Tag Archive: Genetically modified organism


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Organic Consumers Association
Campaigning for health, justice, sustainability, peace, and democracy

The Emperor Has No Clothes, and Neither Do Monsanto’s ‘Scientists’

October 7, 2015
Organic Consumers Association

by Katherine Paul

The Monsanto public relations machine has done a stellar job in recent years of reducing the GMO debate to one that pits “pro-science advocates” against “anti-science climate-denier types”—with Monsanto portrayed as being squarely planted in the pro-science camp.

But that well-oiled machine may be starting to sputter.

Turns out that Monsanto executive solicited pro-GMO articles from university researchers, and passed the “research” off as independent science which the biotech giant then used to prop up its image and further its agenda.

We know this, thanks to thousands of pages of emails obtained by US Right to Know, under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). And because a host of news outlets—including the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Bloomberg, the StarPhoenix and others—are now running with the story.

For anyone who has paid attention, this latest scandal should come as no surprise. As Steven Druker writes, in “Altered Genes, Twisted Truth,”  “for more than 30 years, hundreds (if not thousands) of biotech advocates within scientific institutions, government bureaus, and corporate offices throughout the world have systematically compromised science and contorted the facts to foster the growth of genetic engineering, and get the foods it produces, onto our dinner plates.”

Will Druker’s book (published this year), and this new wave of bad press be enough to finally expose Monsanto’s “science” for what it is—nothing more than an expensive, sustained and highly orchestrated public relations campaign?

The story behind the story

U.S. Right to Know (USRTK), a nonprofit funded almost entirely by the Organic Consumers Association, launched an investigation into “the collusion between Big Food, its front groups, and university faculty and staff to deliver industry PR to the public.”

As part of its ongoing investigation, the group filed FOIA requests to obtain the emails and documents from 43 public university faculty and staff. The requested documents included records from scientists, economists, law professors, extension specialists and communicators—all of whom, as the group points out, were conducting work in public institutions, all funded by taxpayers.

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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.

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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.”

 

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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
Photo / Handout

Reuters / Doug Wilson / USDA Photo / Handout

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.

 

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Natural Society

by
February 2nd, 2014
Updated 02/02/2014 at 1:53 am

 

food trade 263x164 Sedgwick, Maine First to Enact Free Food Trade Immune to Federal Law, Say NO to Forced GMO Regulations

Sedgwick, Maine, the first town in the US to legalize any kind of food transaction as free and legal in order to keep the right to produce raw milk, organic produce, free-range eggs, and more, is revolutionizing the way America keeps its food rights – including saying no to GMOs. In other words, it is the first town to declare food sovereignty while opposing both state and federal laws.

The town has passed an ordinance that protects citizens’ rights to “produce, sell, purchase, and consume any food of their choosing.” The ordinance laughs in the face of FDA regulations and their hodge-podge way of giving food a rubber stamp of approval, especially GMO. Three additional towns in Maine are expected to pass similar ordinances as well.

The move is somewhat similar to a move one England town made, where the citizens transformed their entire town’s landscape into a giant food-producing garden. Both are great examples of moving toward food sovereignty.

It isn’t just a declaration on the whim of a few city council members. There is a warrant added: “It shall be unlawful for any law or regulation adopted by the state or federal government to interfere with the rights recognized by this Ordinance.” This means that federal interference is prohibited in our food supply – at least in Maine. If you can’t get Monsanto out of the government, take the government out of your food. It’s a brilliant way around the convoluted system now in place that almost gave Monsanto the right to be exempt from federal prosecution for its poison food and which tries to hoist (foist.. DR) it upon the whole Nation without consent.

 

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Pig stomachs gmo feed

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Pigs eatingjpg Study: GMO Feed Harmful to Pigs

by GM Watch

A groundbreaking new study [1] shows that pigs were harmed by the consumption of feed containing genetically modified (GM) crops.

GM-fed females had on average a 25% heavier uterus than non-GM-fed females, a possible indicator of disease that requires further investigation. Also, the level of severe inflammation in stomachs was markedly higher in pigs fed on the GM diet. The research results were striking and statistically significant.

Lead researcher Dr Judy Carman, adjunct associate professor at Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia,[2] said: “Our findings are noteworthy for several reasons. First, we found these results in real on-farm conditions, not in a laboratory, but with the added benefit of strict scientific controls that are not normally present on farms.

“Second, we used pigs. Pigs with these health problems end up in our food supply. We eat them.

“Third, pigs have a similar digestive system to people, so we need to investigate if people are also getting digestive problems from eating GM crops.

“Fourth, we found these adverse effects when we fed the animals a mixture of crops containing three GM genes and the GM proteins that these genes produce. Yet no food regulator anywhere in the world requires a safety assessment for the possible toxic effects of mixtures. Regulators simply assume that they can’t happen.

“Our results provide clear evidence that regulators need to safety assess GM crops containing mixtures of GM genes, regardless of whether those genes occur in the one GM plant or in a mixture of GM plants eaten in the same meal, even if regulators have already assessed GM plants containing single GM genes in the mixture.”

The new study lends scientific credibility to anecdotal evidence from farmers and veterinarians, who have for some years reported reproductive and digestive problems in pigs fed on a diet containing GM soy and corn.[3]

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GMOs and Health: The Scientific Basis for Serious Concern and Immediate Action

OMG, GMOs!

You might ask, “why all the fuss about agricultural genetically modified organisms (GMOs)?” After all, regulatory agencies have approved these technologies for widespread application and consumption, so they must be safe, right?  Well, the truth is that there is no agency and no industry that  works to protect our health.  At best, the EPA, USDA, and FDA attempt to respond to our disease after the cause is widespread.  At that point only risk reduction, rather than risk avoidance, can be achieved.  This has been the case historically with radium paint, tobacco, particulate air pollution, water pollution, asbestos, lead, food-borne illnesses, and DDT.  A number of the various 80,000 chemicals in production will likely be added to this list in the future while the majority of them that actually do contribute to disease (often in combination and in complex ways) will never be scientifically associated with disease.  This is because science is far from perfect, scientific methodology is always biased and often manipulated, and scientific interpretation by stakeholders and decision makers is alarmingly inept (I’m not being political or condescending, these are well known and easily observed facts).

The situation with agricultural GMOs is unique compared to other technologies. While genetic engineering of food crops has been ongoing for 15 years, it is currently experiencing a major boom with the potential for widespread worldwide application.  Yet, few people understand how a GMO food could really be so much different than a non-GMO food in regard to health and disease effects.  GMO foods look like non-GMO foods and so we don’t experience the same hesitation and aversion to consuming them like we would, say, a clearly labeled bottle of virus and pesticide in tomato juice.  Therefore, the quality of public education, consumer awareness, and informed public discussion about this technology has the potential to alter the future of GMO agriculture for better or worse.

In this article, I’ll first briefly mention the relative paucity of risk assessment studies on GMOs and the unbelievable weaknesses of the industry studies that have been done.  Then, drawing from numerous independent studies, I will explore the routes by which agricultural GMOs may cause adverse health effects.

GMOs Have Never Been “Proven” Safe

Let me be clear; despite the following negative review of industry science, this article is not a hatchet job against the agricultural GMO industry but, rather, a vehicle for consolidated scientific information on the safety or risks of GMO foods intended to allow readers to make informed choices about this technology.  It is just that, well, the science coming from the industry tends to raise serious concerns and suggests that the agricultural GMO industry has little concern for protecting public and ecosystem health.  Before we dive into the independent non-industry studies which suggest potential harm from GMO crops and foods, we must first look at the studies which supposedly demonstrate the safety of GMO crops and foods.  A critique of these studies remained impossible for some time as the data was kept private, until French researchers obtained a court order for their release.  This team of researchers, lead by Joel Spiroux de Vendomois, then analyzed the raw data from studies on three varieties of GMO corn owned by Monsanto.  Yet, it immediately became apparent that this data was not extremely helpful as the study methodology was profoundly insufficient.  In a 2010 paper published in the International Journal of Biological Sciences[1], the researchers summarize several major flaws in the study.  I’ll list just a few of them here:

1. For each of the three varieties of GMO corn tested, only a single study was done.  However, a central tenet of sound science is that the results are reproducible and replicated by other studies, preferably those done by different researchers.

2. Only the rat was used as a toxicological model.  Rats are useful models for the human detoxification systems, but poor models for human reproductive and embryological systems.  Remember, rat studies “proved” that thalidomide was safe for pregnant women to use… but the rabbit studies done AFTER thousands of babies were harmed “proved” that it caused birth defects!  Scientific proof is only as good as the scientific studies, which are always limited and narrowly focused.

3.  The studies lasted only 3 months and were done on young adult rats.  Yet, captive rats live about 24 months.  No studies looking at late life outcomes from this brief exposure or studies which used lifelong exposure to GMOs were performed.  This is clearly a problem unless human consumers are only supposed to eat GMO foods for no longer than 9 years between the ages of 10 and 20.  Yet, GMO food technology has been released (without labeling) with the intention of lifelong consumption.

4.  No reproductive or developmental studies were done.  Yet GMO foods do not carry a label declaring that their safety during pregnancy has not been evaluated.  Instead, they are unlabeled and meant to be consumed by both genders, at all ages and developmental stages, including during pregnancy and infancy.

5.  Adverse outcomes were only considered if they occurred in both genders!  Clearly genders are different.  For instance, women are much more likely to get breast cancer than men, and one must have a prostate to get prostate cancer.  In the industry studies, increases in prostate cancer in male rats and increases in mammary tumors in female rats would apparently have been omitted since they differed between genders.  This explains exactly what happened to their findings that male rats eating GMO corn had an 11% increase in heart size while female rats eating GMO corn had a 40% increase in serum triglycerides[2].   It is not clear what to make of these findings, but they should not have been omitted and, instead, should have been used to encourage more numerous and longer duration (lifespan) studies before the worldwide release of GMO corn.

6.  Adverse outcomes which are consider “normal” in old rats were omitted in this young rat population.  For instance, the researchers did not consider “chronic progressive nephropathy”, a kidney disease common in older rats, to be a problem even though it was occurring in young, 5 month old, rats eating the GMO corn.

Now, I can attest that modern toxicology students training at respectable universities are taught to do much better work than this. We can only speculate about the reasons such limited study methodologies were chosen.  Nonetheless, these are the studies which the FDA determined to be sufficient for the approval of the three GMO corn varieties represented.  As if the major flaws in the study methodologies were not enough to warrant a different decision, the French team of researchers found a number of concerning associations upon re-analyzing the raw data[3].  They summarize:

“Our analysis clearly reveals for the 3 GMOs new side effects linked with GM maize consumption, which were sex- and often dose-dependent. Effects were mostly associated with the kidney and liver, the dietary detoxifying organs, although different between the 3 GMOs. Other effects were also noticed in the heart, adrenal glands, spleen and hematopoietic system. We conclude that these data highlight signs of hepatorenal toxicity, possibly due to the new pesticides specific to each GM corn.”

This is not the only group of researchers to demonstrate an association between GMO consumption and adverse health outcomes.  Despite the industries resistance to providing GMO varieties to outside researchers for independent studies, there are still dozens of studies available to the public for review.  I’ll synthesize the findings of several of these studies below in considering the possible mechanisms by which agricultural GMOs may cause problems.  In general, the health effects of agricultural GMOs are mediated through at least three routes; 1. Directly though ingestion, 2. Indirectly through GMO associated pesticide exposure and ingestion, and 3. Indirectly through environmental and ecosystem effects.

Effects of GMO ingestion:

Ingesting GMOs can affect both the microbiome and human cells.  The microbiome is the microorganism population which lives on and in the human body.  Most of it exists in or on the mouth, nose, stomach, intestines, and skin.  The gut microbiome has received considerable attention due to its apparently profound effect on the immune system, not to mention its effect on food digestion.  The gut microbiome is involved in determining the risk of autoimmune diseases, allergic diseases, cardiovascular disease, and some infectious diseases like osteomyelitis.  The microbiome can get out of balance (called dysbiosis) and produce severe diseases such as Clostridium difficile overgrowth and more mild disorders like small bowel bacterial overgrowth and irritable bowel syndrome.  The bottom line is that a balanced microbiome is critical for health and we are just now beginning to appreciate how serious the consequences of dysbiosis may be.

Several studies have shown that the organisms (mostly bacteria) of the microbiome can take up genes from GMO foods[4],[5].  “Conjugation”, or gene transfer, is a common trick used by bacteria to evolve and adapt.  This is one mechanism by which antibiotic resistance perpetuates.   The consequences of GMO gene transfer to intestinal bacteria involve the expression of the gene and/or insertional mutagenesis.  The frequency with which these consequences will occur is not known, but they will occur to some degree at least.

Intestinal bacteria which begin to express the GMO gene will then be producing the same active proteins which define the GMO.  For example, intestinal bacteria could start producing the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) pesticidal toxin that has been inserted into potatoes, corn, and soybeans.  The exact effect of this toxin on humans, if any, is not well established but it has been found in a study of Canadian women, including pregnant women and their fetuses[6].

Insertional mutagenesis refers to the gene inserting itself into another coding gene and, thus, causing a gene mutation by disrupting the code.  This may produce more severe results as it is a well known mechanism by which viruses may cause cancer, cell death, or cellular dysfunction.

These same mechanisms, gene transfer and insertional mutagenesis, can affect human cells just the same.  While intestinal cells are likely to be the most affected, GMO genes which pass into the blood intact may affect just about any cell and tissue in the body.  It is quite possible that GMO foods are regularly resulting in the genetic modification of the humans consuming them!  There are many unknowns here and I suspect that there remains a lot to be discovered, but we should not let the absence of evidence be mistaken for the evidence of absent harm.  We should, instead, demand more information and more research!

 

Read Full Article Here

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When Prepping Just Isn’t Enough

Daisy Luther
There’s a sense of urgency in the prepping community lately that is at an all-time high. Between the global elite warmongers, the impending financial collapse as the government makes plans to attach pension funds, the new viruses, Monsanto’s GMO seeds running amok and threatening the world’s food supply, and Big Food’s toxic food-like substances in the grocery stores with no regard for actual nutrition, it is clear that we are going downhill fast. The soothing ”everything-is-just-fine” propaganda is so blatant that even the most die-hard zombie is beginning to see that something is amiss and that a massive change is soon to take place.

Many of us have stocked our homes to the rafters with beans, rice, bullets, and band-aids. Each trip to the store adds more to our stockpiles as we try to get what we need before time runs out. Newbie preppers are feeling even more frantic, wondering how to prepare when each week it takes more money to put less in the grocery cart. (If you’re new to preparedness, here’s a little primer with some great links.)

With the situation looking more grim by the day, it is very clear that stockpiling is not enough. No matter how many cans of green beans you have stored away, one day they will run out. We have become so dependent on the “buy it as you need it” lifestyle that despite our food storage, there are still gaps that must be filled.

And the only way to fill these gaps is through that which is a step beyond prepping…self sufficiency.

Self sufficiency is defined as the ability to provide for oneself without the help of others. No amount of stockpiling gives you true self sufficiency. It is a combination of skills, supplies, attitudes and habits that mean the difference between a person with a great pantry and a true survivor.

Self-sufficiency is for…

  • The day the grocery stores close their doors or become so expensive that people cannot afford to shop
  • The day that the FEMA Camp gates open in only one direction
  • The day that the banks go on an indefinite holiday, after draining depositor savings accounts and pension funds
  • The day that electricity and heat on demand become so expensive that only the wealthy can afford them
  • The day that medical care no longer exists for the average person, or is directed by government death panels
  • The day that a natural disaster or false flag locks down the country and completely, irrevocably changes our way of life

The list could go on and on. These things are hurtling towards us and we must be ready. Self sufficiency, unlike prepping, doesn’t cost a lot of money – it’s about planning and acquiring basic skills and tools. It is about putting your plan into practice before you have no other option but to do so.

What would you do if you could never go to a store again? If you could never have utilities provided by a supplier again? What if you were truly on your own, forever?

For some situations, prepping just isn’t enough. If you don’t have plans for the following, you cannot consider yourself to be truly prepared.

WaterClean drinking water is one of the most important requirements for survival. Now is the time to figure out how you will get water if your stored water runs out. Some ideas might be:

  • Rain barrels (which are beginning to be illegal in some states)
  • Less obvious water collection containers like pools and ponds (don’t forget the roof if you live in an apartment building
  • Water purification methods
  • Locate nearby lakes, rivers and streams
  • Wells (including non-electric pumps)

Food production

Many people believe that they will just be able to stick some seeds in the ground and feed their families year round. It isn’t that easy. You can only learn the foibles of your bit of ground through trial and error. It takes a lot more veggies than most people think to feed a family for a year. Anything from a blight to bad weather to a horde of hungry bunnies can wipe out all of your hard work and leave you without a bite to store away. Look into some of these methods:

  • Gardening in your backyard or on a balcony
  • An aquaponics or hydroponics system
  • Raising chickens and other micro-livestock
  • Sprouting
  • Hunting and foraging (a nice supplement to your diet but a risky plan for long term survival when everyone else has the same idea)
  • Full-scale farming
  • Rooftop gardening
  • Greenhouses and cold-frames

Food preservation

Not all of us are lucky enough to live in a place where we can grow food outdoors all year long. For the rest of us, food preservation is a lifeline in the winter. A few basic supplies and tools are needed. Just like food production, it’s important to practices food preservation and work out the kinks now, while you still have moderately affordable groceries as a back up. As well, this allows you to rely on healthy, non-GMO foods instead of the inexpensive, highly processed garbage at the stores. Learn the following skills:

  • Canning
  • Freezing
  • Dehydrating/drying
  • Pickling
  • Fermentation
  • Salting and curing
  • Root cellaring

Reduce dependence on utilities

Whether you live in the country or in a high-rise apartment, you need to take steps to reduce your dependence on electricity at the flip of a switch, water from the tap, heat from the thermostat, and cooking at the turn of a dial. As the divide between the rich and the poor widen, there could one day be a choice between food and electricity. Your priorities are:

  • Water
  • Sanitation
  • Heat
  • Electrical power
  • Lights
  • Refrigeration or other method of safe food storage
  • Cooking methods

Every situation is unique so start now to amass the necessary tools to meet your needs should the lights go out on a long term basis.

Personal defense
This is the sticking point for many people. But if you can’t defend your supplies, your home, and your garden, you don’t really have them at all – you are just using them until someone better armed or tougher comes and takes these things away from you. Look at Argentina’s economic collapse as an example of what could happen – violent crime there increased by 35% in one year. One study went so far as to call property crime a tool of redistribution: ”Overall, these results suggest that property crime has been used as a redistributive tool for the poorest to compensate for their impoverishment during the last decade and in particular during the ultimate crisis in Argentina.Some solutions for personal defense:

  • Arm yourself and learn to use your weapon of choice
  • Stock up on ammo while it is still available
  • Have secondary methods of defense in which you are proficient
  • Learn basic hand-to-hand self-defense skills

Home security

Not only should you be prepared to defend your home, but you should try to avoid the fight in the first place by securing your property.

  • Make your property less accessible by fencing it
  • Install heavy doors in reinforced frames
  • Install sturdy brackets to hold a bar in place on either side of the doors
  • Growing thorny inhospitable plants under windows and on fences
  • Place alarms on windows and doors
  • Install security cameras (even if they are fake and just have a blinking light)
  • Keep a low profile – if no one else has lights or power, cover your windows thoroughly so that they cannot see that you have them
  • Don’t be ostentatious – keep your property looking similar to everyone else’s in your neighborhood
  • Keep all windows and doors securely locked
  • Consider the potential necessity of standing watch in shifts if the situation has thoroughly devolved

Change your perspective on finances

Devastating financial changes are coming to a location near you. Wouldn’t you prefer to make the cuts now and adjust accordingly, instead of having them forced upon you through evictions, foreclosures, repossessions, and other painful methods? Making some difficult changes now can provide a stable standard of living in a world that is going downhill at breakneck speed. By decreasing your monthly output, you can hang on to necessities.

  • Redefine what necessities mean to you
  • Get your money out of the banks
  • Convert fiat currency to tangibles like seeds, ammo, food, medical supplies, real estate, and precious metals
  • Don’t be in debt
  • Reduce your monthly expenditures to the bare minimum
  • Spend more time at home 
  • Learn to enjoy productive hobbies
  • Prepare for a potential barter-based economy – what skills do you have that could be traded for essential goods and services?

The economic collapse is not some far-fetched, end-of-the-world fantasy. It is the reality that is occurring all around us, incrementally. The collapse that has been occurring since 2008 has been one of 1000 small cuts as income goes down and expenses go up.

No matter how much food you buy, it may not be enough to get you through these difficult times. You must learn to be self-sufficient in order to remain free from the control of those who would offer you sustenance and shelter in return for your fealty.

Instead of a huge, life-changing calamity, consider that it may be the culmination of many small events, rising prices and lower incomes, and the deliberate erosion of our self-sufficiency by those who would control us that cause TEOTWAWKI. (The End Of The World As We Know It).

The lists above aren’t comprehensive – they are jumping off points to apply to your own situations. Wherever you are planted, you need to come to grips with the fact that the world as we know it is undergoing massive changes. Figure out now how to make the best of it and not only survive with your family, but thrive.

Ask the people in Greece whether they regret not having stocked up on food supplies when those items were abundantly available. Ask the people in Argentina whether they feel the need to be armed against roving gangs and home invaders.

Hunger, cold, crime and fear are the daily realities in many countries that once enjoyed a similar standard of living to that of the average North American. Our debt-based standard of living is unsustainable, and you must be able to connect these trends with what is happening in your own country in order to see the need for preparation.

Today, you still have stores at every corner, reliable utilities, and social safety nets in place. These may soon become a thing of the past and if you wait before preparing, your window of opportunity may slam shut.

I’m not suggesting that you stop prepping – your stockpile is vital insurance that can help to cushion you when things go downhill. But along with your food storage and your rocket stoves and your medical supplies, begin creating a self-sufficient lifestyle that will carry you far beyond what mere prepping ever could.

Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor. Her website, The Organic Prepper offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca

TRUTHstreammedia TRUTHstreammedia

Published on Jun 5, 2013

http://truthstreammedia.com/kraft-foo
FoodBabe.com: Illegal GMO Wheat in Mac & Cheese?
http://foodbabe.com/2013/05/30/illega…

Truthstream Media followed up on a report a report by Vani Hari at Foodbabe.com that boxes of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese imported to the U.K. were showing up with a label warning the product contained genetically modified wheat. As no forms of GMO wheat are legally approved for cultivation or sale anywhere in the world, we investigated further, contacting both Kraft and the distribution company that placed the label to get the bottom of it.

We started by contacting the company’s customer service number. Listen as the representative admits their products have been ‘enhanced by biotechnology’ so some of their products ‘do contain ingredients from these crops’.

Although Kraft’s spokesperson responded to us in an official statement claiming there is no GMO wheat in their flagship Macaroni & Cheese product, the fact that the company refuses to remove potentially cancer-causing artificial dyes from the U.S. version of their product (dyes already absent from their international versions), in addition to the admitted presence of GMO in their food further proves that people need to take back control of what they are eating from these giant corporations who appear to be putting profits above people.

Monsanto can’t explain how GMO wheat survived

Published time: June 04, 2013 17:10
Edited time: June 05, 2013 14:13

An examiner demonstrates the process of analyzing a genetically modified wheat sample (Reuters / Lee Jae-Won)

An examiner demonstrates the process of analyzing a genetically modified wheat sample
(Reuters / Lee Jae-Won)

Monsanto claims it has no idea how its herbicide-resistant strain of wheat made its way onto an Oregon field. The global biotech giant based in Missouri says it abandoned research on it in 2004 and is mystified by its emergence nearly a decade later.

Monsanto tested the GMO varieties in 17 US states between 1998 and 2004. Although it also tested the GM wheat in Oregon, the company claims it destroyed all of the material upon the conclusion of the program and that it never grew the wheat strain on the farm where it was found last month.

“The company’s internal assessments suggest that neither seed left in the soil nor wheat pollen flow serve as reasonable explanations behind this reported detection,” the biotech giant said in a news release Friday.

The company claims that even if the wheat seed had been left in the ground, it would not have survived longer than one or two years in the soil. Monsanto also states that its seed varieties could not have possibly traveled across the state, since 99 percent of wheat pollen is deposited within 10 meters of the plant.

This report is unusual since our program was discontinued nine years ago, and this is the only report after more than 500 million acres (200 million hectare) of wheat have been grown,” the company said in its statement.

Demonstrators hold up posters during a protest against U.S.-based Monsanto Co. and genetically modified organisms (GMO), in New York May 25, 2013 (Reuters / Eduardo Munoz)

Demonstrators hold up posters during a protest against U.S.-based Monsanto Co.
genetically modified organisms (GMO), in New York May 25, 2013
(Reuters / Eduardo Munoz)

Since May 29, the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has conducted a multi-state investigation to determine how the GM wheat reached the Oregon farm.

A local farmer discovered it after dousing his field with Monsanto’s “Roundup Ready” pesticide and realizing that some of the wheat plants were resistant to it. He alerted the USDA, which soon determined that the herbicide-resistant wheat crop was the same variety Monsanto tested nearly a decade ago.

 

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Renegade GM wheat confined to single Oregon field says agriculture secretary

Tom Vilsack said no indication that GM wheat had entered greater food supply with no threat to public health in US

A wheat field.

Monsanto carried out field trials of GM wheat in Oregon between 1998-2005. Photograph: Graham Turner for the Guardian

The agriculture secretary, Tom Vilsack, moved to steady Asian and European nerves about US wheat exports on Wednesday, saying there was no indication that rogue GM wheat had entered into the greater food supply.

Vilsack said investigations so far suggested the renegade wheat, which was discovered last week, was confined to a single field in Oregon.

There was no threat to public health, he said. “This was a finding of a very small number of plants on 123 acres of land. There is no indication it has found its way into commerce, into flour or wheat that has been sold,” Vilsack said during an appearance at the National Press Club in Washington. “It has been limited at this point in time to this particular field.”

Nearly all of the soft white wheat grown in Oregon is sold for export, mainly to Asia, and the discovery of the GM seeds, which were developed by Monsanto, sent wheat prices falling and could imperil billions of exports.

Japan and South Korea immediately suspended shipments.

Vilsack, in his remarks to the press club, said he hoped investigations by the US Department of Agriculture would make sufficient progress to reopen those markets in a matter of weeks.

 

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U.S. discovery of rogue GMO wheat raises concerns over controls

 

 

 

Fri May 31, 2013 1:27am EDT

(Reuters) – For global consumers now on high alert over a rogue strain of genetically modified wheat found in Oregon, the question is simple: How could this happen? For a cadre of critics of biotech crops, the question is different: How could it not?

The questions arose after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday that it was investigating the mysterious appearance of experimental, unapproved genetically engineered wheat plants on a farm in Oregon. The wheat was developed years ago by Monsanto Co to tolerate its Roundup herbicide, but the world’s largest seed company scrapped the project and ended all field trials in 2004.

The incident joins a score of episodes in which biotech crops have eluded efforts to segregate them from conventional varieties. But it marks the first time that a test strain of wheat, which has no genetically modified varieties on the market, has escaped the protocols set up by U.S. regulators to control it.

“These requirements are leaky and there is just no doubt about that. There is a fundamental problem with the system,” said Doug Gurian-Sherman, a scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists who served on a biotech advisory subcommittee for the Food and Drug Administration from 2002 to 2005.

The discovery instantly roiled export markets, with Japan canceling a major shipment of wheat, a quick reminder of what is at stake – an $8 billion U.S. wheat export business.

Many fear the wheat most likely has been mixed in with conventional wheat for some time, but there are no valid commercial tests to verify whether wheat contains the biotech Roundup Ready gene.

“A lot of people are on high alert now,” said Mike Flowers, a cereal specialist at Oregon State University. “We can’t really say if it is or isn’t in other fields. We don’t know.”

A month has passed since U.S. authorities first were alerted to the suspect plants in Oregon, yet it remains unclear how the strain developed. Monsanto officials said it is likely the presence of the Roundup Ready genetic trait in wheat supplies is “very limited.” The company is conducting “a rigorous investigation” to find out how much, if any, wheat has been contaminated by their biotech variety. U.S. regulators are also investigating.

Bob Zemetra, one of the Oregon State University wheat researchers who first tested the mystery wheat when an unnamed farmer mailed a plant sample, said there is no easy way to explain the sudden appearance of the strain years after field tests ended.

Cross-pollination seems unlikely, Zemetra said, because the field where the plants were discovered was growing winter wheat, while Monsanto had field tested spring wheat. There hadn’t been any test sites in the area since at least 2004, making it unlikely the new genetic strain would have been carried on the wind.

“I don’t know that we are ever going to get a straight answer, or a satisfactory answer, on how it got there,” Zemetra said.

‘RIGOROUS TESTING PROTOCOL’

Government records show Monsanto conducted at least 279 field tests of herbicide-resistant wheat on over 4,000 acres in at least 16 states from 1994 until the company abandoned its field testing of wheat in 2004.

Zemetra participated in Monsanto wheat trials a decade ago, while working as a wheat breeder at the University of Idaho. When Monsanto decided to halt the testing, he said, the company had strict rules about handling test materials.

“Pretty much all that seed, and any program that was using it, either buried it, burned it or shipped it back to Monsanto, as part of the instructions for doing the field testing,” he said. “It was a very rigorous testing protocol.”

Researchers were requested to watch the plots for “volunteer” growth for at least two years after conclusion of the tests, Zemetra added.

Zemetra first became aware of the wheat found in Oregon when a farmer brought in what he described as several isolated wheat plants that had emerged after he sprayed Roundup on a fallow field in eastern Oregon. The farmer had last harvested a crop of white winter wheat from the field in 2012.

 

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Forget the Farm Bill: New York Legislators Push for GMO Labeling

In case you missed it: Twin bills are currently moving through the New York Senate and Assembly requiring the labeling of genetically modified foods. After Proposition 37 was shot down in California last year, New York’s might seem like a fruitless effort against a monolithic biotech lobby, but it’s part of a renewed effort to address the issue nationwide–New York is now one of 27 states that have introduced legislation to regulate GMOs.

A week ago, the Senate voted down a GMO labeling requirement in the federal Farm Bill, then introduced another amendment that GMO activists say would cut out states’ ability to require labeling. But amid the squabbling at the federal level, the Connecticut state Senate passed a GMO labeling requirement that’s moving through the House, Maine’s GMO labeling bill sailed through the state’s Agriculture Committee, and Vermont’s legislation passed in the state House.

New York’s bills were introduced in a bipartisan effort between Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal (D) and state Senator Ken Lavalle (R). The Assembly’s version currently has 41 co-sponsors, and Rosenthal feels that while similar legislation has failed in the past, renewed interest in GMO labeling is at an all-time high.

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