Monthly Archives: July 2010

Modified Corn Seeds Sow Doubts

ENVIRONMENT REPORTER

Next spring, farmers in Canada will be able to sow one of the most complicated genetically engineered plants ever designed, a futuristic type of corn containing eight foreign genes.

With so much crammed into one seed, the modified corn will be able to confer multiple benefits, such as resistance to corn borers and rootworms, two caterpillar-like pests that infest the valuable grain crop, as well as withstanding applications of glyphosate, a weed killer better known by its commercial name, Roundup.

But a controversy has arisen over the new seeds, which were approved for use last month by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency: Health Canada hasn’t assessed their safety.

The health agency said in response to questions from The Globe and Mail that it didn’t have to do so, because it is relying on the two companies making the seeds, agriculture giants Monsanto Co. and Dow AgroSciences LLC, to flag any safety concerns. But the companies haven’t tested the seeds either, because they say they aren’t required to.

The companies have checked the safety of each of the eight genes one at a time in individual corn plants, but haven’t done so when they combined the foreign matter together in one seed, says Trish Jordan, a spokesperson for Monsanto Canada Inc.

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Nature’s Path is first in Canada to obtain Non-GMO Certification

Nature’s Path, a Richmond BC based privately owned company is the first in Canada to be granted the rights to label their products with the Non-GMO seals. Nature’s Path is owned by President and founder Arran Stephens.

Canada requires that any product labeled Non-GMO cannot claim 100% avoidance of GMO’s in their foods. They must meet the EU standards (less than 9/10ths of 1 percent). This is the first time a Non GMO label has existed in Canada.

Canada will soon see many products out with the Non-GMO labels soon. The US already has the label on many brands.

What is the Non-GMO label?

Three years ago a group of natural food retailers in North America joined forces to create the Non GMO Project, in an effort to establish Non-GMO labeling. The non-profit includes executives from Whole Foods, Big Carrot, Nature’s Path’s Dag Falck, John Fagan of Global ID Group, Mark Squire of Good Earth, George Sieman of Organic Valley Family Farms, and Megan Westgate, to name a few.

How to find products that do not contain GMO ingredients

While we have a list of some of the better non GMO products on this blog, many sites, such as Greenpeace have Greenpeace’s Non GMO Shoppers Guide and what is acceptable.  Another way to find out is to call each company whose products you use and ask. Most have a toll free number listed on their sites.

Why should you care?

This blog details many of the arguments against GMO’s. There are 3 main issues surrounding this technology: health, environment and corporate control of your food supply. Please take the time to educate yourself on these issues. And next time you shop, look for Nature’s Path and the Non-GMO label on their products.

GMO Workshop Thursday July 22 2010

This is a GMO Workshop for active Activists! Here’s an opportunity to learn, take action and meet like-minded people. Join us this Thursday!

GMO Activist Training Online

GMO Speaker Training Webinar with Jeffrey Smith

5 sessions from July 13 – September 8

In case you missed the recent email (and some apparently did not receive it), we’re offering for the first time GMO Speaker Training with Jeffrey Smith. This webinar will be held over in five 90-minute sessions every other week from July 13 – September 8.

NOTE: If you cannot attend the first meeting (or any other scheduled webinar), you will have the opportunity to view the recorded session online.

Participants will be trained by IRT’s director, renowned author and filmmaker Jeffrey M. Smith, on how to speak about GMOs—with special emphasis on the health risks. You’ll also learn how to organize effective activism to help achieve the tipping point of consumer rejection, forcing genetically modified organisms out of our food supply. Learn:

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Genetically Modified Monkeys: Where will it end?

April: I’ve compiled a few articles on GMO monkeys. Once again, knowledge is way ahead of wisdom, and the long term consequences could be…?
I understand how animals can further science, but at this point in our evolution, I also know that these companies have no intention of finding cures. These companies are in the business of research: not the business of cures.

SC issues show cause over release of monkeys

June 20, 2010

KATHMANDU, June 20: The Supreme Court on Sunday issued a show cause notice to the government over the release of rhesus monkeys from Lele Research Center to Shivapuri National Park.

As per the order, the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation and Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation will have to furnish clarification over the government´s decision.

A Public Interest Litigation was filed by the Law Students Society of Nepal against the release of genetically modified primates into the park on Friday.

The applicants have argued that the release of 263 monkeys is in violation of national and international environmental laws and principles regarding biological diversity conservation. They have also said that the release violates people´s constitutional right to safe environment and health.

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Seeds of Doubt for Monsanto Soybeans’ Yields

7/2/2010 8:10 AM By John O’Brien -Statehouse Bureau

CHARLESTONWest Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw is worried farmers are spending more for soybeans that are producing identical returns as less expensive ones.

McGraw wrote Monsanto Co. vice president David Snively last week to express his concern with promotions geared to encourage farmers to switch from soybeans with the Roundup Ready trait to those with the Roundup Ready 2 trait.

He says, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2009’s soybean output of 41 bushels per acre is the same as the previous year.

“Although we are aware that Monsanto’s initial commercial Roundup Ready 2 Yield sales for 2009 were not a full scale rollout, we would have expected to see some increased yield for West Virginia as a result of your company’s representation to farmers,” McGraw wrote.

“I am aware that other factors contribute to yields varying from year to year, such as weather or soil conditions, but virtually all of the studies conducted by major universities and independent testing companies corroborate West Virginia’s experience.”

Monsanto advertised increased yields of 7 percent-11 percent. McGraw said he welcomes a meeting with the company before litigation.

Farmers Expected To Return To Harsh Herbicides, Chemicals In Battle Against Roundup Resistant Weeds

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — When the weed killer Roundup was introduced in the 1970s, it proved it could kill nearly any plant while still being safer than many other herbicides, and it allowed farmers to give up harsher chemicals and reduce tilling that can contribute to erosion.

But 34 years later, a few sturdy species of weed resistant to Roundup have evolved, forcing farmers to return to some of the less environmentally safe practices they abandoned decades ago.

The situation is the worst in the South, where some farmers now walk fields with hoes, killing weeds in a way their great-grandfathers were happy to leave behind. And the problem is spreading quickly across the Corn Belt and beyond, with Roundup now proving unreliable in killing at least 10 weed species in at least 22 states. Some species, like Palmer amaranth in Arkansas and water hemp and marestail in Illinois, grow fast and big, producing tens of thousands of seeds.

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