September 17, 2014

Move Over, Frankenfish—Now We Have Frankenapples!

pin it button Move Over, Frankenfish—Now We Have Frankenapples!

gmo apple Move Over, Frankenfish—Now We Have Frankenapples!

by Alliance for Natural Health

Apples genetically engineered not to turn brown when sliced or bruised. And new, unnatural proteins are being created in the process. Action Alert!

The “Arctic Apple,” engineered by the British Columbia–based Okanagan Specialty Fruits, thinks the non-browning apples could improve industry sales the way “baby carrots” did for carrot sales. Of course, as most people now realize, “baby carrots” are not young, tender carrots at all, but are simply specially shaped slices of peeled carrots, invented as a use for carrots that are too twisted or knobbly for sale as full-size carrots.

In other words, the GMO apples are designed to fool the public into thinking they’re something they’re not.

“Is it a rotten apple that looks fresh?” said Lucy Sharratt, coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, a coalition fighting GMOs. The fruit company had submitted an application to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, but chose not to make any raw data available to the public during the comment period, supplying only two pages of bullet points talking about the data. The Canadian comment period closed on July 3.

Sharratt also said the genetic engineering was “designed to turn the apple into an industrialized product” that could be sold in plastic bags instead of as whole fresh fruit. She noted that a consumer poll commissioned by BC and Quebec apple grower associations found that 69% of Canadians do not want the GE apple.

The apples, which we’ll likely see in the Golden Delicious and Granny Smith varieties first, contain a synthetic gene that sharply reduces production of polyphenol oxidase, an enzyme responsible for the browning.

Some growers, particularly organic ones, worry the anti-browning gene will spread to their apples. While apple pollen does not usually drift very far on the breeze, it can be carried by bees, and cross-pollination would occur without any way to control it.

Here’s what’s most troubling: while only one changed gene will keep the apples from browning, it is likely that other genes have also been changed in the process of creating a GMO. In fact, Kirk Azevedo, a Monsanto market manager working on genetically engineered cotton (who has since left the company) was told by one of Monsanto’s PhD researchers that there are “other proteins that are being produced, not just the one we want, a byproduct of the genetic engineering process.”

When Azevedo, who had also been studying protein diseases and knew that such proteins could be toxic, said they needed to destroy the seeds from the GE crop so they weren’t fed to cattle, the other researcher said that Monsanto isn’t going to stop doing what it’s been doing everywhere else.

Azevedo later said, “I saw what was really the fraud associated with genetic engineering. My impression, and I think most people’s impression with genetically engineered foods and crops and other things, is that it’s just like putting one gene in there and that one gene is expressed….But in reality, the process of genetic engineering changes the cell in such a way that it’s unknown what the effects are going to be.”

That “unknown” factor is most troubling. No testing has been done to assure the apples’ safety in the long-term, and we know that scientists are seeing birth defects, high infant mortality rates, and sterility in hamsters, rats, and livestock fed genetically engineered soy and corn, and some hamster pups even started growing hair on the inside of their mouths.

The USDA has opened a 60-day public comment period on Okanagan’s application for approval of the GE apple trees. Action Alert! Please send your message to USDA about the dangers of GMO foods, and tell them to keep apples natural!

Take Action Move Over, Frankenfish—Now We Have Frankenapples!

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Costa Rica Supreme Court: GMO Approval Process Unconstitutional

Costa Rica Supreme Court: GMO Approval Process Unconstitutional

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In a ruling lauded by Costa Rica’s anti-GMO activists, the country’s Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court struck down the government’s regulatory framework on genetically modified organisms, declaring the process of approval for GMO projects unconstitutional.

In the court’s opinion, Chief Justice Gilbert Armijo Sancho wrote that the regulations violate the Costa Rican Constitution because the secrecy allowed to GMO companies in terms of the genetic information of their products violates the constitutional right to freedom of information.

“This is an important precedent that shows the interests of companies linked to this type of activity – among them the multinational Monsanto which is seeking permits to plant corn – have benefited from the granting of permits in a manner that violates the fundamental rights of the population,” FECON said.

GMO Golden Rice not so “Golden” After All: Farmers Call to Stop GMO Rice Trials

GMO Golden Rice not so “Golden” After All: Farmers Call to Stop GMO Rice Trials

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GM Golden Rice was developed at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines with the hope that it could provide more vitamin A through beta carotene. The project was a huge disaster, however, and basically shelved for years. But then Bill Gates came along, the college-drop-out-turned-billionaire who started Microsoft Corp., looking for something to spend his billions of dollars to promote. All of a sudden, with big money providing jobs to pursue a failed project, GM Golden Rice had new life.

There’s just one problem: the Asian farmers don’t want it. Philippine farmers have called for a halt to field trials after very poor results, large debts, and a concern for their native rice seeds.

Are Experimental Vaccines Growing in a GMO Corn Field Near You?

Are Experimental Vaccines Growing in a GMO Corn Field Near You?

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With more and more people waking up to the dangers and false claims being made for vaccines today, it is becoming more difficult for the pharmaceutical lobbyists to enact mandatory vaccination laws at the local level. A recent bill in Colorado was defeated when citizens turned out to oppose legislation that would have prohibited vaccine exemptions. Are pharmaceutical companies now looking for new ways to market their vaccines that bypass the freedom to choose completely without the consumer even realizing they are consuming their products? The chemical industry, after all, has been successful for years in getting municipalities to put fluoride in public water supplies completely bypassing consumer choice.

Recently obtained information through a freedom of information act shows that pharmaceutical companies and biotech are teaming up to produce genetically modified corn that will contain vaccines like hepatitis B. There are secret locations along California’s Central Coast where plots of experimental genetically engineered corn are producing proteins for industrial and pharmaceutical uses, including an experimental vaccine for hepatitis B.

Guatemala Strikes Down ‘Monsanto Law’

Guatemala Strikes Down ‘Monsanto Law’

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In a close vote, Guatemala’s Congress rejects genetically modified seeds in country’s agricultural development. The law would have authorized stricter property rights and risked monopolizing agricultural processes in the country by placing copyrights on agriculture for the next 25 years.

Asian Farmers and Scientists Say No to GMO Golden Rice

Asian Farmers and Scientists Say No to GMO Golden Rice

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GM Golden Rice was developed at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines with the hope that it could provide more vitamin A through beta carotene. The project was a huge disaster, however, and basically shelved for years. But then Bill Gates came along, the college-drop-out-turned-billionaire who started Microsoft Corp., looking for something to spend his billions of dollars to promote. All of a sudden, with big money providing jobs to pursue a failed project, GM Golden Rice has new life.

There are multiple problems with GMO Golden Rice, including the fact that the people from rice-producing countries do not want it!

Recently many top scientists and farmer advocates from rice-producing countries met in the Philippines in an effort to try and stop more field testing, and the commercialization of Golden Rice. The science behind Golden Rice does not prove benefits, and it threatens genetic diversity among traditional rice varieties which is necessary in many parts of the world that experience natural and man-made disasters. Like any GMO seed crop, Golden Rice would take the future of farming in rice-producing countries away from the control of the farmers and give it to multinational corporations that would then control the rice seed supplies.

MASIPAG (Farmer-Scientist Partnership for Development) in the Philippines hosted the event earlier this year, and has recently provided video interviews from some of the participants in English.

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