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At trade talks, U.S., E.U. ready for fight on genetically modified crops

At trade talks, U.S., E.U. ready for fight on genetically modified crops | genetically modified organisms | Scoop.it
Concerns over genetically modified seeds could cripple talks that aim to boost European, U.S. economies.
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RootsAction | Investigate Monsanto's Takeover of USDA

RootsAction | Investigate Monsanto's Takeover of USDA | genetically modified organisms | Scoop.it
Tell Congress to act now. Take Action with @Roots_Action
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La révolte argentine contre Monsanto - Information - France Culture

La révolte argentine contre Monsanto - Information - France Culture | genetically modified organisms | Scoop.it
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44 minutes de reportages radio (en français)

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MIT Study Raises Concerns for Parents about Herbicides and GMOs - Organic Connections

MIT Study Raises Concerns for Parents about Herbicides and GMOs - Organic Connections | genetically modified organisms | Scoop.it

 

 

According to Reuters News, a report released out of MIT suggests that heavy use of the world’s most popular herbicide, Roundup, could be linked to a range of health problems and diseases, including Parkinson’s, infertility and cancers.

The peer-reviewed report, published last week, said evidence indicates that residues of “glyphosate,” the chief ingredient in Roundup weed killer, which is sprayed over millions of acres of crops, has been found in food.

Many Americans are more familiar with RoundUp than we realize. It is a weed killer, used on lawns and gardens, with precautionary measures taken by parents to keep it locked in cabinets and out of the reach of children. What most Americans don’t realize is that this chemical is routinely used on the foods we eat, most notably corn and soy.

It is now so widely used in modern agriculture that a recent article about glyphosate, the chief ingredient found in RoundUp, from the global news organization, Reuters, highlighted that these chemicals are part of an enormous market, with world annual sales totaling $14 billion, with more than $5 billion of that spent in the US alone.

But what are they doing to us? Especially given their pervasive use on the foods we eat?

Well, MIT aimed to find out.

According to the report, authored by Stephanie Seneff, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the research suggests that the RoundUp residue now found on our food enhance the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and toxins in the environment to disrupt normal body functions and induce disease,

Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body,” the study says.

We “have hit upon something very important that needs to be taken seriously and further investigated,” Seneff said.

MIT is not alone in their concern.

In the mid 1990s, using a new technology, our soy was genetically engineered with new organisms to make it able to withstand increasing doses of weed killer, chemicals and glyphosate. The business model makes perfect sense. It enhances profitability of the chemical companies by enabling the increased sale of their chemical treatments and weed killers.

But according to the work of Professor Miguel A. Altieri of the University of California, Berkeley who had looked into unforeseen risks that might be associated with genetically engineered crops and these chemicals being sprayed on them:

“Exactly how much glyphosate is present in the seeds of corn or soybeans (genetically engineered to withstand this chemical) is not known, as grain products are not included in conventional market surveys for pesticide residues. The fact that this and other herbicides are known to accumulate in fruits…raises questions about food safety, especially now that million pounds of this herbicide, ($5 billion worth) are used annually in the United States alone. Even in the absence of immediate (acute) effects, it might take 40 years for a potential carcinogen to act in enough people for it to be detected as a cause. Moreover, research has shown that glyphosate seems to act in a similar fashion to antibiotics by altering soil biology rendering bean plants more vulnerable to disease”.

In other words, it might take a generation for these effects to show up. In light of the escalating rates of infertility, pediatric cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases, it begs the question: since the introduction of this new technology in the 1990s, is that happening now?

So why are we using a chemical that is too dangerous to store under our kitchen sinks in the reach of children on the foods we feed our families?

Monsanto is the developer of both RoundUp weed killer (an “herbicide”) and a suite of crops that are genetically altered to withstand being sprayed with it. These genetically engineered crops, introduced into our food in the 1990s and 2000s, have the unique ability to withstand increasing doses of the weed killer and are known as “RoundUp Ready”. In other words, it helps them sell more chemicals.

Since the introduction of these genetically engineered crops, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data reveals that between 2001- and 2007, as much as 185 million pounds of glyphosate was used by U.S. farmers, double the amount used six years ago.

So in the past, where we may have been getting a sprinkling of this chemical on our food crops prior to the introduction of RoundUp Ready crops, with the recent introduction of genetically engineered foods, designed to withstand this signature product, the doses are at unprecedented levels.

So what is this product doing to us?

Glyphosate, found in RoundUp, is the world’s most popular herbicide and is designed to kill pests and insects, anything but the genetically engineered “RoundUp Ready” plants, such as genetically engineered corn, soy, beet, cottonseed and canola.

These genetically engineered crops, including genetically engineered corn, genetically engineered soybeans, genetically engineered canola and genetically engineered sugarbeets, are planted on millions of acres in the United States annually and widely and generously in the US food supply, particularly processed foods, without labels.

When these crops were first introduced in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it was conjectured that farmers would like them because they could spray RoundUp weed killer directly on the crops to kill weeds in the fields without harming the crops. And they did. But about three planting cycles in, it appears that Mother Nature has Monsanto figured out and it is now reported that over half of the farmers using these products are experiencing a resistance to the chemical company’s signature product and suffering from what are known as “superweeds” in their fields.

It was not only the unknown impact of environmental and crop disruption that caused countries around the world to exercise precaution around the use of these chemicals, it was also the uncertainty of the long-term impact that these crops and the chemical products applied to them would have on both the environment, soil, a developing fetus or human health that resulted in their use being banned in 27 countries around the world and labeled in 64 more.

In light of the study out of MIT, this precautionary measure seems well-founded, as with the approval of every new RoundUp Ready crop, there is a 2-5 times increase in the amount of glyphosate that is applied.

And while that may help drive profitability for the chemical industry, there are social costs: lost yields in food production and any health care costs that may be associated with the harm that these chemicals might cause.

The authors of the MIT report are concerned that RoundUp, for which these genetically engineered crops are named, and the chemical used in it, glyphosate, are contributing to diseases as far-ranging as inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, infertility, cystic fibrosis, cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease,going so far as to suggest that it “…may be the most biologically disruptive chemical in our environment.”

 

For more:

 

http://organicconnectmag.com/wp/mit-study-links-popular-herbicide-to-human-illnesses/#.UYu1c0mgilg

 


Via Giri Kumar
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GMO 'botox apples' that do not bruise or brown could soon be in stores - New York Daily News

GMO 'botox apples' that do not bruise or brown could soon be in stores - New York Daily News | genetically modified organisms | Scoop.it
New York Daily News GMO 'botox apples' that do not bruise or brown could soon be in stores New York Daily News Like Monsanto, the world's leading producer of GMO seed stock, Okanagan has come out against the kind of mandatory labeling standards...
Isabel Fernandez's insight:

Please also read: "Okanagan GMO apple grower hopes Health Canada bites" in Penticton Western News, here http://www.pentictonwesternnews.com/news/153771135.html. Don't miss the comments!

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No risk with GMO food, says EU chief scientific advisor

No risk with GMO food, says EU chief scientific advisor | genetically modified organisms | Scoop.it
EXCLUSIVE: Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are no riskier than their conventionally farmed equivalents, the European Commission’s Chief Scientific Advisor Anne Glover has told EurActiv in an exclusive interview, calling for countries...
Isabel Fernandez's insight:

You have to know who is the European Commission's Chief Scientific Advisor Anne Glover... Please look at "GM the answer - Scotland's new chief scientific advisor" here:http://www.gmwatch.org/home/5403

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VIDEO: Stars align in protest against food giant Monsanto over GMO crops

VIDEO: Stars align in protest against food giant Monsanto over GMO crops | genetically modified organisms | Scoop.it
The stars seem to be aligning against genetically modified crop pioneer Monsanto.
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March against Monsanto on May 25, 2013

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Página/12 :: Sociedad :: Semillas de discordia

La Justicia de Córdoba ordenó frenar la construcción de una planta de Monsanto en la provincia.
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The Only Real Way to End GMOs | Maria's Farm Country Kitchen

The Only Real Way to End GMOs | Maria's Farm Country Kitchen | genetically modified organisms | Scoop.it

 

 

The other day I was feeling overwhelmed, depressed, and defeated about the whole GMO thing. There is SO MUCH evidence that GMOs, and the chemicals that are used in concert with them (like Roundup) are destroying our health and planet. And yet the infiltration and power and pockets of the chemical companies seem to know no bounds. The tricks being used to pervert the Farm Bill and sneak the new “technology” into people’s lives unaware are far beyond what would be considered ethical. But who has the time, attention span, and money to fight back? Some of us have day jobs. And all the petitions we sign seem to go into a black hole in a big White House. (Obama, have you checked the attic lately?) Hundreds of thousands of people have signed petitions and answered surveys that they want GMOs at least labeled and out of our food system. Why aren’t you listening, Mr. President?!

But then it occurred to me. We have the solution! We have the power! YOU have the answer in your HANDS RIGHT NOW! Forget Washington (well, let’s not forget it, but isn’t Washington always the LAST to change?)  Ultimately, there is only one way to ensure that there are no GMOs in your food, and that is to buy, grow, and eat only organic food.

Buy eat and grow ONLY certified-organic food. It’s that simple. Certified-organic foods are the ONLY products you can buy that ensure you are not buying, eating, or supporting the GMO mafia. Eating certified-organic food is the only way you can ensure that you are not poisoning your children, poisoning yourself, and poisoning our environment. Isn’t that worth a few extra bucks in the supermarket? SERIOUSLY??!!! Yes, it’s worth it. Consider it your own lobbying budget. You are voting with your dollars, and the capitalist free market must respond to that. That’s why Wonder Bread and Twinkies bit the dust—not because of any government regulation, but because people wised up and stopped buying them.

I know you have questions. Why is organic so much more expensive? (Because the government penalizes organic farmers and artificially subsidizes chemical farmers.) How can you be sure it’s really organic? (Because organic food is the only food that is independently inspected every year to keep its certification—unlike that chemical fertilizer plant that exploded in Texas, which hadn’t been inspected since 1985. 1985!!!!!!!!!). Isn’t local food better than organic? (Only if it’s organic local food, because why would you want to support food that has contaminated your local community? And everything is local to someone somewhere!)

What’s the opposite of a boycott? A quick google search landed me on the term “carrotmob” (a campaign that supports a business in order to create positive change)—that’s perfect! Let’s carrotmob organic food! This is an act of individualized political activism that will do more to change the world (and your personal health) for the better than any march, any vote, any gala dinner event, any charity run, or any other thing will do to solve this issue once and for all.

Remember, only YOU can stop GMOs dead in their tracks.  What are you waiting for?


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UPDATE 3-USDA says more review needed for new Monsanto, Dow GMO crops - Reuters

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UPDATE 3-USDA says more review needed for new Monsanto, Dow GMO crops
Reuters
Sponsored Links. UPDATE 3-USDA says more review needed for new Monsanto, Dow GMO crops. Tweet · Share this · Email · Print.
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Organic News USA - The Real Monsanto Protection Act: How The GMO Giant Corrupts Regulators And Consolidates Its Power

Organic News USA - The Real Monsanto Protection Act: How The GMO Giant Corrupts Regulators And Consolidates Its Power | genetically modified organisms | Scoop.it
Organic News USA - The Real Monsanto Protection Act: How The GMO Giant Corrupts Regulators And Consolidates Its Power (RT @stream_organic: #Organic #News #USA The Real #Monsanto #Protection #Act: How The #GMO #Giant #Corrupts #Regulators &...
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Farmer’s use of genetically modified soybeans grows into Supreme Court case - Washington Post (2013)

Farmer’s use of genetically modified soybeans grows into Supreme Court case - Washington Post (2013) | genetically modified organisms | Scoop.it

Bowman’s unorthodox soybean farming techniques have landed him at the center of a national battle over genetically modified crops. His legal battle, now at the Supreme Court, raises questions about whether the right to patent living things extends to their progeny, and how companies that engage in cutting-edge research can recoup their investments.

 

What Bowman did was to take commodity grain from the local elevator, which is usually used for feed, and plant it. But that grain was mostly progeny of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready beans because that’s what most Indiana soybean farmers grow. Those soybeans are genetically modified to survive the weedkiller Roundup, and Monsanto claims that Bowman’s planting violated the company’s restrictions.

 

Those supporting Bowman hope the court uses the case, which is scheduled for oral arguments later this month, to hit the reset button on corporate domination of agribusiness and what they call Monsanto’s “legal assault” on farmers who don’t toe the line. Monsanto’s supporters say advances in health and environmental research are endangered.

 

And the case raises questions about the traditional role of farmers. For instance: When a farmer grows Monsanto’s genetically modified soybean seeds, has he simply “used” the seed to create a crop to sell, or has he “made” untold replicas of Monsanto’s invention that remain subject to the company’s restrictions? ...

 

Farmers who buy seeds with the Roundup Ready trait sign an agreement that says they may be used for one planting only. Even though the gene exists in the new beans they grow, farmers cannot save them for a second planting, nor sell them to others for that purpose. But they are allowed to sell the beans to giant grain elevators, like those that are the most prominent feature on the flat landscape in Bowman’s corner of southern Indiana. 

 

From 1999 to 2007, Bowman purchased Roundup Ready seeds for his first planting of soybeans and abided by Monsanto’s restrictions. But like some farmers, he also plants a second crop later in the growing season; such crops are highly dependent on the weather, which makes them more hit-or-miss.

It is too risky to pay the high price of Monsanto’s Roundup-resistant seeds for the second crop of the season, Bowman said, so instead he purchased cheaper commodity grain from the local elevator, which is usually used for feed. He planted it, and when he sprayed the crop with the herbicide, almost all survived. That wasn’t surprising, because 94 percent of Indiana soybean farmers grow Roundup Ready beans. 

 

Bowman told Monsanto exactly what he was doing, and Monsanto told him to stop. The farmer was in effect “soybean laundering,” according to some of the companies supporting Monsanto at the Supreme Court — selling Roundup Ready progeny beans to the grain elevator and hoping other farmers were too, then buying them back and planting them...


Via Alexander J. Stein
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Norman Warthmann's curator insight, February 14, 2013 5:42 PM

this will be an interesting lawsuit to follow :)