Frankenfoods: good for business, bad for the rest of us

From Tom Laskawy, on Grist.org

“Thirty years ago, scientists figured out how to directly modify the genes in our food crops. No more of that inefficient and slow breeding! Farmers would grab plant genes by the  horns nucleotides and bend them to their will!

Now, the preeminent science journal Nature has devoted an entire issue to the question (to paraphrase that legendary IBM ad), where are the magic seeds? We were going to get seeds that would grow faster, yield more, save the environment, and be more nutritious. What we got were seeds for a few commodity crops such as corn, soy, and cotton that made their own pesticide or resisted herbicides, but otherwise provided little, if any, benefit to consumers.

Nonetheless, Nature assures us that the magic seeds are on the way. What the journal doesn’t say explicitly, however, is that there’s evidence that for existing GMO seeds, the best days are already over — and the next generation of seeds may be doomed even before they’re in the ground.

Of course, you’ll have to forgive the large biotechnology companies like Monsanto and Syngenta for thinking that they did in fact supply magic seeds. After all, as Nature observes, every year, farmers worldwide plant $15 billion worth of GMO seeds, covering about 420 million acres — an area larger than Texas and California combined — much of it on U.S. land. And those biotech companies earned tens of billions in profits off of them.

It’s an undeniably impressive feat. Just look at these charts of GMO adoption by farmers:…”

“And, yes, agrees Nature, they’ve also driven the rise of superweeds that are immune to the effects of common herbicides central to GMO agriculture. It’s this now-established fact that threatens GMOs’ meager benefits. While farmers enjoyed a 15-year window of reduced pesticide use thanks to seeds that make their own or resisted the effects of others, superweeds and superbugs are now causing farmers to increase pesticide use.

In an op-ed in Food Safety News, agricultural scientist Charles Benbrook makes this very point, often overlooked by writers who cover the subject. He notes that compared to the early years of GMOs, farmers now must use twice as much herbicide, and seeds that emit multiple pesticides, to get the same amount of growth as GMOs used to achieve.

Benbrook observes that the growing pest and weed problems for GMOs have caused farmers to turn to seeds that are coated with a different pesticide — a neonicotinoid. If that name rings a bell, it’s because these pesticides that have been implicated in the increasing epidemic of bee deaths. He also reveals something that I have not previously heard — that there has recently been what he calls a “historically unprecedented” 10-fold increase in fungicide use on U.S. crop acres, most of which are planted with GMO corn and soy. So much for those GMO environmental benefits….”

More on Grist.org

And talking about neonicotinoids, check out this story from the EU Times:

Russia Warns Obama: Global War Over “Bee Apocalypse” Coming Soon

The shocking minutes relating to President Putin’s meeting this past week with US Secretary of State John Kerry reveal the Russian leaders “extreme outrage” over the Obama regimes continued protection of global seed and plant bio-genetic giants Syngenta and Monsanto in the face of a growing “bee apocalypse” that the Kremlin warns “will most certainly” lead to world war.

According to these minutes, released in the Kremlin today by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation (MNRE), Putin was so incensed over the Obama regimes refusal to discuss this grave matter that herefused for three hours to even meet with Kerry, who had traveled to Moscow on a scheduled diplomatic mission, but then relented so as to not cause an even greater rift between these two nations.

At the center of this dispute between Russia and the US, this MNRE report says, is the “undisputed evidence” that a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically related to nicotine, known as neonicotinoids, are destroying our planets bee population, and which if left unchecked could destroy our world’s ability to grow enough food to feed its population.

So grave has this situation become, the MNRE reports, the full European Commission (EC) this past week instituted a two-year precautionary ban (set to begin on 1 December 2013) on these “bee killing” pesticidesfollowing the lead of Switzerland, France, Italy, Russia, Slovenia and Ukraine, all of whom had previously banned these most dangerous of genetically altered organisms from being used on the continent.

Two of the most feared neonicotinoids being banned are Actara and Cruiser made by the Swiss global bio-tech seed and pesticide giant Syngenta AG which employs over 26,000 people in over 90 countries and ranks third in total global sales in the commercial agricultural seeds market.

Important to note, this report says, is that Syngenta, along with bio-tech giants Monsanto, Bayer, Dow and DuPont, nowcontrol nearly 100% of the global market for genetically modified pesticides, plants and seeds.

Also to note about Syngenta, this report continues, is that in 2012 it was criminally charged in Germany for concealing the fact that its genetically modified corn killed cattle, andsettled a class-action lawsuit in the US for $105 million after it was discovered they had contaminated the drinking supply of some 52 million Americans in more than 2,000 water districts with its “gender-bending” herbicide Atrazine….”

More on the EU Times.

And from RT.com:

Monsanto protests scheduled in 36 countries

An international protest planned for later this month against biotechnology company Monsanto is slated to span six continents and include demonstrations in dozens of countries around the globe.

Amid growing concerns over St. Louis, Missouri-based Monsanto and the impact the company is having on agriculture, activists have planned rallies for later this month in 36 countries.

Monsanto, a titan of the emerging biotech industry, has come under attack from environmentalists, agriculturalists and average consumers over the company’s conduct in the realm of genetically-modified organisms and genetically-engineered foods. Despite research on the effects of GMO crops being largely considered inconclusive, Monsanto has lobbied hard in Washington and around the globe to be able to continue manufacturing lab-made foods without the oversight that many have demanded.

In March, Congress passed a biotech rider dubbed the “Monsanto Protection Act” by its critics that essentially allows that company and others that use GMOs to plant and sell genetically-altered products without gaining federal permission.

The provision would strip federal courts of the authority to halt the sale and planting of an illegal, potentially hazardous GE crop while the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) assesses those potential hazards,” dozens of food businesses and retailers wrote Congress before the bill was passed.

In the weeks since the rider was approved within an annual agriculture spending bill, anti-Monsanto sentiment has only increased. The international day of protest scheduled for May 25 is now looking at becoming one for the record books, and even a number of celebrities have lent their star power to help raise awareness of the movement….”

More on RT.com

From the Centre for Food Safety:

GMO Labeling Bill Supported by CFS Passes Vermont House

In a major victory for the food movement and consumer advocates, the Vermont House has voted 107-37 in support of legislation that would require foods that are genetically engineered (GE) to be labeled. This is the first-ever State House to pass a bill that would require that all GE foods to be labeled.

“This historic vote shows that state legislatures are beginning to step up and support the overwhelming demand from consumers to label GE foods,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety. “Consumers nationwide are beginning to ask questions about the growing influence of chemical companies in food production. They are demanding the information necessary to make healthful decisions about the foods they serve to their families. We congratulate Vermont on taking this important step and thank these legislators for standing up to powerful special interest groups.”

Center for Food Safety (CFS) has been at the center of the fight to inform consumers about GE foods for over a decade. CFS provided legal testimony before the Vermont Legislature in 2005 and has maintained an active presence in the state, providing resources and expert legal and scientific advice to the citizens and lawmakers of Vermont….”

More from the Center for Food Safety.

Upcoming Toronto area Events:

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PLUS: (thanks to Rachel Parent)

2013 Kids Right To Know Rally on June 1 is fast approaching

We need everyone’s help to get people aware about this event .

Facebook is a wonderful tool to let everyone know, Those of us who join the event have to (invite friends) from our friends list.

Of course the more who get invited the more who can get involved. So please share this on your event page and invite invite invite..everyone you know . Lets get the rally crowds growing

Find your event from the list in the link below. Join the event from its page. Then use the Invite button to invite all your friends. It only takes a few minutes and its how we make this rally go viral

2013 KIDS RIGHT TO KNOW RALLY, JUST LABEL IT CAMPAIGN!

“WE MUST REMEMBER THAT ONE DETERMINED PERSON CAN MAKE A SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE,AND THAT A SMALL GROUP OF DETERMINED PEOPLE CAN CHANGE THE COURSE OF HISTORY”.’ –Sonia Johnson

GMO – KIDS RIGHT TO KNOW RALLY JOINS THE VEGGIE PRIDE PARADE JUNE 1, 2013

PLEASE JOIN US, CLICK ON LINK TO LET US KNOW THAT YOU ARE GOING !

https://www.facebook.com/events/463116313770951/

5 Comments

Filed under News

5 responses to “Frankenfoods: good for business, bad for the rest of us

  1. Monsanto Protests planned in 36 countries on May 25 .

    This link has the locations for many of the May 25 “March against Monsanto” world-wide protests.

    http://occupy-monsanto.com/march-against-monsanto-may-25-2013/

  2. From March against Monsanto Main Website :
    What are solutions we advocate?
    Voting with your dollar by buying organic and boycotting Monsanto-owned companies that use GMOs in their products.
    Labeling of GMOs so that consumers can make those informed decisions easier.
    Repealing relevant provisions of the US’s “Monsanto Protection Act.”
    Calling for further scientific research on the health effects of GMOs.
    Holding Monsanto executives and Monsanto-supporting politicians accountable through direct communication, grassroots journalism, social media, etc.
    Continuing to inform the public about Monsanto’s secrets.
    Taking to the streets to show the world and Monsanto that we won’t take these injustices quietly.

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  3. Now Monsanto threatens to sue the State of Vermont over a pending GMO labelling bill.
    http://worldtruth.tv/monsanto-threatens-to-sue-the-entire-state-of-vermont/

    Monsanto has the legal system around its finger. Each of us has to resolve to boycott any and everything to do with Monsanto, their subsidiaries, their business partners and their banks, ever more firmly, in our personal and professional lives. This with Monsanto is like a real bubonic plague to food freedom and social justice.

  4. Thank you for sharing valuable information. Nice post. I enjoyed reading this post. The whole blog is very nice found some good stuff and good information here Thanks..Also visit my page FMCG Companies jobs .

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