Something is looming in the shadows that could help erode our basic rights and contaminate our food. The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) has the potential to become the biggest regional Free Trade Agreement in history, both in economic size and the ability to quietly add more countries in addition to those originally included. As of 2011 its 11 countries accounted for 30 percent of the world’s agricultural exports. Those countries are the US, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Viet Nam. Recently, Japan has joined the negotiations.
Six hundred US corporate advisors have had input into the TPP. The draft text has not been made available to the public, press or policy makers. The level of secrecy around this agreement is unparalleled. The majority of Congress is being kept in the dark while representatives of US corporations are being consulted and privy to the details.
The chief agricultural negotiator for the US is the former Monsanto lobbyist, Islam Siddique. If ratified the TPP would impose punishing regulations that give multinational corporations unprecedented right to demand taxpayer compensation for policies that corporations deem a barrier to their profits.
There appears not to be a specific agricultural chapter in the TPP. Instead, rules affecting food systems and food safety are woven throughout the text. This agreement is attempting to establish corporations’ rights to skirt domestic courts and laws and sue governments directly with taxpayers paying compensation and fines directly from the treasury.
Though TPP content remains hidden, here are some things we do know:
- Members of Congress are concerned that the TPP would open the door to imports without resolving questions around food safety or environmental impacts on its production.
- Procurement rules specifically forbid discrimination based on the quality of production. This means that public programs that favor the use of sustainably produced local foods in school lunch programs could be prohibited.
- The labeling of foods containing GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) will not be allowed. Japan currently has labeling laws for GMOs in food. Under the TPP Japan would no longer be able to label GMOs. This situation is the same for New Zealand and Australia. In the US we are just beginning to see some progress towards labeling GMOs. Under the TPP GMO labels for US food would not be allowed.
- In April 2013, Peru placed a 10-year moratorium on GMO foods and plants. This prohibits the import, production and use of GMOs in foods and GMO plants and is aimed at safeguarding Peru’s agricultural diversity. The hope is to prevent cross-pollination with non-GMO crops and to ban GMO crops like Bt corn. What will become of Peru’s moratorium if the TPP is passed?
- There is a growing resistance to Monsanto’s agricultural plans in Vietnam. Monsanto (the US corporation controlling an estimated 90% of the world seed genetics) has a dark history with Vietnam. Many believe that Monsanto has no right to do business in a country where Monsanto’s product Agent Orange is estimated to have killed 400,000 Vietnamese, deformed another 500,000 and stricken another 2 million with various diseases.
Legacies of other trade agreements that serve as a warning about the TPP have a history of displacing small farmers and destroying local food economies. Ten years following the passage of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) 1.5 million Mexican farmers became bankrupt because they could not compete with the highly subsidized US corn entering the Mexican market.
In the same 10 years Mexico went from a country virtually producing all of its own corn to a country that now imports at least half of this food staple. Mexican consumers are now paying higher prices for Monsanto’s GMO corn.
With little or no competition for large corporations Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta now control 57 percent of the commercial food market.
While the TPP is in many ways like NAFTA and other existing trade agreements, it appears that the corporations have learned from previous experience. They are carefully crafting the TPP to insure that citizens of the involved countries have no control over food safety, what they will be eating, where it is grown, the conditions under which food is grown and the use of herbicides and pesticides.
If the TPP is adopted the door will be open wider for human rights and environmental abuse. Some of the things we should expect to see include:
- more large scale farming and more monocultures;
- destruction of local economies;
- no input into how our food is grown or what we will be eating;
- more deforestation;
- increased use of herbicides and pesticides;
- increased patenting of life forms;
- more GMO plants and foods; and
- no labeling of GMOs in food.
Together these are a step backwards for human rights and a giant step towards Monsanto’s control of our food.
Please pass the word to others about the TPP as most Americans are unaware of this trade agreement or its ominous effects if passed.
According to a new study, the ‘Cry’ toxins that Monsanto’s GMO crops have been genetically modified to produce are a lot more toxic to mammals than previously thought, primarily to the blood.
Dr. Mezzomo and his team from the Department of Genetics and Morphology at the Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Brasilia recently performed and published a study done involving testing Bacillus thuringensis toxin (Bt toxin) on swiss albino mice. This toxin is the same one built into Monsanto’s GMO Bt crops such as corn and soy as a pesticide. While Bt toxin has been used quite safely in conventional and organic farming as an occasional spray used when dealing with a pest problem, now it has been engineered to be produced by and present throughout the inside of every cell and intercellular space of the plants themselves, which is why they chose to undertake the study. It should also be noted that as bacteria use lateral transference of genetic material, making it a possibility for this genetic material to become part of the human body’s bacterial bouquet that we depend on for our health (our bodies contain more bacteria cells than human ones by number).
“…advances in genetic engineering promise the expression of multiple Cry toxins in Bt-plants, known as gene pyramiding. Therefore, studies on non-target species are requirements of international protocols to verify the adverse effects of these toxins, ensuring human and environmental biosafety.
Due to its growing use in agricultural activities, Bt presence has already been detected in different environmental compartments such as soil and water. Consequently, the bioavailability of Cry proteins has increased, and for biosafety reasons their adverse effects might be studied, mainly for non-target organisms. Studies are therefore needed to evaluate Bt toxicity to non-target organisms; the persistence of Bt toxin and its stability in aquatic environments; and the risks to humans and animals exposed to potentially toxic levels of Bt through their diet.
Thus, we aimed to evaluate, in Swiss albino mice, the hematotoxicity and genotoxicity of four Bt spore-crystals…”
The scientists already knew that Bt toxin was very toxic and potentially deadly at levels above 270 milligrams per kilogram (basically ppm), so they instead tested levels ranging from 27mg/kg, 136mg/kg, and 270mg/kg for one to seven days (each of the Cry toxins were separated out and tested individually to maximize accuracy and total info). It was quite clear right off the bat that these Cry toxins were quite hemotoxic even at the lowest level of 27mg/kg administered only one time and one day as they clearly had damaged the blood, particularly in reference to red blood cells. The quantity and size of the erythrocytes (RBCs) were both significantly reduced, as was the overall levels of hemoglobin for which oxygen to attach to. All major factors regarding RBCs demonstrated some level of damage present for all levels of toxin administered and across all Cry proteins, although there were some clear variances present between different proteins and levels for certain factors. The white blood cell count was also quite noticeably raised, and as expected it dramatically increased depending on the duration the subject was tested for. The tests clearly demonstrated that Cry proteins were cytotoxic to bone marrow cells, accounting for a portion of the measured effects. It should also be noted that a previous study found that these proteins caused hemolysis (they killed blood cells) in vitro, particularly seeming to target the cell membranes of red blood cells.
Cry1Ab (the protein produced in common Bt corn and soy) induced microcytic hypochromic anemia in mice, even at the lowest tested dose of 27 mg/Kg, and this toxin has been detected in blood of non-pregnant women, pregnant women and their fetuses in Canada, supposedly exposed through diet . These data, as well as increased bioavailability of these MCA in the environment, reinforce the need for more research, especially given that little is known about spore crystals’ adverse effects on non-target species.”
While Bt toxin is not known to bioaccumulate in fat cells and internal organs, it is of note that the study demonstrated clearly that there was a significant increase in measurable negative effects of the toxin as time progressed especially concerning the higher doses. Also of note was the increased inflammatory response, while it was quite minor, the scientists consider it to be statistically significant due to the intricacies of their chosen test subjects’ biology. No measurable genotoxicity was found.
The full results of the study and a more detailed explanation can be found at, along with full citations for this article: http://gmoevidence.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/JHTD-1-104.pdf
By Fritz Kreiss |
First of all, Monsanto or nobody else can actually OWN these varieties of seed, but as developers of some of these varieties and as suppliers of them under many different companies it can be hard to tell who owns what. It does not stand to reason that any crop of these varieties growing today or anytime in the future will be genetically modified in any way. Some of these varieties can be found without any continuing connection to Monsanto or Seminis but it is important to be a little more cautious with these.
If you are the type of gardener who purchases vegetable seeds or seedlings, including tomato plants from a local garden center, be mindful the varieties you choose. Conversely, you might be placing money into the hands of Monsanto Corporation. Below is the list of Seminis/Monsanto home-garden vegetable variations. It’s often best to buy directly from seed farmers and companies that you can trust (you can find many of them here)
Print this list, and keep a copy in your wallet. Don’t be caught off guard the next time you impulse shop at a big-box garden center.
The seed varieties you have obtained as “heirlooms” from heirloom or organic seed companies are “NOT” GMO seeds, even though they are officially “owned” by Monsanto. As far as we know, the only GMO vegetable seeds available for sale today are new hybrid varieties of zucchini and summer squash, so be sure you order these from certified organic suppliers.
Please understand that Monsanto only owns the trademark names for these “heirloom” varieties. This stretegic move holds two advantages for Monsanto:
1.) prevents new companies from naming new varieties with these or very similar names.
2.) it is an effort to stop lucrative sales by these other companies trying to leverage the heirloom name and consumer loyalty for those heirloom varieties.
If you have left over seeds, do not be reluctant to plant them. Monsanto will only profit from customers purchasing these varieties from companies that are stocking seeds obtained directly from Monsanto or one of its distributors.
Beans: Aliconte, Brio, Bronco, Cadillac, Ebro, Etna, Eureka, Festina, Gina, Goldmine, Goldenchild, Labrador, Lynx, Magnum, Matador, Spartacus, Storm, Strike, Stringless Blue Lake 7, Tapia, Tema
Broccoli: Coronado Crown, Major, Packman
Cabbage: Atlantis, Golden Acre, Headstart, Platinum Dynasty, Red Dynasty
Carrot: Bilbo, Envy, Forto, Juliana, Karina, Koroda PS, Royal Chantenay, Sweetness III
Cauliflower: Cheddar, Minuteman
Cucumber: Babylon, Cool Breeze Imp., Dasher II, Emporator, Eureka, Fanfare HG, Marketmore 76, Mathilde, Moctezuma, Orient Express II, Peal, Poinsett 76, Salad Bush, Sweet Slice, Sweet Success PS, Talladega
Eggplant: Black Beauty, Fairytale, Gretel, Hansel, Lavender Touch, Twinkle, White Lightening
Hot Pepper: Anaheim TMR 23, Ancho Saint Martin, Big Bomb, Big Chile brand of Sahuaro, Caribbean Red, Cayenne Large Red Thick, Chichen Itza, Chichimeca, Corcel, Garden Salsa SG, Habanero, Holy Mole brand of Salvatierro, Hungarian Yellow Wax Hot, Ixtapa X3R, Lapid, Mariachi brand of Rio de Oro, Mesilla, Milta, Mucho Nacho brand of Grande, Nainari, Serrano del Sol brand of Tuxtlas, Super Chile, Tam Vera Cruz
Lettuce: Braveheart, Conquistador
Melon: Early Dew, Sante Fe, Saturno
Onion: Candy, Cannonball, Century, Red Zeppelin, Savannah Sweet, Sierra Blanca, Sterling, Vision
Pumpkin: Applachian, Harvest Moon, Jamboree HG, Orange Smoothie, Phantom, Prize Winner, Rumbo, Snackface, Spirit, Spooktacular, Trickster
Squash: Ambassador, Canesi, Clarita, Commander, Dixie, Early Butternut, Gold Rush, Grey Zucchini, Greyzini, Lolita, Papaya Pear, Peter Pan, Portofino, President, Richgreen Hybrid Zucchini, Storr’s Green, Sungreen, Sunny Delight, Taybelle PM
Sweet Corn: Devotion, Fantasia, Merit, Obession, Passion, Temptation
Sweet Pepper: Baron, Bell Boy, Big Bertha PS, Biscayne, Blushing Beauty, Bounty, California Wonder 300, Camelot, Capistrano, Cherry Pick, Chocolate Beauty, Corno Verde, Cubanelle W, Dumpling brand of Pritavit, Early Sunsation, Flexum, Fooled You brand of Dulce, Giant Marconi, Gypsy, Jumper, Key West, King Arthur, North Star, Orange Blaze, Pimiento Elite, Red Knight, Satsuma, Socrates, Super Heavyweight, Sweet Spot
Tomato: Amsterdam, Beefmaster, Betterboy, Big Beef, Burpee’s Big Boy, Caramba, Celebrity, Cupid, Early Girl, Granny Smith, Health Kick, Husky Cherry Red, Jetsetter brand of Jack, Lemon Boy, Margharita, Margo, Marmande VF PS, Marmara, Patio, Phoenix, Poseidon 43, Roma VF, Royesta, Sun Sugar, Super Marzano, Sweet Baby Girl, Tiffany, Tye-Dye, Viva Italia, Yaqui
Watermelon: Apollo, Charleston Grey, Crimson Glory, Crimson Sweet, Eureka, Jade Star, Mickylee, Olympia
For more info on how to boycott Monsanto in the seed industry please check out Monsanto-Free Seed Companies for a listing of safe and secure seed suppliers that have no Monsanto affiliations
The first in an upcoming series of mini-documentary videos about GMOs, this Gary Null production delves into the reality of GMO health risks. Gary Null calls it a “GMO ticking time bomb.”
This video reveals some of the health problems caused by GMOs, including infertility, accelerated aging, organ damage, immune malfunction and more
Frankenscientists announce mutant GMO cows to produce hormone-induced ‘engineered’ milk for human babies
NaturalNews) The world of genetic engineering has fallen even further into the surreal with the announcement that New Zealand “scientists” have unveiled a genetically modified mutant cloned cow which they say produces a reduced-allergen milk for consumption by human babies. This is being reported by the BBC and elsewhere.
Horrifyingly, these Frankenscientists cloned a cow and then altered the embryo using RNA interference. After gestation, the mutant GMO cow was born without a tail! But these scientists say that’s no problem, and that the mutation of having no tail couldn’t possibly be related to anything they did with the cow’s DNA.
I’m not making this up. This is the insanity of the quack science world in which we now live.
Milk causes allergies primarily because of pasteurization
The entire project is a fool’s errand to begin with since the reason most humans are allergic to cow’s milk is because of pasteurization which destroys lactase enzymes. RAW MILK is far easier to digest, but of course raw milk has been all but criminalized in America, where the FDA along with Ventura County and LA County in California actually stage armed raids on raw milk distribution centers and throw people in jail. James Stewart, for example, remains in jail this very day for the “crime” of being involved in raw milk. Sign the petition HERE to demand freedom for James.
So while criminalizing fresh milk and pushing an inferior, dead, pasteurized milk that causes allergies in those who drink it, the corrupt food system in America is almost certain to embrace mutant genetically modified cloned cow’s milk and call it “safe” for infants!
Never mind the fact that the genetically altered milk produced by this cow had “double the concentrations of caseins,” as The Guardian is reporting.
Oh, and by the way, the milk being produced by this mutant, cloned, tail-less GMO cow is of course 100% driven by artificial hormones! As the BBC reports:
“It has not yet become pregnant and produced milk normally so the scientists used hormones to jump-start milk production.”
Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/037396_GM_cows_clones_milk_production.html#ixzz28EiyXl2D
The GMO debate is over; GM crops must be immediately outlawed; Monsanto halted from threatening humanity
NaturalNews) The GMO debate is over. There is no longer any legitimate, scientific defense of growing GM crops for human consumption. The only people still clinging to the outmoded myth that “GMOs are safe” are scientific mercenaries with financial ties to Monsanto and the biotech industry.
GMOs are an anti-human technology. They threaten the continuation of life on our planet. They are a far worse threat than terrorism, or even the threat of nuclear war.
As a shocking new study has graphically shown, GMOs are the new thalidomide. When rats eat GM corn, they develop horrifying tumors. Seventy percent of females die prematurely, and virtually all of them suffer severe organ damage from consuming GMO. These are the scientific conclusions of the first truly “long-term” study ever conducted on GMO consumption in animals, and the findings are absolutely horrifying. (See pictures of rats with tumors, below.)
What this reveals is that genetic engineering turns FOOD into POISON.
Remember thalidomide? Babies being born with no arms and other heart-breaking deformities? Thalidomide was pushed as “scientific” and “FDA approved.” The same lies are now being told about GMO: they’re safe. They’re nutritious. They will feed the world!
But the real science now coming out tells a different picture: GMOs may be creating an entire generation of cancer victims who have a frighteningly heightened risk of growing massive mammary gland tumors caused by the consumption of GM foods. We are witnessing what may turn out to be the worst and most costly blunder in the history of western science: the mass poisoning of billions of people with a toxic food crop that was never properly tested in the first place.
Remember: GMOs are an anti-human technology. And those who promote them are, by definition, enemies of humankind
Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/037262_GMO_Monsanto_debate.html#ixzz278mAZq00
by Marion Nestle
I am a strong supporter of labeling GMO foods. Consumers have the right to know.
That’s enough of a reason to support California’s Prop. 37. There is no need to muddy the waters with difficult-to-interpret science.
My e-mail inbox was flooded with messages yesterday about the new long-term rat study reporting that both GMO corn and Roundup (glyphosate herbicide) increase mammary tumors in mice.
The study, led by Gilles-Eric Séralini, concludes:
The results of the study presented here clearly demonstrate that lower levels of complete agricultural glyphosate herbicide formulations, at concentrations well below officially set safety limits, induce severe hormone-dependent mammary, hepatic and kidney disturbances… the significant biochemical disturbances and physiological failures documented in this work confirm the pathological effects of these GMO and R treatments in both sexes.
These results are so graphically shocking (see the paper’s photographs), and so discrepant from previous studies (see recent review in the same journal), that they bring out my skeptical tendencies. (Note: Although Séralini is apparently a well known opponent of GMOs, his study—and that of the review—were funded by government or other independent agencies.)
For one thing, the study is weirdly complicated. To its credit, it went on for two years (much longer than the typical 90 days for these kinds of studies).
But it involves ten separate groups of 20 mice each (10 males and 10 females) fed diets containing GMO (Roundup-resistant) corn, grown with Roundup or not, or fed control diets (non-GMO corn) with or without Roundup added to their drinking water at three different levels.
I needed a Table to keep this straight.
CONTROL AND TREATMENT GROUPS
|GROUP||%CORNIN DIET||CORN TREATEDWITH ROUNDUPHERBICIDE||GIVEN ROUNDUPTO DRINK|
|Non-GMO Corn||33%||No||0.1 ppb (level in tap water).|
|Non-GMO Corn||33%||No||0.09% (level contaminating feed)|
|Non-GMO Corn||33%||No||0.5% (half the level used in agriculture)|
In yet another instance of “unintended consequences,” a recent study has determined that this year’s drought damage to corn crops is even worse because of Bt corn, and failure to rotate crops.
GreenMedInfo, claiming to be the world’s most widely referenced, evidence-based natural medicine resource, posted an August 23 article revealing the result of the findings of farmers and crop and pesticide management experts. The website specializes in posting abstracts (brief summaries of research articles or in-depth analyses of particular subjects) of scientific findings and academic papers. Dr. Bruce Potter, University of Minnesota professor and farmer Charlie Sandager concluded that the primary corn pest rootworm has developed resistance to the proteins in the GMO (genetically modified organisms) Bt Corn that was designed to kill the pests.
Bt corn is a type of GMO and the subject of the recent investigation into the rootworm outbreak. One effect of the pest’s presence is that it prevents corn roots from absorbing water, especially serious given this year’s drought. Pest experts suggest that the primary reason for the rootworm-infested crops is that rootworms have become resistant to the Bt protein, resulting in strong and larger rootworm populations.
But not only are corn plants unable to absorb water, the plants become unstable and can easily topple over. Sandager said, “Strong wind came up and it just tipped the corn plants over like a big old tree.”
Indeed, RawStory reported that last fall, the EPA warned of the problem. Bt corn, engineered a decade ago by Monsanto specifically to ward off the rootworm, is losing its battle. Even the EPA wondered if the company’s monitoring was “inadequate and likely to miss early resistance events.” With this year’s drought, corn crops hardly have a chance.
Crop rotation traditionally took care of the problem. Alternating corn crops with soybeans, which didn’t attract the rootworm, allowed it to die off, but GMO growers have abandoned the practice. GMO seed producers and distributors have suggested to farmers that crop rotation wasn’t necessary since the modifications were supposed to kill the rootworm.
The toll on crops isn’t the only casualty. Pete Riley of GM Freeze said in a 2011 article that biotech companies are not liable for the failure of the crops, so farmers have no recall when infestations are economically damaging. As they certainly are now in the worst U.S. drought in decades. Riley added, “Strategies to prevent pests becoming resistant are either not being correctly implemented, are failing, or are suffering from a combination of both. The result is more pesticide use rather than less. Throwing more GM at the problem may work in the short term, but the history of artificial pest control in agriculture has repeatedly shown the pests will win over the longer term.
“The sooner we switch to agroecological farming techniques, such as avoidance of monocultures, long rotations and the use of natural predators to control pests, the better.”
By Dr. Mercola
After years of assurance that genetically engineered (GE) crops are the answer to pesky pest problems, corn rootworm is now turning into a nightmare for America’s agricultural biotech companies.
These insects have developed resistance to an inserted gene in the genetically altered corn crop that is designed to kill them.
In a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 22 of the nation’s top experts on corn pests are calling for the agency to take action “with a sense of some urgency.”i The researchers want seed companies to stop routinely inserting anti-rootworm genes into their corn lines.
Overuse of the gene increases the chances that insects will become resistant to it. According to the NPRii:
“The researchers are calling on farmers in some parts of the country to stop planting corn with anti-rootworm genes altogether, or to plant such corn only intermittently …
If the recommendations in this letter were, in fact, put into practice, it would compel wrenching changes in the way that major seed companies like Monsanto and DuPont breed and market their corn seed.” Why Monsanto Thought Weeds Would Never Defeat Roundup
The issue of resistance is a growing problem, not only is there growing resistance of pests, but also of weeds. There are now a number of different types of genetically engineered crops. Some are genetically altered to produce internal pesticides to ward off insects while others are altered to withstand otherwise deadly doses of weed killer.
Each is virtually guaranteed to eventually produce resistance.
In the U.S., the majority of all soybeans, cotton, and corn planted yearly are genetically engineered to be herbicide-tolerant and/or “stacked” with one or more genes to kill insectsiii. Such crops receive numerous applications of Roundup each and every year. As a result, glyphosate resistance is on the rise, and has produced super-hardy weeds that are nearly impossible to get rid of. It’s estimated that more than 130 types of weeds spanning 40 U.S. states are now herbicide-resistant. In an effort to keep on top of the growing weed problem, farmers are applying ever increasing amounts of toxic herbicides to their crops.
Logic will tell you this is not a solution; it’s only deepening the problem. Surprisingly enough, Monsanto’s scientists were atrociously ignorant and did not believe or predict that weeds would become resistant to glyphosate, the weed-killing chemical in their herbicide Roundupiv.
In 1993, when they were requesting government approval for the herbicide, they claimed that “glyphosate is considered to be an herbicide with low risk for weed resistance,” and that several university scientists agreed that “it is highly unlikely that weed resistance to glyphosate will become a problem.” Today, the errors of their conclusions are obvious. According to NPR:
“Monsanto began a “massive effort” to figure out how the weeds withstand glyphosate. Some weeds … appear to keep glyphosate from entering the plant at all; others sequester the herbicide in a spot where it can’t do much damage. Monsanto’s genetically engineered crops use a different technique entirely.” Can Genetically Engineered Foods Destroy Your Kidneys?
According to a new study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology, low doses of the Bt biopesticide CryA1b, and the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup, kill human kidney cellsv. The Bt biopesticide, which confers insect resistance, and the glyphosate tolerance trait tied to the use of glyphosate herbicides, can be found in nearly all genetically engineered crops grown worldwide.
Researchers tested the effects of Cry1Ab and Cry1Ac proteins as well as their combined effects with the herbicide Roundup. They found that Cry1Ab caused cell death at concentrations of 100 parts per million. Glyphosate at 57.2 parts per million — 200 times below agricultural use – killed half the cells. According to the Institute of Science in Societyvi:
“This study indicates that Bt toxins are not inert on human cells, and may indeed be toxic … Bt crops have previously been shown to induce hepatorenal abnormalities … as well as immune responses that may be responsible for allergies”.
This is in addition to previous evidence showing that the Bt-toxin produced in genetically engineered corn and cotton plants is toxic to humans and mammals and triggers immune system responses… Disturbingly, Bt-toxin has been detected in the blood of 93 percent of pregnant women tested; 80 percent of babies; and 67 percent of non-pregnant women. The fact that it flows through our blood supply, and that is passes through the placenta into fetuses, may help explain the rise in many disorders in the U.S. since Bt crop varieties were first introduced in 1996. Why We MUST Insist on Mandatory Labeling of GM Foods
Mandatory labeling may be the only way to stop the proliferation of genetically engineered foods in the U.S., because while genetically engineered seeds are banned in several European countries, several U.S. states have passed legislation that protects the use of such seeds and allows for unabated expansion!
Such legislation is bought and paid for through the millions of dollars Monsanto and other biotech companies spend lobbying the U.S. government each year. In the first quarter of 2011 alone, Monsanto spent $1.4 million on lobbying the federal government — a drop from a year earlier, when they spent $2.5 million during the same quarter. Their efforts of persuasion are also made infinitely easier by the fact that an ever growing list of former Monsanto employees are now in positions of power within the federal government.
Fortunately, 24 U.S. states have (as part of their state governance) something called the Initiative Process, where residents can bring to ballot any law they want enacted, as long as it has sufficient support. California has been busy organizing just such a ballot initiative to get mandatory labeling for genetically engineered foods sold in their state. The proposed law will be on the 2012 ballot. Michigan and Washington are also starting similar campaignsvii. Proof Positive that GMO Labeling WILL Change the Food Industry
Many don’t fully appreciate the strategy of seeking to have genetically engineered foods labeled in California. The belief is that large companies would refuse to have dual labeling; one for California and another for the rest of the country. It would be very expensive and a logistical nightmare. So rather than have two labels, they would simply not carry the product, especially if the new label would be the equivalent of a skull and crossbones. This is why we are so committed to this initiative as victory here will likely eliminate genetically engineered foods from the U.S. Powerful confirmation of this belief occurred in early 2012 when both Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo Inc. chose to alter one of their soda ingredients as a result of California’s labeling requirements for carcinogensviii:
“Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc. are changing the way they make the caramel coloring used in their sodas as a result of a California law that mandates drinks containing a certain level of carcinogens bear a cancer warning label. The companies said the changes will be expanded nationally to streamline their manufacturing processes. They’ve already been made for drinks sold in California.”
This is a PERFECT example of the national impact a California GMO labeling mandate can, and no doubt WILL, have. While California is the only state requiring the label to state that the product contains the offending ingredient, these companies are switching their formula for the entire US market, rather than have two different labels. According to USA Today:
“A representative for Coca-Cola, Diana Garza Ciarlante, said the company directed its caramel suppliers to modify their manufacturing processes to reduce the levels of the chemical 4-methylimidazole, which can be formed during the cooking process and as a result may be found in trace amounts in many foods. “While we believe that there is no public health risk that justifies any such change, we did ask our caramel suppliers to take this step so that our products would not be subject to the requirement of a scientifically unfounded warning,” Garza-Giarlante said in an email.”
Learn More about Genetically Modified (GM) Foods
Due to lack of labeling, many Americans are still unfamiliar with what GM foods are. I urge you to participate and to continue learning more about GM foods and helping your friends and family do the same. To start, please print out and use the Non-GMO Shopping Guide, created by the Institute for Responsible Technology. Share it with your friends and family, and post it to your social networks. You can also download a free iPhone application, available in the iTunes store. You can find it by searching for ShopNoGMO in the applications.
Your BEST strategy, however, is to simply buy USDA 100% Organic products whenever possible, (as these do not permit GM ingredients) or buy whole fresh produce and meat from local farmers. The majority of the GMO’s you’re exposed to are via processed foods, so by cooking from scratch with whole foods, you can be sure you’re not inadvertently consuming something laced with GM ingredients. When you do purchase processed food, avoid products containing anything related to corn or soy that are not 100 percent organic, as any foods containing these two non-organic ingredients are virtually guaranteed to contain genetically engineered ingredients, as well as toxic herbicide residues.
To learn more about GM foods, I highly recommend the following films and lectures: •Hidden Dangers in Kid’s Meals •Your Milk on Drugs – Just Say No! •Everything You Have to Know About Dangerous Genetically Modified Foods
Important Action Item: Support California’s Ballot Initiative to Label GMO’s!
In 2007, then-Presidential candidate Obama promised to “immediately” require GMO labeling if elected. So far, nothing of the sort has transpired, but we aim to make it happen!
Anthony Gucciardi NaturalSociety March 12, 2012
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 group 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 biopesticide used known as Bacillus thuringiensis (BT). The EPA found that the resistant rootworms, which are evolving to resist the insecticide, are currently found Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Nebraska. After the EPA evaluated documented cases of severe crop damage as well as reports from entomologists, the EPA stated “Monsanto’s program for monitoring suspected cases of resistance is ‘inadequate’”. Essentially, the GMO crops are doing the opposite of their supposed purpose — leading to more damage from rootworms as they become mutated to resist the defense of the crops. And Monsanto has answered by simply further genetically modifying the Bt, which research shows is extremely ineffective.
“When insecticides overlay transgenic technology, the economic and environmental advantages of rootworm-protected corn quickly disappear,” the scientists wrote. It’s time for the EPA and other agencies to address the serious threats to nature and human health presented by Monsanto’s genetically modified creations.