Monthly Archives: March 2010

Deconstructing Dinner audio on GE Alfalfa and Wheat

Deconstructing Dinner is a web radio show from Nelson BC, a GE free zone.

This audio has over an hour of debate on Alex Atamanenko’s Bill C-474 that amends the seed act. There needs to be a mechanism in place to protect them from GE contamination of Non-GE crops and shipments. Alfalfa and wheat are the two main crops in question: what will happen to organic crops once GE is allowed in to Canada?

Deconstructing Dinner ‘deconstructs’ the debate as it goes along. Good reference for anyone wanting better information on this Bill.

How I grow food every year – Nutrigenomics

I ran across this article that talked about a new revolutionary way to eat that prevents disease and is tailored specifically for you. It’s called Nutrigenomics, and begins with garden grown vegetables that you ‘encode’. This is NOT a GMO project.

I have been doing this for years, so to hear it’s “new” was rather humorous. Here’s how it works:

You take the seeds you want to plant and eat, and place them under your tongue for at least 9 minutes. This allows the plant to “assume” your particular needs for your body. Plants can heal us if we let them. I use heritage and heirloom seeds only, from sources I trust (they are on this site). I then take water that I have washed my hands and feet with, and water those new seeds with it. Your hands and feet shed toxins and garbage from your system daily. The plants take this new data and create the foods you need to fix the problems in your own body.

This year we have added friends seeds to our personal garden. It will be interesting to see how their foods work for them.

Here is the article on Nutrigenomics.

Mainstream Media “Vanity Fair” blasts Monsanto

April: In a very long and comprehensive report, Vanity Fair has blasted Monsanto and “friends”. In this lengthy article you will get a wide scope of the issues and history behind the giant. Don’t be alarmed at the end: we can take this company out in less than a year if only 10% of us pull together (see at article end).

Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear

Monsanto already dominates America’s food chain with its genetically modified seeds. Now it has targeted milk production. Just as frightening as the corporation’s tactics–ruthless legal battles against small farmers–is its decades-long history of toxic contamination.

Gary Rinehart clearly remembers the summer day in 2002 when the stranger walked in and issued his threat. Rinehart was behind the counter of the Square Deal, his “old-time country store,” as he calls it, on the fading town square of Eagleville, Missouri, a tiny farm community 100 miles north of Kansas City.

The Square Deal is a fixture in Eagleville, a place where farmers and townspeople can go for lightbulbs, greeting cards, hunting gear, ice cream, aspirin, and dozens of other small items without having to drive to a big-box store in Bethany, the county seat, 15 miles down Interstate 35.

Everyone knows Rinehart, who was born and raised in the area and runs one of Eagleville’s few surviving businesses. The stranger came up to the counter and asked for him by name.

“Well, that’s me,” said Rinehart.

As Rinehart would recall, the man began verbally attacking him, saying he had proof that Rinehart had planted Monsanto’s genetically modified (G.M.) soybeans in violation of the company’s patent. Better come clean and settle with Monsanto, Rinehart says the man told him—or face the consequences.

Rinehart was incredulous, listening to the words as puzzled customers and employees looked on. Like many others in rural America, Rinehart knew of Monsanto’s fierce reputation for enforcing its patents and suing anyone who allegedly violated them. But Rinehart wasn’t a farmer. He wasn’t a seed dealer. He hadn’t planted any seeds or sold any seeds. He owned a small—a really small—country store in a town of 350 people. He was angry that somebody could just barge into the store and embarrass him in front of everyone. “It made me and my business look bad,” he says. Rinehart says he told the intruder, “You got the wrong guy.”

When the stranger persisted, Rinehart showed him the door. On the way out the man kept making threats. Rinehart says he can’t remember the exact words, but they were to the effect of: “Monsanto is big. You can’t win. We will get you. You will pay.”

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Alex Atamanenko’s Private Member Bills on GMO and Farmer Protection

Alex Atamanenko is an MP in BC Southern Interior, and an NDP critic for Agriculture and Agri-Food. Below are his words and the bills he has put forward:

Thank you for your letter in which you support my Private Members Bill (PMB), C-474 – An Act respecting seeds regulations (analysis of potential harm). This Bill calls for an amendment to the seeds regulations ‘to require that an analysis of potential harm to export markets be conducted before the sale of any new genetically engineered (GE) seeds are permitted.’

The need for such a law is clear and I am pleased to finally have the opportunity to bring forward a Bill in the House of Commons that will protect farmers from the severe financial consequences that can arise as a result of unwanted GE contamination in their export crops. The type of economic devastations that recently occurred in our flax industry because of GE contamination must not be allowed to happen again, for example to Canada’s wheat and alfalfa farmers.
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Researchers banned from studying Genetically Modified seeds

April: This is an important issue around GM foods and crops. An independent researcher (such as myself) cannot study Monsanto products. If you want to do an environmental study, you have to sign a contract first, and Monsanto has to approve the study before it’s published. There is no “freedom of study”.

How many of you out there knew this? Does this affect your impression of GM foods?

The following article sheds some light on this.

Under wraps
NATURE BIOTECHNOLOGY, VOLUME 27, NUMBER 10, October 2009
http://www.emilywaltz.com/Biotech_crop_research_restrictions_Oct_2009.pdf

*Are the crop industry’s strong-arm tactics and close-fisted attitude to sharing seeds holding back independent research and undermining public acceptance of transgenic crops? Emily Waltz investigates.

The increasingly fractious relationship between public sector researchers and the biotech seed industry has come into the spotlight in recent months. In July, several leading seed companies met with a group of entomologists, who earlier in the year had lodged a public complaint with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over restricted access to materials. In a letter to the EPA, the 26 public sector scientists complained that crop developers are curbing their rights to study commercial biotech crops. “No truly independent research can be legally conducted on many critical questions involving these crops [because of company-imposed restrictions],” they wrote.

In turn, the seed companies have expressed surprise at the outcry, claiming the issue is being overblown. And even though the July meeting, organized by the American Seed Trade Association in Alexandria, Virginia, did result in the writing of a set of principles for carrying out this research, the seed companies are under no compunction to follow them. “From the researchers’ perspective, the key for this meeting was opening up communication to discuss the problem,” says Ken Ostlie, an entomologist at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, who signed the complaint. “It will be interesting to see how companies implement the principles they agreed upon.”

What is clear is that the seed industry is perceived as highly secretive and reluctant to share its products with scientists. This is fueling the view that companies have something to hide.

Who’s in control?

It’s no secret that the seed industry has the power to shape the information available on biotech crops, referred to variously as genetically engineered or genetically modified (GM) crops. Commercial entities developed nearly all of the crops on the US market, and their ownership of the proprietary technology allows them to decide who studies the crops and how. “Industry is completely driving the bus,” says Christian Krupke, an entomologist at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.
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Ex-Pfizer scientist exposed to Genetically Engineered virus

Ex-Pfizer Worker Cites Genetically Engineered Virus In Lawsuit Over Firing

Medical experts will be watching closely Monday when a scientist who says she has been intermittently paralyzed by a virus designed at the Pfizer laboratory where she worked in Groton opens a much anticipated trial that could raise questions about safety practices in the dynamic field of genetic engineering.

Organizations involved in workplace safety and responsible genetic research already have seized on the federal lawsuit by molecular biologist Becky McClain as an example of what they claim is evidence that risks caused by cutting-edge genetic manipulation have outstripped more slowly evolving government regulation of laboratories.
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Bill C-474 Results and Action Updates

Bill C-474 Results and Action Updates: Your action made a difference! – Lucy Sharratt – CBAN Coordinator

Thank you and congratulations to everyone who wrote letters to your  MPs! Bill C-474 lives another day, thanks to you!

Your actions made sure this Bill was not defeated yesterday, instead
it will to be debated one more time before you MP votes! This vote
could take place in April, or sooner.

What happened and what does it mean?

Last night, MPs debated Bill C-474 for one hour. Support for the Bill
was not strong enough to fast-track the Bill to debate in the
Agriculture Committee but the debate in the House of Commons will
continue – this is because the Liberal Party essentially spoke in
opposition to the Bill but left the door open to more debate. There
will be another hour of debate in April (or sooner) followed by a vote
on the Bill. If MPs vote for the Bill it will go to the Agriculture
Committee for study and amendments. If MPs vote against the Bill, the
Bill dies.  You can see CBAN’s unofficial notes from the debate at http://www.cban.ca/Take-Action/Act-Now/Bill-C-474-Debate-and-Results-Blog
You will see that the Liberal Party based their position on
incorrect information about GE flax and how the contamination crisis
happened. (We will send more info soon)

Why is Bill C-474 still in “second reading”?:  The Liberal Party is
not ready to commit enough support to Bill C-474. (Your action over
the next weeks could convince them.)
The Conservative Party is opposed to Bill C-474 – Conservative MP
David Anderson (Saskatchewan) called the Bill “anti-farmer” – he is
Assistant Agriculture Critic and is Parliamentary Secretary to the
Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board.

You are encouraged to write your MP a second time to tell them you
were following the debate – CBAN will provide more information soon.

Your actions will continue to make a difference.  Here are the great
actions you have taken so far! :
2193 letters were sent to MPs through the CBAN website!
620 signatures were delivered to the constituency office of Michael
Ignatieff, Leader of the Official Opposition, in Toronto.
154 signatures on petitions were presented to the office of Larry
Miller Conservative MP and Chair of the Agriculture Committee – Larry
Miller spoke against the Bill but took a more reasoned approach than
MP David Anderson who said that the Bill was “anti-farmer”
90 signatures were sent to Hon. John Duncan, Conservative MP Vancouver
Island North.
92 signatures were presented to Conservative Ontario MP Pierre
Poilievre (Nepean-Carleton), Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime
Minister
150 signatures went to the constituency office of Russ Hiebert,
Conservative MP in BC (South Surrey-White Rock).
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