for their lies.
The compelling humanitarian goals expressed today at the corporately sponsored Global Harvest Initiative symposium were laudable, as were some of the hunger-relief projects cited. Missing, however, was an honest assessment of the limits of dead-end chemical agriculture to play a leading role in actually feeding people.
Also absent from the high-powered forum was a prominent role for what organic agriculture is already doing to meet the most important goals on the food-hunger-nutrition side of the problem.
The event, despite all the good people presenting and all the calls for curbing the environmental harm of chemical ag, amounted to glitzy green packaging for the same unnecessary gift of chemical dependence for the world's farmers. GHI is sponsored by ADM, DuPont, John Deere and Monsanto. (Yes, the same Monsanto which has promised to double its profits by 2012 with continuing introductions of "high impact technology" seeds.)
In his opening remarks, GHI executive director William Lesher placed the focus firmly on the need for more food, highlighting a projected "productivity gap" that will require a doubling of current world food output by 2050. This thinking follows the outlines of a white paper by GHI in April: "Accelerating Productivity Growth: The 21st Century Global Agriculture Challenge: A White Paper on Agricultural Policy." Yet more food alone won't help starving people until the global agricultural system radically shifts its focus to address the barriers of poverty (the inability to buy food) and distribution (getting food people want to where they are).
By framing global food security in terms of "not enough food," the Global Harvest Initiative seems stuck on doing the same old thing harder and faster. It backers still push expensive seeds and continued dependence on climate-damaging inputs. Organic and near-organic techniques offer robust, biodiverse, productive and regenerative systems that can out-produce chemical approaches in drier and wetter seasons.
The symposium's highlighting of groups seeking environmental and social benefits may do some good -- if the groups can break industrial ag's profit-driven willingness to sacrifice soil vitality, agricultural biodiversity, human endocrine and neurological health, farmer control of seeds and a nation's nutritional well-being. Or it may just be the best agri-greenwashing money can buy.
Sustainable Agriculture Group:
http://current.com/groups/sustainable-agriculture/Don't fall for their lies. Excerpt: The compelling humanitarian goals... more
For the past dozen years, I’ve been writing editorials opposing the introduction of genetically modified crops. When I began, genetically modified corn and soybeans were still just getting a foothold in American fields. Now, of course, hundreds of millions of acres here and abroad have been planted to these new varieties, which are usually engineered to withstand the application of pesticides — pesticides usually made by the same companies that engineer the seeds. Even wheat and rice producers, latecomers to the genetically modified table, are feeling the pressure to convert.
There has been a frenzy in the grain markets in the past couple of years — a new volatility in futures and in prices on the ground — that seems to favor genetically modified crops. It makes sense. The cost of conventionally-grown grain goes up and up because there is less and less of it. This leaves the world open to the nearly unchecked proliferation of genetically modified varieties.
After a dozen years, I still oppose genetically modified crops. This may sound like sheer truculence on my part — a Luddite reluctance to accept the future. It is certainly dispiriting. Like many people, I feel, as I did a decade ago, that genetically modified crops were introduced with bland assurances of safety based on studies from small test plots, a far different thing from the uncontrolled global experiment we now find ourselves in the midst of.
Scientists are still discovering the extent to which genetic fragments from these new crops can drift into other organisms. There is still no evidence of catastrophic drift, where a genetic shard from a new crop cripples other organisms. But there is plenty of evidence to show that genetically modified fragments are turning up in places they’re not wanted. The worry is not just how widespread the altered versions of familiar crops, like corn and soybeans, are becoming. It’s also that many more conventional crops are being modified and that many more landscapes and ecosystems, yet untouched, will be planted with genetically modified varieties.
These crops close the circle on the farmer’s knowledge, finally eliminating, after 10,000 years, the farmer’s role in the genetics of agriculture. Genetically modified crops are rigorously licensed forms of intellectual property. Every seed is a binding contract with stiff penalties attached. This represents the final transfer of the collective farming wisdom of the human race into corporate hands. Only the minutest fraction of the DNA in a genetically modified crop has been modified. The rest is the result of the infinite elaboration of working farmers choosing their own seeds, season after season, over all those thousands of years.
But the trouble with genetically modified crops isn’t merely the fact that they’re genetically modified. It’s that they embody so completely the troubling logic of modern agriculture. They demonstrate the tendency of commercial seeds to drive out traditional, locally adapted varieties, a pattern that has been intensifying since the introduction of hybrid corn in the 1930s. They exemplify the consistent bias toward expensive high-tech solutions, when, in much of the world, simple low-tech solutions still make much better, and much more affordable sense. They foster the spread of commodity crops, grown for cash, in place of subsistence crops.
more at the linkFor the past dozen years, I’ve been writing editorials opposing the introduction... more
For a technology that has sucked up billions of research dollars and prolonged agriculture's dependence on chemical inputs, GMOs (genetically modified organisms) have yet to justify their role in a world desperate for more sustainable ways to produce healthier food for more people. In a recent report by the Union of Concerned Scientists entitled "Failure to Yield," a summary of on-farm production levels of genetically modified crops showed less than marginal gains in actual yield. In fact, the review concluded that "no currently available transgenic varieties enhance the intrinsic yield of any crops."
Let's Put GMO Food on the Shelf
Such findings beg the question: Who needs GMO food anyway? If GMOs are developed to increase yields, then they have failed. If they are marketed to reduce costs for farmers, and the price of GMO corn seed is now three times greater than it was just a few years ago, they have failed yet again. If these seeds are engineered to use less herbicides when, according to recent indications, many weeds are becoming Roundup-resistant, requiring a cocktail of herbicide applications in certain farming areas while crop land is just being abandoned in others, they have most certainly failed!
GMO defenders cite net yield increases per acre due to weed and pest management traits, apparently comparing GMO-chemical regimes with non-GMO-chemical regimes in traditional intensive corn-soy production systems. They don't compare the genetically modified pest-management results with non-chemical systems where organic corn tolerates higher weed populations without yield loss, and where insect damage becomes insignificant in most years once basic crop rotations are established and soil health improves. It seems GMO defenders have failed to take the varying approaches of these two systems into account, which leaves us with only a chapter of the whole story.
GMO Food Just Doesn't Make Sense
Despite the failures of GMOs, it is clear that their developers have not failed at making huge profits in a system where farmers are forced to market on volume, and have no market rewards for nutritional quality or penalties for ecological impact.
So what have consumers gained? Perhaps the answer is unclear. But I do know why we in the organic movement are so dead against GMO food. The answer is pretty simple: Genetically engineered seeds just don't make sense. Here's why:
• How can a seed variety that is costly to patent (and legally can't be saved for replanting) help poor farmers around the world?
• How can a seed that needs increased levels of toxins to control weeds be the safest option, ecologically or from a human standpoint?
• How can a seed that is artificially injected with foreign proteins be harmless to eat?
GMO Food and Human Health: The Hidden Consequences
Whether genetically modified foods are safe for human consumption will remain a controversial issue. Yet some scientists who have been quieted or marginalized have found serious concerns about the safety of GMOs in laboratory animal studies. In many investigations involving GMO-fed animals, there have been cases of underdeveloped organs, reproductive problems, accelerated aging and even death.
As the four As (allergies, asthma, autism, and ADD) rapidly increase in U.S. health statistics, we must consider that GMOs could certainly be one of the causes. As a matter of fact, in a recent position paper by the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, physicians across the country called for a moratorium on GMO foods because "there is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects."For a technology that has sucked up billions of research dollars and prolonged... more
This is getting out into the mainstream finally. Groups are doing what the government won't, and that is how we will not only bring awareness but action to safeguard our food supply.
Alarmed that genetically engineered crops may be finding their way into organic and natural foods, an industry group has begun a campaign to test products and label those that are largely free of biotech ingredients.
A campaign hopes to back up claims some food makers are already making.
With farmers using gene-altered seeds to grow much of North America’s corn, soybeans, canola and sugar, ingredients derived from biotech crops have become hard for food companies to avoid. But many makers of organic and natural foods are convinced that their credibility in the marketplace requires them to do so.
The industry group, the Non-GMO Project, says its new label is aimed at reassuring consumers and will be backed by rigorous testing.
“There’s a vulnerability here that the industry is addressing,” said Michael J. Potter, the founder and president of Eden Foods and a board member of the Non-GMO Project, the organization responsible for the testing and labeling campaign.
As plantings of conventional crops with genetic modifications soared in recent years, Mr. Potter put in place stringent safeguards to ensure that the organic soybeans he bought for tofu, soy milk and other products did not come from genetically engineered plants. He even supplies the seed that farmers use to grow his soybeans.
But many other companies have not been so careful, and as a result, Mr. Potter said, the organic and natural foods industry is like “a dirty room” in need of cleaning.
“What I’ve heard, what I know, what I’ve seen, what’s been tested and the test results that have been shared with me, clearly indicate that the room is very dirty,” Mr. Potter said.
Hundreds of products already claim on their packaging that they do not contain genetically modified ingredients, but with little consistency in the labeling and little assurance that the products have actually been tested. The new labeling campaign hopes to clear up such confusion.
The initials GMO stand for genetically modified organism. Participants in the Non-GMO Project include major players in the organic and natural foods business, like Whole Foods Market.
Whole Foods plans to place the project’s seal on hundreds of products it markets under its “365” store brand. Nature’s Path, a leading manufacturer of organic packaged foods like cereals, frozen waffles and granola bars, has also embraced the initiative.
The project’s seal, a butterfly perched on two blades of grass in the form of a check mark, will begin appearing on packaged foods this fall. The project will not try to guarantee that foods are entirely free of genetically modified ingredients, but that manufacturers have followed procedures, including testing, to ensure that crucial ingredients contain no more than 0.9 percent of biotech material. That is the same threshold used in Europe, where labeling is required if products contain higher levels.
Dag Falck, a project board member who is the organic program manager of Nature’s Path, said testing and labeling were needed to protect the industry from the steady spread of biotech ingredients. His company has been testing for such ingredients for several years and is strengthening those measures.
endThis is getting out into the mainstream finally. Groups are doing what the government... more
Questions about what Monsanto and other chemical companies are doing to your food and the biodiversity of our planet? This film exposes the truth about it and the revolving door policy between this government and Monsanto that have kept full disclosure from consumers. A must see if you have not seen it yet.Questions about what Monsanto and other chemical companies are doing to your food and... more
Destroying our food to serve the corporate benefactors who fill their campaign coffers. Is our biodiversity and health worth that?
One reason consumers shop for things that are certified organic is to avoid the ubiquitous and unlabeled genetically engineered and nanotech products that have filled stores in recent years.
After so many years of beating back attempts to contaminate organic with untested technologies, it is very discouraging to learn that the USDA under Obama, just like under Clinton and Bush, is still trying to help industry destroy organic.
A recent report issued by the USDA Foreign Agriculture Information Network, The Unexplored Potential of Organic-Biotech Production, argues "Governments should change their regulations to allow producers to gain organic certification for biotech crops grown with organic methods."
The National Organic Standards Board has been considering an official ban on nanotechnology in organic, but feels stymied by their concern that “Under the current definition, most nanotechnology would not fall into the category of excluded methods.”
Genetically modified organisms are not safe. They have been linked to thousands of toxic and allergenic reactions, thousands of sick, sterile, and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ and system studied in lab animals.
Nanotechnology is also very dangerous. Early scientific evidence indicates that some nanomaterials produce free radicals which destroy or mutate DNA and can cause damage to the liver and kidneys.
Every day, new evidence of the dangers of nanotechnology emerge:
* Workplace nanoparticle exposure was linked to seven cases of serious and progressive lung disease in China – including two patient deaths.
* Nanoparticles present in a chemical found in sunscreens - titanium dioxide - are being studies for their connection to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.
Please use the form below to tell the USDA that you (1) oppose their cynical attempt to promote genetic engineering as potentially organic and (2) want the National Organic Standards Board to take a strong stand against the use of nanotechnology in organic.Destroying our food to serve the corporate benefactors who fill their campaign... more
Stop eating dangerous genetically modified (GM) foods! That's the upshot of the Lyme Induced Autism (LIA) Foundation's position paper released today.
The patient advocacy group is not willing to wait around until research studies prove that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) cause or worsen the many diseases that are on the rise since gene-spliced foods were introduced in 1996. Like the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) earlier this year, the LIA Foundation says there is more than enough evidence of harm in GM animal feeding studies for them to "urge doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets" and for "individuals, especially those with autism, Lyme disease, and associated conditions, to avoid" GM foods.
Dr. Jannelle Love, founder of the Autism Relief Foundation, is quoted in Kimberly Wilcox's excellent article:
"It is known that children on the Autistic Spectrum suffer from fragile immune systems, significant digestive and brain inflammation, and the environmental toxin overload. Putting foreign entities such as GMO foods into such a fragile child may indeed cause further deterioration and perhaps block the delicate biochemical pathways needed for appropriate functioning and possible recovery."
The LIA Foundation calls for physicians and patient advocacy groups to explain to patients the role that GM foods may play in disease and to distribute non-GMO educational materials, including the Non-GMO Shopping Guide, which makes it easier to find brands without GM ingredients. (See www.nonGMOGuide.com). They also called for a moratorium on all GM foods and for "Research to evaluate the role of GM foods on autism, Lyme disease, and related conditions."
GMOs: pervasive and high-risk
The five main GM foods are soy, corn, cotton, canola, and sugar beets. Their derivatives are found in more than 70 percent of the foods in the supermarket. The primary reason the plants are engineered is to allow them to drink poison. They're inserted with bacterial genes that allow them to survive otherwise deadly doses of poisonous herbicide. Biotech companies sell the seed and herbicide as a package deal. Roundup Ready crops survive sprays of Roundup. Liberty Link crops survive Liberty. US farmers use hundreds of millions of pounds more herbicide because of these herbicide-tolerant crops, and the higher toxic residues end up inside of us. The LIA position paper acknowledges that "Individuals with infections that compromise immunity... and/or high toxin loads may also be especially susceptible to adverse effects from pesticides."
Some GM corn and cotton varieties are also designed to produce poison. Inserted genes from a soil bacterium produce an insect-killing poison called Bt-toxin in every cell of the plant. Bt is associated with allergic and toxic reactions in humans and animals, and may create havoc in our digestive system (see below).
All GM crops, in fact, should be considered high-risk. Irrespective of which gene you insert, the process of genetic engineering itself results in massive collateral damage within the plants' natural DNA. This can result in new or higher levels of toxins, carcinogens, allergens, or nutrient-blocking compounds in our food.
Because of a corporate takeover at the FDA, they don't require a single safety test on GMOs -- so almost none of the potential side effects are evaluated before the crops are approved for sale. The few animal feeding safety studies that have been conducted, however, show serious problems. It's obvious why those suffering from autism, Lyme, or any ailment, would want to stop being used as a guinea pig in this massive GMO feeding experiment.Stop eating dangerous genetically modified (GM) foods! That's the upshot of the... more
GMOs will also hurt our economy as well as our environment. I am wondering if this is done purposefully to push it on people in Europe without their knowledge.
* EU buyers voluntarily stop imports of U.S. soy
* Shipments found with GMO varieties MON-88017, MIR-604
* Contaminated shipments were rejected, recalled
* Incidents reported in Spain, Germany
* Trade hopes Brussels will change rules (Recasts, updates with comments from EU spokesman in Washington; adds second byline, dateline, previously MADRID)
MADRID/WASHINGTON, Aug 6 - European Union buyers have voluntarily moved to stop imports of U.S. soy after shipments were found containing traces of genetically modified corn, a spokesman for the EU in Washington said on Thursday.
European trade sources said U.S. soybean meal shipments to Spain and Germany were found with traces of GMO corn, which is prohibited in the European Union.
"The industry has itself decided to stop all imports of U.S. soy, as of now," Mattias Sundholm told Reuters.
"The shipments have been rejected at the EU borders, and have been consigned and recalled when already on the market within the EU, unless they have already been consumed," Sundholm said.
Sundholm could not confirm the quantity or location of the shipments, but said they were found to contain the corn varieties MON-88017 and MIR-604.
Officials from the U.S. Agriculture Department and trade associations have not replied to requests for information.
The incident has raised concerns about bottlenecks in supply of a key feed ingredient for European livestock, which is already pricey.
"The main problem is that EU regulations don't allow marginal amounts, traces of GMOs not authorised by the EU," a spokesman for the Spanish Assocation of Cereal and Products Importers said.
"That puts us all in an uncertain, risky trade situation, and that is most serious for the entire European Community -- trade, livestock production and the economy."
Sources said 50,000 tonnes of contaminated U.S. soybean meal had been unloaded and detained at Tarragona, Spain's largest port. Port officials were not available to comment.
"It still needs to be dispatched and we await a meeting by the European Commission, probably in September, because nothing will happen in August," a port source said.
"The meeting will have to be urgent, because they have had similar problems in Germany."
The EU was the fourth-largest market last year for U.S. soymeal exports, totaling 475,900 tonnes. Shipments so far this marketing year, which began last October, are 374,300 tonnes.
A Spanish agriculture ministry official confirmed authorities had blocked a shipment of soybean meal, but could provide no further details.
One source said another cargo of soybean meal in the Spanish port of La Coruna awaited tests for genetically modified organisms, but port officials were unable to comment.
Spain's feed industry consumes some 5 million tonnes of protein-rich soybean meal a year, all of it imported, and mostly from the United States, Brazil or Argentina.
Soybean meal was quoted at 318-334 euros ($457.3-480.3) a tonne, ex-store, in Tarragona GRAES01>.
A trade source estimated Spanish ports had enough soymeal in stock to supply the animal feed industry for about a month, and said prices could be affected.
A port source said that Spain could not rely on supplies of soy from Argentina and Brazil alone.GMOs will also hurt our economy as well as our environment. I am wondering if this is... more
The people of Germany and the government want to kick Monsanto out of Germany. The issue revolves around MON810, (the pesticide corn recently rejected for planting in Austria and Hungary by the EU environmental commission) and its contamination of the honey of a beekeeper there who has taken them to court.
This is a good article that puts together the facets of the legal battle along with the moral dilemma and environmental impacts of these test tube foods. It also showcases the coldness of Monsanto and their love of profit over sustainability.
It is heartening to see people standing up to this horrible company in so many countries now. Field trials are declining, lawsuits against them increasing, and awareness of the potential longterm health and environmental effects to humans and other species have more people questioning why and how these "foods" were put out into our environment without proper testing by independent sources.
This will be the environmental issue of the 21st century along with climate change and freshwater shortages, and as we now see in Germany, many parts of Europe, South America, India, and now even in America, Monsanto has a fight on their hands. I say, it's about time.The people of Germany and the government want to kick Monsanto out of Germany. The... more