The US Governments are just lap dogs to these Masters -
Unless the rice you buy is certified organic, or comes specifically from a farm that tests its rice crops for genetically modified (GM) traits, you could be eating rice tainted with actual human genes. The only known GMO with inbred human traits in cultivation today, a GM rice product made by biotechnology company Ventria Bioscience is currently being grown on 3,200 acres in Junction City, Kansas — and possibly elsewhere — and most people have no idea about it.
Since about 2006, Ventria has been quietly cultivating rice that has been genetically modified (GM) with genes from the human liver for the purpose of taking the artificial proteins produced by this “Frankenrice” and using them in pharmaceuticals. With approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Ventria has taken one of the most widely cultivated grain crops in the world today, and essentially turned it into a catalyst for producing new drugs.
Originally, the cultivation of this GM rice, which comes in three approved varieties (http://www.aphis.usda.gov/brs/biotech_ea_permits.html), was limited to the laboratory setting. But in 2007, Ventria decided to bring the rice outdoors. The company initially tried to plant the crops in Missouri, but met resistance from Anheuser-Busch and others, which threatened to boycott all rice from the state in the event that Ventria began planting its rice within state borders (http://todayyesterdayandtomorrow.wordpress.com).
So Ventria‘s GM rice eventually ended up in Kansas, where it is presumably still being grown for the purpose of manufacturing drugs on 3,200 acres in Junction City. And while this GM rice with added human traits has never been approved for human consumption, it is now being cultivated in open fields where the potential for unrestrained contamination and spread of its unwanted, dangerous GM traits is virtually a given.
“This is not a product that everyone would want to consume,” said Jane Rissler from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) to the Washington Post back in 2007. “It is unwise to produce drugs in plants outdoors.”
Though receiving tens of thousands of public comments of opposition, many rightly concerned about the spread of GM traits, the USDA approved open cultivation of Ventria‘s GM rice anyway. This, of course, occurred after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had refused approval for Ventria‘s GM rice back in 2003 (http://www.kansasruralcenter.org/publications/PharmaRice.pdf).
GM ‘pharmaceutical’ rice could cause more disease, suggests report
Besides the threat of contamination and wild spread, Ventria‘s GM rice, which is purportedly being grown to help third-world children overcome chronic diarrhea, may conversely cause other chronic diseases.
“These genetically engineered drugs could exacerbate certain infections, or cause dangerous allergic or immune system reactions,” said Bill Freese, Science Policy Analyst at the Center for Food Safety (CFS), who published a report back in 2007 about the dangers of Ventria‘s GM rice.
You can view that report here:
Source: Activist Post
Stroller-pushing mothers delivered nearly a million signatures in Sacramento on Wednesday, for an initiative to put to populist vote The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act.
The ten-week signature drive collected nearly double the amount needed to put the R2K Act on the November 6, 2012 ballot.
The state will take between five and seven weeks to validate the signatures, and then certify the results. Of the 555,236 needed, thousands of volunteers collected 971,126, just shy of the hoped-for million.
“In ten weeks, nearly a million registered voters signed the ballot initiative,” said Pamm Larry, who single-handedly started the drive on January 20, 2011. “Even biotech engineers gathered signatures for us.” Having founded LabelGMOs.org, Larry then coordinated with other pro-labeling civic groups across the state and nation.
Victory celebrations were held in Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego today, reported CA Right to Know in a press conference.
If voters approve the measure this fall, beginning July 1, 2014, food makers will be required to label those products that contain genetically modified ingredients.
Significantly, the “natural” term can no longer be used if the product contains GMOs.
There are several exemptions, including GMO-fed and GMO-drugged animals, as well as any raw ag product that was unintentionally contaminated with GMOs. Suppliers and producers may be asked to provide a sworn statement that as far as they know, the food is GE-free.
According to the Act, anyone relying on those sworn statements is off the hook legally if the product turns out to have GMOs.
There is a requirement in the Act that grocery store bins or shelves must also be GE-labeled if any unlabeled raw agricultural GE products (like GE corn) are sold. But there’s no liability to the store owner if the supplier provides a sworn statement that the food is GE-free when it’s not.
Given the biotech industry’s penchant for hyperbole (relating to yield, cost and pesticide use), it’s no surprise to hear them declare the Act will cause food prices to spike.
But, as one of the organizers says, “They have 18 months after the election to change their labels, something that is frequently done in the food industry.” Gary Hirshberg, chairman of Stonyfield which has been organic-certified for 20 years, added, “All they have to do is add some ink.”
Several large organizations opposing the measure have organized behind Stop Costly Food Labeling (SCFL), including the Grocery Manufacturers Assn., the Council for Biotechnology Information, the CA Farm Bureau Federation, and, you guessed it, the Chamber of Commerce.
Another lie right out of their lying mouths is that the R2K Act will require, “prohibiting processed foods from being labeled as natural, even if they contain no GE ingredients.”
No such language exists in the eight-page Act.
Until July 1, 2019, any processed food that would be subject to section 110809 solely because it includes one or more genetically engineered ingredients, provided that: (i) no single such ingredient accounts for more than one-half of one percent of the total weight of such processed food; and (ii) the processed food does not contain more than ten such ingredients. §110809.2(e)
This means that food can have up to 5% genetically modified organisms by weight (and up to ten of the little buggers) and remain free of the GE label. Looks like biotech scored big on that exemption. GE-free should be GE-free.
Fundraising to Counter Biotech Lies
Both sides will engage in a media spectacle aimed at swaying voters, using TV and print to promote their positions. If their April 26 press release is any indication, the biotech sector of Big Ag and its supply chain plans to drive a wedge between small operators and consumers who want to know what’s in their food. “It’ll put you out of business!” screams the upcoming headline.
Heaven forbid. Requiring food labels is akin to truth in advertising. Big Pharma certainly hasn’t disappeared because they can’t keep nasty side effects a secret.
Grocery stores have nothing to fear, despite the SCFL’s spin that “right to know” means “right to sue.” Whining they’ll have to follow what’s done in 40 other countries, adding a little ink to food labels in the biggest agriculture state in the US won’t put anyone out of business.
We’re gonna be inundated with a barrage of lies to the point we’ll stand in muted awe at the audacity. Kinda like the informed’s reaction when Condi Rice objected to her “integrity” being impugned after she promoted the wild WMDs lie.
But now is not the time for muted silence. And the media campaign to support California’s initiative must be funded, nationally, says Dr. Mercola, who runs the biggest natural, homeopathic website in the world.
He’s teamed up with several groups including Organic Consumers Assn. and Food Democracy Now! to launch a major fundraising campaign for the upcoming battle of words, explained OCA spokesperson, Katherine Paul, in an email to Food Freedom. “But all of the funds will be turned over to the CARighttoKnow campaign to use for media consultants, advertising, and legal help,” she advised.
Between May 1 and May 26, a broad coalition of food, farming, health groups, and organic food manufacturers, will attempt to raise one million dollars to defeat Monsanto propaganda and get the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act on the ballot for November 6, and passed into law. Money raised in this Million Dollar Money Bomb on Monsanto campaign will support the California Ballot Initiative and other state GE-labeling campaigns. If donations totaling $1 million is reached by May 26, a coalition of benefactors will MATCH it, bringing the Money Bomb to $2 million!
According to the opposition, Mercola has already put up $800,000 of his own money. The busy man didn’t get back to me as to whether this is actually true, but it smells right that he’d want to back his own horse.
‘We can’t leave California to battle the biotech giants on their own,’ he says. ‘They need your help! Donating funds to this campaign may be the best money you’ll spend all year to safeguard your health, and the health of your children.’
This is all great news… and no one doubts California’s R2K GE Food Act will be on the ballot on November 6, 2012.
Which brings us to the ballot . . . cast on electronic voting systems that studies funded by Secretary of State Debra Bowen proved are not secure from hack. (See, e.g., here and here.) Other studies by different states and universities and privately-hired tech firms agreed, but Bowen and her Sec-State peers across the nation all bought those expensive, hackable machines anyway.
Even so, since over 90% of US eaters want their food labeled, the vote result is a foregone conclusion. And, what’s done in the biggest Ag state in the union is sure to be followed in at least some of the 20-some states that allow an initiative process – a tool used by citizens to adopt laws and constitutional amendments without the support of the Governor or the Legislature.
Vermont, another state now undergoing an agricultural renaissance, does not have this freedom, so the GMO-food label bill passed by the legislature will not be enacted, as Governor Shumlin has advised he will veto it. We reported on this in the last half of this news video on Monday.
Robyn O’Brien of Allergy Kids Foundation says:
My youngest daughter’s face began to swell shut at breakfast one day – and I had no idea why. We were only eating waffles, scrambled eggs, and tubes of blue yogurt…so what was happening to her? Before my daughter had a violent allergic reaction that morning, I honestly hadn’t given a lot of thought to what I fed my kids. I mean, if it was on grocery store shelves, it was all the same, right?But since then, like so many moms, I learned that there are all kinds of new ingredients in our foods that weren’t in what we ate as kids. That’s why we need labels.”
Just Label It is working on the FDA for a national directive requiring GMO-food labels, and sent their congrats to California. They’re still collecting petition signatures until May 13, and have produced this quick little video by Robert Kenner, director of Food, Inc.
But California may beat FDA to the punch, and its Right to Know Act will impact food labeling across the nation. This is the big one from which the biotech-feds’ House of Secrecy begins to crumble. All those who support GMO-food labeling are going to have to drop a bomb of money on them to counter the war chest of the biotech industry.
Amid all the controversy over genetically-modified (GM) crops and their pesticides and herbicides decimating bee populations all around the world, biotechnology behemoth Monsanto has decided to buy out one of the major international firms devoted to studying and protecting bees. According to a company announcement, Beeologics handed over the reins to Monsanto back on September 28, 2011, which means the gene-manipulating giant will now be able to control the flow of information and products coming from Beeologics for colony collapse disorder (CCD).
Since 2007, Beeologics has been studying CCD, as well as Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV), for the purpose of coming up with intervention-based ways to mitigate these conditions. And based on the way the company describes both CCD and IAPV on its website, Beeologics has largely taken the approach that intervention, rather than prevention, is the key to solving the global bee crisis.
Now that Beeologics is owned and controlled by Monsanto, the company is sure to completely avoid dealing with the true causes of CCD and IAPV as they pertain to Monsanto’s crop technologies — GMOs and their chemical counterparts. So going into the future, it seems expected that Beeologics will come up with “scientific breakthroughs” that deny any link between CCD and GMO technologies, and instead blame mystery pathogens and other factors that require more chemicals to eliminate.
According to Anthony Gucciardi at Activist Post, Beeologics has also long had a cozy relationship with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which is convenient for Monsanto. The USDA, in fact, considers Beeologics to be one of the foremost bee research organizations in the world, as does the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the mainstream media and “leading entomologists” worldwide, according to the company.
Beeologics’ acquisition announcement explains that Monsanto plans to incorporate all the biological research that Beeologics has conducted over the years into its own programs for developing more GMO systems. Monsanto has also seized control of a key product that is currently in the Beeologics development pipeline that supposedly “help[s] protect bee health.”
“Monsanto will use the base technology from Beeologics as a part of its continuing discovery and development pipeline,” says the announcement. “Biological products will continue to play an increasingly important role in supporting the sustainability of many agricultural systems.”
To translate, it appears as though Monsanto plans to use even more chemical inputs to supposedly solve the bee collapse problem, even though it is these very inputs that are largely the cause of the bee collapse problem. Several recent studies, after all, have definitively linked crop pesticides and herbicides, as well as high fructose corn syrup, to CCD.
The future looks bleak for bees, in other words, as Monsanto appears poised to slowly gobble up all the competing companies and organizations that threaten its own GMO products, while pretending to care about the dwindling bee populations. And unless drastic action is taken to stop Monsanto in its continued quest to dominate global agriculture, the food supply as we know it will soon be a thing of the past.
Sources for this article include:
When Dr. Don Huber, professor emeritus at Purdue University and internationally-recognized plant pathologist, wrote a letter back in January to US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack, warning him about a new mystery disease showing up primarily in genetically-modified (GM) crops, the notice fell on deaf ears.
Research conducted by a team of senior plant and animal scientists found that Monsanto’s glyphosate chemical, which is the primary ingredient in its popular RoundUp herbicide formula, appears responsible for infecting plants with an AIDS-like syndrome that destroys their immunity, blocks their absorption of certain vitamins and minerals, and eventually kills them.
You can read a copy of Dr. Huber’s letter for yourself here:
The key factor of Dr. Huber’s discovery was a microscopic pathogen specifically prevalent in GM crops. The pathogen, he explained in an interview with Food Democracy Now! (FDN) as well as in his letter, is common. But an apparent weakening of plant immunity by glyphosate makes plants treated with the chemical more susceptible to contracting the harmful pathogen. And as a result of exposure, large swaths of GM farmland have died, and many animals that feed on GM-tainted meal have become infertile or have had abortions.
But instead of listening to the scientifically sound advice of Dr. Huber and withholding deregulation of GM alfalfa until more intense safety studies could be conducted, the USDA decided to ignore it all and approve the “Frankencrop” anyway.
To watch the full video interview between FDN and Dr. Huber, visit:
Sources for this story include:
Source: Natural News
For far too long, breakfast cereal makers have carried out highly deceptive product labeling and positioning campaigns through the use of the term “natural.” Consumers are easily misled by this term, believing it to mean the product is free from pesticide chemicals and genetically engineered ingredients. But an explosive new investigation by the Cornucopia Institute (www.Cornucopia.org) — the same group that exposed the widespread use of hexane solvents in soy protein — is set to send shockwaves through the “natural” products industry by revealing which so-called “natural” brands actually contain high levels GMOs and toxic chemical pesticides.
This story will also be covered this Thursday on the Alex Jones Show (www.InfoWars.com), when a representative from the Cornucopia Institute will be interviewed on live national radio. You can help spread the word about this important story by sharing this article.
Before you view the Cornucopia’s test results below, there are three important things you need to know about GMOs:
#1) There is GE contamination in almost everything. Even “non-GMO” food products almost always contain trace levels of GMOs (often between .01% and 0.5%). A test for the mere presence of GMOs is not considered conclusive. What’s important is the level of GMOs in a particular food item. Some of the “natural” items tested by the Cornucopia Institute showed GMO contamination levels between 28 and 100 %, which means the key ingredients in those cereals are most definitely genetically engineered from the source (and it’s not just a chance contamination from some other nearby field).
#2) All GMO tests are merely a “snapshot” that can change over time. Foods that test free of GMOs today may contain higher levels tomorrow due to supply line errors, contamination, supply source changes, and so on. At the same time, foods that test at high levels of GMOs today may test at lower levels in the future or even for different batches from the same manufacturer. Sometimes manufacturers are lied to by their suppliers. Some manufacturers test for GMOs in every batch, but others take a “don’t ask don’t tell” approach where they don’t test because they’d rather not know.
#3) Products may be “enrolled” in the Non-GMO Project and still contain GMOs before they are “verified.” The Non-GMO Project has two designations for products. There are products which are “enrolled” which means they are “on the path” to becoming free of GMOs but may not have achieved it yet. Thus, it is true that products “enrolled” in the Non-GMO Project may still contain substantial levels of GMOs. Products that meet far more stringent supply line audits and GE testing requirements are granted the label “Verified” by the Non-GMO Project.
You got all that? It’s a lot to keep in mind. GMOs are a complicated issue. But one thing is certain: Most “natural” breakfast cereals contain surprisingly high levels of genetically engineered ingredients. This is why it’s crucial to shop for certified organic breakfast cereals from companies like Nature’s Path, whose products are 100% certified organic and free from GMOs.
All these concerns about GMOs don’t even cover residues of toxic and carcinogenic pesticides in the grains used to produce “natural” breakfast cereals. The Cornucopia report cites extensive USDA testing and research revealing which “natural” grains and ingredients may be routinely contaminated with chemical pesticides. Synthetic pesticides are banned in organic production with oversight by independent certifiers and USDA accreditation, so organic is once again the way to go if you wish to avoid pesticide residues.
Keep reading to see some of the shocking test results uncovered by the Cornucopia Institute…
The Cornucopia Institute’s “Cereal Scorecard” (http://www.cornucopia.org/2011/10/natural-vs-organic-cereal/) reveals some truly astonishing facts about what’s in our breakfast cereal:
• Kashi brand cereals (Kellogg’s) contains “high levels” of GMOs. Not just a trace of GMOs, in other words, but a high level meaning the key ingredients are genetically engineered from the get-go. In fact, NaturalNews has learned that test results reveal 100% of the soy used in tested boxes of Kashi cereal was genetically engineered soy.
• Mother’s brand cereals (PepsiCo) contains “high levels” of GMOs. Test results revealed 28% of the corn to be genetically engineered.
• Whole Foods’ 365 brand Corn Flakes contains “high levels” of GMOs (more than 50% GE corn).
• Barbara’s Bakery Puffins cereal was also shown to contain more than 50% genetically engineered corn.
• Both Barbara’s Bakery Puffins and Whole Foods 365 Corn Flakes are “enrolled” in the Non-GMO Project, says Cornucopia (see below). Note that this does not mean “verified” by the Non-GMO Project, which is a different designation. Still, the term “enrolled” in the Non-GMO Project may imply to many shoppers that the products are free from GMOs. This is something NaturalNews will address later, as it is a concern for both us and many readers who have long believed that any affiliation with the Non-GMO Project meant the same thing as “GMO free,” which it does not.
• One of the shining examples honest organic cereal is Nature’s Path, whose products are all certified organic, contained no significant GMO contamination and are clearly made with entirely non-GMO ingredients.
• As the report states: Numerous “natural” products were indeed contaminated with high levels of GE ingredients, sometimes as high as 100%: Kashi GoLean, Mother’s Bumpers, Nutritious Living Hi-Lo, and General Mills Kix.
• Kashi Heart to Heart Blueberry cereal costs more than Nature’s Path Organic Blueberry Cinnamon Optimum Cereal, and yet the grains used in Kashi cereal were found by the USDA, to typically contain residues of all the following pesticide chemicals: phosmet, carbaryl, azinphos methyl, malathion, chlorpyrifos methyl, chlorpyrifos. (Note: This does not mean these Kashi cereals were tested for each of these chemicals, only that these chemicals are admitted by the USDA to be found in the non-organic grains used to manufacture Kashi cereals.)
• Quaker Oats states that it is an “all-natural” product. But Quaker Oats (a unit of PepsiCo) manages a processing plant that emits roughly 19,000 pounds of sulfuryl fluoride yearly. Sulfuryl fluoride is a toxic greenhouse gas used to treat crops like oats in storage.
• “Natural” Peace Cereal Wild Berry Crisp is produced from conventional commodity ingredients commonly containing the neurotoxin phosmet and the carcinogen captan in 11% and 55% of samples, respectively.
• Mom’s Best Naturals Raisin Bran cereal contains “natural” (non-GMO) ingredients that are commonly contaminated with malathion and phosmet chemicals, both of which are neurotoxins.
• Several Bear Naked and Kashi products contain conventional soy protein. Soy protein in this country is nearly universally hexane-extracted. The “hexane bath” that the soybeans are immersed in consists of more than 50% n-hexane, which is a known neurotoxin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
View the Scorecard page or download the PDF report:
COMING TO A PRODUCE AISLE NEAR YOU, and conveniently pre-packaged and ready-to-eat, is ‘Beneforte’ broccoli. As you can see in the photo up top, the package is labeled with a number of health claims. But when you realize what’s missing from the bag, you’ll probably gag. I know I did. For Beneforte is the product of the agricultural Goliath I like the least. It is the product of Monsanto.
To be clear, there is nothing inherently wrong with ‘Beneforte.’ It is not a genetically modified vegetable, but a cross between a commercial broccoli and a wild broccoli.
This cross, according to Monsanto, produced a “super” vegetable — one which contains 2-3 times the phytonutrient glucoraphanin, “as compared to other leading broccoli varieties produced under similar growing conditions.” I can only imagine what those “similar growing conditions” might be. They certainly aren’t organic conditions, or the label would say so.
What gets my goat is Monsanto’s claim that ‘Beneforte’ helps to “maintain your body’s defenses against the damage of environmental pollutants and free radicals.” Now that’s a howler. For Monsanto is one of the biggest polluters of the environment. Have a look at their track record, which includes the company’s introduction of Agent Orange:
Monsanto Hid Decades of Pollution The Washington Post, January 1, 2002
EPA Concerned about Monsanto Pollution Control Dam
Monsanto Pays 93 Million to Victims in Settlement
Monsanto: A Legacy of Deception
The New PCB: Monsanto’s Round-up weed killer turning up in air, rain and rivers
Well. Is it any wonder that Monsanto doesn’t want its name emblazoned on packages of ‘Beneforte’ broccoli?
Source: The Activist Post
After the Nepalese government decided to allow Monsanto into their borders and subsequently force farmers to use genetically modified seeds, the citizens took to the streets.
The starving nation let Monsanto in despite recent and massive bans in a number of EU countries.
Monsanto’s GMO crops have been shown by a team of 900 scientists to be virtually ineffective at combating starvation — in fact, they perform way worse than traditional and sustainable agriculture.
Now, according to some Nepal-based activists, Monsanto has been run out of the country by fierce protesting.
It seems that the Nepalese people are quite aware of this fact as well, as hordes of activists demonstrated their opposition to Monsanto and genetically modified creations on the city streets.
Hundreds of the anti-Monsanto activists gathered in Kathmandu in front of the U.S. embassy, pouring out from their homes just shortly after the announcement was made.
According to the activist group ‘Stop Monsanto in Nepal’, the protests may have succeeded. In a post on Facebook on April 6th, the group stated:
Celebrating Victory! We knew from internal sources that the Nepal-Monsanto-USAID deal was postponed indefinitely but we didn’t have a public document to claim the victory officially. But Hari Dahal, Joint secretary and Spokesperson for the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MoAC) mentioned on a recent ‘BBC Sajha Sawal’ that Monsanto will NOT be allowed in Nepal.
The news comes just after Monsanto was taken to court over ‘knowingly poisoning workers‘ and causing devastating birth defects. Argentinean tobacco farmers stated that the biotech giant knowingly poisoned them with herbicides and pesticides and subsequently caused ”devastating birth defects” in their children.
2,4-D and the dioxin pollution it creates are too dangerous to allow, period, but in the hands of bad actors like Monsanto and Dow Chemical the dangers increase exponentially. What’s the Environmental Protection Agency doing? Helping coverup the chemical companies’ crimes!
In February, Monsanto agreed to pay up to $93 million in a class-action lawsuit brought by the residents of Nitro, West Virginia, for dioxin exposure from accidents and pollution at an herbicide plant that operated in their town from 1929 to 2004.
That may seem like justice, but it is actually the result of Monsanto’s extraordinary efforts to hide the truth, evade criminal prosecution and avoid legal responsibility.
A brief criminal fraud investigation conducted (and quickly aborted) by the EPA revealed that Monsanto used a disaster at their Nitro, WV, plant to manufacture “evidence” that dioxin exposure produced a skin condition called chloracne, but was not responsible for neurological health effects or cancers such as Non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
These conclusions were repeatedly utilized by EPA and the Veterans Administration to deny help to citizens exposed to dioxin, if these persons did not exhibit chloracne.
The EPA knew the truth about Monsanto’s dioxin crimes, but it decided to hide it. Why? It would have affected us all. EPA’s brief criminal investigation of Monsanto included evidence that Monsanto knowingly contaminated Lysol with dioxin, even as the product was being marketed for cleaning babies’ toys.
Here are the details of this jaw-dropping and heart-breaking case of corporate criminality and EPA collusion.
According to Natural News:
According to Source Watch, in 1990, Cate Jenkins, a PhD chemist at EPA, became convinced that Monsanto had deliberately manipulated studies of worker victims of the Nitro disaster showing that dioxin was a human carcinogen.
Dr. Jenkins wrote a memorandum entitled “Newly Revealed Fraud by Monsanto in an Epidemiological Study Used by EPA to Assess Human Health Effects from Dioxins.” Read the memo at PureFood.org.
According to her memo:
Within days of learning that the Office of Enforcement had initiated a criminal investigation of Monsanto based on Jenkins’ allegations, her job duties were withdrawn without warning. She was not given any assignments from August 30, 1990 until she was reassigned on April 8, 1992 to a job which was primarily administrative or clerical.
According to a 1994 report on “EPA’s Phony Investigation of Monsanto,” by William Sanjour, Policy Analyst, US Environmental Protection Agency, published in Rachel’s Hazardous Waste News:
Why did Monsanto and the EPA go to such great lengths to hide the truth? It would have affected us all. EPA’s brief criminal investigation of Monsanto included evidence that Monsanto knowingly contaminated Lysol with dioxin, even as the product was being marketed for cleaning babies’ toys.
Dr. Jenkin’s memo also contained evidence that Lysol, a product made from Monsanto’s Santophen, was contaminated with dioxin with Monsanto’s knowledge. The manufacturer of Lysol was not told about the dioxin by Monsanto for fear of losing his business. Other companies using Santophen, who specifically asked about the presence of dioxin, were lied to by Monsanto.
This is just one example of why we can’t trust the EPA to stop Monsanto and Dow Chemical from poisoning us with dioxin.
TAKE ACTION: Call EPA’s Fail! Tell the EPA You Won’t Accept a Decision on 2,4-D Based on Dow Chemical’s Biased Studies!
TAKE ACTION: Tell USDA to Stop Agent Orange Corn!
To learn more about what’s wrong at the EPA, watch this video from the recent Occupy EPA protest:
Source: Activist Post
Monsanto’s Roundup, which is the most popular herbicide used today, has been found to ignite morphological changes in amphibians.
The research, conducted using tadpoles, found that environmentally relevant concentrations of Roundup are enough to cause two species of amphibians to actually change shape. This is the first research to show that herbicides can have such an effect on animals.
Setting up outdoor tanks closely resembling the environment of natural wetlands, study researcher Rick Relyea, University of Pittsburgh professor of biological sciences in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and director of Pitt’s Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology, added 3 tadpoles to each tank and exposed them to a range of Roundup concentrations over a 3 week period. The cages also contained large predators, which naturally cause changes in tadpole morphology. These natural changes include a larger tail, due to chemical emissions.
While it wasn’t surprising to see morphological changes take part due to the naturally emitted chemicals from predators, it was rather shocking to find out that Roundup had the same effects — causing the tails of the tadpoles to grow in size.
What’s more, the combination of the naturally emitted chemicals and Roundup caused the tadpoles’ tails to grow twice as large.
Seeing as tadpoles alter body shape in order to properly survive in its environment, the forced changes from herbicides like Roundup can put the animals at a disadvantage.
‘This discovery highlights the fact that pesticides, which are important for crop production and human health, can have unintended consequences for species that are not the pesticide’s target. Herbicides are not designed to affect animals, but we are learning that they can have a wide range of surprising effects by altering how hormones work in the bodies of animals. This is important because amphibians not only serve as a barometer of the ecosystem’s health, but also as an indicator of potential dangers to other species in the food chain, including humans,’ says Relyea.
In addition to physically altering tadpoles, Roundup has also been shown to be contributing to the decline of butterfly populations, though in a different way.
Similar to how pesticides have been contributing to the bee decline, Monsanto’s Roundup has been tied to the decrease in the population of monarch butterflies by killing the very plants that the butterflies rely on for habitat and food.
As more research continues to be done, researchers continue to keep finding more pitfalls caused by Monsanto’s creations. We currently know enough to cease use of the corporation’s products, but there are undoubtedly further concerns yet to be revealed.
Source: Fast coexist
You may not know that you’re eating these crops–despite the fact that they appear in 80% of all packaged food sold in the country–because the U.S. is one of the few places in the developed world that doesn’t require food producers to disclose whether or not their ingredients have any modifications.
If something is labeled “organic” by the USDA, that means it has no GMO crops. The Non-GMO Project is also working on a system for labeling products that aren’t genetically enhanced. To be fair, there isn’t any science that proves that GMO crops are at all bad for consumption; there also aren’t any that confirm that they’re safe. For now, we’re in the dark. And more and more GMO products–like Monsanto’s sneaky, unlabeled sweet corn, the first direct-to-consumer GMO food–are coming to market every day. The full infographic is here:
Following the anti-Monsanto activism launched by nations like France and Hungary, Poland has announced that it will launch a complete ban on growing Monsanto’s genetically modified strain MON810. The announcement, made by Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki, sets yet another international standard against Monsanto’s genetically modified creations. In addition to being linked to a plethora health ailments, Sawicki says that the pollen originating from this GM strain may actually be devastating the already dwindling bee population.
“The decree is in the works. It introduces a complete ban on the MON810 strain of maize in Poland,” Sawicki stated to the press.
Similar opposition to Monsanto occurred on March 9th, when 7 European countries blocked a proposal by the Danish EU presidency which would permit the cultivation of genetically modified plants on the entire continent. It was France, who in February, lead the charge against GMOs by asking the European Commission to suspend authorization to Monsanto’s genetically modified corn. What’s more, the country settled a landmark case in favor of the people over Monsanto, finding the biotech giant guilty of chemical poisoning.
In a ruling given by a court in Lyon (southeast France), grain grower Paul Francois stated that Monsanto failed to provide proper warnings on the Lasso weedkiller product label which resulted in neurological problems such as memory loss and headaches. The court ordered an expert opinion to determine the sum of the damages, and to verify the link between Lasso and the reported illnesses. The result was a guilty charge, paving the way for further legal action on behalf of injured farmers.
Since 1996, the agricultural branch of the French social security system has gathered about 200 alerts per year regarding sickness related to pesticides. However only 47 cases were even recognized in the past 10 years.
Nations are continually taking a stand against Monsanto, with nations like Hungary destroying 1000 acres of GM maize and India slamming Monsanto with ‘biopiracy‘ charges.
Source: Activist Post
Obviously there is no room for GMOs in truly healthy food products, which is why it is truly vital that you understand the nature of GMOs and how they are oftentimes hidden in commercial food products.
It may very well shock you to know just how prevalent GMOs are within the food supply. It’s truly amazing that modified products continue to go unlabeled despite being linked to organ damage — among a barrage of other conditions — in a prominent review of 19 studies.
This move means that consumers will continue to stay in the dark about whether or not what they’re eating is compromised of genetically modified ingredients.
Statistics show how GMO crops and ingredients have skyrocketed in even the past few years. Here are statistics as of 2009-2010:
What it comes down to is that as long as the threat is not visible, many consumers will simply purchase commercial products without thinking about the consequences. This is exactly why Monsanto and others have been squelching attempts to label products that contain GMOs.
Source: Activist Post
While the Food and Drug Administration has seemingly reached the limit for unbelievable behavior, the company’s decisions continue to astound and appall consumers and health activists alike.
In the agency’s latest decision, undoubtedly amazing thousands of individuals yet again, the FDA virtually erased 1 million signatures and comments on the ‘Just Label It’ campaign calling for the labeling of genetically modified foods.
The ‘Just Label It” campaign has gotten more signatures than any campaign in history for the labeling of genetically modified foods. Since October of 2011, the campaign has received over 900,000 signatures, with 55 politicians joining in on the movement. So what’s the problem here?
Evidently, the FDA counts the amount of signatures not by how many people signed, but how many different individual letters are brought to it. To the FDA, even tens of thousands of signatures presented on a single petition are counted as – you guessed it – a single comment.
This is how, despite over a million supporters being gathered by the petition, the FDA concluded a count of only 394.
The argument as to whether genetically modified foods are dangerous is a whole discussion on its own, but for the FDA to completely sidestep away from the labeling of GM foods is completely and utterly irresponsible.
Consumers have every right to know what they are consuming. Needless to say, biotechnology giant Monsanto is against GMO labeling, claiming that it would mislead consumers since GMOs are ‘perfectly safe’. Of course there is plenty of evidence proving that GMOs are not completely safe, and how they affect life in the long-term is questionable to say the least.
Either way, there is enough controversy surrounding the issue which is cause for alarm for millions of people, and Monsanto’s opinion on GMOs safety is a sorry excuse for not labeling foods as GM. Is the FDA avoiding such an issue because so many ties exist between genetically modified makers like Monsanto and the agency?
The bottom line is that you have the right to know what is in your food, and what your food is. Denying that right, whether it be by the essential deletion of millions of signatures on a petition, or by ignoring the voices of thousands of people on the street, is stripping the rights of consumers.
‘This is an election year and there are more than a million people who say this is important to them. This petition has nothing to do with whether or genetically modified foods are dangerous. We don’t label dangerous foods, we take them off the shelves. This petition is about a the citizens’ right to know what they are eating and whether or not these foods represent a novel change.’ said Andrew Kimbrell an attorney for the Center for Food Safety, one of the partner groups on the Just Label It campaign.
Source: Activist Post
Today, in Federal District Court in Manhattan, family farmers filed their Notice of Appeal to Judge Naomi Buchwald’s February 24th ruling dismissing Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al v. Monsanto. The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will hear the farmers’ appeal, seeking to reinstate the case, which has received worldwide attention. The farmers are determined to move forward with their lawsuit challenging Monsanto’s patents on genetically engineered seed technologies in order to continue their pursuit of Declaratory Judgment Act court protection from Monsanto’s claims of patent infringement should their crops become contaminated by Monsanto’s seed.
“Farmers have the right to protect themselves from being falsely accused of patent infringement by Monsanto before they are contaminated by Monsanto’s transgenic seed,” said Dan Ravicher, Executive Director of the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT), a not-for-profit legal services organization based at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law that represents the plaintiffs. “Judge Buchwald erred by denying plaintiffs that right and they have now initiated the process of having her decision reversed.”
The original complaint in OSGATA et al v. Monsanto was filed on March 29, 2011. In July, Monsanto filed a motion to dismiss. Plaintiff lawyers at PUBPAT then filed a rebuttal brief on August 11, 2011. Judge Buchwald called for oral argument on the motion to dismiss, which was held in Manhattan on January 31, 2012. The judge’s dismissal ruling was issued February 24th and plaintiffs were given thirty days in which to file their Notice of Appeal.
“Farmers are under threat. Our right to farm the way we choose, and to grow pure organic seed and healthy food on our farms for our families and for our customers is under assault,” said Maine organic seed farmer Jim Gerritsen, President of lead Appellant OSGATA. “We are honor-bound to challenge an erroneous ruling which denies family farmers the protection the law says we deserve. We’re not asking for one penny from Monsanto. Ultimately, our fight is for justice and is waged to defend the right of the people to have access to good and safe food.”
The Plaintiff/Appellant group is comprised of individual family farmers, small and family-owned seed companies and agricultural organizations. They are all organic or committed to farming without using genetically engineered seeds, and have no desire to ever farm with Monsanto’s patented GMO technology. However, they are fearful that Monsanto seed will trespass onto their farms and that the resulting contamination of their crops will be viewed by Monsanto as illegal ‘possession’ resulting in patent infringement allegations. Monsanto’s harassment of family farmers is well known in farm country, the biotech seed and chemical giant has one of the most aggressive patent assertion agendas in U.S. history. Between 1997 and 2010, Monsanto admits to filing 144 lawsuits against America’s family farmers, while settling another 700 cases out of court for undisclosed amounts and imposing gag orders on farmers. The farmers’ fears were heightened when Monsanto refused to provide a legally binding covenant not to sue, signaling Monsanto’s intention to maintain their option to sue innocent family farmers in the future.
“America’s farmers deserve to be protected under the law from the unwanted genetic contamination of their crops by Monsanto’s flawed genetically engineered seed technology,” said David Murphy, founder and Executive Director of Food Democracy Now!, an Iowa-based national advocacy organization of more than 300,000 members. “These farmers have no desire to use Monsanto’s GMO seeds, yet they are forced into the untenable position of losing their right to farm in the manner in which they choose, face legal intimidation and the loss of economic livelihood, all because America’s legal system has failed to adequately protect them from the real threat of genetic trespass that is inherent as a result of Monsanto’s patented GMO seeds and the natural biological functions of cross pollination from wind, insects or animals.”
The Appellants in the suit represented by PUBPAT are: Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association; Organic Crop Improvement Association International, Inc. (OCIA); Food Democracy Now!; The Cornucopia Institute; Demeter Association, Inc.; Navdanya International; Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association; Northeast Organic Farming Association/Massachusetts Chapter, Inc.; Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont; Rural Vermont; Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association; Southeast Iowa Organic Association; Mendocino Organic Network (California); Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance; Canadian Organic Growers; Family Farmer Seed Cooperative; Sustainable Living Systems (Montana); Global Organic Alliance; Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund; Weston A. Price Foundation; Center for Food Safety; Beyond Pesticides; Northeast Organic Farming Association of Rhode Island; Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire; Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut; Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York; Western Organic Dairy Producers Alliance; Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (Wisconsin); Midwest Organic Dairy Producers Alliance; Florida Organic Growers; Peace River Organic Producers Association (Alberta and British Columbia); FEDCO Seeds, Inc. (Maine); Adaptive Seeds, LLC (Oregon); Sow True Seed (North Carolina); Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (Virginia); Mumm’s Sprouting Seeds (Saskatchewan); Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co., LLC (Missouri); Comstock, Ferre & Co. LLC (Connecticut); Seedkeepers, LLC (California); Siskiyou Seeds (Oregon); Countryside Organics (Virginia); Cuatro Puertas (New Mexico); Seed We Need (Montana), Wild Garden Seed (Oregon); Alba Ranch (Kansas); Wild Plum Farm (Montana); Gratitude Gardens (Washington); Richard Everett Farm, LLC (Nebraska); Philadelphia Community Farm, Inc. (Wisconsin); Genesis Farm (New Jersey); Chispas Farms, LLC (New Mexico); Midheaven Farms (Minnesota); Koskan Farms (South Dakota); California Cloverleaf Farms; North Outback Farm (North Dakota); Taylor Farms, Inc. (Utah); Ron Gargasz Organic Farms (Pennsylvania); Abundant Acres (Missouri); T & D Willey Farms (California); Quinella Ranch (Saskatchewan); Nature’s Way Farm, Ltd. (Alberta); Levke and Peter Eggers Farm (Alberta); Frey Vineyards, Ltd. (California); Bryce Stephens (Kansas); Chuck Noble (South Dakota); LaRhea Pepper (Texas); Paul Romero (New Mexico); Donald Wright Patterson, Jr. (Virginia); Common Good Farm; LLC (Nebraska); American Buffalo Company (Nebraska; Full Moon Farm, Inc. (Vermont); Radiance Dairy (Iowa); Brian L. Wickert (Wisconsin); Bruce Drinkman (Wisconsin); and Murray Bast (Ontario).
About OSGATA: The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association is a not-for-profit agricultural organization made up of organic farmers, seed growers, seed businesses and supporters. OSGATA is committed to developing and protecting organic seed and it’s growers in order to ensure the organic community has access to excellent quality organic seed free of contaminants and adapted to the diverse needs of local organic agriculture. www.osgata.org
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Facing direct opposition from the public, biotechnology giants like Monsanto and Dow are now making a disturbing attempt to brainwash developing minds into accepting their genetically modified foods using blatant lies and propaganda.
In a last ditch effort to potentially sway public opinion, the Council for Biotechnology Information (CBI) has launched the “Biotechnology Basics Activity Book” for kids.
With the intent to be used by ‘agriculture and science teachers’, the activity book spreads absurd lies about GMO crops — even going as far as to say that they ‘improve our health’ and ‘help the environment’.
The book can be seen on the organization’s website, and makes it extremely apparent that it is full of misinformation and propaganda that completely ignores scientific research surrounding genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
In fact, let’s examine some claims made by this book that serves as an ‘educational’ tool to be used by teachers.
The first claim by the activity book is that genetically modified seeds actually grow more food than traditional seeds, and is followed by even more ridiculous statements. The activity book reads:
Hi Kids! Welcome to the Biotechnology Basics Activity Book. This is an activity book for young people like you about biotechnology — a really neat topic…. You will see that biotechnology is being used to figure out how to: 1) grow more food; 2) help the environment; and 3) grow more nutritious food that improves our health. As you work through the puzzles in this book, you will learn more about biotechnology and all of the wonderful ways it can help people live better lives in a healthier world. Have fun!
Disproving Monsanto’s Propaganda
According to 900 scientists, GMO crops actually do not grow more food than traditional farming practices. In fact, they are simply not an effective tool to fight starvation in any capacity, thanks to their excessive costs and immense failure to yield crops.
Funded by the World Bank and United Nations, an organization was created known as the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD). Made up of 900 scientists and researchers, the group — whose mission was to examine the issue of world hunger — found that genetically modified crops were not a meaningful solution to the problem.
Instead, the group found that the genetically modified seeds were outperformed by traditional “agro-ecological” farming practices. Therefore, to say that biotech seeds and crops produce more food than traditional agriculture is not only scientifically incorrect according to these 900 scientists, but it is an outright lie.
But what about the claim that GMOs improve our health? It turns out nothing could be further from the truth. A prominent review of 19 studies examining the safety of GMO crops found that consumption of GMO corn or soybeans can lead to significant organ disruptions in rats and mice – particularly in the liver and kidneys.
Of course the negative effects do not end there. Monsanto’s modified biopesticide, known as Bt, has been found to be killing human kidney cells in conjunction with Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide Roundup. That’s right, it exhibits direct toxicity to human cells.
Further adding to the long list of negative health consequences that go against the claim that the biotech inventions ‘improve our health’ , Monsanto’s Roundup ready crops have also been linked to mental illness, obesity, infertility, and DNA damage.
Peer-reviewed research shows that Monsanto’s products are far from healthy, and to say that they actually improve our health is truly concerning when you consider the fact that children are reading this information as fact.
The biotechnology organization also failed to mention how Monsanto has been caught running slave labor rings, forcing ‘employees’ into illegal working conditions in which they were forced to work 14 hours or more per day on the field. What’s more, the laborers were unable to leave the premises if they expected to ever receive their pay.
‘Helping the Environment’
The next claim that needs addressing is perhaps the most ludicrous of them all. Do Monsanto’s products really help the environment as the book claims? Remember, this is given to teachers as scientific information, not just presented as an opinion.
Research has shown that Monsanto’s modified Bt pesticide is actually mutating the very genetic coding of insect life on the planet, creating super resistant ‘mutant’ bugs that are wreaking havoc on farms using Monsanto’s harmful concoctions across the globe. At least 8 populations of insects have developed some form of resistance, with 2 populations resistant to Bt sprays and at least 6 species resistant to Bt crops as a whole.
Perhaps most concerning is the mounting rootworm resistance as a result of Monsanto’s GMO corn usage. A group of 22 academic corn experts recently petitioned the EPA over the extreme danger presented by the crops, urging the EPA to take long-awaited action. The experts sent a letter on March 5th to the agency explaining their worries regarding long-term corn production prospects in light of GMO crops failures. If nothing is done, experts worry that the future of agricultural stability is threatened.
Experts are also concerned about the mass amount of ‘superweeds’ currently springing up around the globe as a result of Monsanto’s Roundup. These resistant weeds currently cover over 4.5 million hectares in the United States alone, though experts estimate the world-wide land coverage to have reached at least 120 million hectares by 2010. The onset of superweeds is being increasingly documented in Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Europe and South Africa.
The public is not buying the lies regarding Monsanto’s GMO crops, and as a result biotech giants are scrambling to preserve their dwindling role in our society. There is a serious war on for the minds of developing children right now, and it is being waged by government-approved mega corporations who care not for the health of these children but for profits. The claims made within this book are not only scientifically unfounded, but they are seriously dangerous to the health of children and adults alike. This phony book is far from an ‘educational’ resource.