July 29, 2014

Dow’s New GM Corn: The Return of Agent Orange

pin it button Dows New GM Corn: The Return of Agent Orange

Crop Dusting Dows New GM Corn: The Return of Agent Orange

by Sayer Ji
greenmedinfo.com

[Important Note: There is an action item discussed at the end of this article, but to send a message immediately to the US government that you stand against the future widespread use of 2,4 Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, a major ingredient in Agent Orange, and the 2,4 D resistant crops that will make mass exposures to this herbicide inevitable, you can do so now.]

Whether you are aware of it or not, your food, air and water are the battle ground upon which a titanic struggle between the multinational biotech corporations Monsanto and Dow AgroScience is now playing out. As a result, your health and environment (and that of all future generations) are at profound risk of irreparable harm.

Dow AgroSciences (a subsidiary of Dow Chemicals) recently announced their development of genetically-engineered corn, soybean, and cotton plants metabolically resistant to the herbicide 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), a major ingredient in Agent Orange.  What this means for our future is that, if approved for use, vast regions of our country will soon be sprayed with a chemical that has been linked to over 400,000 birth defects in Vietnam.

How did we end up here?

History is repeating itself before our eyes. Dow Chemicals and Monsanto, joined at the karmic hip, both manufactured Agent Orange for use in Vietnam, and both are notorious for minimizing the adverse health effects associated with exposure to the agent. Neither corporation learned from its mistakes, largely because the US government underwrote the risk of using the chemical, and therefore shielded them from the bulk of the legal and financial fallout.  But this lack of culpability has now set up the conditions for a reliving of the horrors of systemic herbicide exposure, only this time on American soil, with Monsanto choosing glyphosate (also a birth-defect causing chemical), and Dow Chemical sticking with its old time favorite.

The two corporations are now pitched in a heated battle for dominance, as Monsanto’s once global hegemony over genetically engineered staple crops like soy and corn began to falter, in the following four ways:

1) Roundup resistance, which was bioengineered into food crops, began spreading to a number of other plants (weeds), rendering Roundup ineffective, or requiring much higher (and therefore toxic) quantities.

2) Insects began to develop resistance to Monsanto’s Bt gene, which was engineered into their plants as a “natural” insecticide, conferring theoretical resistance to Bt-sensitive pests.

3) Research on glyphosate, the major active ingredient in Roundup, which has been used at the rate of 80,000 tons in the US in 2007 alone, began to accumulate, linking it to dozens of serious adverse health.

4) Glyphosate was found to contaminate our air, food and groundwater.

Given these fatal flaws in Monsanto’s once impenetrable armor, Dow AgroScience is positioning its new GE plants as a “next-generation” solution to the problems of glyphosate and Bt resistance. However, by engineering what amounts to Agent Orange-resistance  into their “new and improved” crops the potential environmental and health fallout to exposed areas is nothing less than horrific. Do we need to view pictures of the victims of Agent Orange to be reminded of how toxic the ingredients in this herbicide are? (Warning: the images are graphic).

Instead of learning from Monsanto’s colossal mistakes (which happens when you play geneticist-as-God and use a broad spectrum poison to kill all but your “chosen” plants) Dow AgroScience’s solution is to multiply the problem by a factor of three, creating the “first-ever, three-gene,” herbicide-tolerant staple crops. What this means is that instead of using only one highly toxic herbicide (Roundup), three will be used simultaneously, further increasing the risk of serious exposures, and setting up the conditions for synergistic toxicities – something that toxicological risk assessments on singular herbicide ingredients, which establish “an acceptable level of harm,” never account for.

While Dow AgroScience claims that 2,4 D resistance will not present the same problem that Roundup resistance did for Monsanto, the science to support these marketing claims is not on their side.

In a recent article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, researchers reviewed Dow Chemicals’ own published research on 2,4 D resistant crops, and found it highly misleading and inaccurate.

They noted:

“In their recent article, we feel that Wright et al. (1) [Dow AgroSciences researcher] misrepresented the potential for 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D)–resistant weeds in 2,4-D–resistant cropping systems and exaggerated the sustainability of their approach to addressing glyphosate-resistant weed problems in agriculture.“

They also noted:

“We were surprised that Wright et al. (1) stated that only “very few” 2,4-D–resistant weed species have evolved without quoting a specific number. We checked the database that they used to support this claim (2) and were alarmed to learn that, globally, 28 species across 16 plant families have already evolved resistance to the synthetic auxin herbicides, the mode of action to which 2,4-D belongs. Of these, 16 are known to be resistant to 2,4-D specifically (for comparison, 21 species are resistant to glyphosate globally). Furthermore, the claim that 2,4-D resistance is unlikely to evolve because of the complex and essential functions that auxin plays in plants is unsubstantiated.

In a nutshell, 2,4 D and 2,4 D resistant crops are not a solution to the underlying problem of herbicide resistance in genetically engineered crops. In the same way that we have created the monster of antibiotic-resistance super-bugs like MRSA (methillicin-resistant staphylococcus aureus), continually developing more and more toxic chemicals to combat a problem that can not be solved with them, Nature will ultimately survive the manmade systems that seek to dominate her modes of production; the question is whether we will survive ourselves, if we continue down this path much longer.

We can not end this article on a bad note, because there is quite a lot you can still do…

ACTION ALERT: LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD!

The US government has made available a petition, open to public commentary until Feb. 27th, 2012, which concerns Dow AgroScience’s application for non-regulated status for its 2,4 D resistant corn.  PLEASE voice your concerns today, and send a clear message that we will not accept further the wholesale deregulation of bioengineered foods and widespread application of dangerous systemic biocides (euphemistically and myopically called herbicides).

Read the Full Article Here: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/dows-deadly-harvest-return-agent-orange

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Brazil Farmers say GMO Corn no Longer Resistant to Pests

Brazil Farmers say GMO Corn no Longer Resistant to Pests

More bad news for GMO seed suppliers in Brazil, where strong opposition to GMOs continues. We reported earlier this year how the U.S. had a huge shipment of corn rejected at the border of China due to unapproved GMO corn in the shipment. China ordered corn from Brazil instead, giving them a major economic incentive to pursue non-GMO corn, as the U.S. is quickly losing the corn export market due to its value of GMO technology that other countries don’t share.
Now it is being reported by farmers in Brazil that the GMO corn is no longer protecting Brazilian farmers from voracious tropical bugs. They are seeking compensation for damages due to increased costs of pesticides to battle the problem.

Factory Farmed Chicken May Be Cheap, But the Ultimate Price You Pay Is High

Factory Farmed Chicken May Be Cheap, But the Ultimate Price You Pay Is High

Demand for food at cheaper prices has dramatically altered the entire food chain. Today, food production revolves around efficiency—the ability to produce more for less.

Today, nearly 65 billion animals worldwide, including cows, chickens, and pigs, are crammed into confined animal feeding operations known as CAFOs. These animals are imprisoned and tortured in crowded, unhealthy, unsanitary, and cruel conditions.

Seeing how chicken is supposed to be a healthy source of high-quality nutrition, the fact that it has become so affordable might seem to be a great benefit. But there’s a major flaw in this equation. As it turns out, it’s virtually impossible to mass-produce clean, safe, optimally nutritious foods at rock bottom prices.

To prevent the inevitable spread of disease from stress, overcrowding, and an unnatural diet, the animals are routinely fed antibiotics. Antibiotics used in livestock pose a direct threat to human health, and contaminate the environment.

Glyphosate Herbicide Causes Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria, Kidney Disease, and Infertility

Glyphosate Herbicide Causes Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria, Kidney Disease, and Infertility

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden issued an alarming warning this week: “Antibiotic resistance that turns ordinary disease-causing bacteria into illnesses that can’t be controlled could bring about the next pandemic.” Frieden brought attention to the growing trend of antibiotic-resistant bacteria which can cause patients to “enter the hospital with one disease and leave with another.”

It is generally acknowledged today that the age of antibiotics is over, as bacteria have adapted to resist man-made pharmaceutical products. The focus now is on the microbiome, both the human microbiome as well as other microbiome systems within our environment, as we enter into a new age of dangerous organisms totally out of control.

How did we get to this point where modern medicines can no longer stop infections? Many analyses correctly point to the fact that we have overused man-made antibiotic drugs, both in medicine and in livestock raised in CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations).

However, as we report to you today, there is probably a far greater reason the human microbiome has been damaged and in many people destroyed, leading to a multitude of allergies and diseases that plague this modern generation. That reason is linked to a common herbicide currently present in 80% of the U.S. food chain: glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup and other herbicides.

Glyphosate may well be the most toxic chemical ever approved for commercial use, as it is now linked to kidney disease, antibiotic resistant bacteria, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, depression, ADHD, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, multiple sclerosis, cancer, cachexia, infertility, and developmental malformations. It destroys the microbiome of humans and plants, which is the root cause of many modern diseases.

Michigan Officials Destroy $5,000.00 of Good Organic Food from Family Farm

Michigan Officials Destroy $5,000.00 of Good Organic Food from Family Farm

The government-sponsored dump of nearly $5,000 of milk, eggs, butter, and cream from Michigan’s My Family Co-Op yesterday (July 21, 2014) carried a very clear and powerful political message to all Americans: We control your food and we don’t like you buying your food outside the corporate food system. Every now and then, we are going to remind you of what bad children you are being by taking your food and throwing it in the garbage. In fact, we are going to do more than remind you, we are going to completely humiliate you by preventing you from even feeding it to farm animals and instead forcing it to be disposed of in a landfill or dumpster.

If you think I am exaggerating the intent of what is going on here, ask yourself this question: When was the last time you saw government agents seize and condemn food from a place like Foster Farms or Taco Bell or Del Monte or Kellogg’s or Trade Joe’s when their food has been found to contain pathogens, or made people sick? There’s been not even a suggestion that food at My Family Co-Op contained pathogens or made anyone sick.

Michigan Officials Seize Private Food from Family Co-op

Michigan Officials Seize Private Food from Family Co-op

David Gumpert is reporting that agents from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development pulled over the My Family Co-op’s refrigerated truck this week, and placed a seizure order on their private food which was being delivered to food club members. My Family Co-op operates a “herd-share” program that allows private club members to contract with them and share in the ownership of their farm operations to produce and deliver farm-fresh food.

These types of private food clubs are popping up all over the country, bypassing the commercial retail distribution of commodity food found in grocery stores. Big Ag, Big Dairy, and others are obviously opposed to such systems that allow farmers to sell directly to consumers, and use government regulations to go after peaceful farm operations trying to produce healthy food for those who want to bypass the commodity processed food market.

David Gumpert, however, brings up a good point in explaining that most ag inspectors that try to seize private food really have no police powers, and can be resisted. Some food clubs have successfully resisted some seizures, forcing government officials to get court sanctioned orders that can be enforced by law enforcement officials. They key is to know your rights and not be intimidated, and David Gumpert posted on his blog:

SIX WAYS TO PUT A STOP TO GOVERNMENT SEIZURES OF PRIVATELY-OWNED FOOD

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