September 2, 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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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.

China Blocks U.S. Pork Imports Due to Banned Animal Drug

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Ractopamine is a controversial animal drug that is banned in 160 countries, but not the United States. China is now refusing to allow several pork processing plants in the U.S. to import their meats which they say have tested positive for ractopamine.

Russian Officials Approve Fines for Individuals and Businesses Failing to Label GMOs

Russian Officials Approve Fines for Individuals and Businesses Failing to Label GMOs

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While the heavily funded Biotech industry along with major processed food companies in the U.S. continue to oppose any form of labeling requirements to allow consumers information on whether or not a product contains genetically modified ingredients, Russia is moving in the opposite direction, and now approving fines for failing to warn consumers that their products contain genetically modified ingredients.

Is Monsanto’s ‘Cure’ For World Hunger Cursing The Global Food Supply?

Is Monsanto’s ‘Cure’ For World Hunger Cursing The Global Food Supply?

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What if the very GM agricultural system that Monsanto claims will help to solve the problem of world hunger depends on a chemical that kills the very pollinator upon which approximately 70% of world’s food supply now depends?

A new study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology titled, “Effects of field-realistic doses of glyphosate on honeybee appetitive behavior,” establishes a link between the world’s most popular herbicide – aka Roundup – and the dramatic decline in honeybee populations in North American and Europe that lead to the coining of the term ‘colony collapse disorder.’

‘Right to Farm’ is Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: Only Protects Corporate Ag

‘Right to Farm’ is Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: Only Protects Corporate Ag

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On August 5, 2014, Missouri voters will decide on whether to pass Constitutional Amendment #1, also known as the “Right to Farm Amendment” (aka the “Right to Harm” amendment).

While the right to farm is something everyone should support, Amendment One serves as a bio-tech/concentrated animal feeding operation protection act–doing little to help the family farm. Supporters of the amendment include Monsanto, Cargill, Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri Corn Growers, Missouri Cattleman’s Association, and Missouri Pork Association–all entities working to further the interests of industrial agriculture.

Help defeat this amendment in Monsanto’s home state!

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