Category Archives: Biotech Companies

The Greed Revolution

ETC Group
News Release
18 January 2012
www.etcgroup.org

Big Agribusiness Influence Threatens to Override Public Interest in Greed Revolution

A new 30-page report that documents the growing influence of agribusiness on the multilateral food system and the lack of transparency in research funding has been released today by the international civil society organization ETC Group. The Greed Revolution: Mega Foundations, Agribusiness Muscle In On Public Goods presents three case studies – one involving the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and two involving CGIAR Centers (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) – which point to a dangerous trend that will worsen rather than solve the problem of global hunger. The report details the involvement of, among others, Nestlé, Heineken, Monsanto, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Syngenta Foundation. Continue reading

Good news: court to review safety of Roundup

Court demands Health Canada re-examine pesticide

The Canadian Press

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2011/11/22/pesticide-review-roundup.html

A court has ordered Health Canada to reconsider its decision not to review the effects of a popular herbicide, a ruling that some say will strengthen the public’s hand in forcing the government to answer environmental concerns.

“We put a crack in the door,” said Josette Wier, who took the government to court after a forestry company began spraying Roundup from airplanes near her Smithers, B.C., home. “That door was locked — it was impossible.” Continue reading

Biotech giants promoting dangerous pesticides?

http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/1122020/monsanto_bayer_and_dow_face_trial_for_systematic_human_rights_abuses.htmlThe world’s major agrochemical companies, Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, Syngenta, DuPont and BASF, will face a public tribunal in early December accused of systematic human rights violations. Continue reading

Must view – global citizens report on GMOs

According to a just released report with input from 20 citizens’ organizations, GMOs are bad news – as reported in the London Guardian: “Genetic engineering has failed to increase the yield of any food crop but has vastly increased the use of chemicals and the growth of “superweeds”, according to a report by 20 Indian, south-east Asian, African and Latin American food and conservation groups representing millions of people.” You can read the Guardian article and download the report at http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/oct/19/gm-crops-insecurity-superweeds-pesticides?newsfeed=true

Beekeepers win major court victory against Monsanto in Europe

A court ruling this week could have major implications for the planting of GE crops in Europe, and for Canadian exports of honey. See the article and link below.

EU Court Puts Limits on Modified Honey

Associated Press, September 6 2011

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=14456268 Continue reading

Monsanto contamination takes out Organic Farm again

Genetically Modified Salmon: Update

April: CBAN and many others have been working around the clock to compile a list of signatories that oppose GM Salmon. Below is the press release opposing the fish.

You can also take action right now – CBAN makes it easy for you on their website.

Thank you to everyone that is helping us to move forward and protect our wild salmon stocks and our health!

PRESS RELEASE
Groups Oppose Genetically Engineered Salmon: Demand Immediate Disclosure from Environment Canada

For Immediate Release

Ottawa, Monday, December 6, 2010 – Sixty fisheries and oceans
conservation, environmental and social justice groups revealed today
that Environment Canada refuses to confirm or deny if the department
has already started a secret 120-day risk assessment to approve
genetically engineered (GE) salmon egg production on Prince Edward
Island. The groups today also released a joint statement of
“categorical objection” to the raising of GE fish and fish eggs (1).

Documents released in September by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revealed that the US company AquaBounty is seeking approval to sell its GE salmon into the US food market based on a plan to produce all its GE salmon eggs on Prince Edward Island (PEI) and then ship the eggs to Panama for grow out and processing. Following this revelation, groups made inquiries to Environment Canada but were told that any information about a possible risk assessment is confidential. The groups are calling for full disclosure and demanding that Environment Canada cease any approval process that may already be underway.

Continue reading

Who Is To Blame For The Superweed Invasion?

From Non-GMO’s guest blogger Deniza Gertsberg, author of the GMO Journal.

A fundamental change occurred when the first genetically engineered crops went commercial in 1996. Farmers who planted GE crops that were altered to withstand continued application of herbicide glyphosate began to rely on a single system for weed management — the use of glyphosate, sold under brand name Roundup and manufactured by Monsanto.   As Dr. David A. Mortensen of the Pennsylvania State University noted in his testimony before the Domestic Policy Subcommittee of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee on July 28, 2010, “[i]n evolutionary terms, widespread and persistent glyphosate use without diversity in weed control practices is a strong selection pressure for weeds able to survive glyphosate.” (”Mortensen Testimony”). In other words, get ready for the invasion of superweeds.

Continue reading

West Virginia sues Monsanto over soybean probe

St. Louis Business Journal, USA, Kelsey Volkmann

West Virginia’s attorney general sued Monsanto on Monday, saying the agritech giant refuses to cooperate with his office’s investigation of soybeans genetically modified to withstand the company’s Roundup weedkiller.

Attorney General Darrell McGraw’s suit asks the court to prohibit Monsanto from selling any of its products in West Virginia until it fully complies with the subpoena.

Continue reading

GM Mosquito Wild Release Takes Campaigners by Surprise

Written by Katherine Nightingale
Thursday, 18 November 2010 21:2

Experts in the safety of genetically modified (GM) organisms have expressed concern over the release of GM mosquitoes into the wild on the Cayman Islands, which was publicized internationally only last month — a year after their initial release.

The trial of the OX513A strain of the dengue-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito, developed by UK biotechnology company Oxitec, was carried out on Grand Cayman island by the Cayman Islands’ Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MRCU) in 2009, followed by a bigger release between May and October this year. Together they represent the first known release of GM mosquitoes anywhere in the world.

Continue reading

Kelowna protests GMO foods and crops

April: Many thanks to Global Media for getting this out: Heidi Osterman, a Kelowna Nutritionist, came to Vancouver in the early spring to our big GMO Workshop and got very inspired. She educated herself on the perils of GMO and is now educating others to understand what they eat and why they should care. I am thrilled at the number of protesters that showed up to this rally: people are waking up and getting the message. Thanks Heidi, you go girl!! And thanks to NDP’s Alex Atamanenko for bringing Bill C-474 forward: let’s all get together and support this bill for Canada!

Photo and original article link.

Protesters battling against government support for genetically modified foods gathered in downtown Kelowna for a rally Sunday afternoon.

Continue reading

Possible new twist in GM safety debate

Scientists at the University of Bristol have discovered a previously unknown route by which GM genes may escape into the natural environment.

By studying plant-fungi-bacteria interactions at plant wound sites, the team have identified a natural process stimulated by a hormone released by the wounded plant that would allow synthetic genes to move across organisms and out into the wild.

The bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens transforms plant tissue as part of its infection process.  This natural process provides an important toolbox for scientists to genetically manipulate many species of plants.  Recently this technology has been developed for non-plant organisms including fungi by the Bailey & Foster Group in Bristol’s School of Biological Sciences.

Continue reading

Monsanto and “Friends” Stockpile Patents on Seeds in Bid to Become Bio’mass’ters

April: one day, Monsanto and the “others” will mass such a huge volume of patents on seeds (of all kinds) that they could control the food and seed distribution of the world. It’s time to switch gears and educate ourselves on what is happening in this world behind our backs:

Surge in Corporate Patents on “Climate-Ready” Crops
Threatens Biodiversity and Signals Grab on Land and Biomass

Nagoya, Japan — Under the guise of developing “climate-ready” crops, the world’s largest seed and agrochemical corporations are filing hundreds of sweeping, multi-genome patents in a bid to control the world’s plant biomass, according to a report released by ETC Group today.

A handful of multinational corporations are pressuring governments to allow what could become the broadest and most dangerous patent claims in history, warns the group at the United Nations’ Convention on Biodiversity in Nagoya, Japan (18-29 October 2010).

Continue reading

Stephen Harper’s Conservative Government shuts down debate on Biotech harm to farmers

April: We are at a point where we need every human in Canada (and abroad) to let the Conservative (and Liberal) government know we are tired of being pushed out of decisions that affect us! Please take action today: we are running out of time and please, spread this message to all you know. This is a classic form of force over people: is this the world you want?

You can take action – www.cban.ca/474

For Immediate Release

Conservatives Shut Down Debate on Biotech Harm to Farmers

Parliamentary hearings canceled to protect biotechnology corporations

October 28, 2010, Ottawa – Today, House of Commons Agriculture
Committee hearings on Private Members Bill C-474 – dealing with the
issue of genetic engineering – were canceled and invited witnesses
were turned away because, last night, Conservative Members of
Parliament voted down a motion to extend debate on the Bill. The
motion to extend the debate by 30 days was defeated by just 4 votes.

Bill C-474 would support farmers by requiring that “an analysis of
potential harm to export markets be conducted before the sale of any
new genetically engineered seed is permitted.”

“The Conservatives ended the debate in order to protect the biotech
industry from any more scrutiny,” said Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network. “This Bill spurred the first real debate in Parliament over the negative impacts of genetically engineered crops and that’s why Conservatives shut it down.”

Continue reading

Group says FDA deliberately withheld info on GM salmon

April: A lot of GM issues are heating up. The GE Salmon issue is taking on the same “face” as the Canadian Bill C-474, where we are getting these foods rammed down our throats at all costs. We’ll keep you updated here:

Adding a new twist to the controversy over genetically engineered (GE)
salmon, the Center for Food Safety (CFS) revealed in recent hearings on
transgenic fish, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) knowingly
withheld a federal biological opinion by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service (FWS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
prohibiting the use of transgenic salmon in open-water net pens pursuant
to the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA).

“This adds further evidence that in fact GE salmon pose a serious threat
to marine environments and is another compelling reason for the FDA not to
approve the fish for commercial use,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive
director of the Center for Food Safety. “While the FDA applauded the
company’s choice of land-based containment as responsible, it never
revealed that it is illegal in the U.S. to grow genetically engineered
salmon in open-water net pens.”

Continue reading

Monsanto falls from grace

Mercola, October 2010

Monsanto, the giant biotechnology agriculture company that created genetically modified corn, soybeans and herbicides, isn’t riding so high this year in the stocks department, as news comes in that its products aren’t working like they’d hoped.

According to the New York Times, weeds are becoming immune to Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, and its latest genetically modified, 8-gene corn is a flop, producing yields no higher than the company’s less expensive corn, which contains only three foreign genes.

“Monsanto has already been forced to sharply cut prices on SmartStax and on its newest soybean seeds, called Roundup Ready 2 Yield, as sales fell below projections,” the Times said. “And the Justice Department is investigating Monsanto for possible antitrust violations.”

“Until now, Monsanto’s main challenge has come from opponents of genetically modified crops, who have slowed their adoption in Europe and some other regions. Now, however, the skeptics also include farmers and investors who were once in Monsanto’s camp.”

Monsanto was named “company of the year” by Forbes Magazine in December. Last week, television stock market commentator Jim Cramer said it “may be the worst stock of 2010,” the Times said.

Continue reading

Public opinion stopped GM, says campaigner

Public opinion stopped GM, says campaigner

Global resistance has halted the biotech giants, reports Environment Editor Michael McCarthy –  from the IoS co-sponsored Sustainable Planet Forum

Sunday, 26 September 2010

A grower examines his (unmodified) maize in Paraguay
A grower examines his (unmodified) maize in Paraguay

The tide has turned globally against the introduction of genetically modified crops, Lord Melchett, the former director of Greenpeace and campaigner for organic farming and food, said yesterday.

Fifteen years ago, many governments thought GM crops and food would become the norm, but it has not happened because of rising public resistance around the world, and it will not happen, he said.

This is a redundant technology and many people in Europe may be unaware of the extent of the resistance to GM in places like India and China, because they swallow the GM industry line that it is supported all across the world,” he said. “I have to say that where we are now with GM leaves me feeling very optimistic.”

Continue reading

Are the Dinosaurs moving towards extinction?

(Thank you Barron’s🙂

Monsanto’s Tough Week: Now It’s Birth Defects

By Tiernan Ray

Tough week for Monsanto (MON). Tuesday, word went around that the company’s “SmartStax” seeds were yielding less in Iowa’s corn harvest than expected. That prompted analysts, including Goldman Sachs, to cut their price targets on the stock.

Today, it’s the rumor that the company’s herbicide, “Roundup,” could be causing birth defects, based on a study released by researchers in Argentina, and published in the August issue of the academic journal Chemical Research in Toxicology.

The study itself focuses broadly on herbicides containing glyphosate, but F. William Engdahl over at Global Research lays out the explicit connection to Roundup, a glyphosate-based herbicide, writing:

Widespread reports of human malformations began to be reported in Argentina beginning 2002, two years after widespread aerial spraying of Roundup and planting of [Roundup Ready] Soybeans was begun. The test animals used by Carrascoís group share similar developmental mechanisms with humans. The authors concluded that the results ìraise concerns about the clinical findings from human offspring in populations exposed to Roundup in agricultural fields.î Carrasco added, ìThe toxicity classification of glyphosate is too low. In some cases this can be a powerful poison.î

(April: Let’s not fail to realize the crops/plants themselves contain pesticides within every living cell on the plant. Studies need to be done on this as well?)

Monsanto shares today ended down 9 cents at $47.91, which is actually pretty good considering the state of the broader market today.

Continue reading

GM Salmon: Chronological Order of Events

The following is a chronological order of events for those following the GM Salmon issue. This is a “hot” issue like Bill C-474. Your immediate action is called on to keep this fish out of the North American food chain, permanently.

Posted: October 4: Organic Consumer’s Association

The 10 Freakiest Things About Frankenfish

Here’s the Organic Consumers Association’s latest Huffington Post blog on GMO salmon:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ronnie-cummins/10-freakiest-things-about_b_737267.html

10. According to the FDA, Frankenfish Aren’t Animals, They’re “Animal Drugs”

Normally, a veterinary drug would be used for health purposes, but there’s no therapeutic benefit associated with jacking up an Atlantic salmon with the genes of a Chinook salmon and the eel-like ocean pout to make it grow twice as fast.

The biotech industry pushed FDA to treat genetically engineered animals like drugs because they knew the drug evaluation process would keep companies’ “proprietary” information secret, while limiting public participation and downplaying food safety concerns.

9. The GMO Part of the GMO Salmon Isn’t Being Safety Tested

Since 1992, the FDA has operated under the legal fiction created by the Bush-Quayle Administration that there is no risk associated with the human consumption of genetically engineered plants and animals. The FDA explains that DNA is Generally Recognized as Safe, so genetically engineered DNA is safe, too, and it doesn’t have to be safety tested.

8. Frankenfish DNA Could Change the Bacteria of Your Gut

A human study conducted by the UK’s Food Standards Agency found that consuming genetically engineered soy can result in “horizontal gene transfer,” where the bacteria of the gut takes up the soy’s modified DNA. With GMO salmon, the bacteria of our digestive tracks could take up the engineered salmon genes, but the FDA isn’t looking into whether this would happen or how it might effect our health, because…

7. If It Swims Like a Salmon, FDA Says It’s Safe to Eat

Instead of reviewing the safety of consuming genetically engineered salmon DNA, the FDA food safety review is a simple quacks-like-a-duck-style comparison of genetically engineered and normal salmon.

6. FDA Lets the Frankenfish Company Test Its Own Product’s Safety

The FDA’s food safety review of GMO salmon consists of collecting data produced by AquaBounty, the company that wants to sell it. Not surprisingly, that data is seriously flawed with bias and bad science.

5. Frankenfish Is More Carcinogenic

GMO salmon has 40% more IGF1, a hormone linked to prostate, breast and colon cancers in humans.

4. Frankenfish Is Less Nutritious

GMO salmon has the lowest omega-3 to omega-6 ratio of all the salmon in the studies FDA reviewed, greatly reducing the health benefits of associated with eating salmon.

3. Frankenfish Is More Allergenic

GE salmon have mean allergenic potencies that are 20% and 52% higher than normal salmon, increasing the risk of potentially deadly allergic reactions.

2. GMOs Can Mess a Fish Up!

The FDA notes evidence of “increased frequency of skeletal malformations, and increased prevalence of jaw erosions and multi-systemic, focal inflammation” in the tissues of GMO salmon, but dismisses these findings as “within the range observed in rapid growth phenotypes of non-genetically engineered Atlantic salmon.”

Turns out “normal” factory farmed salmon selected for rapid growth and subjected to the physiological stress of intensive production are already afflicted with “screamer disease,” which deforms 80% of Chilean salmon, and “humpback” spinal compression, found in 70% of Norwegian salmon operations.

Thanks, FDA, for letting us know that factory farmed salmon are so messed up! But, that’s no reason to turn them into Frankenfish!

But the freakiest thing about all of this is…

1. The Government Wants More Transgenic Fish and Less Wild Fish

The main justification for GMO salmon is that it could reduce the pressure on wild fish stocks, but consumption isn’t the primary pressure on wild salmon, destruction of their habitat is. The spawning grounds of wild salmon in Bristol Bay, Alaska, are threatened by plans for Pebble Mine, which would be the largest open-pit copper and gold mine in the US. A disaster at Pebble Mine could mean the destruction of a quarter of a billion pounds of salmon, about the same amount of GMO salmon AquaBounty hopes to produce. The EPA could stop Pebble Mine through the Clean Water Act but has failed to act.

October 1, 2010: Biotech Gets Fishy with GE Salmon
Some say genetic engineering was always fishy, but now the fish
themselves are engineered.

For 15 years genetically engineered (GE, also called genetically
modified or GM) canola, corn, and soy ingredients (and recently, some
GE sugar) proliferated in processed foods in North America. (www.cban.ca/gefoods) Now salmon is the next genetically engineered food that threatens to be introduced to market.

AquaBounty, a Massachusetts-based biotechnology company, is asking the
US to approve its genetically engineered Atlantic salmon for human
consumption, and says it will ask for approval soon in Canada as well.
The company claims its “AquAdvantage” salmon grow to market-size twice
as fast as other farmed salmon. That’s because the Atlantic salmon are
engineered with a growth hormone gene from Chinook salmon, and genetic
material from ocean pout (an eel-like creature). The fish produce
growth hormone throughout the year, rather than just for 3 months as
they would normally.

Continue reading

Bill C-474: Chronological Order

Liberals and Conservatives Vote Down Bill C-474

Inaction on genetic engineering will cost farmers – groups vow to protect alfalfa in ongoing controversy

Thursday, February 10, 2011. Ottawa – Last night, a majority of Liberal MPs joined with Conservatives to vote down an important Private Members Bill on genetic engineering (GE). Bill C-474 would have required that “an analysis of potential harm to export markets be conducted before the sale of any new genetically engineered seed is permitted.” The Bill was defeated 176 to 97.

“Farmers had everything to gain if the Bill was passed. Now we have everything to lose while biotech companies once again have everything to gain,” said Colleen Ross, Vice President of the National Farmers Union. “Our government has been supporting genetic engineering at any cost. But we refuse to accept their willingness to sacrifice some farmers and some crops for the sake of the biotech industry,” said Ross. “Our democracy has to work for farmers and consumers and not just for multinational biotech corporations.”

“The excuses for not supporting the Bill were never truly valid,” said Maureen Bostock, speaking for the Ecological Farmers of Ontario, “This is a clear case of politicians siding with the powerful biotech industry.”

“The Bill was voted down but a real debate about the impacts and future of genetic engineering has now started,” said Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, “Canadians defied the tremendous power of the industry lobby by pushing the Bill further than any other on this issue.”

“Its crazy that the economic risks to farmers are not considered before GE crops are put on the market,” said Genevieve Grossenbacher a young Quebec farmer speaking for the Canadian Organic Growers. “Its farmers who pay the costs of GE contamination, not the biotech companies.”

An immediate concern shared by both conventional and organic farmers is the threat of crop contamination by GE alfalfa. On January 27th, the US Department of Agriculture approved plantings despite widespread opposition from farmers and consumers, and after protracted legal cases. Canada is only one step away from allowing GE alfalfa to be planted here. “It’s urgent that our Members of Parliament take action to stop GE alfalfa from being imported or being approved and grown in Canada. This is the only way to protect our conventional and organic alfalfa from loss of markets and loss of livelihoods,” said Cathy Holtslander speaking for the Organic Agriculture Protection Fund of the Saskatchewan Organic Directorate. Because alfalfa is a perennial crop pollinated by bees, GE contamination is inevitable. In addition to export markets for processed alfalfa products, alfalfa is used as pasture and high-protein feed for animals like dairy cows, beef cattle, lambs, and pigs and is also used to build up nutrients in the soil, making it particularly important for organic farming.

“Genetic engineering has become more controversial over the years, not less,” said Eric Darier, Director of Greenpeace Quebec, speaking on behalf of the Quebec Network Against GMOs, a coalition of over 20 groups. “The problems with genetic engineering are not going away and the federal government is still refusing to address the issues head on.”

“Building a strong future for food and farming in Canada will take political leadership. Elected representatives must listen to what farmers and consumers are saying,” said Tony Beck of the Society for a GE Free BC, a coalition of local grassroots groups, “Canadians are becoming more involved in farming issues and want to support a sustainable food system.”

Private Members Bill C-474 was introduced by NDP Agriculture Critic and MP for BC Southern Interior, Alex Atamanenko.

For more information:
Colleen Ross, National Farmers Union, Cell: 613 213 1522;
Lucy Sharratt, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, 613 241 2267 ext 25;
Cathy Holtslander, Saskatchewan Organic Directorate, 306 384 2141;
Maureen Bostock, Ecological Farmers of Ontario, 613 259 5757;
Eric Darier, Quebec Network Against GMOs, Cell: 514 605-6497 (English or French);
Tony Beck, Society for a GE Free BC, Cell: 604 671 2106.

This post is long but has chronological information on Alex Atamanenko’s Bill C-474. It is about to “heat up” again, so for those that need a little history, read on.

It is imperative that this Bill be passed. It asks to take a closer look and do more testing on the introduction of GM crops/seeds/plants. It is a Bill that protects all farmers: organic, conventional and GM.

Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) petition: please sign!

– – – –

September 30, 2010: Important Updates on Bill C-474

Please see below an article from this week’s “The Hill Times”
newspaper that reports on Parliamentary happenings – it exposes the
biotech industry’s extensive lobbying against Bill C-474. Please also
see below some important updates. Join us to make this concrete change
happen! http://www.cban.ca/474

INDUSTRY IS WORRIED: The Bill is having an international impact – the
global biotech industry is concerned that we might be able to make
this concrete change happen in Canada. Industry associations around
the world understand that this simple, reasonable Bill has the power
to stop them from commercializing GM alfalfa and GM wheat as well as
other GMOs. CBAN attended a recent industry conference where CropLife
International and the Biotechnology Industry Organization both warned
industry audiences that they need to fight the inclusion of social and
economic considerations in assessments of GMOs. Agribusiness giant
Syngenta has also been speaking directly against the Bill. The issue
of GE salmon and the GE “Enviropig” have heightened this conflict.

Continue reading

New ‘Compact’ for GM complaints

THE world’s major biotechnology companies have set up a complaints process for countries with concerns over the impact of GM crops.

The six companies – BASF, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont, Monsanto, and Syngenta – have formed “The Compact”, which they claim is a “clearly defined, efficient, and fair” process for countries to file and process claims related to damage to biological diversity caused by genetically modified organisms.

Peak group CropLife International said the compact, which had been developed over the past two years, was now in force under the umbrella of an independent mediation and arbitration framework administered in The Hague.

Continue reading

Joel Salatin – Lunatic Farmer, is coming to Vancouver!

A Lecture with a Lunatic Farmer

Friday 09/10/2010 – 11:12 — Trevor Join us for a lecture with Joel Salatin, American farmer, author, and proponent of sustainable agriculture. Salatin will share stories and insights based on his upcoming book, The Sheer Ecstacy of Being a Lunatic Farmer.

Joel Salatin was profiled in Michael Pollan’s New York Times bestseller, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and featured in the documentaries Food Inc and Fresh. Salatin and his family own and operate Polyface Farm in Virginia.

Public Event

Tickets are $45 and include a signed pre-release copy of The Sheer Ecstacy of Being a Lunatic Farmer. Please call 604-688-6755 for tickets.

Time: Monday, September 27 7:00 PM
Location: MacMillan Building – 2357 Main Mall Rm. 166

Seating is limited, call 604-688-6755 for tickets

UBC Student, Faculty & Staff Event

Admission is free with a UBC Student, Faculty or Staff ID card.
Signed copies of The Sheer Ecstacy of Being a Lunatic Farmer will be sold afterwards.

Time: Monday, September 27 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Location: MacMillan Building – 2357 Main Mall Rm. 166

Seating is limited; admission is first come,  first serve.

For more event details, contact:

Natalie Yuen

UBC Farm Administrative Coordinator
E-mail: ubcfarm.admin@gmail.com

Monsanto and Propsition 19: GMO Terminator Cannabis

April: Here’s a post that may elicit a fair amount of “comments”. I warn you, this is loooooong….  It goes over, in detail, the “who’s who” in this scandal, and speaks of corporate control issues (we all know this by now). It also suggests that Monsanto may be bringing the Terminator Technology out of the closet, after paying almost $2Billion (if you add up the interest since 07) for the technology. Regardless of a world-wide moratorium in place, Monsanto is not letting Terminator go, and will surely try to recoup that money somehow, somewhere. And what better way to start than with hemp. But what interested me was the relationship to Guelph University: “Multi-national companies like Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayor Crop Science, and Semex have set up in Guelph because of the ability to closely interact with research and the ease of access to human, capital, and government resources, as well as the ability to attract investment.” Enjoy…

radicaljusticeman | September 9, 2010

PROPOSITION 19, MONSANTO, AND GMO TERMINATOR CANNABIS

An article by D.M. Murdock written in August 2010 and entitled “Why hemp could save the world” states:

Continue reading

AquaBounty GMO Salmon paid for by Canadian Taxpayers

April: it seems our Canadian government gave AquaBounty a decent chunk of cash to keep it’s GMO salmon project afloat – and AquaBounty is an American Corporation: the following are 2 articles with various ‘slants’ on this fishy tale…

Another (GMO) Fish Tale From Aqua Bounty

C Margulis
Corporate Crime Daily, January 27 2010
http://corporatecrime.wordpress.com/2010/01/27/another-gmo-fish-tale-from-aqua-bounty/
Earlier this month, genetically engineered (GMO) salmon produced by the US-company Aqua Bounty were reportedly condemned in Panama, due to fears that the super-salmon could escape and wreak havoc on natural fish populations. The company later claimed the report was inaccurate, but company documents  acknowledge that its Panamanian operation was established in 2008 with the goal of “conducting commercial trials of the Company’s AquAdvantage salmon.”

Whatever the situation in Panama, concerns about the impending approval of genetically engineered (GMO) salmon are nothing new (nor are concerns about farmed salmon in general: Greenpeace just announced that mega-retailer Target will stop selling all farmed salmon). An article last February [2009] noted that Aqua Bounty was “soon” expecting FDA approval for the GMO salmon, which grows more rapidly than its natural counterpart.

Aqua Bounty has been seeking FDA approval since 1996, and has repeatedly claimed approval was just around the corner. In 2003, company founder and then-CEO Elliot Entis told Business Week that he hoped for FDA approval within a year. In 2004, another report stated the company was looking for approval by the end of the year. Another Business Week story in 2006 noted the fish could be on the market “as early as 2008.”

Continue reading

European Commission just approved GM crops against public outcry

Hi everyone, this just in: The European Commission has just approved growing genetically modified crops in the European Union for the first time in 12 years!

Caving to the GM lobby, the commission has ignored 60% of Europeans who feel we have to get the facts first before growing foods that could pose a threat to our health and environment.

A new initiative allows 1 million EU citizens to make official legal requests of the European Commission. Let’s build a million voices for a ban on GM foods until the research is done; they will be delivered to the President Barroso of the European Commission. Sign the petition and forward this email to friends and family:
http://www.avaaz.org/en/eu_gmo/97.php?cl_tta_sign=78f715d47d346f4b3182271f00fcf3c8

I urge you all to sign this: should the EU all move into GMO, Canada will not be able to hold back GM crops as easily, as Canada will now have a willing and easier market to sell to. Right now, we have to adhere to strict standards for GMO contamination. That will change, unfortunately, unless we speak loud and clear!

Consumers, public health, environmental and farmers groups have long rallied against a few international GM companies having such significant influence over European agriculture. Concerns about growing GM crops include: contamination of organic crops and the environment; their impact on climate due to the excessive need for pesticides; the destruction of biodiversity and local agriculture; and the effects of GM food on public health.

EU member states have voiced strong opposition to last week’s decision to authorise BASF’s potato and Monsanto’s maize — Italy and Austria are opposed, and France said it would ask for further scientific research.
There is still no consensus on the long-term effects of GM crops. And it is the GM industry, pursuing profits not public well being, that is funding the science and driving the regulatory environment. That is why European citizens are calling for more independent research, testing and precaution before crops are unleashed onto our land.

Now, the “European Citizens’ Initiative” gives 1 million EU citizens the opportunity to submit policy proposals to the European Commission and offers us a unique chance to drown out lobbyists’ influence.
Let’s raise 1 million voices to put a moratorium on the introduction of GM crops into Europe and set up an independent, ethical and scientific body to research and determine the strong regulation of GM crops. Sign the petition now and then forward it widely:
http://www.avaaz.org/en/eu_gmo/97.php?cl_tta_sign=78f715d47d346f4b3182271f00fcf3c8

Coalition demands FDA deny approval of controversial Genetically Engineered Salmon

FDA Considers Approval of GE Salmon–the First GE Food Animal–Yet
Fails to Inform the Public of Environmental and Economic Risks

August 27, 2010
JOINT PRESS STATEMENT, from:

CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY

FOOD AND WATER WATCH

SALMONAID- NORTHWEST ATLANTIC MARINE ALLIANCE

ORGANIC CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION

FRIENDS OF THE EARTH

THE LIVING OCEANS SOCIETY

SMALL BOAT COMMERCIAL SALMON FISHERMEN?S ASSOCIATION

THE GEORGIA STRAIT ALLIANCE

CALIFORNIANS FOR GE-FREE AGRICULTURE

THE ORGANIC & NON-GMO REPORT

PLANETARY HEALTH, INC.

SIERRA CLUB

SAY NO TO GMOS!

CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH

CANADIAN BIOTECHNOLOGY ACTION NETWORK

INSTITUTE FOR FISHERIES RESOURCES

AMERICAN ANTI-VIVISECTION SOCIETY

PACIFIC COAST FEDERATION OF FISHERMEN’S ASSOCIATION MANGROVE ACTION PROJECT

FOOD FIRST / INSTITUTE FOR FOOD AND DEVELOPMENT POLICY

EDEN FOODS, INC.

THE NON-GMO PROJECT

NORTHWEST RESISTANCE AGAINST GENETIC ENGINEERING

PCC NATURAL MARKETS

AMBERWAVES

GLOUSTER FISHERMEN?S WIVES ASSOCIATION

FRESH THE MOVIE

WASHINGTON BIOTECHNOLOGY ACTION COUNCIL

OREGON PHYSICIANS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Washington, DC August 27, 2010

A coalition of 31 consumer, animal
welfare and environmental groups, along with commercial and
recreational fisheries associations and food retailers submitted a
joint statement criticizing an announcement this week by the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) that it will potentially approve the
long-shelved AquAdvantage transgenic salmon as the first genetically
engineered (GE) animal intended for human consumption.

Continue reading

Important! DNA Fragments from GMO plants found in animals!

Munich

A recent Testbiotech survey shows that DNA fragments from transgenic plants are increasingly found in animal tissue such as milk, inner organs and muscles. Most recently, in April 2010, scientists from Italy reported DNA sequences stemming from genetically engineered soy in milk from goats. These DNA fragments are presumably, entering the blood stream from the gut and then from there reaching the udder and the milk. Traces of specific DNA were also identified in kids fed with the goat’s milk. These findings are not the first to be reported after DNA fragments have been found in the tissue of animals fed with transgenic plants. A few years ago, DNA from genetically engineered maize was found in samples from pigs. More recently, research found traces from transgenic plants in the organs of fish, namely rainbow trout and tilapia. In fish, the gene sequences were found in nearly all inner organs.

There is however, a need for further research since for unknown reasons some enzyme activity in kids fed with goat’s milk containing specific DNA was found to be enhanced.

“Recent publications could lend support to those stakeholders in favour of labelling products such as meat, milk and eggs derived from animals fed with genetically engineered plants. If the methods for sampling DNA get even better, those traces will be found more often in future,” says Christoph Then from Testbiotech. “So far detection is not possible in each and every case. Most frequently these traces seem to occur in fish.”

Continue reading

Developer of genetically engineered salmon eyes Canadian regulators

Sarah Schmidt August 27, 2010

http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Developer+genetically+engineered+salmon+eyes+Canadian+regulators/3446972/story.html#ixzz0xl0EAw6L

OTTAWA: The developer of genetically engineered salmon for human
consumption is now setting its sights on Health Canada, after U.S.
regulators on Wednesday announced their review of AquaBounty
Technologies Inc.’s historic application for the American market is
nearly complete.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration published details of the last
stages of its review for AquAdvantage Salmon, made from eggs produced
in a hatchery in Prince Edward Island. The genetically engineered fish
can grow at twice the normal rate, and the company, headquartered in
Massachusetts with Canadian operations in P.E.I. and Newfoundland and
Labrador, has been trying for a decade to get approval to become the
first genetically engineered animal that people would eat.

After the FDA’s special veterinary medicine committee convenes next
month to consider issues of animal health, food safety, environmental
concerns, and data validating the claim that AquAdvantage Salmon grow
faster than their conventionally bred counterparts, the Center for
Food Safety and Applied Nutrition will lead a public hearing to
consider legal issues around labelling, should the AquAdvantage Salmon
be approved in the next few months.

“We’re very encouraged,” AquaBounty president and chief executive
officer Ronald Stotish said in an interview Wednesday of the FDA review.
“This is the first food animal, we hope the world’s first FDA-approved
genetically modified food animal.”

Continue reading

New weed strategies needed, scientists say

Washington, D.C. – The spread of weeds resistant to Roundup herbicide is bringing new scrutiny to the government’s regulation of biotech crops.

U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, a longtime critic of the biotech industry, said the U.S. Agriculture Department has been too quick to approve new varieties of herbicide-tolerant crops and other biotech products.

“Now, more than ever, farmers need to have a Department of Agriculture that takes care to preserve and protect the farming environment for generations to come,” Kucinich said during a House hearing he chaired Wednesday on the spread of Roundup-resistant weeds.

One weed scientist, David Mortensen at Penn State University, said the government should restrict the use of herbicide-tolerant crops and impose a tax on biotech seeds to fund research and education programs.

The resistant weeds cannot be killed by the sole use of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide, which has become broadly popular with farmers with the advent more than a decade ago of soybeans, cotton, corn and other crops that are immune to the chemical. The weeds now infest about 11 million acres, a fivefold increase in three years, Mortensen said.

Continue reading

Generation “M” – Monsanto

By Ronnie Cummins, Founder and Director of Organic Consumers Association

Gen-M, “Generation Monsanto,” the first generation of humans force-fed genetically modified foods, hasn’t reached reproductive age yet (they were born in the late 1990s). But, if a critical mass of animal feeding studies are any indication, the millennial generation, reared on Food Inc.’s unlabeled “Frankenfoods” can look forward to a long-term epidemic of cancer, food allergies, sterility, learning disabilities, and birth defects.

Corn (85% of U.S. production is GM), soy (91% GM), cotton (88% GM), canola (85% GM) and sugar beets (95% GM) are all genetically engineered by Monsanto to withstand massive doses of the company’s glyphosate herbicide RoundUp, or else to exude their own pesticide, Bacillus Thuriengensis (Bt). RoundUp, the favorite weedkiller poison of non-organic farmers and gardeners, causes brain, intestinal and heart defects in fetuses. And scientists warn that RoundUp, the most extensively used herbicide in the history of agriculture, “may have dire consequences for agriculture such as rendering soils infertile, crops non-productive, and plants less nutritious.” In addition, hundreds of thousands of US dairy cows are injected with genetically engineered Bovine Growth Hormone (developed by Monsanto) in spite of studies linking rBGH with cancer, and longstanding bans on the drug in the EU, Japan, Canada, and most industrialized nations.

Continue reading

New Study Links Monsanto’s Roundup to Cancer

By the Organic Consumers Association

A recent study by eminent oncologists Dr. Lennart Hardell and Dr. Mikael
Eriksson of Sweden [1], has revealed clear links between one of the
world’s biggest selling herbicide, glyphosate, to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form
of cancer [2].

In the study published in the 15 March 1999 Journal of American Cancer
Society, the researchers also maintain that exposure to glyphosate
‘yielded increased risks for NHL.’ They stress that with the rapidly increasing use
of glyphosate since the time the study was carried out, ‘glyphosate
deserves further epidemiologic studies.’

Glyphosate, commonly known as Roundup, is the world’s most widely used
herbicide. It is estimated that for 1998, over a 112,000 tonnes of
glyphosate was used world-wide. It indiscriminately kills off a wide
variety of weeds after application and is primarily used to control annual
and perennial plants.

Continue reading

Greenpeace activists quarantine illegal GE crops in Italy

Press releaseJuly 30, 2010

Pordenone, Italy – Greenpeace activists from Italy, Austria, Germany and Hungary are quarantining illegal Genetically Engineered (GE) crops being grown in Italy. Wearing safety equipment to protect against contamination, the activists are isolating, cutting and securing the top of the GE maize plants, the part that contains the pollen.

Last week, Greenpeace took samples from the field in Friuli, northern Italy to a certified laboratory for analysis. The results confirm without doubt that the maize being grown in these fields is a patented Mosanto GE maize type, MON810. GE crop cultivation without a permit is illegal in Italy (1). There is considerable documentation highlighting the threats posed by MON810 to biodiversity, including the accumulation of toxins in soil, and negative impacts on species such as butterflies and moths (2).

“Greenpeace has taken action today to prevent any further contamination from these hazardous and illegal GE crops,” said Federica Ferrario, Greenpeace Italy Agriculture campaigner. “For days these crops will have been contaminating not only neighbouring fields, but countryside further away as well, as insects and winds disseminate their pollen.”

Continue reading

Monsanto’s Permit to Poison Us

By Ronnie Cummins, Founder and Director of Organic Consumers Association

Dan Quayle couldn’t spell potato, but he made sure they’d be genetically engineered. Here’s how Monsanto got their permit to poison us:

Continue reading

Genetically Engineered Fish in your food chain this year?

From Aol News
(Aug. 4) — A major U.S. fish research company has tampered with the DNA of Atlantic salmon by adding a quick-growth gene that allows the fish to eat year-around and grow more quickly. And the Food and Drug Administration is about to allow these genetically engineered salmon to head to market, the company says.

But food safety activists insist that the FDA doesn’t have adequate tests and regulations to ensure the safety of modified seafood, and others question whether consumers are even ready for it.

An AquaBounty salmon in a tank next to a normal Atlantic salmon

AquaBounty / MCT
An AquaBounty salmon rests in a tank behind a standard salmon that is the same age.

“Far from being a benefit to consumers or the environment, this merely allows factory fish farms to double production rates,” said George Kimbrell, senior attorney for the Center for Food Safety.

Continue reading

List of Bee-happy non-GM flowers

April: This is a good chart for those that plant flowers for bees. These flowers are non-GM (so far). I also provide links to articles on GM flowers currently in the lab. Bees are a vital component to our survival: GM pollens could be partly to blame for CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder). Help the bees: plant for them as well as your nose!

Flower Chart for Bees

GM flowers for better scent: http://singularityhub.com/2010/02/24/genetically-modified-flowers-that-can-smell-like-anything-coming-soon/

Trends in plant science: http://www.finegardening.com/pages/g00094.asp

GMO Plants establish in the wild

By Richard BlackEnvironment correspondent, BBC News
6 August 2010

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-10859264

April: David Suzuki has been speaking out about this issue for years. Eventually “volunteer” GM plants will become part of the wild environment. Because the majority of them are Roundup Ready, meaning they can be sprayed with pesticides and survive, weed management will carry a new set of problems. Weed control on roadsides will cost more. It’s simple. And who will bear this cost? The taxpayer, likely. Not Monsanto. Dr. Suzuki has stated for years, that should Terminator plants spread into our forests and begin to destroy natural plants, who is responsible (to pay) for the damage? How can you even begin to control and eradicate the damage? Here in BC, we have been privy to the Japanese pine beetle, a small insect that bores into pine trees and kills them. We have not been able to manage the forests and keep up with the problem, so we now have millions of acres of dead forests and a logging industry that took the hit. We need to stop and think about the ramifications of GM plants and their technology in the wild environment. It has been proven, time and time again, that GM genes do indeed transfer to non-GM species. These stray GM plants also travel for miles, and move into Organic and non-GM fields, quietly altering the DNA of every crop. While it may appear fine and dandy for farmers to make higher yields, somewhere, somehow, there will be a price to pay. Look beyond the obvious: this is what we are fighting for. We see the future, and it’s not pretty…

Researchers in the US have found new evidence that genetically
modified crop plants can survive and thrive in the wild, possibly for
decades.

A University of Arkansas team surveyed countryside in North Dakota for
canola. Transgenes were present in 80% of the wild canola plants they
found.

They suggest GM traits may help the plants survive weedkillers in the
wild.

The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the Ecological
Society of America in Pittsburgh.

Over time, the build-up of different types of herbicide resistance in
feral canola and closely related weeds could make it more difficult to
manage these plants.

Continue reading

Robbins Geller LLP Files Class Action Suit against Monsanto Company

BOCA RATON, Fla., Jul 29, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP (“Robbins Geller”) (http://www.rgrdlaw.com/cases/monsanto/) today announced that a class action has been commenced on behalf of an institutional investor in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri on behalf of purchasers of the common stock of Monsanto Company (“Monsanto” or the “Company”) /quotes/comstock/13*!mon/quotes/nls/mon (MON 57.84, -0.07, -0.12%) between January 7, 2009 and May 27, 2010, inclusive (the “Class Period”), seeking to pursue remedies under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”).

If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than 60 days from today. If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions concerning this notice or your rights or interests, please contact plaintiff’s counsel, David J. George of Robbins Geller at 800/449-4900 or 619/231-1058, or via e-mail at djr@rgrdlaw.com. If you are a member of this Class, you can view a copy of the complaint as filed or join this class action online at http://www.rgrdlaw.com/cases/monsanto/. Any member of the putative class may move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff through counsel of their choice, or may choose to do nothing and remain an absent class member.

The complaint charges Monsanto and certain of its officers and executives with violations of the Exchange Act. Monsanto is a provider of agricultural products for farmers including seeds, biotechnology trait products, and herbicides, most notably Roundup(R).

The complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period, defendants failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company’s true financial condition, business and prospects. Specifically, the complaint alleges that defendants failed to disclose: (i) that demand for the Company’s herbicide products was substantially declining as competition from Chinese producers of generic glyphosate products was causing a collapse in the prices of glyphosate products; (ii) that the Company would be unable to maintain herbicide prices as defendants knew that they had to cut prices significantly to be able to compete with the avalanche of generic herbicide products that were entering the market; and (iii) that, as a result of the foregoing, defendants’ positive statements about the Company, its earnings, prospects and financial condition were lacking in a reasonable basis and materially misleading.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Banned GM maize sown in Germany

April: This is my biggest pet peeve of the GMO seed industry: any idiot or black market can get their hands on this stuff. It’s that easy. This leads to a world full of GMO plants, insects and God knows what – where. This is why it is so incredibly important that we speak out – we have the potential to lose this planet or save it.  Ever wondered why there are no GMO seeds in the Norway Seed Vault?

If there are no law suits from Big Biotechs, then is it reasonable to assume that they played a role in the distribution? I hope the farmers sue over this one…

A genetically modified (GM) variety of maize banned in the EU has been sown accidentally across Germany.

The NK603 variety has been planted in seven states. The seed supplier, US firm Pioneer Hi-Bred, called the level of contamination “minute”.

It is not clear how the mistake occurred, but it could cost farmers millions of euros, as crops will now have to be destroyed.

The EU is currently reviewing its tight rules on the cultivation of GM crops.

Pioneer Hi-Bred, based in Buxtehude near Hamburg, says NK603 has been planted on “just under 2,000 hectares (4,940 acres)” of land. The environmental group Greenpeace put the area as high as 3,000 hectares.

Bavaria, Baden-Wuerttemberg and Lower Saxony are among the states where it has been sown.

Information delayed

Supporters of GM crops argue that they deliver higher yields and resistance to pests, requiring less fertiliser and pesticides.

Continue reading

50 US Politicians Back GE Alfalfa Ban Permanently

By Carey Gillam

Following the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court on GE alfalfa – that means that it is illegal to plant Monsanto’s GE alfalfa, at least until the U.S. government has finished its environmental review.

Now, 50 U.S. politicians – Democrats and Republicans – are calling for a
continued ban even after the environment review. (This shows the
importance of this issue and is yet another indication that the fight on
GE alfalfa is far from a done deal even in the U.S!) Write to your MP and
ask them to do the same as the US politicians – send a letter instantly
from http://www.cban.ca/474action

**U.S. lawmakers call for continued ban on biotech alfalfa*
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2326472520100623

* Say USDA has “ignored” regulatory authority

* Say U.S. organic dairy industry threatened

KANSAS CITY, June 23 (Reuters) – More than 50 U.S. lawmakers are calling   on the U.S. Agriculture Department to keep Monsanto’s (MON.N) biotech alfalfa out of farm fields, despite a Supreme Court ruling this week that cleared the way for limited planting pending environmental reviews.

The lawmakers said the biotech alfalfa presents too great a risk to
conventional and organic agriculture to ever allow it.

“We believe that the broad regulatory authority available to you has been ignored, in order to justify deregulation of a biotech crop that has limited utility to anyone except the manufacturer,” the letter addressed to Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack said.

U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, and Rep. Peter DeFazio, a Democrat from Oregon, were joined by 49 other representatives and five
other senators in asking Vilsack to ensure that Monsanto’s genetically
engineered alfalfa is not approved for commercial use.

Continue reading

Meat claimed as invention by Monsanto

Wednesday, 28 April 2010 11:22

Meat claimed as invention by multinational company of Monsanto
No Patents on Seeds, Press release, 27 April 2010
http://www.no-patents-on-seeds.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=3&Itemid=28

Stop patenting the food chain!

There is a process going on, multinationals are trying to gain increasing control of the whole chain of food production.

Multinational seed corporations are following a consequent strategy to gain control over basic resources for food production. As recent research shows not only genetically engineered plants, but more and more the conventional breeding of plants gets into the focus of patent monopolies: International patent applications in this sector are skyrocking, having doubled since 2007 till end of 2009. Further on the multinationals expand their claims over the whole chain of food production from feed to animals and food products such as meat. In a pending patent application from Monsanto even bacon and steaks are claimed: Patent application WO2009097403 is claiming meat stemming from pigs being fed with the patented genetically engineered plants of Monsanto. A similar patent is applied for fish from aquaculture in March 2010 (WO201027788). Far reaching patents on food are even already granted: Monsanto received a European patent (EP 1356033) in 2009, which the chain of food production from seeds of genetically engineered plants up to food products such as meal and oil are covered.

MP Gerry Ritz responds to my email!

June 22, 2010

April: Canadian CP MP Gerry Ritz responded to my email to our Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq. Apparently, she forwarded it to him. Funny how my emails get circulated so quickly. I’m posting this as I am an advocate of transparency and the truth. I’m just glad he knows who I am.

Quote: 147942

Ms. April Reeves

Director, GE Free BC

Dear Ms. Reeves:

I am writing in response to your email to the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, regarding the labelling of biotechnology-derived foods. I appreciate being made aware of your further views.

As I indicated in my reply to you of February 19, 2010, Canada has one of the most stringent and rigorous regulatory systems in the world. This extends to crops or foods that are modified or contain genetic modification—all of which must undergo a comprehensive science-based approval process involving both Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Continue reading

Monsanto’s Spin and What Really Happened In the Supreme Court

Please see below the very clear article by Andy Kimbrell of the Center for
Food Safety in Huffington Post, explaining the difference between
Monsanto’s spin and the reality of the US Supreme Court decision against
Monsanto’s GM alfalfa. For more information please also see
www.truefoodnow.org

(You can also write your MP at http://www.cban.ca/474action )

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-kimbrell/supreme-court-case-a-defe_b_620087.html

It should be no surprise that Monsanto’s PR machine is working hard to spin
the truth in this morning’s decision in the first-ever Supreme Court case on
genetically engineered crops (*Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms*). Despite
what the biotech seed giant is claiming, today’s ruling isn’t close to the
victory they were hoping for.

High court ruled that the ban on GMO alfalfa remains intact, and that the planting and sale of GMO alfalfa remains illegal.

The 7-1 decision issued today by the Supreme Court was on the appeal of the
Center for Food Safety’s (CFS) successful suit, which resulted in a ban on
GMO alfalfa. And, while the High Court ruled in favor of Monsanto by
reversing an injunction that was part of the lower court’s decision, more
importantly, it also ruled that the ban on GMO alfalfa remains intact, and
that the planting and sale of GMO alfalfa remains illegal.

Continue reading

No GMO Alfalfa in the USA! Courts rule!

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a case brought by
Monsanto to stop the current injunction on planting GM alfalfa in the
U.S., has upheld the injunction! The National Farmers Union brought
forward Canada’s experience with GM canola to support the case. Now the US Department of Agriculture will be the deciding party on GM alfalfa – they
are preparing their final Environmental Impact Statement (as ordered by
the courts). Canadian groups also submitted comments to the USDA as part
of this process.

You can write to your MP today to support alfalfa farmers and request that
your MP supports Bill C-474 http://www.cban.ca/474action

July 21

SUPREME COURT ruling in “Monsanto Case” is victory for Center for Food Safety, Farmers

High Court Delivers Ruling That Leaves Ban on Planting of Roundup Ready Alfalfa in Place in First-Ever Case on a Genetically-engineered Crop

Washington, DC June 21, 2010 – The Center for Food Safety today celebratedthe United States Supreme Court’s decision in Monsanto v. Geerston Farms, the first genetically modified crop case ever brought before the Supreme Court.  Although the High Court decision reverses parts of the lower courts’ rulings, the judgment holds that a vacatur bars the planting of
Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Alfalfa until and unless future deregulation
occurs.  It is a victory for the Center for Food Safety and the Farmers
and Consumers it represents.

Continue reading

Mexican GMO Corn’s First Harvest This Year

Mexico’s first crop of genetically modified maize – due to be harvested later this month – is stoking anxiety about the risks of biotechnology. Chinese environmentalists, concerned about the potential effects of gene-spliced rice in the world’s rice bowl, now look to Mexico as a test-case of how to counter the multinational seed companies’ push to raise so-called Frankenfoods that were created in their laboratories. In Argentina and Brazil, such GMO corn already is sown freely. At China Dialogue, an environmental website, pharmers and their mutant kernels are under scrutiny. Excerpts from ‘Corn Conundrums’:

The decision to allow genetically engineered corn to be sown inside Mexico, the birthplace of this cereal crop, is anathema for many Mexicans. In the central highlands, where wild grass called teosinte was first cross-bred into the staff of life some 9,000 years ago, corn is viewed not only as a staple food but as a sacrament of Mesoamerican civilization. Some indigenous tribes in Mexico still worship Centeotl, the Aztec corn god who protects harvests, and passions run high if any threat to corn is perceived.

Yet laboratory-altered corn, patented by the seed giants Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences, is already ripening on 13 hectares in Sinaloa and Sonora states, and the first harvest is expected later this month. An analysis is due in July. Farm groups and environmentalists filed an appeal with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in February, arguing that Mexican officials have been unwilling or unable to prevent the illegal spread of genetically modified crops in their country and that it is too soon to permit biotech plantations before the consequences of genetic contamination – possibly irreversible – are fully understood. They are concerned that Mexican seed dealers have smuggled in thousands of sacks of genetically modified corn with impunity. The commission can refer cases to the Inter-American Human Rights Court if a government does not comply with its recommendations.

Continue reading

Genetically Modified Mosquito’s: What’s Next?

From: The Huffington Post, June 20, 2010

Most of us probably don’t think about insects when we hear about Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Yet many scientists believe that genetically modified (GM) insects hold great promise by providing a powerful tool to prevent unnecessary deaths. Approximately half the world’s population is at risk from insect-borne diseases such as malaria, sleeping sickness and dengue fever. Millions of people are killed by insect-borne diseases and hundreds of millions more are incapacitated every year. At the same time, damage and disease transmission to crops and livestock by insects has a significant global socio-economic impact. Increasing resistance to pesticides, GM crops and climate chaos are making these insect-pests a growing problem. In laboratories around the world, scientists are using genetic engineering technologies to modify insects at DNA level to address important concerns including:

1. Socio-economic challenges such as increasing crop yield and production;
2. Public health challenges such as human and animal well being.

It is also possible that GM insects released to control the spread of disease could actually have the unintended consequence of enabling an insect to more effectively spread disease or even carry a human disease it was never before able to transmit.

There are concerns about how this GM technology fits in with other approaches to manage insect-borne diseases and the long term consequences of releasing GM insects into the wild. What are the benefits, risks and scientific uncertainties associated with such transgenic insects?

Continue reading

Monsanto in Your Garden: Why You Need to Buy Organic Seeds

When most people think of Monsanto, they picture huge Midwest farms growing Roundup Ready GMO corn and soy.  But did you know that Monsanto and other agrochemical multinationals are in the home garden vegetable seed business as well?

The commercial seed industry has undergone vast consolidation in the last few decades, with several agro giants buying up many seed companies around the world.  The majority of these companies target the commercial agriculture industry, but companies such as Monsanto and Swiss-based Syngenta produce a range of seeds for the home vegetable gardener as well.

Aside from the anti-trust issues raised from having a few large corporations control the world’s seed supply, there are other concerns as well. The recent consolidation frenzy has resulted in a drastic decrease in the variety of seeds. Insects and disease tend to attack monocultures, so the strength of any ecosystem is the level of its plant diversity. Monocultures, where the same type of crops grow on large plots of land year in and year out, also lead to an increase in pesticide usage.  This is convenient for the giant seed companies, since they’re in the pesticide and herbicide business as well.

Continue reading