Category: Genetics


Genetically engineered crops banned in Jackson County, Oregon in landslide victory against GMOs

Oregon
Wednesday, May 21, 2014

(NaturalNews) A ban on the growing of all genetically engineered plants appears to be a landslide victory in Jackson County, Oregon. With 100 percent of the precincts reporting and a huge voter turnout of over 50 percent, nearly 66% of voters elected to ban all genetically engineered crops from being grown in the county.

The vote ran 39,489 to 20,432 in favor of the ban, and it sends a clear signal that the People of Jackson County, Oregon — a largely agricultural area of the country — absolutely do not want genetically engineered crops to be growing anywhere near them. (Click here to see county election results.)

This is on top of the recent victory in Vermont where lawmakers passed a mandatory GMO labeling law that requires foods to be honestly labeled with their GMO content. (The evil biotech industry and its Grocery Manufacturers of America front group plant to sue Vermont to keep consumers in the dark.)

“Destroy all genetically engineered plants”

This ordinance in Oregon requires everyone to “destroy” all genetically engineered plants except those grown under indoor laboratory conditions (i.e. those which are safely isolated from the wild). This will allow scientists to continue to study GMOs without risking the lives of everyone else in the process.

Click here to read the full text of the ordinance (PDF).

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Oregon counties ban cultivation of GMO crops

Published time: May 21, 2014 16:37
Edited time: May 22, 2014 11:18

Reuters/Ints Kalnins

Reuters/Ints Kalnins

Despite the flood of corporate money poured into two small Oregon counties, local residents voted on Tuesday to ban genetically engineered crops from being planted within their borders.

Although Jackson County itself is home to less than 120,000 registered voters, the measure to ban genetically modified crops (GMOs) made headlines around the nation when it was revealed that large biotech companies like Monsanto were pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into the area in order to affect the vote’s outcome.

As RT reported previously, Monsanto and five other corporations spent at least $455,000 in an attempt to defeat the initiative, and opponents of the GMO ban had gained an eight-to-one spending advantage as of April. According to the Associated Press, nearly $1 million of the $1.3 million spent during the campaign was used by opponents.

When the results were tallied, however, 66 percent of Jackson County residents voted in favor of the ban.

“We fought the most powerful and influential chemical companies in the world and we won,” local farmer and anti-GMO advocate Elise Higley told the Oregonian.

“It’s a great day for the people of Oregon who care about sustainability and healthy ecosystems,” added the group GMO Free Oregon on its Facebook page.

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January 18, 2014 | 49,140 views

By Dr. Mercola

Cereal giant General Mills has announced that its original-flavor Cheerios will soon be made without the use of genetically modified (GM) ingredients.

It’s a major step in the right direction that also highlights the changing attitudes among the US public regarding genetically modified organisms (GMOs)… increasing numbers of people simply do not want them in our food.

For some of you, the news that Cheerios even contained GM ingredients to begin with may come as a surprise, as GM ingredients are not required to be labeled in the US (the way they are in the European Union or EU).

Others may have assumed they were GM-free, since they’re made mostly from oats, not corn or soy, which are two of the most commonly used GMOs in the US. Unbeknownst to many, however, Cheerios were formerly made using GM cornstarch and sugar.

Most likely, though, General Mills’ move was made in response to recent consumer backlash, proving once again that the power to clean up the food supply lies in your hands.

 

Consumer Backlash Likely Drove General Mills to Drop GMOs from Cheerios

 

General Mills reported earlier this month that they’ve already begun producing Cheerios made without GMOs. To be clear, the change will only apply to its original-flavor cereal (not Apple Cinnamon or others), and the boxes will be labeled “Not Made with Genetically Modified Ingredients.”

There will also be a disclaimer that trace amounts of GMO ingredients may be present due to contamination during the manufacturing process.1 The move comes just weeks after General Mills’ Cheerios brand released a Facebook app asking “fans” to “show what Cheerios mean to them.”

The app allowed users to create their own placards using Cheerios’ trademarked black font on a yellow background, where dots and periods featured little cheerios. One day later, the app was abruptly pulled after thousands of angry “fans” expressed their disgust over the company’s betrayal. What betrayal, you ask?

General Mills donated more than $1.1 million to the “No on Prop. 37″ campaign to defeat California’s Proposition 37, which would have required GM foods to be labeled as such and prevented GM foods from being mislabeled as “natural.”

Proposition 37 was defeated back in November 2012 due to massive donations from multinational corporations, such as General Mills, which hide GM ingredients behind natural labels and “wholesome” advertising. Two of the first three ingredients in Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios are cornstarch and sugar—two ingredients that are often genetically engineered.

 

You Spoke… and General Mills Listened!

 

Many people are now waking up to the fact that there is an ever-growing number of genetically engineered ingredients in our food that we had no idea were there. As far as Cheerios goes, you’d never get the impression there might be anything unnatural about their cereal.

But when it came out that the company had been donating to efforts to keep GM labeling silent, their trust for providing “wholesome goodness” (as their Web site claims) was badly broken.

After all, they would rather pay millions to hide that their products contain GM ingredients rather than give you the choice to buy something else… or reformulate their product without GM ingredients (which would be the sensible thing to do if they were really concerned about children’s long-term health and well-being).

After all the backlash – remember, there were thousands of people speaking out against their GMO deception on their Facebook page – General Mills got proactive with damage control by removing the GM ingredients from their flagship product. Now, if they’ll extend it to their other products as well, we’ll be getting somewhere…

Monsanto Disses GMO-Free Cheerios as a Marketing Stunt

Monsanto, the world leader in genetically modified (GM) crops and seeds, dismissed General Mills’ move to make Cheerios GMO-free, calling it a ‘marketing’ move. CEO Hugh Grant focused his comments on the fact that oats are the main ingredient in original Cheerios, and there are no GM oats.

Still, there is GM corn and GM sugar, two other ingredients used in the cereal. Clearly Monsanto is keen on downplaying the positive press that General Mills is receiving over labeling their products as free from GMOs. Could this signal the beginning of the end for the unspoken partnership between biotech and the junk-food industry?

CEO Hugh Grant said:2

“The interesting thing with Cheerios over that particular brand is they’re made from oats, and there are no biotech oats in existence today. So I think we’ve talked for years about we would support voluntary labeling and that was up to companies to do. I think we saw last week was the first real life example of true voluntary labeling and probably a little bit of marketing as well.”

Monsanto is not going to let GM labeling happen without a fight, however. Last year the company donated nearly $5 million to the anti-labeling campaign in Washington State, and in 2012 they donated more than $7 million to help defeat California’s Proposition 37.

Curiously enough, Monsanto is more than willing to “support” GMO labeling once they run out of options. They even ran an ad in the UK letting British consumers know how much the company supports the mandatory labeling of their goods—even urging Britons to seek such labels out—ostensibly because Monsanto believes “you should be aware of all the facts before making a decision.”

 

Forbes Asks: Are GMO-Free Cheerios “The First Domino”?

 

The first white flag from the food industry has gone up, and even Forbes had to admit it. With increasing GMO-labeling initiatives on state ballots and regulators considering labeling changes on a national level, the food industry has been standing together to defeat this rising opposition … until now.

General Mills’ move sets it apart from the other industry giants in showing that they are responding to consumer demand. It’s a wise move that will win them major favor among the growing number of Americans seeking safer food while costing them little (the actual tweaking of their recipe to become GMO-free will be minimal). This may very well be the ‘first domino’ to fall …

In fact, Post Foods recently announced that they have released a non-GMO verified Grape Nuts cereal that is available on store shelves as of January 2014.. and they’re looking to add even more non-GMO verified products, noting that

We are always listening to our consumers…”

So it seems the dominoes are already beginning to fail. As for why General Mills’ made their move at such a pivotal time in GM-food history, Forbes hit the nail on the head:3

The answer is that public opinion is reaching critical mass. Ninety-percent of Americans believe that GMOs are unsafe, 93 percent of Americans favor stringent federal GMO labeling regulations, and 57 percent say they would be less likely to buy products labeled as genetically modified. When we shift the focus from General Mills motivations to the timing of its decision, we see why every food manufacturer ought to be taking notice, whether another brand-name kitchen table staple goes non-GMO or not.”

 

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Playing Keep Away From GMOs

SuperMarket News

 

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By Dr. Mercola

In a recent article titled “Monsanto GM Soy is Scarier than You Think,” Mother Jones1 went into some of the details surrounding our genetically engineered (GE) food supply.

Soybeans are the second-largest food crop grown in the US, and more than 90 percent of it is genetically engineered. Some have been modified to withstand the herbicide Roundup (i.e. Roundup-Ready soy), while other varieties have been designed to produce its own pesticide, courtesy of the Bt gene (so-called Bt soy).

As noted in the featured article, organic soy production is miniscule, accounting for less than one percent of the total acreage devoted to soy in the US. The rest is conventionally grown non-GE soy.

Even if you don’t buy soy products such as tofu or soy milk, you’re undoubtedly consuming plenty of soy if you’re eating any processed foods and/or meats from animals raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). A large portion of the GE soy grown actually ends up in your meat, as soy is a staple of conventional livestock feed. Much of the rest ends up as vegetable oil.

According to the US Soy Board, soybean oil accounts for more than 60 percent of all the vegetable oil consumed in the US—most of which is used in processed foods and fast food preparation. As noted in the featured article:2

“Given soy’s centrality to our food and agriculture systems, the findings of a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Food Chemistry3 are worth pondering.

The authors found that Monsanto’s ubiquitous Roundup Ready soybeans… contain more herbicide residues than their non-GMO counterparts. The team also found that the GM beans are nutritionally inferior.”

 

New Research Questions Quality and Safety of GE Soybeans

 

Three varieties of Iowa-grown soybeans were investigated in this study:4

  1. Roundup Ready soybeans
  2. Non-GE, conventional soybeans grown using Roundup herbicide
  3. Organic soybeans, grown without agricultural chemicals

All of the Roundup Ready soybean samples were found to contain residues of glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in Roundup, along with its amino acid metabolite, aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA).

On average, GE soy contained 11.9 parts per million (ppm) of glyphosate. The highest residue level found was 20.1 ppm. Meanwhile, no residues of either kind were found in the conventional non-GE and organic varieties.

In terms of nutrition, organic soybeans contained slightly higher levels of protein and lower levels of omega-6, compared to both conventionally-grown non-GE and GE soy. Similar results were found in a 2012 nutritional analysis of GE corn, which was found to contain 13 ppm of glyphosate, compared to zero in non-GMO corn.

It may be worth noting that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actually raised the allowable levels of glyphosate5, 6 in oilseed crops such as soy, from 20 ppm to 40 ppm just last summer. It also raised the levels of permissible glyphosate contamination in other foods—many of which were raised to 15-25 times previous levels!

 

Why Glyphosate Contamination Matters

 

Nearly one BILLION pounds of Roundup are used each year for conventional crop production around the globe, but genetically engineered (GE) crops see some of the heaviest use. This is especially true for Roundup Ready crops, which are designed to withstand otherwise lethal doses of this chemical.

The issue of glyphosate contamination is well worth considering if you value your health. Recent research suggests glyphosate may in fact be an instrumental driver of many chronic diseases, and in my view, avoiding glyphosate is a major reason for buying organic, in and of itself.

Labeling GMOs could help you select products that are less likely to have heavy contamination, although you’d also avoid many other hazardous chemicals used in conventional farming by opting for products labeled 100% organic.

It’s important to understand that these glyphosate residues CANNOT be washed off, as the chemical is actively integrated into every cell in the plant. Dr. Don Huber, who is one of the most prominent scientific experts in plant toxicology, firmly believes glyphosate is FAR more toxic and dangerous than DDT. A number of other studies have raised serious questions about the safety of glyphosate, including but not limited to the following:

  • Research published in the International Journal of Toxicology7 in January revealed that glyphosate-based formulations like Roundup pose a threat to human health through cytotoxicity and oxidative effects. Such formulations were also found to be lethal to human liver cells
  • A 2012 study8 found that 3 ppm of Roundup in water induced morphological changes in frogs
  • A German study9 on poultry, published in 2013, showed that glyphosate tends to be more harmful to beneficial gut bacteria like Lactobacillus, while pathogenic bacteria like Salmonella entritidi tend to be largely resistant to the chemical. Subsequently, the microbial balance tends to shift toward pathogenic overgrowth when exposed to glyphosate, and can predispose the animal to botulism

Victory! Vermont Passes First Effective GMO-Labeling Bill

 

On April 16, 2014, the Vermont Senate passed the first no-strings-attached GMO labeling bill (H.112) by an overwhelming margin—28-2. The bill sailed through a House/Senate conference committee and was approved by the House of Representatives on April 23.

Governor Shumlin has already indicated he will be signing the bill into law—which will require any genetically engineered food sold in Vermont to be labeled by July 1, 2016.10 Food served in restaurants, alcohol, meat, and dairy products would be exempt from labeling however. Foods containing GMO ingredients would also not be allowed to be labeled “natural.”

“I am proud of Vermont for being the first state in the nation to ensure that Vermonters will know what is in their food,” Governor Shumlin said in a statement. “The Legislature has spoken loud and clear through its passage of this bill. I wholeheartedly agree with them and look forward to signing this bill into law.”

This is truly an historical moment that will likely reverberate across the US in coming years. As noted by Ronnie Cummins in a recent Huffington Post article:11

“Strictly speaking, Vermont’s H.112 applies only to Vermont. But it will have the same impact on the marketplace as a federal law. Because national food and beverage companies and supermarkets will not likely risk the ire of their customers by admitting that many of the foods and brands they are selling in Vermont are genetically engineered, and deceptively labeled as ‘natural’ or ‘all natural’ while simultaneously trying to conceal this fact in the other 49 states and North American markets. As a seed executive for Monsanto admitted 20 years ago, ‘If you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it.'”

The Burlington Free Press12 recently ran an excellent article on how the Vermont GMO labeling bill was won. I would highly encourage you to read it in its entirety, to get a real-world view of just how effective a grassroots campaign can be. It really boils down to letting your representatives know what you want. Despite the threat of a lawsuit from food manufacturers, Vermont legislators realized that their constituents were serious about wanting GMOs labeled. And they voted accordingly. Indeed, the chemical technology and food industry knows this, which is why they’ve fought tooth and nail to stop any and all GMO labeling efforts in the US. They’ve even threatened to sue any state that passes a labeling law—a threat taken seriously by Vermont.

 

Vermont Braces for Legal Challenge

 

Vermont Senate agreed to establish a state defense fund to pay for legal costs associated with defending the law against any legal challenge by the food industry, which will undoubtedly be spearheaded by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). It’s unlikely that the industry would win such a legal challenge, however. As reported by the Burlington Free Press:13

“Rep. Teo Zagar, D-Barnard, told House members that… changes the Senate made will help the state prevail in court. ‘This bill has been re-engineered to be more resistant to legal challenge,’ he said.”

As you may recall, after getting caught laundering money and narrowly defeating the Washington labeling campaign, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) sued the state of Washington, arguing they should be allowed to hide their donors—which is a direct violation of state campaign disclosure laws—in order to “speak with one voice” for the interests of the food industry.14 I subsequently named the GMA “the most evil corporation on the planet,” considering the fact that it consists primarily of pesticide producers and junk food manufacturers who are hell-bent on violating some of your most basic rights, just to protect their own profits.

The GMA was initially forced to reveal their donors, but has since removed their online membership list—again hiding their members to prevent consumer awareness of who is behind this radical front group. You can find the cached members list on web.archive.org15 however. Not surprisingly, Pepsi, Coke, and Nestle—top purveyors of chronic ill health—were the top funders trying to hide their identity during the Washington State GMO labeling campaign.

 

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The Center for Food Safety is warning the public that the EPA is set to approve the direct spraying of the herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) on Dow Chemical’s genetically engineered corn and soybeans. That chemical is one-half of the compound called “Agent Orange” used in Vietnam to destroy foliage; it caused cancer among Vietnam veterans. EPA will render a decision after a 30 day comment period. Dow developed the GE crops, known as “Enlist”, to withstand high doses of 2,4-D (which it also sells) after its disastrous Roundup Ready crops created glyphosate-resistant superweeds.

Crop DustingYou can sign a petition opposing this action at CFS web site called “Dow Watch”. CFS opposes this move by the EPA because they state, “wide scale use of herbicides in tandem with GE crops has led to an epidemic of herbicide resistant weeds, and the next step in the chemical arms race is Dow Chemical’s 2,4-D, a chemical linked to major health problems including cancer, Parkinson’s disease, endocrine disruption, and reproductive problems.”

 

Read More Here

 

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​EPA advances approval of powerful weed killer for Dow’s ‘Agent Orange’ GMO crops

Published time: May 02, 2014 00:56
Edited time: May 03, 2014 14:35

Reuters / Doug Wilson / USDA<br />
Photo / Handout<br />
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The US Environmental Protection Agency has revealed a proposal for mass use of Dow Chemical’s herbicide 2,4-D on the company’s genetically-engineered corn and soybeans. The GE crops were developed to withstand several herbicides, including 2,4-D.

Dow would be allowed to sell the herbicide if the EPA approves it following a 30-day public comment period.

The 2,4-D chemical, combined with glyphosate, makes up the herbicide Enlist Duo. 2,4-D also makes up half of the toxic mix in the now infamous ‘Agent Orange,’ used by the United States during the Vietnam War, which is thought to have resulted in the deaths of an estimated 400,000 people and birth defects in 500,000 others.

Dow’s genetically-engineered corn and soybeans – known as Enlist – have received preliminary approval from the US Department of Agriculture. Should Enlist crops win ultimate authorization, the USDA said that would increase the annual use of 2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid) in the United States from 26 million pounds per year to possibly 176 million pounds.

The crops are designed to withstand high doses of glyphosate – brought to market by biotech giant Monsanto as their Roundup weed killer – and 2,4-D. Dow’s corn and soybeans thus earned the derogatory name ‘Agent Orange’ crops by opponents of both the highly-toxic chemical mix and the controversial use of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in large-scale agriculture.

 

Read More Here

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Prevent Disease

 

April 30, 2014 by DR. SUZANNE BARTOLINI

The levels of radiation that we are constantly exposed to have risen dramatically over the last half century. Ambient fallout from nuclear catastrophes is impacting our environment, and ultimately our health, as we all come in contact with radioactive materials. Here’s how to protect yourself.

The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, and the most recent 2011 Japan Tsunami calamity at Fukushima nuclear power plant have each had devastating consequences for the environment, damaging the ecosystem and the quality of our air, water, and soil.

The greatest health consequences of a nuclear accident or explosion are linked to radioactive materials (radio-nuclides) that can travel through air and water for thousands of miles, contaminating the world with radioactive particles. Once the human body is exposed to nuclear fallout, radioactive isotopes can remain in the body for many years, causing unpredictable chemical reactions. Absorption of radiation, especially over prolonged periods of time, can result in free radical damage, mutational damage to DNA, and cellular dysfunction, inducing several diseases. Symptoms of radiation toxicity can include fatigue, migraines, infertility, allergic reactions, hypertension, disorders of the central nervous system, anxiety, memory loss, rheumatic pains, flu-like symptoms, low red and white blood cell counts, etc.
Ionizing and Non-Ionizing RadiationThere are two types of radiation: ionizing and non-ionizing. Both types cause DNA damage and form harmful free radicals. Ionizing radiation is produced from nuclear reactors, nuclear bombs, nuclear waste, and diagnostic equipment like x-rays and CT scans. Ionizing radiation is considered the most harmful. The most common diseases linked to ionizing radiation include thyroid disease, leukemia and various cancers, anemia, bone and blood disorders, endocrine (hormonal) disruption, reproductive abnormalities and birth defects, kidney and liver damage, and overall severely damaged immune systems.Non-ionizing radiation is a type of electromagnetic radiation produced by electronic devices such as televisions, cell phones and towers, wireless devices, computers, high voltage electrical lines, radios, microwaves, etc. Non-ionizing radiation disrupts molecules as it passes through the body, and there is an increasing body of research demonstrating that exposure to electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) can alter the behaviour of cells and hormones. For example, EMFs can cause the body to reduce production of the hormone melatonin, affecting immune processes and causing increased defects, sterility, and fetus mortality rates in laboratory animals. In 1987, scientists discovered a significant link between increased incidence of childhood cancer and close proximity to high tension power lines and commonly used electronic devices.Radiation-induced Thyroid DiseaseA variety of dangerous radioactive materials are known to be released during nuclear power plant accidents. Among the most worrisome are cesium-137 and iodine-131, which emit Gamma rays and have affinities for parts of the human body. Cesium-137 mimics potassium inside the body and accumulates mainly in the liver, kidneys, and the reproductive system. Iodine-131 is rapidly absorbed by the thyroid gland and increases the risk of thyroid growths and cancer.

And radioactive emissions are not limited only to nuclear accidents. According to Professor Ernest Sternglass of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, an expert on radiation physics: “By design, nuclear power reactors must regularly release steam to lower the intense heat produced. Invisible radioactive particles are emitted into the atmosphere along with the steam and are carried on air currents, eventually falling to the ground with rain and snow… Many cancer hot spots are related to nuclear fallout carried by wind currents from distant locations, which later come down with rain or snow over a particular area, raising the cancer risk among a local population that received the precipitated radioactive fallout.”

The thyroid gland is the first to uptake radioactive iodine, and even when small amounts are inhaled or ingested they will concentrate in the thyroid gland. Most North Americans are iodine deficient which makes them more vulnerable to radioactive iodine. If there is an iodine deficiency in the diet, radioactive iodine-131 will be absorbed and accumulate in the thyroid gland because the thyroid does not distinguish between radioactive and non-radioactive iodine. Having adequate iodine in the body therefore prevents radioactive iodine from attaching to the thyroid gland.

Potassium iodide pills can be taken to prevent the uptake of radioactive iodine in the event of a nuclear accident. Supplementing with potassium Iodine (KI) in either pill form or saturated liquid form (super saturated potassium iodide or SSKI), is the best way to quickly load iodine into the thyroid. Potassium iodine (KI) can be administered in prophylactic doses within 24 hours of exposure in radiation emergencies, and for a short period of time after exposure. In 1986 after the Chernobyl accident, people who were administered potassium iodide experienced less childhood thyroid cancers compared to those who were not. The World Health Organization also recommends potassium iodide supplementation to prevent the thyroid’s uptake of radioactive iodine.

Consuming natural sources of iodine helps offset the side effects of radiation exposure. The best natural source of iodine comes from seaweeds (also referred to as sea vegetables), however there is renewed controversy surrounding seaweed that may be harvested from polluted ocean waters. Kelp is perhaps the most well-known seaweed; others include wakame, kombu, dulse, nori, hijiki, and arame.

In North American studies, seaweed was found to neutralize radioactive isotopes in the human body. Researchers discovered that certain radioactive materials can bind to the algin in brown seaweeds to create “sodium alginate” which has a unique quality in that it can bind heavy metals and radioactive elements, preventing their absorption by the body. In one Canadian study, sodium alginate from kelp reduced radioactive strontium absorption in the intestines by 50 percent to 80 percent.

Other Nutritional and Antioxidant Treatments for Combating RadiationA large number of nutrients and foods are suggested as being helpful in preventing or limiting, or even counteracting, the effects of nuclear radiation. Below are some that are especially noted for their beneficial effects:

MISO — this fermented food made from soybeans has long been used in Japan for both protection from radiation, detoxification, and for stimulating the immune system. Miso is also well-documented to benefit circulation and remove blood clots. Miso soup was used as the primary antidote for the effects of radiation poisoning after the Hiroshima bombing. A 1990 Hiroshima University study concluded that people who regularly consume miso soup may be up to five times more resistant to radiation poisoning than people who do not.

SPIRULINA — is a blue-green algae that is extremely rich in nutrients. It contains beta carotene, vitamin B-12, iron, chlorophyll, GLA fatty acids, and much more. Spirulina has been studied extensively in Russia and China, where research has shown it chelates radiation from the body, as well as provides general protection from radiation toxicity. One study in particular demonstrated how children on a protocol of spirulina after Chernobyl had improved immunity and T-cell counts. Chlorella algae is often listed along with spirulina as an equivalent radiation chelator. However, although chlorella is well-regarded as an excellent heavy metal detoxifier and is also known to reduce chemotherapy side-effects, it has not been demonstrated in research to counter the effects of nuclear radiation.

R-LIPOIC ACID — is a unique, vitamin-like antioxidant that protects the body from free radical damage. Research performed in Russia found that lipoic acid is one of the most effective anti-radiation nutrients available. Research continues to demonstrate that it has many benefits as a super antioxidant and metal chelator, working to repair liver damage, combat radiation sickness, treat diabetes, and protect against free radical damage.

Glutathione (GSH) and N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) — Glutathione is an internally produced antioxidant that enhances the ability of immune system cells and protects against radiation damage. Studies have also shown that GSH can reduce side effects of chemotherapy, xrays, and alcohol. In addition, it is well-known as a detoxifier of heavy metals, and is extremely useful in the treatment of blood and liver disorders. Supplementing with N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), a glutathione precursor, stimulates glutathione synthesis. NAC itself is a powerful antioxidant that is effective in detoxifying the liver. Sulphur-containing foods such as cabbage, broccoli, and kale also help the body to produce GSH.

SELENIUM — is a cofactor of glutathione production and activates the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which is believed to protect the body from cancer in large part by increasing white blood cell counts. The largest study performed with selenium demonstrated that people supplementing with selenium developed less prostate, colorectal, and lung cancers. While there are no human studies to support the theory that selenium directly protects against radiation, research performed on rats has demonstrated that selenium decreased death rates in rats who were directly exposed to radiation.

GREEN AND BLACK TEAS — Studies have shown that both green and black teas provide some degree of protection against radiation. Tea catechins seem to absorb and eliminate radioactive isotopes. The polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) derived from green tea has been shown in animal studies to protect from whole-body radiation. Regular black tea exhibited the same anti-radiation effects in several Japanese studies.

BENTONITE CLAY – Has also been recommended for detoxing after radiation exposure, but this is not confirmed by research. Bentonite clay is well-documented in traditional medicine to bind heavy metal toxins and effectively flush them from the body.

Botanical Medicines as Potential Radiation ProtectorsOngoing research on several plants and herbs is demonstrating their potential radioprotective abilities. The natural chemicals, referred to as polyphenols, that are present in various botanicals have been shown to counteract the oxidative stress that is induced by ionizing radiation. They tend to do this either by scavenging radiation-induced free radicals and/or by elevating antioxidant levels in the body.

Many of the botanicals currently being researched have medicinal properties and have been safely used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic systems of medicine. These include various plants such as: Podophyllum hexandrum, tinospora cordifolia, phyllanthus amarus, piper longum (pippali) fruit, arctium lappa (burdock root), and zingiber officinale (ginger). The most notable research, however, has been performed on panax ginseng and gingko biloba.

PANAX GINSENG — Studies have successfully demonstrated that treatment with panax ginseng extract aided recovery of cells involved in blood clotting (thrombocytes) and red blood cell counts in blood after radiation exposure. Clinical trials reported that people who took panax ginseng extract for thirty days following exposure to radiation showed a faster recovery rate from injuries to their bone marrow, organs, skin, and blood cells. In animal studies, ginseng extract prevents bone marrow injury and accelerates the recovery of both red and white blood cell counts.

GINGKO BILOBA — Solid research has been performed on extracts of ginkgo biloba, which contain antioxidant compounds that protect cells from free radical damage. Specifically, the results suggest that the gingko biloba extracts prevent cells from undergoing apoptosis (programmed cell death). A study was performed on healthy white blood cells that were then exposed to gamma radiation. Half of the sample was treated with the ginkgo biloba extract and these cells showed protection from the radiation while the untreated cells underwent apoptosis. The study concluded that the extracts of the leaves of the gingko biloba tree may protect human cells from radiation damage.

PECTIN — Ongoing studies are researching pectin as a natural chelating agent. Pectin is a structural polysaccharide (fiber) found in cell walls of plants and fruits. Some studies have demonstrated it to be beneficial for binding and removing radioactive residues from the body. Pectin-rich foods include apples, guavas, plums, gooseberries, and citrus fruits.

Caveat, re: Iodine — While Dr. Joseph Mercola recognizes that optimal amounts of dietary iodine are important to nourish the thyroid, he warns about the risk of getting too much iodine: “Taking too much iodine may lead to subclinical hypothyroidism, which occurs when your thyroid produces too little thyroid hormone. It’s an ironic association, since hypothyroidism is often linked to iodine deficiency, But research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that study participants taking relatively higher doses of supplemental iodine — 400 micrograms a day and more — paradoxically began developing subclinical hypothyroidism.”

Dr. Mercola also points to a major culprit in the epidemic of iodine deficiency in North Americans today:bromine exposure. “When you ingest or absorb bromine (found in baked goods, plastics, soft drinks, medications, pesticides and more), it displaces iodine, and this iodine deficiency leads to an increased risk for cancer of the breast, thyroid gland, ovary and prostate — cancers that we see at alarmingly high rates today.”

Food IS MedicineBuckwheat is an important food to include, according to researchers. Buckwheat is high in the bioflavonoid rutin, and research supports its protective effects against radiation, and stimulating new bone marrow production. Also important to include in the diet are dried beans, especially lentils, which have been shown to reverse DNA damage caused by radiation. Incorporating medicinal mushrooms such as reishi and chaga mushrooms into the diet can also protect from radiation-induced, cancers according to research.

Much of the damage caused by radiation can be attributed to a high level of acidity and the inflammation that results in several diseases. Consuming alkalizing foods can have a multitude of benefits, and is protective against radiation-induced illnesses. Alkalinizing foods include whole grains, fruits, leafy green vegetables, essential fatty acids, lean proteins, etc, whereas acidifying foods are processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and sugar.

Sources:
psr.org
vitalitymagazine.com
mercola.com

townsendletter.com

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Roundup herbicide’s health risks recognized by Danish scientists

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 by: L.J. Devon, Staff Writer

glyphosate

(NaturalNews) Monsanto’s Roundup is coming under fire in Denmark as scientists awake to its effect on enzymes activities and the gastrointestinal health of mammals. Danish scientists are calling out for further investigation of the weed killer and other glyphosate-containing pesticides. Citing glyphosate’s potential for abuse on the health of livestock, the scientists report that the chemical is most dangerous during a mammal’s sensitive life stages.

Likewise, the weed killer has been proven to inhibit specific enzyme pathways in the guts of mammals — enzymes that play an important role in allowing the body to detoxify naturally.

Danish scientists recognize that glyphosate affects livestock at sensitive life stages

Current health assessments of livestock in Denmark show that genetically modified soy feed, which is doused with glyphosate, has negative effects on mammalian health. Scientists from Denmark’s Aarhus University investigated various farmer reports at the request of the Danish farm minister.

One of the scientists, Martin Tang Sorensen, hit the ground running, reviewing study after study identifying the risks that glyphosate poses to livestock health. Evidence pointed out that glyphosate impacts livestock the most during sensitive phases of the animal’s life.

Two hypotheses were studied and were of great concern to the researchers. The first investigated glyphosate’s damaging effect on the microorganisms in an animal’s gastrointestinal system. The second studied an animal’s mineral status as a secondary effect of glyphosate exposure.

Glyphosate disrupts good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, leaving livestock more prone to infections

For cattle and poultry, glyphosate disrupts the natural “good” bacteria balance in the gut. This is evidenced by the recent uptick of Clostridium botulinum infections in cattle. In the past ten years in Germany, botulism infections have increased dramatically, showing how a diminished gastrointestinal tract favors the growth of infectious disease. For example, salmonella and clostridium were found to be highly resistant to glyphosate. At the same time, beneficial bacteria such as Enterococcus, Bacillus and Lactobacillus were found to be most susceptible, destroyed in the presence of glyphosate. Without enough good bacteria, the gut of the livestock becomes a nest for disease to replicate.

 

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Farm Wars

GM Soy Linked to Illnesses in Farm Pigs

Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji

Institute of Science in Society

Danish Farmer Reverses Illnesses in pigs by reverting to a GM-free diet for his animals, which is yet further evidence for the toxicity of glyphosate tolerant GM crops Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji

A Danish farmer has gained huge public recognition for publishing his simple method for ridding his pigs of illness- removing genetically modified (GM) ingredients from their diet.

Published in the farming magazine Effektivt Landbrug on 13 April 2012 [1], the farmer Ib Borup Perderson describes how his pigs suffered from symptoms including chronic diarrhoea, birth defects, reproductive problems, reduced appetite, bloating, stomach ulcers, weaker and smaller piglets, and reduced litter sizes. This was not just a problem for the animals themselves but also the profitability of the farm, with fewer healthy animals, mounting costs of medicines and added labour costs.

After researching the health hazards of GM foods and associated herbicides, Pederson decided to stop feeding his 450 sows with GM soybean, replacing them with fishmeal and non-GM soybean instead. He began to notice health benefits after two days of a GM-free diet. The farmer’s account has since been published in an English dossier compiled by scientist Brian John of GM-free Cymru (Wales), with collaboration from Pederson, published online by GM Watch [2].

This finding adds to the continual flow of new evidence appearing in peer-reviewed scientific studies, farmers’ reports and witness accounts of the devastating health impacts of glyphosate-based herbicides and the associated GM crops modified to tolerate it. Birth defects from glyphosate exposure were detected in the 1980s in lab animals performed by Monsanto (see [3] EU Regulators and Monsanto Exposed for Hiding Glyphosate Toxicity, SiS 51, [4] Lab Study Establishes Glyphosate Link to Birth Defects, SiS 48, 5 Glyphosate Kills Rat Testes Cells, SiS 54).  Residents of heavy agrochemical-use zones in Argentina have seen startling increases in birth defects, adult and human cancer rates as well as other illnesses (see [6] Argentina’s Roundup Human Tragedy, SiS 48, [7] Pesticide Illnesses and GM Soybeans, SiS 53). Argentinian tobacco farmers have recently filed a lawsuit against Monsanto for birth defects suffered by their children following claims by the corporation that the chemical was safe to use [8]. Animal feeding studies have shown GM soya feed to cause sterility, stunting and death in rats (see [9] GM Soya Fed Rats: Stunted, Dead, or Sterile, SiS 33). This is also not the first time that livestock illness including reproductive problems has been linked to glyphosate-tolerant crop derived feed. Professor Emeritus Don Huber of Perdue University, a senior scientist of USDA (US Department of Agriculture) has been studying crop health for over 20 years, and warned how reduced mineral content of glyphosate-tolerant crops lead to nutritional deficiencies in livestock that in turn cause reproductive problems (see [10] USDA Scientist Reveals All, SiS 53). Reduced mineral content in crops results from glyphosate’s metal chelating properties, rendering essential minerals unavailable. Nutrient deficiency effects are independent of direct glyphosate toxicity that causes endocrine disruption, birth defects and cancers among other illnesses.  The identification of a novel pathogen in glyphosate-treated crops, reproductive organs of livestock as well as aborted foetal tissue may also be a contributing factor (see [11]Emergency! Pathogen New to Science Found in Roundup Ready GM Crops?,SiS50).

Improvements in health with GMO-free diet

The dossier [2] presents following effects since removing GM produce from the pigs’ diets, as described by Pederson:

1. Within 2 days, diarrhoea virtually disappeared in the farrowing house, whereas before, 50-100 ml Borgal / day [an antibacterial drug] had to be used.

2. Since switching, there had been no death from bloat in sows or death by ulcers, as opposed to minimum 1 per month previously (36 sows died due to stomach related sickness over the last two years before switching).

3. No sows have died through loss of appetite, whereas 2 sows died from this cause last year.

4. Even without washing between farrowings, diarrhoea does not reappear; previously failing to wash between sows would result in more diarrhoea.

5. Previously the farmer had struggled with diarrhoea in first layer sows, no more problems there.

6. Two years ago when the diarrhoea was as its worst, there were months with nearly 30% dead in the farrowing house. At that time it was impossible to find sows that could nurse piglets.

7. Before it was unusual to have a sow with 13 piglets weaned. The average was about 10.5 per sow plus spare mothers. Now the farmer is getting over 12 piglets on average weaned and 14 piglets weaned per sow is common. There are fewer nursing sows, simply because the sows are milking better and eating more.

 

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Deformities, Sickness and Livestock Death

The Real Cost of GM Animal Feed?

by ANDREW WASLEY

At first glance the frozen bundles could be mistaken for conventional joints of meat. But as Ib Pedersen, a Danish pig farmer, lifts them carefully out of the freezer it becomes apparent they are in fact whole piglets – some horribly deformed, with growths or other abnormalities, others stunted.

This is the result, Pedersen claims, of feeding the animals a diet containing genetically modified (GM) ingredients. Or more specifically, he believes, feed made from GM soya and sprayed with the controversial herbicide glyphosate.

Pedersen, who produces 13,000 pigs a year and supplies Europe’s largest pork company Danish Crown, says he became so alarmed at the apparent levels of deformity, sickness, deaths, and poor productivity he was witnessing in his animals that he decided to experiment by changing their diet from GM to non-GM feed.

piglet

Danish pig farmer Ib Pedersen is convinced that GM animal feed, and the glyphosate herbicide in particular, is responsible for deformities and other defects in pigs

The results, he says, were remarkable: ”When using GM feed I saw symptoms of bloat, stomach ulcers, high rates of diarrhoea, pigs born with the deformities … but when I switched [to non GM feed] these problems went away, some within a matter of days.”

The farmer says that not only has the switch in diet improved the visible health of the pigs, it has made the farm more profitable, with less medicine use and higher productivity. “Less abortions, more piglets born in each litter, and breeding animals living longer.” He also maintains that man hours have been reduced, with less cleaning needed and fewer complications with the animals.

Inside the farmhouse, piles of paperwork are laid out across a vast table; print outs, reports, statistics, scientific research, correspondence. Pedersen shows me photos he says are of animals adversely affected by the GM feed – there’s more piglets with spinal deformities, their back legs dragging on the ground; others have visible problems with their faces, limbs or tails. There’s even a siamese twin – two animals joined at the head.

Pedersen believes these abnormalities, and the other problems, were caused – at least in part – by the presence of the herbicide glyphosate in his GM pig feed. Glyphosate is routinely sprayed on many soya and cereal crops to kill weeds and maximise yields.

Although it is used on conventional crops, its usage on GM soya and maize is particularly prevalent as the crops are engineered to be resistant to the chemical, killing the weeds but leaving the crop plants unaffected.

The introduction of GM crops resistant to glyphosate allowed crops to be sprayed with the herbicide to control weeds – often many times over a growing season – without killing the crop. But this also led to much higher levels of glyphosate in the plants and seeds.

After glyphosate-resistant strains of soy were introduced in 1996, EU regulators raised the allowed maximum residue limit (MRL) for glyphosate in imported soy 200-fold, from 0.1 mg/kg to 20 mg/kg.

Glyphosate use has become increasingly controversial in recent years, with a growing body of research, say campaigners, suggesting that exposure, even at low levels, can be harmful to animals and humans.

Studies have also suggested, claim critics, that the herbicide may disrupt the human endocrine system, which regulates the body’s biological processes, meaning that any level of exposure could pose a significant risk to health.

Such claims are vigorously refuted by the agro-chemical industry, who state the herbicide is safe and who accuse campaigners of touting flawed research, or manipulating the findings to suit their own agenda.

Pedersen claims that independent testing revealed all of his deformed pigs had glyphosate in their organs. He shows me a chart he suggests shows a clear correlation between the volume of glyphosate found in pig feed and higher numbers of cranial and spinal deformities. “The more glyphosate, the more deformities,” he says, bluntly.

Outside, along a muddy track through a number of arable fields – in addition to pigs, Pedersen produces strawberries, peas and potatoes – we come to the main pig house. It’s vast and crowded, efficient and noisy, with the unmistakable stink of pig waste. A factory farm.

Pedersen shows me the farrowing crates, the large bodies of the nursing sows squeezed under metal bars, surrounded by up to a dozen weaning piglets. He points out his best animals – the most productive, the veterans – and stops to check on those he has concerns about, examining a swollen joint here or an inflamed nipple there. Antibiotics are administered to one.

In the main hall the pigs move more freely, as they do in a series of smaller rooms where younger animals are kept as they grow. The farmer manually throws down handfuls of sandy-looking feed to supplement that available in the conical feed troughs. The feed mix, he explains, contains soya, fishmeal and other ingredients – but nothing of GM origin.

Pederson admits his work isn’t scientific but says the results should alarm people. He’s worried that many farmers have no idea of the potential impact of GM feed, and that the same is true for consumers: when using GM feed, he says, “Everything was down in the quagmire … We had eleven pigs die in one day.”

Deformities and deaths “the new normal”

The farmer’s research, and outspoken stance, provoked a storm of controversy in Danish agricultural circles after the respected farming publication Effektivt Landbrug featured the story, interviewing Pedersen in detail and referring to the pig farmers’ suggestion that DDT and thalidomide – linked to deformities in up to 10,000 babies – could be regarded as trivial compared to the potential risks from GM and glyphosate.

Critics accused him of scaremongering and slammed the findings as unscientific and “without merit” – pointing out that if the claims were true, thousands of other farmers using GM feed would be recording similar problems.

Despite this, Pedersen’s work has prompted the Danish Pig Research Centre (VSP) to announce an in-depth study to test the effects of GM and non-GM soya on animal health. The findings of the research have yet to be published.

And Pedersen’s findings are beginning to spread well beyond Denmark; earlier this month the German television channel ARD broadcast a documentary featuring the farmer’s claims, and Pedersen himself recently travelled to the UK to address a packed symposium at the House of Commons, organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Group On Agroecology.

Anti-GM campaigners say the findings are particularly compelling as the observations were made in a real farm setting, not a laboratory. Claire Robinson of GM Watch told The Ecologist.

 

 

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Published time: April 04, 2014 04:00

(AFP Photo / Dieter Nagl)

(AFP Photo / Dieter Nagl)

Rep. Mike Pompeo will introduce legislation backed by powerful trade groups to prevent states from passing laws requiring the labeling of genetically-modified foods, according to reports. The bill is linked to biotech giant Monsanto and Koch Industries.

Pompeo will offer the bill in the US House before Congress leaves for Easter recess later this month, The Hill newspaper reported, citing industry sources. Politico also reported on the impending proposal. Pompeo’s office would not comment on the congressman’s intentions for a labeling restriction.

The bill includes a “prohibition against mandatory labeling,” according to The Hill, echoing powerful interest groups that have already declared war against such “right to know” labeling laws around the nation.

It was revealed in recent months that powerful farming and biotechnology interest groups like Monsanto were joining forces – under the name ‘Coalition for Safe Affordable Food‘ – to push a federal voluntary labeling standard for food made with genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in an effort to stem the tide of state legislation seeking to mandate labeling.

In recent years, voters in states such as California and Washington have narrowly defeated ballot initiatives proposing mandatory GMO labeling, though not without dragging members of the new Coalition into expensive campaigns to defeat the measures. Many other states are now considering their own proposals to label GMO food.

A top member of the Coalition – the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), a major food industry lobbying group – raised and spent the bulk of the overall $22 million that opponents of labeling sank into defeating Washington State’s ballot initiative on GMO labeling last year. That total number was three times the amount that proponents of labeling spent in the state. GMA was joined in its effort by allies such as biotech giants Monsanto, Bayer, and DuPont.

The Coalition said in February that it would seek to empower the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “to establish federal standards for companies that want to voluntarily label their product for the absence-of or presence-of GMO food ingredients.” In addition, the Coalition proposes the FDA mandate labels for GMO food or ingredients that the agency deems a “health, safety or nutrition issue,” though no consumables currently fall in such a category.

“The legislation we’re proposing would preclude state legislation that conflicts with the federal standards,” GMA president Pamela Bailey said of the Coalition’s aim, The Hill reported.

 

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Food Safety News

Remember California’s Proposition 37? It was the 2012 ballot initiative that would have required genetically engineered (GE) food sold in California to be labeled as such.

Prop. 37 would have also prohibited GE foods sold in California from being labeled “natural.” This aspect of the initiative got less attention, but would have had significant repercussions for food labeling and marketing.

Prop. 37 was defeated, with 51.41 percent of California voters voting against it. A similar ballot initiative in Washington, Initiative 522, was also defeated. Many state legislatures have rejected GE labeling bills.

Now, state Sen. Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) has reignited the GE labeling discussion in California. Evans has introduced Senate Bill 1381, a bill that would require GE food labeling.

Evans’ bill is cleaner and more simple than Prop. 37, according to the Center for Food Safety, which has funded GE labeling initiatives in multiple states. However, SB 1381 is drastically different from Prop. 37 in how it will be decided upon. Prop. 37 was a ballot initiative, which is an option available in some states for passing laws by popular vote, and it was rejected by Californian voters, not the California legislature. SB 1381 will have to go through the California legislative process. Thus, if it is accepted or rejected, the action will be taken by California’s elected officials, not voters.

The bill, if passed, would require GE food to be labeled as genetically engineered, but food containing only some GE ingredients could be labeled “Produced with Genetic Engineering” or “Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering.” The bill prohibits punishment for failure to label GE foods if less than 1 percent of the ingredients in packaged food is genetically engineered or if the producer didn’t know they were using – or didn’t intend to use – GE foods.

 

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Medical syringeBarbara H. Peterson

Farm Wars

Did you know that genetically engineered vaccines are approved for use in livestock for the USDA National Organic Program? Straight from the horse’s mouth:
At present, the National List identifies all vaccines, as a group, as synthetic substances allowed for use in organic livestock production. Vaccines are not individually listed on the National List, but rather are included on as a group of synthetic substances termed “Biologics Vaccines,” that may be used in organic livestock production (7 CFR §205.603(a)(4)).
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USDA.gov

Vaccines
Made
from
Genetically Modified Organisms
Livestock
___________________________________
Composition
of the Substance
:
GMO vaccines are composed of inactivated or weakened viral or bacterial organisms
thathave had genetic material added, deleted, or otherwise modified. Vaccines may also contain suspending fluids, adjuvants (additives that help stimulate an immune response, most commonly aluminum salts and oil/water mixtures) stabilizers, preservatives, or other substances to improve shelf – life and effectiveness of the vaccine(CDC, 2011)
.
Additives in GMO vaccines do not differ from conventional vaccines
(OIE, 2010)
Approved Legal Uses of the Substance:
Under regulations issued by the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) pursuant to the Organic Food Production Act of 1990, genetic modification is considered an “excluded method,”which is generally prohibited from organic production and handling under 7 CFR 205.105(e). However, the prohibition of excluded methods includes an exception for vaccines with the condition that the vaccines are approved
in accordance with §205.600(a). That is, the vaccines must be included on the
List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (hereafter referred to as the National List)
.
At present, the National List identifies all vaccines, as a group, as synthetic substances allowed for use in organic livestock production (7 CFR §205.603(a)(4))
.
Vaccines are not individually listed on the National List, but rather are included on as a group of synthetic substances termed “Biologics  — Vaccines” that may be used in organic livestock production (7 CFR §205.603(a)(4))
.
According to livestock health care standards specified in 7 CFR §205.238, organic livestock producers must establish and main preventive healthcare practices including vaccinations. In addition, 7 CFR §205.238 specifies that any animal drug other than vaccinations cannot be administered in the absence of illness
.
Any animal treated with antibiotics may not be sold, labeled, or represented as an organic (205.238(c)(7)).
Livestock vaccines are regulated by the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Center for Veterinary Biologics under authority of the Virus-Serum-
Toxin Act of 1913. In particular, all vaccines used in agricultural animals must be licensed, and vaccines created using biotechnology (i.e., made with GMOs) must adhere to the same standards for traditional vaccines. Specifically, vaccine makers
are required to submit a Summary Information Format (SIF) specific to the type of vaccine (Roth and Henderson, 2001). A SIF must present information regarding t
he efficacy, safety, and environmental impact of the vaccine being registered. The purpose of the SIF is to characterize the vaccine’s potential for, and likelihood of, risk. Occasionally, peer-review panels are formed to complete risk assessment of
vaccines; this was the case for the currently licensed live vector rabies vaccine (to reduce rabies in wildlife
.
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Organic Consumers Association

GMO Vaccines in Organic

  • Public Comments to the National Organic Standards Board
    By Alexis Baden-Mayer, Esq., Political Director
    Organic Consumers Association, May 22, 2012
    Straight to the Source

TAKE ACTION: Get GMOs Out of Organic Baby Food!
TAKE ACTION: Tell Organic Baby Food Brands to Stop Using GMOs!
TAKE ACTION: Get Genetically Engineered Vaccines Out of Organic!
TAKE ACTION: Stop Factory Farm Production of “Organic” Poultry and Eggs!
The Organic Food Production Act and the regulations that implement it are very strong. Unfortunately, there’s been some resistance to following the law and regulations.

And, in most instances, when large companies violate national organic standards, the response from Congress, the National Organic Program and the National Organic Standards Board, has been to change the law and regulations to match non-compliance rather than to strengthen enforcement.

The most striking example of this was in 2005 when the Organic Trade Association went to Congress to overturn a federal court ruling in favor of an organic blueberry farmer Arthur Harvey. The original version of OFPA limited the National List exemptions for prohibited substances used in handling to non-organics that were also non-synthetic. When the court in Harvey v. USDA ruled that synthetic ingredients were being illegally approved for use in organic foods, the OTA got Congress to reverse the decision legislatively.

Another more recent example is DHA/ARA. The National Organic Program admitted that these synthetics used in baby formula, baby food and baby cereal, were illegally approved for use in organic foods, but instead of enforcing the law, the NOP asked the manufacturer to petition the products for placement on the National List and the National Organic Standards Board approved them at the last meeting, even though it was clear that the NOP had not properly vetted DHA/ARA to determine whether they were produced using excluded methods of genetic engineering.

Two more examples of the organic industry’s refusal to obey the law — and the NOP’s unwillingness to enforce the law — are open questions before you: GMO vaccines and animal welfare standards.

Under current regulations, GMO vaccines can’t be used unless they are successfully petitioned for use on the National List. To date, no GMO vaccines have been petitioned, so one would assume that they’re not being used in organic.

But, we know they are being used. This was first admitted to publicly by the National Organic Program staff at the May 2009 meeting of the National Organic Standards Board. Richard Matthews announced to the board that, in fact, since the beginning of the program, all vaccines had been routinely allowed in organic, without a review as to whether or not they were genetically engineered, and he recommended that, instead of the NOP enforcing the law against this violation, the NOSB should recommend a change in the law and that’s what the NOSB did.

Deputy Administrator Miles McEvoy wisely rejected that recommendation, but the NOP still hasn’t made any attempt to enforce current law. The NOP should have immediately collected information on which vaccines are being used in organic and prohibited those that are genetically engineered. At that point, prohibited GMO vaccines that had been used in organic could be petitioned. And we’d be back on track with current law.

Instead, the NOP seems to have left the ball in the NOSB’s court. And we still have an acknowledged failure to follow and enforce the law.

This isn’t right. The National Organic Standards Board should stop work on GMO vaccine recommendations until there are assurances from the NOP that they’re going to stop the illegal use of GMO vaccines.

We have a similar problem on the issue of animal welfare. You all are trying hard to establish some measurable standards for animal welfare, but the irony is that while you try to improve animal welfare, the current regulations are being violated.

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Human-animal hybrids, disasters in the making

Human-animal hybrids, disasters in the making

Scientists worldwide are creating bizarre human-animal hybrids that could wreak havoc on society. In the past ten years alone, unforgettable advances in the field of genetic modifications have left researchers and on-lookers stunned.

Nowadays, it is possible for a couple of university-age students to concoct new life forms in the comfort of their own basement. Regrettably so, laws have not been able to keep up with the pace at which scientists have been toying around with their creations.

In turn, the entities being created are not at all illegal but by all means could pose a risk to society by and large. There is no telling what may happen if these life forms are allowed to mate. Still, eagerness can be seen in the eyes and minds of scientists on a global level just waiting to unleash their next creation to the world, that all seemed liked fantasy just a short time ago.

To give a concrete example, scientists have made mice with an artificial human chromosome “in every cell of their bodies”. Such an act is being praised as a “breakthrough” which may lead to different cures for a wide scope of disease. As reported by Lifenews.com, University of Wisconsin researchers have had much success by transferring cells from human embryos into the brains of mice. These very cells began to grow, and in time made the mice more intelligent.

The mice showed that they were able to solve a simple maze and learn conditioning signals at a more enhanced level than if compared to before their transformation. Critics are quick to question whether a practice of injecting parts of humans in animals carries more benefits than risks.

 

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