The Kauai County Council has overridden Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho’s veto of Bill 2491, freeing the way for the GMO-related bill. Bill 2491, which passed a County Council vote on Oct. 16, will force agricultural companies to disclose when and where they spray pesticides, restrict spraying to a certain distance away from public areas, and disclose what genetically engineered crops they grow on Kauai.
While recent research is looking at the health consequences of consuming genetically modified foods, equally concerning is the failure of glyphosate and other herbicides to control a new breed of "demon weeds" that have arisen as a byproduct of the GMO industry. Many older and more toxic classes of pesticides are also returning to the market place as pests become resistant to GMOs, and the government is allowing increased use of pesticides for food production. The Alliance for Natural Health has just released a new video highlighting the health concerns of these "demon weeds" as well as the toxic effects of glyphosate. A new study from ANH-USA finds that exposure to glyphosate, an ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup is linked to very serious human health issues – including birth defects, miscarriages and cancer. With so many GMO-related initiatives around the country, your involvement can make a significant positive difference in this fight.
Tropical Traditions recently announced that they had established their own standards for non-GMO products. The new standard is "GMO-Tested." While other non-GMO claims might have as much as 1% presence of genetically modified DNA present, the Tropical Traditions GMO-Tested standard has a zero percent tolerance for the presence of genetically modified materials.
White sugar, in any form, is not very healthy. But at least one can choose sugar cane over sugar beets to be assured you are not consuming a GMO product. Sadly, that may not be true much longer, as Indonesia announced recently that they were developing a GMO variety of sugar cane.
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.”
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.
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?’
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.
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.
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.