Tag Archives: Genetically Modified

New Yorkers Outraged After GMO Moths Released

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Environmental, advocacy and organic farming organizations have sent a letter Thursday to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball along with Cornell University President David Skorton and Agricultural School Associate Dean Susan Brown, urging them to release information to the public about the field release of genetically engineered (GE) diamondback moths at Cornell’s agricultural experiment station in Geneva, New York and to stop any outdoor trials until more adequate information is available.

In September 2014 several of the organizations commented on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s environmental assessment (EA) for the proposed field release of Oxitec’s GE diamondback moths at Cornell University. The agency did not contact the organizations to address their myriad concerns, and months later, the groups found out through a separate correspondence with the USDA that the GE moth permit had been quietly approved with no press release or other public notification.

“This release of genetically engineered autocidal moths is the first of its kind in the United States and it sets a very poor precedent that they were released with minimal environmental review and transparency,” said Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch. “The USDA’s irresponsible management of this genetically engineered insect is putting the environment and agriculture at risk.”

“Proposals to release GE moths in England were halted in 2012 amid concerns about the risk assessment. Many issues that would be closely studied before the moths were released in Europe have not yet been considered in the USA,” said Helen Wallace, Director of GeneWatch UK. “Consumers and farmers deserve much better information about GE insects that could end up in the food chain.”

“The USDA took comments on whether this first genetically engineered insect should be released for field trials and then without responding to our comments approved the trials without public notice,” said Jaydee Hanson, Senior Policy Analyst at Center for Food Safety. “The first use of GE insects in an agricultural setting should have required public consultations with potentially affected parties, as well as, trials in physically enclosed spaces before even considering open field trials. This violates one of the basic principles of biosafety for genetically engineered organisms—that they should be physically constrained in trials, not openly released.”

The mechanism for these GE moths to control population levels is for offspring to die in the larval stage. The larval moths will die on plants, including crops such as broccoli and cabbage. In its assessment, the USDA failed to recognize that if farms near the field trial sites happen to be certified organic or non-GE, their certification could be lost if these larval stage GE moths were present because genetic engineering, even for pest control, is prohibited. With no prior public information, accidental escapes and contamination would be a significant issue for proximate fields.

“The USDA has dropped the ball by approving this field trial without a thorough review and without notifying New York’s organic farmers. The loss of certification would be a major economic problem for these operations, threatening future earnings from their crops and wiping out a major investment of time and money to get the certification,” said Anne Ruflin, Executive Director of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York. “If GE contamination occurs, it has the potential to not only permanently damage long-standing partnerships with organic buyers but also to destroy an organic farmer’s livelihood and standing in the community.”

“The maker of these moths, Oxitec, has had a long track record of conducting GE insect field trials throughout the world without proper notification of the public and now they have brought their model to the United States,” said Lisa Archer, Friends of the Earth Food & Technology Program Director. “The USDA and Cornell must put a stop to this activity and ensure that these insects have been thoroughly reviewed before they are released into the wild.”

Read the letter here: fwwat.ch/1FIVQid

Contact:

Kate Fried, Food & Water Watch, kfried(at)fwwatch(dot)org

Abigail Seiler, Center for Food Safety, aseiler(at)centerforfoodsafety(dot)org

Anne Ruflin, Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, Anne(at)nofany(dot)org

Helen Wallace, GeneWatch UK

Source: Sustainable Pulse

DARK Days Ahead?

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Today, at 10 a.m., Reps. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) and their band of pro-GMO, anti-consumer, stomp-all-over-states’-rights outlaws will stand before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health and ask the Committee to support H.R. 1599.

We’ve been calling H.R. 1599 the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act, because that’s what the bill is intended to do—keep you in the dark about the toxic chemical-drenched GMOs in your food.

But that’s only half the story. Since Pompeo introduced his bill-to-kill GMO labeling laws earlier this year, he’s been tinkering with the language. Now, the latest version of the DARK Act is even darker than the original.

In fact, if you thought the Monsanto Protection Act was bad (and it was), the new-and-improved DARK Act is the Mother of all Monsanto Protection Acts.

In addition to preempting states’ rights to label GMOs, the latest iteration of H.R. 1599 will wipe out all state and local laws that regulate the growing of GMO crops—laws like the one passed in May 2014, Jackson County, Ore.—and weaken federal oversight of GMO crops and foods.

What can you do? Call Congress today, ask your Representatives and Senators to oppose H.R. 1599. Then, check our list of meetings and rallies being held at district offices around the country. OCA has been working with constituents in key districts to schedule these meetings, and get press coverage.

We still need volunteers to help organize meetings in the following districts: Kentucky: Guthrie, Whitfield; Texas -Burgess, Barton, Green; Tennessee – Blackburn; Washingon – Rodgers; Missouri – Long; North Carolina – Ellmers, Butterfield; Indiana – Brooks; New York -Collins; Michigan – Upton; Oregon – Schrader; California – Cardenas.

Today’s hearing is just the first step. We need to continue to meet with members of Congress in their home district offices to make it clear that voters and consumers want Congress to oppose this law. If you can help, email [email protected].

TAKE ACTION: Call Congress TODAY! 202-224-3121 (Tips for calling)

Join a district meeting or rally

Organize a district meeting or rally

 

Truvia’s Sweet Scam: Highly Processed, GMO, And Contains Hardly Any Stevia (VIDEO)

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If you’re one of the people who was excited when the “natural” sweetener that was allegedly made from the stevia plant became more commonly available, I’m afraid I have some bad news for you.

All of that hype about the “new” zero-calorie Truvia? All the talk about how natural it is? That’s just not true.

Incidentally, while the FDA has approved this bastardization of stevia, the actual leaf, where the active chemicals are found, is banned from sale as a food additive or sweetener and may only be sold as an “herbal supplement.”

The Big Food/Big Agri Connection

There’s a direct connection to Big Agri – Cargill, a privately held, multi-billion dollar corporation, was the driving force behind getting FDA approval of the sweetener, despite evidence that it might not actually be safe in its processed form. Cargill is also a major player in the meat industry (with all of its unspeakable feedlot horrors) and has been subject to numerous food safety recalls over the past few years due to contaminated meat. Cargill, that bastion of food safety, was the driving force behind the FDA’s decision to switch the status of stevia from a “supplement” to a food that is “generally recognized as safe”.

Cargill wasn’t alone, however. Big Food joined forces, since diet soda sales have plummeted over the past 10 years. According to the Wall Street Journal, the sale of low-calorie soft drinks has declined by billions per year over the past decade, as consumers became aware of the potential risks of neurotoxic artificial sweeteners.

So, to combat those health concerns, Coca Cola produced Truvia and Pepsi produced PureVia. Now, I don’t know about you, but I can’t consume anything produced by either of those companies (both Coke and Pepsi lobbied fiercely against the labeling of GMOs) and delude myself into believing the product is healthy.

Decades ago, diet sodas were touted as a healthy way to have a refreshing beverage without expanding your waistline. Unfortunately, the zero-calorie beverages were anything but healthy, and many people have suffered ill effects from the consumption of those drinks. Even corporate-funded Fox News was forced to admit that diet sodas were detrimental to human health.

Enter Truvia, the cure for all of those diet soda ills. Because, it’s natural!

Truvia is the second best-selling sugar substitute in the United States, most likely because the deceptive marketing is targeted at those who want to make healthier, less artificial choices. Remember how last week we discussed that Big Food isn’t making very much money? This is just the next volley of propaganda in which Big Food attempts to deceive the public into believing their processed food-like substances are actually food. Sales of Truvia in 2014 exceeded $400 million.

But…Truvia is not actually “natural”

Not so fast. While it’s true that the powdered stevia you get in the little packets is in part derived from a plant grown in Paraguay, it isn’t just the plant you’re getting. If it was just a powdered up plant, Coca Cola and Cargill wouldn’t be able to hold the patents to make it, right?

Traditionally, a leaf from the stevia plant was dropped into a hot beverage to steep and lend its sweetness. But the current product that’s being touted for its “natural sweetness” is a far cry from a leaf from the garden. (Despite how Cargill glosses over the heavy processing on the Truvia website.) In fact, Cargill had to settle a civil lawsuit a few years back because of their claims that the product was natural. The lawsuit forced them to put millions of dollars aside to settle future claims and they were required to put an asterisk on their tagline “Nature’s calorie-free sweetener.”

Nor is it actually mostly stevia…it’s mostly derived from GMO corn

Truvia is actually made mostly of erythritol, a sugar alcohol derived from genetically modified corn. Only 5% of the compound is actually derived from the stevia plant.

Despite the fact that erythritol is made from corn, and most corn is GMO, the Truvia website provides the strangest dance of denial I’ve witnessed in quite some time. They seem to feel that since it’s just derived from corn, then processed like crazy, that the origin of the corn has no bearing on the end product.  Here’s what the website says, which sure sounds to me like GMO corn is used:

Does Truvía® natural sweetener contain GMO? Is it genetically modified? [Link]

No. Truvía® natural sweetener is not GMO, and does not contain any genetically modified ingredients. There are no known varieties of genetically modified stevia available anywhere in the world. The carrier for the intensely sweet stevia leaf extract is called erythritol. The erythritol used in Truvía® natural sweetener is produced by a yeast organism that is found in nature. The yeast ferments or digests dextrose and other nutrients. In other words, dextrose is the food for the yeast – much like corn may be food for a cow that produces meat or milk. The dextrose used as the feedstock for the yeast is a simple sugar that is derived from the starch component of U.S.-grown corn. Although genetically enhanced corn and non-transgenic corn are grown in the U.S. today, erythritol is not derived from corn and dextrose feedstock (just as milk is not derived from cattle feed); it is derived from the yeast organism. Erythritol is not genetically modified, and does not contain any genetically modified proteins.

Do you use GMO corn to produce the erythritol used in Truvía® natural sweetener? [Link]

The erythritol used in Truvía® natural sweetener is produced by a yeast organism that is found in nature. The yeast “ferments” or “digests” dextrose and other nutrients. Dextrose is the food for the yeast – much like corn may be food for a cow that produces meat or milk. The dextrose is derived from the starch component of U.S.-grown corn. Both GM corn and non-GM corn are grown in the U.S. today. Cargill does not segregate the corn used to manufacture the dextrose used in the erythritol process.

Why is Truvía® natural sweetener non-GMO if you use GMO corn? [Link]

Erythritol is not made from corn or dextrose (just as milk is not made from cattle feed); erythritol is made from a yeast organism that eats the dextrose for food. Erythritol itself is not derived from a genetically modified source, and does not contain any genetically modified proteins.

Pardon me, but I sincerely doubt that Truvia is manufactured from the mere 12% of corn in the United States that is not GMO.

Here’s how Truvia is made

Truvia contains 3 ingredients: Erythritol, Rebiana, and natural flavors.

Erythritol

We talked about erythritol and it’s genetically modified origins above. This ingredient makes up 95-99% of the “natural sweetener.” Straight from the Cargill website, here’s how erythritol is made:

Erythritol is the first polyol to be manufactured on a commercial scale by a fermentation process. The starting material is a simple sugar-rich substrate which is fermented by a yeast like fungus to yield erythritol.

The product is then crystallized to 99.5 percent purity from the filtered and concentrated fermentation broth.

erythritol

Rebiana

Rebiana (chemical name rebaudioside A)  makes up less than 1% of the little packet. Rebiana (also called Reb-A) is a substance that is derived from the stevia leaf, but is not actually stevia. Although Truvia’s website says that Rebiana is retrieved from the stevia leaf by soaking it in water, the patent held by Coca Cola divulges that it actually takes 40 steps (!!!) to extract the desired molecule, steps that include the use of yummy stuff like acetone, methanol, ethanol, acetonitrile, and isopropanol.

Natural Flavoring

If you’ve been paying attention, you know that the term “natural flavoring” is so broad as to be without definition. Even MSG can be considered “natural” according to some, since it originates,far far back in the process, from yeast. Other types of natural additives are repugnant, so they hide the real origins behind that much-abused word, natural. (Read Natural Additives: Bugs, Hair, and Anal Secretions, Oh My for the full story on that meaningless ingredient listing.)So, really, this third ingredient could be anything.

A Dishonorable Mention Goes to Stevia in the Raw

Another deceptive product on the stevia bandwagon is Stevia in the Raw. It’s also not really stevia -it’s primary ingredients are dextrose and maltodextrin, both derived from corn, and both likely to be genetically modified. As well, maltodextrin often contains MSG, which doesn’t have to be disclosed in the ingredients list.

Incidentally, stevia may reduce fertility

While we’re on this subject, stevia alone may not be great for reproductive health. Women in South America use the herb to decrease the likelihood of conception. Check out this video on the topic.

The Conclusion? Truvia is NOT Stevia

Here’s the long and the short of it: if you have a sweet tooth, you simply have to understand that sweet things have calories. Whether you decide to consume things that are sweet is entirely up to you, but a non-harmful, no-calorie sweetener is simply the stuff of fairy tales. Little packets of sweet substances without calories are, without exception, highly processed and often very harmful.

If you want to sweeten a beverage with stevia, your very best bet is to make like the folks in Paraguay and steep a leaf of it in your beverage.(You can get organic stevia leaves HERE, or you can grow it yourself.) The second best option is a pure extract like this one.

Truvia, for all its gushing propaganda, contains less than 5% of anything even derived from the stevia plant, much less actual stevia.


Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor who lives in a small village in the Pacific Northwestern area of the United States. She is the author of The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy writes about healthy prepping, homesteading adventures, and the pursuit of liberty and food freedom. Daisy is a co-founder of the website Nutritional Anarchy, which focuses on resistance through food self-sufficiency. 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]

“Non-GMO” Cheerios Oats Still Sprayed With Roundup, Supplier Announces

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General Mills Cheerios may now be “non-GMO” but it is virtually guaranteed to contain Roundup herbicide residues, as disclosed by North America’s largest oat supplier. 

While there are no genetically modified oats on the marketplace today, non-organic oats might as well be labeled Roundup Ready (RR). This is because it is common practice to spray them with Roundup’s active ingredient glyphosate, putting them in the same category of glyphosate contaminated crops which includes RR GM soy, corn and canola.

Why must oats be sprayed? Known as pre-harvest desiccation, glyphosate is sprayed on oat crops right before their harvest, ostensibly to increase product uniformity and yield, and to save time in harvesting.

A report on Washingtonsblog.com explains how Monsanto funded research, which is notoriously biased, is behind this practice:

“Specifically, Monsanto International published a paper in 2010 touting the application of Roundup to kill crops right before harvest, in order to dry out the crops in advance and produce a more uniform and earlier harvest (starting on page 28):

“Uneven maturity and green tissue delays harvest. Spraying glyphosate desiccates green foliage & stems. The photograph (below left) shows the uniform dessication of sunflower by the use of glyphosate(Roundup Bioaktiv) applied by helicopter in Hungary (Czepó, 2009a). The photograph (below right) shows complete foliar desiccation of grain maize on the right side 14 days after application of glyphosate (Roundup Bioaktiv) at 0.54kg ae/ ha in 7 0L/ ha applied by helicopter using Reglojet nozzles and including Bandrift Plus at 0.1 % at 34% grain moisture in Hungary, with the untreated visible on the left-hand side.”

Assuming pre-harvest desiccation actually works as Monsanto claims, it should result in lower drying costs, an earlier harvest, and ultimately higher profit. But what is not figured in is the cost to the consumer who is already faced with widespread exposure to a chemical that has already been found in most the water, air, rain samples tested and which may retain serious toxicity at concentrations in as low as parts-per-trillion range?

Most people today consider Roundup herbicide exposure to be a problem linked solely to GMO foods, and not oats. This misperception has been a convenient fact for the non-GMO sector of Big Agra, which continues to use a wide range of highly toxic agrochemicals in food and feed crops that can still legally be described and/or labeled as non-GMO.

But the industry is beginning to be forced to respond to both a powerful shift in consumer awareness and demand in favor of organically produced, non-GMO oat products, as well as to a WHO report released last March that identified glyphosate to be a ‘probable carcinogen.’

Cheerios-Removes-App-During-Fury-of-Anti-GMO-Backlash

Did General Mills’ Move Towards “non-GMO” Cheerios Distract From the Roundup Problem?

When General Mills announced Cheerios would go non-GMO, the decision was received with some skepticism by those who quickly pointed out the fact that GMO oats don’t exist and Cheerios, for the most part, was already a non-GMO product.  One writer for Modern Farmer addressed the deceptive tactic:

General Mills’ decision to stop using genetically modified organisms to make Cheerios (and, more to the point, its decision to brag about it on cereal boxes) was relatively easy: there’s no such thing as genetically modified oats.

While General Mills decision to switch Cheerios to non-GMO sugarcane sugar could be considered a positive step forward, it effectively distracts from the fact that General Mills’ oat products are contaminated with glyphosate due to the use of raw material that underwent post-harvest desiccation. How do we know this? Because North America’s largest oat supplier, known to supply General Mills, Kraft, Kellogg, On Agra Foods, and others, just announced it will continue to buy oats that are sprayed with glyphosate.

Richardson Milling Supports Roundup Contaminated Oats; Grain Millers Phases Them Out

In a disturbing announcement, the Canada-based oat supplier Richardson Milling – North America’s largest supplier of oats – says glyphosate dessication is acceptable for its oats and that it has no intention of changing its policies.  This decision flies in the face of an accumulating body of scientific evidence that shows glyphostate has a wide range of harmful properties, including possible carcinogenicity, which is now supported by the World Health Organization’s own assessment. We can only assume that downstream manufacturers such as General Millers are in tacit agreement with their suppliers decision, despite their public bragging about taking some of their cherished cereal brands “GMO free.”

Other oat suppliers, such as Grain Millers, are taking a more precautionary step. Grain Millers, based in Minnessota, announced two months ago that they will no longer buy oats if the crop has been treated with glyphosate pre-harvest. Notably, they reported quality problems in glyphosate treated oats, such as reduced beta glucan content. Beta glucan is a soluble fiber which has been linked to a wide range of health benefits, such as improved blood lipid profiles, cardiovascular protection, and strengthening the immune system. In fact, the reason why food manufacturers are able to place a “Healthy Heart” claim on oat-based products is due to the beta glucan content.

A spokesperson for Grain Millers, Terry Tyson, was reported as stating that glyphosate interrupts the oat plant’s natural maturation process, which may decrease beta glucan content.  Tyson was quoted on Producer.com stating:

“Other factors can also adversely affect beta glucan levels, but our research demonstrates that premature application of glyphosate can have that effect.”

Clearly the issue with glyphosate extends beyond it simply reducing the levels of a beneficial plant compound. Glyphosate, even at exceedingly small concentration, poses a serious health risk. Because there is widespread focus on GMO labeling and not Roundup contamination labeling it is possible that people are being ‘gene-washed’ into buying non-GMO labeled products that still contain physiologically significant levels of Roundup herbicide.

Beyond “GMO-Free” Gene-Washing

The concern about glyphosate contamination of oats is highly instructive as we move towards mass acceptance of non-GMO labeling and/or certification initiatives which do not account for the widespread use of glyphosate in non-genetically modified products. Even USDA certified organic brands, such as Organic Valley and Horizon Organic Dairy, regularly use veterinary vaccines that contain genetically modified ingredients; an unethical practice we have termed “Organic-Washing.”

And so, because glyphosate is being used as an EPA approved, pre-harvest desiccant, it  is more likely to fly under the radar and not be identified as a highly toxic ‘pesticide’ contaminant, which it is. Nor do these certifications address other important food quality issues such as the presence of other pesticides in ostensibly non-GMO products or the common non-labeled use of irradiated ingredients.

I would urge consumers and health advocates to consider whether the term non-GMO is as relevant as it would first appear. For instance, labeling water “Gluten Free” is factually true, but a highly disingenuous form of consumer manipulation.  Consumers don’t just want to know their food does not contain transgenes from other species and their associated novel proteins. They want to know that their food is not contaminated with agrochemicals commonly used in GM agriculture. And right now the non-GMO labeled products on the market are not doing an effective job at providing assurance of that.

Please follow the global Non-GMO Coalition and the Organic Consumers Association to learn more about how we can empower ourselves further on these issue.


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.

Monsanto Bids To Take Over Syngenta – A Move To Assure A Pesticide-Saturated Future?

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By: Mercola.com |

Monsanto recently made a bid to take over European agrichemical giant Syngenta, the world’s largest pesticide producer. The $45 billion bid was rejected, but there’s still a chance for a merger between these two chemical technology giants.

Monsanto is reportedly considering raising the offer, and as noted by Mother Jones,1“combined, the two companies would form a singular agribusiness behemoth, a company that controls a third of both the globe’s seed and pesticides markets.”

As reported by Bloomberg,2 the possibility of Monsanto taking over Syngenta raises a number of concerns; a top one being loss of crop diversity.

“…[A] larger company would eventually mean fewer varieties of seeds available to farmers, say opponents such as [science policy analyst at the Center for Food Safety, Bill] Freese.

Another is that the combined company could spur increased use of herbicides by combining Syngenta’s stable of weed killers with Monsanto’s marketing heft and crop development expertise.

‘Two really big seed companies becoming one big seed company means even less choice for farmers,’ said Patty Lovera, assistant director of Food and Water Watch, a policy group in Washington.

‘From a public health and environmental perspective this is a complete disaster,’ said Bill Freese… ‘The more I look at this, the more it worries me and the more it needs to be opposed.’”

What’s in a Name?

According to one analyst, the takeover might boost Monsanto’s reputation, as Syngenta has been “less publicly enthusiastic” about genetically engineered (GE) crops.

Personally, I don’t foresee Monsanto ever being able to shed its toxic reputation, no matter how it tries to rebrand itself. It recently tried to do just that by declaring itself “sustainable agriculture company.”

But actions speak louder than mere words, and there’s nothing sustainable about Monsanto’s business. Taking on the Syngenta name would do nothing to change the obnoxious dichotomy between Monsanto’s words and deeds.

In fact, Mother Jones astutely notes that by trying to acquire Syngenta, Monsanto contradicts “years of rhetoric about how its ultimate goal with biotech is to wean farmers off agrichemicals.”

It’s quite clear Monsanto has no desire or plans to help farmers reduce the use of crop chemicals. On the contrary, it has and continues to push for the increased use of its flagship product, Roundup.

March Against Monsanto: Could We Finally See Mandatory Labelling?

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Last weekend the March Against Monsanto once again saw millions join in around the world to stand up for quality food supply. Monsanto, the world’s largest biotech company and producer of GMO foods, has been challenged by the public since GMOs first began hitting grocery stores. People are concerned about the safety of GMOs when it comes to their health and the environment, as our right and ability to produce natural foods in a natural way is being compromised without our permission.

One of the largest themes that came out of this year’s event was that activists are no longer against any one person or thing, instead they are with and for nature, for health, and for truth.

Toronto was among 428 other cities from 38 countries around the world that participated in this grassroots march, which took place on May 23rd. People chanting and holding signs marched in Toronto from Queens Park to Christy Pits, where the Farm 2 Fork festival then took place, showcasing all organic and vegetarian food as well as speakers and performances that engaged hundreds of people.

The Movement Demands Rights

This movement is demanding a basic right we should all have: to know what we are eating. Labelling food that contains GMOs is common practice in 64 countries, yet the US and Canada are not one of them. It’s troubling to see so many other developed nations recognizing the dangers while we turn a blind eye here in North America.

This topic is also shaping up to be a hot one in the upcoming election, as more and more people are paying much closer attention to the food they are putting into their bodies. Leading the charge on the political front within government is NDP MP Murray Rankin (Victoria). He put forward a motion in the House of Commons calling for the mandatory labelling of food products containing ingredients that have been genetically modified.

He has been working closely with teen activist Rachel Parent, who has been advocating for labelling for some time now. Perhaps this will be the year of change, as endorsements for the motion have been well received. Industry organizations, consumer advocacy groups, prominent environmentalists, and food retailers agree that people have a right to know if they are consuming GMOs.

If you’re passionate about the topic you can add your name to an online petition at  http://petition.ndp.ca/the-food-you-eat.

Need a bit more information about GMOs? Check out this link as a starting point for better understanding http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/queen-of-green/faqs/food/understanding-gmo/.

You can also check out our GMO archives.

Photo Credit: AP Photo / Kamil Zihnigolu

 by Joe Martino

I created Collective-Evolution 5 years ago and have been heavily at it since. I love inspiring others to find joy and make changes in their lives. Hands down the only other thing I am this passionate about is baseball.

Once Again, The World Marches

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They marched in Australia. They marched in Africa. They marched in Canada. They marched in Dublin and London and all across Europe.

Here in the U.S., we marched in Portland, Maine and Seattle, Wash., and in between, in cities large and small, coast to coast.

On May 23, 2015, the world marched against Monsanto.

Monsanto isn’t alone in its greed-driven quest to sell toxic chemicals, to monopolize the world’s seed supply, to put small farmers out of business, to keep consumers in the dark about the pesticide-laden GMOs in our food. Dow, Dupont, Syngenta, Bayer. They are all destroying our soil and our food—which will ultimately lead to the destruction of the very ecosystem that sustains us.

But Monsanto has become the face of everything that’s wrong with our food and farming system today. And for that matter, everything that’s wrong with our Democracy.

So we marched. In great numbers. All over the globe.

And we’ll do it again next year. And every year after, as long as it takes. Until we rebuild our soil, our farms, our forests, our food system, and our health.

A sampling of photos and articles from the 2015 global March against Monsanto

Image credit: www.march-against-monsanto.com

Only Three Countries Have Completely Banned GMOs

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Large chemical companies hanging on to International secretive Trade Agreements to impose their will on sovereign nation-States.

Despite massive opposition to GMOs worldwide, only three countries have truly said NO to GMO.

According to the Center for Food Safety, only Zambia, Benin and Serbia have official bans on genetically engineered food imports and cultivation.

A CFS report also shows that only a handful of countries have mandatory labeling of nearly all GMO foods. However, that mandatory labeling still leaves room for small amounts of genetically engineered contamination to take place.

In countries like Greenland, Russia, Kazakhstan, Italy, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Portugal and most of western Europe, GMO contamination is still tolerated at thresholds of between 0.9 and 1 percent.

A smaller number of countries that only includes Brazil, China, Ukraine, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Kenya, mandate the labeling of many GMO products, but allow a higher threshold of genetically engineered contamination. GMO traces can be present at rates higher than 1% without a defined maximum level of transgenic pollution.

Some countries in this category have laws that allow the contamination of at least 1 % of GMO material for the entire food item.

The next group includes countries that have mandatory labeling of only some food items but whose laws allow numerous exceptions while having no defined threshold. The countries in this group include India, Thailand, Vietnam, Tunisia, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Bolivia, Peru and Mali.

The countries above are also known for having vague implementation of mandatory GMO labeling as there are no provisions for enforcement of the policies that governments have created.

A great majority of countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America still have not established laws that regulate the cultivation or import of GMO products. This group includes Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Argentina, Costa Rica, The United States, Canada, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Cuba, Jamaica and many more.

In addition to not having established their own laws for cultivation and import of GMO products, the countries above follow American food standards, whose scientific base is dictated by large chemical corporations like Monsanto, Cargill, Dow Chemical, Syngenta and others.

The last group of countries does not even have a law that regulates the labeling of products with GMO ingredients, which makes it impossible for consumers to know what exactly they are eating. In fact, in most of the countries in this group, people have been eating genetically engineered foods for decades.

Except for the three countries cited at the beginning, all other nations are contaminated not only by GMO products, but also by large quantities of pesticides and herbicides used to support the plantation of GMO seeds all over their lands.

Most of the chemicals used in agriculture contain glyphosate, a product of Monsanto’s chemical laboratories that the World Health Organization has linked to cancer.

Large chemical companies hanging on to International Trade Agreements

Given the latest surge in opposition to GMO products and lack of labeling, the large chemical conglomerates have opted for imposing their rules through international trade agreements that have been negotiated and approved in secret.

Small victories at the local and regional levels have forced Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta and other chemical companies to write and mandate new rules when it comes to the plantation and labeling of GMOs.

The latest attempt to violate national sovereignty is the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and similar initiatives that are being sent to congresses around Europe and North America to change the way GMOs are treated at the national level.

Legislators who are on the side of the chemical companies are not only trying to pass legislation that grant a free pass to those companies, but also intend to give the TPP a fast track approval. Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam are some of the countries pushing the hardest in favor of banning any kind of restriction on GMOs.

The passage of this trade agreement will immediately impact between 800 million and 1.5 billion people, whose representatives have not only not read the contents of the proposal, but also refuse to hear the citizens in their rejection of GMOs.

The approval or rejection of the TPP and similar legislation in Europe and Asia will be perhaps the most important battle in the fight for food safety. It is very likely that the result of the negotiations will drive the policies of the majority of countries that are yet to craft GMO legislation and whose governments are very likely to accept TPP rules on GMOs and other trade policies.


Luis R. Miranda is an award-winning journalist and the founder and editor-in-chief at The Real Agenda. His career spans over 18 years and almost every form of news media. His articles include subjects such as environmentalism, Agenda 21, climate change, geopolitics, globalisation, health, vaccines, food safety, corporate control of governments, immigration and banking cartels, among others. Luis has worked as a news reporter, on-air personality for Live and Live-to-tape news programs. He has also worked as a script writer, producer and co-producer on broadcast news. Read more about Luis.

Hillary Clinton Endorses GMOs

 Hillary-Clinton-bio-convention-5

Independent studies show genetically modified foods and ingredients harm human health.

Reports indicate White House meals are organic. Michelle Obama’s book titled “American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America” indicate the first family’s commitment to organic (non-GMO) foods in their personal diet.

What they want the rest of America to eat is another story altogether – especially if Hillary is elected president in November 2016.

At a July 2014 biotech conference, she publicly endorsed GMOs saying “I stand in favor of using seeds and products that have a proven track record.”

She attacked GMO critics adding “(t)here is a big gap between what the facts are, and what the perceptions are.”

The Clinton and Bush II families ate organic foods. Walter Scheib was White House executive chef from 1994 – 2005.

He had “the professional challenge of fulfilling Hillary Clinton’s mandate of bringing contemporary American cuisine and nutritionally responsible food to the White House,” he said.

Nearly all foods used were gotten from local growers and suppliers. A small White House roof garden was used for produce grown without pesticides and fertilizers. Organic foods were prioritized.

First families continue getting wholesome pesticide/GMO-free foods while promoting frankenfoods hazardous to human health for Monsanto and other biotech giants.

In 2014, Organic Consumers Union associate director Katherine Paul said “(i)f Hillary Clinton intends to run for office in 2016, she should think carefully about supporting a food and farming system that is proven to be detrimental to public health.”

Her view are “no different than those of previous administrations, including the Bush (II), Clinton, (Bush I) and Reagan administrations, and they are taken straight from the biotech industry’s talking points.”

Hillary’s biotech/agribusiness ties surfaced in the 1980s as a Rose Law firm lawyer. Monsanto and Tyson Foods were clients.

As Secretary of State, her State Department heavily pressured other countries to use GMOs. Taxpayer money was used to promote them worldwide.

Big Lies were spread, hard truths suppressed. Industry talking points substituted for prioritizing food safety.

On May 17, the Washington Times said Hillary’s biotech/agribusiness ties earned her the nickname “Bride of Frankenfood.”

“In the GMO debate, Mrs. Clinton has consistently sided with the chemical companies,” WT said.

Monsanto gave the Clinton Foundation from half a million to one million dollars – Ag giant Dow Chemical from one to five million dollars, according to Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation disclosures.

Numerous other corporate giants contributed large sums. Expect them donating handsomely to Hillary’s presidential campaign.

She chose longtime Monsanto lobbyist Jerry Crawford to serve as advisor to her “Ready for Hillary” super PAC.

Earlier he worked for Bill Clinton, Al Gore and John Kerry. He’s involved in fighting small farmers judicially – to protect Monsanto’s seed interests.

Throughout her professional career, especially in politics and as first lady, Hillary has been on the wrong side of major issues mattering most – including healthcare, safe food and promoting war over peace and stability.

It’s not coincidental that she and Bill became super-rich after leaving the White House in 2001.

Financial disclosures show they earned over $163 million from 2001 – 2012 – including Hillary’s years as New York senator and Secretary of State.

In speeches delivered since January 2014, they earned more than $25 million. Hillary earned over $5 million from her 2014 memoir, “Hard Choices.”

During her White House years, she partnered in her husband’s high crimes. She shamelessly self-promoted throughout her Washington years and since leaving government.

She’s unabashedly hawkish. In 1999, she urged Bill to bomb Belgrade. Straightaway post-9/11,  she supported waging (phony) war on terror.

She supported Bush and Obama’s worst crimes. She endorses nuclear weapons use. She calls them peacekeeping deterrents.

She earlier threatened Iran with total annihilation if it considered attacking Israel.

She wanted Gaddafi toppled. She urged genocidal war to eliminate him. She publicly gloated saying “(w)e came. We saw. He died.”

She pushed for war on Syria to oust Assad. She outrageously compares Russia to Nazi Germany. She lies claiming Putin’s aims are revanchist.

Her foundation took Saudi and Ukrainian oligarch/former parliamentarian dirty money. Over a dozen foreign influence peddlers were large foundation donors – after Clinton became Secretary of State in 2009.

As a presidential aspirant, critics claim a potentially serious conflict of interest accepting millions of dollars from foreign governments she’d have direct dealings with if elected.

Federal law prohibits governments, corporations, individuals and groups from contributing to US political campaigns.

Funding Clinton’s foundation buys influence. She represents the worst of America’s dark side. America is already unfit to live in. Imagine how much worse with her as president.


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.

Think The Anti-GMO Movement Is Unscientific? Think Again

“Anyone that says, ‘Oh, we know that this is perfectly safe,’ I say is either unbelievably stupid, or deliberately lying. The reality is, we don’t know. The experiments simply haven’t been done, and now we have become the guinea pigs.”  ~ David Suzuki, geneticist

Now that the mainstream media is catching on to the public sentiment against GMO food, or at least against unlabeled GMO food, to the tune of millions of Americans who made it a point to drag themselves out of their homes to protest Monsanto last month (as well as at least 40 additional countries), inevitably the indictment will be made: “the anti-GMO movement is “unscientific.”” Is that really so?

What we do know is that the unintended consequences of the recombinant DNA process employed to create genetically engineering organisms are beyond the ability of present-day science to comprehend.  This is largely due to the post-Human Genome Project revelation that the holy grail of molecular biology, the overly-simplified ‘one gene > one trait’ model, is absolutely false.

Only recently, for instance, a previously unidentified viral gene fragment was discovered to be present in most of the GM crops commercialized to date; a finding which calls into question the safety of 54 commercialized crops already commercialized and being used in both food and feed. There could be hundreds of viral-gene altered proteins within these foods, whose complex interactions with DNA and toxicity have never been characterized.

Which statement therefore is more unscientific?

1)      GMO food safety cannot be proven

2)      GMO food harms cannot be proven

The scientific and logical answer would be that both GMO food safety and harms cannot be sufficiently proven; for reasons that include the fundamentally unethical nature of a human clinical trial that could result in poisoning the test subjects.

But, the weight of evidence actually indicates that statement #2 is the more unscientific one, as there is a growing body of scientific research produced by independent scientists indicating that GMO food harms can be clearly demonstrated, and through a simple process of extending feeding studies beyond the 90-day cut-off mark established by biotech corporations with a vested interest in hiding chronic adverse health effects. [see the latest long-term feeding study]

In other words, a failure of science to positively identify a problem does not mean that a problem does not exist. To err on the side of caution, is no less scientific than to err on the side of reckless abandon. When we fail to exercise the precautionary principle in our risk assessments, we are basically saying that GM foods are innocent until proven guilty. Juxtapose that to the burden of proof applied to nutritional or dietary supplements, which despite billions of doses taken in the US each year, have never been found to take anyone’s life. These are increasingly defined as guilty unless proven innocent through multi-million dollar clinical trials.

The problem, of  course, is that the burden of proving safety or toxicity falls on the exposed populations (Suzuki’s “guinea pigs), which only after many years of chronic exposure reveal the harms in their diseases, and then only vaguely in hard-to-prove post-marketing surveillance and epidemiological associations and linkages.

So, with this in mind, let’s bring up one dimension of the toxicity of GM foods and agriculture that cannot be thrown out as ‘unscientific,’ because it is clearly proven to be a health problem in the peer-reviewed and published literature: Roundup herbicide.

Glyphosate Document

free Roundup herbicide download

First, GreenMedInfo.com would like to announce that we are providing a free PDF download of all the research we have accumulated on the dangers of the glyphosate-based herbicide formulations, the most well-known being Monsanto’s patented glyphosate-based formulation known as Roundup. This document contains over 100 study abstracts from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) linking these herbicides to over 40 adverse health effects. Each study in the document is hyperlinked back to the original citation location on the NLM’s bibliographic citation database  MEDLINE. Download the document for free here: Glyphosate formulation research.

As the research in this document will clearly show (and the related open access research page on our website which also contains all the abstract) Roundup’s main ingredient glyphosate is now a ubiquitous poison, found in virtually all water, air and rainfall samples tested. It contaminates the groundwater, the source of most of our natural drinking water, and the soil to the point where it has suppressed and destroyed the microbial biodiversity in certain regions of the world, including probiotic organisms of major food importance. Moreover, it has been found to exhibit toxicity and carcinogenicity in cell studies at concentrations several orders of magnitude lower than found in agricultural applications (within the parts per trillion range).  When you calculate that several hundred millions of pounds are produced and used globally each year, this chemical is producing a health and environmental nightmare that is running completely out of control, with the future outlook looking even grimmer. With the discovery of  glyphosate-resistant weeds and insects, companies like Dow and Monsanto are planning on ‘stacking’ herbicide resistance GM traits, and producing plants that are resistant to a multitude of highly toxic agrichemicals, including the Agent Orange ingredient 2,4-D, guaranteeing the ratcheting up of a chemical arms race against the biosphere (and ourselves).

Another fundamental point that many miss with GM food safety is that not only is genetically engineered no longer food (food, by definition, are organisms that we have co-evolved with and consumed for hundreds of thousands, and sometimes millions of years), but in the case of the Bt gene-containing commercial crops are actually classified by the EPA as biopesticides.

But it gets worse. Roundup-ready foods have been engineered to survive the application of glyphosate-based herbicide poisoning. The toxic compounds in herbicides like Roundup, which include toxicity-amplifying surfactants like polyethoxylated tallow amine, end up in the tissue of the plants that we consume, or that our animals consume, bioaccumulating and amplifying their toxicity when we consume them as food.  One major metabolite of glyphosate called Aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), which accumulates in the plant tissues of all Roundup Ready GM plants, is itself highly toxic, but which has not fallen under stringent regulatory oversight.  Essentially, if you eat GM food, it is not just the transgenes and the unintended toxic proteins they produce that are the problem. Rather, the ‘food’ is guaranteed to contain residues of highly toxic chemicals.

While it can be argued that it is ‘unscientific’ to claim the transgenes and their proteins in GMO food cause harm, it is foolish to argue that the continual exposure to known biocides like Roundup residues in our food is safe. Those who make this argument are the ones who lack the guidance of good science, or use the term ‘science’ as a political weapon against those who would seek out and express the truth.

Next time the invective “Unscientific!” comes up in a discussion about GMO food safety, arm yourself with the research that already exists proving GM food is harmful to animal, human and environmental health. And please help us share this article and the PDF far and wide.

Looking to voice your opinion on GMOs? Join the upcoming Monsanto Video Revolt: http://monsantovideorevolt.com/


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.

Congressional DARK Act Legislation

 dark act 

On March 25, House Rep. Mike Pompeo (R. KS) introduced HR 1599: Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015.

It seeks “(t)o amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act with respect to food produced from, containing, or consisting of a bioengineered organisms, the labeling of natural foods, and for other purposes.”

Critics call the measure the Denying Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act. It blocks state and local efforts to require GMO labeling.

Current Vermont, Connecticut and Maine laws requiring labels on GMO foods and ingredients would be null and void.

The FDA would be prevented from establishing a national mandatory standard. Current agency policy lets companies voluntarily label GMO foods. No major company does so.

DARK Act legislation lets the industry-controlled FDA approve foods for sale under a system requiring companies merely to notify the agency about products “substantially equivalent” to non-GMOs.

Labeling genetically modified foods and ingredients “natural” is willful deception. DARK legislation lets federal regulators define the term to include harmful to health GMOs.

It would block states from prohibiting “natural” labeling for GMO foods.

The DARK Act’s latest version includes a section instructing the USDA to set legal rules for non-GMO labels – a provision able to establish weaker standards than already.

DARK Act legislation is a Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) initiative. It aims to keep consumers more uninformed about what they eat than already – including about the hazards of harmful to health GMO foods and ingredients.

GMA and its member companies lobby Congress intensively to block GMO labeling – plus efforts against labeling ballot initiatives in California, Washington, Oregon and Colorado.

Enacting HR 1599 would let food producers continue to use dangerous GMOs while denying consumers the right to know what they’re eating.

In February, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D. OR) introduced HR 913: Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act – “to require that genetically engineered food and foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients be labeled accordingly.”

Barbara Boxer (D. CA) introduced a comparable Senate version. They require labeling GMO foods and ingredients.

Given industry opposition, odds for passage are virtually nil. Mass consumer outrage is needed.

Over 90% of Americans support GMO labeling. Congress won’t mandate it without sustained popular pressure.

The  Institute for Responsible Technology lists 10 reasons to avoid GMOs.

1. Independent studies show they harm human health. They cause organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune system disorders, accelerated aging, infertility, and other longterm problems.

2. GMO soil contamination is permanent – threatening the health of future generations.

3. GMOs require increased herbicide use, increasing health hazards.

4. Gene mixing from unrelated species risk dangerous unpredictable side effects – “new toxins, allergens, carcinogens and nutritional deficiencies.”

5. Government oversight protecting consumers is virtually nonexistent. Industry executives control federal agencies. Rules they mandate serve bottom line interests, not consumer health and welfare.

6. Monsanto and other biotech giants promoted agent orange, PCBs and DDT safety. Now they’re using the same phony research claiming GMOs are safe to eat.

7. Independent research revealing GMO health hazards is suppressed. Scientists discovering serious problems are “attacked, gagged, fired, threatened and denied funding.”

8. GMOs cause irreparable environmental damage. They “harm birds, insects, amphibians, marine ecosystems and soil organisms. They reduce bio-diversity, pollute water resources and are unsustainable.”

9. GMOs don’t increase crop yields as fraudulently touted. In some cases, yields decline.

10. Avoiding GMOs is the only way to help eliminate them altogether. What industry can’t sell, it won’t produce.

You are what you eat. The phrase has been around a lot time. It hits home hard today given the harm to human health caused by GMOs and other toxins contaminating the typical Western diet.


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.

May 23: Break Out The Boots!

march against monsanto

It’s almost time to march. In case you’ve forgotten why the world marches against Monsanto every year, here are a few reminders.

Monsanto’s Agent Orange was responsible for 400,000 deaths and disfigurements and birth defects in 500,000 babies. The company paid out $180 million in a lawsuit, but never took responsibility.

Monsanto has spent (and is still spending) millions of dollars to defeat GMO labeling laws. When the state of Vermont finally passed one, Monsanto sued. The company is determined to drag out that court case, despite a recent ruling suggesting Monsanto doesn’t have much of a case.

Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, the most widely used herbicide in the world, was recently declared a probable carcinogen. The company’s response? Demand a retraction (a move that so far has been unsuccessful). There are so many more reasons we need to keep the pressure on this corporation. So while it might be tempting to think, “Another March against Monsanto? Been there, done that,” think again! This year’s march will be every bit, if not more important than last year’s. Join the Social Media March! Can’t take to the streets on May 23? A group of creative and passionate activists in Georgia have organized a month-long Social Media March against Monsanto. Find out how here. Organize a Day of Action against the DARK Act OCA is asking everyone, but especially everyone whose representatives serve on either the House Agriculture or Energy and Commerce Committees, to organize a Day of Action against HR 1599 (The DARK Act) during the week immediately following the May 23 March against Monsanto. March Against Monsanto events list here Organize a Day of Action against the DARK Act Create a media advisory for your local press Submit a letter to the editor about stopping the DARK Act here

Make Noise!

bullhorn

If you don’t take any other action this week, please take one of these.

Call your Congress member, especially if he or she is a member of the House Committee on Agriculture or the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Or, write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, post on your Congress member’s Facebook page, or organize a rally outside your Congress member’s home office on May 26, 27 or 28.

Do something. Make noise.

Because if we don’t, Congress could take away our right to know about GMOs in our food. Forever.

We’re talking about HR 1599, “The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act,” introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) Ironic. Pompeo’s bill proposes nothing if not inaccurate labeling of foods—by preventing you from ever learning which foods may contain GMOs.

Critics of the bill have dubbed it the DARK Act, aka “Deny Americans the Right-to-Know” Act. Because that’s exactly what it does.

HR 1599 now has 31 Republican and 11 Democrat co-sponsors, representing 28 states. With Vermont’s GMO labeling law set to take effect July 1, 2016, Monsanto and the Grocery Manufacturers Association are desperate to pass the DARK Act.

Our job is to stop them. But we need you.

Read the essay

Find out if your Congress member is on the Agriculture or Energy and Commerce Committee

Find out if your Congress member is a co-sponsor of the DARK Act Organize a Day of Action against the DARK Act

Is Scientific American Censoring GMO-Skeptical Comments?

censored
By: GM Watch |

Academic physician-educator banned from pointing out errors in pro-GMO article – Claire Robinson reports

Scientific American recently published a pro-GMO article by Michael Shermer, the publisher of Skeptic magazine.

The article contains outright false claims, such as the old GMO industry line, “Humans have been genetically modifying foods through selective breeding for more than 10,000 years.” In fact GM is radically different from natural breeding and entails different risks.

Shermer also writes enthusiastically of GM golden rice, which he says is engineered “to help Third World children with nutritional deficiencies that have caused millions to go blind”. But he completely ignores the fact that golden rice failed its field trials and has never been shown to be safe to eat or efficacious in treating vitamin A deficiency in the target malnourished populations.

In other words, GM golden rice still isn’t ready and perhaps never will be. Meanwhile non-GMO methods have successfully reduced vitamin A deficiency in the Philippines to the point where it’s no longer a severe public health concern.

Dr Martin Donohoe, Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Community Health at Portland State University, noticed many inaccurate and misleading claims in Shermer’s article. Dr Donohoe submitted a polite, factual, and well-referenced comment to Scientific American’s comments thread under the article (you can read his comment below).

Dr Donohoe began by correcting Shermer’s claims about the naturalness of GM: “Shermer confuses genetically modified (GM) crops (created through the insertion of a gene from another organism) with genetic modification through selective intra-species breeding based on genotype and phenotype.”

After correcting several other errors of fact on the part of Shermer, Dr Donohoe ended his comment with a mild-mannered suggestion to the self-proclaimed “skeptic” Shermer:

“I suggest Shermer be more skeptical of the claims of industry scientists, whose promulgations are (as the record in agriculture, medicine, and elsewhere shows), subject to bias, data manipulation, and over-promotion.”

However, and to his surprise, Dr Donohoe noticed that his comment was removed from the comments thread a couple of days after it was posted. He received an email from a nameless “Scientific American Webmaster”, who said, “Your comment has been deleted because it contains personal contact information, which is not permitted in our comments.”

Fine, Dr Donohoe thought. He removed his personal contact information and tried to re-submit his edited comment.

But he could not. His ability to comment had been disabled. Dr Donohoe emailed “Scientific American Webmaster”, politely asking why. He received a reply saying:

“Our Community Guidelines are clear about promotion and providing personal contact information in the comments, in that they are not permitted.  We sent the email pasted below to inform you of our Guidelines, however further posts from your account continued to violate our Guidelines.”

Since Dr Donohoe had deleted his personal information from his comment, that only left “promotion” as a valid reason for Scientific American to delete his comments.

We examined Dr Donohoe’s comment in light of Scientific American’s Guidelines forbidding “promotion”. The comment does not contain any “promotion”.

Moreover, as Dr Donohoe pointed out in an emailed response to “Scientific American Webmaster”: “I do not have any financial stake in nor ownership of any citation mentioned, except for the fact that I run my own website, free of charge (in fact I pay a company to host it), and it receives no funding; nor do I personally.” Even the sources he cites in his comment are publicly available free of charge.

In his email, Dr Donohoe asked once again “why my posts were removed and my account disabled”.

In due course he received a curt reply from “Scientific American Webmaster”, saying:

“This help desk has already provided our rules to you, as well as our reasons for removing your commentary. Continued emails to this help desk regarding the matter will force us to mark your email as spam. If other users’ comments are violating our Guidelines, they will also be removed.

“This help desk will not respond to any further emails from you regarding our comments forum and it’s [sic.] rules.”

Dr Donohoe summed up his experience with Scientific American for GMWatch: “My comments were removed, my ability to comment was disabled, and I was told not to contact the webmaster again. I knew Scientific American was pro-GMO, but my comment was straightforward and I find their response troubling and excessive.”

Given the lack of openness of Scientific American’s anonymous “Webmaster” about the true reasons for the apparent censorship, we can only speculate that they are trying to shield the GMO promoter Shermer from a cold shower of inconvenient facts.

NOTE: Dr Martin Donohoe’s website, Public Health & Social Justice, is here and is a great resource.

Re Paleo Diets, GMOs and Food Taboos, by Michael Shermer, April 2015, p78

– see http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/are-paleo-diets-more-natural-than-gmos/
Comment submitted by Dr Martin Donohoe to Scientific American’s comments thread

Shermer confuses genetically modified (GM) crops (created through the insertion of a gene from another organism) with genetic modification through selective intra-species breeding based on genotype and phenotype. He argues that were it not for GM crops, “the planet could only sustain a tiny fraction of its current population.”

In fact, there is no commercially available GM crop that is more drought-resistant, salt- or flood-tolerant, or which increases yields, in comparison with existing non-GM varieties. A large majority of GM crops are instead herbicide-resistant; most of the rest are engineered to produce an insecticidal protein.

Leaving aside voluminous peer-reviewed literature on the real and possible health consequences of GM crops, evolution (which presumably Shermer accepts) has led to resistance among the first wave of GM crops to the very herbicide they were engineered to resist, usually glyphosate (a probable human carcinogen).

Thus, new generations of crops have been designed for resistance to two or more pesticides, leading to increased pesticide use, which affects the health of farm laborers and consumers. Even so, GM crop yields are lower than those obtained through traditional breeding.

There is already enough food to provide over 2700 calories/day to every person.  Poverty is exacerbated by GM crops, which are unlikely to achieve the goal of feeding a hungry world.  They undermine food and nutritional security and food sovereignty and democracy, while benefiting a small number of multinational corporations (which have been cited repeatedly for scientific and financial malfeasance). Feeding everyone requires political and social will (e.g., one week of developed world farm subsidies is equal to the annual cost of food aid needed to eliminate world hunger, and almost ½ of American food goes to waste).

I suggest Shermer be more skeptical of the claims of industry scientists, whose promulgations are (as the record in agriculture, medicine, and elsewhere shows), subject to bias, data manipulation, and over-promotion.

Notes

1. US Dept. of Agriculture
2. Summarized in GMO Myths and Truths: http://gmomythsandtruths.earthopensource.org/, from Earth Open Sourcel; see also Union of Concerned Scientists (Food and Agriculture pages): http://www.ucsusa.org/, Consumers Union at http://consumersunion.org/, and Center for Food Safety at http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/, and GM Watch at http://www.gmwatch.org/.
3. Per the World Health Organization’s Cancer Agency
4. Pesticides will cause an estimated 1 million cancers in the current generation of Americans (National Academy of Sciences) and 1 million people died over a recent 6 year period due to pesticide exposure (World Health Organization)
5. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization
6. United Nation Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights
7. United Nations International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science, and Technology for Development

NYT Pro-GMO Propaganda

  nyt

Clear evidence shows GMO foods and ingredients are inherently unsafe. Reliable independent studies prove it.

Claims otherwise are Big Lies. Scientifically conducted animal studies show major human health risks from GMO products – including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, gastrointestinal abnormalities, and major organ changes.

Monsanto and other GMO producers spend millions of dollars burying hard evidence – including funding scientists, journalists and others on the take to lie for hard cash.

Americans don’t know what they’re eating. Labeling is prohibited.

Most foods and ingredients they ingest are GMO tainted – slow poison harming their health.

Congress lets these products go unregulated. Bipartisan support approves poisoning the nation’s food supply.

NYT editors are in lockstep with Monsanto and other biotech giants. They outrageously claim “no reliable evidence (proving) genetically modified foods now on the market pose any risk to consumers.”

They cite the corporate controlled FDA as its source. They claim “little reason to make labeling compulsory.”

Concerned consumers can buy organic products, they say. They ignore obvious issues.

Why hasn’t Washington mandated proved safe foods and ingredients? Why aren’t hazardous GMOs and dangerous chemicals banned.

America’s food supply isn’t safe to eat. Federal, state and local governments do nothing to change things.

Nor editors in the tank for money and power. Times editors gave feature op-ed space to Mark Lynas – an industry funded supporter through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – a known promoter of GMO products.

When asked the source of his funding, Lynas claims the Gates supported African Agricultural Technology Foundation provides it.

On April 24, he headlined his Times op-ed “How I Got Converted to GMO Foods.” He ignored how well paid he’s been to promote them.

He touted the alleged success of pest-resistant eggplant “supplied by the government-run Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute.”

He claimed productivity doubled. He ignored how it declines the longer GMO seeds are planted – or the toxic products they produce.

He claims farmers like Mohammed Rahman look forward to lifting his family out of poverty.

He nonsensically says he’s improving environmental conditions at the same time.

How one issue relates to the other. Activists want his GMO eggplant banned. It’s unsafe for human health. Not according to Lynas.

“I, too, was once in that activist camp,” he says. “I a lifelong environmentalist, I was opposed to genetically modified foods in the past.”

“Then I changed my mind. I decided I could no longer continue taking a pro-science position on on global warming and an anti-science position on GMOs.”He lied calling GMOs safe to human health.

“As someone who participated in the early anti-GMO movement, I feel I owe a debt to Mr. Rahman and other farmers in developing countries who could benefit from this technology,” he says.

“At Cornell, I am working to amplify the voices of farmers and scientists in a more informed conversation about what biotechnology can bring to food security and environmental protection.”

“We need this technology,” he insists. “We must not let the green movement stand in the way.”

It bears repeating. Independently conducted studies free from industry influence and pressure show GMO foods and ingredients harm human health.

The debate is over. It’s up everyone who eats to demand governments assure what they ingest is safe – that all harmful foods and ingredients are banned.


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.

Welcome To GMO Australia And Vaccine Australia

Recently the Lucky Country down under has become GMO Australia and Vaccine Australia, with decisions by the Government to favor Big Biotech and Big Pharma.

Recently the Lucky Country down under has become GMO Australia and Vaccine Australia, with decisions by the Government to favor Big Biotech and Big Pharma.

Welcome to GMO Australia! While you’re there, welcome to Vaccine Australia too!

Australia, a Western democratic nation with a very high standard of living, prides itself on being “the lucky country”, on giving people a “fair go” and above all being free. Those ideals, however, need to be seriously called into question after recent events down under which have shown the shocking extent to which Australia is being controlled and overrun by corporate interests, especially those pushing GMOs (Big Biotech companies such as Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow, DuPont, BASF and Bayer) and vaccines (Big Pharma companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson and Johnson, Merck, Pfizer, Eli Lily, Bayer, Novartis, Sanofi, Roche, etc.). Such events make you wonder whether Australia is going to become GMO Australia” or Vaccine Australia” and what is going to happen to the standard of living for Australian citizens, if the nation continues to go down a path of condoning genetic contamination and ushering in mandatory vaccination.

GMO Australia

The recent case between 2 Australian farmers in Western Australia has garnered international attention. Steve Marsh and Michael Baxter had been friends since their school days, and both went into farming. Baxter decided to grow GMO canola which, inevitably as GM crops do, blew into Marsh’s field, which was certified organic. The resulting genetic contamination of his crops meant that Marsh was stripped of his certification, and thus his livelihood and income. The case has caused a huge division in Australia, and recently, in an atrociously corporate decision, the judge ruled that Marsh was to pay Baxter for his losses.

Baxter, by the way, was being funded by Monsanto, who was forced to admit that it financially supported his legal defense. This gives you an idea of how desperate Big Biotech is to influence the laws and judges’ decisions all over the world. Monsanto is prepared to pay out big bucks to ensure GMO Australia exists.

Yes, it is sad that this case has divided the community so much, but the implications go beyond that. What this effectively means is that anyone not using GM seeds is vulnerable and susceptible to getting their organic crops contaminated – and then sued on top of it! Organic farmers don’t even want GM seeds in their fields. Since there is no real way to stop open-air pollination and genetic contamination, how is this not in effect a takeover of the world’s food supply by Big Biotech?

The right to grow your own food is an inherent human right. Food and seeds are part of the common wealth of humanity. Yet, as common sense as these 2 statements are, insane judges and greedy corporations have distorted these basic principles. Genetic contamination is the unavoidable consequence of GMOs – and probably their ultimate purpose too. It does not bode well for the future of food in Australia or on Earth.

Vaccine Australia

Vaccine Australia is in full swing. Australia made international headlines a few days ago with its decision to legally ban religious exemptions for vaccinations. In essence, the Australian Government is declaring that medically, it knows best when it comes to health and medicine, and legally, that it has the right to tell you what to put in your body, which means it thinks it owns your body. This is an absolute disgrace and an outrage. Let us remember that governments are created to protect the rights of their citizens; that is their sole purpose. They are only ever representative of The People, in whom the ultimate power in any society rests. Governments are servants, not masters; they are created by The People and, equally, can be dissolved by The People.
The Aussie Government is trying to boost the immunization rate, so in addition to removing religious exemptions, it is also bribing (“incentivizing”) doctors to inject more of their patients, as well as financially punishing people by tightening up welfare eligibility for parents who fail to vaccinate their children!
So in a sense medical fascism has come to Australia – before it came to the US. There have been various bills put forth in America to try to remove philosophical and religious exemptions from vaccines, such as in California, but at this stage Americans have still not been forced to submit to vaccines. Now, the Australian Government has beat the US to it in terms of medical fascism and is trying to claim it has the supposed authority to inject you with a syringe containing a virus grown in animal cells, and full of dangerous adjuvants – deadly carcinogens like mercury, aluminum, formaldehyde and MSG, and of harmful substances such as human diploid cells (aborted fetal tissue), antibiotics, allergens and GMOs.

Western Medicine Violating its Own Code of Ethics

Of course, the father of modern allopathic medicine, Hippocrates, would be rolling in his grave if he caught wind of this latest stunt by the Australian Government. Mandating that people be forced to accept certain medications, even if they were the healthiest medicine on Earth with zero side effects, goes against the very code of ethics that doctors have sworn to uphold, as well as the Hippocratic oath, which urges doctors to ensure they don’t hurt the patient. Western medicine is supposed to require informed consent; now Australia is eliminating any requirement for consent, informed or not.
Here is an excerpt from the Hippocratic Oath:
“With regard to healing the sick, I will devise and order for them the best diet, according to my judgment and means; and I will take care that they suffer no hurt or damage. Nor shall any man’s entreaty prevail upon me to administer poison to anyone; neither will I counsel any man to do so.”
Here is an excerpt from the Australian Medical Association’s Code of Ethics:
“Approach health care as a collaboration between doctor and patient.”
How exactly is mandatory vaccination a “collaboration”?

Australia Also Eliminating Right to Free Speech Around Vaccines

All this goes to show that Big Pharma must have a mighty tight grip on the reins of power in Canberra. It was only a few months ago that Dr. Sherri Tenpenny had her travel visa denied by the Australian authorities on flimsy grounds. Tenpenny, a world acclaimed expert on the dangers of vaccines, was planning to give a few presentations on the topic. In an appalling act of fear, the Australian Government decided that it no longer cared about the inherent human right to free speech, and decided to shut Tenpenny out, lest her “dangerous” message of truth about vaccines reach the ears of too many Australians, who, armed with a bit more knowledge, might just reject the whole notion that vaccination is a good idea. Welcome to Vaccine Australia.

Australia: Forging Ahead with the New World Order?

In addition to becoming Vaccine Australia and GMO Australia, the island nation has also been accelerating the NWO (New World Order) agenda in other ways, such as increasing domestic surveillance and suppressing basic human rights to privacy – all in the name of fighting terrorism. In September 2014, the Abbott Government passed a draconian piece of anti-terror legislation which capitalized on people’s fears after the “Sydney Siege”. Yes, Australia is well and truly on the bandwagon of governments that exploit the fake “War on Terror” to grab more control over their populace. According to the SMH, this new bill allows Aussie spies to “monitor the entire Australian internet with just one warrant”. It also means that “journalists and whistleblowers will face up to 10 years’ jail for disclosing classified information.”

North or South, East or West: The Conspiracy is Unfolding Worldwide

At this stage in the game, it’s an illusion to think you can outrun the global conspiracy or hide from the NWO. It’s being rolled out on a planetary scale, and although the US is playing a leading role in helping the elite Controllers form a Global Fascist Dictatorship, other aspects of their nefarious agenda are being put into place in other nations. Australia is a testing ground for some of the agenda the Controllers simply can’t get pushed yet in places like the US or Britain. Remember gun control in Australia? It was a piece of cake to goad well-intentioned Australians into handing over their guns (especially with another false flag mind controlled shooting [Martin Bryant]), and now the population at large is disarmed, making any Governmental crackdown like martial law much easier. It has also resulted in more crime; as GunFacts.info states, “Australia and England, which have virtually banned gun ownership, have the highest rates of robbery, sexual assault, and assault with force of the top 17 industrialized countries.”

A Message to Australians: Wake Up While You Still Can

I’ll finish by saying this. I was born in Australia, grew up in Australia and still love the place from afar. Australians are great people, warm-hearted, jovial, honest and friendly. However, they can tend to be less politically motivated and involved than others. If that tendency is true, it’s going to have to change – and change fast – if they want to retain whatever freedom they have left in the face of an unscrupulous Government determined to take over control of every aspect of Australian life. It’s going to require awareness and enlightened, non-violent, effective action to roll back GMO Australia and Vaccine Australia, and keep Australia free.

Sources:

http://www.naturalblaze.com/2015/04/monsanto-admits-paying-for-gmo-farmers.html

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/apr/19/vaccination-crackdown-australia-announces-end-to-religious-exemptions

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/apr/12/parents-who-refuse-to-vaccinate-children-to-be-denied-childcare-rebates-reports

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippocratic_Oath

http://www.amsws.org.au/media/docs/images/ama_code_of_ethics.pdf

http://www.naturalnews.com/048278_vaccine_mafia_Australia_Dr_Sherri_Tenpenny.html

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/consumer-security/terror-laws-clear-senate-enabling-entire-australian-web-to-be-monitored-and-whistleblowers-to-be-jailed-20140925-10m8ih.html

http://www.gunfacts.info/gun-control-myths/guns-in-other-countries/


Makia Freeman is the editor of The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at ToolsForFreedom.com, writing on many aspects of the global conspiracy, from vaccines to Zionism to false flag operations and more, and also including info on natural health, sovereignty and higher consciousness.

Why You Should Grow Heirloom Seeds

Healthy Seeds
By: Sam Cho | Organic Lesson –

When I bought seeds for the first time, I did not know what the difference was between heirloom, hybrid, and GMO. If you are in the same boat as I used to be then check out the infographic below to learn what the main differences are. Feel free to use the embed code below if you want to share it on your website or blog.

heirloom-seeds-why-grow-infographic
Source: Organic Lesson

What is Heirloom?

Heirloom seeds come from open-pollinated plants that pass on similar characteristics and traits from the parent plant to the child plant. There is no concrete definition that every gardener uses to define heirloom plants. Some people state that heirloom plants are those that were introduced before 1951, while others state that heirloom varieties are those introduced before the 1920s. In general, you should consider heirlooms to be seeds that are possible to regrow and pass on from one generation to the next.

One important thing to note for heirloom plants is whether they are organic or non-organic. In most cases, heirloom plants are organic because they are generally only used by small-scale gardeners who do not use pesticide or other harmful chemicals. However, there may be minor cases when chemicals do get involved since heirloom plants do not always have a similar level of innate protection that hybrid and GMO plants provide against diseases and pests. Remember, heirloom refers to the heritage of a plant, while organic refers to a growing practice. They are two different things.

Heirloom vs. Hybrid vs. GMO

There are some distinct differences that one should be aware of when it comes to heirloom, hybrid, and GMO plants. First, heirloom plants are the only ones that breed true. As mentioned earlier, this means the same characteristics are passed on from generation to generation. The same cannot be said for hybrid and GMO. Hybrid plants are produced when different varieties of plants are cross-pollinated, which can happen with or without human intervention. Because there are different varieties of plants involved, it can’t be guaranteed that the offspring of hybrid plants produces identical traits as the parent plant.

Both heirloom and hybrid plants can be viewed as natural occurrences. GMO plants, on the other hand, can only be produced using unnatural methods such as gene splicing. Scientists essentially modify a seed’s DNA to ensure the resulting plant produces the desired traits and characteristics. A common example of a GMO plant is Bt-Corn.

Why Grow Heirloom Seeds

If hybrid and GMO seeds grow plants with useful traits, why should you grow heirloom plants instead? First, heirlooms are generally known to produce better taste and flavor. Heirloom fruits and vegetables are also known to be more nutritious. Last but not least, they are less expensive over the long haul. Heirloom plants may require a bit more care than their counterparts but the effort you put in will be worth it! Don’t forget that you would also be playing an important part in preserving the genetic diversity of plants by growing heirloom seeds. After all, how can hybrid seeds be produced without the existence of the original seeds?

Where to Find Heirloom Seeds

With the demand for heirloom seeds increasing, you will find that it isn’t as difficult as before to obtain them. There are certain places you might want to check out to get seeds locally. These places include: local farms, seed exchanges, and botanical gardens. How can you be sure that the seeds you are getting definitely came from heirloom plants? One thing you might want to look out for is the Safe Seed Pledge. Although it isn’t regulated, the Safe Seed Pledge is still a good sign that the company is only providing non-GMO products. Most of the well-known seed companies have already signed up for this pledge so look out for it on the seed company websites.