The National Organic Standards Board will be meeting later this month to discuss and vote on fundamental issues that will determine the future of organic foods. They plan to research whether BPA in the packaging of organic food should be banned. They also will tackle cross-contamination of organic crops from GMO crops, and other thorny GMO issues. The deadline for comments is this week.
A PhD Nutritionist from Tufts University who is the Vice Chairman of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee for the USDA has come out and condemned coconut oil. Does being involved in research for GMOs, the soybean industry, and developing cholesterol guidelines used to sell statin drugs create any conflict of interest in her advice? Do you trust USDA dietary advice regarding edible oils?
Dr. Oz caused a lot of controversy last week when he aired a show titled: New GMO Pesticide Doctors Are Warning Against. The show was highlighting the recent USDA approval of Dow Chemical's herbicide "Enlist," which is expected to gain the approval of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This EPA approval would clear the path for the herbicide to begin being used on America's farmlands and crops. Dr. Oz apparently feels so strongly about this topic, and how toxic and dangerous this new herbicide is, that he reportedly did something he has never done before on his show: he encouraged his viewers and followers to take political action to try to stop the approval of this product from being used on food. He started a petition to President Obama on Whitehouse.gov, and by the end of the week it was well on its way to the required 100,000 signatures. The controversial herbicide by Dow contains 2,4-D, a highly powerful and toxic component that supporters of GMO crops now say is necessary due to the fact that super weeds have become resistant to Monsanto's Roundup containing glyphosate. If approved, it will enter the food supply and bring in potentially billions of dollars to Dow Chemical. So I asked Health Impact News investigative reporter John P. Thomas to research 2,4-D and write a report, as well as to educate us a bit about the approval process with the EPA to get new chemicals approved for use in the marketplace. What you will learn about 2,4-D, which is about to be approved to be sprayed on crops all throughout the U.S., will indeed shock you.
From the day that Danish pig farmer Ib Borup Pederson switched away from GM soy, his animals became healthier and more productive. Birth deformities reduced, sows became more fertile, medicine costs fell, and profits went up. The changes were linked to the reduction in the levels of the herbicide glyphosate in their feed.
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.
The U.S. fertility rates are at all-time record lows. Are we watching the leading edge of a slowly moving tidal wave of infertility? I wasn’t sure what is really happening with human fertility until I took a hard look at the data and the science. I now believe that there is strong reason to be concerned about the emerging trend of infertility. What is causing the current generation of child-bearing aged adults to become infertile?
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.
Genetically “Tweaked” Chickens Suffer from Lack of Fertility: Is the End of Commercial Poultry Near?
A Reuter's story recently reported that the world's largest chicken breeder is suffering from rooster infertility due to genetic manipulation. The popular Ross male breed of roosters is used to produce as much as 25 percent of the nation's chickens raised for meat (broilers). As a result, chicken production is down, and prices will continue to rise. So what are these "genetic manipulations" causing these problems? There is supposedly no GMO chicken in the market, but chicken genome has been mapped since 2004. Has the public actually been eating GMO chicken for some time now? What is the future of the commercial poultry industry and their factory birds?
The U.S. continues to be isolated around the world regarding their lax GMO labeling policy. We are losing millions of dollars in exports because countries such as China, Russian, Japan, Korea, and most of Europe will not buy our products if they are contaminated with GMOs. A recent Congressional meeting, however, concluded that the push to label GMO products in the U.S. was due to the ignorance of the American consumer. One has to wonder where the ignorance actually resides?
Kristina Bravo of Takepart.com is reporting that the State of Oregon is trying to take action to map GMO fields to protect their non-GMO and organic industry. Oregon has been hit especially hard in this area, as an Oregon farmer last year found an unapproved GMO variety of wheat growing in his field. This immediately resulted in several countries around the world that import U.S. wheat putting a halt on U.S. shipments due to their total ban on GMO wheat, hurting the export market for non-GMO wheat, such as the varieties grown in Oregon and Washington. Most of the world market has restrictions or out right bans on GMO products. Gov. John Kitzhaber is directing the State’s agriculture department to chart where genetically modified crops are grown, so non-GMO farmers can plan accordingly and seek to minimize the damage from cross contamination. However, producers of GMO seeds such as Monsanto and Syngenta do not publicly disclose their field locations. These companies repeat the USDA assertion that GMO farmers and non-GMO farmers can "co-exist" and that mapping is not necessary. Polls show that an overwhelming majority of American consumers want GMO products labeled, and producers of GMO products fully understand that if their products are labeled as GMO in the market place, consumers will not buy them. In addition, most of the rest of the world will not import them. Apparently the U.S. Government and the Biotech industry have taken it upon themselves to decide what is best for America and the rest of the world, and have no qualms with polluting the entire U.S. agricultural system with their genetically modified products.