August 20, 2014

Posts tagged as: #GMO back to homepage

Companies Rush to Build ‘bio-factories’ for GMO Medicines, Flavorings and Fuels Companies Rush to Build ‘bio-factories’ for GMO Medicines, Flavorings and Fuels

For scientist Jack Newman, creating a new life-form has become as simple as this: He types out a DNA sequence on his laptop. Clicks “send.” And a few yards away in the laboratory, robotic arms mix together some compounds to produce the desired cells.

Newman’s biotech company is creating new organisms, most forms of genetically modified yeast, at the dizzying rate of more than 1,500 a day. Some convert sugar into medicines. Others create moisturizers that can be used in cosmetics.

“You can now build a cell the same way you might build an app for your iPhone,” said Newman, chief science officer of Amyris.

The rush to biological means of production promises to revolutionize the chemical industry and transform the economy, but it also raises questions about environmental safety and biosecurity and revives ethical debates about “playing God.” Hundreds of products are in the pipeline.

Laboratory-grown artemisinin, a key anti-malarial drug, went on sale in April with the potential to help stabilize supply issues. A vanilla flavoring that promises to be significantly cheaper than the costly extract made from beans grown in rain forests is scheduled to hit the markets in 2014.

What if they are accidentally released and evolve to have harmful characteristics? “There is no regulatory structure or even protocols for assessing the safety of synthetic organisms in the environment.”

Mexico Bans GMO Corn Mexico Bans GMO Corn

A federal judge has ordered Mexico’s SAGARPA (Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca, y Alimentación), which is Mexico’s Secretary of Agriculture, and SEMARNAT (Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales), which is equivalent of the EPA, to immediately “suspend all activities involving the planting of transgenic corn in the country and end the granting of permission for experimental and pilot commercial plantings.”

The unprecedented ban was granted by the Twelfth Federal District Court for Civil Matters of Mexico City. Judge Jaime Eduardo Verdugo J. wrote the opinion and cited “the risk of imminent harm to the environment” as the basis for the decision. The judge’s ruling also ruled that multinationals like Monsanto and Pioneer are banned from the release of transgenic maize in the Mexican countryside” as long as collective action lawsuits initiated by citizens, farmers, scientists, and civil society organizations are working their way through the judicial system.

US Military Tracks GMO Campaigners and Independent Scientists US Military Tracks GMO Campaigners and Independent Scientists

The largest German daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung has published a shocking article that reveals how Monsanto, the US Military and the US government track both anti-GMO Campaigners and Independent Scientists who study the dangers of GMOs. In a very detailed article the Süddeutsche Zeitung journalists reveal information on how the US Government “advances the interests of their corporations” using Monsanto as an example.
After a very detailed introduction into Monsanto and their links to the US government and the security firm Blackwater, Süddeutsche Zeitung asks the question: ‘Is everything allowed in war? Especially in the new-fangled cyber war?’

As Biotech GMO Seed Falters, Insecticide Use Surges In Corn Belt As Biotech GMO Seed Falters, Insecticide Use Surges In Corn Belt

Across the Midwestern corn belt, a familiar battle has resumed, hidden in the soil. On one side are tiny, white larvae of the corn rootworm. On the other side are farmers and the insect-killing arsenal of modern agriculture.

It appears that farmers have gotten part of the message: Biotechnology alone will not solve their rootworm problems. But instead of shifting away from GMO corn, or from corn altogether, many are doubling down on insect-fighting technology, deploying more chemical pesticides than before. Companies like or that sell soil insecticides for use in corn fields are reporting huge increases in sales: 50 or even 100 percent over the past two years.

Steiner, the Nebraska crop consultant, usually argues for another strategy: Starve the rootworms, he tells his clients. Just switch that field to another crop. “One rotation can do a lot of good,” he says. “Go to beans, wheat, oats. It’s the No. 1 right thing to do.” But large industrial farmers seem unwilling to give up the lucrative corn cash crop.

Study: GMO Feed Harmful to Pigs Study: GMO Feed Harmful to Pigs

A groundbreaking new study 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. Pigs with these health problems end up in the food supply. Pigs have a similar digestive system to people, so there is a need to investigate if people are also getting digestive problems from eating GM crops.

Hawaii War Zone: GMO Biotech versus Korean Natural Farming Hawaii War Zone: GMO Biotech versus Korean Natural Farming

Just as Hawaii was the focal point of the U.S. conflict during World War II, so today it appears that it is the focal point in the agricultural war of the 21st century. Hawaii today is the centerpiece for two vastly contrasting methods of producing food: the development of genetically engineered seeds and the development of Korean Natural Farming.

Hawaii, with its isolated and pristine ecosystems, is a perfect testing ground for the biotech’s testing and development of genetic engineering. The residents of Hawaii, though few in number, have observed and experienced the results of such testing. On the other side of the battle are farmers who have discovered a simple, traditional method of farming from Korea: Korean Natural Farming. Korean Natural Farming is about culturing a healthy climate for biology to thrive via indigenous micro-organisms.

Unapproved GMO Wheat Found In Oregon Unapproved GMO Wheat Found In Oregon

The USDA announced today that they had found the presence of GMO wheat on a farm in Oregon. Monsanto was authorized to field test a variety of GMO wheat from 1998 to 2005, but it was never approved. Since these field tests occurred in 16 states, there is no telling how far and how wide the contamination may have occurred. An Oregon State University scientist made the discovery and reported it to the USDA.

The USDA, of course, claims that there are no safety concerns. But in the same breath, they make it clear that the party responsible for the contamination is liable for criminal prosecution and a $1 million fine.

What Will Be in Your Organic Produce, Fish, and Fortified Grains if Codex Gets Its Way? What Will Be in Your Organic Produce, Fish, and Fortified Grains if Codex Gets Its Way?

Pesticides? Yes. GMOs? Maybe. Hormones? Maybe not. ANH-USA’s executive and legal director, Gretchen DuBeau, was a member of the US delegation to the Codex Committee of Food Labeling (CCFL), which met in Canada last week. We were honored to bring the voice of the consumer to the table at Codex, especially since it is otherwise heavily influenced by big corporate interests.

At this meeting, four areas of concern were discussed:

GMO labeling;
Whether the pesticide ethylene may be used on organic produce;
Organic standards for aquaculture and seaweed; and
Biofortification of grains.

Research Reveals Previously Unknown Health Risks from GMO Pesticide Research Reveals Previously Unknown Health Risks from GMO Pesticide

The more we learn about genetically engineered (GE) foods, the clearer the dangers become. While Monsanto insists that Roundup is safe and “minimally toxic” to humans, new research tells a different story altogether. This new study argues that glyphosate residues, found in most commonly consumed foods in the Western diet courtesy of GE sugar, corn, soy and wheat, “enhance the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and toxins in the environment to disrupt normal body functions and induce disease.”

New Study Links GMO Food To Leukemia New Study Links GMO Food To Leukemia

A new study published in the Journal of Hematology & Thromboembolic Diseases indicates that the biopesticides engineered into GM crops known as Bacillus Thuringensis (Bt) or Cry-toxins, may also contribute to blood abnormalities from anemia to hematological malignancies (blood cancers) such as leukemia.



Get the news right in your inbox!