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 →
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
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).
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.
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.
April: This is an important issue around GM foods and crops. An independent researcher (such as myself) cannot study Monsanto products. If you want to do an environmental study, you have to sign a contract first, and Monsanto has to approve the study before it’s published. There is no “freedom of study”.
How many of you out there knew this? Does this affect your impression of GM foods?
The following article sheds some light on this.
NATURE BIOTECHNOLOGY, VOLUME 27, NUMBER 10, October 2009
*Are the crop industry’s strong-arm tactics and close-fisted attitude to sharing seeds holding back independent research and undermining public acceptance of transgenic crops? Emily Waltz investigates.
The increasingly fractious relationship between public sector researchers and the biotech seed industry has come into the spotlight in recent months. In July, several leading seed companies met with a group of entomologists, who earlier in the year had lodged a public complaint with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over restricted access to materials. In a letter to the EPA, the 26 public sector scientists complained that crop developers are curbing their rights to study commercial biotech crops. “No truly independent research can be legally conducted on many critical questions involving these crops [because of company-imposed restrictions],” they wrote.
In turn, the seed companies have expressed surprise at the outcry, claiming the issue is being overblown. And even though the July meeting, organized by the American Seed Trade Association in Alexandria, Virginia, did result in the writing of a set of principles for carrying out this research, the seed companies are under no compunction to follow them. “From the researchers’ perspective, the key for this meeting was opening up communication to discuss the problem,” says Ken Ostlie, an entomologist at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, who signed the complaint. “It will be interesting to see how companies implement the principles they agreed upon.”
What is clear is that the seed industry is perceived as highly secretive and reluctant to share its products with scientists. This is fueling the view that companies have something to hide.
Who’s in control?
It’s no secret that the seed industry has the power to shape the information available on biotech crops, referred to variously as genetically engineered or genetically modified (GM) crops. Commercial entities developed nearly all of the crops on the US market, and their ownership of the proprietary technology allows them to decide who studies the crops and how. “Industry is completely driving the bus,” says Christian Krupke, an entomologist at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Continue reading →
You may recall from previous posts the role Michael Taylor played in affecting your food. As of January 2010, the new Deputy Commissioner for Foods at the FDA is none other than Michael R. Taylor. Good ole’ Mike. Mikey mike mike. The Mikester. Mikemonger. The Mike-man makin’ messages.
One may feel a special closeness – a bond even – with this guy. After all, if you recall, in November 1993 during the Clinton administration, while in the FDA, he helped put Bovine Growth Hormone into your milk. Taylor was the leader (I use that word loosely) in banning the labeling of GM products. Oh, and for more than ten years he worked for Monsanto. He was intimately involved in some bad food policy, which makes you, the consumer, intimately involved with the outcome of his decisions.
Here’s some scoop on Mike Taylor and other government associations with Monsanto
In 1994, the FDA, while in the sack with Monsanto put out a message to grocery stores and dairy farmers who weren’t using rBGH:
Do not label milk as free of the hormone.
Shortly thereafter (within a matter of weeks) Monsanto sued two milk processors that labeled milk as free of the hormone according to a New York Times article.
Farmers have been front and center pawns in the GM Food chess game. To their credit, farmers historically have a hard working life and little return for their investment of blood, sweat, tears and dollars. They spend their morning, days and evenings working, day in and day out, week after week, year after year, and the prospect of being part of a growing corporation could offer great appeal along with the aspiration of one day retiring. While yes, they are partly responsible for producing GM crops, they are also responding to the consumer’s demand and a corporation’s command.
Sadly, once again, Syndrome’s immoral wanton ways are masked by a facade of hope for the greater good. Global Exchange lists the top 14 ‘Most Wanted’ Human Rights violators for 2007 (I didn’t see a ‘Most Wanted’ list for 2008 or 2009). Monsanto is on that list for abuses of displacement, health violations, and child labor. According to Global Exchange, in India, an estimated 12, 400 children were working for Monsanto in cottonseed production as of 2007. Global Exchange adds how a number of (unspecified) children have died from exposure to pesticides.
Here is a GMO variety heads up, courtesy of Maureen Bostock (a BC expat now based in Ontario)
It seems Seedway Company out of Pennsylvania is selling BT Sweet Corn in the U.S. & southwestern Ontario.
The varieties are marked by the “Attribute” label and are produced by Syngenta. BC 0801, WH 0812, BC 0832, BC 0808, BC 0805, BSS 0977 and BSS 0982 are some of the sweet corn variety names.
Maureen mentioned that as far as she knows growers are required to sign a user’s agreement for this sweet corn – so most organic producers can easily avoid purchasing these varieties; but GE varieties of crookneck summer squash are also listed, and apparently growers are not required to sign a user’s agreement for them.
The following 2 posts were in the Western Producer. It’s interesting how Big Biotech’s are on this crusade to ‘feed the world’. I have commented many times both here and in speaking that they have no such intention. Poor people can’t buy food. Period. Finally, someone else shares my thoughts, only this time with a twist:
By Barry Wilson, Ottawa bureau
November 19, 2009
The marvel of 21st century science is that it seems to have almost no limit other than stilted imaginations.
The physical mysteries of life are revealed through genome mapping.
A rocket is crashed into the moon and water is discovered.
The laboratory has become nature-in-a-hurry, making discoveries that would have been science fiction a generation ago.
Now, if those brainiacs could just create a way to embed calories into empty rhetoric, the world’s billion hungry people would find their bellies growing from nutrition.
Recently I spent several evenings reading The Year of the Flood, the newest novel by award-winning Canadian writer Margaret Atwood. In this visionary fiction story of societal and environmental breakdown caused by gene splicing free-for-alls run by the Corporations, the world is populated by strange animals including wild pigs with superior intelligence, and sheep with human hair. Don’t ask where the meat in the burgers comes from, and watch your back when you’re outside a Corporate compound. An extremist cult, God’s Gardeners, welcomes outcasts as long as they are willing to go along with the religion that goes with growing your own food. It’s a cool religion that honors folks like Saint Euell (Gibbons) for his wisdom of useful wild plants.
Biotechnology companies developing genetically modified crops have withdrawn from a major international project to map out the future of agriculture, after it failed to back GM as a tool to reduce poverty and hunger.
The International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development aims to focus attention on the problem of how to feed the world’s growing population, as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has done for the challenge of global warming. Monsanto, Syngenta and BASF resigned after a draft report from the project highlighted the risks of GM crops and said they could pose problems for the developing world.
The companies argue the report should say their GM technology could secure future food supplies because it can boost yields and make plants more resistant to droughts and higher temperatures.