Tag Archive: Agriculture


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Report: Monsanto’s Latest GM Maize Doesn’t Reduce Pests or Increase Yields

And it’s banned by most of Europe
by Christina Sarich
Posted on December 10, 2015
 Monsanto promised that its latest and greatest GM crop, MON810, a genetically modified (GM) insecticidal maize banned by most of Europe, would increase yields and stop crop loss due to pests. A new report from the government of Aragon in Spain says those promises are empty. [1]

There is an inserted gene in the DNA of MON810 which allows the plant to make a protein that harms insects that try to eat it. The inserted gene is from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, which produces the Bt toxin that is poisonous to insects in the Lepidoptera order, including the European Corn Borer. [2] Three quarters of the corn grown in Aragon, Spain is currently genetically modified, but conventional varieties were tested against GM Maize varieties in 2014.

“Helen,” “Zoom,” and “Kayras” – the non-GM isogenic (parent) lines (plant varieties) – were compared with the GM varieties derived from each line. The genetic insert was the MON810 construct from the US company, Monsanto.

The report found that:

“Per hectare, from 12.6 to 14.3 kg of maize were harvested. The GM varieties and the non-GM conventional comparator had very similar yields – the difference was between 0.2 and 0.3 kilos.”

This means the GM maize did not produce more than conventional strains of maize.

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Global Research

Poisoned Agriculture: Depopulation and Human Extinction

Agricultural-Engineer-On-Field-Examining-Ripe-Ears-Of-Grain-GMO-Test-Crop

There is a global depopulation agenda. The plan is to remove the ‘undesirables’, ‘the poor’ and others deemed to be ‘unworthy’ and a drain on finite resources. However, according to Rosemary Mason, the plan isn’t going to work because an anthropogenic mass extinction is already underway that will affect all life on the planet and both rich and poor alike. Humans will struggle to survive the phenomenon.

A new paper by Rosemary A Mason in the ‘Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry’, indicates that a ‘sixth extinction’ is under way (the Holocene extinction, sometimes called the Sixth Extinction, is a name describing the ongoing extinction of species during the present Holocene epoch – since around 10,000 BCE). In her paper, ‘The sixth mass extinction and chemicals in the environment: our environmental deficit is now beyond nature’s ability to regenerate’, she argues that loss of biodiversity is the most urgent of the environmental problems, as biodiversity is critical to ecosystem services and human health. And the main culprit is the modern chemical-intensive industrialised system of food and agriculture.

Mason asserts there is a growing threat from the release of hormone-disrupting chemicals that could even be shifting the human sex ratio and reducing sperm counts. An industrial agricultural revolution has created a technology-dependent global food system, but it has also created serious long-run vulnerabilities, especially in its dependence on stable climates, crop monocultures and industrially produced chemical inputs. In effect, farming is a principal source of global toxification and soil degradation.

Without significant pressure from the public demanding action, Mason argues there could little chance of changing course fast enough to forestall disaster. The ‘free’ market is driving the impending disaster and blind faith in corporate-backed technology will not save us. Indeed, such faith in this technology is actually killing us.

Since the late 1990s, US scientists have written in increasingly desperate tones regarding an unprecedented number of fungal and fungal-like diseases, which have recently caused some of the most severe die-offs and extinctions ever witnessed in wild species and which are jeopardizing food security. Only one paper dared to mention pesticides as being a primary cause, however.

Mason cites a good deal of evidence to show how the widespread use on agricultural crops of the systemic neonicotinoid insecticides and the herbicide glyphosate, both of which cause immune suppression, make species vulnerable to emerging infectious pathogens, driving large-scale wildlife extinctions, including essential pollinators.

Providing evidence to show how human disease patterns correlate remarkably well with the rate of glyphosate usage on corn, soy and wheat crops, which has increased due to ‘Roundup Ready’ crops, Mason goes on to present more sources to show how our over-reliance on chemicals in agriculture is causing irreparable harm to all beings on this planet. Most of these chemicals are known to cause illness, and they have likely been causing illnesses for many years. But until recently, the herbicides have never been sprayed directly on food crops and never in this massive quantity.

The depopulation agenda

Mason discusses how agriculture and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) fit into a wider agenda for depopulating the planet. She notes that on the initiative of Gates, in May 2009 some of the richest people in the US met at the home of Nurse, a British Nobel prize-winning biochemist and President (2003–10) of Rockefeller University in Manhattan, to discuss ways of tackling a ‘disastrous’ environmental, social and industrial threat of overpopulation. The meeting was hosted by David Rockefeller Jr. These same individuals have met several times since to develop a strategy in which population growth would be tackled.

The Rockefeller Foundation (RF) was involved in extensive financing of eugenics research  in league with some of the US’s most respected scientists from such prestigious universities as Stanford, Yale, Harvard and Princeton. The explicit aim of the eugenics lobby funded by wealthy élite families, such as Rockefeller, Carnegie, Harriman and others since the 1920s, has embodied what they termed ‘negative eugenics’, the systematic killing off of ‘undesired bloodlines’.

RF funded the earliest research on GMOs, which Mason regards as part of the depopulation agenda. The RF funded the earliest research on GMOs in the 1940s and effectively founded the science of molecular biology.

Mason cites Steven Druker to show the fraud behind GMOs and how governments and leading scientific institutions have systematically misrepresented the facts about GMOs and the scientific research that casts doubt on their safety. Druker has shown that GMOs can have severe health impacts, which have been covered up.

The Royal Society is the preeminent scientific body within the UK that advises the government. It has misrepresented the facts about GMOs and has engaged in various highly dubious and deceptive tactics to promote the technology.

Druker wrote an open letter to RS as it has an obligation to the British public to provide a public response and ‘put the record straight’ on GMOs. Although Sir Paul Nurse’s presidency of Rockefeller University terminated in 2010, after he assumed the Royal Society presidency, Mason notes that Nurse is said to have maintained a laboratory on the Rockefeller campus and has an ongoing relationship with the university.

She asks: is that why Sir Paul was unable (or unwilling) even to discuss GMOs with Steven Druker? Was he sent to London by the Rockefeller Foundation to support the UK Government in their attempt to bring in GM crops? The UK Government and the GM industry have after all been shown to be working together to promote GM crops and foods, undermine consumer choice and ignore environmental harm.

Mason then goes on to discuss the impact of glyphosate residues (herbicide-tolerant GM crops are designed to work with glyphosate), which are found in the organs of animals, human urine and human breast milk as well as in the air and rivers. She documents its widespread use and contamination of soil and water and notes that the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer’s assessment of glyphosate being a 2A carcinogen (probably carcinogenic in humans) is unwelcome news for the agrochemical industry. She also notes that Roundup usage has led to a depletion of biodiversity and that loss of biodiversity is also correlated with neonicotinoids. However, despite the evidence, the blatant disregard concerning the use of these substances by regulatory agencies around the world is apparent.

To provide some insight into the impact on health of the chemical-intensive model of agriculture, Mason shows that in the US increases in Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, breast cancer, oesophageal cancer, congenital anomalies and a growing burden of disability, particularly from mental disorders are all acknowledged.

She claims that plans are under way to depopulate the planet’s seven million plus people to a more manageable level of between 500–2000 million by a combination of means, including the poisoning and contamination of the planet’s food and water supplies via chemical-intensive industrialised agriculture. Mason also notes that health-damaging GMOs are being made available to the masses (under the guise of ‘feeding the poor’), while elites are more prone to eat organic food.

We may be gone before planned depopulation takes hold

Although Mason cites evidence to show that a section of the US elite has a depopulation agenda, given the amount of poisons being pumped into the environment and into humans, the thrust of her argument is that we could all be extinct before this comes to fruition – both rich and poor alike.

In concluding, she states that the global pesticides industry has been allowed to dominate the regulatory agencies and have created chemicals of mass destruction that can no longer be controlled. She has some faith in systems biology coming to the fore and being able to understand the complexity of the whole organism as a system, rather than just studying its parts in a reductionist manner. But Mason believes that ultimately the public must place pressure on governments and hold agribusiness to account.

However, that in itself may not be enough.

It is correct to highlight the poisonous impacts of the Rockefeller-sponsored petrochemical ‘green revolution’. It has uprooted indigenous/traditional agriculture and local economies and has recast them in a model that suits global agribusiness. It is poisoning life and the environment, threatening food security across the globe and is unsustainable. The ‘green revolution’ was ultimately a tool of US foreign policy that has been used in conjunction with various institutions like the IMF, World Bank and World Trade Organisation. GMOs represent more of the same.

In this respect, Mason follows the line of argument in William F Engdahl’s book ‘Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation’, which locates the GM issue and the ‘green revolution’ firmly within the context of empire. Engdahl also sees the Rockefeller-Gates hand behind the great GMO project to a sinister eugenicist strategy of depopulation.

Mason’s concerns about depopulation therefore should not be dismissed, particularly given the record of the likes of the Gates and Rockefeller clans, the various covert sterility programmes that have been instituted by the US over the decades and the way agriculture has and continues to be used as a geopolitical tool to further the agendas of rich interests in the US.

To understand the processes that have led to modern farming and the role of entities like Monsanto, we must appreciate the geopolitics of food and agriculture, which benefits an increasingly integrated global cartel of finance, oil, military and agribusiness concerns. This cartel seeks to gain from war, debt bondage and the control of resources, regardless of any notions relating to food security, good health and nutrition, biodiversity, food democracy, etc.

Food and trade policy analyst Devinder Sharma notes the impacts in India:

“India is on fast track to bring agriculture under corporate control… Amending the existing laws on land acquisition, water resources, seed, fertilizer, pesticides and food processing, the government is in overdrive to usher in contract farming and encourage organized retail. This is exactly as per the advice of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund as well as the international financial institutes.”

In Punjab, India, pesticides have turned the state into a ‘cancer epicentre‘. Moreover, Indian soils are being depleted as a result of the application of ‘green revolution’ ideology and chemical inputs. India is losing 5,334 million tonnes of soil every year due to soil erosion because of the indiscreet and excessive use of fertilisers, insecticides and pesticides. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research reports that soil is become deficient in nutrients and fertility.

And now, there is an attempt to push GM food crops into India in a secretive, non-transparent manner that smacks of regulatory delinquency underpinned by corrupt practices, which suggests officials are working hand in glove with US agribusiness.

As smallholders the world over are being driven from their land and the GMO/chemical-industrial farming model takes over, the problems continue to mount.

The environment, the quality of our food and our health are being sacrificed on the altar of corporate profit and a type of looting based on something we can loosely regard as ‘capitalism’. The solution involves a shift to organic farming and investment in and reaffirmation of indigenous models of agriculture. But ultimately it entails what Daniel Maingi of Growth Partners for Africa says what we must do: “… take capitalism and business out of farming.”

It must also entail, according to Maingi, investing in  “… indigenous knowledge and agroecology, education and infrastructure and stand(ing) in solidarity with the food sovereignty movement.”

In other words, both farmers and consumers must organise to challenge governments, corrupt regulatory bodies and big agribusiness at every available opportunity. If we don’t do this, what Mason outlines may come to pass.

 

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gmo golden rice-735-350
by Julie Fidler
Posted on October 21, 2015
 Scientists in Bangladesh are preparing to conduct field tests of Golden Rice, the world’s first genetically engineered, vitamin A-enriched rice, before putting into production. The crop is being touted as one answer to the problem of micronutrient deficiencies around the world, but an Indian scientist (among others) is warning that Golden Rice poses a serious threat to human health. [1]

According to the Golden Rice Project, vitamin A deficiency is prevalent among the poor whose diets are primarily composed of rice and other carbohydrate-rich foods containing too few micronutrients. The situation is especially dire in Southeast Asia and Africa. About 250 million preschool children are affected by vitamin A deficiency (VAD). The group says that providing children with vitamin A could prevent about a third of all under-5 deaths.

Enter, Golden Rice.

The Golden Rice Project writes on its website:

“Rice containing provitamin A could substantially reduce the problems described above. This can only be achieved using genetic engineering because there is no provitamin A in the rice seeds, even though it is present in the leaves. Thousands of rice varieties have been screened for this trait without success. Existing coloured rice varieties contain pigments that belong to a different chemical class.”

The site continues:

“Biofortified crops, like Golden Rice offer a long-term sustainable solution, because they do not require recurrent and complicated logistic arrangements once they have been deployed.”

Renowned Indian scientist Dr. Tusher Chakraborty has another view of this supposedly miracle crop, however. While speaking to the UNB at a workshop on Food Security and Modern Biotechnology on October 10, Dr. Chakraborty said that Golden Rice “may carry traces of retinoic acid derivatives which may cause teratogenicity – that means birth defects in general.”

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As we have covered extensively in recent months, Monsanto’s herbicide Glyphosate, the primary ingredient in their top-selling product “RoundUp” has been proven to cause cancer. Now, according to new reports, the chemical doesn’t even work and is creating a new resistance in weeds that make them more resilient and more difficult to get rid of.

Nebraska farmer Mike Pietzyk recently discussed how the weeds are becoming resistant to RoundUp in a recent interview with Chemicals And Engineers News.

“The days of going out and spraying RoundUp twice a year—those are long gone,” he said, adding that he was forced to use a cocktail of different chemicals, some of which are even more dangerous than RoundUp. Pietzyk and other farmers are now seeking new solutions to avoid the harsh pesticides used in conventional farming.

“People in urban areas and towns need to understand—we live here, we drink the water under the ground out here,” he says. “We want to be good stewards of what we’ve been entrusted with,” he said.

According to U.S. weed scientist Dallas Peterson, one type of weed, in particular, called Palmer amaranth, has become especially resistant to pesticides and is overgrowing farms across the country.

Complaints of herbicide-resistant weeds have become so common that the House Agriculture Committee has scheduled a meeting on December 4th to specifically address the situation.

Roundup, formulated to be used on GMO or “Roundup Ready” crops engineered to be resistant to it, is the most widely used herbicide in the world. It was originally introduced in the 1970s to control weeds and then took off when the planting of GMO crops skyrocketed in the past 15 years.

According to a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), glyphosate use in the U.S. increased from about 20 million pounds in 1992 to 110 million pounds in 2002 to more than 280 million pounds in 2012.

In a statement released earlier this year, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) announced that glyphosate, the main ingredient in RoundUp, is “probably carcinogenic.”


John Vibes writes for True Activist and is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war.

 

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End Of The American Dream

The American Dream Is Becoming A Nightmare And Life As We Know It Is About To Change

Puzzle Last Piece - Public Domain

 

One of the biggest steps toward a one world government that we have ever seen is happening this week, and yet barely anyone is even talking about it.  In fact, it is even being called a “new universal Agenda” for humanity.  Those are not my words – those are the words that the United Nations is using.  If you don’t believe this, just go look at the official document for this new UN agenda.  You won’t have to read very far.  The phrase “new universal Agenda” is right near the end of the preamble.  Officially, the name of this ambitious new program is “the 2030 Agenda“, and it is being hyped as a way to get the whole world to work together to make life better for all of us.  And a lot of the goals of this new agenda are very admirable.  For example, who wouldn’t want to end global poverty?  But as you look deeper into what the UN is trying to do, you find some very disturbing things.

If you didn’t like Agenda 21, then you really are not going to like the 2030 Agenda, because the 2030 Agenda takes things to an entirely new level.  Agenda 21 was primarily focused on climate change and the environment, but the 2030 Agenda goes far beyond that.  As I have noted previously, the 2030 Agenda addresses economics, agriculture, education, gender equality, healthcare and a whole host of other issues.  It has been argued that there are very few forms of human activity that do not fall under the goals of the 2030 Agenda in one way or another.

The UN says that this new Agenda is “voluntary”, and yet virtually every single nation on the entire planet is willingly signing up for it.  In the official document that all of these nations are agreeing to, there are 17 sustainable development goals and 169 very specific sustainable development targets.  You can read them for yourself right here.

 

Read More Here

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U.S. Senate Seal

 

 

Battle lines drawn as legislative fight over labeling looms

Combatants in a national food fight over labeling genetically modified products are gearing up for a showdown in the U.S. Senate, campaign leaders said on Tuesday.

The tactics range from old-fashioned lobbying to modern social media campaigns, and both sides say it is too early to tell who will prevail.

“I feel like we’re in the final battle now,” said David Bronner, a California business owner and leading backer of mandatory labeling for foods made with genetically engineered crops, also known as GMOs.

Bronner, CEO of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, said in a phone interview he has purchased $250,000 in advertising space in several national publications to identify what GMO critics see as concerns about GMO crops, and to challenge what he called a “smokescreen” promoted by corporations and others who say GMOs and the pesticides used on them are safe.

Read More Here

Prevent Disease

 

May 6, 2014 by JOHN SUMMERLY

Pepsi and Coca-Cola Used As Pesticide In India Because They’re Cheap and Get The Job Done

Besides being an effective poison to the human metabolism, it seems Pepsi and Coca-Cola have another popular function in other parts of the world. One of India’s leading voluntary agencies, the Center for Science and Environment (CSE) said that soft drinks manufactured in India, including those carrying the Pepsi and Coca-Cola brand names, contain unacceptably high levels of pesticide residues and consequently many farmers have used the beverages to combat pests because of low costs compared to conventional pesticide brands.

It’s cheaper and easier to buy Coke in some third world countries than it is to access clean water. Coke uses “public relations propaganda” to convince consumers and entire nations that it is an “environmental company” when really it is linked to pollution, water shortages, and disease.

Coke has been tested in many cleaning scenarios and can even compare to high strength brands to clean everything from oil stains, tile grout and even strip paint off furniture.

In 2003, the CSE analyzed samples from 12 major soft drink manufacturers that are sold in and around the capital at its laboratories and found that all of them contained residues of four extremely toxic pesticides and insecticides–lindane, DDT, malathion and chlorpyrifos.

“In all the samples tested, the levels of pesticide residue far exceeded the maximum permissible total pesticide limit of 0.0005 mg per liter in water used as food, set down by the European Economic Commission (EEC),” said Sunita Narain, director of the CSE at a press conference convened to announce the findings.

The level of chlorpyrifos was 42 times higher than EEC norms, their study showed. Malathion residues were 87 times higher and lindane- banned in the United States-21 times higher, CSE scientists said.

They added that each sample was toxic enough to cause long-term cancer, damage to the nervous and reproductive systems, birth defects, and severe disruption of the immune system. Samples from brand leaders Coca-Cola and Pepsi had almost similar concentrations of pesticide residues in the CSE findings. Contaminants in Pepsi samples were 37 times higher than the EEC limit while its rival Coca-Cola exceeded the norms by 45 times, the same findings showed.

The chiefs of the Indian subsidiaries of Coca-Cola and Pepsi were quick to refute the charges. Sanjeev Gupta, president of Coca-Cola India, called the revelations made by CSE “unfair” and said his company was being subjected to a “trial by media”.

Cheaper

Farmers in the Durg, Rajnandgaon and Dhamtari districts of Chhattisgarh say they have successfully used Pepsi and Coke to protect their rice plantations against pests.

It is a trend that has been seen in other parts of India, with farmers also using Indian brands of colas.

The practice of using soft drinks in lieu of pesticides, which are 10 times more expensive, gained so much popularity that sales of the drinks increased drastically in remote villages.

Farmers say the use of pesticides costs them 70 rupees ($1.50) an acre.

By comparison, if they mix a bottle of Pepsi or Coke with water and spray it on the crop it costs 55-60 rupees less per acre.

Old Practice

Agricultural specialist Devendra Sharma says farmers are mistaken in thinking that the drinks are the same as pesticides.

He says the drinks are effectively sugar syrups and when they are poured on crops they attract ants which in turn feed on the larva of insects.

Mr Sharma says using sugar syrup for pest control is not a new practice.

“Jaggery made from sugar cane has been used commonly for pest control on many occasions. Pepsi and Coca-Cola are being used to achieve the same result,” he says.

Fellow scientist, Sanket Thakur, has a different explanation: “All that is happening is that plants get a direct supply of carbohydrates and sugar which in turn boosts the plants’ immunity and the plantation on the whole ends up yielding a better crop.”

Coke in the United States contains high fructose corn syrup which may even prove to be a more effective pesticide since it is a concentrated cocktail of the simple sugars fructose and glucose.

Anupam Verma, Pepsi sales manager at the time in Chhattisgarh, said sales figures in rural areas of the state increased by 20%.

Not Only Cola, But Water Is The Problem

CSE scientists H. B. Mathur and Sapna Johnson said their basic inference was that, as with the bottled mineral water, the soft drink manufacturers were drawing their water supplies from groundwater that is heavily contaminated by years of indiscriminate pesticide use.

High pesticide residues were reported in groundwater around Delhi at the time when the government’s Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) carried out a study which also reported excessive salinity, nitrate and fluoride content besides traces of lead, cadmium and chromium.

Significantly, the CSE laboratories tested samples of soft drink brands popularly sold in the United States as control–and found that they did not contain any pesticide residue. Although more than 95% of all soft drink brands in the United States are made with municipal water supplies containing all of the same toxins and pharmaceuticals in our drinking water including fluoride, arsenic, chlorine, atenolol, atrazine, carbamazepine, estrone, gemfibrozil, sulfamethoxazole, and trimethoprim.

CSE found that the regulations for the powerful and massive soft drinks industry are much weaker, indeed non-existent, as compared to those for the bottled water industry. The norms that exist to regulate the quality of cold drinks are inadequate, leaving this “food” sector virtually unregulated.

So pampered is the lucrative soft drink sector that it is exempted from the provisions of industrial licensing under the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951.

Sources:
bbc.co.uk
ipsnews.net

John Summerly
is nutritionist, herbologist, and homeopathic practitioner. He is a leader in the natural health community and consults athletes, executives and most of all parents of children on the benefits of complementary therapies for health and prevention.

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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.

 

Read More Here

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missingsky102 missingsky102

Published on Jan 24, 2014

In Fukushima, massive amounts of radioactive soil and debris are still piled up in residential areas. The government has asked the head of local authorities to accept intermediate storage facilities. In this episode we look at what is hampering the project.

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Over the years, this biotech giant has successfully infiltrated an ever increasing number of high-level federal regulatory positions in the U.S. government; many of which are positions meant to protect your food safety…

Why Does Monsanto Always Win?  –  Mercola . com

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WashingtonsBlog

Genetic Engineering Actually INCREASES Pesticide Use, DECREASES Crop Yield, And May Be Dangerous to Your Health

One of the main selling points for genetically engineered crops is that they would use substantially less pesticides than conventional crops.

Because of that, and other, promises regarding GE crops, they have taken over much of the food crops in America. For example:

  • The USDA reports that 93% of all soy and 85% of all corn grown in the U.S. is an herbicide-resistant GE variety
  • Similarly, around 93% of all cottonseed oil and more than 90% of all canola oil produced in the U.S. is herbicide-resistant GE

However, it turns out that GE crops need a lot more herbicides than conventional ones.

Washington State University Charles Benbrook – former Executive Director of the Board on Agriculture at the National Academy of Sciences and, before that, Executive Director of the Subcommittee on Department Operations, Research, and Foreign Agriculture, U.S. House of Representatives – published a study showing:

Contrary to often-repeated claims that today’s genetically-engineered crops have, and are reducing pesticide use, the spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds in herbicide-resistant weed management systems has brought about substantial increases in the number and volume of herbicides applied. If new genetically engineered forms of corn and soybeans tolerant of 2,4-D are approved, the volume of 2,4-D sprayed [background] could drive herbicide usage upward by another approximate 50%.

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Largely because of the spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds, HR crop technology has led to a 239 million kg (527 million pound) increase in herbicide use across the three major GE-HR crops, compared to what herbicide use would likely have been in the absence of HR crops.

Washington State University explains:

Herbicide-tolerant crops worked extremely well in the first few years of use, but over-reliance led to shifts in weed communities and the emergence of resistant weeds that have, together, forced farmers to incrementally –

  • Increase herbicide application rates (especially glyphosate),
  • Spray more often, and
  • Add new herbicides that work through an alternate mode-of-action into their spray programs.

Each of these responses has, and will continue to contribute to the steady rise in the volume of herbicides applied per acre of HT corn, cotton, and soybeans.

HT crops have increased herbicide use by 527 million pounds over the 16-year period (1996-2011). The incremental increase per year has grown steadily from 1.5 million pounds in 1999, to 18 million five years later in 2003, and 79 million pounds in 2009. In 2011, about 90 million more pounds of herbicides were applied than likely in the absence of HT, or about 24% of total herbicide use on the three crops in 2011.

Today’s major GE crops have increased overall pesticide use by 404 million pounds from 1996 through 2011 (527 million pound increase in herbicides, minus the 123 million pound decrease in insecticides). Overall pesticide use in 2011 was about 20% higher on each acre planted to a GE crop, compared to pesticide use on acres not planted to GE crops.

There are now two-dozen weeds resistant to glyphosate, the major herbicide used on HT crops, and many of these are spreading rapidly. Millions of acres are infested with more than one glyphosate-resistant weed. The presence of resistant weeds drives up herbicide use by 25% to 50%, and increases farmer-weed control costs by at least as much.

The biotechnology-seed-pesticide industry’s primary response to the spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds is development of new HT varieties resistant to multiple herbicides, including 2,4-D and dicamba. These older phenoxy herbicides pose markedly greater human health and environmental risks per acre treated than glyphosate. Approval of corn tolerant of 2,4-D is pending, and could lead to an additional 50% increase in herbicide use per acre on 2,4-D HT corn.

Science Daily notes:

“Resistant weeds have become a major problem for many farmers reliant on GE crops, and they are now driving up the volume of herbicide needed each year by about 25 percent,” Benbrook said.

Forbes points out:

A new study released by Food & Water Watch yesterday finds the goal of reduced chemical use has not panned out as planned.  In fact, according to the USDA and EPA data used in the report, the quick adoption of genetically engineered crops by farmers has increased herbicide use over the past 9 years in the U.S.  The report follows on the heels of another such study  by Washington State University research professor Charles Benbrook just last year.

Both reports focus on “superweeds.” It turns out that spraying a pesticide repeatedly selects for weeds which also resist the chemical.  Ever more resistant weeds are then  bred, able to withstand increasing amounts – and often different forms – of herbicide.

GE Crops Have Reduced Crop Productivity

GE food manufacturers also promised an increase in crop productivity.  Indeed, that was a giant selling point for GE foods.

That claim has been debunked as well …

The Independent noted in 2008:

Genetic modification actually cuts the productivity of crops, an authoritative new study shows, undermining repeated claims that a switch to the controversial technology is needed to solve the growing world food crisis.

The study – carried out over the past three years at the University of Kansas in the US grain belt – has found that GM soya produces about 10 per cent less food than its conventional equivalent, contradicting assertions by advocates of the technology that it increases yields.

Professor Barney Gordon, of the university’s department of agronomy, said he started the research – reported in the journal Better Crops – because many farmers who had changed over to the GM crop had “noticed that yields are not as high as expected even under optimal conditions”. He added: “People were asking the question ‘how come I don’t get as high a yield as I used to?’”

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Read More Here

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PreventDisease.com

Counterintuitive Finding Shows Herbicide Use In Genetically Modified Crops Has Actually Increased


The promise by Monsanto and producers of genetically modified crops was that farmers could use less chemicals and produce a greater yield. That’s about as true as honesty in politics. A study published this week by Washington State University research professor Charles Benbrook finds that the use of herbicides in the production of three genetically modified herbicide-tolerant crops — cotton, soybeans and corn — has actually increased.

This counterintuitive finding is based on an exhaustive analysis of publicly available data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agriculture Statistics Service. Benbrook’s analysis is the first peer-reviewed, published estimate of the impacts of genetically engineered (GE) herbicide-resistant (HT) crops on pesticide use.

It is confirming earlier US government data showing that in the US, GM crops have produced an overall increase, not decrease, in pesticide use compared to conventional crops. Not only that promises of greater yields are also unfounded.

GM crops have not increased the yield potential of any commercialised crops. In fact, studies show that the most widely grown GM crop, GM soya, has suffered reduced yields.

A report that analyzed nearly two decades worth of peer reviewed research on the yield of the primary GM food/feed crops, soybeans and corn (maize), reveals that despite 20 years of research and 13 years of commercialization, genetic engineering has failed to significantly increase US crop yields. The author, former US EPA and US FDA biotech specialist Dr Gurian-Sherman, concludes that when it comes to yield, “Traditional breeding outperforms genetic engineering hands down.”

In the USDA study, which appeared in the the open-access, peer-reviewed journal “Environmental Sciences Europe,” Benbrook writes that the emergence and spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds is strongly correlated with the upward trajectory in herbicide use. Marketed as Roundup and other trade names, glyphosate is a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide used to kill weeds. Approximately 95 percent of soybean and cotton acres, and over 85 percent of corn, are planted to varieties genetically modified to be herbicide resistant.

Atrazine is the second-most widely used herbicide in the U.S. More than 75 million pounds of it are applied to corn and other crops, and it is the most commonly detected pesticide contaminant of groundwater, surface water and rain in the U.S.

Men exposed to high amounts of the substance are far more likely than men with less contact to have diluted or deformed and sluggish sperm. Each of the semen problems can reduce the ability of sperm to reach and fertilize an egg and could make conception harder.

“Resistant weeds have become a major problem for many farmers reliant on GE crops, and are now driving up the volume of herbicide needed each year by about 25 percent,” Benbrook said.

Data from the US Department of Agriculture indicate that the use of glyphosate on major crops went up by more than 15 fold between 1994 and 2005. The EPA estimated in 2000-2001 that 100 million pounds of glyphosate are used on lawns and farms every year, and over the last 13 years, it has been applied to more than a billion acres.

It did not take long for glyphosate-resistant weeds to appear, just as weeds resistant to every herbicide used in the past had appeared. The Weed Science Society of America reported nine weed species in the United States with confirmed resistance to glyphosate; among them are strains of common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia), common waterhemp (Amaranthus rudis), giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida), hairy fleabane (Conyza bonariensis), horseweed (Conyza canadensis), Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum), johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense), rigid ryegrass (Lolium rigidum), and palmer pigweed (Amaranthus palmeri).

The annual increase in the herbicides required to deal with tougher-to-control weeds on cropland planted to GE cultivars has grown from 1.5 million pounds in 1999 to about 90 million pounds in 2011.

Herbicide-tolerant crops worked extremely well in the first few years of use, Benbrook’s analysis shows, but over-reliance may have led to shifts in weed communities and the spread of resistant weeds that force farmers to increase herbicide application rates (especially glyphosate), spray more often, and add new herbicides that work through an alternate mode of action into their spray programs.

Natasha Longo has a master’s degree in nutrition and is a certified fitness and nutritional counselor. She has consulted on public health policy and procurement in Canada, Australia, Spain, Ireland, England and Germany.

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