Tag Archives: Bt Toxin

It’s official – GE crops don’t work and are bad for us

http://earthopensource.org/files/pdfs/GMO_Myths_and_Truths/GMO_Myths_Truths_press-final_EU.pdf

This is a really important study so we are posting the summary in full. This is probably the most definitive report to date to show us we don’t need GE foods.

Why genetically engineered food is dangerous: New report by genetic engineers Earth Open Source 17 June 2012

The report called “GMO Myths and Truths, An evidence-based examination of the claims made for the safety and efficacy of genetically modified crops”, by Michael Antoniou, PhD, Claire Robinson, and John Fagan, PhD is published by Earth Open Source. The report is 123 pages long and contains over 600 citations, many of them from the peer-reviewed scientific literature and the rest from reports by scientists, physicians, government bodies, industry, and the media. The report is available here:http://earthopensource.org/index.php/reports/58 A shorter summary version will be released in the coming weeks. Below are some key points from the report. Continue reading

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GMO Poisons Found in Indiana Waterways

Posted By Dr. Mercola | October 20 2010

The Indiana Business Journal reports that proteins from genetically modified crops are showing up in Indiana waterways.

According to the Journal, the University of Notre Dame and Loyola University looked at 217 streams, drains and ditches near Indiana cornfields and found genetically modified (GM) bug-killing protein in 50 of them.

The protein is in genetically modified corn and other crops that are engineered to produce their own pesticide when insects bite them. But when farmers mow the fields, the residue remains from the crushed plants – and it’s finding its way to the waterways.

“The protein is carried to surface water by runoff and by the leaves and stalks that sometimes wash into streams,” the Journal said. “And the protein lingers. The study was conducted six months after harvest.”

The paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, says it is not known whether the trace levels of the protein are a threat to invertebrates in the water.

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Abuses of Biotechnology posing Threats to Survival

Monday 22 February 2010, by Sailendra Nath Ghosh

The following is the lucidest possible exposition of transgenic genetic engineering. There has been no other exposition anywhere with comparable lucidity of this intricate subject. Since this kind of engineering poses a threat to life’s survival on earth, it has become a crucial political issue. This article was published in Mainstream Annual 2001 (dated December 22, 2001). It is being reproduced here, with minor alternations by the author, in view of the latest controversy surrounding Bt brinjal.

Despite this massive evidence that harmony with Nature gives plentitude and permanence, the practitioners of “nature-conquering science” are now embarking on an yet more dangerous course—namely, “transgenic genetic engineering”. Bioscience—whose purpose was to understand the interlinkages between and among plant and animal species and to find thereform the clues to least expensive agri- and other cultures and cures for diseases—has long been hijacked by commercial interests to enthrone biotechnology, in which the emphasis is on mass production rather than production by the masses. Hybridisation, tissue culture, even cloning to a limited extent of endangered species to repair the damage of near-extinction already done to bioresources, was permissible. But what is now being attempted in the wake of the failure of the “Green Revolution” is a hydra-headed disaster, a biological holocaust, more insidious than nuclear holocaust because it is silent and, in the initial stages, imperceptible.

The “bright” idea is to transfer genes to unrelated species that never interbreed in nature, such as inserting toad genes into potatoes or genes of some bacteria into crop plants. Scientists have taken the gene in a firefly that emits light and inserted it into the genetic code of tobacco plant. Anti-freeze gene from the “flounder fish” has been inserted into the genetic code of tomato plant to protect the plant from cold spells. Insecticide producing gene from bacteria and viruses are being inserted into plants. Attempts are being made to create novel life forms that have not existed before.

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Genetic Engineer speaks out against GMO’s

14/09/2009 (but still important)

Michael Antoniou teaches Molecular Genetics at King’s College, London. In his spare time, he likes to help non-profits with information on the science of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Savvy Soumya Misra met him at a workshop in Delhi recently where he was vocal against GMOs. Edited excerpts.

Jairam Ramesh, minister of state for environment and forests, recently said GM crop (Bt cotton) is acceptable but GM food (Bt brinjal) is not.

This is the first time I have heard somebody make this distinction. People who draw this distinction see cotton as a non-food product but they forget cotton seeds are used for oil, animals eat the stub after harvest and farmers are always in contact with cotton. There is evidence that these farmers have suffered allergic reactions; this needs an official follow-up though. Both environmental and health implications have to be taken into account.

Hazards of GMO’s

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Journal article says suppressed study found GM corn killed ladybugs

A recent article in Nature Biotechnology on how biotechnology companies restrict independent research described a study showing that a genetically modified corn killed ladybugs and that the study was suppressed by the corn’s developer.

In 2001, Pioneer Hi-Bred developed a GM corn variety that contained two Bt toxins, Cry34Ab1 and Cry35Ab1, to kill corn rootworms.

The company asked university laboratories to test for unintended consequences on ladybugs. Scientists fed the corn to ladybugs and found that nearly 100% died after the eighth day in the life cycle.

Pioneer forbade the scientists from publicizing the data. A scientist with the group who wants to remain anonymous said “The company came back and said ‘you are under no circumstances able to publicize this data in any way.’”

Pioneer submitted data to the EPA showing no harm to ladybugs and received government approval to commercialize the corn in 2003.

A Pioneer scientist says the commercialized variety contains a different genetic construct than the corn that killed the ladybugs.

The EPA was told about the independently produced data, but did nothing, according to the anonymous scientist. The same scientist also says Pioneer’s data is flawed.
(Source: Nature Biotechnology)

10 reasons why GM won’t feed the world

From the Urban Sprout

1. Failure to deliver
Genetic modification, despite PR hype, consistently fails to live up to industry claims. Only two GM traits have ever made it to market: herbicide resistance and BT toxin expression. Other promises of genetic modification, such as the much vaunted “golden rice”, have failed to materialise. In 2004, the Kenyan government admitted that Monsanto’s GM sweet potatoes were no more resistant to feathery mottle virus than ordinary strains, and in fact produced lower yields. In January 2008, news that scientists had modified a carrot to cure osteoporosis by providing calcium had to be offset against the fact that you would need to eat 1.6 kilograms of these vegetables each day to meet your recommended calcium intake.

2. Costing the Earth
GM crops are costing farmers and governments more money than they are making. In a 2003 report by the Soil Association the cost to the US economy of GM crops was estimated at around $12 billion since 1999, on account of inflated farm subsidies, loss of export orders and various seed recalls. A study in Iowa found that GM soyabeans required all the same costs as conventional farming but, because they produced lower yields, the farmers ended up making no profit at all. In India, an independent study found that BT cotton crops were costing farmers 10 per cent more than non-BT variants and bringing in 40 per cent lower profits. Between 2001 and 2005, more than 32,000 Indian farmers committed suicide, most as a result of mounting debts caused by inadequate crops.

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GM Crops Facing Meltdown in the USA 

ISIS Press Release 01/02/10

Major crops genetically modified for just two traits – herbicide tolerance and insect resistance – are ravaged by super weeds and secondary pests in the heartland of GMOs as farmers fight a losing battle with more of the same; a fundamental shift to organic farming practices may be the only salvation – Dr. Mae-Wan Ho.

Please circulate widely, keeping all links unchanged, and submit to your government representatives demanding an end to GM crops and support for non-GM organic agriculture.

Two traits account for practically all the genetically modified (GM) crops grown in the world today: herbicide-tolerance (HT) due to glyphosate-insensitive form of the gene coding for the enzyme targeted by the herbicide, 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS), derived from soil bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens, and insect-resistance due to one or more toxin genes derived from the soil bacterium Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis). Commercial planting began around 1997 in the United States, the heartland of GM crops, and increased rapidly over the years.

By now, GM crops have taken over 85-91 percent of the area planted with the three major crops, soybean, corn and cotton in the US [1]] (see Table 1), which occupy nearly 171 million acres.

The ecological time-bomb that came with the GM crops has been ticking away, and is about to explode.

HT crops encouraged the use of herbicides, resulting in herbicide-resistant weeds that demand yet more herbicides. But the increasing use of deadly herbicide and herbicide mixtures has failed to stall the advance of the palmer super weed in HT crops. At the same time, secondary pests such as the tarnished plant bug, against which Bt toxin is powerless, became the single most damaging insect for US cotton.

Monster plants that can’t be killed
It is the Day of the Triffids – not the genetically modified plants themselves as alluded to in John Wyndham’s novel -but “super weeds that can’t be killed” [2], created by the planting of genetically modified HT crops, as seen on ABC TV news.

The scene is set at harvest time in Arkansas October 2009. Grim-faced farmers and scientists speak from fields infested with giant pigweed plants that can withstand as much glyphosate herbicide as you can afford to douse on them. One farmer spent US$0.5 million in three months trying to clear the monster weeds in vain; they stop combine harvesters and break hand tools. Already, an estimated one million acres of soybean and cotton crops in Arkansas have become infested.

The palmer amaranth or palmer pigweed is the most dreaded weed. It can grow 7-8 feet tall, withstand withering heat and prolonged droughts, produce thousands of seeds and has a root system that drains nutrients away from crops. If left unchecked, it would take over a field in a year.

Meanwhile in North Carolina Perquimans County, farmer and extension worker Paul Smith has just found the offending weed in his field [3], and he too, will have to hire a migrant crew to remove the weed by hand. The resistant weed is expected to move into neighbouring counties. It has already developed resistance to at least three other types of herbicides.

Herbicide-resistance in weeds is nothing new. Ten weed species in North Carolina and 189 weed species nationally have developed resistance to some herbicide. A new herbicide is unlikely to come out, said Alan York, retired professor of agriculture from North Carolina State University and national weed expert….

Read the rest of this article here:
http://www.i-sis.org.uk/GMCropsFacingMeltdown.php

“There is nothing more dangerous than a shallow thinking compassionate person”   Garrett Hardin