News regarding the dangers of GMOs and biotech, and the advantages of organic sustainable agriculture.
Half of the European Union’s 28 countries and three of its regions have opted out of a new GM crop scheme, in a blow to biotech industry hopes. Under new EU rules agreed in March, 15 countries have now told Brussels they will send territorial exclusion requests to the big agricultural multinationals including Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta and Pioneer. Applications from Latvia and Greece have already been accepted by the firms and if that pattern is extended, around two-thirds of of the EU’s population – and of its arable land – will be GM-free.
Globalist Agriculture Cartel Pillages Ukraine as IMF and World Bank Wage War to Expand Monsanto’s GMO Empire
Is it possible that the conflict in Ukraine is really just a front for a Monsanto land grab? Before Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was forcibly removed from office, he had repeatedly rejected agreements and loan packages from international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF, which padded their deals with conditions that included loosening regulations for Ukraine's agricultural sector.
By training, I am a plant biologist. In the early 1990s I was busy making genetically modified plants (often called GMOs for Genetically Modified Organisms) as part of the research that led to my PhD. I was not, at the outset, concerned about the possible effects of GM plants on human health or the environment. I now believe, as a much more experienced scientist, that GMO crops still run far ahead of our understanding of their risks. I have become much more appreciative of the complexity of biological organisms and their capacity for benefits and harms. As a scientist I have become much more humble about the capacity of science to do more than scratch the surface in its understanding of the deep complexity and diversity of the natural world. To paraphrase a cliché, I more and more appreciate that as scientists we understand less and less. I have read numerous GMO risk assessment applications. These are the documents that governments rely on to ‘prove’ their safety. Though these documents are quite long and quite complex, their length is misleading in that they primarily ask (and answer) trivial questions. Furthermore, the experiments described within them are often very inadequate and sloppily executed. Scientific controls are often missing, procedures and reagents are badly described, and the results are often ambiguous or uninterpretable. I do not believe that this ambiguity and apparent incompetence is accidental. To any honest observer, reading these applications is bound to raise profound and disturbing questions: about the trustworthiness of the applicants and equally of the regulators. They are impossible to reconcile with a functional regulatory system capable of protecting the public.
Tropical Traditions has added several products into their glyphosate-tested line of products. Late in 2014, when Tropical Traditions started to test some of their certified organic products for the presence of glyphosate, and found out much to their horror that many USDA certified organic products were contaminated with glyphosate, they also tested their certified organic poultry feed. Unfortunately, the level of glyphosate contamination was very high, much higher than any of the organic grains they had tested. So the search for glyphosate-tested feed that returned a zero result for glyphosate began. Due to the GMO contamination of USDA certified corn as well, it was determined to drop organic corn from the feed. It has now been replaced with milo (sorghum), a popular poultry feed ingredient in southern cultures. The Tropical Traditions Cocofeed is also soy-free, and includes coconut pulp. Tropical Traditions had to test each ingredient separately, and be sure that the test represented the entire batch from a specific harvest sourced back to the producers. This week (September 2015), pastured chickens raised on this glyphosate-tested feed are now available for purchase by the public.
The California Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it plans to label glyphosate — the most widely used herbicide and main ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup — as a chemical "known to cause cancer." The World Health Organization's research arm also recently found that the chemical is probably carcinogenic to humans, and research has also linked glyphosate to the steep decline of monarch butterflies. And as we reported this week, scientists have increasingly raised new alarms about potential negative health impacts tied to Roundup, including a recent study suggesting that long-term exposure to tiny amounts of the chemical (thousands of times lower than what is allowed in drinking water in the US) could lead to liver and kidney problems.
A Perspective article published in the New England Journal of Medicine calls for the labeling of genetically modified foods. "We believe the time has come to revisit the United States' reluctance to label GM foods," writes Dr. Philip J. Landrigan, co-author with Charles Benbrook, of the article entitled "GMOs, Herbicides, and Public Health." The two write that such labeling "is essential for tracking emergence of novel food allergies and assessing effects of chemical herbicides applied to GM crops. It would respect the wishes of a growing number of consumers who insist they have a right to know what foods they are buying and how they were produced."
Germany has initiated a move to stop the growing of genetically modified crops under new European Union rules, documents seen by Reuters showed on Monday. German Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt has informed German state governments of his intention to tell the EU that Germany will make use of new "opt-out" rules to stop GMO crop cultivation even if varieties have been approved by the EU, a letter from the agriculture ministry seen by Reuters shows. A new EU law approved in March cleared the way for new GMO crops to be approved after years of previous deadlock. But the law also gave individual countries the right to opt out by banning GMO crops even after they have been approved as safe by the European Commission.
Our society is largely built on the idea that science can help us make good, solid decisions. But now we're facing a world so rife with problems caused by the very sciences that were supposed to keep us healthy, safe, and productive, it's quite clear that we're heading toward more than one proverbial brick wall. In a sense, the fundamental role of science itself has been hijacked for selfish gain. Looking back, you can now see that the preferred business model of an industry was created first, followed by "scientific evidence" that supports the established business model. When the science doesn’t support the company’s economic gains, it’s swept under the rug, even if people are dying and the planet is becoming irreparably poisoned as a result. Today we live in a world where chemical companies and biotech giants can easily buy and pay for their own research studies, as well as the lobbying to support whatever legislation they need passed in their favor. Conflicts of interest have become the norm within virtually all fields of science, which creates a completely unworkable – and dangerous – situation in the long run.
An article published today in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine by two of the nation’s most respected experts on pesticides and children’s environmental health calls for the Food and Drug Administration to require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered (GMO) food. This comes after the House of Representatives passed a bill last month that would block states from enacting their own labeling laws and make it nearly impossible for the FDA ever to implement national mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. Titled “GMOs, Herbicides, and Public Health,” the paper by Philip J. Landrigan, M.D. and Charles Benbrook, Ph.D. focuses on the widespread adoption of GMO crops across the U.S. and the resulting explosion in the use of toxic herbicides – some of them, like Monsanto’s glyphosate, linked to cancer – and argues that labeling these foods is a matter of protecting public health.
A new review of the scientific literature shows that glyphosate herbicides may be toxic below regulatory safety limits. Dr Robin Mesnage and co-authors examined a number of different types of toxic effects to arrive at their conclusions, including liver and kidney toxicity, neurotoxicity, carcinogenicity, reproductive toxicity, and teratogenicity (ability to cause birth defects). Unlike regulatory authorities, the researchers considered studies from the independent literature, as well as the few industry toxicity studies, conducted in support of regulatory approvals, that have been made public. They shared this approach of considering the entirety of the published literature with the World Health Organization’s cancer agency IARC, which recently concluded that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen. The new review shows that endocrine (hormone) disruptive effects can occur below the doses deemed not to cause any toxic effects in industry studies performed for regulatory approvals. Endocrine disruption may increase the risk of certain types of cancer. Yet regulatory studies do not test low dose exposures for endocrine disruptive effects.