Category Archives: GMO’s

Paying Them To Do it

Most GMOs are fed to slaughterhouse animals like cows, pigs and chickens.  These animals are raised in CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations).  These CAFOs are a relatively recent invention designed to produce meat as cheaply as possible.  What the designers of CAFOs invented was a torture chamber.  We are feeding our children (and ourselves!) meat that was raised under the most horrific conditions imaginable.

These CAFO’s not only torture their inhabitants, they also produce massive amounts of  fecal matter pollution.  CAFOs are also a business model that is being exported overseas via free-trade agreements.  And every time one of us eats CAFO meat, we are paying them to do it!

It’s the trifecta of poison: Poison the environment with GMO crops: Poison and torture CAFO animals by feeding them pesticide laden GMO crops, adding growth hormones and antibiotics, no sun or fresh air: Poison our children by feeding them the cheap meat.  Let’s cut down the rainforest while we are at it to grow the GMO soy (as is being done in Brazil).  And let’s pay these large corporations to do it every time we eat factory farmed meat.

Make the choice that makes a difference:  Eat only humanely raised chicken, beef and pork, and free-range eggs; and cheese made from grass fed cows.  We must also demand that the New York City Department of Education (the worlds largest food purchaser after the Pentagon) stop serving poison meat to our children!!

CAFO the book  (great site!)

GMO pesticides killing bees

1500 beekeepers protest GM crops in Warsaw

Bill Gates and GMO crops

New survey shows 91% of US consumers support labeling of GM foods – only 5% oppose.

Glyphosate (Monsanto’s GMO herbicide) linked to numerous abnormalities

Monsanto and friends target schoolchildren

How NPR Got It Wrong on Monsanto’s Superweeds

Boycott bad meat!

“The present system of producing food
animals in the United States is not sustainable
and presents an unprecedented level of risk to public health and damage to the environment,
as well as unnecessary harm to the animals
we raise as food.”

—Robert Martin, Director of the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production

The Bitter Secret about GMOs

Food connects everything.  It connects us to the earth.  It connects the sun the plants the animals to humans to the air and water and soil. It connects the countryside to the city.  It connects and bonds a culture.  To really connect with someone you share a meal.  Almost all holidays and ceremonies involve food.  We worship our lives with food.  Feelings of gratitude emerge along with customs of prayer when a meal is set before us.  Offerings to the gods are made with food.  Gods themselves become food.  Food is healing and comforting or conversely, food can make you sick.  You are what you eat is a literal truth.

Butter Sculpture

Food is the biggest business of all, dwarfing oil, pharmaceutical and transportation.  Food means big money, and as you follow the money and the control of agriculture, you discover the bitter secret behind GMO’s and what that secret means for our food and our health.  (GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism)

The Way To A Man’s Heart Is Through His Stomach

 

I’ve been actively involved in trying to get GMO’s out of the American food supply for many years.  GMO’s are defined by the World Health Organization as “foods derived from organisms whose genetic material has been modified in a way that does not occur naturally”.  To accomplish this modification requires cutting-edge modern science, using a process that involves altering DNA.  As we learned in high school or college or on our own, DNA is the blueprint, the software, the building block of our physical self.  DNA was only discovered in 1953, yet science is now so powerful that it can purposefully alter these building blocks to great effect.  To some scientists this purposeful alteration represents a powerful and exciting development, while to others, GMOs are “Frankenstein” foods- dangerous and potentially tragic.  The vast majority of scientists and consumers feel is still too early to risk exposing ourselves and the environment to such untested and unpredictable tinkering.  Most of us do not even know we are eating GMOs, because if we did know, polls say, we would not purchase them or eat them.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) first came to my attention after my daughter developed serious asthma fourteen years ago.  Asthma is an auto-immune disorder which is very often triggered by environmental toxins.  So I became a toxin hunter.  As often happens while exploring, a vast new world was discovered.  As one man’s toxin is another man’s happy hour, defining exactly what a toxin is can be difficult.  In determining what is healthy and what isn’t, I encountered scientific deceit bolstered by public-relations spin, behind which stood huge corporate profits and the centralization and control of our food supply, with the entire process subsidized with taxpayer money!  A cover-up of all the toxic consequences of eating and growing genetically engineered food was in full swing.  And that made me mad.

To alter a plant’s DNA, genes are taken from completely different species, or even different kingdoms, and randomly inserted into another living plant’s (or animal’s) DNA: This new living thing takes on new characteristics.   An early genetic experiment involved taking genes from a cold-water fish (Winter Flounder) and inserting them into a tomato!  It was thought that this new tomato would be frost-resistant, and that we could then forever after enjoy fresh tomatoes throughout the winter!  Are you seeing the dollar signs yet?  This tomato never reached our dinner plates.  It was truly a monster, a Frankenstein, a mess.   Despite billions and billions of dollars in research and development, very few advantageous new traits have been created in plants by tinkering with their DNA in laboratories.  Despite what you may have heard, GMO plants do not produce higher yields, they are not more nutritious, and pesticide use has gone way up since they were introduced, which is the exact opposite of everything we were told.  The one advantage they really have are government price supports:  Uncle Sam will purchase your GMO soy or corn crop for a set price, guaranteed.  If you plant GMOs you are guaranteed a profit due to price supports on corn and soybeans!  Now that’s an advantage that has nothing to do with the laboratory.

Toxic Overload

In just fifteen years since their arrival in our supermarkets, GMO’s have reached a saturation point in the American diet, and the health of the average American is in steep decline.  Since that time we have seen skyrocketing numbers of severe food allergies and auto-immune disorders like asthma.  ADHD and mood disorder rates, which many nutritionists link to digestion and gut flora, are increasing.  The cancer rate is still climbing and so are nervous disorders like Alzheimer’s.  Huge increases in obesity and diabetes can be linked to the ultra-cheap corn and corn syrup supplied by GMO corn.  Many, many studies have consistently shown genetically modified food to be dangerous and unhealthy, and it’s showing up in our health, especially in the health of our children, who are much more vulnerable to the effects of toxic food.

Whether GMOs actually affected my daughter’s asthma is not provable, since no human testing has been done on GMOs.  To understand why GMOs have never been tested on humans brings us to the sensitive issue of political corruption.   The Food And Drug Administration is the federal agency tasked with protecting us from dangerous substances.  They can and do use SWAT team raids to shut down raw milk operations or organic cheese producers.  They also put the warning labels on cigarettes and made the law that keeps them out of reach of children.  Yet they have refused to mandate labels on GMOs.  Internal memos of FDA scientists prior to the approval of GMOs have revealed that many, many red flags were flying and warning signals were sounding from the FDA’s own tests.  Yet when a major bio-tech corporation (Monsanto) had their own lawyer installed in high places at the FDA, (Michael Taylor) the approval for GMOs was fast-tracked.  George Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama are all complicit in this, as they all were responsible for the FDA appointees.  Al Gore, Mr. Green, is a huge supporter of GM foods.  Monsanto, which has a terrible history of corporate criminality, and is primarily a chemical company, was effectively allowed to run the safety and approval division of the Food And Drug Administration!  Which means that we are not being protected from monsters.   GMOs are now in 75% of all packaged and processed food in America, while the ingredient label is silent.

GMO’s have been proven to heighten and cause allergic responses, and a body already fighting one allergy can become susceptible to other allergies- in effect creating an overactive immune system.  This is called toxic overload, which can lead to numerous immune disorders like lupus, or chronic fatigue syndrome.  Also provable is that the American public has been sold a bill of goods that is absolutely not in their best interest, and especially their children’s best interest.  And that makes me mad.

Terrible allergies are only one concern about GMOs.  Farmer Jerry Rosman describes the infertility he and twenty-five farmers in his area experienced in their breeding sows that were fed GMO corn. Other serious concerns relate to the pesticides that are used in conjunction with GMOs.  The single advantage resulting from cross-species genetic manipulation has been in making certain plants like soy and canola able to withstand huge dosing of chemical herbicides.  These are broad-spectrum herbicides, like Agent Orange-a Monsanto product- that kill everything, every plant, except the modified plant.  As a result herbicide use has greatly increased, even though we were told it would decrease.  And the main GMO herbicide, glyphosate, is now implicated in numerous human and animal illnesses, diseases and death.  Purdue University Professor Emeritus Don Huber explains his concerns about new pathogenic soil organisms that he believes are generated by GMOs.  He also addresses the infertility issue.  A recent study even showed that everyone now has glyphosate in their urine!Even the pollen from GMO plants can cross breed with pollen from natural plants and contaminate them.

 

Believe it or not there are still more serious concerns with GMO plants and animals.  A different “advantage” conferred on GMO crops is the insertion of a pesticide toxin, called Bt, into every cell of the plant- the idea being that when a pest eats the plant it will die.  The idea worked, except will also eat that toxin in their food.  The bacteria in our gut can even incorporate that toxin-making DNA into their own DNA, making our stomachs pesticide factories.  This approach has backfired, as predicted by many scientists.  Because of overplanting, some pests are no longer affected by the toxin- they are now officially classified as super-bugs.  Super weeds have been reported as well.  All the while, gastroenterological disorders are on the rise. Unhealthy intestinal bacteria are linked to numerous disorders. This Bt GMO toxin is now found in the breast milk of almost every nursing woman in the USA!  It is in almost all of us.  It has been found in fetuses. The FDA does not have your best interest in mind when they approved these completely unnecessary crops.

Darker Still

One of the reasons GMOs have been forced on us by successive administrations has nothing to do with us at all.  It is for geo-political reasons, whose goal is to control the world’s food supply.  It appears that our food policy is being dictated by the same people that make our nuclear weapons and drone bombers!

Henry Kissinger sponsored a study in 1974 “entitled National Security Study Memorandum 200. This report stressed that only 13 countries are projected to account for 47 percent of the world population increase by the year 2050. It further argued that this would undermine the stability of countries friendly to the US and therefore harm the “national security” of the US as well “.     It was recently shown that the US State department has instructed its diplomats to push “GM crops as a strategic government and commercial imperative”.

Monsanto’s stated goal to The Anderson Consulting Group was “that 100% of all seeds in the world to be modified and patented”!  Since all GMO products are patented, this is an achievable goal, however unrealistic it sounds.  Monsanto has long ties to the Pentagon, most famously as the makers of Agent Orange, used to defoliate the jungles during the Vietnam war.  It is estimated that 500,000 children were born with birth defects in Vietnam as a result of massive chemical bombardment.

Monsanto has been aggressively buying smaller conventional see companies.  They also sue farmers when their GMO crops blow on to a conventional farmer’s fields from neighboring fields.  They expect these farmers to pay them for their products!  With a huge budget for litigation, these small farmers often just start growing GMOs to avoid the hassle.  Organic farming increases yields, but since the plants cannot be patented, so there is no possibility for control and the better option for our health is not much discussed by the Feds.

 

The Rest Of The World Not So Gullible

Peru recently called for a 10 year moratorium on the planting of genetically modified food crops.  France just upheld a ban on the planting of genetically modified maize.  All GMOs are outlawed in Japan and Ireland.  One of the world’s leading bio-tech companies has completely abandoned the European market due to public and farmer opposition.  That company is Bayer, the same company that made cyanide gas for the concentration camps under Hitler.  Bayer’s GMO division has relocated to the Raleigh-Durham area in North Carolina, finding a more favorable business climate here. GMOs are viewed with extreme hostility in all of the European Union.  If a product contains even a trace amount of GMO material it must be labeled as such.  China and Russia have severely limited them, China having just announced that after a seven year long study they will not develop genetically engineered rice.  Not so in the United States, where the vast majority of GMO research, development and production occurs.   GMO alfalfa was just approved, a new strain of GMO sweet corn for human consumption was just approved, and many think that approval of GMO salmon will soon be announced.  GMO trees are being tested.  Cloned pigs have been approved.

Just Label It

California has a ballot initiative up for vote in November.  It requires that all genetically modified foods be labeled as such so that Californians know what they are eating. Trans-fats, salt and sugar are labeled- why not GMOs? Is it because according to polls, many Americans would choose not to eat them?

Let Food Be Your Medicine, Let Medicine Be Your Food

I could go on and on.  It is a complicated story with a lot of history and it is taking place all over the world.  The good news is that we as consumers hold the winning cards in this battle. We must refuse to purchase and eat GMO food.  If we don’t buy, they can’t sell it.  This isn’t easy right now because GMOs aren’t labeled.  If the California ballot initiative can pass, it will be a huge victory for health, truth and justice.  Stop by their website today and give them a donation.  If you live in California, give them a hand.  Boycott GMOs, especially for your children.  The simplest way is to cook as much of your own food as possible.  75% of all packaged food contains GMOs. Most of the GMOs are used for animal feed, so try to eat only organically raised meat.  GMO crops are also used for making cooking oil.  So avoid cottonseed oil, canola oil, corn oil and soy oil, as these are the four main GMO crops.  Since corn and soy are in almost all processed foods, stay away from packaged foods that contain these ingredients.  GMO ingredients are not allowed in certified organic products either.  Good food makes you healthy and happy.  Go for it, and do the whole world a favor.  Oh and by the way- my daughter is 17 now, takes no medication, and she hasn’t had an asthma attack in many years.

Criticism of Genetically Modified Food Finally Goes Mainstream

 

The bad news about the many horrible effects of laboratory-modified, GMO food is finally going mainstream in the United States, where the vast majority of their research, development and production occurs.

Genetically Modified foods (called GMOs, for genetically modified organisms) have been commercially farmed and consumed only since 1996.  Since that time we have seen skyrocketing numbers of severe food allergies and auto-immune disorders like asthma.  ADHD and mood disorder rates, which many nutritionists link to digestion and gut flora, are increasing.  The cancer rate is still climbing and so are nervous disorders like Alzheimer’s.  Huge increases in obesity and diabetes can be linked to the ultra-cheap corn and corn syrup supplied by GMO corn.  Many, many studies have consistently shown genetically modified food to be dangerous and unhealthy, and it’s showing up in our health, especially in the health of our children, who are much more vulnerable to the effects of tainted food.  Since no human testing has been done on GMOs(!), this correlation of ill health and GMO consumption has not been conclusively proven, but the sheer weight of all the evidence is now overwhelming.

The Atlantic Magazine recently ran an article entitled “The Very Real Danger of Genetically Modified Foods”. Forbes Magazine recently ran an excellent story so well written and compelling that a Monsanto associate (Monsanto is the worlds leading creator and advocate of genetically modified seeds and the “crop-protection chemicals” they need to be effective) felt the need to attack and belittle it.  The writer had simply urged that foods containing GMOs be labeled! OK, so it wasn’t in their actual magazine, it was a blog post on the Forbes website.  But Still! Forbes! Amazing!  And over at The American Conservative Magazine, the cover story last month was called “Frankenstein’s Farm”, by superstar farmer Joel Salatin.  Huffington Post has raised the issue for years, and the “The World’s #1 Natural Health Website” has some of the best information on why we should avoid GMO’s.

Did you know that the United States ranks 50th in the world in terms of life expectancy, yet spends the most in the world on healthcare!  Think diet has something to do with it?  Of course it does. Think Monsanto and GMO’s have something to do with the American diet?  Believe it.  75% of all packaged, processed food contains GMOs.  Almost all our meat is fed GMOs.  See what it does to them, is an excellent interview with farmer Jerry Rosman.  Why aren’t they labeled?  Perhaps it’s because former Monsanto vice-president Michael Taylor is now running things over at the FDA, in the department of FOOD SAFETY!! After all, they were responsible for Agent Orange, Dioxin, PCB disasters, and have been fined many time for false advertising, all over the world!

“For nearly 40 years, corporate giant Monsanto routinely dumped toxic waste into West Anniston Creek while producing now-banned industrial coolants called PCBs. They also dumped millions of pounds of PCBs into open-pit landfills – and proceeded to spend decades covering it up even after confirming that fish submerged in the creek turned belly-up within seconds.

Monsanto knew exactly how dangerous PCBs were, but decided not to warn the community – instead, ordering the conclusion of a study done on rats to be changed from “slightly tumorigenic” to “does not appear to be carcinogenic.” The company had enjoyed a four-decade-long monopoly over the PCB market and, as an internal memo revealed, decided that “We can’t afford to lose one dollar of business”. In fact, to this day Monsanto hasn’t apologized or taken responsibility despite the fact that they were forced to pay $700 billion in fines in 2003.” Source: “America’s Top 10 Worst Environmental Disasters”

Monsanto dictating United States food policy is like having BP drill for oil in your kitchen.

Get educated about GMOs by following some of the links in this article.  The best way to avoid them, until the California initiative to have them labeled passes, (most of the rest of the world requires them to be labeled) is to eat organically grown food as much as possible.  USDA certified organic food does not allow GMOs.

The Very Real Danger of Genetically Modified Foods

FINALLY!!!  Some mainstream press from The Atlantic Magazine about science that really condemns GMOs as dangerously unsafe!  Some of this information  has been available to the press for years.  Why, with few exceptions, are they so silent?  Why is the New Yorker so silent?  New York Magazine. Why NPR?

Check it out-  it’s about new knowledge of how DNA and RNA really work.

New research shows that when we eat we’re consuming more than just vitamins and protein. Our bodies are absorbing information, or microRNA.

 

Chinese researchers have found small pieces of ribonucleic acid (RNA) in the blood and organs of humans who eat rice. The Nanjing University-based team showed that this genetic material will bind to proteins in human liver cells and influence the uptake of cholesterol from the blood.

 

read more

 

Farming needs Adam Smith’s invisible hand, not finance capitalism

 

Dr Colin Tudge trained as a biologist and is a 3-time winner of the Science Writer of the Year Award. His career includes serving as Features Editor at New Scientist. He’s the author of numerous works on food, agriculture, genetics, and species diversity.

 

*Even the establishment faces at the Oxford Farming Conference recognise all’s not well – the theme this year is ‘power’

All we need to feed everyone well and to stop the Earth being wrecked is farming that’s based on well-directed science and good old-fashioned capitalism, all rooted in what might be called common morality – a true desire to take care of each other and of our fellow creatures.

The people in power – big governments, the corporations, the banks, and their attendant battalions of intellectuals and experts – will claim that this is what they have provided. Yet 1 billion out of 7 billion are undernourished; half our fellow creatures are in danger of extinction; the Earth as a whole is falling apart before our eyes – and it’s due not to the fecklessness of humanity or the shortcomings of the Earth but to truly destructive strategies imposed from above. For present policy and all the science that goes with it are not designed to provide good food but to make as much money as possible in the shortest time so as to “compete” in the global market. That may sounds too childishly crude to be true, but alas it is the case.

READ MORE  source The Guardian

Farming designed to maximise wealth is diametrically opposite in structure and technique to farming that is intended to feed people. Properly directed science tells us that we need farms that are as diverse as possible, meaning maximally mixed – for diversity is the key to resilience and long-term yield. Common sense tells us that in a finite world, farming must be low-input, which means as organic as possible. Mixed, low-input farming is complex and must be skills-intensive; there is little advantage in scale-up so the default farm size is small to medium. All this needs excellent science and technology – but small scale, and focused on biology rather than industrial chemistry.

If economists were concerned with on-the-ground reality they’d see that Britain now needs a million more farmers – at least 10 times the number at present; closer to 10% of the workforce than today’s 1%. For a country with 2.5 million unemployed, including a million young people, many of them graduates, skills-intensive farming should be a godsend – not just a short-term expedient but the permanent base of the economy. Good disciples of Adam Smith would welcome small farms and small shops, too, because Smith’s “invisible hand”, which ensures fair play, works best if there’s a host of providers, and doesn’t work at all if there aren’t.

Is true Organic soon to be dead in the USA?

 

The USDA recently approved Genetically Modified (GM) Alfalfa to be grown in the United States.  Alfalfa is primarily used as a cover crop in winter and as a feed for cattle, particularly by organic meat and dairy farmers who don’t want to feed their cattle genetically modified corn and soy.  Alfalfa is a perennial plant, which makes it extremely vulnerable to contamination.  Phillip Geertson has spent the last 30 years farming and  has been a partner in alfalfa breeding programs for 25 years.  Read his article to understand why GE (Genetically Engineered) Alfalfa was approved, even though there is absolutely no need for it.  Find out what the GM contamination of regular alfalfa really means.  Key quote from article:  “There is no wonder that the rest of the world does not want RR alfalfa seed and have prohibited the import of any alfalfa seed contaminated with even a trace of the RR gene.”
Excellent new article from the Mercola website:

Some, like Dr. Philip Bereano, professor emeritus at the University of Washington and an engaged activist concerning GM foods, believe contamination is actually an intentional strategy by both the government and the industry to weaken the organic industry to simply allow GM animal feed in organics.

Indeed, while USDA chief Tom Vilsack acknowledged alfalfa contamination concerns in an “Open Letter to Stakeholders” on December 30, 2010, stating that the USDA’s environmental impact statement “acknowledges the potential of cross-fertilization to non-GE alfalfa from GE alfalfa,” adding that cross-fertilization is “a significant concern for farmers who produce for non-GE markets at home and abroad,” steps were not taken to address them.

GM (or GE) crops cause damage to animals- not just in lab studies which are unethical in themselves, but as witnessed by veterinarians in the field.  They are known to disrupt human endocrine systems and are known allergens.
CAN’T WE GET Genetically Modified foods LABELLED????  90% of Americans WANT THEM LABELLED!!!!
Sign this petition at least and then BOYCOTT GMOs!!!   (Genetically Modified Organisms)
http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/1881/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=5452
“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people,
it’s an instrument for the people to restrain the government.” – Patrick Henry
“Separation of corporation and State”  –Robert Frederick

 

October is NON-GMO month!!

The following is from Dr. Mercola’s website, and is one of the best-written and most easily understood summations of why we ALL  need to BOYCOTT GMO’s.  Please read it and follow some of the links.  There are marches and rallies being held all over the country.  There is a march going from Brooklyn NY to Washington DC, demanding that GMO’s be labelled in this country.  The easiest way to avoid GMO’s is to purchase organic foods, if what you are purchasing contains corn, corn sugar or corn oil or any corn derivatives, soy or any of it’s derivatives, cottonseed oil or canola oil.  Go For It, and do the world a favor.  BOYCOTTS WORK!

Source for Mercola Article on GMO’s

Why Are Toxin Proteins Genetically Engineered Into Your Food?

 

Story at-a-glance
  • Proteins genetically modified to perforate cell membranes, thereby killing the insects that consume them, are added to many foods; if they perforate cell membranes in insects, there’s reason to believe they could cause harm when you eat these foods as well
  • The consequences of consuming these toxic proteins are largely unknown, as most studies have been less than 90 days long, which is inadequate to evaluate chronic toxicity
  • Studies conducted show great cause for concern, including that GM corn and soy cause liver and kidney problems when consumed
  • Liver and kidney damage observed among mammals may be a result of being fed a GMO diet
  • If you eat GM corn and soy, found in most processed foods, research suggests it could cause long-term health problems

 

 

 

“It [glyphosate] kills everything”

“It [glyphosate] kills everything,” said Lincoln P. Brower, an entomologist at Sweet Briar College who is also an author of the paper documenting the decline of monarch winter populations in Mexico. “It’s like absolute Armageddon for biodiversity over a huge area.”

AND WE ARE FEEDING IT TO OUR CHILDREN

source

As recently as a decade ago, farms in the Midwest were commonly marred — at least as a farmer would view it — by unruly patches of milkweed amid the neat rows of emerging corn or soybeans.

Not anymore. Fields are now planted with genetically modified corn and soybeans resistant to the herbicide Roundup, (glyphosate) allowing farmers to spray the chemical to eradicate weeds, including milkweed.

And while that sounds like good news for the farmers, a growing number of scientists fear it is imperiling the monarch butterfly, whose spectacular migrations make it one of the most beloved of insects — “the Bambi of the insect world,” as an entomologist once put it.

Monarchs lay their eggs on milkweed, and their larvae eat it. While the evidence is still preliminary and disputed, experts like Chip Taylor say the growing use of genetically modified crops is threatening the orange-and-black butterfly by depriving it of habitat.

“This milkweed has disappeared from at least 100 million acres of these row crops,” said Dr. Taylor, an insect ecologist at the University of Kansas and director of the research and conservation program Monarch Watch. “Your milkweed is virtually gone.”

The primary evidence that monarch populations are in decline comes from a new study showing a drop over the last 17 years of the area occupied by monarchs in central Mexico, where many of them spend the winter. The amount of land occupied by the monarchs is thought to be a proxy for their population size.

“This is the first time we have the data that we can analyze statistically that shows there’s a downward trend,” said Ernest H. Williams, a professor of biology at Hamilton College and an author of the study along with Dr. Taylor and others.

The paper, published online by the journal Insect Conservation and Diversity, attributes the decrease partly to the loss of milkweed from use of “Roundup Ready” crops. Other causes, it says, are the loss of milkweed to land development, illegal logging at the wintering sites in Mexico, and severe weather.

“GMOs may be just like atomic energy”

BASF Said to Consider Genetically Modified Crop Exit in Germany

source

BASF SE (BAS), the world’s biggest chemical maker, may withdraw genetically modified crop research from Germany in response to growing political opposition, three people familiar with discussions said.

The maker of the Amflora scientific potato is considering the future of its research facility in rural Limburgerhof in southwestern Germany, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. A move to the U.S. is possible for the plant biotechnology operations, which employ 700, said one of the people.

Germany plans to close all 17 of its nuclear reactors by 2022, exiting atomic power after a meltdown in Japan stoked safety concerns. The move has strengthened the Green Party, which rejects nuclear energy and is now a junior coalition partner in BASF’s home state. The risks of genetically modified organisms are difficult to calculate, the Greens say.

“GMOs may be just like atomic energy,” said Ulrike Hoefken, the Green Party’s regional environment minister. “The risks are masked and big benefits are claimed. But it’s the general public who is left with the costs for any damage.”

The flight of research means Germany may lose out on the $12 billion market for genetically modified plants, which is set to grow 5 percent annually over the next five years, according to advisory firm Phillips McDougall. BASF founded the agricultural center in Limburgerhof in 1914 and now has 11,000 square meters of greenhouses and some 40 hectares of fields.

Weighing Politics

BASF, in an e-mailed response to questions, said it’s too early to comment on the future of plant biotechnology research, though the company will take regional politics into account. The company has already halted projects focusing solely on the European market, it said. The Green Party tripled its vote in Rhineland-Palatinate, home to BASF’s Ludwigshafen headquarters, on March 27.

“We are committed to green biotechnology [GM crops],” Peter Eckes, head of BASF’s plant science unit, said in an e-mail. “We value the open and constructive dialogue we have had with Rhineland- Palatinate’s government in the past and want to continue this dialogue with the members of the new government. This also includes the clarification of the new government’s attitude toward green biotechnology.”

The potential setback comes a year after BASF won permission to plant its Amflora potato for use as a thickening agent for paper, overcoming 13 years of opposition from environmental groups in Germany and Sweden who cited possible damage to health and ecology.

Missing Out

Developing countries will overtake industrialized nations in planting genetically modified crops before 2015, said Clive James, founder of nonprofit International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, or ISAA

The inside story on Monsanto and the glyphosate birth defect data

Your children are eating genetically modified food  everyday at school.   Most of that food is grown using glyphosate, a potent pesticide we were told was harmless.  It isn’t.  We must demand that the NYC Dept. Of Education adopt a no GMO (genetically modified organism) policy in it’s food purchases.

source for article

The pesticide industry and regulators have repeatedly misled the public with claims that glyphosate is safe, says Claire Robinson.

As a result, Monsanto’s Roundup is used by gardeners and local authorities, in school grounds, and in farmers’ fields

Industry and EU regulators knew as long ago as the 1980s-1990s that Roundup, the world’s best selling herbicide, causes birth defects but they failed to inform the public. This is the conclusion of our new report, ‘Roundup and birth defects: Is the public being kept in the dark?‘, authored by a group of international scientists and researchers.

The report reveals that industry’s own studies (including one commissioned by Monsanto itself) showed as long ago as the 1980s that Roundup’s active ingredient glyphosate causes birth defects in laboratory animals. Industry submitted these studies to the European Commission in support of its application for glyphosate’s approval for use in Europe. As the ‘rapporteur’ member state for glyphosate, liaising between industry and the Commission, Germany took an active role in minimising the problems with glyphosate and must shoulder a chunk of the responsibility for allowing it onto the market.

The facts are these:

•    Industry (including Monsanto) has known from its own studies since the 1980s that glyphosate causes malformations in experimental animals at high doses

•    Industry has known since 1993 that these effects also occur at lower and mid doses

•    The German government has known since at least 1998 that glyphosate causes malformations

•    The EU Commission’s expert scientific review panel knew in 1999 that glyphosate causes malformations

•    The EU Commission has known since 2002 that glyphosate causes malformations. This was the year it signed off on the current approval of glyphosate

But this information was not made public. On the contrary, the pesticide industry and Europe’s regulators have jointly misled the public with claims that glyphosate is safe. As a result, Roundup is liberally used by home gardeners and local authorities on roadsides, in school grounds, and other public areas, as well as in farmers’ fields.

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