Tag Archives: SmartStax Corn

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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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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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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Monsanto: A Kinder, Gentler Monolith?

The Street, USA  Scott Eden   07.04.2010

ST. LOUIS (TheStreet) — Monsanto’s moment of self-reckoning has
arrived — at least when it comes to its financial growth forecasts.

In a conference call with analysts and investors Wednesday morning
following another disappointing quarterly earnings report, Monsanto
management effectively said that they’d got it all wrong. They were
turning over a new leaf — or a new cornstalk, as the case may be.

“This management has eaten a lot of crow,” said Charlie Rentschler,
an equities analyst at Morgan Joseph who participated in the call and
described it as “very sober.”

“They’re admitting their mistakes and they’re trying to modify their
ways. Assuming they can do this, it’s a step-change in how this
company has been operated. As far as I’m concerned they’ve been a
pretty arrogant bunch,” Rentschler said of the company, especially in
its relationships with distributors and end-users on the farm.

“They’ve had a lot of swagger — a do-it-my-way-or-hit-the-highway-
type attitude. They say now that’s going to stop.”

April: we’ll see if this is just another propaganda shot at working their shares back up. Farmers are bowing out of their technologies this year, too many people are now anti-GMO, and a host of other reasons are likely why this article has appeared. Can’t imagine Hugh Grant bowing to anything, but I do think we will see all versions of softer press releases from them. Not sure it will reflect the inner workings of the corporation though: you can say anything on paper: it’s harder to actually DO it. Remember: don’t let those shareholders down: must profit at all costs!
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Farmers reject high price of Monsanto seeds

From: Lucy Sharratt – CBAN Coordinator: coordinator@cban.ca

Monsanto earnings down, scraps profit target – farmers reject high priced GE seeds

Monsanto’s earnings disappoint – abandon target to double profits in 5 years – Farmers don’t buy Monsanto’s high prices.

Monsanto’s second quarter earnings did not match their projections, though the company is still robust (some were expecting worse results). Here are summary points from the below news:

– 19% drop in fiscal second quarter earnings, scrapped its target to double profit in 5 years.
– Monsanto shares have fallen about 15% this year.
– Equities analyst refers to Monsanto’s arrogance, its ambitious growth projections were unrealistic.
– Farmers refusing to pay new high price for Monsanto’s eight trait GE corn “SmartStax”  $75/bag http://www.cban.ca/corn
– Farmers also refusing to pay high prices for Roundup Ready2 technology.
– Monsanto’s claims to higher yield not substantiated with third-party data.
– Monsanto now reducing prices, heavily discounting SmartStax = “penetration pricing” to gain market share.

For more info on Monsanto: http://www.cban.ca/monsanto

You can write a letter from CBAN’s website to the Minister of Health asking her to withdraw approval for Monsanto’s “SmartStax” corn: http://www.cban.ca/corn

SmartStax corn is now in the ground

Monsanto’s 8 trait SmartStax corn is now being planted:

There’s been a lot of buzz about Smartstax, the eight-trait hybrid corn seed with reduced pest refuge developed by Dow Agrosciences and Monsanto, but reports from south Texas have it that some of the new seed is actually in the ground.

Farmer Robert Rieder of Sinton, Tx., planted some of the new seed late last week in an area where spring already has begun. Dow Agrosciences and Monsanto have begun selling Smartstax under Monsanto’s DeKalb, Kruger, Holden’s brand and Dow’s Mycogen seed lines.

SmartStax has been approved by federal regulators to reduce their pest refuge – the planted acres set aside for non pest-resistant corn – from 20 percent to 5 percent. The refuge is required to prevent the mutation of bugs resistant to insecticides and anti-pest genomics in seeds.

Pioneer Hi-Bred of Johnston is awaiting federal approval for its AcreMax seed lines which also will allow reduced acreage.

What this means for consumers: It’s a ‘watch and wait’ game to see if this corn has similar effects as StarLink. As a consumer, this is the last summer to eat anything with corn in it, unless you know exactly where it came from. Don’t be a guinea pig.