Category Archives: World GE Politics

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

A critique of a New York Times piece that said GMOs will save the world

The article below is quite informative, check it out.
Sorry, NY Times: GMOs still won’t save the world
http://www.grist.org/industrial-agriculture/2011-08-20-why-gmos-wont-save-world-nina-federoff-new-york-times

Join the White House Rally!

Transgenic Crops: How Genes Jump from Crop to Crop

ScienceDaily (Dec. 1, 2010) — A new data-driven statistical model that incorporates the surrounding landscape in unprecedented detail describes the transfer of an inserted bacterial gene via pollen and seed dispersal in cotton plants more accurately than previously available methods.

Shannon Heuberger, a graduate student at the University of Arizona’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and her co-workers will publish their findings in PLoS ONE on Nov. 30.

The transfer of genes from genetically modified crop plants is a hotly debated issue. Many consumers are concerned about the possibility of genetic material from transgenic plants mixing with non-transgenic plants on nearby fields. Producers, on the other side, have a strong interest in knowing whether the varieties they are growing are free from unwanted genetic traits.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.”

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Silk Soy Beverage busted by Cornucopia for using GMO soy beans in their Organic lines

September 7, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:  Mark Kastel, 608-625-2042

Not Crying over Spilt Soymilk

Organic Farmers Celebrating Victory over Corporate Agribusiness

CORNUCOPIA, WI – It’s not often that family-scale farmers can go toe-to-toe with a $12 billion agribusiness and come out victors.  But organic soybean producers, and a modestly scaled but powerful ally, The Cornucopia Institute, are claiming victory over Dean Foods in the organic marketplace.

[Full news release at http://www.cornucopia.org/2010/09/not-crying-over-spilt-soymilk/]

Dean Foods, the manufacturer of Silk, the top-selling soymilk drink, was first “outed” in Cornucopia’s May 2009 report, Behind the Bean: The Heroes and Charlatans of the Natural and Organic Soy Foods Industry, for switching its soybean sourcing from American farms to cheaper organic beans from China.  Later in 2009, Cornucopia revealed that Dean Foods had then largely abandoned organic soybeans altogether, stealthily changing the soybeans in their core Silk product line from organic to less expensive conventionally grown soybeans that the company was calling “natural.”

The shift away from organic outraged many loyal consumers and alienated retailers across the country that were not informed of the change and continued to inaccurately merchandise Silk products as “organic.”

Now leading natural/organic foods retailer Whole Foods Market has decided to shift its soy milk offerings back towards organic.  Saying that its relationship with Dean Foods had “chilled,” Whole Foods indicated it was bringing in a new branded organic soy milk partner, Earth Balance.  The national retailer also told the Denver Post, in an August 27 story, that it wanted Earth Balance’s soy milk products to contain only domestically grown soybeans carrying the organic label.

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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

Altered Wheat May Pose a Risk

By Shannon Gombos: link to article

Genetically engineered wheat when subjected to changing environmental conditions was more prone to disease and produced half as much yields as unmodified wheat.

A recent study from Switzerland tracks some abnormal effects in genetically engineered wheat. According to the data, the wheat grew normally in a greenhouse environment. Under these same conditions, the wheat also had better resistance to various fungal diseases that pose significant threats to the crop. But when the wheat was introduced to changing environmental conditions, the metabolism of the plant showed an unusual reaction. The wheat became extremely affected by ergot disease, a toxic fungal disease. The genetically engineered wheat yield, under changing environmental conditions, was also 50% lower than the control, unmodified wheat crops.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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Genetically modified ‘Sick pigs’ created to cure human diseases

April: this has to be the most disgusting thing I’ve come across in my GMO “career”. As you read this remember one very important issue: Drug companies have NO intention of finding “CURES” for anything. It’s in their interests to find drugs that sustain the sick people, not cures. God help them if someone actually DID find a cure for these diseases they continue to make billions on. You can change it: eat organics, exercise and stay healthy. If there were no diseases, or at least a whole lot less, these drug idiots may have to be accountable somewhere, sometime.

Another thought for you all: what happens if one of these sick pigs gets out and breeds (I’m not talking about the drug scientists….).

London, June 17 (ANI): Scottish scientists, who created Dolly the cloned sheep, have now produced pigs that are genetically modified to suffer from incurable human diseases – so they can be used by drug companies to test new therapies for human diseases.

The team of researchers is trying to produce pigs, which are diseased with the lethal lung condition cystic fibrosis and an eye disease that leads to blindness in humans, The Scotsman has learned.

The highly controversial research is being carried out at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, famous for creating Dolly the cloned sheep.

If the team is successful, the diseased animals would be used by drug companies to test potential new gene therapies for the conditions.

The technique involves the use of viruses to carry chosen genes into fertilised eggs.

Once altered, the eggs are then implanted in surrogate females, so that theoretically animals are born with the genetic conditions.

The resulting pigs are a type of what is known as a transgenic animal – creatures that have inserted DNA that originated in a different species.

Already, to prove genes could be successfully inserted into animals using the technique, pigs have been produced at Roslin that carry a green fluorescent protein gene found naturally in jellyfish.

The animals have a greenish tinge in normal light and when viewed in blue light they glow.

This was done to provide the scientists with a genetic marker – a physical manifestation of how the pigs had been modified.

The cutting-edge research raises major ethical issues about harming animals intentionally for the benefit of humans. It has led to outrage from animal rights organisations.

In an interview, Dr Bruce Whitelaw, head of developmental biology at the Roslin Institute, admitted he had struggled with the idea of creating diseased animals purely to try to benefit humans.

“We are saying we will make these animals sick purely for our benefit,” the Scotsman quoted him as saying.

However, he believes his team has a “moral right” to give the technique a try.

His work will be the subject of a debate at Edinburgh Zoo on the ethics of genetically modifying animals.

Whitelaw said the pigs would be used as “models of the human diseases” to provide a better way to test potential treatments.

Existing options involve using mice, which he said were “inadequate”.

He believes there are theoretical reasons why pigs should be good models for human disease – because of many physical similarities, such as similar eye size.

However, he acknowledged that creating the diseased animals would “not necessarily” allow treatments to be developed.

But he said that, since the Roslin had managed to develop the techniques to modify the animals in this way, they should find out if it could help to find cures.

“We have this technology. It’s really important to try to see if it can help. It may not, in which case we should stop,” he said.

“I don’t think we should use this technology for something we can currently treat just so we can make the treatment slightly better, but we should use it for diseases that we don’t have treatments for,” he added.

Whitelaw believes it will take at least two years to produce the genetically modified pigs, and another two years to find out whether they could be treated. (ANI)

Organic Cotton Farming More Profitable: Report

The Economic Times, India.

Indo-Asian News Service, Thailand. 15.06.2010

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/agriculture/Organic-cotton-farming-more-profitable-Report/articleshow/6050780.cms

HYDERABAD: Organically grown cotton is more profitable for farmers
than Bt cotton, a new Greenpeace report said on Tuesday.

“In the year 2009-10, farmers cultivating cotton through organic
practices earned 200 per cent more net income than farmers who grew
genetically engineered cotton (Bt cotton),” the report said.

The report “Picking Cotton – The choice between organic and
genetically-engineered cotton for farmers in South India” is a
comparative analysis of the two methods of agriculture among cotton
farmers in Andhra Pradesh.

The genetically engineered (GE) variety makes farmers more vulnerable
to financial collapse due to high debts and increased costs of
cultivation, it said.

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Update on Bill C-474

Update on Bill C-474: Hearings to continue in the Fall, New action
option coming later this week.

June 14, 2010

The House of Commons Agriculture Committee hearings on Bill C-474 got
off to a shaky start as the first hearing on June 2nd was interrupted
by votes in the House and there was only one other hearing, on June
7th. Hearings may now be suspended until the Fall, to be followed by a
final vote (possibly in October).

On June 2, Bill sponsor NDP Agriculture Critic Alex Atamanenko
testified as well as industry associations. On June 7, alfalfa
producers testified in strong support of Bill C-474. The transcript
from June 7 is not yet available.

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Haitian Farmers Commit to Burning Monsanto Hybrid Seeds

http://www.truthout.org/haitian-farmers-commit-burning-monsanto-hybrid-seeds59616
Tuesday 18 May 2010

by: Beverly Bell, t r u t h o u t | Report

Jonas Deronzil from Verrettes has been farming since 1974. Like small
producers throughout Haiti, his meager income from corn, rice and
beans is threatened by new competition from Monsanto.

“A new earthquake” is what peasant farmer leader Chavannes Jean-
Baptiste of the Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP) called the news that
Monsanto will be donating 60,000 seed sacks (475 tons) of hybrid corn
seeds and vegetable seeds, some of them treated with highly toxic
pesticides. The MPP has committed to burning Monsanto’s seeds, and has
called for a march to protest the corporation’s presence in Haiti on
June 4, for World Environment Day.

In an open letter sent May 14, Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, the executive
director of MPP and the spokesperson for the National Peasant Movement
of the Congress of Papay (MPNKP), called the entry of Monsanto seeds
into Haiti “a very strong attack on small agriculture, on farmers, on
biodiversity, on Creole seeds … and on what is left our environment
in Haiti.”(1) Haitian social movements have been vocal in their
opposition to agribusiness imports of seeds and food, which undermines
local production with local seed stocks. They have expressed special
concern about the import of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

For now, without a law regulating the use of GMOs in Haiti, the
Ministry of Agriculture rejected Monsanto’s offer of Roundup Ready
GMOs seeds. In an email exchange, a Monsanto representative assured
the Ministry of Agriculture that the seeds being donated are not GMOs.

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Results of our GMO Movie Showing

April Reeves, May 24 2010

I thought it would be appropriate to post the results from our first Free Movie Showing evening on the 22nd of May.

The showing was held in the Ralph Fisher Auditorium which holds around 160 people. It was almost packed out, and many people came and went (hospital staff from Richmond General next door!). Once we broke into Q&A, no one left. Many great questions were answered by a panel of 4: Arzeena Hamir, Larry Tolton, Teresa Quach and April Reeves.

Nature’s Path was a sponsor and provided the granola bars for the event. I will be sending them flowers – what a wonderful company! And really great food by the way – to those who haven’t sampled their cereals yet.

We also had free Heirloom bean and pea seeds to start planting your GMO-free garden. A draw to win one of 2 full gardens ready-to-plant was a big hit at the end. The plants went to a good home 🙂

Many ‘active’ GMO activists showed up: April Goodman and Inge Hanle being just 2 of the many, but 2 vocal ones.

Discussions around current issues was hot: Bill C-474, Enviropig, CETA: Canadian European Trade Agreement, Codex and Terminator trees were discussed.

It is also being discussed to take this event into every other municipality in the lower mainland. What was learned is that most people in the urban/city areas have no idea about their food. They have no idea what a GMO is. It’s time to begin a long procedure of educating them. This is one of the few ways we can stop these potentially harmful foods from entering our system permanently, keep our freedom of choice and stop corporate control of Canada.

We will also work with others that wish to lead their groups into pushing for GE Free zones around BC as well. This is more important than ever now. If we sit idly by and say nothing, do nothing, our world as we know it will be gone. This is not the future we want to leave our children.

Extreme Genetic Engineering is here: man-made DNA

In a paper published today in the journal Science, the J. Craig Venter
Institute and Synthetic Genomics Inc announced the laboratory creation
of the world’s first self-reproducing organism whose entire genome was
built from scratch by a machine. Synthetic biology refers to the
construction of novel life-forms using synthetic DNA made from off-the-
shelf chemicals – a form of “extreme genetic engineering”.

ETC Group News Release 20 May 2010 www.etcgroup.org

Synthia is Alive and Breeding: Panacea or Pandora’s Box?

As Craig Venter announces lab-made life, ETC Group calls for Global
Moratorium on Synthetic Biology.

In a paper published today in the journal Science, the J. Craig Venter
Institute and Synthetic Genomics Inc announced the laboratory creation
of the world’s first self-reproducing organism whose entire genome was
built from scratch by a machine.(1) The construction of this synthetic
organism, anticipated and dubbed “Synthia” by the ETC Group three
years ago, will stir a firestorm of controversy over the ethics of
building artificial life and the implications of the largely unknown
field of synthetic biology.

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Article posts for GMO: May 20

April: There just wasn’t enough time in the day to post the really good stuff in full, so I am going to start listing the links to articles I think you may want or need.

HRAC members decide to boycott Genetically Modified foods

French Wine to Be Modified Genetically

Prisoners turn over a new leaf with eye on environment

Orwell-Speak Award Goes to Canada’s GM “Enviropig”

Protesters Block Monsanto in the Netherlands – Demanding End to GMOs

Facebook Page (Arzeena Hamir, GE Free Steering Committee) on Roger’s Sugar: asking us to send Roger’s an email on GMO Sugarbeets. Please let Roger’s know that you will not buy their products anymore.

Chemtrails and Monsanto’s New Aluminum Resistance Gene – Coincidence?

Monsanto Plant Shut Down by Activists in Europe

Lawsuit seeks to ban genetically modified sugar beets

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

(NaturalNews) A group of Oregon farmers are seeking an injunction against this year’s planting of Monsanto’s genetically engineered sugar beets. The groups of organic farmers, food safety advocates and conservationists, is seeking to persuade a judge to ban the crop until the USDA provides a proper environmental impact statement proving that the crops are safe and that they will not cross-contaminate nearby fields.

The debate over whether or not to allow GE crops into the food supply has been a hotly debated one, but the biotech industry has been the side unable to prove that its products are safe. Those concerned about the negative consequences of GE crops have plenty of unresolved questions that demand answers prior to any GE crop being approved. Yet in reality, the USDA has succumbed to industry pressure instead, jeopardizing the entire food industry.

Nearly half of the nation’s sugar beets are genetically modified. They can be found planted on more than one million acres across ten states. The beets have been engineered to be resistant to Monsanto’s “RoundUp” herbicide, but their components are not limited to the fields in which they are planted, spreading across the landscape via pollen and seeds carried in the wind. Because it is impossible to track where GE plant fragments end up, there is no ensuring that any crop is truly non-GE or organic.

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Free GMO Movie Showing May 22

Don’t forget: May 22 is our Free Movie Showing! GMO’s: Panacea or Poison (see poster below).

First 100 participants receive a package of heritage/heirloom pea and bean seeds to plant. Plus we have a draw to win a small garden of heirloom and ancients vegetable plants!

The movie is an hour long, with a guest speaker panel at the end to answer any of your questions. So come on the 22nd and get informed about GMO foods, crops and trees. Why you should care and what you can do.

Kelowna Doctor to participate in GMO Workshop

A short note to everyone coming this evening to our GMO Workshop in Vancouver:

We have 2 special guests coming from Kelowna: Dr. Wittel MD and Nutritionist Heidi Osterman are driving in today to attend the workshop!

Their presence is wonderful – Dr. Wittel has many years of activist experience. Heidi Osterman is interested in bringing this message forward to more people. This workshop is a perfect venue for them to work with interested and enthusiastic activists.

I have been asked by several US groups to work on this: creating a model on workshops for others to use and follow. Together we have great power – let’s make this workshop a “model” for how to do it right!

GMO Workshop 7-9pm

Wednesday May 12 2010 (today)

Unitarian Church, Vancouver, Oak street and 49th.

Canada & Codex: GM labeling – US Increasingly Isolated

Canada at the UN Codex meeting on GM food labeling: Negotiations continue, U.S. increasingly isolated

Your actions worked – again!

Thanks to your letters, the Canadian government delegation to the UN
Codex meeting last week did not boldly ally itself with the U.S.
position against GM food labeling. The U.S. failed in their attempts
to stop the negotiations.

The Canadian government did not speak up to support the nonsensical
position from the U.S. that GM foods are no different from foods
produced through conventional methods. Though not yet actively
supporting a positive position on GM labeling, Canada did not obstruct
the meeting and the U.S. was not able to put an end to the
negotiations. Out of the over 50 countries at the negotiations, the
U.S. was only supported in its position by Mexico, Costa Rica, and
Argentina.

Codex recommendations on GM labeling could protect developing
countries from challenges brought through the World Trade Organization.

The U.S. was trying to put an end to the UN Codex negotiations on GM
labeling but the negotiations will continue. There will be an
important Codex meeting in May 2011 in Quebec City – and we must
continue to pressure the Minister of Health. The Canadian
Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) will continue to take action and
monitor this issue, as well as collaborate with U.S. groups. Please
see below from Consumers Union in the U.S.

For updates and more information: http://www.cban.ca/labeling

Please consider your donation to support this campaign http://www.cban.ca/donate

May 10, 2010 Update

Press Release: Consumers Union Calls on U.S. to Support Genetically Modified Food Labeling Agreement

U.S. Stands Nearly Alone in Opposition at Recent International Meeting

Yonkers, NY—Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer
Reports, today called on the Obama Administration to endorse a
compromise on guidelines for labeling of genetically modified (GM)/
genetically engineered (GE) food, that was supported by the
overwhelming majority of nations during international negotiations
last week in Canada.  Consumers Union again expressed serious concerns
that the current U.S. position in opposition to the compromise on GE/
GM labeling could create major problems in the long term for U.S. and
foreign producers who want to label their products as free of GM/GE
ingredients.

Continue reading

Superweeds have arrived and threaten US agriculture

By April Reeves, May 7 2010

I read it across the ‘ticker’ on CNN yesterday: US farmers deal with super weeds: single worst production threat in the history of agriculture we have ever seen. Strong words. Now, CNN often is a bit ‘expressive’ in their dialogue, but this time I have to agree.

What surprises me are the people who are surprised. Really, it was a matter of time, like many of the issues of GM crops that will eventually surface. We have said for how long now – it’s not sustainable to mess with Mother Nature. But no one listened. 3 of the big GM crops have super weeds: corn, cotton and soy.

So we ‘heretics’ and ‘fear mongers’ once again shake our heads and laugh. It was evident to anyone with any thread of common sense and vision that this day would come. And it came fast.

You can only sustain healthy agriculture through diversity in your crop choices. Monocrops (single plant crops) will eventually fall prey to either disease or in this case, resistance. I’m sure the bugs will be a tough one to destroy this year as well. Climate change as well, demands a biodiversity in order to survive. It’s the old way, but it’s THE way. While man runs around trying to fix everything, even that which is not broken, eventually it will bite him in the butt.

Farmers are curious: if they have to work longer hours (pulling weeds), do the same things they were doing before GM crops (tilling, changing chemicals), then why spend the extra money on GM seeds? While corn and some soy and cotton may prove higher yields, that should not be a concern any more: what matters is profit, and commodity crops are losing their value as junk food processors demand lower and lower prices to compete.

It’s a treadmill that’s almost impossible to get off of. We have been fed a promise that’s now leading us into chemical dependency.

So what does all this mean?

Unless Monsanto can either engineer another type of plant, or create stronger, nastier chemical pesticides, they have succeeded in taking out mass amounts of shareholder value. Creating new crops take millions of dollars. If these crops have a short duration before they implode and turn useless, the value is just not there for investors. So by subjecting farmers to stronger chemicals is the answer? No wonder young people have no interested in going int0 mass agriculture. They are moving into organics and traditional farming instead. Children are growing up much smarter than many of the older folks…

Farmers will incur additional costs trying to maintain what was suppose to be an easy, infallible system. Those costs will be passed on to the consumer, unless the tab is picked up by government subsidies (that would be you, the taxpayer).

Maybe we should take a page from our antibiotics book for super germs. Don’t we learn anything from history? Especially recent history.

Farm income drops to staggering lows

From the Western Producer paper, May 6 2010

Farm income predictions grim

Projections 91 percent below 2009

The 2010 farm income projections are devastating.
Agriculture Canada released them with little fanfare in late April, which is later than normal.
A sector that will produce $41.6 billion in farmgate receipts this year will return $291.5 million to farmers in realized net income after depreciation. It is a 91 percent reduction from 2009 levels.
Several provinces will be in deficit, including Ontario and Alberta.
The hog and cattle sectors will be hit particularly hard, according to the numbers prepared by and agreed to by federal and provincial officials.
The forecast projects a 12 percent increase in program payments to $3.76 billion despite an Agriculture Canada longer-term projection of a sharp decline in government support over the next three years.
National and provincial leaders affiliated with the Canadian Federation of Agriculture called the numbers a clear signal that federal programs are not working.
“The government’s own forecasts show deep losses for many commodities and highlight that the business risk management programs currently in place were not designed to function with today’s unique set of economic circumstances,” CFA president Laurent Pellerin said in a statement.