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GMO/Monsanto headlines

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Author Topic: GMO/Monsanto headlines  (Read 1386 times)
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« on: August 13, 2013, 07:27:48 am »

Genetically-Modified Food: Fantastic Or 'Frankenfood'?

In addition to concerns about corporate control of agriculture, many members of the general public are also concerned with possible personal health risks. An attempt to require labeling of GM products in California failed last year, but consumer campaigns to require such disclosure are having success elsewhere and will likely return here. Grocery chains such as Whole Foods and others are requiring labeling or outright refusing to sell GM products. Online, the claims about GM foods range from them being a panacea for the problems of world hunger, agricultural productivity and the general economy to threatening food security and environmental quality with dire consequences for the human species.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-heilig/gmos_b_3709142.html


How Drugs Pumped Into Supermarket Chickens Pose A Terrifying Threat To Our Health

Every second of every day, somewhere in the world the same scene unfolds. A batch of several hundred eggs, precisely arranged in uniform rows, moves along a conveyor belt, coming to a halt beneath a machine linked to a jumble of tubes. Once in position, the machine robotically lowers itself and then simultaneously punctures each egg with a rack of hypodermic needles. Through these needles, a mix of vaccines and antibiotics is injected into the egg — and so into the unborn chick inside, which three days later will hatch out. If the scene sounds like something from a science-fiction film, then that is hardly a surprise. Today, large-scale poultry production has precious little to do with green fields and ruddy-cheeked farmers.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2388444/How-drugs-pumped-supermarket-chickens-pose-terrifying-threat-health.html


Torturing Animals With Monsanto's Genetically Engineered Feed Experiment

We associate food with at most, pleasure, at the very least, survival. It's not too different for animals. Lambs turned out on new grass move "quickly over certain grasses to get to others – to nosh on clover and mustard grass, avoiding horse nettle and fescue along the way," writes Dan Barber in A Chef Speaks Out . Wild pigs, capable of seeking out the nutrients they need,"enjoy eating nuts, roots, fruits, mushrooms, bugs, rabbits, and, occasionally, dead animals." But what happens when animals are confined in cramped, filthy environments and force-fed monoculture diets of genetically modified corn and soy? A lot can happen. Calves are born too weak to walk, with enlarged joints and limb deformities. Piglets experience rapidly deteriorating health, a "failure to thrive" so severe that they start breaking down their own tissues and organs – self-cannibalizing – to survive.   

http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_28062.cfm
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2013, 11:19:45 am »

Quote
Every second of every day, somewhere in the world the same scene unfolds. A batch of several hundred eggs, precisely arranged in uniform rows, moves along a conveyor belt, coming to a halt beneath a machine linked to a jumble of tubes. Once in position, the machine robotically lowers itself and then simultaneously punctures each egg with a rack of hypodermic needles. Through these needles, a mix of vaccines and antibiotics is injected into the egg — and so into the unborn chick inside, which three days later will hatch out. If the scene sounds like something from a science-fiction film, then that is hardly a surprise. Today, large-scale poultry production has precious little to do with green fields and ruddy-cheeked farmers.

Well, saw an episode of "Matlock"(80's tv show) one time where it showed how the murderers of a cook put poison in eggs by punching small, tiny holes on top to inject the poison, and they almost got away with it b/c not only were the holes tiny, but the egg shells got thrown away after they were used.

Anyhow, thought of this tv show when I read this - yeah, a lot of what Monsanto is doing is VERY subtle, and not just deceptive. Even back in 2006, never would I have thought we would be witnessing THIS in the end times.
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2013, 04:27:20 pm »

'No Monsanto!': World marches against GMO food

Thousands took to streets across the world’s cities on Saturday to protest the use of GMO products, with Giant Monsanto being the main target. Over 50 countries have been taking part in the march for world food day, and across 47 different US states.

 Berlin, Strasbourg, Chicago, London, Sydney and Mumbai are just a few of the 500 cities worldwide involved in the rallies, with each one drawing hundreds.


The demonstrators have been calling for the permanent boycott of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and “other harmful agro-chemicals,” according to March Against Monsanto’s official webpage. Protesters wielded large banners denouncing GMO products, and donned fancy dress: In Washington DC a group dressed as bees to highlight the impact of insecticides on bee populations.

http://rt.com/news/monsanto-march-berlin-protest-115/
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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2013, 04:09:56 am »

Don't see the main stream media talking about any protests against Monsanto. But then, we know why.
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« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2013, 04:59:47 am »

Don't see the main stream media talking about any protests against Monsanto. But then, we know why.

saw this the other day, i ddint have time to post it, and forgot about it yesterday, youd think the MSM would have at least covered this.

Anti-Monsanto protesters dump bags of cash in Senate building
Published time: October 10, 2013 22:21


Three activists taking part in an anti-Monsanto protest were arrested by Capitol Police after dumping bags of money on the floor of the atrium to the Senate’s Heart building.

 The protesters, who were playing the part of biotechnology industry lobbyists “thanking” politicians for their support as part of the fictitious “Biotechnology Industry Awards Committee” or BIAC, dumped briefcases of real cash.
 
"The USCP arrested three demonstrators in the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building," Lieutenant Kimberly Schneider told the Washington Examiner newspaper.
 
Videos posted on YouTube showed one of the activists on the floor of the atrium, showering herself with the paper bills while another threw them into the air around her.
 


According to a release put out by the groups behind Thursday’s protest, the Organic Consumers Association and Occupy Monsanto, the real lobbyists were expected “to lunge for the fluttering bills...creating a melee” to shut down the entrance to the building.
 
The protest was aimed at what organizers allege are back room deals going ahead during the government shutdown, specifically the amendment to the House Farm Bill presented by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa). The activists were to dole out “Monsanto’s Minions Awards” to members of Congress the groups say have been particularly accommodating to biotech companies.
 
“The legislative pressure-cooker created by self-inflicted deadlines and crises like the fiscal cliff, the shutdown and the debt limit are the worst way to write legislation. Corporate lobbyists are here to take advantage of the situation. That’s how we got the Monsanto Protection Act in March. We’re here to try to stop that kind of thing from happening again,” wrote Alexis Baden-Mayer, political director of the Organic Consumers Association, who took part in Thursday’s protest as “Jennetta Kontamy-Nashun,” a member of the BIAC.
 
Activists allege that King’s amendment would circumvent oversight through the normal conference committee process, as was the case when Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo) attached a rider to a continuing resolution to fund government derided by opponents as the “Monsanto Protection Act.” That piece of legislation was aimed at pausing judiciary oversight over the planting of new genetically engineered crops.
 
Rep. King’s amendment, the Protect Interstate Commerce Act, is a provision aimed at preventing standards or conditions from being imposed by one state onto another’s agricultural products.
 
Advocates believe that the amendment is written so broadly that it could therefore nullify a number of state and local laws that involve everything from GMO food labeling, which biotech companies have spent millions to oppose, as well as pesticide and antibiotic use and animal welfare rules.
 
Rep. King has insisted that the language of the amendment is designed to invalidate California’s Proposition 2, which requires large cases for egg-laying hens, allowing the animals to stand and spread their wings.
 
The Farm Bill officially expired on October 1, the first day of the ongoing government shutdown, and has yet to make its way out of Congress in its final form.
 
Thursday’s protest according to the group was modeled after another similar action that took place decades ago at the New York Stock Exchange. On August 24th, 1967, about a dozen members of the counter-culture Youth International Party, or Yippies, threw handfuls of dollar bills onto the trading floor.
 
According to witnesses at the time, some of the traders at the floor during the stunt took it in stride and waved back, though others jeered and shook their fists at the group.
 
Several months after the Yippie incident at the NYSE bulletproof glass and metal grills were installed around the visitors’ gallery.
 


http://rt.com/usa/protesters-throw-money-senate-004/
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« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2013, 05:57:43 am »

Not surprised RT would pick up this story. Whatever makes the US look bad it seems. The US doesn't need these propaganda type "news" outlets to make them look bad, they do it all on their own!

As for that "protest", I'm thinking they are designed to mock real protests, to make people with legitimate concerns look like kooks. And it wouldn't surprise me one bit if that money stunt was paid for by some Monsanto lobby.

We know the father of lies runs Washington, so whatever comes out of DC is extremely suspect from the start. I think many Americans would be shocked to find out just how many people in Washington are just actors in a stage play, each knowingly playing their part to present to the public the desired theme du jour.
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« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2013, 10:35:14 am »

A GMO “Frankenapple” Might Be Coming Soon to a Store Near You!

Plus, alarming new GMO products and processes—including “mutant breeding.” Urgent Action Alert!
 
Consumer backlash against genetic engineering is growing. In response, biotech companies are attempting to woo consumers by repositioning and shifting their GMO products from “helping” farmers to appealing to consumers.
 
Sometimes the appeal is even made on completely specious “health grounds.” Surprised? Don’t be. While supplement producers are generally subject to severe government advertising gag rules, GMO producers are actively supported by the government, as Wikileaks documents made clear.
 
Paired with the GMO producers’ PR ploy is a disturbing trend: increasingly, Big Business is claiming that processes involving genetic manipulation are “natural.”
 
Here are some examples of the new GMO methods and products that Big Biotech is pushing:
 

•Non-browning “frankenapple.” USDA has released their latest environmental and plant risk assessments on the GMO non-browning apple, bringing it one step closer to complete deregulation. As you may recall, the “Arctic Apple” from Okanagan Specialty Fruits is genetically engineered not to turn brown when sliced or bruised. As a result, you won’t know if an apple served you is fresh. And there’s something darker lurking behind this useless GMO trait: while only one altered gene will prevent browning, it is likely that other genes have also been changed in the process. If Okanagan knows what else has been altered, they’re not telling. Don’t worry—it’s not too late to take action! Use our Action Alert below to ask the USDA not to deregulate the “frankenapple.” Please act now, as the deadline for comments is December 9! Meanwhile if you want to keep an apple slice from browning, just sprinkle some lemon juice on it.

 •GMO “trans fat free” soybeans. Read more about Monsanto’s latest venture in this article.

•GMO “exotic” spices. Biotech companies are discovering how to create exotic spices (e.g., vanilla, saffron, patchouli) from GMO yeast and other microorganisms. Despite claims that these GMO spices are “natural” and “environmentally friendly,” they are anything but and threaten to put microfarmers in developing countries out of business. That’s not just bad news for farmers: if these crops cease to be cultivated before we decide that GMOs aren’t such a good idea after all—perhaps only after their long-term health effects become apparent—there will most certainly be a long-term shortage of exotic spices. (While we are on the subject of spices, this is one thing you may want to spend extra on to buy organic if at all possible for your budget. Non-organic spices are subjected to phenomenally high doses of radiation before being packaged.)

 •GMO trees. The USDA is currently considering whether to allow the unrestricted planting of ArborGen’s GMO eucalyptus trees. According to a recent study by the Center for Food Safety, these trees could devastate the environment and threaten natural forests by sucking up at least twice as much water as normal seeds, requiring increasing amounts of fertilizers and pesticides (a common problem with GMO crops), and contaminating vulnerable wild trees.

 •Biofortification is the breeding of crops to increase their nutritional value and can either be achieved conventionally—via traditional breeding techniques—or through genetic engineering. As we recently reported, the global Codex Committee is currently considering whether to set standards on biofortification, and if so, how to define it. Essentially, this could be a backdoor way to release new GMOs crops onto the international market without proper vetting or labeling.

 •Mutant breeding (the technical term is “mutagenesis”). Companies like BASF and DuPont are increasingly turning to mutagenesis, a mimicking of the sun’s irradiation to delete and rearrange thousands of genes at random (the National Academy of Sciences say the risk of creating unintended health effects is greater from mutagenesis than any other technique, including genetic modification). According to biotech companies, this breeding technique is “conventional.”
 
ANH-USA carefully monitors the complex rulemaking and regulatory process, and we’ll notify you as crops and products come up for deregulation. This ensures that products don’t get passed through the approval process without public scrutiny. We’ll also continue to advocate for responsible GMO labeling—especially on “backdoor” GMO processes such as biofortification and mutagenesis—so that if these products do come to the market, you can “vote with your wallet.”

http://www.anh-usa.org/a-gmo-frankenapple-might-be-coming-soon-to-a-store-near-you/
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« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2013, 12:23:18 pm »

China rejects shipments of genetically modified corn

China rejected two shipments -- almost 546,000 tons -- of U.S. dried distillers' grain, a corn byproduct, because it contained genetically modified material, state media reported Friday.
 

China's top food-quality watchdog rejected the two shipments because they contained MIR162, a special insect-resistant variety of maize developed by Syngenta, a Swiss maker of seeds and pesticides.
 
The first shipment, 545,000 tons, was rejected last week in Shanghai, state media said. The second shipment, 758 tons, was rejected Monday.
 
MIR162 is not on the Chinese government's short list of approved grains considered genetically modified organisms, or GMO.
 
Still, Chinese consumers remain wary of GMO crops and some nationalist-leaning pundits have suggested the Western-dominated technology leaves China’s food supply vulnerable.
 
The U.S. is the world’s largest corn exporter and China is its No. 3 customer. The Asian nation is expected to buy a record 7 million tons of corn in the 2013-14 marketing year.
 
Chinese authorities said the shipments have been returned and are urging American officials to improve their "inspection procedures to ensure they comply with Chinese quality standards."


 http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-china-rejects-shipment-of-gmo-corn-20131227,0,2126813.story#ixzz2ohWJEQjK
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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2014, 08:08:44 am »

Coming To A Field Near You: 'Agent Orange Corn'?

Despite widespread opposition from food safety, environmental and watchdog groups, as well as health professionals and concerned consumers, the USDA has paved the way for the commercial use of genetically engineered crops dubbed "Agent Orange" corn and soybeans. In its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) released Friday, the agency said that its "preferred" option for Dow AgroSciences' "Enlist" corn and soybean, genetically engineered (GE) to be resistant to the herbicide 2,4-D, is to deregulate them. 2,4-D, the third most widely used herbicide in the U.S., is made by Dow Chemical, and was a component of Agent Orange. The herbicide has been linked to Parkinson's, birth defects, reproductive problems, and endocrine disruption.

https://www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/01/03-8


Battle Over GMOs Percolating In U.S., With 93 Percent Of Americans In Favor Of Labeling

A GMO labeling battle is rumbling in the United States, with those demanding full disclosure of genetically modified organisms in food products pitted against big companies. Although some giants such as General Mills have recently taken timid steps toward being more upfront with consumers, the United States, unlike some 60 other countries, lacks a legal requirement to do so. Still, in the world’s largest economy, where almost all soy, sugar beet, corn and canola crops are genetically engineered, bills requiring labeling for GMO foods were introduced in 26 states last year. A recent New York Times poll found that 93 percent of Americans want GMO food to be labeled. For O’Neil, “the tipping point came with the California ballot initiative” on GMO labeling that was narrowly rejected in 2012 due to a costly counter-campaign by large multinationals.
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/01/05/battle-over-gmos-percolating-in-u-s-with-93-percent-of-americans-in-favor-of-labeling/
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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2014, 08:24:29 pm »

Monsanto's Roundup may be linked to fatal kidney disease
 Feb. 27, 2014  A heretofore inexplicable fatal, chronic kidney disease that has affected poor farming regions around the globe may be linked to the use of biochemical giant Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide in areas with hard water, a new study has found.

 The new study was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

 Researchers suggest that Roundup, or glyphosate, becomes highly toxic to the kidney once mixed with “hard” water or metals like arsenic and cadmium that often exist naturally in the soil or are added via fertilizer. Hard water contains metals like calcium, magnesium, strontium, and iron, among others. On its own, glyphosate is toxic, but not detrimental enough to eradicate kidney tissue.

 The glyphosate molecule was patented as a herbicide by Monsanto in the early 1970s. The company soon brought glyphosate to market under the name “Roundup,” which is now the most commonly used herbicide in the world.

 The hypothesis helps explain a global rash of the mysterious, fatal Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown etiology (CKDu) that has been found in rice paddy regions of northern Sri Lanka, for example, or in El Salvador, where CKDu is the second leading cause of death among males.

 Furthermore, the study’s findings explain many observations associated with the disease, including the linkage between the consumption of hard water and CKDu, as 96 percent of patients have been found to have consumed “hard or very hard water for at least five years, from wells that receive their supply from shallow regolith aquifers.”

The CKDu was discovered in rice paddy farms in northern Sri Lanka around 20 years ago. The condition has spread quickly since then and now affects 15 percent of working age people in the region, or a total of 400,000 patients, the study says. At least 20,000 have died from CKDu there.
http://rt.com/news/monsanto-roundup-kidney-disease-921
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« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2014, 09:26:00 am »

I have a question - is it OK to buy organic bananas at the grocery store like Albertsons?

No, I'm not some health nut-worshipper(otherwise I would be departing from the faith, and giving heed to seducing spirits) - but was just wondering if it's preferable to buy it here, or at a health food store?

Thanks!
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« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2014, 02:53:19 am »

"Preferable"? Hmm, depends on your preference!  Grin

Not sure what you mean by "OK". Organic is going to be expensive, regardless. And from my experience, a health food store is usually much more expensive.

Best place I'd say to buy veggies and fruit is the Farmers Market/Co-Op. Fresh and local.
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« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2014, 09:13:43 am »

"Preferable"? Hmm, depends on your preference!  Grin

Not sure what you mean by "OK". Organic is going to be expensive, regardless. And from my experience, a health food store is usually much more expensive.

Best place I'd say to buy veggies and fruit is the Farmers Market/Co-Op. Fresh and local.

Have you heard of Natural Grocers and Cupboard? They are the 2 local health food/organic stores in my neck of the woods - both have a lot of good stuff(although it looks like NG, which was built recently, is slowly taking away business from Cupboard, which is a smaller store).

The prices don't bother me, to be honest - ultimately, you get what you pay for(and there's no such thing as a free lunch in this world).
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« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2014, 09:47:29 pm »

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« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2014, 06:39:17 am »

How Frankenfoods Are Modifying Your DNA

Frankenfoods is a name that has been coined buy the true “foodies” in reference to GMO (Genetically Modified) foods.  GMO seems to be in the news everywhere and many people know that it is not good for them but do they really understand what a GMO food is?  Try asking someone and you will be met with “ahhh” and “ummm”  or “its a food that has been modified genetically”.  Great!  You are on the right path but to have a clear understanding of what GMO means you also understand the dangers associated with it.  Because food is the foundation of our health it is important to have a firm foundation-  let’s dig deeper.  What does healthy eating really mean?

http://steppingstonesliving.com/frankenfoods-modifying-your-dna/
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« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2014, 08:51:08 pm »

http://www.anh-usa.org/gmoscould-destroy-life-on-the-planet/
8/26/14
GMOs: Respected Analyst Says They Could Destroy Life on the Planet

Invoking the risk of famine as a justification for GMOs is “a deceitful strategy, no different from…Russian roulette,” according to the report. Action Alert!

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a scholar, statistician, Wall Street analyst and advisor, professor at New York University, and the bestselling author of Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. He predicted the 2008 financial crisis by pointing out that commonly used risk models were wrong. (He was correct, and he became quite wealthy from the strategic financial decisions he made at that time.)

Now his analysis of our use of genetically modified organisms shows that GMOs could cause “an irreversible termination of life at some scale, which could be the planet.” Taleb and his two co-authors argue that calling the GMO approach “scientific” betrays “a very poor—indeed warped—understanding of probabilistic payoffs and risk management.”

Taleb believes GMOs fall squarely under the rule that we should always err on the side of caution if something is really dangerous. This is not just because of potential harm to the consumer, but because of systemic risk to the system, which in this case is the ecosystem that supports all life on the planet:

Top-down modifications to the system (through GMOs) are categorically and statistically different from bottom-up ones (regular farming, progressive tinkering with crops, etc.). There is no comparison between the tinkering of selective breeding and the top-down engineering of arbitrarily taking a gene from an organism and putting it into another.

The interdependence of all things in nature, Taleb points out, dramatically amplifies risks that may initially seem small when studied in isolation. Tiny genetic errors on the local scale could cause considerable—and even irreversible—environmental damage when the local is exported to the global. The lack of understanding of basic statistical principles, he says, is what leads GMO supporters astray:

The interdependence of components [in nature] lead to aggregate variations becoming much more severe than individual ones….Whether components are independent or interdependent matters a lot to systemic disasters such as pandemics or generalized crises. The interdependence increases the probability of ruin, to the point of certainty.

The problem is that the general public, and indeed most policy analysts, are ill-equipped to understand the statistical mathematics of risk. But as Brian Stoffel explains in his helpful article on Taleb’s research, we can assume that each genetically engineered seed carries a risk—albeit a very tiny risk—that in the intricately interdependent web of nature, the GMO seed might somehow eventually lead to a catastrophic breakdown of the ecosystem we rely on for life. Let’s call it a 0.1% chance, just for the sake of illustration. All by itself, that risk seems totally acceptable. But with each new seed that’s developed, the risk gets greater and greater, and over time, we could hit “the ecocide barrier”:

Critics say, “But risk is inherent in everything. We can’t just be paralyzed by fear and not progress!” Taleb responds that the risk of “generalized human extinction” is absolutely not “inherent in everything.” That’s because most consequences are localized, not systemic. And progress can be made using bottom-up techniques that have worked for eons.

While quite a few countries have banned GMOs because of their risk to human health and the environment, the US lags behind. Politicians complain that we don’t have the full picture on GMOs and therefore shouldn’t ban them—but that’s because of the lack of human safety studies being performed on GMOs in the US, and because GM companies keep a lot of their data proprietary, that is, concealed from the public. Consider the implications of keeping it secret: if the research finds GMOs to be harmless, wouldn’t that be something you’d want to shout from the rooftops, if you were Monsanto?

There is, however, clear evidence that GMOs pose risks (such as increased herbicide use) that could easily destabilize ecosystems, pose grave dangers to human health, and all without much benefit to the farmer or indeed anyone but the manufacturer:

    A study found that pigs fed GM feed had higher rates of severe stomach inflammation and developed heavier uteruses.

    Glyphosate (Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide) caused increased fungal infections and lower crop yields on GM plants—the very plants that had been genetically engineered to resist it, according to a study by Brazilian researchers.

    Higher residues of glyphosate have been found in GM soy. Some independent researchers found that glyphosate induced morphological changes in frogs, and had a negative effect on human gut bacteria.

Our fact sheet on GMO risks offers much more evidence of ecological harm.
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« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2014, 10:24:07 pm »

http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/blog/?p=25425

Coca-Cola Just Paid $1,000,000 To Keep This Hidden From You
NTEB News Desk | September 22, 2014 | 13 Comments

They don’t want you to know what’s in there for a very good reason

Coca-Cola has been having a rough time. The company owns Honest Tea, Odwalla, Powerade, Vitamin Water, Simply Orange, and other products marketed to health-conscious consumers. But it is best known for making Coke, a product that is utterly devoid of nutritional value and is often blamed for contributing to the obesity epidemic — an epidemic that is costing hundreds of billions of dollars and causing hundreds of thousands of deaths each year.

With demand for the company’s carbonated and artificially flavored sugar water declining, hope for Coca-Cola’s profitability has been increasingly resting on the brands it markets as healthier alternatives. Bloomberg.com reports that sales of Coca-Cola-owned brands like Honest Tea, Powerade, and Simply Orange are the company’s new profit center.

But there’s a problem.

In October, campaign finance reports revealed that Coca-Cola had secretly contributed more than a million dollars to the fight against GMO labeling in Washington. It took the state’s Attorney General suing the Grocery Manufacturers’ Association (GMA) for what turned out to be an $11 million violation of the state’s campaign finance laws to reveal these secret contributions. But now that the truth has been exposed, some healthy food activists are fighting back.

Andrew Kimbrell, founder of the Center for Food Safety, comments:

    Consumers of healthy beverages want to know what’s in their food. By using money from sales of natural brands to secretly fund an anti-choice agenda that deprives consumers of the right to know what they’re eating, Coca-Cola has been betraying the public interest and standing on the wrong side of history.

We at the Food Revolution Network agree. And we have launched a petition on Change.org that calls for Coca-Cola to stop funding anti GMO labeling campaigns. Check out and sign the petition here.Coca-Cola’s CEO, Muhtar Kent, says, “We have… provided a tremendous amount of choice to people.” But when it comes to the right to know if your food was genetically engineered, Coca-Cola would apparently like to keep you in the dark. According to reports, Honest Tea co-founder Seth Goldman said as recently as September that “after internal discussions,” Coca-Cola wouldn’t be “directly” funding efforts to defeat I-522. Apparently Coca-Cola thought that allegedly illegally laundering money through the Grocery Manufacturers’ Association would keep their involvement a secret.Honest Tea doesn’t look quite so honest when it’s being used to put an organic face on an alleged money laundering scheme whose goal is keeping you from knowing if your food is genetically engineered.And what makes matters worse, Honest Tea proudly proclaims throughout their website that they are GMO free — while their parent company is actively working to prevent GMO labeling.

    I wrote Coca-Cola asking if they intended to continue funding anti GMO labeling campaigns. The company’s response was to repeat the anti-labeling lobby’s talking points. They told me that Washington’s labeling initiative, I-522, would: “Require tens of thousands of common food and beverage products to be relabeled exclusively for Washington State unless they are remade with higher-priced, specially developed ingredients. The measure will increase grocery costs for a typical Washington family by hundreds of dollars per year.”

These are charges that the nine-time Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper The Seattle Times called “mostly false” and that Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, flatly rejected. In short, Coca-Cola not only tried to hide their contributions to the anti-labeling efforts in Washington, but they continue to try to deceive people about the actual realities of GMO labeling.

And they’re using sales of Honest Tea, Odwalla, Powerade, Vitamin Water, Simply Orange, and all their other brands, to finance their agenda.
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« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2014, 09:57:23 am »

Big Win! Monsanto Reports $156 Million Loss in Q4 as Farmers Abandon GM Crops
It’s a tough time for biotech, and thank goodness


Are you invested in Monsanto stock like Bill Gates, who owns hundreds of thousand of Monsanto shares worth about $23 million? It might be time to pull out since the company just reported over $156 million in losses for the fourth quarter.

    “For the quarter ended Aug. 31, Monsanto reported a loss of $156 million, or 31 cents per share, compared with a loss of $249 million, or 47 cents per share, in the same period last year.”

It’s a tough time for biotech, and thank goodness. Monsanto’s losses were attributed to farmers in major agricultural zones favoring soy over GMO corn because of falling crop prices – largely caused by Syngenta’s release of MIR162 corn, which has been completely refused by Chinese officials repeatedly – which have depressed both local and foreign corn bushel prices.

There is a looming $1 billion dollar class action lawsuit Syngenta will face, currently pending in three states over the release of AGRISURE VIPTERA® 4. All three class action suits were filed this past week in Federal Courts by U.S. farmers.

Syngenta also just happens to be the company that has covered up the true toxicity of Atrazine, and the company has been sued in six different states to clean up more than 1000 water systems in six states where the herbicide has been found polluting rivers, streams, and lakes.

Soybeans sales are still around $200 million, doubled from previous years, but they account for a much lower market share than the GMO corn products which Monsanto sells and promotes for use with their toxic herbicide, RoundUp.

Adjusted losses for the biotech bully come to 27 cents a share, three cents worse than estimates.

While it would have been nice to take down this Agri Business giant for different reasons, it seems the company’s partner in crime, Syngenta, is doing the work of dismantling the GMO paradigm for us.

In the last two years, Monsanto has reported huge losses, so we must be doing something right. If this trend continues, and it should if we continue the good fight, then we can all hope to see the GMO Empire crumble in due time. Continue raising awareness and purchasing non-GMO, organic foods. Voice your words with your dollar.

http://www.infowars.com/big-win-monsanto-reports-156-million-loss-in-q4-as-farmers-abandon-gm-crops/
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« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2014, 08:46:54 pm »

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/11/22/poison-platter-ge-foods.aspx?e_cid=20141122Z1_DNL_art_1&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20141122Z1&et_cid=DM60587&et_rid=737141028
Documentary, “Poison on the Platter”: GE Foods Are Spreading Across India
November 22, 2014

By Dr. Mercola

The corporate and regulatory forces that are out to get genetically engineered (GE) foods onto your dinner plate by any means possible are not confined to the United States.

In his documentary, Poison on the Platter, Indian filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt examines from a unique non-Western perspective how multinational corporations and government regulators have conspired to spread GE foods across India.

The film provides an insightful perspective about the world impact of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), as discussed by scientists on the other side of the globe.

If you don’t believe contamination of our food supply by GMOs holds the potential for planetary disaster, you might change your mind after seeing this film. Mahesh Bhatt warns:

“In their mad rush to capture the multi-billion dollar Indian agriculture and food industry, the biotech multinational companies are bulldozing warnings by scientists about the adverse impact of GM foods on health and environment...

[T]his is hurtling mankind toward a disaster, which will be far more destructive than anything the world has seen so far, simply because it will affect every single person living on this planet.”

GE proponents claim that GE foods are the solution to world hunger, increased crop yield and variety, lowered input costs, and reduced environmental impact.

They also claim that foods derived from GMOs are “substantially equivalent” to foods created by conventional growing methods. The problem is that none of those claims are supported by science.

The List of Risks Posed by GE Foods Continues to Grow

Epidemiological patterns reflect a rise in more than 30 human diseases alongside the steady increase of GE ingredients in our food supply and the dramatic increase in the use of agrichemicals, such as glyphosate.

Glyphosate is not “just” an herbicide—it was originally patented as a mineral chelator. It immobilizes nutrients, making them unavailable for your body. Glyphosate is also patented as an antibiotic that can devastate human gut bacteria.


When you mix the genes of one species with those of another, you’re courting disaster. GE food trials involving laboratory animals have uncovered higher mortality, infertility, and multi-organ damage—such as bleeding stomachs.

Even Monsanto’s own mouse studies demonstrated that GE foods have toxic effects on multiple organs, including the liver and kidneys. One of the most ominous concerns about the GE food system is its impact on our soils.

Monoculture and massive agrichemical use are decimating soils at an alarming rate—soils that took thousands of years to develop. Trillions of beneficial microbes that make up healthy soil are destroyed, depleting its nitrogen and leading to soil erosion, pollution, and wasted water from massive runoff.

Nitrogen and phosphorous fertilizer runoff has created dead zones along many coastal waterways. GE crop monocultures destroy in a blink what nature has taken millennia to create.

US Recklessly Speeds Ahead with Next-Generation GE Crops

What’s going on in India is not that different from the US. Despite all of the hellish evidence, there seems to be no risk substantial enough to deter the American government from pushing ahead with new GE seeds.

Herbicide and insecticide use is skyrocketing. USDA recently deregulated Dow Chemical’s next-generation GE crops, which are not only glyphosate-resistant, but also carry resistance to toxins like the Agent Orange ingredient 2,4-D and Dicamba. EPA has also approved Enlist Duo—a new herbicide to be used on Dow’s 2,4-D and glyphosate-resistant corn and soybeans.

EPA has also doubled the amount of glyphosate allowed in your food. For example, soybean oil is allowed to contain a whopping 400 times the limit at which it can impact your health. Widespread use of GMOs has led to an enormous resistance problem.

Superweeds and resistant pests are rapidly spreading across farmland, which has necessitated the deployment of even more noxious chemicals. USDA data reveals that glyphosate use has increased 12-fold since 1996. Meanwhile, weed resistance has been documented on 60 million farm acres across the US.

The US Earns the Gold for Highest GE Food Production

The US is the world’s leading producer of GE foods, many of which are being exported to countries, like India, that will allow it. Monsanto is the largest manufacturer of GE seeds, producing 90 percent of those used across the globe. Yet three quarters of Americans are not even aware that they consume GE ingredients in almost every meal.

Many other countries believe that GE foods must be safe because Americans have been consuming them for two decades—and “not dying from them.” However, the fallacy of this reasoning is evident when you realize that it took the US about 500 years to realize that tobacco wasn’t safe.

The incidence of chronic diseases in the US has escalated since the introduction of GE foods. Therefore, no one can claim that Americans are healthy, and no one can say with any assurance that GE foods are safe. Many scientists argue that we haven't had enough time for the effects of GMOs to fully reveal themselves across populations—and when they do, the damage may be irreparable. In the words of GMO expert and founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology Jeffrey Smith:

“I can say with absolute confidence that there is irrefutable and overwhelming evidence that genetically engineered foods are harmful and that they are not being evaluated properly by the governments of India, United States, the European Union, or anywhere in the world. This is one of the most dangerous technologies ever introduced on Earth, and it’s being deployed in our food supply. It is madness! What we need is a political willingness to say no more... We don’t understand the language of DNA.”

Cheap Food Brings Expensive Healthcare

Genetically engineered foods have increased to keep pace with an exploding demand for "cheap food." Farmers are constantly pushed for higher yields. The current system is creating a glut of ecological problems, such as ravaging our bee populations. Forty years ago, Americans spent 16 percent of their income on food and eight percent on healthcare; today, those numbers are reversed. This "cheap food" system has bought us the most expensive healthcare in the world. In the same way that medical schools and universities are controlled by the drug industry, the food system is controlled by the agrichemical industry.

The industrialized food system is putting many small farmers out of business. Land grant universities, funded by corporate agribusiness, are under enormous pressure to shush any research that goes against the party line. Educational institutions are afraid to "bite the hand that feeds them." Mark Kastel, Co-Founder of The Cornucopia Institute, explains how other strategies are used to ensure that the public never finds out about the health dangers of GMOs:

"Monsanto and others actually have contracts with farmers, a technology agreement that prohibits the farmers from using any of their crop for research—other than agronomic research and yield research. So they can't partner with a physician or a medical researcher to take a look at the impact on human health. They've really impeded our ability to know whether or not GMOs are safe."

Big Bucks Buys Big Votes

Money changes everything. Monsanto, Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and other pro-GMO forces continue pouring millions into every anti-labeling campaign in an effort to prevent you from knowing what you’re eating. Their strategy consists of false claims, lies, and scare tactics, but their money is buying them smaller and smaller margins—labeling laws are coming closer to passage with each election. Every “loss” is actually a “win” when you look at the trends. As people gain awareness of the issues, they will refuse to stand for the status quo.

In 2012, industry spent $45 million to defeat California’s Prop 37 labeling bill, and it lost by six points.

Between 2012 and mid-2014, Monsanto and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) successfully blocked GMO labeling laws in over 30 states, at a price tag of more than $100 million. According to the most recent analysis, opponents of GMO labeling spent more than $27 million on lobbying in the first six months of 2014 alone—this is about three times more than they spent during all of 2013.

In the November 2014 election, the GMO industry and supporters spent $37 million to prevent Oregon and Colorado from passing their respective labeling laws. This effort was successful in Colorado, but in Oregon the race couldn’t be any tighter!

It’s Time to Stop the Insanity

Election season may be over, but you can vote with your wallet every day. If enough of us make our voices heard, things CAN change. For example, you can boycott GMA Member Traitor Brands, which helps level the playing field. As always, continue educating yourself and sharing what you've learned. Think of yourself as being pro-evidence, as opposed to anti-GMO. Just because you question something doesn't mean you're opposed to it—you just want more evidence so that you can make a good decision for yourself and your family. This film provides one more learning tool that you can forward to your friends and family, to help them take charge of their health.

The insanity has gone far enough. It’s time to unite and fight back, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. To learn more about this boycott, and the traitor brands that are included, please visit TheBoycottList.org. I also encourage you to donate to the Organic Consumers Fund. Your donation will help fight the GMA lawsuit in Vermont.

Voting with your pocketbook, at every meal, matters. It makes a huge difference. By boycotting GMA Member Traitor Brands, you can help level the playing field, and help take back control of our food supply. And as always, continue educating yourself about genetically engineered foods, and share what you’ve learned with family and friends.
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« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2015, 07:54:38 pm »

http://www.fooddemocracynow.org/blog/2014/dec/15-0
Monsanto’s Roundup Responsible for Skyrocketing Rates of Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerance and Other Wheat-Related Illnesses?
12/15/14

The mystery behind skyrocketing rates of Celiac disease, gluten intolerance, and other wheat-related illnesses may not have anything to do with wheat or even gluten, but rather the process by which conventional American wheat is grown and harvested.

Unbeknownst to most consumers is the fact that just before harvest, a vast majority of conventional wheat grown in the U.S. is doused in Roundup herbicide, which ends up poisoning your favorite breads, cereals, cakes, and pastries.

Many conventional wheat farmers in America, driven by greed and carelessness, flood their wheat crops with Roundup just before harvest in order to slightly boost yields and reduce harvest time. But the end result is Roundup being absorbed directly into the wheat kernels that end up processed on your dinner plate.

The Healthy Home Economist‘s Sarah Pope explains in a recent article how the pre-harvest application of Roundup is used to dry conventional wheat and make it easier to harvest. This process helps wheat crops release their seeds more quickly, resulting in moderately higher yields.

But according to wheat farmer Keith Lewis, this practice isn’t licensed, though it is quite common in the U.S. When Roundup-sprayed wheat is eventually processed for human consumption, unknown levels of it end up in the final product.

“A wheat field often ripens unevenly, thus applying Roundup pre-harvest evens up the greener parts of the field with the more mature,” he explained during a 2012 interview with Dr. William Davis, author of the bestselling book Wheat Belly.

“The result is on the less mature areas, Roundup is translocated into the kernels and eventually harvested as such.”

Stop buying corporate American wheat products

In her report, Pope highlights a graph that was included in a 2013 study published in the journal Interdisciplinary Toxicology, which clearly illustrates a corresponding increase in both Celiac disease incidence and glyphosate use on wheat crops.

Since it first became an option for American wheat farmers in the early 1990s, spraying conventional wheat crops with Roundup just prior to harvest has basically become the norm. The latest U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) figures show that, as of 2012, 99 percent of durum wheat, 97 percent of spring wheat, and 61 percent of winter wheat is doused in herbicides prior to harvest.

“Using Roundup on wheat crops throughout the entire growing season and even as a desiccant just prior to harvest may save the farmer money and increase profits, but it is devastating to the health of the consumer who ultimately consumes the glyphosate residue laden wheat kernels,” writes Pope.

The reason this is problematic is that Roundup damages several key pathways by which the human body processes and absorbs nutrients. Besides inhibiting cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, which detoxifies the body of foreign chemical compounds, glyphosate damages the gut microbiome, which is responsible for absorbing nutrients.

“… just because Roundup doesn’t kill you immediately doesn’t make it nontoxic,” writes Pope. “In fact, the active ingredient in Roundup lethally disrupts the all important shikimate pathway found in beneficial gut microbes which is responsible for synthesis of critical amino acids.”

Quote
“In synergy with disruption of the biosynthesis of important amino acids via the shikimate pathway, glyphosate inhibits the cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes produced by the gut microbiome. CYP enzymes are critical to human biology because they detoxify the multitude of foreign chemical compounds, xenobiotics, that we are exposed to in our modern environment today.”

The only way to avoid this is to avoid all conventional wheat grown in the U.S., as well as all products made from it. Pope recommends sticking with low gluten, unhybridized Einkorn wheat, or wheat grown in other countries.

Until American farmers wake up to the fact that they are actively poisoning the public with their toxic, glyphosate wheat, it is vital to avoid purchasing all American-grown wheat that is not certified organic.
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« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2015, 11:12:46 am »

http://rt.com/usa/230823-monarch-butterflies-monsanto-massacre/
Monsanto monarch massacre: 970 million butterflies killed since 1990
Published time: February 10, 2015 10:52
Edited time: February 12, 2015 08:28

The beautiful monarch butterfly, which is also a major pollinator, is being threatened by herbicides that eradicate milkweed, its primary food source. Now, a desperate rejuvenation program is under way to save the species from possible extinction.

A shocking statistic released by the US Fish and Wildlife Service on Monday summed up the plight of the monarch butterfly: Since 1990, about 970 million of the butterflies – 90 percent of the total population – have vanished across the United States.

The massacre provides a grim testimony to the delicate balance that exists between man and nature, and how the introduction of a single consumer product – in this case, Monsanto’s Roundup Ready herbicide – can wreak so much havoc. Sold to farmers and homeowners as an effective method for eliminating milkweed plants, Roundup Ready, introduced in the 1970s, is widely blamed for decimating the monarch butterflies’ only source of food in the Midwest.

“This report is a wake-up call. This iconic species is on the verge of extinction because of Monsanto's Roundup Ready crop system,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director for the Center for Food Safety, which last week released a report describing the effects of herbicide-resistant crops on monarch butterflies in North America.

“To let the monarch butterfly die out in order to allow Monsanto to sell its signature herbicide for a few more years is simply shameful.”

The widespread death of the monarch butterfly has prompted some groups, like the Center for Biological Diversity, to demand the butterfly be placed on the endangered species list.

Dan Ashe, director of Fish and Wildlife Service, preferred to take a diplomatic approach to Monsanto’s hefty contribution to the problem, saying everyone is responsible for the plight of the monarch butterfly.

“We’ve all been responsible. We are the consumers of agricultural products. I eat corn. American farmers are not the enemy. Can they be part of the solution? Yes,” Ashe said.

“It’s not about this wonderful, mystical creature. It’s about us.”

Monsanto responded to the issue in a blog on its website by saying that listing monarch butterflies as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act “makes for a great news headline,” but ultimately fails to “help solve the problem.”

Rejuvenation efforts
The monarch migrates annually thousands of miles - and over the lifespan of many generations - from Mexico, across the United States, to Canada. To complete this migration, the butterfly is dependent upon the milkweed plant, which provides not only a major food source, but a larval host. However, as US farmland continues to eat up the remaining wild places, there appears to be little left to sustain the monarch.

In an effort to restore monarch numbers, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has teamed up with the National Wildlife Federation and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to start a milkweed replanting program.

The Fish and Wildlife Service said it will contribute $2 million this year to restoring more than 200,000 acres of monarch habitat, while also “supporting over 750 schoolyard habitats and pollinator gardens.” The service will also concentrate rejuvenation efforts on Interstate 35, a 1,568-mile (2,523 km) highway that extends from Texas to Minnesota, which closely follows the monarch’s migration path.

“We can save the monarch butterfly in North America, but only if we act quickly and together,” said Ashe.

The monarch butterfly is not the only pollinator species suffering from the agricultural use of pesticides. Wasps, beetles and especially honeybees have all experienced significant drops in their numbers over the years, which will have adverse effects on America’s crop supply if not soon addressed.

Monsanto controversy
Monsanto has run into controversy before over its glysophate-based Roundup Ready product. It is even being blamed by some for a sharp spike in suicide rates among Indian farmers, many of whom could not afford to continue buying the Ready Roundup seeds and herbicides.

The Indian farmers would not receive a loan “if they don’t go with the GMOs,” the head of the Council for Responsible Genetics, Sheldon Krimsky, told RT. “And many of them felt coerced to take the GM seeds. The GM crops have not done as well in all regions of India... [That has led to] much greater indebtedness with the GM crops that did not perform as well.”

Monsanto denies that its seeds have contributed to the plight of Indian farmers.

“Despite claims by those who oppose GMO crops, research also demonstrates there is no link between Indian farmer suicides and the planting of GMO cotton,” the company said on its website.

However, since Monsanto controls about 95 percent of the cotton seed market in India, many small farmers are falling behind on their debt, leading them, critics claim, to desperate measures.

“Two hundred and eighty-four thousand farmers have committed suicide in India because of debt linked to seed and chemicals,” Vandana Shiva, an Indian environmental activist and anti-globalization author, said last year ahead of the March Against Monsanto global protests.

“Monsanto have claimed more than 1,500 climate resilient patents, and are hoping to use the climate crisis to make even bigger profits,” Shiva says claiming that “Monsanto wants super profits through total control over nature and humanity.”


Last year, hundreds of thousands of people united around the world to raise awareness over the biotech giant Monsanto’s growing grip on the global food supply chain.

Activists on five continents around the globe, comprising 52 nations, joined the fight under the March against Monsanto umbrella.
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« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2015, 04:01:09 pm »

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« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2015, 09:08:35 pm »

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/02/24/monarch-butterfly-glyphosate.aspx?e_cid=20150224Z1_DNL_B_art_2&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art2&utm_campaign=20150224Z1_DNL_B&et_cid=DM69935&et_rid=853209933
Taxpayer Money Helps Pay for Monsanto Devastation
February 24, 2015

By Dr. Mercola

Earlier this month, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced a $3.2-million campaign to save “beleaguered” Monarch butterflies.1 As recently as 1996, there were close to 1 billion monarchs across the US. Today, their numbers have dwindled by 90 percent.

The crux of their campaign is restoring and enhancing monarch habitat, as habitat loss due to agricultural practices has played a role in their demise. More than 200,000 acres of habitat is slated to be restored for monarchs while the program is also planning over 750 schoolyard habitats and pollinator gardens.

It’s a good start, but there is something glaringly absent from the FWS announcement – Monsanto’s role in all of this.

Monsanto’s Glyphosate Is Killing Off Monarchs’ Favorite Plant

Milkweed is an easy target for glyphosate, the chemical in the herbicide Roundup that’s used prolifically on Monsanto’s Roundup Ready™ genetically engineered crops.

This perennial plant used to be common across American prairies, and it plays an integral role in monarchs’ survival. It is the only plant on which the adult monarch will lay its eggs.

Once the larvae hatches, the caterpillar will eat the plant. In fact, it is the only food that monarch caterpillars eat. Without milkweed along its migratory path, the monarch cannot reproduce – which means it cannot, ultimately, survive.

This is reason enough to take urgent action, but the loss of monarchs isn’t only about butterflies. According to FWS:

“Spectacular as it is, protecting the monarch is not just about saving one species. The monarch serves as an indicator of the health of pollinators and the American landscape.

Monarch declines are symptomatic of environmental problems that pose risks to our food supply, the spectacular natural places that help define our national identity, and our own health. Conserving and connecting habitat for monarchs will benefit other plants, animals and important insect and avian pollinators.”

‘Farming Per Se Is Not the Problem’

FWS acknowledges that agricultural practices have played a role in devastating monarchs’ habitat. But it’s not just farming that’s the problem – it’s the planting of GM crops, particularly corn and soy, and the subsequent application of Roundup that is killing off the butterflies.

According to a report, “Monarchs in Peril,” by the Center for Food Safety (CFS), “farming per se is not the problem,” as monarchs have coexisted with agriculture since the 1800s.2

Even as prairies and forests in the Midwest were converted to cropland, one particularly hardy species of milkweed, common milkweed, survived. Its deep, extensive root system allowed it to survive tillage, mowing, harsh winters, and even the application of most herbicides, which typically didn’t affect their roots. CFS noted:

“Thus, throughout the 20th century, common milkweed within and around corn and soybean fields has supported a large population of monarch butterflies.

In fact, in the late 1990s roughly half of the monarchs in Mexican winter roosts had developed on common milkweed plants in the Corn Belt, making this far and away the most important habitat for maintaining the monarch population as a whole.”

As of 2013, however, about 90 percent of soybeans and more than 80 percent of corn grown in the US are of the GM Roundup Ready variety. Between 1995, the year before the first Roundup Ready crops were introduced, and 2013, total use of glyphosate on corn and soybeans increased 20-fold, according to the CFS report.

Meanwhile, as usage of glyphosate has skyrocketed, milkweed has plummeted. In 1999, CFS noted that milkweed was found in half of corn and soybean fields, but this declined to 8 percent 10 years later. In 2013, it was estimated that just 1 percent of the common milkweed present in 1999 remained. Tragically, while milkweed is not harmed by many herbicides… it is easily killed by glyphosate. CFS reported:

“Recently… a dramatic change in farming practices — the widespread cultivation of genetically engineered, glyphosate-resistant Roundup Ready corn and soybeans—has triggered a precipitous decline of common milkweed, and thus of monarchs.

Glyphosate, sold by Monsanto under the name of Roundup, is one of the very few herbicides that is effective on milkweed. Unlike many other weedkillers, once absorbed it is translocated (moved internally) to root tissue, where it kills milkweed at the root and so prevents regeneration.

Glyphosate is particularly lethal to milkweed when used in conjunction with Roundup Ready crops. It is applied more frequently, at higher rates, and later in the season — during milkweed’s most vulnerable flowering stage of growth — than when used with traditional crops.


The increasingly common practice of growing Roundup Ready crops continuously on the same fields means that milkweed is exposed to glyphosate every year, with no opportunity to recover.”

Call for Monarchs to Be Added to the Endangered Species List

With 90 percent of monarchs vanishing since the 1990s, groups including the Center for Biological Diversity are calling for the butterfly to be placed on the endangered species list.

Meanwhile, rather than directing Monsanto to pay the costs of restoring Monarch habitat… and calling for an end to the elimination of milkweed from cropland, Dan Ashe, director of Fish and Wildlife Service, said that everyone is responsible for killing off monarchs:3

“We’ve all been responsible. We are the consumers of agricultural products. I eat corn. American farmers are not the enemy. Can they be part of the solution? Yes.”

Monsanto surely breathed a sigh of relief upon finding no mention of their herbicide in the FWS report and, not surprisingly, applauded it by saying “farming and habitat for Monarchs can co-exist.”4 Critics, however, believe the FWS is not going far enough to protect this valuable species.

For instance, CFS advocates restricting the spraying of glyphosate late in the growing season, when milkweed is flowering and more likely to be killed.5 According to Larissa Walker, pollinator campaign director at CFS:6

“While funding for efforts to restore milkweed habitat are essential to the monarch butterfly's survival, without addressing the eradication of milkweed within agricultural fields, monarch populations will not rebound to resilient, healthy levels.

Research has shown that monarch butterflies lay up to four times more eggs on milkweed within agricultural fields, and unfortunately, this vital breeding habitat has been destroyed by herbicides used in conjunction with genetically engineered crops.”

Honeybees Are Also in Danger

Like Monarch butterflies, honeybees have been declining in record numbers in recent decades, due to what has been dubbed “colony collapse disorder.” There is no price that can be put upon the work of bees, which pollinate one-third of the food we eat.

Just about every fruit and vegetable you can imagine is dependent on the pollinating services of bees. Apple orchards, for instance, require one colony of bees per acre in order to be adequately pollinated. Almond growers must have two hives per acre.

So far there have been enough bees to keep up with production… but just barely. Those in the industry describe an increasingly dire situation in which finding enough bees to pollinate crops is "chaos." One recent study found that worker bees who begin foraging prematurely perform very poorly, and this compounds the stresses on the colony and accelerates failure of the hive.7

Glyphosate may also play a role in bee colony collapse disorder. As stated by GMO expert Dr. Don Huber, there are three established characteristics of colony collapse disorder that suggest glyphosate may be (at least partly) responsible:

The bees are mineral-deficient, especially in micronutrients
There’s plenty of food present but they’re not able to utilize it or to digest it
Dead bees are devoid of the Lactobacillus and the Bifidobacterium, which are components of their digestive system
The bees also become disoriented, suggesting endocrine hormone disruption. Neonicotinoid insecticides, which are endocrine hormone disruptors, have been demonstrated to make a bee disoriented and unable to find its way back to the hive – and have been implicated in bee die-offs. Glyphosate is also a very strong endocrine hormone disruptor. Dr. Huber also cited a study on glyphosate in drinking water at levels that are commonly found in US water systems, showing a 30 percent mortality in bees exposed to it.

No One’s Testing to See How Much Glyphosate Is on the Produce You Eat

If pesticides, herbicides, and other agricultural chemicals are decimating pollinators, have you stopped to think about what happens when you eat them? Research has demonstrated that these agricultural chemicals are neurotoxic, capable of damaging your nervous system. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 60 percent of herbicides, 90 percent of fungicides, and 30 percent of insecticides are also carcinogenic.

All of these toxins are permitted on conventional farms, and any number of them can end up on your plate when you purchase conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. However, it’s difficult to know exactly how many pesticides and herbicides may be on your food and what the health consequences may be. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) insists pesticide residues on food are no cause for concern.

According to the agency's latest report, more than half of all foods tested last year had detectable levels of pesticide residues, but most, they claim, are within the "safe" range. Yet, the USDA does not test for glyphosate, which is the most commonly used herbicide in the US (and world)!  It’s worth noting that 73 percent of conventionally grown foods had at least one pesticide residue, as did 23 percent of their organically grown counterparts. A US Government Accountability Office report also called into questioned pesticide residue reporting and testing, noting the following glaring issues:8

The small percentage of produce tested (less than .01 percent of imported produce was tested in 2012)
The lack of disclosure about what is not tested (i.e. glyphosate)
The calculation methodology itself
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« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2015, 07:41:34 pm »

https://www.yahoo.com/food/in-first-americans-spent-more-in-restaurants-than-112803758886.html
In First, Americans Spent More in Restaurants Than Grocery Stores
3/6/15

By a nose, American dollars spent at restaurants and bars outstripped those plunked down in grocery stores in January, a first since the Census Bureau began tracking data in 1992.

"It’s been happening over the last 20 years gradually, but it’s really accelerated in recent years," explained Mark J. Perry, the University of Michigan economics and finance professor who created the above diagram for conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute. Spending in restaurants has kicked into high gear “especially in just the last five or six months,” he added.

Think about it this way: More than two decades ago, Americans spent $162 in groceries for every $100 they spent in restaurants. But this past January, they spent nearly equal amounts of money in both places: $50.475 billion in restaurants and bars, and $50.466 billion in grocery stores.

Perry attributes the numbers to dropping gas prices, which have left many people with more disposable income. But it’s unlikely that a single factor is to thank for the trend. “I think it’s a combination of a recovering economy and changing eating habits,” he said, extrapolating that “the millennial generation [may be] more likely to eat out than cook at home.” Perry also noted that dining in restaurants simply isn’t the once-in-a-blue-moon event it used to be.

"The role of the restaurant has changed in society," he said. "It’s less of a special occasion [destination], and even for some people, like me, eating out is an everyday occasion."

Martha Hoover, the founder of sprawling Indianapolis restaurant empire Patachou, goes one step further: Restaurants have earned a role in society that is equal to “work” or “home.”

"I think there’s been an explosion of independent restaurants, which are normally in neighborhoods," she said. "They’re usually smaller, more intimate, and more personal, and I think these restaurants have created a true ‘third’ place beyond home and work. You have this third place that’s also an extension of your community."

Routines have changed, Hoover continued. “If you’re talking about a family of four that wants to eat dinner together every night, they’ve transferred their kitchen table to a restaurant table,” she said. “Of course, as a restaurateur, I think it’s remarkable.”

So does San Francisco restaurateur Anna Weinberg, who with husband James Nicholas founded the eateries Cavalier, Marlowe, and Park Tavern.

"We’ve seen a huge shift in San Francisco," she told Yahoo Food. "I’ve seen people who treat restaurants like they do in New York City: as their kitchens." Weinberg attributes the change to people working longer hours, leaving them with little time to prepare their own meals. Grocery shopping, too, can be a pricey proposition if one develops a predilection for organic and local fare.

"It doesn’t cost me any less to go to Whole Foods [than a restaurant]—in fact it costs me more," Weinberg said. "I might spend $32 on a good steak [at the grocery store]. It costs me less in my own restaurant."

Weinberg also noted that nearby companies have begun using her restaurants as meeting places, which she believes is part of a larger trend. “We never used to open our restaurants between lunch and dinner, because it didn’t seem worthwhile,” she explained. “But we do now because people use them for business meetings. They’d rather do it at our communal table, drinking a cocktail, than their offices.”

Weinberg says the overall shift from eating at home to dining in restaurants has affected how she plans menus: There are more salads in the mix, to accommodate the “ladies who lunch.” Also, her daily menus change more often, to appeal to repeat customers.

To sum up, Weinberg described an average lunchtime scene at her New American bistro Marlowe: Table after table of young men, casually dressed in t-shirts, all from neighboring technology companies. They’re not necessarily foodies, but they have money to burn. For many, it’s not the first time they’ve dined at Marlowe that week.

"We’re kind of like their mom’s lunch," Weinberg said with a laugh. "I just can’t imagine seeing these kids in a supermarket."
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« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2015, 01:59:13 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/popular-weed-killer-deemed-probable-carcinogen-un-182548855.html
Popular weed killer deemed probable carcinogen by UN
3/20/15

LONDON (AP) — One of the world's most popular weed-killers — and the most widely used kind in the U.S. — has been labeled a probable carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

The decision was made by IARC, the France-based cancer research arm of the World Health Organization, which considered the status of five insect and weed killers including glyphosate, which is used globally in industrial farming.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which makes its own determinations, said it would consider the French agency's evaluation.

The French agency has four levels of risks for possible cancer-causing agents: known carcinogens, probable or possible carcinogens, not classifiable and probably not carcinogenic. Glyphosate now falls in the second level of concern.

The new classification is aimed mainly at industrial use of glyphosate. Its use by home gardeners is not considered a risk. Glyphosate is in the same category of risk as things like anabolic steroids and shift work. The decision was published online Thursday in the journal, Lancet Oncology.

According to the French agency, glyphosate is used in more than 750 different herbicide products and its use has been detected in the air during spraying, in water and in food. Experts said there was "limited evidence" in humans that the herbicide can cause non-Hodgkins lymphoma and there is convincing evidence that glyphosate can also cause other forms of cancer in rats and mice. IARC's panel said glyphosate has been found in the blood and urine of agricultural workers, showing the chemical has been absorbed by the body.

Monsanto and other producers of glyphosate-containing herbicides, strongly disagreed with the decision. "All labeled uses of glyphosate are safe for human health," said Monsanto's Phil Miller, global head of regulatory and government affairs, in a statement.

The EPA's 2012 assessment of glyphosate concluded that it met the statutory safety standards and that the chemical could "continue to be used without unreasonable risks to people or the environment."

The French agency's experts said the cancer risks of the weed killer were mostly from occupational exposure.

"I don't think home use is the issue," said Kate Guyton of IARC. "It's agricultural use that will have the biggest impact. For the moment, it's just something for people to be conscious of."
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« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2015, 01:32:29 pm »

http://www.nationofchange.org/2015/06/09/monsanto-proposes-to-change-its-name-to-escape-its-pr-woes/
6/9/15
Monsanto Proposes to Change Its Name to Escape Its PR Woes

Documents released today by Syngenta include a letter from Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant to Syngenta, suggesting as a part of a corporate merger that, “We would also propose a new name for the combined company to reflect its unique global nature.”

“Monsanto wants to escape its ugly history by ditching its name,” said Gary Ruskin, co-director of U.S. Right to Know, a consumer group. “This shows how desperate Monsanto is to escape criticism: of its products, which raise environmental and health concerns, as well as concerns about corporate control of agriculture and our food system.”

In a 2014 Harris Poll gauging the reputations of major corporations, Monsanto’s “reputation quotient” ranked 58 out of 60 companies. In other words, it was the third most hated company measured.

“Monsanto is much like Philip Morris when it changed its name to Altria,” Ruskin said. “Monsanto wants us to forget about its old scandals like PCBs and Agent Orange, as well as the serious questions swirling around Roundup and GMOs.”

U.S. Right to Know is a new nonprofit food organization that investigates and reports on what food companies don’t want us to know. In January, U.S. Right to Know released a report, titled Seedy Business, on the agrichemical and food industries’ PR campaign to defend GMOs. For more information about U.S. Right to Know, please see our website at usrtk.org.
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« Reply #26 on: October 17, 2015, 05:44:32 pm »

http://www.anh-usa.org/organics-board-to-review-gmo-vaccines-for-animals-pesticides-allowed-on-food/
Organics Board to Review GMO Vaccines for Animals, Pesticides Allowed in Food
9/29/15

The fall meeting of the National Organic Standards Board is coming up. As usual, we need your help to prevent some bad decisions being made at the behest of industry. Action Alert!

The semi-annual meeting of the NOSB will take place October 26–29 in Vermont. Because NOSB makes decisions that, in large part, determine the future of organic foods, ANH-USA has been engaged with the Board for some time.

After reviewing the agenda, we noted two items of concern.

GMO Vaccines

The NOSB continues to avoid directly addressing the issue of keeping genetically engineered vaccines away from organic livestock. As noted in the materials for the Fall 2015 meeting, it seems the stated rationale for NOSB’s inaction is the difficulty in distinguishing GMO from non-GMO vaccines, and how to define a GMO vaccine. In our coverage of last year’s Fall NOSB meeting, participants identified a need for methods to distinguish between GMO vaccine and non-GMO vaccines—but they did not take any concrete action.

Under current regulation, GMO vaccines are not allowed in organic production unless specifically approved by NOP. The core of the difficulty in keeping GMO vaccines out of organic food, however, seems to be vague definitions contained in NOSB regulations. “Excluded methods” are prohibited in organic production, but the definitions and terms contained in “excluded methods” do not align with the language used by vaccine manufacturers. These inconsistencies make it difficult for organic certifiers and farmers to know which vaccines should not be used in organic production—meaning that it is likely that GMO vaccines are currently being used on organic livestock.

This has been an issue for some time. In 2012 the NOSB recommended that the National Organics Program—the part of the USDA responsible for administering and enforcing organic regulations—identify all vaccines registered to the USDA as either GMO or non-GMO, and make this information available to farmers and certifiers. The USDA, however, has not gone forward with this recommendation, arguing that the creation of such lists would imply that there is something wrong with GMO vaccines.

This is just another unfortunate example of our government refusing to abide by its own laws. The NOSB has the power to end the use of GMO vaccines in organic livestock by creating a list of vaccines that are permissible and those that are not permissible. It is past time to do so.

“Inerts”

One of the primary functions of the NOSB is to create lists of materials and substances that are allowed or not allowed in organic production. One issue over the last few years has been exemptions for “inerts”—synthetic chemicals in pesticides that are considered to be “inactive,” even though, as groups like the Center for Food Safety have shown, many so-called “inerts” are actually toxic and active. Considering that some pesticides are composed almost entirely of “inerts,” it is especially important for these chemicals to be reviewed by NOSB in a timely manner and disallowed in organic production.

Despite this urgent need, the NOSB has been dragging its feet for years when it comes to reviewing and ruling on the lists of “inert” chemicals—some of which are known endocrine disruptors. Following a change in how the EPA classifies “inerts,” the NOSB recommended the creation of a task force at its April 2010 meeting to work with the EPA to reevaluate and update its own list of “inerts.” Then, at its October 2010 meeting, the NOSB renewed its exemptions for “inerts” that were considered to pose minimal risk until October 2017. In May 2012, NOSB recommended the same expiration date for “inerts” with an “unknown toxicity” level.

This may sound good, but the problem is that recent changes have completely undermined how and when non-organic substance are removed from organic production—also known as “sunset” provisions. Previously, any exemptions from organic standards were set to expire, or “sunset,” on a specific date—unless they were reinstated by a “decisive” two-thirds majority vote of the NOSB. Now it’s just the reverse: a synthetic material can be permitted to remain in an organic food indefinitely unless a two-thirds majority votes to remove it from the exempted list. So, if NOSB does not vote to allow “inerts” to be removed, they could stay in organic production indefinitely.

Consumers often pay a high premium to purchase organic products to promote health and avoid the toxic pesticides and other contaminants that have come to characterize our industrial agricultural system. These consumers deserve an organic label that delivers on these promises and prevents companies from taking shortcuts.
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« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2015, 09:46:10 pm »

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« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2016, 08:49:12 pm »

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« Reply #29 on: February 13, 2016, 11:58:43 am »

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