Tag Archives: Genetically Modified
Watch this important video. And then watch it again with your friends.
Thierry Vrain, a retired biologist and genetic engineer, explains the links between glyphosate (the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup), GMO food and your health. For everyone who has trouble explaining to friends and family why this issue is so important, and why banning glyphosate and GMO crops and foods is so critical, this video lays it out as you’ve never before heard it explained.
By: Jan Cottingham | Arkansas Business -
At least a dozen Arkansas farmers have joined hundreds of farmers in 19 other states in almost 800 lawsuits against Swiss seed maker Syngenta over genetically modified corn seed, a case that has been widely reported in the media.
But one of the lawsuits, filed on behalf of two Newport farms, contains a previously unreported twist: an allegation that Syngenta, a global agribusiness, has engaged in a criminal conspiracy to contaminate the U.S. corn crop to force China, other nations that buy U.S. corn and U.S. farmers to accept genetically modified corn.
The suit, field by the Emerson Poynter law firm, which has offices in Little Rock and Houston, alleges that Syngenta violated the Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, which is usually used to fight organized crime.
Emerson Poynter filed the class-action suit in January on behalf of Kenny Falwell and Eagle Lake Farms, farming operations in Newport. It, like at least eight other lawsuits against Syngenta over its genetically modified corn seed, was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.
These lawsuits joined hundreds of other lawsuits filed by U.S. farmers since the fall against Syngenta, the Swiss developer and marketer of seeds and agricultural chemicals.
The suits claim that Syngenta caused losses of between $1 billion and $2.9 billion to U.S. corn farmers after it sold genetically modified or bioengineered corn seed that had not been approved for use by China, a huge and growing importer of U.S. corn and corn byproducts.
China began refusing shipments of American corn in November 2013 after it detected the GMO (genetically modified organism) trait, and the price of corn and corn byproducts dropped. Even farmers who did not grow the GMO corn experienced losses, the suits say.
Lawsuits have been filed in 20 states, representing 86 percent of the corn planted in the U.S. last year, according to plaintiffs’ lawyers.
China went on to approve Viptera in December, but plaintiffs’ lawyers say the development has little, if any, effect on their case. Scott Powell of Hare Wynn Newell & Newton of Birmingham, Alabama, is one of those lawyers.
China, with its rapidly expanding middle class, has “a voracious appetite for corn,” Powell said, and when it stopped buying U.S. corn, it found other vendors, like Brazil. And once a country finds a substitute vendor for a product, it rarely switches back.
Cargill, ADM Sue
Farmers weren’t the only ones alleged to have suffered. Agribusiness giants Cargill Inc. and Archer Daniels Midland Co. sued Syngenta late last year over the sale of the GMO corn before it had received import approval from China.
Cargill, a top U.S. grain exporter, filed suit in September alleging that it lost $90 million when China rejected corn shipments. “Unlike other seed companies, Syngenta has not practiced responsible stewardship by broadly commercializing a new product before receiving approval from a key export market like China,” Mark Stonacek, president of Cargill Grain & Oilseed Supply Chain North America, said in a company statement. “Syngenta also put the ability of U.S. agriculture to serve global markets at risk, costing both Cargill and the entire U.S. agricultural industry significant damages.”
Seed companies, farmers, grain handlers, exporters and others “have a shared responsibility to maintain and preserve market access when introducing new technology,” Cargill said.
In November, ADM, one of the world’s largest corn processors, also sued Syngenta, which reported sales of $15.1 billion in 2014. “Syngenta chose to sell a corn seed product with traits that were not approved in all major export markets, without undertaking reasonable stewardship practices to prevent the resulting crop from commingling with or otherwise tainting the rest of the U.S. corn supply,” an ADM spokeswoman said.
In response to the Cargill lawsuit, Syngenta said that it believed the lawsuit to be without merit and “strongly upholds the right of growers to have access to approved new technologies that can increase both their productivity and their profitability.” Syngenta maintained that it had been “fully transparent in commercializing the trait over the last four years.”
The farmers’ and grain handlers’ lawsuits were consolidated late last month in U.S. District Court in Kansas as a multidistrict litigation assigned to federal Judge John W. Lungstrum.
‘A Hobson’s Choice’
The lawsuit by Kenny Falwell and Eagle Lake Farms of Newport accuses Syngenta of violations of the RICO statute. Although approved by Congress in 1970 to fight organized crime, it’s been cited in other cases against corporations.
On Thursday, for example, more than 90 landowners and other royalty owners in Pennsylvania accused Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Williams Partners LP of violating RICO by conspiring to restrain trade and engaging in a scheme “to help Chesapeake solve financial problems associated with the massive amount of debt that it incurred in acquiring oil and gas leases at the expense of royalty interest owners.”
The Falwell suit says that trends against GMO products, particularly in regard to the growing Chinese market, threatened Syngenta’s financial and competitive health.
If farmers continued to balk at growing GMO corn, the suit says, “it would weaken Syngenta competitively, reversing its economic growth and momentum and potentially disabling it from recovering the approximately $200 million it had invested in Viptera’s development over a span of five to seven years.”
Therefore, the suit alleges, Syngenta “embarked on a plan to purposely undermine U.S. non-GMO corn growers and those resistant to growing Syngenta’s unapproved genetic corn traits.
“To that end, Defendants engaged in a scheme designed to inevitably taint and contaminate the U.S. Corn supply, effectively causing its economic vitality to be held hostage to MIR-162 trait GMO corn, knowing that the continuous marketing and sale of Syngenta’s MIR-162 trait corn seed would ultimately prejudice and disrupt the U.S. Corn export market and the U.S. Corn commodities market.”
Syngenta knew that it was “impossible” for farmers to keep Viptera corn separate from non-GMO corn, the suit says, and that the U.S. corn supply would inevitably become contaminated.
This situation, the suit alleges, would then present China and other nations importing from the U.S. with “a Hobson’s choice: reject U.S. corn tainted with MIR-162 genetic trait and take a chance on securing other viable trade partners, failing which that nation would risk lacking sufficient corn to feed its people and livestock, or, rather than accept such risk, feel compelled to accept delivery of U.S. Corn.”
There was another goal, according to the lawsuit: to force U.S. farmers to realize that resistance to GMO corn, including Syngenta’s, was “futile and perhaps even economically disadvantageous in the long term.”
This “scheme,” the suit alleges, was carried out by Syngenta and several of its subsidiaries, along with Syngenta CEO Michael Mack and David Morgan, at that time president of Syngenta Seeds Inc., and “a network of independent ‘Syngenta Seed Advisors’” and Syngenta dealers and distributors.
A “Syngenta GMO Corn Seed Enterprise” was formed that contaminated the U.S. corn supply with Viptera corn, the suit alleges. It alleges that the defendants engaged in mail fraud in the marketing of the GMO corn and wire fraud in the dissemination of “false and misleading information and material omissions in public conference calls, press releases, articles and statements published over the news wires and interviews.”
Asked to respond to the allegations of RICO violations, Syngenta spokesman Paul Minehart said:
“Syngenta believes that the lawsuits are without merit and strongly upholds the right of growers to have access to approved new technologies that can increase both their productivity and their profitability. The Agrisure Viptera trait (MIR162) was approved for cultivation in the U.S. in 2010. Syngenta commercialized the trait in full compliance with regulatory and legal requirements. Syngenta also obtained import approval from major corn importing countries. Syngenta has been fully transparent in commercializing the trait over the last four years.”
Powell, who represents other farmers in their pursuit of Syngenta, said he knew of the RICO allegations in the Falwell suit but declined to comment on whether they were likely to be included in the master consolidated complaint, which is being drafted. That complaint is due March 13.
By: Barbara Peterson | Farm Wars -
I want food that Grandma ate. How hard is that to understand? I don’t want it chemically lobotomized and coated with poison. I don’t want it genetically spliced to become something between a salamander and a tomato. I don’t want it radiated and mutated. I don’t want a virus inserted in its DNA. I don’t want its RNA tampered with to change its traits. I just want good, old fashioned food. The kind you grow in your garden and use to feed your family and critters. The kind the bees like to collect pollen from and not go belly up the minute they enter the hive. The kind that you can pick with your bare hands and eat right from the plant. The kind that won’t turn your stomach into a pesticide factory and your guts into mush.
I actually have the gall to want food that is edible and good for me, not just something a chemical company threw together sporting a pretty label and packaging that says it is. Is that really too much to ask?
Well, according to Monsanto et al, it is. And the agribusiness giants have taken over the universities.
These corporate GMO and chemical farming pushers are brainwashing whole generations of young adults and senior adults that GMOs are safe, have been around for thousands of years, and are a perfectly natural alternative to Grandma’s garden, made by Monsanto. The chemical/life sciences company. You know the one. The one that appears to poison the very ground that it sits on along with the people around it.
Just how were Nitro citizens exposed to dioxin? Monsanto was producing the toxic herbicide Agent Orange in Nitro, and dioxin is a chemical byproduct of the substance. It is known to cause serious health conditions. The factory which produced Agent Orange was opened in Nitro in 1948 and remained in operation until 2004, even though usage of this herbicide in the past (in Vietnam and other Asian countries) was fatal to millions of citizens and the war veterans who were exposed to it.
Is this what we want for our children? Our planet? Our dinner plates?
Monsanto laughed all the way to the bank while covering up the toxicity of its industrial shenanigans as Anniston, Alabama’s children played in and ate dirt soaked with PCBs at yet another toxic superfund site created by Monsanto.
On the west side of Anniston, the poor side of Anniston, the people ate dirt. They called it “Alabama clay” and cooked it for extra flavor. They also grew berries in their gardens, raised hogs in their back yards, caught bass in the murky streams where their children swam and played and were baptized. They didn’t know their dirt and yards and bass and kids — along with the acrid air they breathed — were all contaminated with chemicals. They didn’t know they lived in one of the most polluted patches of America.
That is what Monsanto is about. Greed and avarice. Not feeding a starving world as the PR would have you believe.
And this is the company my friends, that is hell bent on owning the foundation of the world’s food supply, including that snack you are munching on, organic or not. And we are supposed to trust its good intentions? I’ll just bet those kids who played on that toxic soil in Anniston are feeling the love about now, as they inhale their last breaths through a respirator in the cancer wing of the local hospital.
Want to know why supposed “scientists” from universities such as UC Davis can get by with purporting to be “not receiving funds” from the biotech industry while spouting Monsanto propaganda? Because the money they receive is laundered through the universities they work for. They don’t receive it directly from Monsanto, they simply receive their paycheck from the university that does. Or the foundation that does. Or whatever biotech sinkhole that will accept money for services rendered.
(click image tio enlarge)
Land grant universities’ dependence on industry money has corrupted the independence of public science, as academics align their research projects with the ambitions of the private sector. Industry funding also diverts academic resources and attention away from projects that benefit the public, including research that challenges corporate control of food systems.
Donors can and do influence the outcomes of research to meet their business needs. More than 15 percent of university scientists acknowledge having “changed the design, methodology or results of a study in response to pressure from a funding source.”
Individual examples of pro-industry research abound… [A] study found that around half of authors of peer-reviewed journal articles about the safety of genetically engineered (GE) foods had an identifiable affiliation with industry. All of these produced favorable results to industry sponsors, while very few acknowledged having received industry funding.
The future of a major research deal between UC Davis and the Monsanto corporation brings the role of the university into bold relief. How far can a university go in collaborating with private industry before its mission of contributing to basic knowledge becomes distorted? How will we know when it’s gone too far?
Here is a link to a letter confirming only one of Monsanto’s many contributions to UC Davis:
The following is a portion of a Sacramento Bee article that has been removed from the newspaper’s site:
A “who’s who” of international biotechnology companies fund work at UC Davis. They include Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont and Bayer. Some grants pay for specific research, but many arrive with no official strings attached. Whatever the form, the companies get something in return – access to the university’s talent pool and, often, first crack at its scientific breakthroughs.
“The public is having a hard time figuring out where the corporate door ends and where the university door begins,” said Bill Liebhardt, former director of the UC system’s sustainable farming program, which promotes nonindustrial farming methods.
Small farmers — the very people agricultural colleges like UC Davis were established to help — feel neglected. “The university is being led by industry,” said Judith Redmond, co-owner of Full Belly Farm, an organic vegetable farm in Yolo County. (Source: Sacramento Bee)
But don’t worry, Monsanto and its cohorts are feeding the world. What’s left of it when they get through is anyone’s guess.
This type of behavior is unacceptable by any standards. The Universities are essentially bought off by corporate biotech interests such as Monsanto’s and tasked with unleashing a technology with relatively unknown consequences on the general public under the guise of a love for humanity; a PR campaign designed to sell as much of the stuff as possible. This type of behavior is not only unethical, but criminal. Yet, that is exactly what Monsanto has a sordid history of doing and getting away with. With the government’s blessing and complicity. Money talks, reason walks. Along with common sense, compassion, and any spark of humanity left in the souls of those wretched creatures who are pulling the trigger on humanity one gene-spliced concoction at a time.
Article first appeared at Farm Wars.
On Friday, February 13, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved the first genetically engineered apple, despite hundreds of thousands of petitions asking the USDA to reject it.
According an article in Politico, the USDA said the GMO apple “doesn’t pose any harm to other plants or pests.”
Great. But what about potential harm to the humans who consume them?
The Arctic Apple (Golden Delicious and Granny varieties), developed by Canada-based Okanagan Specialty Fruit, shockingly doesn’t require approval by the U.S. Food & Drug Association (FDA). The FDA will merely conduct a “voluntary review” before, presumably, rubber-stamping the apple for use in restaurants, institutions (including schools and hospitals) and grocery stores—with no meaningful long- (or even short-) term safety testing for its potential impact on human health.
Here’s why that should concern every consumer out there, especially parents of young children.
In April 2013, we interviewed scientists about the genetic engineering technology used to create the Arctic Apple, whose only claim to fame is that it doesn’t turn brown when sliced. The benefit to consumers? Being able to eat apples without having any sense of how old they are?
Here’s what we learned about the technology, called RNA interference, or double strand RNA (dsRNA), from Professor Jack Heinemann (University of Canterbury, New Zealand), Sarah Agapito-Tenfen (from Santa Catarina University in Brazil) and Judy Carman (Flinders University in South Australia), all of whom said that dsRNA manipulation is untested, and therefore inherently risky:
Given that the dsRNA from our food, and presumably the Frankenapple, will enter the bloodstream and cells of consumers, safety research should be done BEFORE this GMO apple is put on the grocery shelf to prove that the dsRNA that enters consumers’ bodies will not harm them. To date, no such research has been reported, so the Frankenapple is flying in the dark.
On the contrary, recent research has shown that dsRNAs can transfer from plants to humans and other animals through food. The biotech industry has always claimed that genetically engineered DNA or RNA is destroyed by human digestion, eliminating the danger of these mutant organisms damaging human genes or human health. But many biotech scientists say otherwise. They point to evidence that the dsRNA present in food survive digestion in the stomach and intestines and actually enter the bloodstream and tissues of the body, where it can influence the functioning of the eater’s cells.
Some of the scientists also pointed out that GMO apples will likely lead to even greater use of pesticides, on a product that (unless it’s organic) already tests positive for 42 pesticides, according to the Pesticide Action Network’s analysis of the most recent USDA data.
Here’s why. Turns out the chemical compound that is shut off in the engineered fruit through RNA manipulation, in order to make it not oxidize or brown, is a chemical compound that also fights off plant pests. What happens when the apple’s ability to fend off insects is compromised? Growers will need to spray greater amounts. Those pesticides will eventually find their way into our bodies, either because we ingested the fruit, or breathed the air or drank the water where the pesticides were sprayed.
So the upshot of Friday’s USDA approval of the Arctic GMO Apple?
As OCA International Director Ronnie Cummins told a reporter at Reuters, consumers will once again be guinea pigs for the biotech industry’s untested, potentially dangerous technology. And we risk being exposed to an even greater number of pesticides.
Just so we can have apples that never turn brown.
Parents should be especially concerned, as GMO apples will most likely be sold to restaurants and institutions—there will be no way to know if your child is consuming them except to avoid anything containing apples. And if the Arctic Apple varieties show up in grocery stores, where they will be unlabeled unless we pass a federal mandatory GMO labeling law, the only way to avoid them will be to buy certified organic.
All the more reason to add your voice to the millions who have already asked Congress to pass a mandatory GMO labeling law. Take Action here.
Katherine Paul is associate director of the Organic Consumers Association.
By: Alon Galor | The Brown Daily Herald –
Proposition, similar to those in Maine and Connecticut, responds to increase in public awareness.
Legislation introduced Jan. 15 would require genetically engineered products in Rhode Island to be clearly labeled “produced with genetic engineering,” and would also specify what the term “genetically engineered product” — which has multiple definitions — would mean in the state. Rep. Raymond Hull, D-Providence and Rep. Dennis Canario, D-Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton separately introduced legislation on genetically modified organisms, though the two will likely collaborate in the future, Hull said.
Similar bills have been passed in Maine and Connecticut but will not take effect until comparable legislation is passed in other states, according to a General Assembly press release. For the bill proposed in Maine to take effect, five nearby states must pass similar legislation, while Connecticut’s law is contingent on the passage of GMO bills in enough northeastern states so that their combined populations include 20 million residents, according to the press release.
The announcement of Rhode Island’s bill arrives during a period of increased media scrutiny of GMOs, following the Jan. 13 dissolution of the European Union-wide ban on genetically modified farming, which allowed national governments to impose their own restrictions.
“I’ve introduced this bill for four years,” Hull said. “It gets just so far and then it stops. But there is more momentum now than there has been in the past. We’re very optimistic.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which regulates the disclosure requirements of foods, declares that there is no meaningful difference between GMO and non-GMO foods.
The department also sets standards for labeling of ingredients, including artificial flavors, colors, preservatives and sweeteners. It stipulates that fruit juices must be labeled “fresh” or “made from concentrate,” and producers are not allowed to use the term “juice” if the product is not made of 100 percent juice. It also mandates that specific labels such as “fresh,” “frozen,” “fresh frozen” and “frozen fresh” be assigned to products such as peas.
Around the country and in Rhode Island, labels exist to specify non-GMO foods and certified organic foods, which by definition are not genetically modified.
Studies have shown that genetically modified crops may exhibit increased drought resistance, higher pesticide tolerance and increased nutritional content.
“We are moving into a world that is more food-stressed over the next 50 years due to climate change and population growth,” said Rep. Arthur Handy, D-Cranston, a co-sponsor of Hull’s bill and chairperson of the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee. “Genetically modified foods may play a role in combating this stress.”
Other studies link genetically modified foods to decreased antibiotic efficacy, more frequent use of pesticides and unapproved food additives and allergens.
The longterm implications of genetically modified foods may be difficult to foresee since they have only been around for a few decades. “There have been no longitudinal studies conducted on the health impacts of genetically engineered foods on humans,” said Jim Leahy, executive director of Citizens for GMO Labeling, a grassroots movement dedicated to labeling genetically modified products.
Approximately 70 percent of supermarket foods contain genetically modified ingredients, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“I think that consumers ought to have the right to know exactly what they are purchasing,” Handy said, adding that “unless we can get to a point where we are positive that everything is safe, it would be better for us to be informed.”
GMO labeling is practiced in 65 countries, Leahy said. Many polls — including some conducted by the New York Times, MSNBC, Reuters and ABC News — all indicate that more than 90 percent of Americans are in favor of GMO labeling.
With issues such as gun control and GMO labeling, there is a large public majority that supports government regulation, but vocal and powerful groups have hindered the ability of policymakers to enact change, Handy said. Opponents of labeling genetically modified products “are being much more vocal,” he said, adding that “unless folks express themselves more vigorously on this issue, we’re more likely to go with the folks we hear from.”
“A central concern of manufacturers and producers is that labeling sends a signal that GMOs are bad,” Handy said.
“They are worried that it may cut into their bottom line,” Hull said.
Hull’s proposed bill would not impose GMO labeling on alcoholic beverages, food provided in any restaurant, farm products sold by a farmer or food derived from a non-genetically modified animal fed or injected with engineered foods or drugs, according to the bill’s text.
“It doesn’t mean that we can’t revisit those caveats after the bill is passed,” Hull said.
Looking ahead, Hull said he would “probably join forces” with Canario and his bill, though he added that only his own bill addresses concerns such as liquor companies’ use of genetically modified corn in producing alcohol.
Would you like to know if the faculty at public universities, whose paychecks come out of your taxpayer dollars, are producing pro-GMO articles and studies at the request of public relations firms that work for companies like Monsanto?
We would. So would the nonprofit U.S. Right to Know (USRTK). That’s why the group filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests two weeks ago, asking for correspondence and emails to and from professors and scientists at public universities who wrote for the agrichemical industry’s website, GMO Answers.
According to USRTK:
We taxpayers deserve to know the details about when our taxpayer-paid employees front for private corporations and their slick PR firms. This is especially true when they do work for unsavory entities such as Ketchum, which has been implicated in espionage against nonprofit organizations.
Espionage? It’s true—and it’s all here in a recent report published by USRTK, Seedy Business.
The universities have been “rattled” by the requests, according to a report in Science Insider, which also reported that so far, one of the universities (at least four have received requests) has refused. USRTK asked for letters and emails exchanged after 2012 between the scientists and 14 companies and groups. The list includes Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont, Dow, Council for Biotechnology Information and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), and corporate PR firms including FleishmanHillard and Ogilvy & Mather.
The scientists—many of whom have publicly supported agricultural biotechnologies—are debating how “best to respond,” according toScience Insider. How about truthfully?
Although Europe has for the most part rejected genetically engineered organisms, that has not prevented GMO giant Monsanto from taking advantage of one-third of Europe’s arable land.
Long considered Europe’s “bread basket,” Ukraine’s agricultural potential is huge. It’s rich dark soil is highly valued and ideal for growing grain.
Farmland producing it matches Texas in size and amounts to about one-third of Europe’s arable land.
Ukraine exports include wheat, corn, barley, vegetables, sugar beets, sunflower seeds, meat and milk.
About one-fourth of Ukrainian workers are in agriculture or forestry related areas. Monsanto and other agribusiness giants intend exploiting Ukraine’s agricultural potential.
In 2014, the Oakland Institute published a report titled “Walking on the West Side: The World Bank and the IMF in the Ukraine Conflict,” saying:
“Whereas Ukraine does not allow the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture, Article 404 of the EU agreement, which relates to agriculture, includes a clause that has generally gone unnoticed: it indicates, among other things, that both parties will cooperate to extend the use of biotechnologies.”
“There is no doubt that this provision meets the expectations of the agribusiness industry.”
“As observed by Michael Cox, research director at the investment bank Piper Jaffray, ‘Ukraine and, to a wider extent, Eastern Europe, are among the most promising growth markets for farm-equipment giant Deere, as well as seed producers Monsanto and DuPont.”
Earlier Ukrainian law prohibited private sector farmland ownership. No longer. Private investors can buy it beginning in January 2016. More on this below.
IMF loan stipulations require permitting GMO production. Biowarfare is transforming millions pristine acres into poisoned wasteland. Ecogenocide for profit. Monsanto’s dirty hands are hugely involved.
In May 2014, The New York Times explained what was coming. Saying Ukraine’s agricultural success is crucial for its economy and ability to “reduc(e) its dependence on Russia.”
“Western interests are pressing for change…As part of (an IMF loan agreement), the country’s government must push through business reforms that” let agribusiness and other corporate sectors operate freely.
“Big multinationals” want to exploit Ukraine’s potential. Especially Europe’s richest farmland. Fascist run Ukraine is now ground zero for mass proliferation of harmful-to-health GMO crops in Europe.
On January 13, the European Parliament passed legislation granting member states the right to permit or prohibit GMO crops.
Nine EU countries currently ban them. Monsanto’s MON810 maize is the only GMO crop some European countries permit.
New legislation potentially opens things to greater GMO European production. According to UK-based Soil Association policy director Peter Melchett:
“The rights of farmers who do not wish to grow GMO crops, particularly in England are under threat by this proposal.”
“Indeed, the entire organic sector, growing rapidly in Europe and which may double by 2020, is in danger – as are the rights of anyone who wants to buy GMO free foods.”
Greens Party food safety spokesman Bart Staes said the new law “risks finally opening the door for genetically modified organisms to be grown across Europe.”
“Despite a majority of EU member states and citizens being consistently opposed to GMOs, the real purpose of this new scheme is to make it easier to wave through EU authorizations of GMO crops.”
“Countries opposed to GMOs are given the carrot of being able to opt-out of these authorizations but the scheme approved today fails to give them a legally-watertight basis for doing so. This is a false solution.”
Agribusiness giants like Monsanto may now apply more pressure than ever on EU countries to permit GMO production.
Friends of the Earth said the new law lets them have “first say in the decision-making process.”
Countries henceforth against GMO production may not ban them based on environmental concerns.
Only on environmental policy objectives, town and country planning, land use, socio-economic impacts, prohibiting GMOs in the presence of other crops, agricultural policy objectives or public policy.
Greenpeace said excluding environmental concerns could have “serious consequences.” According to its EU agriculture policy director Marco Contiero:
“This new law is supposed to give countries some legal muscle to prevent GMO crops from being grown on their territory.”
“But it has some major flaws. It grants biotech companies the power to negotiate with elected governments and excludes the strongest legal argument to ban GMO crop – evidence of environmental harm.”
Obama maintains strong ties to agribusiness giants like Monsanto. So do Bush and Clinton families. They oppose labeling.
Reportedly they eat organic foods whenever possible. Uncaring about mass marketing of harmful-to-human health GMOs.
On February 6, Sputnik News headlined “German Lawmakers Claim Ukraine Conflict Covers Up Massive Cropland Seizures.”
Saying it’s a “smokescreen” to let World Bank/European Bank for Reconstruction and Development financed agribusiness steal Ukraine’s highly valued farmland.
German left faction parliamentarian Birgit Bock-Luna said Ukraine’s conflict “is used to cover up a sale of farmlands in the interest of major corporations.”
A temporary ban prohibits it until January 2016. Monsanto, German and other agribusiness giants are circumventing the law.
Seizing land through leasing schemes. Generously financed by international money lenders, Millions of Ukrainian acres are being opened to GMO production.
“Lawmakers say they have reason to believe that the German government has been involved in funding farmland grabs in Ukraine through its ministries, providing assistance to joint EU and German agricultural projects with Kiev,” Sputnik News reported.
“The Ukraine Investment Climate Advisory Services Project, Germany’s agricultural center Deutsche Agrarzentrum (DAZ), and the German Advisory Group on Economic Reforms in Ukraine are some of the projects that helped to negotiate land grabs with Ukrainian government officials, lawmakers said.”
Kiev putschists are handing over Ukraine’s rich farmland to agribusiness in return for IMF loans.
The Oakland Institute’s report said Yanukovych’s pre-coup government began implementing “pro-business reforms” through the Ukraine Investment Advisory Services Project.
As well as by “streamlining trade and property transfer procedures…” Putschist takeover accelerated IMF/World Bank mandated structural adjustments.
Foreign investment followed. Agribusiness and other Western corporate interests are grabbing all they can.
At the expense of Ukraine’s economy and welfare of its people. Business giants “failed to demonstrate how (their) programs will improve the lives of Ukrainians and build a sustainable economic future.”
Free-wheeling plunder accomplishes the opposite. Ukraine is being systematically raped.
Its resources stolen. Its people exploited. Its economy deteriorating toward collapse.
While US supported war against its own citizens rages.
During a Wednesday Kiev press conference with illegitimate fascist prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Kerry repeated one Big Lie after another about conditions in Ukraine and Russia.
Claiming “remarkable democratic successes, even in the face of…incredible obstacles.”
Accused Donbas freedom fighters of Kiev-committed high crimes against peace.
“Let there be no doubt about who is blocking the prospect of peace here,” Kerry blustered.
“Russian weapons and fighters” are involved, he said. Despite no corroborating evidence whatever, Kerry claimed “no question about tanks flowing, rocket systems being transported, convoys of goods carrying both people, weapons, and other instruments of battle.”
On the one hand, Washington’s Ukrainian proxy war is murdering thousands of Donbas residents.
Irresponsibly challenging Russia at the same time. Positioning thousands of NATO forces near its border. Risking East/West confrontation.
On the other, Monsanto and other Western corporate predators are raping Ukraine. It’s a central European laboratory for plunder.
Poisoned with GMO crops. While its economy deteriorates toward collapse. On Thursday alone, its hryvnia currency lost 30% of its value.
Analysts called what happened stunning. Forbes said its economy “reached a breaking point.”
Its Donbas war is “put(ting) increasingly unbearable pressure on an economy” struggling to keep from collapsing altogether.
“Things can’t go on this way for much longer before something snaps,” said Forbes. Without multi-billions of dollars in aid, “there won’t be a Ukrainian economy left” before long.
Maybe no Europe if Washington’s rage for war isn’t stopped. On Friday, Munich’s 51st three-day Security Conference began.
Hundreds of politicians, diplomats, military officials, business executives, geopolitical experts, and various other public figures began discussing conflict resolution options while US manipulated war on Donbas escalates.
Twenty heads of state are attending. So are 60 foreign ministers. According to conference director Wolfgang Ischinger:
“The more serious the crisis, the more important the security conference will be for those diplomats who need to find solutions to conflicts.”
“The crisis in Ukraine, the continuing conflicts and processes of disintegration in the Middle East as well as new terrorist phenomena like the so-called ‘Islamic State’ have shown clearly that the basic rules of the international system are in question.”
Poroshenko is attending. So is Sergey Lavrov. Joe Biden and John Kerry head a US delegation.
According to Munich’s Suddeutsche Zeitung, they’re expected to urge tougher anti-Russian measures.
“(I)ncreas(ing) the price for (nonexistent) Russia(n) aggressive behavior.” Adding Europe’s security is at stake. Ignoring Washington’s full responsibility.
On Saturday, Biden, Lavrov and Merkel will address conference participants. Expect Ukrainian crisis conditions to be highlighted.
Lavrov is expected to meet Kerry and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg separately.
A panel discussion will address “The World in 2015: Collapsing Order, Reluctant Guardians?” Based on a report prepared for the conference.
Given Washington’s rage for war, Europe’s security is more jeopardized than any time since summer 1914 and 1939. Don’t expect Munich discussions to change things.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at [email protected]. His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”. www.claritypress.com/Lendman.html Visit his blog site at www.sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Whether to require labeling on GMO foods should be the easiest and simplest of decisions. If health and safety is really a mandate of federal agencies, where is the beef in their policies? Come on people, banning such modifications is not even remotely being considered, so why will the government not lead the way and allow the public to be reasonably informed with full disclosure of exactly the makeup and alterations to the very essence of the food we eat.
Advocates stressing caution provide Top 10 Reasons to Label Genetically Engineered Foods. Where are the warning labels that sheer common sense demands?
- The Convention on Biodiversity recognizes that genetic engineering is a threat to amount and variety of life on the planet.
- Scientists reviewing data from Monsanto’s own studies “have proven that genetically engineered foods are neither sufficiently healthy or proper to be commercialized.”
- Biotech’s scattershot technique of spraying plant cells with a buckshot of foreign genes that hit chromosomes in random spots would trigger the expression of new allergens and change the character of plant proteins.
- Milk and dairy products from cows injected with genetically engineered growth hormones ARE different from conventional and organic milk and dairy products.
- The third generation of hamsters fed genetically engineered soy suffered slower growth, a high mortality rate, and a bizarre birth defect: fur growing in their mouths. Many also lost the ability to have pups.
- Animals fed genetically engineered feed ARE different from animals fed conventional and organic feed.
- A single serving of genetically engineered soy can result in horizontal gene transfer, where the bacteria in the human gut adopts the soy’s DNA.
- Genetically engineered foods ARE different from conventional and organic foods.
- Genetically engineered foods have not been tested to determine whether they are safe for human consumption.
- Almost all non-organic processed food and animal products in the U.S. today contain ingredients that come from genetically engineered crops or from animals given genetically engineered feed, vaccines or growth hormones.
Health concerns are on the minds of responsible consumers, especially since Obamacare rationing lowers the quality of care. Proponents of limited government are cautious to expand regulations and bureaucratic regulation. However, how can a consumer accept the risk when meaningful labeling is absent?
If you think you are diligent in avoiding selecting such genetically engineered food with your shopping, think again because, What Are We Eating?
“We Currently Eat Genetically Engineered Food, But Don’t Know It.
A genetically engineered food is a plant or meat product that has had its DNA artificially altered in a laboratory by genes from other plants, animals, viruses, or bacteria, in order to produce foreign compounds in that food. This type of genetic alteration is not found in nature, and is experimental. The correct scientific term is “transgenics,” and is also often referred to as (GE) genetically engineered.
Example: Genetically Modified corn has been engineered in a laboratory to produce pesticides in its own tissue. GMO Corn is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency as an Insecticide, but is sold unlabeled. [EPA Pesticides ]”
So what is the nutrimental value of this laboratory designed foods? Should there be open transparency so that full disclosure can evaluate exactly what comprises this new source of sustenance? If you listen to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), think again. CSPI Refuses to Debate Consumers Union on Labeling of GMO Foods presents suspect reasoning.
“Gregory Jaffe, CSPI’s director of Biotechnology told a reporter last year — “we don’t feel it should be mandated on labels that foods are produced with GM crops.”
“You could argue for example that non-GMO label claims are misleading since they falsely imply that food made without GE ingredients is safer or superior in some other way,” Jaffe said.”
Attempts to equate natural foods with a genetically engineered menu are no surprise. That bistro of fine dining, Monsanto falls back on the select club of government authorities and medical experts of chemically toxic healers to justify the limits on warnings of known risks. In Labeling Food and Ingredients Developed from GM Seed, establishment science protects the corporate benefactors of the designer disease and drug treatment cycle.
“Within the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees food labeling. FDA guidance requires labeling of food products containing ingredients from GM seed if there is a meaningful difference between that food and its conventional counterpart. The American Medical Association (AMA) supports FDA’s approach and approved a formal statement asserting that there is no scientific justification for special labeling of foods containing GM ingredients.”
Skyrocketing cancer associated with processed foods promises to be dwarfed by the hidden consequences of GMO experimentations. Yet, the government simply ignores their mission of promoting public health.
Overcoming this threat is no easy process. When Labeling of Genetically Modified Foods provides a list of pros and cons for mandatory labeling, their negative reasons fall short of reassuring that a GMO food system is safe. Their argument follows a familiar pattern, Caveat Emptor “Let the buyer beware”.
“Mandatory labeling would extend much further and would require, at a minimum, that all food products containing any GM ingredient (above a certain threshold for trace amounts) to indicate that fact. Stronger mandatory labeling requirements could include identification of each specific GM ingredient and its level of content in the product. Mandatory labeling requires further regulatory interventions including monitoring and enforcement. Under a mandatory labeling system, all consumers—both those that are concerned about the GM ingredients and those that are not—help bear the costs associated with being able to verify that foods do or do not use GM ingredients.”
Since our health is ultimately our own responsibility, having reliable labeling on all GMO foodstuffs should be a prudent requirement to enhance public knowledge. Taking actions like those listed in 10 Things You Can Do to Stop GMOs, should not necessitate a full scale crisis. Putting people before corporate profits needs to become the standard every consumer deserves.
SARTRE is the pen name of James Hall, a reformed, former political operative. This pundit’s formal instruction in History, Philosophy and Political Science served as training for activism, on the staff of several politicians and in many campaigns. A believer in authentic Public Service, independent business interests were pursued in the private sector. As a small business owner and entrepreneur, several successful ventures expanded opportunities for customers and employees. Speculation in markets, and international business investments, allowed for extensive travel and a world view for commerce. He is retired and lives with his wife in a rural community. “Populism” best describes the approach to SARTRE’s perspective on Politics. Realities, suggest that American Values can be restored with an appreciation of “Pragmatic Anarchism.” Reforms will require an Existential approach. “Ideas Move the World,” and SARTRE’S intent is to stir the conscience of those who desire to bring back a common sense, moral and traditional value culture for America. Not seeking fame nor fortune, SARTRE’s only goal is to ask the questions that few will dare … Having refused the invites of an academic career because of the hypocrisy of elite’s, the search for TRUTH is the challenge that is made to all readers. It starts within yourself and is achieved only with your sincere desire to face Reality. So who is SARTRE? He is really an ordinary man just like you, who invites you to join in on this journey. Visit his website at http://batr.org.
As if Froot Loops weren’t already a poor enough choice, with their sugar, dyes, and artificial flavors, (and no “froot” anywhere in sight) now, independent testing has shown that those ingredients aren’t the worst thing that Kelloggs is serving up. The cereal also contains Round-up herbicide (glyphosate) and genetically modified corn. Oh – and not just a little bit of GMO corn – it’s 100% GMO.
Independent DNA lab testing has verified that 100% of the corn in Kellogg’s Froot Loops is genetically modified corn, containing DNA sequences known to be present in insecticide producing Bt and Roundup Ready corn. The soy also contained DNA sequences known to be present in Roundup Ready GMO soy. What’s more, tests documented the presence of glyphosate at 0.12 mg/kg, the main chemical ingredient of Monsanto’s best-selling Roundup weedkiller. (source)
Is it any wonder we’re in the midst of a gigantic cancer cluster in this country? No wonder children have behavioral issues like ADHD. No wonder people are fat, exhausted, and sick.
It’s no longer an exaggeration to say this stuff is poison. Now, it’s a proven fact.
For those who think the word “poison” is an exaggeration, let’s be clear on exactly what glyphosate is. It’s weedkiller. You spray it on weeds to kill them. There is irrefutable proof of toxicity and death from glyphosate. Two recent peer-reviewed studies confirm this.
The first study found that glyphosate increases the breast cancer cell proliferation in the parts-per-trillion range.
An alarming new study, accepted for publication in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology last month, indicates that glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide due to its widespread use in genetically engineered agriculture, is capable of driving estrogen receptor mediated breast cancer cell proliferation within the infinitesimal parts per trillion concentration range.
The study, titled, “Glyphosate induces human breast cancer cells growth via estrogen receptors,” compared the effect of glyphosate on hormone-dependent and hormone-independent breast cancer cell lines, finding that glyphosate stimulates hormone-dependent cancer cell lines in what the study authors describe as “low and environmentally relevant concentrations.”
Another study found that consumption of glyphosate causes intestinal and gut damage, which opens the door to numerous human diseases, such as diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, heart disease, obesity, autism, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
However, another classification of allergy-type food is emerging and getting recognized for adverse effects on the human intestinal tract and gut. Those foods are genetically modified organisms known as GMOs or GEs. There is scientific research indicating intestinal damage from GMO food and the article “Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Disease” discusses how the inordinate amount of pesticides sprayed on GMOs leaves residues in GMO crops that, in turn, are being traced to modern diseases. (source)
And this is in cereal marketed to children with that big goofy cartoon toucan.
The toucan, incidentally, says, “Follow your nose, it always knows.” If you want to follow your own nose to the blatant corruption, you need go no further than the stench of the fact that this is perfectly fine with the FDA, the USDA, and the EPA, those noble guardians of our health. So, if you trust them, don’t even worry about a little weedkiller in the cereal.
If you want to follow your own nose follow it to the blatant corruption that allows this kind of thing. You need go no further than the stench of the fact that this is perfectly fine with the FDA, the USDA, and the EPA, those noble guardians of our health. So, if you trust them, don’t even worry about a little weedkiller in the cereal.
As Mike Barrett of Natural Society points out, I guess now we know why Kelloggs has spent so much money to keep foods containing GMOs from being labeled as such.
There is a good reason that Kellogg’s spent over $1,012,552 on media propaganda in California & Washington to defeat voter ballot initiatives that would have required the labeling of GMO foods, and now are contributing again to the defeat of labeling initiatives in Oregon (contributing $250,000).
If your kids eat this stuff, in light of this information, it’s time to make a change to the breakfast menu. A bowl of modified corn and weed killer does not a healthy breakfast make. They might argue with you, and that’s fine. Pull rank. Of course they like it and think it tastes good. Chemists spent a lot of time and effort concocting a formula to make the cheapest, most toxic ingredients taste absolutely delicious. But the risk is too high to even consider this an occasional treat. I wouldn’t consider weedkiller acceptable, even in moderation.
Healthier Cereal Options
If your kids insist that the day just can’t start without a bowl of cereal, don’t despair. There are many options out there that are far superior to anything from Kelloggs or General Mills. Forget about serving bowls of frankenfood and weedkiller and try one of these options instead:
Oatmeal: Your grandparents loved it and it’s still one of the healthiest breakfasts around. You can top this hot, filling meal with fruit, honey, syrup, nuts – the possibilities are endless.
Grits: As with anything made from corn, be sure you select an organic option. The displaced Southerner in me loves a bowl of grits with butter, milk, and black pepper.
Cereal: One of my favorite kid-friendly brands is Envirokidz. The organic choices are fun things like Chocolate Koala Crisps and Peanut Butter Panda Puffs. Definitely cool enough to make your tykes forget about Tony the Tiger and Toucan Sam.
Homemade granola: I absolutely love homemade granola, and so do my kids. This is one of my favorite recipes and the nice thing about granola is that you can easily adjust it to your family’s favorite flavors.
Other hot cereals: Nearly any grain can be turned into a hot cereal. Wheatberries are especially flavorful and filling. Many parts of the world make rice porridge by cooking rice in milk, then adding honey and cinnamon for flavor.
What are your favorite healthy breakfast cereals?
Does your family eat cereal for breakfast? What are your favorite alternatives to the toxin-filled conventional grocery store choices?
Daisy Luther lives in a small village in the Pacific Northwestern area of the United States. She is the author of The Organic Canner and The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy uses her background in alternative journalism to provide a unique perspective on health and preparedness, and offers a path of rational anarchy against a system that will leave us broke, unhealthy, and enslaved if we comply. Daisy’s articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, and you can email her at [email protected]
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) calls itself “the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people.” According to its website, TNC “addresses the most pressing conservation threats at the largest scale.”
So you might be surprised to learn that TNC is run and funded by some of the world’s worst polluters and destroyers of the earth’s soil, air, water and food system—and that one of those companies is Monsanto.
Here’s what TNC CEO Mark Tercek has to say about GMOs. (Warning: It’s pretty much the same thing Monsanto has to say about GMOs):
“Another agricultural technology we should consider carefully is genetic modification. The National Academy of Sciences has found no adverse health effects from GMOs, and also concluded that they can be environmentally beneficial in some ways.”
TAKE ACTION: Tell Nature Conservancy CEO Mark Tercek: Get Out of Bed with Monsanto!
Post on TNC Facebook Page
TNC CEO Mark Tercek on Twitter
Disturbing new research published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology indicates that genetically modified (GM) crops with “stacked traits” – that is, with multiple traits such as glyphosate-herbicide resistance and Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) insecticidal toxins engineered together into the same plant, are likely to be far more dangerous to human health than previously believed, and all of this is due to their synergistic toxicity.
The natural resistance that most plants have to the chemical glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, has been engineered into many GM plants, so that fields can be sprayed indiscriminately with herbicide without the plants having to worry about destroying the crops. While the GM glyphosate-resistant plants survive, they subsequently contain residues of glyphosate and its various metabolites (e.g. aminomethylphosphonic acid) that present a significant health threat to the public.
In this latest study the glyphosate-containing herbicide Roundup was tested on human embryonic kidney cells at concentrations between 1 to 20,000 parts per million (ppm). It was found that concentrations as low as 50 ppm per million, which the authors noted were “far below agricultural dilutions,” induced cell death, with the 50% of the cells dying at 57.5 ppm.
The researchers also found that the insecticidal toxin produced by GM plants known as Cry1Ab was capable of causing cell death at 100 ppm concentrations.
Taken together the authors concluded
“In these results, we argue that modified Bt toxins are not inert on nontarget human cells, and that they can present combined side-effects with other residues of pesticides specific to GM plants.”
These disturbing findings follow on the heels of other recent revelations that have discovered that Roundup is toxic by several orders of magnitude more than previously believed. Only 5 days ago (Feb. 14, 2012) the journal Archives of Toxicology reported that Roundup is toxic to human DNA even when diluted to concentrations 450-fold lower than used in agricultural applications. This effect is likely due to the presence of the surfactant polyoxyethyleneamine within the Roundup formulation which may dramatically enhance the absorption of glyphosate exposure into exposed human cells and tissue.
Article Contributed by Sayer Ji, Founder of GreenMedInfo.com.
Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation. He founded Greenmedinfo.com in 2008 in order to provide the world an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. It is internationally recognized as the largest and most widely referenced health resource of its kind.
By: Christina Sarich | Natural Society -
Many individuals have heard it a million times, but for the uninformed, or those just looking to fuel their 2014 fire to finally defeat Monsanto and their cronies, you’ll be interested to know that Monsanto’s Bt-toxin is far from ‘safe’ as the chemical company claimed it would be when filing their papers with the FDA. New research from Canada show that BT toxins are showing up in pregnant women, and low and behold – they are killing human embryo cells. 2014 is the year of the horse, but we’re not through beating this one to death.
It’s called reproductive toxicology, and just like their suicide seeds, these Bt toxins are starting to kill our own unborn children. This is no exaggeration. Hopefully reading further will compel you to take action. It is time to put Monsanto to rest, bankrupt them, and let the world know their ‘secrets’ near and far.
Bt toxins are prominent in genetically altered crops such as corn, soy, wheat, and others, called Cry1Ab – and they can be lethal. Not only do these cry-toxins target the kidney cells of developing human fetuses, but when Cry1Ab and Cry1Ac are combined with RoundUp, they can delay apoptosis of human cancer cells. What’s worse, glyphosate, the main ingredient in RoundUp, also causes necrosis – i.e. the death of human tissue, and this happens even when the substance is found in much smaller amounts than what is currently being used on our agricultural crops. The stuff is still carcinogenic in the parts per trillion range.
In its rush to remain the ‘agricultural leader’ of the world, the US government erected defunct regulatory bodies that have no means to truly examine the ramifications of biotechnology on our food. The National Institute of Health (NIH) is a joke and the FDA gave Monsanto an indefinite hall pass to cause mayhem on the food supply.
More people need to file lawsuits against this company until they are without one red cent to continue poisoning the planet and killing our unborn babies. The Organic Seed Grower’s Association sued Monsanto in 2011, and Idaho wheat growers are suing Monsanto for cross-contamination, but what about parental groups? Mother’s Against Drunk Driving was formed when a mom lost her baby to a drunk driver. Perhaps the mothers who face reproductive failure due to Monsanto’s hand can sue them collectively.
The FDA’s internal memos about their concerns surrounding GMO seed crops recently surfaced in one lawsuit, though the public was never meant to see them. GMO foods are not the foods we have always eaten. This is an outright lie.
Any lawyers out there willing to go against the monopoly? I’d sign a class action suit today. Would you? In the meantime, utilize these 5 tips for avoiding GMOs while you write your local senator, state representatives, congressman, and president.
Is there value in a label stating that a food product “may contain” GMO ingredients? Particularly if consumers already know that nearly 90 percent of products containing corn and “large percentages” of other commodity crops in the U.S. originate from genetically engineered seeds?
Clearly, more than 90 percent of consumers in the U.S. would answer “yes” to that question. As would the Vermont legislators who voted yes on H.112, Vermont’s GMO labeling law.
But a judge in the federal court in Burlington, Vt., is now raising that question.
After years of work by grassroots activists and Vermont state legislators to craft a solid mandatory GMO labeling law (H.112), the state went to court on January 7, 2015, to defend that law—thanks to a lawsuit filed by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), the Snack Food Association and the National Association of Manufacturers.
According to the Burlington Free Press, Judge Christina Reiss heard arguments from the state, including its motion to dismiss the lawsuit, and from the GMA regarding its request for the court to suspend the labeling law while considering whether the measure is “constitutional.”
The consensus among many lawmakers is that Vermont’s GMO labeling law is absolutely constitutional, and the law should stand.
The question now is, will Big Food, Big Biotech and Big Money convince a federal judge otherwise?
For two decades, Monsanto has randomly inserted the genes of one species into a non-related species, or genetically “interfered” with the instructions of an organism’s RNA—using viruses, antibiotic-resistant genes and bacteria as vectors, markers and promoters—to create gene-spliced seeds and crops.
All the while, Monsanto and its industry-paid scientists have claimed that GMO crops and foods, and the chemicals that accompany them, are perfectly safe. And therefore need no labeling or independent safety-testing.
Self-appointed GMO labeling “leaders” such as Scott Faber, a former lobbyist for the pro-GMO Grocery Manufacturers Association and now executive director of the Just Label It campaign, need to stop repeating Monsanto and Big Food’s lies that there is no “evidence” that GMOs are dangerous for human health or the environment.
It simply isn’t true. Here’s why. Along with 12 ways consumers can drive these dangerous, pesticide-laden foods off the market.
You probably want to know what’s actually in what you’re eating, right? Of course you do. That’s probably why you read the ingredients label. But even if you’re making responsible choices, there still might be more to that meal than you realize. There’s a movement that’s trying to keep you in the dark about genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), not to mention a host of other nasties in your food. You’ll want to stick around while I tell you seven things that you should really know about GMOs.
1. Money is Being Spent to Ensure You Stay Uninformed
Giant corporations like Dupont and Monsanto spent millions of dollars recently in Colorado and Oregon to thwart labeling campaigns that would list genetically-modified ingredients.  In Colorado, for example, these two giants outspent supporters of GMO labeling by 22-1. These labeling movements are all part of the ‘Right to Know’ campaigns, but apparently manufacturers don’t feel Americans need to know what’s in their food.
2. GMO Labels Wouldn’t Cost Much
Those same labels these corporations are so afraid of would actually cost the taxpayer a tiny amount—about two dollars a year—but it’s not really about spreading the cost to the consumer.  Corporations want to turn a profit, and if the product you’ve been buying for years suddenly proclaims that is has GMOs, you’ll likely stop buying it. In an effort to stop the pro-GM labeling, TV ads even tried to tell voters that these labels would cost them between $400 and $800 dollars a year. An ECONorthwest report, however, proved that inflated figure wrong. 
3. Major Food Companies are Willfully Ignorant
General Mills was in the news recently when GMOs were taken out of Cheerios, so the next logical step should have been to take GMOs out of the entire cereal lineup. Well that didn’t happen for two main reasons: removing GMOs from Cheerios hasn’t translated to higher sales, and the company still doesn’t fully believe GMOs aren’t safe. As almost every company shareholder voted against removing GMOs, I think it boils down to what the company thinks will make the most money. This focus on profit is seen in the policies of many of the food giants. Companies aren’t going to ban GMOs when they’re making money.
4. Not All Requests for GMO-Free are Being Ignored
Lately, there’s been so many anti-GMO stances that some progressive and forward thinking companies are jumping on the non-GMO bandwagon. In the case of a vegetable that’s a cross between a Brussels sprout and kale, a non-GMO label is arguable. Hybrid plants are created when you crossbreed two compatible plants; no DNA is genetically modified or enhanced, but some people might still consider a hybrid a GMO.  The bottom line is most companies want to make money, and the anti-GMO movement is a big moneymaker.
5. GMO-Free Can Be a Good Business Model
For large and small companies, profits matter. Consider, though, the power of the organic food market right now. Everyone wants organic, and farmers and ranchers are taking note. Using organic practices can add as much as $100 to a head of cattle, so from a market standpoint, the organic movement makes sense.  While most farmers and ranchers are driven by profits, we, as the consumers, are presented with more organic and non-GMO options.
6. “Natural” Doesn’t Mean GMO-Free
Let’s talk again about those labels on your food. Have you ever bought something that claimed it was ‘natural’ without it mentioning anything about GMOs?  Buyer beware! A recent study found that a lot of those products actually do contain GMOs. Consumer Reports tested over 80 different processed foods with corn or soy and found most of them had GMO ingredients.   If you want to make sure you aren’t getting genetically-modified corn or soy, look for non-GMO or organic labels.
7. GMOs Have Created a Crisis
Not only are GMOs bad for our health, genetically-modified crops are causing a big land crisis. Corn and soy are two crops that are genetically modified to tolerate multiple herbicides; however, what we’re left with is two-fold: crops dosed heavily with herbicides and superweeds! These superweeds are resistant to all the common herbicides and are quickly becoming an issue–especially for farmers in the southern US where most of these weeds grow. It’s estimated that almost 70 million acres of U.S farmlands are now infested with superweeds, and no one knows how to handle it. 
The Bottom Line: Avoid GMOs!
So yes, there are a lot of reasons to avoid GMOs, and many businesses are taking note of what consumers want and making adjustments. Progress is slow–and in some cases nonexistent–but eventually there will be change. After all, we have the right to know what’s in our food.
What about you? What do you think about GMOs? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
- Goldenberg, S. Pro-GM labelling campaign hugely outspent in Colorado and Oregon ballot. The Guardian.
- Tims, D. Median GMO labeling would cost consumers $2.30 per year: New pro-Measure 92 study. The Oregonian.
- ECONorthwest. GE FOODS LABELING COST STUDY FINDINGS. Consumers Union.
- Sheets, C. Companies Pursuing Non-GMO Products For Competitive Edge, Experts Say. International Business Times.
- Ortiz, E. Market speaks louder than science: GMO-free animals a good business model. The Sacramento Bee.
- Gillam, C. U.S. foods labeled ‘natural’ often contain GMOs, group reports. Reuters.
- Consumer Reports. Food Safety and Sustainability Center Report on GMOs in Corn and Soy. Consumer Reports.
- Consumer Reports. Food Safety and Sustainability Center Test Results of GMOs in Corn and Soy. Consumer Reports.
- Keim, B. New Generation of GM Crops Puts Agriculture in a ‘Crisis Situation’. Wired.
By: Dr. Mercola –
Research has demonstrated that pesticides and other agricultural chemicals are neurotoxic, capable of damaging your nervous system. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 60 percent of herbicides, 90 percent of fungicides, and 30 percent of insecticides are also carcinogenic.
All of these toxins are permitted on conventional farms, and any number of them can end up on your plate when you conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables. The increased use of genetically engineered plants1 and soil insecticides also increases the chemical load in food—particularly processed foods.
The answer, of course, is to limit your exposure as much as possible, giving your body a chance to eliminate the toxins you do inadvertently ingest. Certain foods, such as fermented foods, can also help detoxify some of these chemicals.
Yet despite all the known risks, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) insists pesticide residues on food are no cause for concern.
According to the agency’s latest report, more than half of all foods tested last year had detectable levels of pesticide residues, but most, they claim, are within the “safe” range. However, there are a number of factors you need to be aware of before you swallow such assurances hook, line, and sinker…
USDA Does Not Test for Glyphosate
Most notably, as reported by Reuters,2 the USDA does not test for one of the most pervasive and one of the most harmful agricultural chemicals of all, namely glyphosate:
“As has been the case with past analyses, the USDA said it did not test this past year for residues of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide and the world’s most widely used herbicide.
A USDA spokesman who asked not to be quoted said that the test measures required for glyphosate are ‘extremely expensive… to do on an regular basis’…
Many genetically modified crops can be sprayed directly with glyphosate, and some consumer and health groups fear glyphosate residues in foods are harmful to human health, even though the government says the pesticide is considered safe.”
Meanwhile, one of the most recent studies3 investigating the effect glyphosate on Americans’ health noted that glyphosate interferes with many metabolic processes in both plants and animals.
The researchers searched US government databases for GE crop data, glyphosate application data, and disease epidemiological data, and analyses revealed “highly significant” correlations between glyphosate applications and the following health problems among the US population:
|Obesity||Lipoprotein metabolism disorder||Alzheimer’s disease|
|Senile dementia||Parkinson’s disease||Multiple sclerosis|
|Autism||Inflammatory bowel disease||Intestinal infections|
|End stage renal disease||Acute kidney failure||Thyroid cancer|
|Liver cancer||Bladder cancer||Pancreatic cancer|
|Kidney cancer||Myeloid leukemia|
According to the authors: “The significance and strength of the correlations show that the effects of glyphosate and GE crops on human health should be further investigated.”
Glyphosate May Be Worse Than DDT
According to Dr. Don Huber, an expert in an area of science that relates to the toxicity of genetically engineered (GE) foods, glyphosate may be even more toxic than DDT—a devastating chemical that, just like glyphosate, was once proclaimed to be “safe enough to eat.”5
Just last year, new research implicated DDT in the development of Alzheimer’s, decades after exposure, and there’s no doubt in my mind that we’re heading down the same road with glyphosate.
Dr. Seneff’s groundbreaking research published in June 2013 suggests that glyphosate may actually be the most important factor in the development of a wide variety of chronic diseases, specifically because your gut bacteria are a key component of glyphosate’s mechanism of harm.
Monsanto has steadfastly claimed that Roundup is harmless to animals and humans because the mechanism of action it uses (which allows it to kill weeds), called the shikimate pathway, is absent in all animals. However, the shikimate pathway IS present in bacteria, and that’s the key to understanding how it causes such widespread systemic harm in both humans and animals.
Dr. Huber has also presented evidence6,7 linking glyphosate to Bee Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), and honeybee starvation.8 Glyphosate has also been found to be highly toxic to the soil surrounding a plant’s roots (known as the rhizosphere), woodland plants, amphibians, fish, aquatic environments, and mammals9–causing reproductive problems and disrupting the endocrine system.
Why Even Non-GMO Crops Are Also More Toxic These Days
Many leading authorities like Dr. Huber and Dr. Stephanie Seneff have started bringing attention to the practice of desiccation—a practice in which glyphosate is applied to the grain shortly prior to harvesting. Interestingly enough, this causes the grain to release more seeds. The Washington Blog10 recently ran an article giving an excellent overview of the process. Desiccating11 non-organic wheat crops with glyphosate began about 15 years ago.
Glyphosate desiccation is also done on barley, beans, peas, peanuts, sugar cane,12 oats, canola, flax, and lentils,13 just to name a few. Roundup (glyphosate) is used as a desiccant at harvest on about 160 conventional crops.14
Needless to say, desiccated crops tend to be more contaminated with glyphosate. A large percentage of processed foods are made with wheat, and the practice of desiccating wheat with glyphosate appears to be strongly correlated with the rapid rise in celiac disease. Dr. Seneff’s research shows that glyphosate destroys the villi in your gut, which reduces your ability to absorb vitamins and minerals.
Wheat also contains gliadin, which is difficult to break down. Normally, a reaction takes place that builds connections between different proteins in the wheat. But glyphosate prevents that process from occurring, resulting in wheat that is highly undigestible. Dr. Seneff and her co-researcher Dr. Anthony Samsel believe the glyphosate may attach to the gliadin as a consequence of a chemical reaction. The end result is that your body develops an immune reaction. As noted in their study:15
“[G]ut dysbiosis, brought on by exposure to glyphosate, plays a crucial role in the development of celiac disease. Many CYP enzymes are impaired in association with celiac disease, and we show that glyphosate’s known suppression of CYP enzyme activity in plants and animals plausibly explains this effect in humans.”
Glyphosate Readily Accumulates in GE Crops
Recent research16 has also shown that there are significant compositional differences between genetically engineered (GE) soybeans and non-GE varieties, and that glyphosate readily accumulates in the former. Contrary to industry claims, the study also found that they differ in terms of nutritional quality, with organic soybeans having the healthiest nutritional profile.
According to the authors, “This study rejects that genetically modified soy is “substantially equivalent” to non-GM soybeans.” The study in question investigated contamination levels and nutritional contents of three varieties of Iowa-grown soybeans: Roundup Ready soybeans; non-GE, conventional soybeans grown using Roundup herbicide; and organic soybeans, grown without agricultural chemicals, and found that:
- On average GE soy contained 11.9 parts per million (ppm) of glyphosate
- The highest residue level found was 20.1 ppm
- No residues of either kind were found in the conventional non-GE and organic varieties
Similar results were found in a 2012 nutritional analysis of GE corn, which was found to contain 13 ppm of glyphosate, compared to none in non-GMO corn. When you consider that Americans eat an average of 193 pounds of genetically engineered foods each year,17 the issue of glyphosate contamination is undoubtedly a very important one. In a 2014 article for The Ecologist,18 two of the researchers point out that these levels are actually double, or more, of what Monsanto itself has referred to as “extreme levels:”
“Monsanto (manufacturer of glyphosate) has claimed that residues of glyphosate in genetically modified (GM) soy are lower than in conventional soybeans, where glyphosate residues have been measured up to 16-17 mg/kg (Monsanto 1999). These residues, found in non-GM plants, likely must have been due to the practice of spraying before harvest (for desiccation). Another claim of Monsanto’s has been that residue levels of up to 5.6 mg/kg in GM-soy represent ‘…extreme levels, and far higher than those typically found.’ (Monsanto 1999).” [Emphasis mine]
It’s quite crucial to understand that glyphosate contamination in GE crops is systemic, meaning it is present in every cell of the plant, from root to tip. It’s not just an issue of topical contamination—although that certainly adds to the level of contamination. Normally, you need to thoroughly wash your produce to remove topical residues, but you cannot remove glyphosate from GE produce, as it has been absorbed into the cells of the plant. And neither can food and animal feed manufacturers who use GE ingredients in their products…
Amid Concerns of Safety, EPA Raised Allowable Levels for Glyphosate in Food
All of this points to the importance of testing for and restricting glyphosate residues in food, yet that is NOT being done, ostensibly due to cost. It also brings up another important point, which is that despite rapidly rising concerns about safety, in 2013 the EPA quietly went ahead and raised the allowable levels of glyphosate in food—and by significant amounts19, 20 to boot. Allowable levels in oilseed crops such as soy were doubled, from 20 ppm to 40 ppm. So all of a sudden, that makes “extreme levels” appear to be on the lower end of the allowable spectrum!
It also raised the levels of permissible glyphosate contamination in other foods—many of which were raised to 15-25 times previous levels! Farmers are also ramping up their usage of the chemical due to the proliferation of glyphosate-resistant weeds. It’s worth noting that, for years, pro-GMO advocates claimed that genetic engineering would lead to reduced reliance on toxic agricultural chemicals. Now, the data shows us the exact converse has happened.
Lies, Lies, and More Lies
We were promised that GMOs would result in LESS pesticide use, but as noted in a 2012 article by Tom Philpott,21 Monsanto’s Roundup Ready technology “has called forth a veritable monsoon of herbicides, both in terms of higher application rates for Roundup, and… growing use of other, more-toxic herbicides.” Philpott’s article includes eye-opening statistics compiled by Chuck Benbrook, a research professor at Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources. Benbrook discovered that:
- Overall, GE technology drove up herbicide use by 527 million pounds (about 11 percent) between 1996 (when Roundup Ready crops were initially released) and 2011
- Herbicide use dropped by about two percent between 1996 and 1999, but shortly thereafter, as weeds began developing resistance against the chemical, application rates skyrocketed
- In 2002, glyphosate use on Roundup Ready soybeans rose by 21 percent. Overall, American farmers increased their use of glyphosate by 19 million pounds that year
- By 2011, farmers growing Roundup Ready crops (corn, soy, and cotton) used 24 percent more Roundup than farmers planting non-GE versions of the same crop, because by that time, glyphosate-resistance had become the norm. Farmers also began resorting to older, more toxic herbicides like 2,4-D
‘Inert’ Ingredients in Pesticides May Also Be Profoundly Toxic
A third issue that is completely ignored by the USDA when they claim pesticide residues in food are within safe levels is the fact that “inert” ingredients in herbicidal formulations are not necessarily inactive. On the contrary, synergistic effects between active and so-called inactive ingredients are a hidden source of toxicity that is widely overlooked.
As discussed in a 2006 paper published in the Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives,22 it’s important to realize that the term “inert ingredient” does NOT mean that it is biologically or toxicologically harmless. When you see “inert” or “inactive ingredients” listed on the label of a pesticide or herbicide, it only means that those ingredients will not harm pests or weeds. This is how federal law classifies “inert” pesticide ingredients.23 And while a chemical may not kill a pest or weed, it may have a profound impact on human biology.
For example, one 2012 study24revealed that inert ingredients like ethoxylated adjuvants in glyphosate-based herbicides are “active principles of human cell toxicity.” (On a side note, an “ethoxylated” compound is a chemical that has been produced using the carcinogen ethylene oxide.25 The ethoxylation process also produces the carcinogenic byproduct 1,4-dioxane.) The study found that liver, embryonic, and placental cell lines exposed to various herbicide formulations for 24 hours at doses as low as 1 part per million (ppm), had adverse effects.26 According to the authors:27
“Here we demonstrate that all formulations are more toxic than glyphosate, and we separated experimentally three groups of formulations differentially toxic according to their concentrations in ethoxylated adjuvants.
Among them, POE-15 clearly appears to be the most toxic principle against human cells… It begins to be active with negative dose-dependent effects on cellular respiration and membrane integrity between 1 and 3ppm, at environmental/occupational doses. We demonstrate in addition that POE-15 induces necrosis when its first micellization process occurs, by contrast to glyphosate which is known to promote endocrine disrupting effects after entering cells.
Altogether, these results challenge the establishment of guidance values such as the acceptable daily intake of glyphosate, when these are mostly based on a long term in vivo test of glyphosate alone. Since pesticides are always used with adjuvants that could change their toxicity, the necessity to assess their whole formulations as mixtures becomes obvious. This challenges the concept of active principle of pesticides for non-target species.” [Emphasis mine]
Perhaps most disturbing of all, the researchers claim that cell damage and even cell death can occur at the residual levels found on Roundup-treated crops, as well as lawns and gardens where Roundup is applied for weed control. They also suspect that28 Roundup might interfere with hormone production, possibly leading to abnormal fetal development, low birth weights, or miscarriages.
FDA Tests Less Than One-Tenth of One Percent of All Imported Fruits and Vegetables
The monitoring of pesticide residue by the FDA and USDA received harsh criticism in a recent report created by the General Accounting Office (GAO). In its report,29 titled: “Food Safety––FDA and USDA Should Strengthen Pesticide Residue Monitoring Programs and Further Disclose Limitations,” the GAO suggests a number of major changes to the two agencies’ pesticide monitoring programs. Greater sample sizes are needed, the report says, and special attention should be paid to pesticides that already have established EPA tolerance levels, rather than those that do not. The GAO also calls for greater transparency in annual test reports.
As reported by Food Safety Magazine:30
“Such changes could eventually reveal whether or not regulatory violations are rampant throughout each agencies’ pesticide residue testing. Over the years, established testing programs have shown few incidences of violation. Also, a helping hand from Congress might be necessary as the suggested changes would require additional funding and resources. Additional findings include:
- The FDA tests less than one-tenth of one percent of all imported fruits and vegetables. Less than one percent of domestic fruits and vegetables are tested. The small sample sizes suggest that results that may not be ‘statistically valid.’
- The FDA does not test foods for many pesticides that have strict residue limits set by the EPA. This lack of testing, according to the GAO, should be stated in the FDA’s annual reports.
- Testing by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and the Agricultural Marketing Service were found to be statistically valid. But like the FDA, the FSIS also doesn’t test for pesticides with established tolerances.”
Avoiding Toxic Food Is Imperative for Optimal Health
The chemical technology industry, spearheaded by Monsanto, has managed to turn food into a literal poison… Glyphosate, which we now know systemically contaminates the plant and cannot be washed off, has a number of devastating biological effects, including the following:
|Nutritional deficiencies, as glyphosate immobilizes certain nutrients and alters the nutritional composition of the treated crop||Disruption of the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids (these are essential amino acids not produced in your body that must be supplied via your diet)|
|Increased toxin exposure (this includes high levels of glyphosate and formaldehyde in the food itself)||Impairment of sulfate transport and sulfur metabolism; sulfate deficiency|
|Systemic toxicity—a side effect of extreme disruption of microbial function throughout your body; beneficial microbes in particular, allowing for overgrowth of pathogens||Gut dysbiosis (imbalances in gut bacteria, inflammation, leaky gut, food allergies such as gluten intolerance)|
|Enhancement of damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and environmental toxins as a result of glyphosate shutting down the function of detoxifying enzymes||Creation of ammonia (a byproduct created when certain microbes break down glyphosate), which can lead to brain inflammation associated with autism and Alzheimer’s disease|
Ideally, you’d be best off opting for products bearing the USDA 100% organic label when buying processed foods in order to avoid exposure to agricultural chemicals, which certainly are not limited to Roundup. Don’t make the mistake of confusing the “natural” label with organic standards however. The “natural” label is not based on any standards and is frequently misused by sellers of GE products.
Growers and manufacturers of organic products bearing the USDA seal, on the other hand, have to meet the strictest standards of any of the currently available organic labels. That said, my personal recommendation is to forgo processed fare altogether. Instead, pick up a good cookbook, and start cooking from scratch using whole organic ingredients. This really is the key to optimal health. Meats need to be grass-fed or pastured to make sure the animals were not fed GE corn or soy feed.
You’d also be wise to stop using Roundup around your home, where children and pets can come into contact with it simply by walking across the area. Here are some great resources to obtain wholesome organic food. Eating locally produced organic food will not only support your family’s health, it will also protect the environment from harmful chemical pollutants and the inadvertent spread of genetically engineered seeds and chemical-resistant weeds and pests.
- Alternative Farming Systems Information Center, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
- Farmers’ Markets — A national listing of farmers’ markets.
- Local Harvest — This Web site will help you find farmers’ markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies.
- Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals — The Eat Well Guide is a free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns, and hotels, and online outlets in the United States and Canada.
- Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) — CISA is dedicated to sustaining agriculture and promoting the products of small farms.
- FoodRoutes — The FoodRoutes “Find Good Food” map can help you connect with local farmers to find the freshest, tastiest food possible. On their interactive map, you can find a listing for local farmers, CSA’s, and markets near you.
Help Support GMO Labeling
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—Monsanto’s Evil Twin—is pulling out all the stops to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food. For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture.
Finally public opinion around the biotech industry’s contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We’re fighting back.
The insanity has gone far enough, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. More than 80 percent of our support comes from individual consumers like you, who understand that real change comes from the grassroots.
Thankfully, we have organizations like the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to fight back against these corporate giants. So please, fight for your right to know what’s in your food and help support the GMO labeling movement by making a donation today.
Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More
Together, Let’s Help OCA Get The Funding They Deserve
Let’s Help OCA get the funding it deserves. I have found very few organizations who are as effective and efficient as OCA. It’s a public interest organization dedicated to promoting health justice and sustainability. A central focus of the OCA is building a healthy, equitable, and sustainable system of food production and consumption.
Please make a donation to help OCA fight for GMO labeling.