Published: Thursday 3 January 2013
“Looking at the logistics and outcome of the Prop 37 campaign in California in 2012 and comparing these to the upcoming I-522 battle in Washington, there are several major differences that will likely prove to be decisive.”

On November 6, in the wake of one of the most expensive and scurrilous smear campaigns in history, six million voters scared the hell out of Monsanto and Big Food Inc. by coming within a razor’s edge of passing the first statewide mandatory labeling law for genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Prop 37, a citizens’ ballot initiative that would have required the mandatory labeling of billions of dollars of genetically engineered (GE) foods and put an end to the routine industry practice of fraudulently marketing GE-tainted foods as “natural” or “all natural,” lost by a narrow margin of 48.6% to 51.4%. Opponents couldn’t claim anything close to a landslide, even though they outspent the pro-labeling campaign almost six to one. 



The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) immediately put a happy face on the narrow victory, repeating its tired old propaganda in a public ...

Published: Monday 31 December 2012
Monsanto placed its advertisement to defend Roundup against a report by Earth Open Source called “Roundup and birth defects: Is the public being kept in the dark?”

An advertisement for Roundup herbicide that Monsanto placed in June 2012 in the big Dutch newspapers Volkskrant and Telegraaf has made ​​a number of misleading claims. That is the view of the Dutch Advertising Code Commission in its decision of 11 December. 

 

The Commission ruled that the ad, titled "Roundup, the facts", was misleading in its claims that Roundup has no effect on soil, does not persist in the soil, and does not reach groundwater. 

 

The complaint against the ad was brought by the NGO 

Published: Saturday 22 December 2012
“In the event that these GM salmon are unleashed, how will you know if you’re eating GM salmon?”

The very genetic coding of the planet is no longer held sacred, according to the United States Food and Drug Administration. The agency is now pushing for the release of genetically modified salmon called ‘frankenfish’ to be unleashed across the globe, threatening the genetic integrity of the entire animal kingdom.

Mutated by scientists to grow twice as fast as a normal salmon through the manipulation of the animal’s genetic code, the genetically modified salmon created by the company AquAdvantage was actually blocked for approval by Congress back in 2011 due to serious health concerns. In the report regarding the ban on the approval of the genetically modified salmon by Huffington Post, it is quite clearly spelled out how the FDA-backed mega company AquaAdvantage only cares about losing investors and profits — not the serious public health concerns.

Health Not a Priority: Genetically Modified Salmon Maker ‘Frustrated‘ Salmon Not Yet Unleashed Due to ‘Loss of Investors’

As the report details, AquaAdvantage head Ron Stotish had this to say about being blocked ...

Published: Sunday 16 December 2012
“The DGA and RGA have devised national strategies for collecting unlimited funds from unions, corporations, and wealthy individuals, and funneling the money into state races.”

Despite outraising its Democratic counterpart by a 2-to-1 margin, the Republican Governors Association won only four of 11 races in the 2012 election, a far cry from the success it enjoyed two years ago.

The Washington D.C.-based political organization raised almost $100 million, according to recently released Internal Revenue Service data. The group targeted six states it considered winnable, losing five of them. Overall, Democrats won seven of this year's 11 contests, but the GOP still managed to pick up one seat in North Carolina, long held by Democrats.

The top donors to the so-called “527” organization, which can accept unlimited contributions from billionaires, corporations and unions, are familiar Republican Party patrons — No. 1 is Bob Perry, a Texas homebuilder and perennial RGA supporter, who gave $3.25 million. That’s a little more than half of what he gave in 2010.

Billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is No. 2, with $3 million in donations between him and his wife. According to the ...

Published: Saturday 1 December 2012
Published: Saturday 1 December 2012
One thing that went truly above and beyond the call of political corruption, however, is the agency’s call to stop studying GMOs as they are perfectly ‘safe’ and ‘require no study.’

 

After it came out that Monsanto’s genetically modified maize crop was linked to tumors and organ damage in rats, the EU food safety agency immediately went up in arms in an attempt to find a chink in the armor of the scientific research – as expected. After all, WikiLeaks has revealed that Monsanto literally has enough political pull to have major United States politicians threaten ‘military-style’ trade wars against nations that reject GMOs.

One thing that went truly above and beyond the call of political corruption, however, is the agency’s call to stop studying GMOs as they are perfectly ‘safe’ and ‘require no study’. A call that obviously states ‘please stop questioning GMOs and revealing their true effects to the world’.

Stop Questioning GMOs or It Will Hurt Monsanto

After all, the study that linked GMO consumption to premature death in both male and female rats thanks to tumor development and organ failure garnered the most attention of any study performed on GMOs in the past. It generated massive awareness. The kind of awareness that profit-driven biotech corporations like Monsanto simply do not like.

The kind of awareness that could affect bottom line profits.

And it’s doing just that. More and more consumers have begun taking an interest in regards to what they are putting into the mouths of their families. Over 95% of people in the US are in favor of GMO labeling on average, and Non-GMO ...

Published: Friday 30 November 2012
Another term to describe these individuals may also be the ‘GMO Mafia’.

 

A new private force of former police officers which I have dubbed ‘GMO Cops‘ will now be hunting down any farmer who is replanting biotech giant DuPont’s GM seeds to save their failing genetically modified harvest. That’s right, they’re literally seeking farmers who replant Roundup Ready soybeans who are in violation of DuPont’s patent. And as the second largest seed company in the world (second only to Monsanto), DuPont is hiring dozens of former cops and sending them across the entire continent of North America to track down farmers who haven’t paid up.

GMO Cops or The GMO Mafia?

Another term to describe these individuals may also be the ‘GMO Mafia‘. Literally sent to ‘protect sales’ and essentially shake down struggling farmers who may actually be replanting DuPont’s ‘patented seeds’ without paying the company in licensing fees, the GMO Cop Mafia’s mission statement is to ensure that “illegal beans” do not get planted. After all, if a farmer were able to replant these beans, then it may slightly make up for the horrible yields produced from the crops. The same yields that have been a major factor — if not the factor — in over a quarter of a million farmer suicides.

Farmers who lost everything after signing on to deceptive deals with the likes of Monsanto and other biotech companies.

The GMO Cops Mafia news also comes literally just 24 hours after it was revealed that GM cotton crops fell by

Published: Thursday 29 November 2012
Faced with unbearable debt and health problems, the National Crime Records Bureau predicts that 5,000 farmers will have committed suicide by the end of the year.

 

The government of Maharashtra, a state in western India, has acknowledged for the first time that Bt cotton is a failure that will likely reduce yields by 40%, from 3.5 to 2.2 million quintal. The region’s cotton farmers will face about Rs6,000 crore, over 1 billion USD. Accumulated losses are to be even more staggering: Rs 20,000 crore, or about 3.6 billion USD, due to rising cultivation costs.

Faced with unbearable debt and health problems, the National Crime Records Bureau predicts that 5,000 farmers will have committed suicide by the end of the year, compared to last year’s 3,500. If you’re surprised by this number, know that Monsanto’s cost-inflated and ineffective seeds have been driving farmers to suicide for quite some time, and is considered to be one of the largest — if not the largest — cause of the quarter of a million farmer suicides over the past 16 years.

“The agrarian crisis sweeping through the state due to Bt cotton failure has only widened,” says Kishore Tiwari from the farm advocacy group Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti. “Unlike when cotton crop failure was reported only from Vidarbha and Marathawada, reports of such crop failure are now coming in from Khandesh in north Maharashtra, too.”

Government Role in ...

Published: Wednesday 28 November 2012
“Explaining how GM ingredients have been linked to tumors and organ damage in rats in the only lifelong rat study available, the newsletter highlighted how the only real long- term research indicates that GMOs are a serious health danger.”

Just days after a leading genetically modified organism (GMO) researcher spoke out against GMOs and how many pro-GMO ‘scientists’ are in bed with Monsanto or carry their own GMO patents, the largest managed healthcare provider in the United States is now publicly speaking out against GMOs. In a recent newsletter, the Kaiser Permanente company discussed the numerous dangers of GMOs in a recent newsletter and how to avoid them.

Explaining how GM ingredients have been linked to tumors and organ damage in rats in the only lifelong rat study available, the newsletter highlighted how the only real long- term research indicates that GMOs are a serious health danger. The newsletter, which you can view here, states:

“Despite what the biotech industry might say, there is little research on the long-term effects of GMOs on human health. Independent research has found several varieties of GMO corn caused organ damage in rats. Other studies have found that GMOs may lead to an inability in animals to reproduce.”

Top Health Giant Says Buy Organic for Proper Health

The newsletter then goes on to tell readers how they can avoid GMOs in their food through buying high quality organic and looking for other non-GMO indicators. It is important to remember the organic labeling meanings when shopping organic, however, which this newsletter unfortunately does not address. Make sure you know which ‘level’ of organic you are consuming:

  • Products labeled ‘100% organic’ – These ...
Published: Sunday 25 November 2012
“Not only did the public begin to further recognize the existence and threat of GMOs thanks to his research, but numerous countries like Russia and others actually enacted a suspension on the import of genetically modified maize due to public health concerns.”

The lead researcher behind the monumental study that linked Monsanto’s GMOs and best-selling herbicide Roundup to tumor development and early death is now blowing the whistle on many corporate scientists who are not just close to Monsanto and profit-harvesting GMO crops — many of them actually have or are seeking their own GMO patents. These patents, of course, enable them to make bountiful amounts of cash. Other corporate scientists are on (or ‘were’ at one point) Monsanto’s pay roll, including former Monsanto executive turned Deputy Commissioner for Foods at the FDA Michael R. Taylor.

Dr. Gilles-Eric Séralini, a French scientists who has been under assault from Monsanto and pro-GMO scientists, was responsible for perhaps the largest awakening over the dangers of Monsanto’s GMO foods that we have ever seen. Not only did the public begin to further recognize the existence and threat of GMOs thanks to his research, but numerous countries like Russia and others actually enacted a suspension on the import of genetically modified maize due to public health concerns.

This, of course, upset the Monsanto-funded corporate scientists who proverbially ‘unleashed the dogs’ on Dr. Séralini. Even Monsanto released a comment, stating that the lifelong rat study wasn’t sufficient to substantiate any real health concerns. The company itself, amazingly, only conducted a 90 day trial period for its GMOs before unleashing them on the public.

Previous Peer-Reviewed Evidence Highlighting GMO Danger Ignored by ‘Scientists’

Published: Friday 23 November 2012
The gathering was a media briefing organized by Aruna Rodrigues, “the lead petitioner in a public interest litigation” seeking the ban.

 

Despite growing worldwide concern over the health and environmental risks inherent in genetically modified crops, the government of Mexico is toying with the idea of growing GM corn. This is the opposite of what other nations such as India are doing, where scientists gathered in New Delhi to discuss the need for the Indian government to ban GMO trials in their country. The gathering was a media briefing  organized by Aruna Rodrigues, “the lead petitioner in a public interest litigation” seeking the ban.

“Every indication shows that a decision could be taken in the coming weeks,” says Silvia Ribero, spokeswoman for Canada-based ETC Group (an ecological impact monitor). Ribero adds that although legal paperwork remains to be prepared in full, President Felipe Calderon could authorize the motion before leaving office in December to reduce Mexico’s food imports.

Destruction of History and Humanity

All the big players—Monsanto, DuPont, and Dow—are waiting for the go-ahead from the agriculture ministry to plant their poison in natural corn’s indigenous soil in an area roughly the size of El Salvador (2.4 million hectares).

“We are talking about damaging more than 7,000 years of indigenous and peasant work that’s created maize,” says Veronica Villa from the Mexico branch of ETC, “one of the world’s three most widely eaten crops.”

It is because of this crop’s versatility and prevalence in the contemporary human diet that so-called philanthropists like Bill Gates have invested so much into GM technology. In 2010, he purchased 500,000 shares of Monsanto, claiming that

Published: Saturday 17 November 2012
“The petition comes as more and more activists have been taking to the streets and labeling GMO-containing products for themselves using printable warning stickers.”

 

In another display of widespread grassroots support for GMO labeling following the suspicious failure of GMO labeling bill Prop 37 in California, a new petition calls upon the Obama administration to require the FDA to label GMOs within consumer products. Growing in popularity each hour, the petition is receiving thousands of signatures per day and currently stands at over 13,390.

The petition comes as more and more activists have been taking to the streets and labeling GMO-containing products for themselves using printable warning stickers.

It seems that the bottom line is that the public will not settle for major corporations dictating what they can and cannot know — especially when it comes to what they are putting into their mouths. As the petition description states plainly on the White House website, corporations have taken over the food supply through patented genetically modified seeds and various extortion methods. And on the economic side, what happens if these juggernauts use their agricultural foothold to secure further profits through charging unknowing consumers exorbitant prices?

The petition description states:

“Corporations have patented our food with GMOs and now control of our food supply… what happens if they decide there is a shortage or raise prices?”

Label GMOs: Monsanto Bankrupting Small Farms, Eliminating Competition

We have seen in the past the numerous ways in which Monsanto takes advantage of small farmers, ultimately ...

Published: Thursday 15 November 2012
When government legislation is shot down through corruption, it becomes a grassroots responsibility to take action and make a real change.

 

Activists and concerned citizens around the world have had enough with corrupt corporations censoring their right to know what’s in their food, and frankly they’re beyond upset. And if the government will not side with the 90 plus percentage of consumers who are in favor of GMO labeling, then they are going to do it themselves.

As it turns out, many are doing just that through the ‘DIY’ GMO labeling campaign known as ‘The Label It Yourself Campaign’. Sporting a skull with cornstalks for crossbones, the DIY labels inform customers as to whether or not a product ‘may’ include GMO ingredients or most certainly does.

Below is one label taken from the campaign website that activists are now placing on products found in grocery stores, homes of friends and family (to incite discussion), and just about everywhere else:

  

gmolabelingsticker 345x345 Grassroots: After GMO Labeling Shot Down, Citizens Start Labeling Themselves

 

People Will Not Stand for Corporate Food Lies Any Longer

With 80% or more of many staple crops like corn and soybeans already genetically modified, there is a large chance that most products containing these ingredients (or deriviatives) does indeed contain GMOs. Even ...

Published: Friday 9 November 2012
“Proposition 37 would have required the labeling of foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and banned the use of the word “natural” to market products that contain GMOs.”

Supporters of California’s Proposition 37 are not giving up the fight after Tuesday’s rejection. In fact, they’re saying that the organizing around the initiative helped forge a diffuse group of individuals interested in healthy food into a powerful, organized movement.

“The Organic Consumers Association is a million strong," said Ronnie Cummins, the founder and director of that group said on a conference call on November 7. "We have 5 million people on our email list and we’re looking forward to continuing this battle.”

Proposition 37 would have required the labeling of foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and banned the use of the word “natural” to market products that contain GMOs. While the initiative won urban coastal counties such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, it lost in the state’s central valleys. 

“We just didn't have the funds to compete on the air” in those regions, said Stacy Malkan, media director at California Right to Know. “Many of those voters were getting their news from TV and we couldn't compete with them.”

Companies like Monsanto, DuPont, and Pepsi poured nearly $50 million dollars into opposing the measure—about seven times what its supporters were able to raise—and spent most of the money on television and radio ads. 

Throughout the campaign, the truthfulness of advertisements opposing the measure came into question. At one point, the No on 37 campaign ran an ad that identified Henry I. Miller, an opponent of the measure, as a professor at Stanford University. The campaign was forced to pull the ad after Stanford announced that Dr. Miller was not a professor there.

Published: Wednesday 7 November 2012
“Genetically engineered foods found on market shelves have most commonly been altered in a lab to either be resistant to being sprayed by large amounts of toxic herbicides, or to produce, internally, their own insecticide,” explains Mark A. Kastel, Codirector of The Cornucopia Institute.

After a deluge of allegedly misleading advertisements paid for in large part by pesticide and biotechnology corporations, California voters defeated Proposition 37, which would have given them the right–to-know whether the foods they buy at the grocery store contain genetically engineered ingredients (GMOs).

With 95 percent of the vote counted, according to the California Secretary of State’s office, the proposal was defeated 53-47 percent.

“Genetically engineered foods found on market shelves have most commonly been altered in a lab to either be resistant to being sprayed by large amounts of toxic herbicides, or to produce, internally, their own insecticide,” explains Mark A. Kastel, Codirector of The Cornucopia Institute.

“Corporations that produce both the genetically engineered crops and their designer pesticides, in concert with the multi-billion-dollar food manufacturers that use these ingredients, fought this measure tooth and nail, throwing $46 million at the effort that would have required food manufacturers to include informational labeling on GMO content on their packaging,” Kastel added.

Many food activists nationwide looked to the California initiative as “the last best hope” for GMO labeling in this country. Such labeling is required throughout Europe, and by scores other countries worldwide. In the U.S., polls indicate that more than 90 percent of citizens support labeling and the right to choose if they have not been deluged by misleading advertisements paid for by biotechnology corporations. But both Republicans and Democrats in Washington have been unwilling to address the issue, likely due to massive campaign contributions from the biotechnology and agribusiness lobbies.

The ...

Published: Wednesday 7 November 2012
“Anti-GMO research is the latest to be under fire from the same agencies that allow Monsanto’s ridiculous 90 day trial to pass as scientific gold.”

Agencies within the United States and elsewhere tend to be very distrusting when it comes to studies linking GMOs to any form of illness, demanding every specific detail from the scientific researchers and trying their best to scrutinize just a single factor within the study. But when it comes to haphazard 90 day trials intended to prove the ‘safety‘ of genetically modified organisms, it seems that these agencies are more than willing to look the other way.

And according to the author of the recent landmark study that discovered a lifetime consumption of GMOs in rats led to not only tumors but massive amounts of organ damage, his anti-GMO research is the latest to be under fire from the same agencies that allow Monsanto’s ridiculous 90 day trial to pass as scientific gold. In response to the mass retaliation from government agencies that let GMOs ram through the regulatory process with barely any safety measures (that are continually being reduced) and questionable Monsanto-funded ties, lead researcher of the GMO rat tumor study Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini said:

 “The agencies that criticize our study’s statistical weakness have never demanded from industry a 10th of the data that they now instruct us to provide them with.”

In the same statement, Seralini explained how the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) actually accepted tests that lasted for 90 days or less conducted on a shockingly low four or five groups of rats for the Amflora potato — a genetically modified potato variety. What Seralini did not mention which is of even further concern, however, is that the USDA is now limiting the ...

Published: Monday 5 November 2012
“If voters approve Proposition 37, all foods made with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) will need to be labeled as such for consumers.”

 

As an organizer with the United Farm Workers, I’ve grown accustomed to seeing farm workers routinely be excluded or absent from the public discourse happening around issues of food justice. So it came as no surprise when I picked up my voter guide to read the arguments in favor of Proposition 37 and saw that it was boiled down to one issue – my right to know what I put in my body. Fair enough. That sentence alone is enough for me to support the measure. But I’m inclined to go a little further and ask: What would Prop. 37 mean for those who pick our food? 

 

If voters approve Proposition 37, all foods made with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) will need to be labeled as such for consumers. Most of the foods that fall into that category are those grown with GMO seeds that have been modified in some way or form to withstand less-than-ideal conditions, such as cold climates (strawberries), heavy exposure to pesticides (apples), or bruising that takes place during harvest and packing (tomatoes).

 

A possibility exists that even if all genetically modified foods are clearly labeled, it won’t do much to change the pattern of who buys organic, and who doesn’t. Prop. 37 won’t change the fact that grocery stores in low-income communities generally do not carry many organic products because they’re considered a luxury item – something most families can’t afford.

 

But this can change. If heightened awareness by labeling leads to an increase in demand for organic products, there should be a decrease in the price of those organic products. As a result, healthy food could become more accessible to the farm worker community and the low-income community as a whole,

 

Less obvious, but perhaps more important for farm workers, is the fact ...

Published: Sunday 4 November 2012
“Sixty-one countries already require such labeling. But here in the U.S., GMOs took off in the 1990s with no public debate, and today they’re in most processed foods, making Americans the world’s GMO guinea pigs.”

Farmers and eaters around the country and the world are watching the November 6 election with a very important question at the forefront of their minds: Will California’s Proposition 37—requiring labeling of GMOs—pass?

Sixty-one countries already require such labeling. But here in the U.S., GMOs took off in the 1990s with no public debate, and today they're in most processed foods, making Americans the world’s GMO guinea pigs.

We know it’s easy to get sunk by "information overload" and agribusiness advertising. So far the largest GMO maker, Monsanto, and other industry giants have plowed at least $35 million into killing Prop 37.

To help us think straight, we’ve prepared seven points—backed by peer-reviewed studies, a physicians’ 10-year investigation, and UN data—to consider and share with your friends. Here’s what they reveal:

1. GMOs have never undergone standard testing or regulation for human safety.

And now that they’re in 70 percent of processed foods, it’s extremely difficult for scientists to isolate their health risks.[i]

2. But we know that GMOs have proven harmful in animal studies.

A 2009 review of 19 studies found mammals fed GM corn or soy developed “liver and kidney problems” that could mark the “onset of chronic ...

Published: Saturday 3 November 2012
“In a move completely ignored by the mainstream media (many of which have financial ties to such corporations), the anti-GMO labeling No on 37 Committee paid for and disseminated a physical piece of direct mail that not only entirely misused the FDA logo but even sported a fabricated quote.”

Misuse of a United States government seal can lead to a $250,000 fine, twenty years in prison, and three years of supervised release — unless you’re a campaign organization funded by major corporations like Monsanto. In a move completely ignored by the mainstream media (many of which have financial ties to such corporations), the anti-GMO labeling No on 37 Committee paid for and disseminated a physical piece of direct mail that not only entirely misused the FDA logo but even sported a fabricated quote.

A quote that even the FDA has stated on record that was never stated. That is because it would actually be illegal to do so. You see federal agencies cannot take a stance on Proposition 37, which means that the Monsanto-funded No on 37 campaign literally created the quote and FDA support out of thin air. In other words, the organization leaders blatantly violated 8 U.S.C. §§ 506 and 1017 by misusing the FDA seal and writing a quote out of thin air to support their political campaign to keep Monsanto rolling in the billions.

So are the creators of this deceptive campaign piece going to jail or facing major fines for breaking the law?

You would think so, especially given that the offense is actually a felony. As it turns out, however, No on 37 may actually get away without any real penalty. And even if they are on the receiving end of any repercussions, it will certainly be after the voting takes place on Prop 37 (November 6th). Ultimately, this means that Monsanto and No on Prop 37 will completely get away with their impersonation of a federal government agency without a ...

Published: Friday 2 November 2012
“Prop 37 is not just about our health and our environment, and the future of our food supply.”

As a historic vote with profound implications for the future of our food system nears, the question becomes whether a campaign with limitless resources and a disdain for the truth can defeat an overwhelmingly popular idea supported by a grassroots army, and over 3000 public interest organizations: the right to know what's in the food we eat and feed our families.

Poll after poll showed 90% of Americans (and Californians) favored labeling foods that have been genetically engineered (GMOs) and nearly a million signatures were gathered by California volunteers in just 10 weeks - easily qualifying Prop 37 for the ballot. And as of the first week of October, the Yes on 37 campaign enjoyed a 2 to 1 lead in the polls.

This broad statewide (and national) support - across party lines - made perfect sense. Prop 37 posits a simple question: Do we have the right to know what's in the food we eat and feed our children, or is that a decision better left to the pesticide and junk food companies bankrolling the opposition campaign?

Prop 37 isn't a referendum on genetically modified foods. It's not a ban, or a warning, it's a label. 

The debate over the efficacy of genetically engineered foods should and will continue. In the meantime, Californians have a right to know, and for good reason.

A growing body of research links GMO foods to potential health risks, increased pesticide use,biodiversity loss, the emergence of super ...

Published: Tuesday 30 October 2012
Until pesticides and herbicides are no longer used on a mass scale, the growth of these diseases will likely continue.

 

We already know the links between herbicides and sterility in men, birth defects, mental illness, obesity and possibly cancer—but now we have something new to add to the nasty effects of pesticides list — Parkinson’s disease and similar neurodegenerative conditions.

New research, published in the journal Neurotoxicology and Teratology, indicates a connection between a component in Monsanto’s Roundup and Parkinson’s disease. Glyphosate is said to induce cell death, with frightening repercussions.

GreenMedInfo.com reports the study was investigating the links between herbicides (weed killers) and brain damage. These chemicals, the study’s authors say, “have been recognized as the main environmental factor associated with neurodegenerative disorders,” like Parkinson’s.

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative nervous system disease. It slowly progresses as time goes on with common symptoms like tremors, rigidity, difficulty walking, poor posture, lack of movement, and slowness of movement, ...

Published: Sunday 28 October 2012
“Many major corporations, including Monsanto, Dow Chemical, Pepsi and Coke are spending millions fighting the measure, which stands to impact labeling practices across the country.”

On Election Day, California voters will decide on Proposition 37, which would make their state the first in the nation to require the labeling of food products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The California Department of Public Health would be responsible for labeling everything from baby formula and instant coffee, to granola, canned soups and soy milk. Many major corporations, including Monsanto, Dow Chemical, Pepsi and Coke are spending millions fighting the measure, which stands to impact labeling practices across the country. We host a debate on Prop 37 with two guests: Stacy Malkan, a longtime advocate for environmental health and spokesperson for the "Yes on 37 California Right to Know" campaign; and David Zilberman, professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at University of California, Berkeley, and director of the Center for Sustainable Resource Development.

 

Transcript

AMY GOODMAN: We’re at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Yes, we’re on the road in our 100-city tour. Here in the Golden State, a food fight has broken out—that is, a fight over a ballot initiative that would require the ...

Published: Sunday 28 October 2012
“The USDA certifies foods that are organic when the growers, handlers, and producers use practices that adhere to their standards.”

As if most consumers weren’t confused enough already about making the “right” food choices, the pseudo-scientific Stanford study released early last month had many of those on the fence thinking it was okay to once-again blindly trust what they found on their supermarket shelves. But, let’s lay this argument to rest (again) and talk about why organics really do matter.

What does organic really mean? Well, the USDA certifies foods that are organic when the growers, handlers, and producers use practices that adhere to their standards. These standards vary by food product and the USDA certifier must inspect the farm before a food can be labeled as organic. Generally, however, organic produce in particular is that which is produced “without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation.” This immediately excludes genetically modified foods (GMOs).

So, what’s wrong with a few pesticides, a few lab-created organisms in our foods? Plenty.

A recent analysis (and not the only one) demonstrated that U.S. children have lost a combined total of 16 million I.Q. points due to pesticides in their food. While “pesticides make you stupid,” sounds like a silly argument for organics—it’s a legitimate one. Pesticides truly do lower the intelligence of children. These pesticides are absorbed when the child is in utero, through the mother. So, whether you are pregnant or hope one day to have children, cutting out pesticides now could save your child’s mind down the road.

One of the most prominently used herbicides, Monsanto’s Roundup, has been tied to numerous health problems including ...

Published: Thursday 25 October 2012
The Golden State’s labeling law just might set the gold standard for food safety for us all.

“What is food to one, is to others bitter poison.”—Lucretius, Roman poet (95 B.C.-55 B.C.) 

If California were a country, with its population approaching 40 million, it would be among the 30 most populous nations on Earth. The economic, political and cultural impacts of California on the rest of the United States are huge. That is why citizen ballot initiatives in California—and any state law, for that matter—can carry such significance. Of the 11 initiatives before the 2012 California electorate, one drawing perhaps the most attention is Proposition 37, on the labeling of food containing genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. Whether or not this ballot passes could have a significant impact on how our food system is organized, favoring small, local organic-food producers (if it passes), or allowing for the increased expansion of large, corporate agribusiness (if it fails).

The initiative is straightforward, requiring that genetically modified foods be labeled as such. The official California voter guide summarizes Prop. 37 this way: “Requires labeling of food sold to consumers made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways. Prohibits marketing such food, or other processed food, as ‘natural.’ Provides exemptions.” More than 1 million signatures were gathered in order to put the proposition on the ballot.

The group promoting the initiative, Yes on Proposition 37 California Right to Know, has garnered thousands of endorsements, from health, public-interest, consumer, and farm and food advocacy groups, among others. Prop. 37 spokesperson Stacy Malkan, a longtime advocate for environmental health, told me: “It’s about our right to ...

Published: Thursday 25 October 2012
Among the nation’s leading writers and thinkers on food and food policy, Michael Pollan talks to Amy Goodman about GMOs and other Agriculture issues.

From California’s Proposition 37 initiative to New York City’s soda ban, journalist and best-selling author Michael Pollan argues that local efforts hold the key to challenging the agricultural industry’s stranglehold over national food policy. With companies like Monsanto influencing Congress and state legislatures, Pollan warns the United States risks falling into a "two-class food system," where only those who can afford to live outside the industrial food system can access healthy ways to eat. Among the nation’s leading writers and thinkers on food and food policy, Pollan is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Journalism and author of several best-selling books, including "In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto." 

Transcript:

AMY GOODMAN: This is Food Day, and we are speaking with Michael Pollan. In late 2010, Democracy Now! spoke to Jeffrey Smith, the executive director of the Institute for ...

Published: Monday 22 October 2012
“The nation’s new expert committee appointed by the Supreme Court of India is now calling upon the Indian government to enact a 10 year ban on all GMO crop field trials for the next 10 years.”

 

It has been a devastating month for Monsanto as nations around the globe continue to enact bans and restraints on the company’s genetically modified crop varieties. India, the same country that hit Monsanto with ‘biopiracy’ charges for patenting life on the planet, is the latest nation to take a stand. The nation’s new expert committee appointed by the Supreme Court of India is now calling upon the Indian government to enact a 10 year ban on all GMO crop field trials for the next 10 years.

The new law would forbid any biotech agencies from testing their latest GMO crops on India’s soil, therefore preventing the serious issue of contamination and environmental damage. Contamination that is much more than an unlikely but problematic scenario. Monsanto has been caught in the past contaminating even organic seed varieties, and has gone as far as to plant their experimental crops before the USDA allowed them to. Thankfully, the organic farmers were able to catch the contamination before it spread.

If the contamination was not caught, however, it could have gone anywhere and compromised the very genetic integrity of non-GMO farming grounds. It is for this reason that many companies outside of the United States generally dislike purchasing from U.S. farmers, as they sometimes contain even trace levels of GMO contaminants. More and more we receive reports of farmers being completely cut off from other nations after being found to contain trace levels of GMO contamination.

India is looking to stop this before it becomes much of an issue. At least ...

Published: Wednesday 17 October 2012
“Occupy the World Food Prize comes at a time when sustainable and alternative agriculture is growing as a movement but finding itself increasingly under attack.”

The world’s leading agricultural and food policy experts are headed to Des Moines, Iowa, this week to celebrate the World Food Prize. The annual event heralds the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. But not everyone finds such achievements reason to celebrate.

Occupy the World Food Prize — an ad hoc coalition of community groups and activists — has organized a week of educational events, panel discussions and direct action to protest the corporate control of local and global food systems. The goals of Occupy the World Food Prize’s campaign are twofold: to use the World Food Prize event as an opportunity to redirect the public discourse around food and farming systems and to shift the focus of the prize away from agribusiness to locally-based, sustainable agriculture.

“The World Food Prize is for us in Iowa what Wall Street is for the Occupy movement in New York City. The very same corporate/financial elites that run Wall Street are the same corporate/financial elites that own the World Food Prize and control the world food supply,” said Frank Cordaro, a member of the Occupy World Food Prize working group.

Activists have planned to vigil and “soapbox” outside of the World Food Prize three-day symposium to draw public attention to the corporate nature of the ...

Published: Saturday 13 October 2012
While Californians are mired in debate about pet food versus steak, the real question facing voters is this: Are we going to allow out-of-state pesticide and junk food corporations tell us what we can and can’t know about what’s in the food we eat?

 

The people's movement for our right to know what's in our food has hit a critical fork in the road: the moment when it's time to ask ourselves and each other -- how hard are we willing to fight for our basic right to know what's in the food we're eating and feeding our families?

Proposition 37 is the  litmus test for whether there is actually a food movement in this country, writes Michael Pollan in an article to appear in Sunday's New York Times Magazine. It may also be the litmus test for whether there is democracy left in this country.

After months of sky-high support in the polls, just 10 days of relentless pounding propaganda by the pesticide industry has made a significant dent in support for Proposition 37 and our right to know if our food is genetically engineered.

So worried are the pesticide companies about California consumers having labels on genetically engineered foods that they are spending one million dollars a day flooding the airwaves with a tidal wave of deception about Prop 37.

As proof of the dishonest tactics in play, in just the past week, the anti-consumer No on 37 campaign has been accused of misleading voters by Stanford University (twice), the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and by 

Published: Wednesday 10 October 2012
Published: Wednesday 10 October 2012
“Monopoly of the seed industry has left farmers unable to get non-GM varieties, despite the drought having global repercussions including steep rises of cereal prices and reduced meat production in many countries.”

The U.S. is suffering the worst drought in 50 years. But crop damage may well have been avoided if high quality non-GM (genetically modified) varieties were available to farmers. Further evidence is emerging that glyphosate-tolerant crops are ill-equipped to deal with drought, while high quality non-GM varieties are flourishing. Monopoly of the seed industry has left farmers unable to get non-GM varieties, despite the drought having global repercussions including steep rises of cereal prices and reduced meat production in many countries.

In a commentary circulated by GM Watch (UK), Howard Vlieger, a co-founder and agroecological farming advisor of Verity Farms in drought-stricken South Dakota in the U.S., provides evidence from a farmer who has grown both GM and Verity Farms’ non-GM varieties of soybean and corn side by side. Non-GM soybean, grown in agroecological conditions to promote soil biodiversity and nutritional content is shown next to Monsanto’s GM triple-stack GM corn, which is glyphosate-tolerant and additionally expresses two Bt insecticidal toxins, grown using conventional chemical industrial methods that include the use of Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicide, Roundup. The non-GM varieties appear greener, fuller and healthier. These impressions are backed up by the far superior yield reported of non-GM corn, which averaged 100-120 bushels per acre (BPA) compared to the 8-12 BPA to 30-50 BPA of GM corn.

The large yield differential was confirmed in a new set of harvest data provided by Vlieger (with accompanying photographic identification) for three fields surrounding Verity Farm, all growing Smart Stack RR corn. All were harvested for corn silage as the yields were too poor to harvest the grain. The federal crop insurance adjuster appraised yields were respectively 12 bushels per ...

Published: Sunday 7 October 2012
“The video has since been removed due to apparently ‘violating the Terms of Service’, according to the genetic Youtube message that appears in place of the original video.”

Youtube has pulled an undercover ‘Organic Spies’ video questioning Whole Foods employees as to whether or not any of the products within Whole Foods contained GMO ingredients. Created to show how even the employees themselves are misinformed (or even dishonest) about the very real presence of Monsanto’s GMOs in a store like Whole Foods that is supposed to promote health and wellness, the Organic Spies video received over 100,000 views in a few short days.

The video has since been removed due to apparently ‘violating the Terms of Service’, according to the genetic Youtube message that appears in place of the original video. As Infowars.com’s Aaron Dykes explains, this could be due to a third party complaint (such as Whole Foods demanding it be taken down), but it is not known as YouTube no longer tells the user of the third party identity. In other words, videos like these can be taken down without a trace of who is responsible.

You can see a re-upload of the video below:

One thing is clear, however. Whole Foods definitely has its eye on the video, attempting to perform ‘damage’ control through PR statements. Whole Foods even responded to the video after it became viral on the internet, stating on their blog that they certainly do carry GMOs within their store and that their employees questioned in the video were misinformed:

“The YouTube video showing our store Team Members giving conflicting responses to a question about GMOs reminds us that while we try to keep all our 70,000 Team Members up-to-speed on the latest information, clearly we need to do more. Some products in our stores DO contain ...

Published: Saturday 6 October 2012
Today, the No on 37 campaign’s already tattered credibility was dealt yet another big blow with news that its “top scientist” is nothing more than a corporate shill willing to misrepresent himself and the University for which he works.

 

A campaign bankrolled by financially motivated pesticide and junk food companies is expected to lie - a lot. It's what they always do when confronted by inconvenient facts and consumers seeking to protect their rights - like the Right to Know what's in the food we eat and feed our families.

Prop 37 opponents have run one of the most deceptive misinformation campaigns in recent history - a $35 million deluge of one demonstrable lie after another to try and defeat a common sense measure that most Californians support.    

Today, the No on 37 campaign's already tattered credibility was dealt yet another big blow with news that its "top scientist" is nothing more than a corporate shill willing to misrepresent himself and the University for which he works.

Meet Henry Miller - a spokesperson the No on 37 campaign has been all too eager to promote as an arbiter of good science and someone we can trust with our families health. Miller has been featured in No on 37 television ads, written outrageously deceptive opinion editorials, and has presented himself as an "unbiased" scientific expert.

And now he's been caught misrepresenting Stanford University- forcing the No on 37 Campaign to pull and reshoot a statewide television ad identifying Miller as "Dr. Henry Miller, MD, Stanford University," without disclosing his affiliation with the Hoover Institute, a right-wing think tank at the University. In other words, he works ON the ...

Published: Saturday 6 October 2012
“Although farmers did reduce Roundup Ready use by 2 percent between 1996 and 1999, herbicide use resurged with a vengeance thereafter.”

 

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) require more pesticide use on crops, say the authors of a 16-year study published in Environmental Sciences Europe. According to the researchers, 527 million pounds of a toxic herbicide have inundated farmlands since 1996. What’s more, this abhorrent amount is much greater than that promised by Monsanto, which claims that GM crops require smaller doses of herbicides like the company’s best-selling Roundup Ready.

This study found, however, that although farmers did reduce Roundup Ready use by 2 percent between 1996 and 1999, herbicide use resurged with a vengeance thereafter. This was a result of the emergence of “superweeds” that resist herbicides, requiring farmers to use more of it with each application.

Herbicide and Pesticide Use Damage Humans, Environment

These “superweeds” have become resistant to glyphosate, a chemical found in Roundup Ready. Rootworms, too, may be becoming resistant according to ongoing research by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Additionally, a recent French study by the University of Caen found glyphosate and herbicides like Roundup to be actively toxic to human cells—findings which led to Russia’s suspension of Monsanto crop imports. Earth Open Source, a nonprofit organization with volunteers as well as several international scientists and researchers, has linked glyphosate with birth defects. Worse (but predictable) is that in 1993 Monsanto ...

Published: Thursday 4 October 2012
“The National Association for Genetic Safety (NAGS) researchers in Russia have publicly condemned genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and have declared plans to conduct an experiment which members of the public can see, allowing the latter to formulate well-informed opinions about GMOs themselves.”

Russian researchers will stream a live experiment to show the effects of GMO feed on rats. This comes after a French study found GMOs to have negative effects on rats, which lead to a provisional Russian suspension on imported Monsanto genetically modified corn.

Russian Scientists Condemn GMOs, Plan a Unique Experiment

French scientists at the University of Caen sounded the alarm on September 19 after publishing images from their study of tumors on rats fed American GM maize. The National Association for Genetic Safety (NAGS) researchers in Russia have publicly condemned genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and have declared plans to conduct an experiment which members of the public can see, allowing the latter to formulate well-informed opinions about GMOs themselves.

These researchers will install web cameras in the cages of four groups of rats.

  • Group 1 will be fed a diet high in GM soybeans and corn.
  • Group 2 will be fed a diet low in GM soybeans and corn.
  • Group 3 will be fed a diet with no GMOs.
  • Group 4 will be fed a diet with standard rat feed.

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Published: Thursday 4 October 2012
Three provisions in the bill would make it more difficult to regulate the safety of genetically modified crops. Consumers fight back with a flurry of organizing.

 

Hidden among the cluttered news cycle of this election season is a crucial debate about genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

September 30 marked the expiration of the 2007 Farm Bill, and the 2012 replacement is now sitting in the House of Representatives. It is unlikely that Congress will vote on the bill until after the elections, so food-safety advocates are ramping up their outreach efforts around this issue in advance of any decision.

What’s the big deal with the new bill? Most importantly, the House version of the 2012 Farm Bill contains three industry-friendly provisions, numbered 10011, 10013, and 10014. Collectively, they have come to be known as the “Monsanto Rider,” and the name is entirely appropriate. If passed, this bill would make it more difficult to stem the tide of GMO foods hitting store shelves.These three provisions in the 2012 Farm Bill would grant regulatory powers solely to the United States Department of Agriculture, preventing other federal agencies from reviewing GMO applications and preventing the USDA from accepting outside money for further study. The bill ...

Published: Wednesday 3 October 2012
Published: Wednesday 3 October 2012
“What’s the name of this popular populist candidate who’s spooking CEOs of national corporations right out of their Guccis? Mr. Right-To-Know.”

One of the most important elections being held on November 6 doesn't even have a Democratic, Republican, Green, Libertarian or other partisan candidate on the ballot. Imagine!

Yet, this statewide contest in California will likely have a huge impact on national policy and on grassroots efforts to rein in the arrogance of corporate power that's running roughshod over Americans. That's why those powerful interests are going all-out to win in California, bulldozing as much as $50 million into this one election — more than they're putting into some of the big-money battles for U.S. Senate seats.

What's the name of this popular populist candidate who's spooking CEOs of national corporations right out of their Guccis? Mr. Right-To-Know.

He's on the November ballot as Proposition 37, a citizens initiative to require food conglomerates to label products containing genetically manipulated organisms. These GMOs, developed in the engineering labs of such biotech giants as Monsanto and DuPont, contain unnaturally altered DNA and are quietly slipped into hundreds of processed foods with no word to consumers about the adulteration. Also, adequate scientific studies have not been conducted on the long-term impacts these manufactured organisms could have on human health, the environment and small farmers.

So, a broad coalition of "people's interests" came up with Prop 37 — not to ban GMOs, but simply to say that We The People have a right to know if food and biotech profiteers have added these highly questionable organisms to the products we put on our dinner tables. The people's proposal is a straightforward, easy way to empower every consumer in the marketplace to make their own choice. And, wow, the corporate powers really hate that.

The giants fear that ...

Published: Tuesday 2 October 2012
Monsanto is therefore the very embodiment of the biotech-agricultural-industrial complex, the company has worked very hard to earn that distinction.

 

In the city of St. Louis, there is no one who does not have a friend, relative or neighbor working at Monsanto. This city on the banks of the Mississippi river has the doubtful honor of hosting the world headquarters of the Monsanto corporation. Founded in 1901, it was one of the world's leading chemical companies in the twenieth century. At the start of this century it transformed itself into a biotechnology giant, or as the company likes to put it, "a leader in the life sciences industry". Nowadays, Monsanto is the world's largest seed company (global market share: 27%) and owns over four fifths of the planet's genetically modified (GM) seed.

 

Monsanto is therefore the very embodiment of the biotech-agricultural-industrial complex, the company has worked very hard to earn that distinction. That also means that it symbolizes everything that is wrong with the food system.

Published: Monday 1 October 2012
“Nations around the world are currently passing or requesting bans on Monsanto’s crops following the study, which is one of hundreds of studies to identify the dangers of both Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup and GMOs.”

 

Following in the footsteps of nations like France and Russia, South Africa may soon be the latest nation to enact a ban on Monsanto’s GMO corn that was recently linked to tumor development and organ damage in rats. South Africa’s African Centre for Biosafety (ACB), a watchdog organization that was created to protect consumers from various biotechnology dangers, is now calling on South African authorities to enact a ban on Monsanto’s tumor-linked maize crop known as NK603.

This is particularly important when it comes to South Africa as white corn is a large staple food, making up for 80% of the harvest just last year. In the event that the maize were to be banned, it would be a major hit for Monsanto and an even larger victory for the 50,586,757 people who live in South Africa. If authorities take the advice of ACB, then it would not only ban the cultivation of the GMO corn, but the import and export as well. In a letter to the South African minister of agriculture, the ACB said:

“We urge the South African government to take the necessary steps to protect its citizens.”

Nations around the world are currently passing or requesting bans on Monsanto’s crops following the study, which is one of hundreds of studies to identify the dangers of both Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup and GMOs. Coinciding with previous pieces of research that have linked Roundup with conditions such as cancer and infertility, ...

Published: Monday 1 October 2012
The companies bankrolling the opposition campaign - including pesticide giants Monsanto ($7.2 million) and Dupont ($4.9 million) - will say and spend anything to prevent the kind of transparency that labeling of genetically modified foods (GMO’s) would provide.

 

Apparently $34.4 million in pesticide and junk food money can't buy the opponents of Proposition 37 their own set of facts.

Case in point: A new L.A. Times poll shows Prop 37 winning by more than a 2-to-1 margin among registered California voters. And, according to the recent Pepperdine poll, the opposition's support actually dropped four points over the past two weeks.

So while their treasure trove of special interest money can pay for an endless supply of tired, discredited talking points, it can't seem to convince consumers we don't deserve to know what's in the food we eat.

It's not hard to understand why. The companies bankrolling the opposition campaign - including pesticide giants Monsanto ($7.2 million) and Dupont ($4.9 million) - will say and spend anything to prevent the kind of transparency that labeling of genetically modified foods (GMO's) would provide. And without transparency there can be no accountability.

Here ARE a few facts: A growing body of research links GMO foods to potential health risks, increased pesticide use, the emergence of super bugs and super weeds, biodiversity loss, and the unintentional contamination of ...
Published: Sunday 30 September 2012
One study in particular found that glyphosate (an ingredient in Roundup), leaves a residue on crops and this residue is “actually toxic to testicle cells.”

What if the pesticides and herbicides being sprayed on your food was causing your sperm to die? What if GMO crops had the same effect? What would it mean for humanity if this “modern food marvel” (as Monsanto would like you to think) was actually making men infertile, and eventually wipe us out? Sounds pretty end-of-times-ish, but it’s happening right now. Well, studies indicate that factors like glyphosate toxicity and GMO technologies could be playing a significant role in the growing number of men who struggle with fertility.

Glyphosate Toxicity and GMO Technology

One study in particular found that glyphosate (an ingredient in Roundup), leaves a residue on crops and this residue is “actually toxic to testicle cells.” Also, the residue lowers testosterone synthesis—this means the glyphosate toxicity lowers the amount of the male sex hormone available for the body to use.

The negative effects from glyphosate toxicity vary, but some people have been known to develop breasts, have a variety of birth defects, and  have been known to experience carcinogenic effects as well. The people are also becoming sterile over time. Given the rate of consumption, they will likely be completely sterile within a decade.

Another study, this one out of Russia, found that hamsters who consume GM soybeans have a slower sexual maturation process and in a few generations, they weren’t able to reproduce.

“We noticed quite a serious effect when we selected new pairs from their cubs and continued to feed them as before. These pairs’ growth rate was slower and reached their sexual maturity ...

Published: Saturday 29 September 2012
“After the study not only did France call for a potential worldwide ban on GMOs pending the results of their in-depth analysis, but Russia’s major consumer rights organization announced a ban on both the importation and use of Monsanto’s GMO corn.”

 

Is the end of Monsanto within reach? It has certainly been a rough couple of weeks for the mega corporation as the real dangers surrounding GMOs are being brought to the attention of consumers on a global scale like never before. It all started with the monumental French study finding a serious link between the consumption of Monsanto’s Roundup-drenched GMOs and massive tumors. Being called the ‘most thorough’ research ever published on the real health effects of GMOs, the study led to even larger victories.

After the study not only did France call for a potential worldwide ban on GMOs pending the results of their in-depth analysis, but Russia’s major consumer rights organization announced a ban on both the importation and use of Monsanto’s GMO corn.

Prop 37 Can Label Monsanto Out of Existence

And now, the Proposition to label all GMOs in the state of California is showing massive success. If Prop 37 passes, it won’t just affect California. It is very likely that other states will not just take note, but adopt similar legislation. Through this legal mechanism, we can essential label Monsanto out of existence.  This is possible when considering that the average consumer is actually opposed to GMOs and heavily in favor of proper labeling.

In a major Los Angeles Times poll, registered California voters in favor of labeling outnumber pro-GMO voters by more than a 2-to-1 margin. Altogether, a whopping 61% of ...

Published: Thursday 27 September 2012
“With Russia now acting to secure food safety, many other nations will surely follow.”

Following the groundbreaking French study that graphically linked the lifetime consumption of Monsanto’s GMO corn in rats to massive tumors and direct organ failure, Russia’s premiere consumers rights organization has suspended both the importation and use of Monsanto’s GMO corn within the nation’s borders.

The move may soon be echoed by other nations, who may soon be urged by France to ban Monsanto’s GMOs due to serious health concerns. France, who also recently upheld a key ban on growing GMOs, has been instrumental in alerting the world to the dangers of GMOs and Monsanto’s overall corruption. In the nation’s latest announcement, it was revealed that France’s Agriculture Minister was launching an investigation into the GMO study, ultimately calling for European authorities to ban Monsanto’s GMOs in order to protect citizens in the event that the study was found to be sound.

It seems that France has become somewhat of a consumer health watchdog in more than just one area, simultaneously tackling ...

Published: Monday 24 September 2012
“The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, found that rats fed a type of genetically engineered corn that is prevalent in the US food supply for two years developed massive mammary tumors, kidney and liver damage, and other serious health problems.”

The first-ever lifetime feeding study1 evaluating the health risks of genetically engineered foods was published online on September 19, and the results are troubling, to say the least. This new study joins a list of over 30 other animal studies showing toxic or allergenic problems with genetically engineered foods.

The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, found that rats fed a type of genetically engineered corn that is prevalent in the US food supply for two years developed massive mammary tumors, kidney and liver damage, and other serious health problems.

The research was considered so "hot" that the work was done under strict secrecy. According to a French article in Le Nouvel Observateur, 2 the researchers used encrypted emails, phone conversations were banned, and they even launched a decoy study to prevent sabotage!

According to the authors:

"The health effects of a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize (from 11% in the diet), cultivated with or without Roundup, and Roundup alone (from 0.1ppb in water), were studied 2 years in rats. [Editors note: this level of Roundup is permitted in drinking water and GE crops in the US]

In females, all treated groups died 2-3 times more than controls, and more rapidly. This difference was visible in 3 male groups fed ...

Published: Friday 21 September 2012
Published: Thursday 20 September 2012
“It is essential that not only are GMOs labeled around the world for public consumption, but ultimately banned.”

 

A new GMO study may very well change the way that the world looks at GMOs once and for all. Complete with shocking and very disturbing photos of rats with tumors larger than a golf ball in size, a new French GMO study has concluded that rats fed a lifelong diet consisting of Roundup-containing genetically modified corn suffered serious consequences. While the onset of tumors was the most obvious and damaging effect, the researchers reveal that the rats also received heavy amounts of damage to multiple organs.

As a result of the mass tumors, liver and kidney damage, it was concluded that around 50% of the males and 70% of the females died prematurely as a result of eating only Roundup tolerant seed or drinking water with Roundup as approved levels set by the United States government. In comparison, only 30% of males and 20% of females died prematurely while consuming traditional alternatives. The San Francisco Chronicle rightly states that the study ‘rocks the GMO debate’. NaturalNews, one of the first alternative news websites to report the study, explained just what this means for you and your family:

“This is the same corn that’s in ...

Published: Monday 17 September 2012
“Thanks to activism by French citizens and serious political outcry, Monsanto is now effectively blocked from Europe’s gigantic marketplace.”

 

In another massive victory against Monsanto and the spread of genetically modified crops, French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayraul has announced that the nation will be maintaining a key ban on the only remaining GMO currently allowed in Europe. Known as Monsanto’s GMO maize crops, or MON810 maize, the original ban was brought forth back in March following the French court’s previous annulment on a November ban.

Thanks to activism by French citizens and serious political outcry, Monsanto is now effectively blocked from Europe’s gigantic marketplace. This is even more true when you consider that France is the largest agricultural producer in Europe. This move by such a large and influential nation will surely lead to similar legislation throughout the rest of the globe. 

This decision comes in the face of emormous pressure from Monsanto to 'soften' its stance on GMOs (see first link). Monsanto has significant pull within governments around the globe, with the United States in particular being the ‘launch pad’ for the biotechnology movement. We now know thanks to WikiLeaks  that United States ambassadors have actually threatened nations opposed to Monsanto’s GMO maize crops, going as far as to threaten them with ‘military-style trade wars’. When considering that this is but one leak, it is very concerning.

France has thwarted the political preasure and led the charge against Monsanto, even finding Monsanto guilty of ‘chemical poisoning’ earlier this year. According to the ...

Published: Saturday 15 September 2012
“Monsanto controls much of the world’s food supply at the expense of food democracy worldwide.”

 



Videos from Occupy News Radio

“Monsanto employee confronts protesters at second driveway blockade and tells them they have 10 minutes to leave.”

 



“Explanation of jail cell on the September 12, 2012 Monsanto action in Oxnard, CA.”

 



“Monsanto employee confronts protesters at third driveway blockade and tells them they have 10 minutes to leave.”

Published: Saturday 15 September 2012
“The debate over the harms or lack thereof associated with these crops could occupy an article ten times the length of this one, but a few key points are worth repeating.”

 

In November, California voters will decide whether or not retailers will be required to label foods made from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The choice they make on Proposition 37 will have ramifications for the future of food across the United States.

In one corner of the ring are corporations with deep pockets and a stake in maintaining the non-labeling status quo: Monsanto, a manufacturer of GMO corn and soybeans; Dupont, which makes pesticide and herbicides; and companies like Coca Cola, Pepsi, and General Mills, all heavily reliant upon GMO crops.

On the other corner are small organic farmers, environmental organizations, and a grassroots army of thousands of volunteers. It’s Big Ag versus the people of California.

So what’s the big deal with GMOs? The debate over the harms or lack thereof associated with these crops could occupy an article ten times the length of this one, but a few key points are worth repeating. Genetically modified organisms aren’t just wheat with a few tweaks. Some of the “modifications” seem straight out of a science-fiction nightmare, like Monsanto’s GMO sweet corn. Spliced into the genome of this plant is bacterial DNA that causes it to produce its own insect-killing poisons. The safety of these products is questionable because no testing has been done to determine what happens when these mutant foods enter the human body. And the effects we do know about aren’t encouraging. Increasing numbers of peer-reviewed studies show clear-cut health risks associated with GMO products, including allergic reactions.

Previous attempts to label foods that contain GMOs in ...

Published: Friday 14 September 2012
Today’s protest is the beginning of a series of over 65 different autonomous actions that officially start on September 17, a year since Occupy Wall Street movement began.

 

On Wednesday, September 12, activists calling themselves the Genetic Crimes Unit (GCU) shut down shipping and receiving access points at Monsanto’s Oxnard seed distribution facility located at 2700 Camino Del Sol. By peacefully blockading the exit and access points, the group effectively shut down the distribution of genetically engineered (GMO) seeds for a day.

Monsanto is the largest producer of GMO seeds and is being called out for their genetic crimes by a network called Occupy Monsanto. Today’s protest is the beginning of a series of over 65 different autonomous actions that officially start on September 17, the anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Actions are planned in countries throughout the world, including the US, Germany, Canada, India, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Argentina, Australia, Spain, Russia, and Japan. More info as well as video available for media use of today action can be found here.

After occupying all three shipping and receiving entrances to the Monsanto facility using flashy theatrics, including a car with a giant “fish-corn” on top of it and a 6-foot high jail cell complete with someone dressed up like the CEO Hugh Grant of Monsanto inside. Eventually after 5.5 hours the fire department was called in and 9 anti-GMO activists were arrested and charged with trespassing.

“The reason I am occupying Monsanto and willing to put myself at risk of arrest is because Monsanto has genetically engineered food crops to contain novel untested compounds that result in more weed killer sprayed on our food, without informing consumers. Unlike most industrialized countries including every country in Europe, Japan and even China, in America right now there are no labels on our food informing us whether we are eating GMOs or not. We have a right to opt out of this experiment: it’s not up ...

Published: Thursday 13 September 2012
“While the fight for GMO labeling is loud and clear, corporations and companies opposing GMO labeling, for their own profit and corrupt relations, will stop at nothing to ensure GMOs remain a secret to the public.”

You may already be fully aware of the fight surrounding the latest California GMO labeling legislation known as Prop 37, a bill which I have been very passionate about supporting over the past few months. As it currently stands in the United States, you are actually being completely kept in the dark about what’s in your food. And it may interest you to know that many pro-GMO corporations such as Monsanto intend to keep it that way.

But why are you being kept in the dark about the dangers of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the fight against Proposition 37?  Despite the massive amount of research linking genetically modified foods to environmental and human dangers, giant corporations are shelling out millions and millions of dollars to ensure that GMOs are not labeled in the food market. Why are Americans and others being kept in the dark?

While studies continue to highlight the very ...

Published: Sunday 9 September 2012
“Acting as a whole food ingredient, Whole Algalin Flour is very low in saturated fat, is trans-fat free, cholesterol free, and considerably reduces calories, as well as provides fiber and protein, while providing the same overall mouth feel and consistency as a full fat food.”

As people debate the conflict between food and fuel, entrepreneurs and scientists are giving us something even more precious than resolution of that debate: options and alternatives. Here, Biofuels Digest takes a look at 6 technologies and strategies that address food vs fuel, and offer alternatives.

1. Feedstock diversification.

In biofuels, it is more talked about – the push beyond corn starch and cane sugars into corn stover, sugarcane bagasse, woods and forestry residues, animal wastes, algae, municipal solid waste, and energy grasses as well as new inedible oilseed crops such as jatropha, carinata and camelina.

But there are opportunities for food manufacturers as well.

Take for instance Solazyme Roquette Nutritional’s whole algalin flour. According to the makers, it provides “an outstanding solution for improving nutritional profiles in many applications, such as bakery, beverages and frozen desserts. Acting as a whole food ingredient, Whole Algalin Flour is very low in saturated fat, is trans-fat free, cholesterol free, and considerably reduces calories, as well as provides fiber and protein, while providing the same overall mouth feel and consistency as a full fat food.”

Much of the underlying problem of food vs fuel is that multiple sectors have fallen in love with the same feedstock – frankly, that’s Nestle’s problem, and the problem of many biofuels producers. If the US is addicted to oil, many producers are addicted to corn or cane, and both sides benefit from diversifying where possible.

2. Increasing yield per ton.

There are low-yield biofuels technologies – and high-yield, in terms of productivity per ton of biomass. At the high end, consider for example Coskata’s 105 gallons per ton, and Zea Chem’s 135 gallon per ton yields. Compared to a technology ...

Published: Sunday 9 September 2012
“Use of corn in the production of ethanol in the U.S.—accounting for up to 40 percent of corn crop—has also been blamed for the price jump.”

 

Food prices are rising, and consumers are feeling it. Rising food prices aren’t only hitting America, they are happening around the world. Costs have gone up 10 percent between June and July alone, with corn, soybeans, and wheat reaching record prices. This outpaces the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s estimate of a 6 percent increase.

Rising Food Prices and Vulnerable Populations

While we may all see small changes in the grocery store and in grocery bills, World Bank president Jim Yong Kim says countries reliant on imported grains, especially “Africa and the Middle East are particularly vulnerable.”

The World Bank attributes the price jump mainly to the American heatwave and drought in Eastern Europe, which has hurt corn and soy in the US and wheat in Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. Use of corn in the production of ethanol in the U.S.—accounting for up to 40 percent of corn crop—has also been blamed for the price jump.

But of course this isn’t the beginning of rising food prices. Costs have been going up for some time now; you can see a food price index we covered around just last Thanksgiving. The food index count, which is an overall score reflecting the total price of the top 6 food commodities, rose to 215 in December of 2010 — up from 90 in the year 2000. Sugar spearheaded the spike, hitting only 2 points away from the 400 mark in December of 2010.

Rice is the only staple that has actually decreased in price (by 4 percent).

G20 Unsympathetic to Those in Need

“We cannot allow ...

Published: Wednesday 5 September 2012
“What is most interesting about this attack, however, is that multiple attempts were also made to actually infiltrate the server and remove the organic food study piece.”

On the night of September 2, after hearing about the ridiculous study that demonized organic food and claimed that it was virtually the same as GMO-laden conventional food, I decided to shoot a short 9 minute video within an accompanying article breaking down the study. As this was the night before the real news cycle began the following morning in the alternative media, this piece really blew up. It was graciously hosted on Alex Jones’ Infowar's as a featured news piece as well as featured in an article on the subject by NaturalNews‘ Mike Adams.

Essentially, it was the first piece to really respond to the outlandish hit piece with a serious response. It may come as no surprise to many of you, then, to know that we were hit with a massive attack between the early morning hours of September 4th (as the piece really began to gain traction) and the night of the same day. Hit by a complicated series of denial of service attack (known as a DDoS attack) resulting in a complete server crash, we did our best to trace the location and halt the intrusion.

 

Attempts Made to Delete Article

What is most interesting about this attack, however, is that multiple attempts were also made to actually infiltrate the server and remove the organic food study piece. In the process, a similar article was actually damaged and rendered completely inaccessible to readers for a long period of time. It is interesting to note that all of this happened during the crunch time for Proposition 37, which seeks to label GMOs in California. The video and ...

Published: Tuesday 4 September 2012
“Overall, it seems quite apparent that the researchers really have no idea what the word ‘health’ entails.”

The latest study to demonize foods free of GMO ingredients and mercury-containing high-fructose corn syrup ultimately once again fails to accurately address key aspects of the conventional verses organic debate and even falls short of properly addressing the limited scope of concerns it does attempt to analyze. You can see even from the comments on many of the mainstream reports that readers quickly saw through the eroneous ‘organic is the same as conventional’ headlines and began highlighting the many inaccuracies of the research.

As I outline in the video, the study completely fails to account for key factors such as the presence of GMOs, artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose, mercury (such as that 

Published: Thursday 30 August 2012
“The first two crops on this list have been on the old, slower-track approval process, which allows 60 days for the public to comment. The remaining four are new additions but are on the fast track.”

Remember when the USDA gave Monsanto’s new GMO crops the fast track to approval? Regardless of the numerous accounts of organ damage, pesticide-resistant weeds, and unintentionally mutated organisms like resistant insects, our own government is manipulating the game to let “biotech bullies” like Monsanto get speedier regulatory reviews. Consequently, the environment, livestock, and consumers will be exposed to even greater danger.

As stated in their press release, the Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, envisions transforming the USDA “into a high-performing organization that focuses on its customers.” We’d like to think that we, the consumers, are those customers. The likes of Monsanto, Dow, and Syngenta, however, would probably disagree.

Here’s your chance to tell the USDA otherwise. The first two crops on this list have been on the old, slower-track approval process, which allows 60 days for the public to comment. The remaining four are new additions but are on the fast track, meaning we still only have until September 11th of 2012 to have our say before these seeds hit the soil and, maybe, your dinner table.

6 New GMO Crops to Act ...

Published: Friday 24 August 2012
Monsanto has even recently published a page on their site titled “Taking a Stand: Proposition 37, The California Labeling Proposal,” where the GMO giant attempts to logically explain why it is against GMO labeling.

 

Due to the near future voting on November 6, 2012 for California’s Proposition 37, there has been a lot of heat going back and forth concerning GMO foods. Up until now, 10s of million of dollars have been funneled into the opposing side of the bill, with biotechnology giant Monsanto dishing out a whopping $4.2 million alone. Monsanto has even recently published a page on their site titled ”Taking a Stand: Proposition 37, The California Labeling Proposal,” where the GMO giant attempts to logically explain why it is against GMO labeling. Needless to say, the post reeks of false and misleading statements, and oftentimes downright deception. Here are the top 7 lies Monsanto wants you to believe regarding GMO labeling and Prop 37.

 

Monsanto’s Top 7 Lies

1. The bill ”would require a warning label on food products.”

GMO foods will not require a warning label (although they ought to!) Actually, foods made with GMOs would say ”partially produced with genetic engineering” or “may be partially produced with genetic engineering,” – not a warning label, but a clear warning sign to those of us who want to avoid GMOs. The whole idea of the GMO labeling bill is to make consumers aware of what they are consuming, not to bash GMOs on every label. We have a right to know.

2. ”The safety and benefits of these ingredients are well established.”

This may be the most comical statements of all. While no long-term studies portray the dangers or benefits of GMOs, countless ...

Published: Thursday 23 August 2012
“Until proper legislation is enacted to label or ban GMOs entirely, it’s important to protect yourself and your family on a daily basis from the effects of genetically altered food staples.”

As California remains the proverbial battlefield for GMO labeling, an increased interest is growing over ways to actually start avoiding GMOs in your daily life. By far the best tip, which may not be applicable at all times, is to stick to high quality organic sources. Preferably 100% organic or locally grown by organic-based farmers. This certainly is notalways an option, so I’ve compiled a quick ‘cheat sheet’ of the top genetically modified crops and substances that you can remember when avoiding GMOs in your daily life.

Produce items like yellow squash and papaya are considered by many worldwide to be health foods, however chances are that these food items among about 8 others I will be discussing today are heavily modified. Keep in mind that Monsanto is continually on a mission to dominate virtually 100% of the food supply, having already conquered upwards of 90% conservatively of staple crops like soybeans and corn.

READ FULL POST

DISCUSS
Published: Wednesday 22 August 2012
“Perhaps even more shocking is the fact that the court exposed a deep relationship between the Brazilian government and a major food industry lobby group that was forged in an effort to stop the court from issuing the ruling.”

It appears another victory has been declared in the battle against Monsanto and GMO ingredients. According to a major Brazilian business publication and GMWatch, a Brazilian court has demanded that multi-billion dollar food giant Nestle label all of their products as genetically modified that have over 1% GMO content. The ruling reportedly coincides with Brazilian law which demands all food manufacturers alert consumers to the presence of GMOs within their products.

Perhaps even more shocking is the fact that the court exposed a deep relationship between the Brazilian government and a major food industry lobby group that was forged in an effort to stop the court from issuing the ruling. This of course is predictable when considering that not only does Monsanto have a massive amount of political power with a figurehead in multiple branches of government, but when considering the previous WikiLeaks report that detailed how those who opposed Monsanto and biotechnology would be subject to ‘military style trade wars’.

The WikiLeaks documents revealed just how closely Monsanto has been working with the United States government, and just how serious the U.S. is about ensuring that the corporation’s GMO crops are widely accepted across the globe.

Amazingly, the Brazilian court took a stand against this corruption. Instead of groveling to Brazilian officials and mega biotechnology groups, the Brazilian business wire reports that the court determined the Brazilian government to be illegally working with the food industry entity known as ABIA. Furthermore, the ...

Published: Sunday 19 August 2012
Many people in Argentina are calling on their government to fund more in-depth research into the effects of glyphosate on humans.

A study out of Buenos Aires has found that glyphosate, an herbicide created by Monsanto, and used on GMO soy in Argentina, could cause birth defects in unborn children. The most interesting thing about this revelation is that the herbicide known as glyphosate in Argentina, is also known to be connected with Roundup in the U.S.

Roundup Ingredient Shown to Cause Birth Defects

According to the Latin American Herald Tribune, researchers with the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research conducted the study on amphibian embryos. The lead researcher says their results are “completely comparable to what would happen in the development of a human embryo.”

“The noteworthy thing is that there are no studies of embryos on the world level and none where glyphosate is injected into embryos,” said professor Andres Carrasco, one of the lead authors of the study.

The amounts shown to cause birth defects were said to be much lower than those levels used in fumigations. However, it’s important to note that the glyphosate was injected directly into the fetuses, not administered via food products, as it would be in humans.

READ FULL POST 4 COMMENTS

Published: Saturday 18 August 2012
“Monsanto obviously does not care much about the general public, however, as exemplified by the company’s utter lack of concern over public health and baseline human rights.”

 

Monsanto is doing its absolute best to ensure that you do not know what you are putting into your mouth, now confirmed to have donated $4.2 million in an attempt to fight the California GMO labeling initiative that could very well put them out of business. You see, if people actually knew that they were consuming genetically modified ingredients, they would simply stop buying the engineered products on a massive scale. Monsanto simply cannot have that, which is why it is doing its best to squash any possibility of a successful labeling initiative (along with a conglomerate of corporate entities).

It is already well known that the general public is highly supportive of GMO labeling in general, with many polls finding that around 93% of the population is supportive of knowing what is in their food. Monsanto obviously does not care much about the general public, however, as exemplified by the company’s utter lack of concern over public health and baseline human rights. And if over 90% of support is not enough, then there is the Just Label it Campaign. While the actual end result of the mission is debatable, the massive support is not.

The GMO labeling campaign was backed by over 1 million signatures from around the country, all individuals who were seeking to help others learn what is in their pantry.

Whether its censoring research on their GM products, ignoring evidence that links the engineered crops to serious biological and environmental damage, or managing ‘slave-like’ workers on their corn fields for withheld pay, Monsanto has continually shown its ...

Published: Thursday 16 August 2012
Three of the new crops are under the old petition process. Under the old process there is only one 60-day public comment period.

Earlier this summer USDA posted twelve new GE crops for public comment with a September 11 deadline, and nine are under the new fast-tracked process. That's twelve new GMOs to review and issue comments on in two months! 

Here's the lowdown. Three of the new crops are under the old petition process. Under the old process there is only one 60-day public comment period. Here are the three crops under the old process:

Dow 2,4-D and Glufosinate Tolerant Soybean (APHIS-2012-0019Take Action!

Since the introduction of GM crops, the US has seen herbicide use increase by over  READ FULL POST DISCUSS

Published: Wednesday 8 August 2012
“The GE sweet corn is the first consumer product developed by Monsanto that will go straight from the farm to the consumer’s plate, rather than first being processed into animal feed, sugars, oils, fibers and other ingredients found in a wide variety of conventional food.”

Like it or not, Monsanto’s genetically modified sweet corn will soon be arriving on grocery store shelves of the world’s largest retailer, Walmart Stores, Inc., and will not be labeled as such. Despite an onslaught of consumer pressure, the company confirmed late last week with the Chicago Tribune that it has no objection to selling the new crop of Monsanto’s genetically modified (GE) sweet corn.

Other retailers, including the grocery chains Safeway and Kroger, have not responded on the issue, however Whole Foods, Trader Joes and General Mills have all vowed to not carry or use the GE sweet corn. As the country’s largest grocery retailer, Walmart sells $129 billion worth of food a year, giving it unmatched power in shaping the food supply chain.

The GE sweet corn is the first consumer product developed by Monsanto that will go straight from the farm to the consumer’s plate, rather than first being processed into animal feed, sugars, oils, fibers and other ingredients found in a wide variety of conventional food. It is engineered to be resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, the active ingredient of which is glyphosate. The product is also designed to produce a Bt toxin that will kill insects that feed on the plant. Monsanto’s new sweet corn is being harvested in the Midwest, Northwest, Southeast and Texas.

“After closely looking at both sides of the debate and collaborating with a number of respected food safety experts, we see no scientifically validated safety reasons to implement restrictions on this product,” ...

Published: Wednesday 8 August 2012
Published: Tuesday 7 August 2012
“Overall, GM sounds like a sweet deal only for Monsanto (and our own FDA and USDA, repeatedly found in bed with them). It remains a bad deal for us, the consumers.”

Yet another study has concluded that feeding animals GMOs results in higher rates of infant mortality and causes fertility problems. Russian biologist Alexey V. Surov and other researchers fed Campbell hamsters (which have fast reproduction rates) Monsanto GM soy for two years. It should be noted that hamsters do not evolutionarily eat soy—just as cows fed Monsanto corn are actually ruminants and would not naturally eat corn.

“Originally, everything went smoothly,” Surov told broadcasting service The Voice of Russia.  Surov and the researchers fed the same diet to three generations of the hamsters, and that’s when they noticed things going awry.

GMO Causes Fertility Problems, Slow Growth, Hair Growth in Mouths

“We noticed quite a serious effect when we selected new pairs from their cubs and continued to feed them as before. These pairs’ growth rate was slower and reached their sexual maturity slowly.” By the third generation, the hamsters were infertile.

Many animals on the GM diet even displayed rare, strange pathologies like hair growing in recessed pouches inside their mouths. “Some of these pouches contained single hairs,” said Surov in Doklady Biological Sciences, “others, thick bundles of colorless or pigmented hairs reaching as high as the chewing surface of the teeth. Sometimes, the ...

Published: Sunday 5 August 2012
“Described by one farmer as a ‘field of little spears’, farmers are now turning to Kevlar tires.”

 

The news surrounding GMO crops continues to get further and further outlandish as the crops are increasingly mutated and sprayed with a medley of harsh pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides. The latest news comes from an unlikely source — an automotive publication known as Auto blog. The website reports that farmers who have opted to plant Monsanto’s genetically modified seeds have run into one daunting problem (outside of decreased yields and an extremely higher risk of disease): little ‘spear-like’ stalks from the harvested GMOs are absolutely wreaking havoc on the heavy duty tractor tires.

Described by one farmer as a ‘field of little spears’, farmers are now turning to Kevlar tires. In case you’re not aware, Kevlar is the same material used in bulletproof vests to protect from gun bullets.

The stalks are so sharp and weapon-like that they can wreck an entire set of wheels, which is a daunting reality when considered that one tractor can have as many as eight heavy duty tires. Furthermore, a single tractor tire can easily cost thousands of dollars. Thanks to the GMO crops, the average lifespan of a tractor tire has dwindled from five or six years down to just one or two — if the farmer is lucky. Add that to the exponentially increased amount of pesticide use required to maintain modified crops thanks to heavily mutated ‘super’ rootworms and other insects, and it’s easy to see how GMO farming is nothing but a monetary pitfall for farmers.

Strange reports like these may ultimately be what it takes for the public to truly be concerned about genetically modified seeds and ...

Published: Friday 3 August 2012
“These are the kinds of forces that have made defeating Prop 37 their top priority.”

 

This November, California voters will have an opportunity to vote on a simple, yet important ballot initiative called Prop 37 – the California Right to Know Act. If approved, it would require food sold in California supermarkets be clearly labeled if it has been genetically engineered.

There is no clearer David versus Goliath fight on this year’s ballot. On one side, is a truly grassroots people’s movement that generated over a million signatures in just 10 weeks, easily qualifying for the November ballot. On the other stands the largest anti-union, pro-pesticide, agrochemical interests in the world dedicated to saying and spending whatever it takes to hide the fact that some of our most important crops are being genetically engineered in a lab without our knowledge or consent.

As noted by Marc Lifsher in a recent story in the Los Angeles Times, “Proposition 37 promises to set up a big-money battle pitting natural food businesses and activists against multinational companies including PepsiCo, Coca-Cola and Kellogg.”

But the most notable opposition to date comes from the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), which has given $375,000 to the cause already, and according to their spokesperson “Defeating the initiative is GMA’s single highest priority this year.” The GMA’s membership reads like a virtual who’s who of anti-worker, anti-health, and anti-family farmer corporate interests, including outsourcing trendsetter Bain and Company, ...

Published: Thursday 2 August 2012
“Big Food companies like ConAgra, Smucker, Hormel, Kellogg, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo want to block consumer protection legislation.”

[The California Ballot Initiative to label genetically engineered food is] “a serious, long-term threat to the viability of agricultural biotechnology. Defeating the Initiative is GMA’s single highest priority this year.”  -- Pamela Bailey, President of Grocery Manufacturers Association, speech to the American Soybean Association, July 9, 2012

This November, Californians will vote for or against Prop 37, the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act. The outcome of that vote will likely determine whether the U.S. will one day join the nearly 50 other countries that allow their citizens to choose between genetically engineered and non-genetically engineered food through the enactment of laws requiring mandatory labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The election is three months away, but the battle lines were drawn months ago. ...

Published: Sunday 29 July 2012
“If produce is certified USDA-organic, it’s non-GMO (or supposed to be!)”

Genetically modified foods have been shown to cause harm to humans, animals, and the environmental, and despite growing opposition, more and more foods continue to be genetically altered. It’s important to note that steering clear from these foods completely may be difficult, and you should merely try finding other sources than your big chain grocer. If produce is certified USDA-organic, its non-GMO (or supposed to be!) Also, seek out local farmers and booths at farmer’s markets where you can be assured the crops aren’t GMO. Even better, if you are so inclined: Start organic gardening and grow them yourself. Until then, here are the top 10 worst GMO foods for your “do not eat” GMO foods list.

Top 10 Worst GMO Foods for Your GMO Foods List

1. Corn: This is a no-brainer. If you’ve watched any food documentary, you know corn is highly modified. “As many as half of all U.S. farms growing corn for Monsanto are using genetically modified corn,” and much of it is intended for human consumption. Monsanto’s GMO corn has been tied to numerous health issues, including weight gain and organ disruption.

2. Soy: Found in tofu, vegetarian products, soybean oil, soy flour, and numerous other products, soy is also modified to resist herbicides. As of now, biotech giant Monsanto still has a tight grasp on the soybean market, with approximately 90 percent of soy being genetically engineered to resist Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup. In one single year, 2006, 96.7 million pounds of glyphosate was sprayed on soybeans alone

3. Sugar: According to NaturalNews, ...

Published: Wednesday 25 July 2012
“Perhaps even more devastating is the rising suicide toll associated with the use of Monsanto’s seeds, with a farmer committing suicide every 30 minutes thanks in part due to GMO seeds.”

British scientists at the John Innes Center recently won a $10 million grant from the Gates Foundation. Where’s the money going? Not surprisingly, as Gates owns over 500,000 shares of Monsanto stock, the organization is putting even more money into genetically modified cereal crops (corn, wheat and rice, to name a few).

The pledge seems righteous at face value to some, but what the Gates Foundation failed to mention is that countries like Hungary, France, India, and Poland have battled GMOs because not only do GM seeds and pesticides decrease yields over time, but GM is bad news for farmers and consumers everywhere. Putting farmers in Africa in the pockets of the likes of Monsanto and other GM companies will only lead to crop monoculture, soil depletion, water contamination, pesticide-resistant insects, and a powerless local population of sick and impoverished farmers.

And this should be of no surprise to Bill Gates, who has openly stated that Monsanto’s GMOs are the ultimate ‘solution’ to world hunger yet continues to ignore the bounty of evidence showing that they do just the opposite — crushing soil yields and impoverishing local farmers.

Perhaps even more devastating is the rising suicide toll associated with the use of Monsanto’s seeds, with a farmer committing suicide every 30 minutes thanks in part due to GMO seeds.

Gates Foundation Ignores Fact that “GM is Failing to Deliver”

The John Innes Center’s aims include engineering crops capable of harnessing nitrogen from the air. Peas and beans do ...

Published: Wednesday 18 July 2012
“Monsanto continues to claim that plaintiffs’ concerns about being accused of patent infringement after being contaminated by Monsanto’s transgenic seed are unsubstantiated and unjustified.”

Eleven prominent law professors and 14 renowned organic, Biodynamic, food safety and consumer nonprofit organizations have filed separate briefs with the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit arguing farmers have the right to protect themselves from being accused of patent infringement by agricultural giant Monsanto.

The brief by the law professors and the brief by the nonprofit organizations were filed in support of the 75 family farmers, seed businesses and agricultural organizations representing more than 300,000 individuals and 4,500 farms that last year brought a protective legal action seeking a ruling that Monsanto could never sue them for patent infringement if they became contaminated by Monsanto’s genetically modified seed. The case was dismissed by the district court in February and that dismissal is now pending review by the Court of Appeals. The plaintiffs recently filed their opening appeal brief with the appeals court.

“Monsanto continues to claim that plaintiffs’ concerns about being accused of patent infringement after being contaminated by Monsanto’s transgenic seed are ...

Published: Sunday 15 July 2012
However, one of Monsanto’s Ph.D. researchers informed Azevedo that “there’s actually other proteins that are being produced, not just the one we want, as a byproduct of genetic engineering process.”

This week the Food Nation Radio Network interviewed former Monsanto employee Kirk Azevedo about his concerns with the leading biotech company's practices, a timely interview as the battle over genetically engineered (GE) food regulation continues on a state, national, and international scale.

 

Azevedo graduated with a biochemistry degree from California Polytechnic State University and started working for the chemical industry doing research on Bt (or Bacillus thuringiensis) pesticides. Around 1996, he became a local market manager for Monsanto, serving as a facilitator for GE crops for the western states. He explained to Food Nation Radio how he had assumed that California cotton that was genetically engineered for herbicide resistance could be marketed as conventional California cotton (to get the California premium) since the only difference between the two, he believed, was the gene Monsanto wanted in the crop. However, one of Monsanto's Ph.D. researchers informed Azevedo that "there's actually other proteins that are being produced, not just the one we want, as a byproduct of genetic engineering process." This concerned Azevedo, who had also been studying protein diseases (including prion diseases such as mad cow disease) and knew proteins could be toxic. When he told his colleague they needed to destroy the seeds from the GE crop so that they aren't fed to cattle, the other researcher said that Monsanto isn't going to stop doing what it's been doing everywhere else.

 

Azevedo recalls his disillusionment:

 

I saw what was really the fraud associated with genetic engineering: My impression, and I think most people's impression with genetically engineered foods and crops and other things is that it's just like putting one gene in there and that one gene is expressed. If that was the case, well ...

Published: Wednesday 11 July 2012
“In fairness, much of their scientific tinkering has been beneficial. But during the past half-century, too much of their work devolved from tinkering into outright tampering with our food.”

Some people are too smart for your own good.

Food geneticists, for example. These technicians have the smarts to tinker with the inner workings of Momma Nature's own good foods — but not the smarts to leave well enough alone.

In fairness, much of their scientific tinkering has been beneficial. But during the past half-century, too much of their work devolved from tinkering into outright tampering with our food. This is mostly the result of money flowing to both private and public research centers from big agribusiness corporations that want nature's design altered in ways that fatten their bottom lines. Never mind that the alterations created by these smart people are frequently not good for you and me.

Take the tomato, truly a natural wonder. Agribusiness profiteers, however, wanted it to do unnatural things, so — voila! — the genetic tamperers in the 1960s and '70s dutifully produced the Amazing Industrial Tomato. It's a techno-marvel made to endure long-distance shipping, be harvested while green and then artificially ripened to appear tomato-y red and last an ungodly amount of time without rotting.

But taste? Forget it. There's more flavor in the carton. This led to the "Upchuck Rebellion" — a grassroots movement of consumers, small farmers and local food artisans. In the last couple of decades, they've spurred phenomenal growth in farmers markets and stores that offer nature's own locally produced and heirloom varieties untouched by the smart ones.

But, look out, the tomato tamperers are back in the lab! They've discovered that a mutated gene they had bred into the corporate tomato switches off other genes that would cause the fruit to develop flavor. The answer, they say, is not less technology, but more. By artificially re-engineering the DNA structure of the plant, they can bypass that naughty ...

Published: Tuesday 10 July 2012
The Drug Trade and GNP (Gross National Pain).

Dear Mexico,

 

I apologize. There are so many things I could apologize for, from the way the U.S. biotech corporation Monsanto has contaminated your corn to the way Arizona andAlabama are persecuting your citizens, but right now I’d like to apologize for the drug war, the 10,000 waking nightmares that make the news and the rest that don’t.

You've heard the stories about the five severed heads rolled onto the floor of a Michoacan nightclub in 2006, the 300 bodies dissolved in acid by a servant of one drug lord, the 49 mutilated bodies found in plastic bags by the side of the road in Monterrey in May, the 

Published: Monday 9 July 2012
Monsanto has recently launched a proverbial war against the open labeling of genetically modified foods, and only through activism and awareness can it be overcome.

 

We’ve gone on at great lengths discussing the dangers of genetic modification. Monsanto’s GMO corn has been linked to weight gain and organ function disruption, while GMO crops and pesticides destroy our farmland and environment.  According to the Alliance of Natural Health, the grandchildren of rats fed GMO corn were born sterile. GMO is just one of those things to avoid, but with our own government in bed with Monsanto, it’s not easily done. Monsanto has recently launched a proverbial war against the open labeling of genetically modified foods, and only through activism and awareness can it be overcome.

The People Versus GMO

In February of this year, Vermont contemplated the Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act. The proposed bill prohibits GMO food producers from using keywords like “natural,” “naturally made,” “naturally grown,” and “all natural” to describe GMO ingredients and products. In the same month, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported that nearly 20 states were considering similar programs. Public surveys and studies also show a whopping 90 percent of the U.S. in favor of such practices.

In theory, this should make California’s GMO labeling initiative, which would require all foods within the state made with GM ingredients to carry a label stating so, a shoo-in. But let’s not get so hasty.

Leaders in the disinformation campaign launched against the labeling initiative cry out that it would be—like the infamous ...

Published: Monday 9 July 2012
A so-called “Monsanto rider,” quietly slipped into the multi-billion dollar FY 2013 Agricultural Appropriations bill, would require – not just allow, but require - the Secretary of Agriculture to grant a temporary permit for the planting or cultivation of a genetically engineered crop, even if a federal court has ordered the planting be halted until an Environmental Impact Statement is completed.

 

While many Americans were firing up barbecues and breaking out the sparklers to celebrate Independence Day, biotech industry executives were more likely chilling champagne to celebrate another kind of independence: immunity from federal law.

A so-called “Monsanto rider,” quietly slipped into the multi-billion dollar FY 2013 Agricultural Appropriations bill, would require – not just allow, but require - the Secretary of Agriculture to grant a temporary permit for the planting or cultivation of a genetically engineered crop, even if a federal court has ordered the planting be halted until an Environmental Impact Statement is completed. All the farmer or the biotech producer has to do is ask, and the questionable crops could be released into the environment where they could potentially contaminate conventional or organic crops and, ultimately, the nation’s food supply.

Unless the Senate or a citizen’s army of farmers and consumers can stop them, the House of Representatives is likely to ram this dangerous rider through any day now.

In a statement issued last month, the Center For Food Safety had this to say about the biotech industry’s latest attempt to circumvent legal and regulatory safeguards:

Ceding broad and unprecedented powers to industry, the rider poses a direct threat to the authority of U.S. courts, jettisons the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) established oversight powers on key agriculture issues and puts the nation’s farmers and food supply at risk.

In other words, if this single line in the 90-page Agricultural Appropriations bill slips through, it’s Independence ...

Published: Sunday 8 July 2012
The biotech industry may outdo us in funding ability, but we as consumers still outnumber them.

Brazil, the second-largest producer of genetically modified (GM) crops (after the U.S.), is the latest country to take a stand against biotech giant Monsanto, which could end up handing over at least $2 billion as a result.

A war has been waging against Monsanto in Brazil for nearly a decade, virtually ever since the country legalized farming of GM crops in 2005.

Since then, Monsanto has been charging Brazilian farmers double – once for their seeds, and again when they sell their crops.

Farmers Have Had Enough With Monsanto’s Royalty Taxes and Penalties

In case you’re wondering how Monsanto has risen to the ranks of a superpower, a major reason is their patent on GM seeds, like the GM soya seeds in Brazil, which account for nearly 85 percent of the country’s total soybean crop. Each GM seed is patented and sold under exclusive rights.

Therefore, farmers must purchase the GM seeds every year, because saving seeds (which has long been the traditional way) is considered to be patent infringement. Anyone who does save GM seeds must pay a license fee to actually re-sow them.

But that’s not all.

In Brazil, Monsanto has charged farmers a 2 percent royalty fee on all of their Roundup Ready sales since 2005! And, they test all of the soy seeds marketed as “non-GM” to be sure they don’t contain any Monsanto seeds. If they are found to contain the patented seeds, the farmer is penalized close to 3 percent of his sales!

The issue with the latter penalty is that GM soy is very hard to contain, and often contaminates nearby fields. So farmers are forced to pay a penalty for having their fields contaminated with GM crops, through no fault of their own – and likely against their wishes entirely!

For years now, farmers have been taking Monsanto to court over their excessive fees and taxes, and in 2009, a group of farmers sued the company, claiming the ...

Published: Wednesday 4 July 2012
“Soy is being promoted as a better alternative to feed made from wild fish, but this model will not help the environment, and it will transfer massive industrial farming models into our oceans and further exacerbate the havoc wreaked by the soy industry on land—including massive amounts of dangerous herbicide use and massive deforestation.”

Food and Water Watch

If proponents of soy in aquaculture have it their way, soy will be used to feed fish in open ocean pens in federal waters, a move that would negatively impact the marine environment as well as the diets of both fish and consumers.

Food & Water Watch and Food & Water Europe’s new report, Factory-Fed Fish: How the Soy Industry is Expanding Into the Sea,  shows how a collaboration between two of the most environmentally damaging industries on land and sea—the soy and open ocean aquaculture industries, respectively—could be devastating to ocean life and consumer health. And since much of the soy produced in the U.S. is genetically engineered (GE), consuming farmed fish would likely mean eating fish that are fed GE soy.

“Our seas are not Roundup ready,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. “Soy is being promoted as a better alternative to feed made from wild fish, but this model will not help the environment, and it will transfer massive industrial farming models into our oceans and further exacerbate the havoc wreaked by the soy industry on land—including massive amounts of dangerous herbicide use and massive deforestation.”

The powerful soy industry, which is well represented in Washington, D.C. and Brussels, stands to gain more than $200 million (€160 million) each year by aggressively promoting the use of soy to feed farmed fish at a time when more and more consumers are eating seafood sourced from aquaculture or fish farms. Close to half of the seafood we consume globally comes from these factory fish farms.

Unfortunately, increased use of soy in fish feed could do greater harm to the health of fisheries by ...

Published: Monday 2 July 2012
Published: Monday 2 July 2012
Companies like Monsanto, the original producer of Posilac (an rBST) product had to reluctantly put safety warnings on the sides of their packages—admitting that it has about 20 “toxic effects” on the cows.

 

Breast-feeding mothers are often cautioned against eating and drinking certain things; it’s because some of these things can find their way into their breast milk and then their baby. Wouldn’t it make sense, then, that some of the hormones and antibiotics given to dairy cattle would make their way into your milk carton? One hormone, recombinant bovine somatotropin, or rBST, is given to about 20% of dairy cattle in the United States, having unknown effects on individuals who consume their milk.

Is rBST safe?

IS rBST safe? That depends on who you ask. Companies like Monsanto, the original producer of Posilac (an rBST) product had to reluctantly put safety warnings on the sides of their packages—admitting that it has about 20 “toxic effects” on the cows.

It’s a hormone that forces cows to produce more milk. More milk = more money, but the hormone makes the cows sick. Among other things, it causes mastitis which is an infection of the udder. This infection causes pus to be released into the milk. Yes, pus is in your milk.

In turn, large scale dairy operations that use rBST must use more antibiotics in the cows to counter the infection causing effects of the hormones.

According to the Organic Consumers Association, Dr. Samuel S. Epstein of the Cancer Prevention Coalition warns:

  • rBST milk is chemically and nutritionally different than natural milk.
  • Milk from cows injected with rBST is contaminated with the hormone, traces of which are absorbed through the gut into the blood of people who consume this milk or products made from it.
  • rBST milk is supercharged with high levels of the natural growth ...
Published: Friday 29 June 2012
Amazingly, western corn rootworms have virtually no problem gobbling up Monsanto’s modified maize crop, as they have developed a serious resistance to the very crops designed to kill them.

 

 

What will be the end of Monsanto? Could it be lawsuits, new legislation, or perhaps even a tiny insect that is less than 0.10 mm in length. A new report reveals that rootworms may ultimately be what ends Monsanto’s crops, despite the biotech giant’s rampant success within the United States legislative system. Amazingly, western corn rootworms have virtually no problem gobbling up Monsanto’s modified maize crop, as they have developed a serious resistance to the very crops designed to kill them. So much so that these little critters are outpacing Monsanto’s top scientists.

To make matters worse for the company, the resistant rootworms are maturing earlier than expected this year. And with the enhanced growth has come enhanced birth rates, with the bug’s larvae hatching the earliest in decades. Monsanto, of course, is absolutely defenseless against the resistant rootworms which have adapted to their biopesticide known as Bt. At least 8 populations of insects have developed resistance, with 2 populations resistant to Bt sprays and at least 6 species resistant to Bt crops as a whole. The answer? Use even more intelligence-crushing pesticides.

Rootworms, Nature Overcome Monsanto’s GMO Crops

It is for this reason that the EPA has warned in the past that Monsanto’s crops will soon be ravaged by the insects. In their report on the subject, the EPA states:

“Monsanto’s program for monitoring suspected cases of resistance is ‘inadequate’”.

The statements have been reinforced by another group of concerned scientists. A body of 22 academic corn experts voiced serious concerns over GMO crop failures back in March, warning that a collapse of the GMO corn industry may soon follow — a particularly mighty ...

Published: Tuesday 26 June 2012
“Recent polls conducted by MSNBC and Thompson Reuters found that between 93 and 96 percent of the American public believe genetically engineered foods should be labeled as such.”

 

As the 2012 Farm Bill continues to take shape in the halls of the United States Congress, the immense influence of corporate interests is on display.

On Jun. 21 the United States’ Senate voted overwhelmingly against the Sanders Amendment that would have allowed states to pass legislation that required food and beverage products to label whether or not they contain genetically engineered ingredients.

The amendment, proposed by Independent Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, is particularly relevant as many states prepare to vote on a ballot initiatives that would require such labelling of genetically modified (GM) foods.

Lobbyists from the biotech industry have ardently opposed GMO labelling. These opponents argue that because food labelling has historically been handled by the Food and Drug Association (FDA), it is a federal issue and, therefore, individual states do not have the right to implement such legislation. Indeed, in the case of Vermont, Sander’s home state, ...

Published: Monday 25 June 2012
The deaths have led to a federal investigation centered in Central Texas, where the cattle had resided.

 

Another report of genetically modified creations taking the lives of livestock has hit the media, and this time genetically modified grass has been identified as the culprit according to CBS News. Shockingly (and quite disturbingly), the GM grass actually produced toxic cyanide and sent the cattle into a life-ending fit that included painful bellowing and convulsions. The deaths have led to a federal investigation centered in Central Texas, where the cattle had resided.

Just east of Austin, the cows lived on an 80-acre ranch owned by Jerry Abel. Abel says that the fields were used for over 15 years for cattle grazing and hay, and that the genetically modified grass was ‘tested’ previously and should have been ‘perfect’. The GM grass however, known as Tifton 85, appears have been producing toxic cyanide. Used as a genocidal agent in World War 2 by the Germans and considered to be an extremely dangerous substance internationally, it is extremely concerning that cyanide is now being produced by once harmless grass thanks to the modification process.

The 18 cattle went off to enjoy some ‘fresh’ new genetically modified grass, when Abel says they went into a fit of convulsions and shrieks. He explains:

“When our trainer first heard the bellowing, he thought our pregnant heifer may be having a calf or something,” said Abel. “But when he got down here, virtually all of the steers and heifers were on the ground. Some were already dead, and the others were already in convulsions.”

Within 15 hours of this incident, all of the cattle had died as a result of the grass ‘suddenly’ producing cyanide and therefore throwing them into a lethal fit. According to USDA scientists, it may be the result of a mutation — the same kind of mutation that has been seen in many of Monsanto’s ...

Published: Wednesday 20 June 2012
Back in April, a Brazilian court ruled that Monsanto absolutely was responsible for paying back the exorbitant amounts of cash back to the farmers, ordering the company to issue back all of the taxes collected since 2004 — a minimum of 2 billion dollars.

Monsanto may soon be forced to pay as much as 7.5 billion dollars back to the farmers who say that the mega corporation took their rightfully earned income and taxed their small businesses to financial shambles. It all started with a monumental lawsuit launched by over 5 million farmers against Monsanto looking to recover financial losses from ridiculous seed taxes that bankrupted many families.

Back in April, a Brazilian court ruled that Monsanto absolutely was responsible for paying back the exorbitant amounts of cash back to the farmers, ordering the company to issue back all of the taxes collected since 2004 — a minimum of 2 billion dollars. Afterwards, Monsanto appealed the decision and the case is now suspended until a further hearing is initiated by the Justice Tribune of the local court stationed in Rio Grande do Sul.

Recently, however, the Brazilian Supreme Court declared that any decision reached in a local court case should apply nationally. The result? Monsanto now faces even larger charges, due to the larger legal application on a national level. Now, the charges total or exceed 7.5 billion dollars.

“The values involved could total 15 billion reais ($7.5bn),” said the Superior Tribunal of Justice on its website.

Lawsuits and criminal charges continue to hit Monsanto, scratching away at the financial foundation of the agricultural behemoth. Monsanto has been found guilty of chemical poisoning in France after their weed killer product led to neurological problems, and the company has even dished out 

Published: Friday 15 June 2012
“It was around this time that the mysterious illnesses began to emerge among the cattle population. Syngenta paid Gloeckner 40,000 euros in an effort to silence the farmer, however a civil lawsuit was brought upon the company.”

 

In a riveting victory against genetically modified creations, a major biotech company known as Syngenta has been criminally charged for denying knowledge that its GM Bt corn actually kills livestock. What’s more is not only did the company deny this fact, but they did so in a civil court case that ended back in 2007. The charges were finally issued after a long legal struggle against the mega corp initiated by a German farmer named Gottfried Gloeckner whose dairy cattle died after eating the Bt toxin and coming down with a ‘mysterious’ illness.

Grown on his own farm from 1997 to 2002, the cows on the farm were all being fed exclusively on Syngenta’s Bt 176 corn by the year 2000. It was around this time that the mysterious illnesses began to emerge among the cattle population. Syngenta paid Gloeckner 40,000 euros in an effort to silence the farmer, however a civil lawsuit was brought upon the company. Amazingly, 2 cows ate genetically modified maize (now banned in Poland over serious concerns) and died. During the civil lawsuit, however, Syngenta refused to admit that its GM corn was responsible. In fact, they went as far as to claim having no knowledge whatsoever of harm.

The case was dismissed and Gloeckner, the farmer who launched the suit, was left thousands of euros in debt. And that’s not all; Gloeckner continued to lose many cows as a result of Syngenta’s modified Bt corn. After halting the use of GM feed in 2002, Gloeckner attempted a full investigation with the Robert Koch Institute and Syngenta involved. The data of this investigation is still unavailable to the public, and only examined one cow. In 2009, however, the Gloeckner teamed up with a ...

Published: Monday 4 June 2012
“We need non-chemical, sustainable systems that work with nature and without genetically altered crops.”

 

Rather than find ways to cooperate with the natural world, America's agribusiness giants reach for the next quick fix in a futile effort to overpower nature. Their attitude is that if brute force isn't working, they're probably not using enough of it.

Monsanto, for example, has banked a fortune by selling a corn seed that it genetically manipulated to produce corn plants that won't die when sprayed with the Roundup toxic weedkiller. Not coincidentally, Monsanto also happens to manufacture Roundup. It profits from the seed and from the huge jump in Roundup sales that the seed generates. Slick.

But Mother Nature, darn it, has rebelled. So much of Monsanto's poison was spread in the past decade that weeds naturally began to resist it. As a Dow Chemical agronomist explained, "The real need here is to diversify our weed management systems."

Exactly right! We need non-chemical, sustainable systems that work with nature and without genetically altered crops.

But, no, the Dow man didn't mean that at all. He was calling for more brute force in the form of Dow's new genetically altered corn seed that can absorb Dow's super-potent 2,4-D weedkiller, which it markets under the "Enlist" brand name. Use this stuff, he says, and nature will be defeated.

Wrong. Nature doesn't quit. The weeds will keep evolving and will adapt to Dow's high-tech fix, too. By pushing the same old thing relentlessly, says an independent crop scientist, agribusiness interests "ratchet up [America's] dependence on the use of herbicides, which is very much a treadmill."

It's time to start listening to the weeds — and cooperating with Mother Nature. To advance this common sense approach, a national coalition is backing a California "Right to Know" initiative requiring the labeling of ...

Published: Saturday 2 June 2012
“It’s estimated that the opposition will spend $60 million - $100 million to convince voters that GMOs are perfectly safe.”

 

What do a former mouthpiece for tobacco and big oil, a corporate-interest PR flack, and the regional director of a Monsanto-funded tort reform group have in common?

They’re all part of the anti-labeling PR team that will soon unleash a massive advertising and PR campaign in California, designed to scare voters into rejecting the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act.

In November, California voters will vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on a law to require mandatory labeling of all GMO ingredients in processed foods, and ban the routine industry practice of mislabeling foods containing GMO ingredients as ‘natural.’

Polls show that nearly 90% of the state’s voters plan to vote ‘yes.’  But when November rolls around, will voter support still be strong? Not if the biotech, agribusiness, and food manufacturers industries can help it.

It’s estimated that the opposition will spend $60 million - $100 million to convince voters that GMOs are perfectly safe. They’ll try to scare voters into believing that labeling will make food more expensive, that it will spark hundreds of lawsuits against small farmers and small businesses, and that it will contribute to world hunger.  None of this is true. On the contrary, studies suggest just the opposite.

Here’s what is true: The opposition has lined up some heavy-hitters and industry-funded front groups -- masquerading as “grassroots” organizations -- to help spin their anti-labeling propaganda machine.

You have the right to know what’s in your food. You also have the right to know who is working tirelessly to prevent you from ever having that right – and ...

Published: Friday 1 June 2012
Everything from high fructose corn syrup-sweetened Coke to soybean oil-containing Hellman’s would have to bear a label reading something like “Contains GMO ingredients.”

In November, California voters will decide on a ballot initiative that would require labeling of all foods containing ingredients from genetically modified crops. The initiative made it to the ballot after almost 1 million Californians signed a petition in favor of it—nearly double the 504,760 signatures needed under the state's proposition rules. The campaign that organized the push to get the measure on the ballot focused on possible health effects of GMO foods.

This news will not likely be applauded by my friends over at Crop life America, the main trade group of the GM seed/agrichemical industry. The big GMO crops—corn, soy, sugar beets, and cotton—are processed into sweeteners, fats, and additives used widely by the food industry. Everything from high fructose corn syrup-sweetened Coke to soybean oil-containing Hellman’s would have to bear a label reading something like "Contains GMO ingredients."

That would send a shockwave through the food industry—one that could ultimately be felt on the industrial-scale U.S. farms that have been devoting their land to GMO crops for years, and the companies that profit from selling them patented seeds and matching herbicides. The reason isn't just that California represents an imposing chunk of the U.S. food market. It's also that a food-labeling law that starts in California is unlikely to stay in California.

To see why, look at ...

Published: Thursday 31 May 2012
“The AMA will reportedly be considering the proposals on June 17th, during its annual meeting, but the long list of individuals and organizations behind the push for labeling does not stop there.”

Despite the facade put in place by Monsanto that virtually all mainstream medical organizations believe there is no difference between traditional and genetically modified organisms, even the American Medical Association (AMA) may soon support the labeling of GMOs through federal legislation or regulation. In an attempt to accelerate the process towards the direct labeling of GMOs, the Indiana State Medical Association and Illinois State Medical Society have both introduced resolutions to the AMA on the subject. The resolutions, which stem from these prominent mainstream entities, urge the AMA to back labeling initiatives.

The AMA will reportedly be considering the proposals on June 17th, during its annual meeting. What’s more, the long list of individuals and organizations behind the push for labeling does not stop there. The resolutions submitted to the AMA are backed by a multitude of researchers and physicians, including Dr. Martha Herbert, a pediatric neurologist and past vice-chair of the Council on Responsible Genetics. In response to the secretive nature of GMOs and the subsequent lack of real knowledge on their wide scale effects, Dr. Herbert stated:

“Tracking the millions of people with vulnerable immune systems and their reaction to novel proteins and virus fragments in genetically engineered food is impossible without food labeling.”

Labeling of GMOs Gains ...

Published: Wednesday 30 May 2012
“Not only are we seeing rapid emergence of super-weeds resistant to glyphosate, courtesy of Roundup Ready crops, we now also have evidence of emerging Bt-resistant insects.”

A new generation of insect larvae is eating the roots of genetically engineered corn intended to be resistant to such pests.  The failure of Monsanto's genetically modified Bt corn could be the most serious threat ever to a genetically modified crop in the U.S.

And the economic impact could be huge. Billions of dollars are at stake, as Bt corn accounts for 65 percent of all corn grown in the US.

The strain of corn, engineered to kill the larvae of beetles, such as the corn rootworm, contains a gene copied from an insect-killing bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt. 

But even though a scientific advisory panel warned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that the threat of insects developing resistance was high, Monsanto argued that the steps necessary to prevent such an occurrence -- which would have entailed less of the corn being planted -- were an unnecessary precaution, and the EPA naively agreed.

According to a recent NPR report:

"The scientists who called for caution now are saying 'I told you so,' because there are signs that a new strain of resistant rootworms is emerging...[A] committee of experts at the EPA is now recommending that biotech companies put into action, for the first time, a 'remedial action plan' aimed at stopping the spread of such resistant insects ...

The EPA's experts also are suggesting that the agency reconsider its approval of a new kind of rootworm-killing corn, which Monsanto calls SmartStax. This new version of Bt corn includes two different Bt genes that are supposed to kill the rootworm in different ways. This should help prevent resistance from emerging, and ...

Published: Sunday 27 May 2012
“There are differences, of course. Unlike big companies, small-scale women farmers do not grab millions of acres of land for monoculture plantations that destroy local biodiversity.”

This past weekend, President Obama hid out from protesters at Camp David. He was hosting the leaders of the world’s eight wealthiest economies, known as the G8. As they readied to meet, on Friday, Obama put forward his New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition.

This occasion gave Rajiv Shah, the administrator of the US Agency for International Development, the chance to make an astonishing statement:

“We are never going to end hunger in Africa without private investment. There are things that only companies can do, like building silos for storage and developing seeds and fertilizers.”

That’s news to millions of women farmers in Africa. Their harvests feed their families and generate income that sustains local economies. For generations, they have been doing just those things: storing their harvests, protecting and developing seeds, using natural fertilizers.

Smallholder women farmers save and exchange seeds that help keep local crops viable. They demonstrate how to adapt to climate change by adjusting planting cycles, experimenting with new drought-resistant crops and more. They produce crucial food supplies using the small-scale, organic methods that are increasingly recognized as vital to the health of the planet—and everyone who lives on it.

There are differences, of course. Unlike big companies, small-scale women farmers do not grab millions of acres of land for monoculture plantations that destroy local biodiversity. They do not develop the terminator seeds that hold farmers hostage to the seed patent rights of corporations. They are not the inventors of chemical fertilizers that worsen climate change.

Those honors belong to the very companies that President Obama is inviting to oversee Africa’s food security. We know that their primary goal is not anybody’s food security but their own bottom line. That’s why it’s governments, and not corporations like Monsanto, ...

Published: Thursday 24 May 2012
“It appears the reason for the unprecedented move to maintain Monsanto’s deeply-rooted foothold in France has to do with the fact that the United States and other nations are continually pushing Monsanto’s agenda — even going as far as to threaten military-styled trade wars to those who oppose the company.”

Just after France legislators and officials moved to ban Monsanto’s genetically modified strain of GMO maize over environmental and health concerns, the European Union has decided to step in and re-secure Monsanto’s presence in the country — against the very will of the nation itself. This should come as no surprise when considering the fact that the United States ambassador to France, a business partner to George W. Bush, stated back in 2007 that nations who did not accept Monsanto’s GMO crops will be ‘penalized’. In fact, ambassador Craig Stapleton went as far as to say that the nations should be threatened with military-styled trade wars.

That’s right, it appears the reason for the unprecedented move to maintain Monsanto’s deeply-rooted foothold in France has to do with the fact that the United States and other nations are continually pushing Monsanto’s agenda — even going as far as to threaten military-styled trade wars to those who oppose the company. Monsanto has major connections with political heads that have actually threatened trade wars against nations opposed to GMOs on record. As I reported back in January, WikiLeaks cables surfaced revealing startling information concerning Monsanto’s deep involvement with back-end politics.

One of the most telling details involves a statement made by Craig Stapleton, in which he said:

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Published: Wednesday 23 May 2012
“The proposed modifications promote a privatizing model that uses patents and “Plant Breeders’ Rights” (PBR) to deprive farmers of the labor of centuries in developing seed.”

Progressive small farmer organizations in Mexico scored a victory over transnational corporations that seek to monopolize seed and food patents. When the corporations pushed their bill to modify the Federal Law on Plant Varieties through the Committee on Agriculture and Livestock of the Mexican Chamber of Deputies on March 14, organizations of farmers from across the country sounded the alarm. By organizing quickly, they joined together to pressure legislators and achieved an agreement with the legislative committee to remove the bill from the floor.

What’s at stake is free and open access to plant biodiversity in agriculture. The proposed modifications promote a privatizing model that uses patents and “Plant Breeders’ Rights” (PBR) to deprive farmers of the labor of centuries in developing seed. The small farmers who worked to create this foundation of modern agriculture never charged royalties for its use.

Although the current law, in effect since 1996, pays little heed to the rights of small farmers, the new law would be far worse. Present law tends to benefit private-sector plant breeders, allowing monopolies to obtain exclusive profits from the sale of seeds and other plant material for up to 15 years, or 18 in the case of perennial ornamental, forest, or orchard plants–even when the plants they used to develop the new varieties are in the public domain.

The legislative reform would extend exclusive rights from the sale of reproductive material to 25 years. Further, it seeks to restrict the rights of farmers to store or use for their own consumption any part of the harvest obtained from seeds or breeding material purchased from holders of PBRs.

The proposed law would also include genetically modified organisms (GMOs) among the plant varieties covered, converging with the so-called Monsanto Law (Law of Biosecurity and Genetically Modified Organisms). This is an absurd inclusion, since GMOs are created ...

Published: Monday 21 May 2012
“The super resistant weeds threaten not only independent family farmers and major agricultural businesses alike, but also the future of food production.”

What happens when Monsanto’s modified creations get out of hand and threaten the biosphere with mutated ‘super weeds’ that continue to suffocate farmland across the entire planet? Experts call upon farmers and government officials to return to traditional sustainable farming practices — the kind without Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. It was recently reported by the media (despite them always being quite, and NaturalSociety and others reporting on this extensively back in 2011) that a “fast-spreading plague” of the super weeds is spreading and they will not be stopped easily.

The super resistant weeds threaten not only independent family farmers and major agricultural businesses alike, but also the future of food production. Experts are now calling for a radical change in farming practices, with time-tested traditional methods being the ultimate goal. In addition, weed scientists seek to hold a ‘summit’ or panel of sorts to address the issue in Washington. As a leading task force member who is working with the USDA on the issue stated, this is a bi-product of rampant biotechnology that must be remedied by returning to traditional norms.

“We ...

Published: Wednesday 16 May 2012
As Reuters reports, the food and beverage industry has been relentless in Washington lately, more than doubling their spending in Washington during the past three years, completely outpacing public interest groups looking out for children’s health.

Nearly half of all Americans will be obese by 2030, researchers reported at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Weight of the Nation conference in Washington earlier this month. 42 percent of us are projected to be obese, placing a huge strain on our already compromised health care system. Brian Fung at The Atlantic points out that the healthcare costs of obesity — $550 billion over the next two decades — is more than the U.S. Department of Defense asked for in its fiscal year 2013 budget.

There are a lot of reasons — chemical, psychological, environmental — for why people are obese. But explaining societal obesity means looking at what the food system is providing for us to eat — and how government policies might promote certain foods over others.

“In the political arena, one side is winning the war on child obesity,” a new Reuters report on the food lobby begins. “The side with the fattest wallets.”

That’s entirely true. As Reuters reports, the food and beverage industry has been relentless in Washington lately, more than doubling their spending in Washington during the past three years, completely outpacing public interest groups looking out for children’s health:

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, widely regarded as the lead lobbying force for healthier food, spent about $70,000 lobbying last year — roughly what those opposing the stricter guidelines spent every 13 hours, ...

Published: Wednesday 16 May 2012
“Critics of genetically modified foods have won a victory in California by securing enough signatures to place a referendum on the November ballot that could force food manufacturers to label food products containing genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.”

Critics of genetically modified foods have won a victory in California by securing enough signatures to place a referendum on the November ballot that could force food manufacturers to label food products containing genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. Numerous items are already sold in grocery stores containing genetically modified corn and soy, but companies do not currently have to inform consumers. We speak to David Bronner, president of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, about GMOs, fair trade, the U.S. war on hemp, and the company’s support of Palestinian olive oil producers.

Transcript:

AMY GOODMAN: Critics of genetically modified foods have won a victory in California by securing enough signatures to place a referendum on next November’s ballot that would force food manufacturers to label products containing GMOs. Nearly one million people signed petitions, nearly double the amount needed. If California voters pass the referendum, it could affect industry labeling practices across the country. Numerous items are already sold in grocery stores containing genetically modified corn and soy, but companies do not currently have to inform consumers.

We’re joined here in studio by a leading supporter of the "Right to Know" effort, David Bronner. He’s president of ...

Published: Tuesday 15 May 2012
“New documents reveal that Monsanto’s genetically modified crops may have actually been planted before USDA approval in 2005.”

New documents reveal, now unleashed worldwide to millions of listeners and viewers on The Alex Jones Show with Mike Adams of NaturalNews, that Monsanto’s genetically modified crops may have actually been planted before USDA approval in 2005. In this exclusive interview, Mike and Anthony discuss the new findings and their implications on giant agriculture and the food industry as a whole.

The letter, sourced from Cal/West Seeds company provides direct evidence that contamination was withheld, and the USDA turned a blind eye to proof of contamination in 2005 despite being completely informed of the startling information.

The letter directly states to the USDA:

We first discovered the unintended presence of the Roundup Ready gene in our conventional alfalfa seeds in ...

Published: Sunday 13 May 2012
“January 2011, WFM endorsed “conditional” deregulation of GMO alfalfa, stating on their blog that they support coexistence though they “continue to have reservations about GE [genetically engineered] crops.”

Even in a city full of people working for Monsanto, virtually everyone wants labels on food with genetically modified organisms (GMOs).  And that could mean trouble for Whole Foods Market (WFM).  This is what is suggested in a survey released May 10, 2012 by the Gateway Green Alliance and Safe Food Action St. Louis.


Genetic modification (GM) consists of modifying the genetic structure of an organism by inserting a gene or altering an existing gene.  The result is a genetically modified organism (GMO).  GMOs are now used extensively in food.
WFM placed itself in the center of a dispute concerning GMOs in food when it significantly changed its position.  WFM had previously opposed the USDA's (US Department of Agriculture) deregulation of GMO alfalfa, which would allow it to be planted anywhere.  But, in January 2011, WFM endorsed "conditional" deregulation of GMO alfalfa, stating on their blog that they support coexistence though they "continue to have reservations about GE [genetically engineered] crops." 


"Coexistence," however, means accepting the planting of this GMO crop and the repercussions that come from it.  It seemed that WFM had abandoned efforts to keep GMOs out of food. 


Since it was first introduced, the process of putting GMOs into food has been controversial.  Critics have documented an extensive list of harmful effects of GMOs, including decreased nutritional value of food, toxic substances in food, allergens, increased antibiotic resistance, and increased reliance on factory farms.


Safe food activists have two reactions to the dispute surrounding the unknown dangers of GMOs in food.  Many say that GMOs should be banned from food because we do not know the true health and environmental consequences.  A second response is that food-containing GMOs should be clearly labeled so that consumers can make ...

Published: Wednesday 9 May 2012
“The corporation and the feds claim that 2,4-D was not the deadliest ingredient of the killer defoliant and has not yet been proven to cause cancer in humans, so they’re pressing ahead to let this corporate-constructed seed be planted across America”

Thanks to the blessings of nature and good farmers, you and I can enjoy such scrumptious delights as fresh corn-on-the-cob, popcorn and many other variations of this truly great grain. And now, thanks to Dow Chemical and federal regulators, we can look forward to "Agent Orange Corn." The chemical giant is in line to gain approval for putting a genetically altered corn seed on the market that will produce corn plants that won't die when doused with high levels of 2,4-D.

This potent pesticide was an ingredient in Dow's notorious Agent Orange defoliant, which did such extensive and horrific damage to soldiers and civilians in the Vietnam War. However, the corporation and the feds claim that 2,4-D was not the deadliest ingredient of the killer defoliant and has not yet been proven to cause cancer in humans, so they're pressing ahead to let this corporate-constructed seed be planted across America.

Dow now sells 2,4-D to help kill various weeds, but the herbicide is so strong that it also kills nature's own version of corn plants. Thus, Dow's genetic engineers went into the corporate lab and manufactured a new corn that's immune to the weed-killer. This would let the chemical maker profit from selling the patented seed, plus enjoying a huge increase in sales of its 2,4-D herbicide. How happy for Dow! Not so happy, though, for consumers worried about the untested long-term health consequences of the altered corn and the carcinogenic possibilities of ingesting more 2,4- D. Also, when sprayed, this herbicide can vaporize and spread for miles, killing crops that are not immune, poisoning the surrounding environment, and endangering the health of farmers and townspeople throughout the area.

Dow is hardly alone in pursuing its happiness at the expense of others. Indeed, rather than finding ways to cooperate with the natural world, America's agribusiness giants generally reach for the quick, high-tech fix in a ...

Published: Wednesday 2 May 2012
“The USDA may have turned a blind eye to the entire situation, allowing widespread GMO contamination of GMO-free crops.”

Did Monsanto actually plant genetically modified alfalfa before it was deregulated by the USDA? There is some shocking evidence that, until recently, was withheld from the public showing that Monsanto’s genetically altered alfalfa may have been set free in 2003 — a full two years or more before it was deregulated in 2005. In a letter, obtained by NaturalSociety with permission to post for public viewing, it becomes clear that the USDA may have turned a blind eye to the entire situation, allowing widespread GMO contamination of GMO-free crops.

Amazingly, the letter actually proves that the USDA was fully aware of the situation. In order to fully understand the intricate details of this event, it is first important to understand a few key factors regarding alfalfa and its connection to the entire food supply.

Alfalfa is a perennial plant that grows for more than 2 years and may not need to be replanted each year like annuals. Because it is a perennial plant, it is exceptionally vulnerable to contamination. Interestingly, the modified alfalfa — created by Monsanto in partner with a group known as Forage Genetics — was the first perennial plant to be deregulated for open planting by the USDA. But did Monsanto unleash the plant before this occurred?

This is very serious because it is only a matter of time before alfalfa across America could be corrupted with Monsanto’s patented genetically modified trait. Organic meat and dairy could be tainted when animals are fed the modified alfalfa as well, threatening the very integrity of the organic food supply. What’s more, the contamination of natural alfalfa could be nearly impossible — if not entirely impossible — to remedy, so it could actually fracture the genetic stability of the entire crop on a global scale.

Shocking Letter Reveals Monsanto’s Contamination Dates Back 2 Years Before ...

Published: Saturday 28 April 2012
Sofia Gatica believes her daughter’s death is linked to Monsanto’s genetically modified soy fields that surrounded her neighborhood so she is taking them on, but not alone.

After experiencing the traumatizing death of her daughter to kidney failure just three days after her daughter was born, Sofia Gatica from Argentina became determined to find out what killed her daughter. Her conclusion? Monsanto’s genetically modified soy fields that surrounded her neighborhood, laced with damaging insecticides negatively affecting nearby neighborhood children and adults alike. Gatica began to detail how her small town was plagued with astronomically high birth defect rates, respiratory disease, and even infant mortality.

From this point, the courageous mother decided to take on Monsanto. Amazingly, she is not alone in her struggle against the biotechnology colossus when it comes to causing birth problems, as a large group of farmers — also from Argentina — have launched a lawsuit against Monsanto for causing ‘devastating birth defects‘ in children. Gatica was initially alone, however, when she first began her uphill battle. Forming a group of concerned mothers in her local area of Ituzaingó after hosting an event at her home to discuss her experiences, the mother would be one of the very few who has actually beat Monsanto.

After sharing her story with local mothers who were also concerned for the safety of their children and families as a ...

Published: Thursday 26 April 2012
“The Monsanto Hearings are based on a robust international tradition of peoples’ tribunals that dates back 40 years to the Russell Tribunal, which examined human rights violations by the U.S. military in Vietnam.”

On April 21, approximately 100 people came to a courtroom in Iowa City to attend a mock trial called the Monsanto Hearings, the second of five such events scheduled nationwide. The trial was modeled after a preliminary hearing, an attempt to collect stories about harm caused by agribusiness giant Monsanto and determine if further public scrutiny is warranted.

The court’s five presiding judges — including a professor, a graduate student and an organic farmer — made no pretense of impartiality. “We are under no obligation to be even-handed,” they announced early on, “because in the court of public opinion, Monsanto is not even-handed. They have money for lobbyists, advertisements, corporate-funded research and media campaigns. The influence of this hearing, by contrast, depends on the power and truth of what is said.” The court, they explained, would not be considering legal violations, but rather violations of nature, ethics and human rights.

Untraditional as it might be, the hearing had an air of formality — the judges looked smart in their black robes, and witnesses swore to the truth before testifying, some in person and some over video. The first witness was a Vietnam veteran, trembling in a Hawaiian shirt, suffering from Hepatitis C linked to exposure to Monsanto’s Agent Orange (of which an active ingredient, 2,4-D, is a common lawn pesticide today); then a small farmer whose neighbor lost acres of organic crops due to pesticides drifting on morning fog; later, a garden and soil educator who brought a wooden box of soil and worms to the witness stand.

Other witnesses included professors, farmers, scientists and local activists. Their testimonies ranged from personal to technical, from stories of the approximately 200,000 Indian farmers who, indebted after Monsanto’s cotton seed prices rose from 7 rupees to 17,000 rupees/kg, committed suicide by drinking pesticide, to ...

Published: Tuesday 24 April 2012
“The USDA has failed to require tests of how 2,4-D herbicide and Monsanto’s glyphosate herbicide interact synergistically in the environment and in humans.”

You can help to hold the USDA and Dow Chemical accountable simply by posting your comments on the official public record of Dow Chemical’s petition with the USDA to approve their 2,4-D herbicide resistant GMO crops (remember that 2,4-D herbicide is half of the recipe for Agent Orange).

The USDA is required to respond to all UNIQUE comments publicly. Therefore, it is essential that you write your own message in addition to using any of the issues listed below. It’s also important to note that comments close April 27th, so make sure to get them in today. It’s simple to do, and you can view the list of issues and links below. Simply go to the USDA website to leave your comments and take action!

Here is a list of issues concerning the new dangerous 2,4-D herbicide resistant crops and source links that we encourage you to use, along with your own message, in your comments to the USDA:

Effects on human health:

  • I am demanding a full Environmental Impact Statement on these crops because they can affect human health.
  • What are the cumulative effects for these crops and the increase in 2,4-D herbicide usage?
  • EPA documents show that 2,4-D herbicide is the seventh largest source of dioxin in the US.

Pollution of the environment:

  • EPA documents reveal that 2,4-D agricultural runoff has polluted groundwater across the US. Dioxin has a half-life of more than 100 years when leached into soil and embedded in water systems. Additionally, ...
Published: Monday 23 April 2012
“Over the course of a few years, mandatory buffer zones between aerial spraying and neighborhoods has been put in place thanks to the activist movement.”

After losing a 3-day old daughter to kidney failure, a woman named Sofia Gatica from Argentina made a decision to spearhead an anti-Monsanto movement with other mothers of sick children. Monsanto is a biotechnology, agrochemical company which has been polluting the environment and human health with herbicides, pesticides, genetically modified foods, and other substances for decades. Numerous cases have been brought against Monsanto for biological damage and even death — such is the recent case in which farmers say the biotech giant’s creations spawned ‘devastating birth defects‘.

Near where Gatica lives, there are soybean fields covering the land where farmers spray loads of chemicals on the crops. The primary weed killer used on the fields is the one and only Roundup, the most popular herbicide used by farmers which contains the active ingredient glyphosate. Gatica didn’t initially connect the chemical exposure to her baby’s death until she noticed that many of her friends and neighbors were also experiencing health problems.

“I started seeing children with mouth covers, mothers with scarves wrapped around their heads to cover their baldness, due to chemotherapy…There are soybeans to the north, to the south, and to the east, and when they spray, they spray over the people because there’s no distance,” Gatica said to a Grist reporter.

In fact, researchers found that people in her area had three to four agricultural chemicals in their blood, including ...

Published: Saturday 21 April 2012
“Vermonters, not known for backing down from a fight, are challenging legislators to take on the biotech industry. They’re even offering to raise money for the state’s defense.”

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin has less than two weeks to either stand with the 90 percent of his constituents who support a mandatory labeling bill for genetically engineered foods -- or cave in to Monsanto's threat to sue the state if legislators pass H.722.

If the Governor's words this past week are any indication, he's already surrendered to Monsanto. But Vermonters, not known for backing down from a fight, are challenging legislators to take on the biotech industry. They're even offering to raise money for the state's defense.

Last week thousands of Vermonters flooded the Governor's office with petitions, phone calls and emails, to make the case for GMO labeling of all food sold in Vermont and to demand a vote on the bill. Under Vermont's constitution, the Governor can extend the state's legislative session indefinitely, ultimately forcing a vote on the bill. If he doesn't extend the session, or urge legislators to vote on the bill, it will die in committee.

But while supporters were emailing and phoning and signing, Governor Shumlin was sending out a canned response to the thousands of supporters who emailed his office. In the Governor's own words:

Dear Friend,

Thank you for contacting me about labeling genetically modified foods. I agree with those who advocate for clear labeling of genetically modified foods. GMO labeling makes sense and would give Vermonters key information about their food choices. However, we know from attempts to pass similar legislation in the past that such a requirement would not stand up to federal legal scrutiny. I don't think it is fair to ask Vermonters to bear the burden of the cost of those legal challenges...

On April 12, in the hope once again of forcing a vote, more than 300 people packed the Vermont statehouse for public testimony on H.722, with more than one hundred of them testifying -- every single one in favor -- of passing the bill. ...

Published: Thursday 19 April 2012
“Owning a major organization that focuses heavily on the bee collapse and is recognized by the USDA for their mission statement of ‘restoring bee health and protecting the future of insect pollination’ could be very advantageous for Monsanto.”

Monsanto, the massive biotechnology company being blamed for contributing to the dwindling bee population, has bought up one of the leading bee collapse research organizations. Recently banned from Poland with one of the primary reasons being that the company’s genetically modified corn may be devastating the dying bee population, it is evident that Monsanto is under serious fire for their role in the downfall of the vital insects. It is therefore quite apparent why Monsanto bought one of the largest bee research firms on the planet.

It can be found in public company reports hosted on mainstream media that Monsanto scooped up the Beeologics firm back in September 2011. During this time the correlation between Monsanto’s GM crops and the bee decline was not explored in the mainstream, and in fact it was hardly touched upon until Polish officials addressed the serious concern amid the monumental ban. Owning a major organization that focuses heavily on the bee collapse and is recognized by the USDA for their mission statement of “restoring bee health and protecting the future of insect pollination” could be very advantageous for Monsanto.

In fact, Beelogics’ company information states that the primary goal of the firm is to study the very collapse disorder that is thought to be a result — at least in part — of Monsanto’s own creations. Their website states:

While its primary goal is to control the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) ...

Published: Wednesday 18 April 2012
“Companies, brokers and billionaires are buying up groundwater rights and aquifers. Groundwater is necessary for agriculture and more water is needed to meet a growing demand for food.”

Four dollars for a gallon of gas is ridiculous enough, but $4 for a gallon of water could someday became a reality, that is if oil tycoons like T. Boone Pickens and water bottling companies have their way. Privatization of water in which companies control the public's water sources and free water is a thing of the past appears to be what Pickens and corporations such as Monsanto, Royal Dutch Shell, and Nestle are banking on to increase their vast fortunes.

 

Companies, brokers and billionaires are buying up groundwater rights and aquifers. Groundwater is necessary for agriculture and more water is needed to meet a growing demand for food. Many countries have already over-pumped their groundwater to feed increasing local populations. Combine this with climate changes and an ever-increasing strain on water resources due to a rapidly growing world population and you have got a future where water is called "blue gold" because of its scarcity and high cost.

 

Bleak future

The Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development estimates that half the world's population will reside in areas with significant water stress by 2030. According to a government report entitled Global Water Security, the demand for water will be 40 percent above sustainable water supplies with needs around 6,900 billion cubic meters due to population growth. By 2025, the world's population will likely exceed 8 billion people.

 

Private corporations already own 5 percent of the world's fresh water. Australia is an excellent example of a country already suffering from multiple water droughts. Farmers are selling water rights to brokers, unaware of the long-term effects.

 

The United States is by no means immune to these plots. Royal Dutch Shell owns groundwater rights in Colorado and oil tycoon Pickens is buying up all he can in Texas. He owns more water than any other ...

Published: Sunday 15 April 2012
Monsanto agreed to pay up to $93 million in a class-action lawsuit brought by the residents of Nitro, West Virginia, for dioxin exposure from accidents and pollution at an herbicide plant that operated in their town from 1929 to 2004.

2,4-D and the dioxin pollution it creates are too dangerous to allow, period, but in the hands of bad actors like Monsanto and Dow Chemical the dangers increase exponentially. What's the Environmental Protection Agency doing? Helping cover-up the chemical companies' crimes!


In February, Monsanto agreed to pay up to $93 million in a class-action lawsuit brought by the residents of Nitro, West Virginia, for dioxin exposure from accidents and pollution at an herbicide plant that operated in their town from 1929 to 2004. 

That may seem like justice, but it is actually the result of Monsanto's extraordinary efforts to hide the truth, evade criminal prosecution and avoid legal responsibility. 

A brief criminal fraud investigation conducted (and quickly aborted) by the EPA revealed that Monsanto used a disaster at their Nitro, WV, plant to manufacture "evidence" that dioxin exposure produced a skin condition called chloracne, but was not responsible for neurological health effects or cancers such as Non-Hodgkins lymphoma. 

These conclusions were repeatedly utilized by EPA and the Veterans Administration to deny help to citizens exposed to dioxin, if these persons did not exhibit chloracne.

The EPA knew the truth about Monsanto's dioxin crimes, but it decided to hide it. Why? It would have affected us all. EPA's brief criminal investigation of Monsanto included evidence that Monsanto knowingly contaminated Lysol with dioxin, even as the product was being marketed for cleaning babies' toys.

Here are the details of this jaw-dropping and ...

Published: Friday 13 April 2012
This November, in a food fight that will largely determine the future of what we eat and what we grow, Monsanto will face its greatest challenge to date: a statewide citizens’ ballot initiative that will give Californians the opportunity to vote for their right to know whether the food they buy is contaminated with GMOs.

For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture, aided and abetted by indentured politicians and regulatory agencies, supermarket chains, giant food processors, and the so-called “natural” products industry.

Finally, public opinion around the biotech industry’s contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We’re fighting back.

This November, in a food fight that will largely determine the future of what we eat and what we grow, Monsanto will face its greatest challenge to date: a statewide citizens’ ballot initiative that will give Californians the opportunity to vote for their right to know whether the food they buy is contaminated with GMOs.

A growing corps of food, health, and environmental activists - supported by the Millions against Monsanto and Occupy Monsanto Movements, and consumers and farmers across the nation - are boldly moving to implement mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods in California through a grassroots-powered citizens ballot initiative process that will bypass the agribusiness-dominated state legislature.  If passed, the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act will require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods and food ingredients, and outlaw the routine industry practice of labeling GMO-tainted foods as “natural.”

Passage of this initiative on November 6 will radically alter the balance of power in the marketplace, enabling millions of consumers to identify - and boycott - genetically engineered foods for the first time since 1994, when Monsanto’s first unlabeled, genetically-engineered dairy drug, recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH), was forced on the market, 

As Alexis Baden-Mayer, Political Director ...

Published: Wednesday 11 April 2012
“The family farmers say that major tobacco companies like the Philip Morris company asked them to use Monsanto’s herbicides and pesticides, assuring them that the products were safe.”

In a developing news piece just unleashed by a courthouse news wire, Monsanto is being brought to court by dozens of Argentinean tobacco farmers who say that the biotech giant knowingly poisoned them with herbicides and pesticides and subsequently caused ”devastating birth defects” in their children. The farmers are now suing not only Monsanto on behalf of their children, but many big tobacco giants as well. The birth defects that the farmers say occurred as a result are many, and include cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, psychomotor retardation, missing fingers, and blindness.

The farmers come from small family-owned farms in Misiones Province and sell their tobacco to many United States distributors. The family farmers say that major tobacco companies like the Philip Morris company asked them to use Monsanto’s herbicides and pesticides, assuring them that the products were safe. Through asserting that the toxic chemicals were safe, the farmers state in their claim that the tobacco companies ”wrongfully caused the parental and infant plaintiffs to be exposed to those chemicals and substances which they both knew, or should have known, would cause the infant offspring of the parental plaintiffs to be born with devastating birth defects.”

 

The majority of the farmers in the area used Monsanto’s Roundup, an herbicide with the active ingredient glyphosate that has shown to be killing human kidney cells. What’s more, the farmers say that the tobacco companies pushed Monsanto’s Roundup on the farmers despite a lack of ...

Published: Monday 9 April 2012
“It is currently forbidden by the agency itself for any producer to distribute or sell cloned meat.”

It may come as a surprise, but you may be consuming cloned meat on a regular basis. In fact, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (head of the USDA) says that he has no idea whether or not cloned meat has been sold inside the United States — or even how much. But instead of investigating or setting up parameters, the USDA asserts that it is safe in their view so there is no cause for alarm. It is currently forbidden by the agency itself for any producer to distribute or sell cloned meat.

The news came back in August of 2010, when U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack went on record saying that he really doesn’t know whether or not cloned meat is being put on dinner tables nationwide. The announcement was made after the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency told consumers that meat from descendants of cloned animals had already entered the food supply. Of course the agency made the statements a year after the cloned products leaked into the food chain. Still, just like the USDA, the UK’s FSA stated that they believe cloned meat poses no risk, so citizens should not panic. The reason? They say that cloned meat has ‘ no substantial difference’ to traditional meat, and therefore it is safe.

The statements echo those of Monsanto, whose genetically modified creations have been linked to everything from organ damage to toxicity-induced cell death.

Here’s what Tom Vilsack’s response is to whether or not cloned meat is being ...

Published: Saturday 7 April 2012
Monsanto’s Roundup Ignites Morphological Changes in Amphibians.

Monsanto’s Roundup, which is the most popular herbicide used today, has been found to ignite morphological changes in amphibians. The research, conducted using tadpoles, found that environmentally relevant concentrations of Roundup are enough to cause two species of amphibians to actually change shape. This is the first research to show that herbicides can have such an affect on animals.
 

Setting up outdoor tanks closely resembling the environment of natural wetlands, study researcher Rick Relyea, University of Pittsburgh professor of biological sciences in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and director of Pitt’s Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology, added 3 tadpoles to each tank and exposed them to a range of Roundup concentrations over a 3 week period. The cages also contained large predators, which naturally cause changes in tadpole morphology. These natural changes include a larger tail, due to chemical emissions.
 

While it wasn’t surprising to see morphological changes take part due to the naturally emitted chemicals from predators, it was rather shocking to find out that Roundup had the same effects — causing the tails of the tadpoles to grow in size. What’s more, the combination of the naturally emitted chemicals and Roundup caused the tadpoles’ tails to grow twice as large. Seeing as tadpoles alter body shape in order to properly survive in its environment, the forced changes from herbicides like Roundup can put the animals at a disadvantage.

“This discovery highlights the fact that pesticides, which are important for crop production and human health, can have unintended consequences for species that are ...

Published: Friday 6 April 2012
The popular legislative bill requiring mandatory labels on genetically engineered food (H-722) is languishing in the Vermont House Agriculture Committee, with only four weeks left until the legislature adjourns for the year.

The world’s most hated corporation is at it again, this time in Vermont.

Despite overwhelming public support and support from a clear majority of Vermont’s Agriculture Committee, Vermont legislators are dragging their feet on a proposed GMO labeling bill. Why? Because Monsanto has threatened to sue the state if the bill passes.

The popular legislative bill requiring mandatory labels on genetically engineered food (H-722) is languishing in the Vermont House Agriculture Committee, with only four weeks left until the legislature adjourns for the year. Despite thousands of emails and calls from constituents who overwhelmingly support mandatory labeling, despite the fact that a majority (6 to 5) of Agriculture Committee members support passage of the measure, Vermont legislators are holding up the labeling bill and refusing to take a vote.

Instead, they’re calling for more public hearings on April 12, in the apparent hope that they can run out the clock until the legislative session ends in early May.

What happened to the formerly staunch legislative champions of Vermont’s “right to know” bill? They lost their nerve and abandoned their principles after Monsanto representative recently threatened a public official that the biotech giant would sue Vermont if they dared to pass the bill. Several legislators have rather unconvincingly argued that the Vermont public has a “low appetite” for any bills, even very popular bills like this one, that might end up in court. Others expressed concern about Vermont being the first state to pass a mandatory GMO labeling bill and then having to “go it alone” against Monsanto in court.

What it really comes down to this: Elected officials are abandoning the public interest and public will in the face of corporate intimidation.

Monsanto has used lawsuits ...

Published: Friday 6 April 2012
“Nations are continually taking a stand against Monsanto, with nations like Hungary destroying 1000 acres of GM maize and India slamming Monsanto with ‘biopiracy‘ charges.”

Following the anti-Monsanto activism launched by nations like France and Hungary, Poland has announced that it will launch a complete ban on growing Monsanto’s genetically modified strain MON810. The announcement, made by Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki, sets yet another international standard against Monsanto’s genetically modified creations. In addition to being linked to a plethora health ailments, Sawicki says that the pollen originating from this GM strain may actually be devastating the already dwindling bee population.

“The decree is in the works. It introduces a complete ban on the MON810 strain of maize in Poland,” Sawicki stated to the press.

Similar opposition to Monsanto occurred on March 9th, when 7 European countries blocked a proposal by the Danish EU presidency which would permit the cultivation of genetically modified plants on the entire continent. It was France, who in February, lead the charge against GMOs by asking the European Commission to suspend authorization to Monsanto’s genetically modified corn. What’s more, the country settled a landmark case in favor of the people over Monsanto, finding the biotech giant guilty of chemical poisoning.

In a ruling given by a court in Lyon (southeast France), grain grower Paul Francois stated that Monsanto failed to provide proper warnings on the Lasso weedkiller product label which resulted in neurological problems such as memory loss and headaches. The court ordered an expert opinion to determine the sum of the damages, and to verify the link between Lasso and the reported illnesses. The result was a guilty charge, ...

Published: Thursday 5 April 2012
“Many families are now ruined thanks to the mass suicides, and are left to economic ruin and must struggle to fight off starvation.”

In what has been called the single largest wave of recorded suicides in human history, Indian farmers are now killing themselves in record numbers. It has been extensively reported, even in mainstream news, but nothing has been done about the issue. The cause? Monsanto’s cost-inflated and ineffective seeds have been driving farmers to suicide, and is considered to be one of the largest — if not the largest — cause of the quarter of a million farmer suicides over the past 16 years.

According to the most recent figures (provided by the New York University School of Law), 17,638 Indian farmers committed suicide in 2009 — about one death every 30 minutes. In 2008, the Daily Mail labeled the continual and disturbing suicide spree as ‘The GM (genetically modified) Genocide’. Due to failing harvests and inflated prices that bankrupt the poor farmers, struggling Indian farmers began to kill themselves. Oftentimes, they would commit the act by drinking the very same insecticide that Monsanto supplied them with — a gruesome testament to the extent in which Monsanto has wrecked the lives of independent and traditional farmers.



To further add backing to the tragedy, the rate of Indian farmer suicides massively increased since the introduction of Monsanto’s Bt cotton in ...

Published: Monday 2 April 2012
“Statistics show how GMO crops and ingredients have skyrocketed in even the past few years.”

Obviously there is no room for GMOs in truly healthy food products, which is why it is truly vital that you understand the nature of GMOs and how they are oftentimes hidden in commercial food products. It may very well shock you to know just how prevalent GMOs are within the food supply. It’s truly amazing that modified products continue to go unlabeled despite being linked to organ damage — among a barrage of other conditions — in a prominent review of 19 studies.

In fact, nearly 93-95% of US soybeans are genetically modified in order to resist powerful weed-killers that were found to be killing the actual soybeans as well as the weeds. Following current trends, genetically modified food products will makeup the majority of the future food supply if a change is not made. For now, that change has been shot down by the FDA — the very organization tasked to defend public health. Just recently, the agency deleted around 1 million signatures from the GMO labeling campaign ‘Just Label It.’

This move means that consumers will continue to stay in the dark about whether or not what they’re eating is compromised of genetically modified ingredients. And it’s not just corn and soybeans, other commonly modified food staples include:

  • Corn
  • Cotton
  • Soy
  • Sweet corn
  • Hawaiian Papaya
  • Rice
  • Potatoes

Statistics show how GMO crops and ingredients have skyrocketed in even the past few years. Here are

Published: Sunday 1 April 2012
Last November, French authorities lifted a longtime ban that prohibited French farmers from planting MON810, a move that spurred nationwide backlash and protest.

On the heels of ongoing, massive protests against genetically modified organisms (GMOs), French agricultural officials have announced that plantings of Monsanto's MON810 GM corn, which contains built-in Bt toxin, will no longer be permitted within France. Reports explain that the moratorium is only temporary, but since there is no indication that opposition to the "Frankencorn" will cease anytime soon, the ban could last indefinitely.


Last November, French authorities lifted a longtime ban that prohibited French farmers from planting MON810, a move that spurred nationwide backlash and protest. But less than six months later, the voices of the people have spoken so loudly that the ban has now been reinstated as a "precautionary measure" in order to "protect the environment."


"Due to the proximity of the planting season [authorities have] decided to take a precautionary measure to temporarily prohibit the cultivation of maize MON810 on the national territory to protect the environment," said a press release issued by French Agricultural Minister Bruno Le Maire and Minister for Ecology and Sustainable Development Francois Fillon.


Back in 2010, Germany also banned Monsanto's MON810 for the same environmental and health reasons. And Austria, Hungary, and Luxembourg, and of course France have all individually banned MON810 as well, despite the fact that the European Union approved its cultivation within EU borders back in 1998 (http://www.naturalnews.com/030733_Germany_GMOs.html).


In the United States, however, MON810 is widely planted, even though its effectiveness in resisting the Western rootworm beetle has waned significantly over the years. According to reports, the Western rootworm beetle has already developed complete resistance to MON810 in at least eleven U.S. states, and the problem is ...

Published: Friday 30 March 2012
“Although harm caused by glyphosate and Roundup is thought to be experienced only by those spraying the herbicide, Roundup may actually causing harm to millions of people.”

There is a reason that masks are worn while applying herbicides and warning signs are erected upon recently sprayed land plots — herbicide exposure is known to cause serious health complications. New research has recently been released showing that glyphosate, the main active ingredient found in Monsanto’s Roundup Ultra Max, is causing both DNA and cellular damage to cells found in the mouth and throat. Seeing as the inhalation of herbicides and ingredients like glyphosate is very common, this research alone is enough to raise concern over the safety of such substances which are used on a major scale.
 


The Institute of Science in Society reports:

…Monsanto’s formulated version of glyphosate called Roundup Ultra Max caused cellular damage and DNA damage including chromosomal abnormalities and ultimately killed the cells at higher concentrations. Importantly, DNA damage occurred at concentrations below those required to induce cell damage, suggesting that the DNA damage was caused directly by glyphosate instead of being an indirect result of cell toxicity.

The research comes shortly after Monsanto’s all-to-popular Roundup has been shown to be killing off human kidney cells – even at low doses. Scientists demonstrated in the research that Monsanto’s ‘biopesticide’ Bt, in addition to Roundup, cause direct toxicity to human cells. They found that at only 100 parts per million (ppm), the biopesticide led to cell death, while it only took 57.2ppm of Roundup to kill half of the cell population ...

Published: Friday 30 March 2012
Monsanto effectively owns most US diplomats, and is currently using this political capital to start “Trade Wars” against nations opposed to Monsanto’s destructive policies.

 

The multinational biotech giant Monsanto is the world’s leading producer of genetically modified seeds and crops, responsible for 90 percent of the genetically engineered seed on the United States market.  Researchers found that consumption of GMO corn or soybeans may lead to significant organ disruptions in rats and mice-particularly in the liver and kidneys.

 

Monsanto, the company that brought the world Agent Orange, is also the creator of the best-selling herbicide Roundup, which has spawned over 120 million hectares of herbicide-resistant super weeds while damaging massive amounts of soil.

 

Monsanto has created several varieties of “superbugs”.  Monsanto engineered genetically modified crops containing Bt, a toxin incorporated in GMO crops which has spawned insect populations which are resistant to bio pesticide.  Insect populations have and are mutating to resist the bio pesticide.  So far, at least 8 insect populations have developed resistance, with 2 populations resistant to Bt sprays and at least 6 species resistant to Bt crop as a whole.  Farmers are therefore forced to use even more pesticides to combat the resistant bugs.

 

Monsanto may be destroying the planet’s soil.  Certain bacteria essential as “food starters” such as L cremoris, used in raw and fermented dairy products have begun to disappear in certain geographic regions.  The case has been found to be an element of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, glyphosate that is destroying and/or altering the microbial biodiversity of the soil, jeopardizing the fertility of the entire biosphere.

 

Monsanto has been caught running “slave-like” rings, holding off pay, and forcing undocumented workers to buy their food only from the Monsanto company store.  The company not only “hired” all of the workers illegally, but ...

Published: Wednesday 28 March 2012
“If the UN World Bank was truly a benevolent organization, the focus for the Third World would be on support for independent farming, clean water and food.”

Obama nominated Dartmouth University president Jim Yong Kim, M.D. to head the United Nations World Bank. Most people think that UN agencies benefit poor people, but this is far from the truth.

The UN World Bank claims to fight poverty in developing nations by financing infrastructure projects. But the UN World Bank is really a tool used to acquire Third World natural resources through conditions on loans that are extremely difficult to repay. The raw resources are then privatized by insider multi-national corporations. The World Bank actually creates more poverty.

The nomination of Jim Yong Kim indicates that the World Bank may shift away from focusing on infrastructure and will instead turn toward providing health care in Third World countries. Jim Yong Kim’s areas of interest include vaccines for tuberculosis as well as drugs for HIV and AIDS.

Kim brokered a deal with Big Pharma and the UN World Health Organization for expanding the pharmaceutical drug market to a larger populace in exchange for lower drug prices for second-line tuberculosis drugs. Second-line drugs are used when basic treatment fails because of drug resistance. Drug resistance similar to the new ‘resistant White Plague‘ brought about by big pharma’s drugs. Many in the medical community believed it would be dangerous to distribute second-line drugs widely. Kim is also responsible for pushing HIV/AIDS retroviral drugs in developing nations.

HIV/AIDS

Published: Tuesday 27 March 2012
“The claims made in a book from the biotechnology industry are laughable. But these blatant lies are passed off as ‘science’ for schoolchildren.”

It's not enough that the biotech industry -- led by multinational corporations such as Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta, BAS, and Dupont -- is poisoning our food and our planet. It's also poisoning young minds.

In a blatant attempt at brainwashing, the Council for Biotechnology Information (CBI) has widely circulated what it calls a Biotechnology Basics Activity Book for kids, to be used by "Agriculture and Science Teachers." The book -- called Look Closer at Biotechnology -- looks like a science workbook, but reads more like a fairy tale. Available on the council's Web site, its colorful pages are full of friendly cartoon faces, puzzles, helpful hints for teachers -- and a heavy dose of outright lies about the likely effects of genetic engineering on health, the environment, world hunger and the future of farming.

CBI's lies are designed specifically for children, and intended for use in classrooms.

At a critical time in history when our planet is veering toward a meltdown, when our youth are suffering the health consequences (obesity, diabetes, allergies) of Big Ag and Food Inc.'s over-processed, fat-and sugar-laden, chemical-, and GMO-tainted foods, a time when we should be educating tomorrow's adults about how to reverse climate change, how to create sustainable farming communities, how to promote better nutrition, the biotech industry's propagandists are infiltrating classrooms with misinformation in the guise of "educational" materials.

Brainwashing children. It's a new low, even for Monsanto.

You don't have to read beyond the first page of Look Closer at Biotechnology to realize that this is pure propaganda:

Hi Kids! Welcome to the Biotechnology Basics ...

Published: Thursday 22 March 2012
“The public is not buying the lies regarding Monsanto’s GMO crops, and as a result biotech giants are scrambling to preserve their dwindling role in our society.”

Facing direct opposition from the public, biotechnology giants like Monsanto and Dow are now making a disturbing attempt to brainwash developing minds into accepting their genetically modified foods using blatant lies and propaganda. In a last ditch effort to potentially sway public opinion, the Council for Biotechnology Information (CBI) has launched the “Biotechnology Basics Activity Book” for kids. With the intent to be used by ‘agriculture and science teachers’, the activity book spreads absurd lies about GMO crops — even going as far as to say that they ‘improve our health’ and ‘help the environment’.

The book can be seen on the organization’s website, and makes it extremely apparent that it is full of misinformation and propaganda that completely ignores scientific research surrounding genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In fact, let’s examine some claims made by this book that serves as an ‘educational’ tool to be used by teachers. The first claim by the activity book is that genetically modified seeds actually grow more food than traditional seeds, and is followed by even more ridiculous statements. The activity book reads:

“Hi Kids! Welcome to the Biotechnology Basics Activity Book. This is an activity book for young people like you about biotechnology — a really neat topic…. You will see that biotechnology is being used to figure out how to: 1) grow more food; 2) help the environment; and 3) grow more nutritious food that improves our health. As you work through the puzzles in this book, you will learn more about biotechnology and all of the wonderful ways it can help people live better ...

Published: Wednesday 21 March 2012
“If a small group can take down their office for a day from some mild protests, a few hundred thousand can take down the entire company — permanently.”

While proposed government regulation, previous legal action, and the threat of agricultural collapse does not seem to affect Monsanto’s daily operations, it appears protesters can and do. Dozens of protesters disrupted Monsanto’s California office in Davis, an area close to Sacramento, through vocal activism and calls to shut down the biotech giant with deep known ties into the United States government. Braving the rain, the dozens of protesters — not thousands — were successful in shutting down the entire office for the day.

The response to the activism presented by the protesters highlights just how powerful of a voice even just a few individuals have. If even a small group of anti-Monsanto grassroots activists can pause the entire business operations of a Monsanto corporation hub for the day, imagine what thousands or millions of concerned citizens could ...

Published: Tuesday 20 March 2012
“In accordance with the Obama Administration’s new hands-off approach to regulating GMOs, APHIS decided to actually approve MON87460 even after a cursory evaluation of the data exposed it as a complete failure.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) does not even pretend to legitimately evaluate genetically-modified organisms (GMO) before approving them anymore, having recently green-lighted approval for a new variety of "drought-resistant" GM corn produced by Monsanto that admittedly grows no better under drought conditions than natural varieties do.

 

According to the Washington Post, APHIS fast-tracked the corn, known as MON87460, without ever conducting an appropriate environmental risk analysis on the crop's efficacy, which includes determining ...

Published: Tuesday 20 March 2012
“This protest was directed at the Gates Foundation for their efforts to spread Monsanto’s dangerous GMOs throughout Africa.”

As part of the Global Day of Action to Shut Down Monsanto on Saturday, this action was co-organized by AGRA Watch/Community Alliance for Global Justice, Washington Fair Trade Coalition, Washington Biotechnology Action Council, and GMO-Free Washington.  The protest was directed at the Gates Foundation for their efforts to spread Monsanto’s dangerous GMOs throughout Africa.

Published: Monday 19 March 2012
“Braving the rain, the dozens of protesters — not thousands — were successful in shutting down the entire office for the day.”

While proposed government regulation, previous legal action, and the threat of agricultural collapse does not seem to affect Monsanto’s daily operations, it appears protesters can and do.  Dozens of protesters disrupted Monsanto’s California office in Davis, an area close to Sacramento, through vocal activism and calls to shut down the biotech giant with deep known ties into the United States government.  Braving the rain, the dozens of protesters — not thousands — were successful in shutting down the entire office for the day.

The response to the activism presented by the protesters highlights just how powerful of a voice even just a few individuals have.  If even a small group of anti-Monsanto grassroots activists can pause the entire business operations of a Monsanto corporation hub for the day, imagine what thousands or millions of concerned citizens could do.  Monsanto is afraid of public outrage, which is why they are continually trying to squash labeling initiatives that would visually demonstrate to consumers just how ubiquitous their genetically modified ingredients are throughout the food supply.  Many consumers now know and understand the negative effects of Monsanto’s creations, and oftentimes are consuming them unknowingly thanks to a lack of proper labeling guidelines.  “We were successful today in shutting down Monsanto,” said Steve Payan, the event organizer.

These developments have hit the news following two vital stories revealing the true nature of both Monsanto’s GMO crops and best-selling herbicide Roundup.  Monsanto’s ...

Published: Sunday 18 March 2012
“The experts are worried about the lack of protection presented by GMO crops against rootworms.”

A group of scientists is calling for major federal action in order to deal with the threat posed by Monsanto’s GMO crops, now petitioning the EPA to address the issue head on.  The groups of 22 academic corn experts are drawing attention to the immense failure of Monsanto’s genetically modified corn, which is developing mutated and resistant insects as a result of its widespread usage.  Corn is critical not only as a food staple, but is heavily used in ethanol production, animal feed, and much more.  As GM corn becomes the norm, currently taking over 94 percent of the supply, these scientists are seriously concerned about the future of corn production.

Joseph Spencer is one outspoken member of the group, a corn entomologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey, part of the University of Illinois.  Spencer states that what is happening is no surprise, instead it is something that needs to be addressed.  Warning the EPA over the dangers, the experts sent a letter on March 5th to the agency explaining their worries regarding long-term corn production prospects in light of GMO crops failures.  Specifically, the experts are worried about the lack of protection presented by GMO crops against rootworms.

 

The EPA has already acknowledged that Monsanto’s GMO crops are creating resistant rootworms, which are now ravaging the GMO crops as they mutate to the bio pesticide used known as Bacillus thuringiensis (BT).  The EPA found ...

Published: Friday 16 March 2012
The GCU will arrive at the metro station wearing bio-hazmat suits to assess whether Members of Congress and their staff have been victims of genetic crimes.

On Friday, March 16, 2012, Occupy Monsanto’s agents of change with the Genetic Crimes Unit (GCU), a group designed to protect America from genetically modified foods, will wear bio-hazmat suits when they visit Congress. The group will gather at Capitol South Metro station at noon on March 16 to highlight how chemical company Monsanto is contaminating our political process. The GCU opposes Monsanto’s bid to increase spraying of food with toxic weed killers like 2,4 D (the main ingredient in  READ FULL POST 2 COMMENTS

Published: Thursday 15 March 2012
“The evidence that Monsanto’s biopesticide and Roundup alike are disrupting both nature and human safety is clear, yet little is being done about it.”

Monsanto’s ‘biopesticide’ known as Bt is not only developing mutated insects and requiring excessive pesticide use, but new findings show that it is also killing human kidney cells — even in low doses. Amazingly, Monsanto’s superweed-breeding Roundup also has the same effect. Scientists have demonstrated in new research that the Bt pesticide, in addition to Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide Roundup, exhibit direct toxicity to human cells. The findings add to the long list of hazardous effects presented by Monsanto’s genetically modified creations.

These dangerous Bt crops currently engulf 39% of globally cultivated GMO crops, and Monsanto does not seem to be slowing down on their campaign to expand usage. Led by Gilles-Eric Séralini, a French scientist from the University of Caen, Séralini and his team are no strangers to the toxic effects of both Bt and glyphosate — the main component used in Roundup. Previously, Séralini and a group of other scientists found that Roundup is linked to infertility, killing testicular cells in rats. The report stated that within 1 to 48 hours of exposure, testicular cells of the mature rats were either damaged or killed.

At only 100 parts per million (ppm), Monsanto’s biopesticide lead to cell death. Furthermore, they found that Roundup at 57.2ppm  killed half of the cell population – 200 times below agricultural use.  This is concerning as researchers have previously detected ...

Published: Tuesday 13 March 2012
“The negative effects of Monsanto’s Roundup on human health and the environment have been firmly established by numerous scientific studies and large-scale investigations.”

Monsanto's reckless disregard for public health and the agricultural stability of the planet may be even more significant than previously thought. A shocking new report reveals how Monsanto's Roundup is actually threatening the crop-yielding potential of the entire biosphere. The report reveals that glyphosate, which was developed by Monsanto in the early 1970s and is the active ingredient in its patented herbicide Roundup, may be irreversibly devastating the microbiodiversity of the soil - compromising the health of the entire planet, as a result.

New research published in the journal Current Microbiology highlights the extent to which glyphosate is altering, and in some cases destroying, the very microorganisms upon which the health of the soil, and - amazingly - the benefits of raw and fermented foods as a whole, depend. Concerningly, certain beneficial strains of bacteria used as food-starters in cultures for raw yogurt, such as Lactobacillus cremoris, have entirely disappeared from certain geographic regions where traditionally they were found in plenty. The study reports that the death and growth inhibition of selected food microorganisms was observed in concentrations of Roundup that are lower than are recommended in agricultural practice.

This means that farmers who are increasingly using larger and larger concentrations of Roundup and similar glyphosate-based herbicide formulations to countermand the increasingly resistant super weeds GM agriculture has spawned, are not only damaging the immediate health of the soil, but subsequent yields of indispensable food-starter microorganisms, as well as the microbes that ensure the overall fertility of the soil for producing crops well into the future.

Monsanto's Roundup assaults the planetary biosphere

Microorganisms are responsible for much more than just the health content of raw and fermented foods. The most numerous inhabitants in the web of life, ...

Published: Wednesday 7 March 2012
“We will be sending this letter from all of us to the farmers. Please sign on here to join as one voice, one heart.”

This is an open (hearted) letter to the more than 300,000 organic farmers, seed growers, and members of farming and agricultural organizations (collectively “OSGTA”) challenging Monsanto’s patents on genetically modified seed, who today, after suffering through months of deliberation, tediousness and preparation, had their case against Monsanto dismissed by Judge Naomi Buchwald in Federal District Court in Manhattan. The details are  READ FULL POST 11 COMMENTS

Published: Sunday 4 March 2012
“Green America, in conjunction with various social justice and environmental groups, has nominated nine large corporations and organizations for the dubious distinction: Bank of America, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Chevron, Hershey, KFC/Yum! Brands, Monsanto, Southern Company, Verizon, and Walmart.”

With April Fool's Day a month away, the nonprofit Green America is launching its annual "Corporate Fools' balloting today on Facebook to name the U.S. company with the worst corporate practices. The winner will be determined by votes from the general public as tallied at https://www.facebook.com/Greenamerica?sk=app_202235566550600Green America, in conjunction with various social justice and environmental groups, has nominated nine large corporations and organizations for the dubious distinction: Bank of America, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Chevron, Hershey, KFC/Yum! Brands, Monsanto, Southern Company, Verizon, and Walmart. The companies were nominated for the poor records on the environment and/or social justice practices.

 

Details on the nominees include the following:
READ FULL POST 12 COMMENTS

Published: Friday 2 March 2012
Bill Gates was fully aware of these findings before going on air to inform the public that GMOs are the solution to world hunger.

Monsanto shareholder Bill Gates has argued that GMOs are the solution to world hunger, going as far as to say that they are actually needed to fight worldwide starvation. Unfortunately for Gates, who back in 2010 bought 500,000 shares of the company he is now promoting in mainstream media as the solution to the world’s problems, a team of 900 scientists have found that GMO crops are actually not effective at fighting world hunger. In fact, the massive team found that Monsanto’s seeds, which have lead to thousands of farmer suicides due to excessive costs and failure to yield crops, were 

Published: Friday 2 March 2012
Members of Occupy Austin are going to Occupy the Corporations/Occupy Our Food Supply.

Members of Occupy Austin travel to Lockhart, TX to protest at a Monsanto office and other locations as part of the national day of action, Occupy the Corporations/Occupy Our Food Supply. The group brought petitions supporting the eviction of Monsanto from Lockhart but had to tape them to the door after finding the office empty.

Published: Wednesday 29 February 2012
“The plaintiffs brought this suit against Monsanto to seek judicial protection from such lawsuits and challenge the validity of Monsanto’s patents on seeds.”

On February 24, Judge Naomi Buchwald handed down her ruling on a motion to dismiss in the case of Organic Seed Growers and Trade Assn et al v. Monsanto after hearing oral argument on January 31st in Federal District Court in Manhattan.  Her ruling to dismiss the case brought against Monsanto on behalf of organic farmers, seed growers and agricultural organizations representing farmers and citizens was met with great disappointment by the plaintiffs.

Plaintiff lead attorney Daniel Ravicher said, "While I have great respect for Judge Buchwald, her decision to deny farmers the right to seek legal protection from one of the world's foremost patent bullies is gravely disappointing.  Her belief that farmers are acting unreasonable when they stop growing certain crops to avoid being sued by Monsanto for patent infringement should their crops become contaminated maligns the intelligence and integrity of those farmers.  Her failure to address the purpose of the Declaratory Judgment Act and her characterization of binding Supreme Court precedent that supports the farmers' standing as 'wholly inapposite' constitute legal error.  In sum, her opinion is flawed on both the facts and the law.  Thankfully, the plaintiffs have the right to appeal to the Court of Appeals, which will review the matter without deference to her findings."

Monsanto's history of aggressive investigations and lawsuits brought against farmers in America have been a source of concern for organic and non-GMO farmers since Monsanto's first lawsuit brought against a farmer in the mid-90's.  Since then, 144 farmers have had lawsuits brought against them by Monsanto for alleged violations of  their patented seed technology.  Monsanto has brought charges against more than 700 additional farmers who have settled out-of-court rather than face Monsanto's belligerent litigious actions. Many of these farmers claim to ...

Published: Wednesday 29 February 2012
“The USDA instead continues to not only go against public interest, but recklessly endanger the public with unacceptable and outright ludicrous policies that threaten your health on a routine basis.”

Despite being tasked to defend public health, the USDA instead continues to not only go against public interest, but recklessly endanger the public with unacceptable and outright ludicrous policies that threaten your health on a routine basis. Perhaps most compelling is the fact that not only does the USDA allow for the widespread use of GMO crops, which have been pinpointed by scientific research as harmful to your health, but the USDA has now announced that they will be extraditing the approval process for these genetically modified creations.

What’s more, the organization actually said that one major hurdle they had to face when speeding up the regulation process — which cuts the regulatory time period in which GMO crops are studied for safety in half — was public interest. Does this sound like an organization that actually cares about your health? Here are 4 proofs that the USDA cares more about securing corporate profits than your health.

1. USDA Chooses Monsanto Sales Over Public Safety

Could it be possible that the USDA is actually turning a blind eye to the known adverse effects of Monsanto’s GMO crops, such as organ damage, in order to secure Monsanto’s growth and subsequent sales? In the original Bloomberg report announcing that the USDA was giving a ‘special’ speed review for Monsanto’s future crops, experts explained that the move was to secure the financial future of Monsanto — not to help farmers, citizens, or the United ...

Published: Tuesday 28 February 2012
“Monsanto has now set a precedent for settling claims, and hopefully some good attorneys will seize the opportunity in order to hold Monsanto accountable.”

Monsanto tentatively agreed to a $93 million settlement with some residents of Nitro, West Virginia. Nitro is a small town that got its name from manufacturing explosives during WWI.  It was also the site of a Monsanto chemical plant that manufactured 2,4,5-T herbicide that was half of the Agent Orange recipe. Herbicide 2,4,5-T was contaminated with the caustic by-product dioxin. This settlement may open the floodgates to successfully suing Monsanto for its poison.

Nitro Settlement

Herbicide 2,4,5-T was phased out in the late 1970′s. Dioxin is the most dangerous chemical known and has a 100 year half-life when leached into soil or embedded in water systems. The Veteran’s Administration recognizes and pays out on Agent Orange injury claims that include cancer, birth defects in children of exposed victims, leukemia, liver disease, heart disease, Parkinson’s Disease, diabetes and chloracne.

Despite an explosion in the Nitro plant in 1949, not a single penny has been paid to residents of Nitro for dioxin injuries, per an attorney that worked on a previous dioxin case. After 7 years of litigation, and on the heels of the EPA releasing part of its dioxin assessment report,  Monsanto has made a tentative agreement to settle a class action suit with some Nitro residents for a total of $93 million.  Here are the proposed settlement figures:

  • Medical Testing:  $21 Million
  • Additional Screening:  $63 Million
  • Cleanup of 4500 homes:  $9 Million

Bloomberg

Published: Sunday 26 February 2012
“This is a move to help Monsanto and other biotechnology giants squash competition and make profits.”

If you thought Monsanto’s lack of testing on their current GMO crops was bad before, prepare to now be blown away by the latest statement by the USDA. Despite links to organ damage and mutated insects, the USDA says that it is changing the rules so that genetically modified seed companies like Monsanto will get ‘speedier regulatory reviews’. With the faster reviews, there will be even less time spent on evaluating the potential dangers. Why? Because Monsanto is losing sales with longer approval terms.

The changes are expected to take full effect in March when they’re published in the Federal Register. The USDA’s goal is to cut the approval time for GMO crops in half in order to speedily implement them into the global food supply. The current USDA process takes longer than they would like due to ‘public interest, legal challenges, and the challenges associated with the advent of national organic food standards‘ 

Published: Wednesday 22 February 2012
The risks posed to the environment by Monsanto’s creations are quite well documented.

France is not bowing down to GMO giant Monsanto, now asking the European Commission to suspend authorization to Monsanto’s genetically modified corn. The news comes after France charged Monsanto with chemical poisoning after it was found that a farmer had suffered severe adverse health reactions as a result of exposure to Monsanto’s Lasso weedkiller. Despite losing court rulings against Monsanto’s GMO corn, the environment ministry is attempting to fortify a ban on the crops over serious environmental concerns.

France originally banned the growing of the genetically modified corn, known as MON810, in 2008. The strain is currently the only GM crop approved for planting in the European Union, and has been targeted as a serious threat to the environment. The French government said back in November, following the ruling against the attempted ban by the highest court, that it would look at all ways possible to suspend GM planting. Perhaps they have finally found a viable strategy.

The risks posed to the environment by Monsanto’s creations are quite well documented. Monsanto’s GMO ...

Published: Sunday 12 February 2012
“Willie Nelson calls for Occupy the Food System”

Little did Willie Nelson know when he recorded “Crazy” years ago just how crazy it would become for our cherished family farmers in America.   Nelson, President of Farm Aid, has recently called for the national Occupy movement to declare an “Occupy  the Food System” action.

Nelson states, “Corporate control of our food system has led to the loss of millions of family farmers, destruction of our soil…”

Hundreds of citizens, (even including NYC chefs in their white chef hats) joined Occupy the Food System groups, ie Food Democracy Now, gathered outside the Federal Courts in Manhattan on  January 31st, to support organic family farmers in their landmark lawsuit against Big Agribusiness giant Monsanto. (Organic Seed Growers & Trade Association v. Monsanto) Oral arguments were heard that day concerning the lawsuit by 83 plaintiffs representing over 300,000 organic farmers, organic seed growers, and organic seed businesses.

The lawsuit addresses the bizarre and shocking issue of Monsanto harassing and threatening organic farmers with lawsuits of “patent infringement” if any organic farmer ends up with any trace amount of GM seeds on their organic farmland.

Judge Naomi Buckwald heard the oral arguments on Monsanto’s Motion to Dismiss, and the legal team from Public Patent Foundation represented the rights of American organic farmers against Monsanto, maker of GM seeds, [and additionally, Agent Orange, dioxin, etc.]

After hearing the arguments, Judge Buckwald stated that on March 31st she will hand down her decision on whether the lawsuit will move forward to trial.

Not only does this lawsuit debate the issue of Monsanto potentially ruining the organic farmers’ pure seeds and crops with the introduction of Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) seeds anywhere near the organic farms, but additionally any nearby GM fields can ...

Published: Wednesday 18 January 2012
Whether you’re worried about hunger, social crises, or climate change, the answer is the same: small-scale farmers are our only hope.

There is battle raging across the world over who can better feed its people: small-scale farmers practicing sustainable agriculture, or giant agribusinesses using chemical fertilizers and pesticides. 

It was small-scale organic farmers growing rice for themselves and local markets in the Philippines who first convinced us that they could feed both their communities and their country. Part of what convinced us was simple economics: These farmers demonstrated substantial immediate savings from eliminating chemical inputs while, within a few harvests—if not immediately—their yields were close to or above their previous harvests. From these farmers, we also learned of the health and environmental benefits from this shift.

Moving up from what we learned in the Philippines to examine other countries, we have concluded that small-scale farmers practicing different kinds of what is now called agroecology can feed the world. Agroecology extends the organic label to a broader category of ecosystem-friendly, locally adapted ...

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