France's agriculture ministry has just banned the sale, use and cultivation of Monsanto's MON 810 genetically modified maize, the only variety currently authorised in the European Union. The French government, which maintains that GM crops present environmental risks, has been trying to institute a new ban on GM maize (corn) after its highest court has twice previously struck down similar measures. The decision is timed to avert any sowing of GM maize by farmers before a draft law is debated on April 10 aimed at banning planting of GMOs (genetically modified organisms).
Ever since the introduction of genetically modified crops into the food chain, the tussle has been largely between farmers and Monsanto , which says since 1997 it has filed 145 lawsuits against farmers who've improperly reused its patented seeds, or on average about one lawsuit every three weeks for 16 straight years. In that time frame, the biotech hasn't lost a single case, even when farmers like the organic growers who had their case against Monsanto tossed last year sued for cross-contamination of their crops. DuPont , the world's second-largest seed producer behind Monsanto, is similarly seeking to police the use of its seeds by hiring retired police officers to ferret out farmers allegedly improperly using its patented seeds. Defeating the well-financed GMO behemoth has been a losing battle, but that may be about to change. In 2010, a western Australia organic farmer, Steve Marsh, found that his harvest had been contaminated by his neighbor's genetically modified canola/rapeseed crops planted with Monsanto Roundup Ready seed. Marsh subsequently had 70% of his farm's organic status for produce stripped from him causing severe financial harm, some $85,000 in earnings. In a first of its kind lawsuit, Marsh is suing his neighbor for the loss resulting from the seeds blowing onto his oat and wheat crop, contaminating them.
The recent "ban" on trans fats may actually be a way to promote a Monsanto GMO product. It’s important to note that since this is a proposed rule, and not a final one, there’s still a chance it could be changed or dropped. In the rule, the FDA mentions that the agency is open to alternate approaches to addressing partially hydrogenated oils in food, such as the setting of acceptable trans fat threshold levels. The timing and intent of the FDA’s rule is suspect for two reasons. First, it was announced only after most companies had already eliminated trans fat—it’s currently only in a handful of foods. Second, the ban will promote market demand for two new GMO soybeans by Monsanto and DuPont, which are engineered for trans fat free oils.
Last March, what the world has been calling the “Monsanto Protection Act”, was inserted at the last minute into a “must-pass” funding bill to keep the government running through the use of a congressional tool known as a Continuing Resolution (CR). The so-called Farmer Assurance Provision—misnamed because, frankly, the only ones who are assured about anything are GMO manufacturers like Monsanto—actually strips federal courts of the authority to halt the sale and planting of potentially hazardous genetically engineered crops while USDA is performing an environmental impact statement. It’s a huge blow to the justice system, completely overriding judicial safeguards that protect both farmers and the public. The emergency funding period (and with it, this sneak provision) ends September 30, but since Congress has been unable to pass their appropriations bills, they will try to extend the CR as another stop-gap to prevent total government shutdown. Not surprisingly, the same noxious language has already appeared in the House Appropriations CR that was nearly voted upon last week! However, because it’s so controversial and Congress is afraid of citizen backlash, that bill is still sitting in the House—just waiting for the right opportunity to be pushed through. Help us put an end to this underhanded end-run around the courts once and for all.
Monsanto is the world leader in GM crops, and their website would have you believe that they are the answer to world hunger. Thanks to their heavy PR campaign, if you’ve been primarily a reader of the mainstream press, you’ve probably been misled into thinking GM crops are, in fact, the greatest thing since sliced bread, that they provide better yields of equal or better quality food, pest and weed resistance, reduced reliance on pesticides, and more… But thankfully, the truth is unfolding and the tide is finally beginning to turn. The Organic Prepper recently highlighted 10 GM myths that Monsanto wants you to believe … but which are actually far from the truth.
The United Nations established the Codex Alimentarius Commission in 1962. Over the years, Codex has been embroiled in controversy for a number of reasons, but now our investigations show that Monsanto―one of the world’s largest producers of genetically-modified seeds―is behind a significant number of front groups that control Codex policy. Most recently, more than 50 industry trade groups formed a new alliance called Alliance to Feed the Future. These groups represent multi-national food, biotech, and chemical companies that generate hundreds of billions of dollars-worth of revenue each year. They aim to become the go-to source for “real” information about the junk being sold as “food”.
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.
The Monsanto Protection Act is set to expire at the end of September, with the temporary spending measure, but might be rolled in to the next one if we don’t act now. Senator Jeff Merkley is planning to introduce an amendment to the upcoming Senate Farm Bill which would repeal the provision. If we can we get rid of it now, it would be a signal from the American people that nothing like this sneak provision, stuck without warning into must-pass, unrelated legislation, should never again be attempted.
In obedience to a demand from Monsanto, the US EPA is proposing to hike the allowed residue limits -- yet again -- of the herbicide glyphosate in various food and feed crops.
Glyphosate is assumed to be safe for humans. As a result, it’s become the world’s best-selling herbicide. However, a groundbreaking study documents that it may actually be fueling the plague of chronic & immune diseases, including cancer and autism. This study documents the underlying systemic damage produced by glyphosate, then discusses how that damage leads to specific diseases.