Tag Archives: Food Security

GE Tour Fundraising Dinner Event – Saturday, Nov 23

As you may know, GE Foods and Human Health: A Cross-Canada Speaker’s Tour has just begun and the events have been very well attended and have resulted in excellent discussions on GE/GMO foods & human health. We look forward to the rest of this tour with Dr. Thierry Vrain and Dr. Shiv Chopra as they continue to educate the public across Canada.

Nature’s Path is generously hosting a fundraising dinner in support of the tour this Saturday, November 23rd. If you’d like to attend, tickets may still be available. Continue reading

NEW Info Graphic for the GE Foods & Human Health Tour – Please Share

Genetically Engineered (GE) Foods and Human Health: A Cross-Canada Speaker’s Tour begins tomorrow, with over 30 events to follow. Please help promote the tour by sharing this info graphic on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks.

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Why GE crops won’t feed the world

Much of the hype around new technology centres around solving problems such as hunger or disease. But anyone who knows anything about hunger also knows that distribution is as much a problem as production. We now have 1 billion people who are obese, and 1 billion people undernourished – in other words a totally dysfunctional global food system based on profit rather than social equity and environmental sustainability. GE crops are central to this dysfunctionality.

If GE crops were about feeding hungry people, why do a majority of them (maybe 60%) go to cattle feed, which is an enormously wasteful way to use land and water – read Eleanor Boyle’s excellent book on this and why we need to eat less meat: http://www.newsociety.com/Contributors/B/Boyle-Eleanor

If our food was distributed equally there would be more than enough to feed us all. The proof – in Europe and North America we throw away 30-50% of the food we produce.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jan/10/half-world-food-waste

Tristram Stuart, an anti waste activitst, has a really good talk on this

http://www.ted.com/talks/tristram_stuart_the_global_food_waste_scandal.html

 

 

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

Monsanto Corn May Be Failing to Kill Bugs, EPA Says

December 02, 2011, 10:34 AM EST By Jack Kaskey

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-12-02/monsanto-corn-may-be-failing-to-kill-bugs-epa-says.html

Dec. 2 (Bloomberg) — Monsanto Co. corn that’s genetically engineered to kill insects may be losing its effectiveness against rootworms in four states, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said. Continue reading

New book on food sovereignity in Canada

Creating just and sustainable food systems

http://www.fernwoodpublishing.ca/Food-Sovereignty-in-Canada/

Are there more young farmers in BC?

As I’ve travelled the Province this year, from Bella Coola (where I had coffee with a bunch of farmers including one who has just started farming pigs profitably) to Campbell River (where I met two young women farmers who are in the their second year of sharecropping from a local farmer to grow organically) to Kaslo (where I bumped into an old friend at the local coffee shop who helped turn Kaslo into a GE free zone), I’ve noticed that there are more young people wanting to get into farming- especially is we stretch young to under 40. Given the demographics with many Canadian farmers due to retire in the next 10 years, this is a positive sign. And the young farmers I have spoken to are into local and organic. I heard the same from friends outside York in Ontario recently. Who knows if this is a trend or just the places I’ve been going to, but there’s a magazine article to support this hypothesis:

http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/new-livelihoods/a-growing-movement

Raw milk

Not a GMO issue, but an important area nonetheless which is why we are posting it:

“The right to buy food direct from a farmer is as old as our country. Yet, today, that right is being taken away from Canadians by a government that insists that only corporate Canada be responsible for feeding our citizens.”                                                 -Michael Schmidt
http://thebovine.wordpress.com/

Micheal Schmidt, a farmer in Ontario,  is now on his third week of a hunger strike to support our right in Canada to choose the food we consume.  He, like many of us, believe that food freedom is a fundamental right! 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

Reports from World Food Security in Rome

You may have noticed no posts for a while. I was in Rome doing some work on food security and dropped in on the Committee for World Food Security held at the Food and Agriculture Organisation. Faris Ahmed from USC was there too and you can check out his blogs at http://usc-canada.org/

Monsanto contamination takes out Organic Farm again

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.”

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The Ontarion | A pig of two tales: Enviropig

The Ontarion | Enviropig: invention continues to be a heavily debated issue for professors, students and Guelphites alike: Kelsey Rideout: The issue of genetically modified meat into our food supply.

via The Ontarion | A pig of two tales 
.

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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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

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

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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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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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!

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.

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.

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

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)

Ten Thousand Haiti Peasants Protested Monsanto’s Seeds

10,000 Haitian peasant farmers marched Friday June 4 to protest
Monsanto’s donation of hybrid corn and vegetable seeds. The farmers  are asking groups around the world to “Struggle Against Monsanto and its associates.”

See photos from Haiti and the solidarity action in Montreal and more
information at http://www.cban.ca/Monsanto

Union Paysanne, Action SOS Haiti, and the Canadian Biotechnology
Action Network called on people in Montreal to gather outside the
Haitian Consulate on Friday to express solidarity with Haitian peasant
groups who are rejecting Monsanto’s donation of hybrid corn seeds. A
delegation delivered a letter to the Haitian consulate in support of
the farmers’ concerns and met with the Consul General for half an
hour. There was huge media coverage of the event in the French-
language press in particular.

Solidarity actions were called for by the Haitian Peasant Movement of
Papay (MPP) and supported by La Via Campesina.

(Now available! “Stop Monsanto” buttons are now available from CBAN.
Check http://www.cban.ca/Monsanto )

Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator
Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN)

Collaborative Campaigning for Food Sovereignty and Environmental Justice
431 Gilmour Street, Second Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K2P 0R5
Phone: 613 241 2267 ext.6
Fax: 613 241 2506
coordinator@cban.ca
www.cban.ca

Take action to Stop “Envriopig?”: No GM Animals http://www.cban.ca/enviropig
Donate Today http://www.cban.ca/donate
Subscribe to the CBAN News and Action Listserve http://www.cban.ca/About/CBAN-e-News

Health Canada’s response to my email: GE alfalfa & wheat

By April Reeves, June 2, 2010

Another pathetic response from Health Canada. I have had many emails suggesting a class action suit against them, and I think it’s time to change them out, however we plan to do it.

My email:

Continue reading

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.

You can make a HUGE difference right now!

This is minimal effort with maximum effect: there is a poll on this website that asks if you want Richmond BC to be a GE Free zone – cast your vote asap before the poll disappears. There is power in the YES vote: scroll down the page and the poll is on the left hand side 2/3 of the way down. Thanks – in advance – to everyone that votes yes!

http://www.bclocalnews.com/richmond_southdelta/richmondreview/

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

Pesticides and ADHD: new tests prove links for children

April: finally, a study showing links with pesticides and ADHD in children! But did they study the links; where the pesticides came from – the sprayed pesticide or the pesticide that lives within every cell on a GMO RoundUp Ready plant? The plant that is found in almost every packaged and processed food in North America? This remains to be studied…

Pesticide link to ADHD in children: Study

Agence France-Presse: Monday, May 17, 2010

WASHINGTON – Children exposed to higher levels of pesticide found on commercially grown fruit and vegetables in the United States were more likely to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a study published Monday.

Researchers in the United States and Canada studied data from 1,139 children aged between 8 and 15 and found that children with higher residue levels of pesticides known as organophosphates were roughly twice as likely to have ADHD, the study in the Journal of Pediatrics found.

Continue reading

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.

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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.

Next Wednesday – GMO Workshop for GM Activists

Monsanto takes on CBAN re: Bill C-474: Students in Vancouver take action

Please see below that Monsanto is fighting back to stop Bill C-474
and CBAN’s successful campaign.
1. The industry arguments are desperate  and make very little sense – stay tuned for CBAN rebuttal of industry  arguments: “If you let groups like CBAN offer their comment I don’t think it really has any interest whatsoever in protecting farmers’
rights to access to new technology.” – Trish Jordan, Monsanto Canada
(from below article)

2. House of Commons Agriculture Committee hearings on Bill C-474 will
happen in late May and early June.

3. Your actions continue: Vancouver Kingsway NDP MP Don Davies
presented a petition in the House of Commons April 29 in support of
Bill C-474, signed by well over 100 students, organized by Chanel and
Cassandra Ly, Emily Chan and Brendan Chan. “These students took the
leadership and initiative to educate their classmates about this
important issue raised by this bill and I am proud to present their
views in Parliament on their behalf. These students want to protect
the environment, ensure the health of Canadians and support community
food producers. I join with them in calling for the swift passage of
this bill through committee and into law,” said Mr. Davies in the
House of Commons. You can download the petition from http://www.cban.ca/474
and request your MP to present in the House also.

Article:

Continue reading

If you ever wanted to make a difference…

Canada-EU trade agreement damaging

From The Western Producer April 20 2010

By Terry Boehm, National Farmers Union

Canada and the European Union are negotiating a new free trade agreement, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
This agreement with the EU is no small matter for farmers. The CETA, if implemented, will, as much as the North American Free Trade Agreement or the World Trade Organization, transform Canadian agriculture and farms. And not for the better. The CETA will further intensify Canada’s farm income crisis.
The CETA would mean many changes, but none would be more negative or sweeping than its effect to extinguish farmers’ rights to save and use seeds.
Worse, the agreement would give enforcement powers to any corporation that asserted a farmer had infringed the company’s intellectual property rights.
The CETA would require Canada to implement the UPOV ’91 version of plant breeders’ rights (PBR). That version of the International Convention for the Protection of New Plant Varieties would virtually eliminate farmers’ rights to save, reuse and sell seed.

Urgent Action Alert ? Support GM Food Labeling – Take action before May 5, 2010

Tell the Minister of Health that Canada must support the right of
countries to label genetically modified (GM) foods. Send a letter
instantly from
http://www.cban.ca/labelingaction

Canada could work to shut down negotiations on GM labeling at the UN Codex meeting next week in Quebec City.

May 3-7, governments will negotiate food labeling standards at the UN Codex meeting, including recommendations on GM labeling. The US is trying to stop the negotiations from continuing, and Canada may also try to end the negotiations.

Developing countries want support from Codex for their right to label
GM foods. The US and Canada want to make sure this doesn’t happen
because Codex recommendations on GM labeling could protect developing
countries from challenges brought through the World Trade Organization.

Canada and the US also argue that GM foods are not any different from
foods created through conventional methods. This is not supported by
science, including Codex’s own food safety guidelines!

Despite polls that show over 80% of Canadians want mandatory labeling of GM foods, the Canadian government continues to bow to intense pressure from the biotech industry and refuses to label GM foods.

Help protect the rights of developing countries to label GM foods!
Take action before May 5, 2010 at http://www.cban.ca/labelingaction

For more updates and for information on labeling and Codex see http://www.cban.ca/labeling

This action alert was issued by the Canadian Biotechnology Action
Network, April 29, 2010 www.cban.ca
Donate to support the campaign today http://www.cban.ca/donate

Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator
Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN)

Collaborative Campaigning for Food Sovereignty and Environmental Justice
431 Gilmour Street, Second Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K2P 0R5
Phone: 613 241 2267 ext.6
Fax: 613 241 2506
coordinator@cban.ca
www.cban.ca

Your actions worked! MPs voted for Bill C-474! (it will now be studied by the Agriculture Committee.)
For more updates and action http://www.cban.ca/474
Donate today http://www.cban.ca/donate

Organic practices can feed the world

Be not troubled by Robert Paarlberg’s scaremongering. Organic practices can feed the world — better, in fact, than wasteful industrial farming.

In May 2004, Catherine Badgley, an evolutionary biology professor at the University of Michigan, took her students on a research trip to an organic farm near their campus. Standing on the acre-and-a-half farm, Badgley asked the farmer, Rob MacKercher, how much food he produces annually. “Twenty-seven tons,” he said. Badgley did the quick math: That’s enough to provide 150 families one pound of produce every single day of the year.

“If he can grow that quantity on this tiny parcel,” Badgley wondered, “why can’t organic agriculture feed the world?” That question was the genesis of a multi-year, multidisciplinary study to explore whether we could, indeed, feed the world with organic, sustainable methods of farming. The results? A resounding yes.

Unfortunately, you don’t hear about this study, or others with similar findings, in “Attention Whole Foods Shoppers,” Robert Paarlberg’s defense of industrial agriculture in the new issue of Foreign Policy. Instead, organic agriculture, according to Paarlberg, is an “elite preoccupation,” a “trendy cause” for “purist circles.” Sure, sidling up to a Whole Foods in your Lexus SUV and spending $24.99 on artisan fromage may be the trappings of a privileged foodie, but there’s an SUV-sized difference between obsessing about the texture of your goat cheese and arguing for a more sustainable food system. Despite Paarlberg’s pronouncements, Badgley’s research, along with much more evidence, helps us see that what’s best for the planet and for people — especially small-scale farmers who are the hungriest among us — is a food system based on agroecological practices. What’s more, Paarlberg’s impressive-sounding statistics veil the true human and ecological cost we are paying with industrial agriculture.

Continue reading

Conservative Party makes huge blunder in GMO email

Written by April Reeves, Director, GE Free BC

I was forwarded this email today from a colleague. It’s a response from Conservative MP Alice Wong regarding their stance on Bill C-474. This response clearly states how little the Conservative party thinks about our rights, freedom, and intelligence. Read on:

Dear Alice Wong, MP, Richmond, Conservative Party,

On April 28, 2010, you sent a response to a fellow named ‘Bruno Vernier’ regarding Bill C-474. I would like to remind you of this email, and I have a few comments about your response you should hear. Your email:

Dear Bruno,

You are absolutely correct that we are to represent the citizens of Richmond,

and that most of the e-mails we received asked us to vote for C-474. However,

our Parliamentary system isn’t totally based on referendum or constituency

majority wishes.  An MP isn’t just elected to a “puppet” of the electorate.

They are elected for their ability to lead as well as for their willingness to

follow consensus.  Yes, a good MP works hard at listening to his or her

consitutents and representing them well.  But by electing an MP, constituents

are also placing on them a mantle of authority, a “trust quotient” if you

will, to go to Ottawa and vote as they see best on issues of national

importance.  This may not always be the “popular” position and ultimately each

MP faces accountability for that at the election booth.  But they will also

run for reelection on their expertise and skill, not just on being a “puppet”

of constituents’ wishes. Parliamentary democracy has a lot of nuances to it

and there are some grey areas in how it plays itself out on the daily

political arena. The main objective of both sides was to support Canadian

farmers, and we listened to the large number of farmers who asked the

government to defeat this bill.

Voting against the C-474 was not an attempt to stifle debate over the issue.

Back in October 27, 2009, the Agriculture Committee passed a motion to study

genetically modified organisms, and the first hearing on the subject was held

on December 3. We agree that we should have a debate on the issue of GMOs in

committee; approving the substance of the bill in principle was not necessary

to facilitate that debate.

Although we have two differing opinions on the issue, I wish to thank you for

your civility and sharp grasp of the issues you advocate. We receive many

generic e-mails asking for support for different issues, but only a few take

the time to share their personal views and articulate them so well. Thank you

for dialoguing with us.

All the best,

Micah Au, Constituency Office of Alice Wong, MP for Richmond

– – –

Lets start at the beginning.

First off, you DO in fact work for the people who voted you in. It’s called Democracy, a term the Conservatives have forgotten about.

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Engineering Our Own Extinction? GE Corn Linked To Increasing Infertility

By: Christy Hardin Smith Friday November 21, 2008 4:30 pm

This is truly the stuff of nightmares.  As someone who lived through years of infertility and miscarriage misery, I can’t imagine being in the shoes of a desperate-to-be-mother who found out that an ingredient in our foodunmarked because of government bowing to the lobbying interests of farming giants like Monsanto who don’t want you knowing that there is frankenfood in your meal — was the cause?

Via Gourmet:

…Yet none of our regulatory agencies required long-term animal feeding studies before allowing all that test-tube corn to enter our food supply, according to the Center for Food Safety, and much of the short-term research that has been done was sponsored by the biotech companies that stood to profit from GE crops.

Which is why it was particularly chilling late last week to read the results of an experiment that was both long term and not conducted under the auspices of a big chemical company.

Dr. Jurgen Zentek, a professor at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, reported that he fed one group of laboratory mice traditional corn and another group GE corn made by the Monsanto Company. The GE crop is bred to survive being sprayed by herbicide and to produce its own insecticide. The mice maintained their diets for 20 weeks, long enough to produce four litters of offspring.

Zentek found that the mice who dined on modified corn had fewer litters, fewer offspring, and more instances of complete infertility than those receiving a conventional diet. Not only that, but the infertility of the GM-corn-fed rodents became more pronounced with each passing litter.

Zentek said that further studies to corroborate his results were “urgently needed.”

Suddenly that “not nice to fool Mother Nature” commercial from my childhood has sprung to life.  (Oh, the irony.)

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CBAN: Laura Rance explains GMO problems Canadian Politicians need to know

Our voice is being heard and understood – Please see below a
significant editorial by Laura Rance, long time agriculture journalist and editor of the Manitoba Cooperator.

Critics of GM crops vindicated over time:  Multinationals control seed supply

By: Laura Rance http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/columnists/critics-of-gm-crops-vindicated-over-time-91180074.html

Just over a decade has passed since the use of genetically modified
crops on Prairie farms became widespread.

Although farmers have wholeheartedly embraced them, some of the
downsides predicted by early critics — which were pooh-poohed by the
experts — have also turned out to be true.

It turns out, cross-contamination does occur between genetically
modified (GM) and non-GM crops, such as the spread of volunteer
herbicide-resistant canola genes into other farmers’ fields.

It can also take place in the lab — as illustrated by the seepage of
GM-variety CDC Triffid flax into the Prairie flax seed supply.

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Secret Canadian-European Free Trade Agreement Makes Unreasonable Demands For Citizens

April 19, 2010

Trade Justice Network releases secret draft of Canada-European Union free trade agreement, makes demands of Canadian and European governments

Ottawa, April 19 – As the third round of Canada-European Union free trade negotiations commence the newly formed Trade Justice Network today publicly released the draft text of the proposed Canada-European Union Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) – the most significant bilateral trade negotiation since the NAFTA.

The network is raising serious concerns about the agreement’s potential impact on public and environmental policy, and public services in both Canada and Europe, among other issues, and has outlined a set of demands that must be met before negotiations are allowed to continue.

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Monsanto Faces Rising Grassroots Opposition in South Africa

Posted April 15th, 2010 by Anonymous

By Nombulelo Siqwana-Ndulo (PhD)

Multinational seed and chemical companies looking to gain a new customer base in Africa are facing increasing resistance from both farmers and consumers. Nonetheless, they are making inroads by partnering with African institutions and governments that are eager to ‘modernize’ their agricultural sectors. South Africa is of particular importance in this regard. The country has gone against the grain of general distrust of GMOs in Africa to become a gateway for the distribution of GM food aid; the commercialization and export of GM seeds; and experimentation with GM crops not approved elsewhere.[i]

But here too, they face mounting opposition. In July 2009, for instance, the South African government rejected the commercial release application for GM potatoes after the Executive Council, a government licensing body, concluded that the toxicology studies were “inadequate, scientifically poorly designed and fundamentally flawed.” It was also reported that, in 2008/2009, 80% of Monsanto’s GM maize in South Africa failed to produce a crop, leading critics to call for urgent investigation and a ban on all GM foods.

In 2002, the South African government, in partnership with U.S.-based biotech firm Monsanto, launched the so-called Massive Food Production Program (MFPP) in the country’s Eastern Cape Province. The Eastern Cape is characterized by a dual economy in which the western half of the province (previously white South Africa under apartheid) is dominated by commercial agriculture while the eastern half consists of subsistence agriculture. After the advent of democracy in 1994, there was tremendous pressure to develop the rural economy here.

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Why salads cost more than a Big Mac

April: by the way, McDonald’s scrapped their composting initiative. Seems the food wasn’t breaking down into compost…..

Read more….

New food safety bill could crush local food movement

By Chris Hinyub Sat, Apr 17th 2010

Next week, the Senate will vote on a measure that could potentially extinguish California’s local food movement. Lobbied for by multinational agribusiness giants such as Cargill and Monsanto, as well as supported by the pharmaceutical industry, The Food Safety Modernization Act would impose financially crippling and practically useless regulations on family farms and small-scale food processors according to opponents.

The bill will require all food growers, regardless of size to keep accessible records, have more accountable monitoring and traceability protocols, and impose a blanket $500 registration fee. This means costly radio frequency identification (RFID chips) implanted in livestock as well as (according to the language of the bill) “science based” and “best practices” in agriculture will be mandated.

The FDA could impose standards which mandate, amongst other agribusiness mainstays, the use of highly toxic pesticides, hormones, GMOs and food irradiation practices on any and all growers.

These practices can be arbitrarily determined by the FDA deputy commissioner for foods, Michael Taylor. Interestingly enough, before Taylor found himself in a leading position at the Food and Drug Administration, he went from being Monsanto’s attorney, key in the deregulation of genetically modified organisms, to that company’s vice president.

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