Archive for the ‘GMO’ Category
In the wake of a 12-year battle to keep Monsanto’s Genetically Engineered (GE) crops from contaminating the nation’s 25,000 organic farms and ranches, America’s organic consumers and producers are facing betrayal.
A self-appointed cabal of the Organic Elite, spearheaded by Whole Foods Market, Organic Valley, and Stonyfield Farm, has decided it’s time to surrender to Monsanto. Top executives from these companies have publicly admitted that they no longer oppose the mass commercialization of GE crops, such as Monsanto’s controversial Roundup Ready alfalfa, and are prepared to sit down and cut a deal for “coexistence” with Monsanto and USDA biotech cheerleader Tom Vilsack.
In a cleverly worded, but profoundly misleading email sent to its customers last week, Whole Foods Market, while proclaiming their support for organics and “seed purity,” gave the green light to USDA bureaucrats to approve the “conditional deregulation” of Monsanto’s genetically engineered, herbicide-resistant alfalfa.
Beyond the regulatory euphemism of “conditional deregulation,” this means that WFM and their colleagues are willing to go along with the massive planting of a chemical and energy-intensive GE perennial crop, alfalfa; guaranteed to spread its mutant genes and seeds across the nation; guaranteed to contaminate the alfalfa fed to organic animals; guaranteed to lead to massive poisoning of farm workers and destruction of the essential soil food web by the toxic herbicide, Roundup; and guaranteed to produce Roundup-resistant superweeds that will require even more deadly herbicides such as 2,4 D to be sprayed on millions of acres of alfalfa across the U.S.
In exchange for allowing Monsanto’s premeditated pollution of the alfalfa gene pool, WFM wants “compensation.” In exchange for a new assault on farmworkers and rural communities (a recent large-scale Swedish study found that spraying Roundup doubles farm workers’ and rural residents’ risk of getting cancer), WFM expects the pro-biotech USDA to begin to regulate rather than cheerlead for Monsanto. In payment for a new broad spectrum attack on the soil’s crucial ability to provide nutrition for food crops and to sequester dangerous greenhouse gases (recent studies show that Roundup devastates essential soil microorganisms that provide plant nutrition and sequester climate-destabilizing greenhouse gases), WFM wants the Biotech Bully of St. Louis to agree to pay “compensation” (i.e. hush money) to farmers “for any losses related to the contamination of his crop.”
Source: Raw for Beauty
This song starts rockin’ at 1:10 min
Posted August 4, 2013on:
(NaturalNews) A Natural News investigation reveals that an alarmingly large number of multivitamins and individual nutrient vitamins are formulated with ingredients derived from genetically modified corn.
This is the “dirty little secret” of the vitamin industry, but it’s not one the mainstream media will touch because they refuse to admit GMOs are a problem to begin with. Those in the know, however, realize that eating any ingredients derived from GMOs may expose them to the BT insecticide chemicals found in GM corn.
GMOs are truly “hidden” in vitamins because the GM-derived ingredients are so heavily processed that all DNA is destroyed in the process, thereby destroying any footprint of genetic modification. Genetic ID tests, in other words, require particles of the food to remain relatively intact so that PCR lab equipment can replicate genetic sequences. Heavily processed ingredients such as high-fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin and ascorbic acid have no genetic material remaining, thereby sweeping their origins under the rug.
This is one reason who so many vitamins sold today are formulated with GMOs. This includes virtually ALL the popular multivitamin brands sold at grocery stores and pharmacies, by the way.
Learn more: Natural News
Posted August 4, 2013on:
(NaturalNews) Her name is Rachel Parent, and she’s suddenly an internet sensation for her cool-headed debate about GMOs on a popular Canadian TV show. (She’s also the founder of the Kids Right to Know GMO Walk.) As you’ll see in the video below, Rachel calmly argues for the basic human right to know what’s in our food, even as the condescending bully of a host named Kevin O’Leary verbally assaults the girl and practically accuses her of murdering children.
During the debate, Kevin O’Leary, co-host of the The Lang And O’Leary Exchange show, viciously attacked Rachel, first accusing her of being a “lobbyist” against GMOs (an absurd accusation that O’Leary knows is false, as there is no corporate interest in honest food labeling), and then equating her position of questioning GMOs with somehow supporting a holocaust of widespread death of children. Despite the outrageous attacks, Rachel Parent simply countered his utterly contrived accusations with the facts: GMO crops don’t out-produce regular crops, GMOs are a dangerous global experiment using human beings as lab rats, and consumers should have the right to know what they’re buying or eating.
(It is astonishing that people like O’Leary want consumers to have less information about what they’re buying, keeping them in the dark and subjecting them to the accidental ingestion of modified foods that have been linked to organ damage and cancer tumors.)
See Rachel Parent’s Facebook page at:
Source: Natural News
(NaturalNews) Monsanto’s infamous Roundup contains the hotly debated compound called glyphosate. This merciless herbicide is also found in 750 or more U.S. products. An herbicide like this infiltrates the landscape and accumulates in mammals, especially bone, hindering cellular detoxification along the way.
A destroyer, glyphosate annihilates a plant’s building blocks of life, tearing apart amino acids. By disrupting the “shikimate pathway” in plants and microorganisms, glyphosate creeps inside leaves and stalk, raping natural life processes. Glyphosate also destroys the beneficial microorganism in the human gut, destroying the human immune system.
To make matters worse, glyphosate is often mixed with adjuvants – chemical agents that increase glyphosate’s destructive power. It’s often mixed with surfactants and foaming agents that allow the liquid to bond to and penetrate the structures of a plant’s leaves. This mass infiltration has created a chemical environment.
Glyphosate’s existence welcomes GMOs
Glyphosate’s mere existence has led scientists to develop Roundup-Ready seeds which are genetically modified to resist the glyphosate. This has allowed an up-rise in engineered food, which the human body cannot naturally process. Farmers can now plant the genetically engineered crop and spray their fields simultaneously with glyphosate. Weeds are expected to die and terminator crops are engineered to withstand the chemicals. This has led to global food dominance by corporations like Monsanto, who push their genetically altered food onto Third World countries all under the guise of “feeding world hunger.” Now farmers feel that they must depend on these chemical companies for seed, and are cornered into using herbicides like glyphosate to have a more productive crop.
The production of glyphosate has led the world down a dark course. The human body was intended to eat unmodified, natural food. Chemical-laced, genetically engineered science has manufactured a new-age frontier of food that is wiping out small organic farmers from the picture. As science takes a short cut and eradicates the fields, it globalizes food production. Small organic farmers who work hard to protect the balance of the ecosystem and purity of food, have felt the squeeze global chemical companies are putting on their ability to provide whole food. Glyphosate is a danger to the future of organic farmers, who seek an herbicide-free environment to grow pure and wholesome food.
EPA continues to allow higher glyphosate levels on crops and in humans
As if it were working directly for Monsanto and other chemical giants, the EPA continues to permit more glyphosate into the ecosystem. According to pre-1985 studies, detectable levels of glyphosate in animals was nearly non-existent. By 1985, glyphosate levels were appearing in animal meat tissue, fat, eggs and milk. At that point, the EPA assigned an acceptable tolerance level of glyphosate in mammals at 0.5 ppm. The EPA quickly moved to establish an acceptable daily intake of glyphosate for human consumption. At that time, they set the ADI at 0.10 mg per kg body weight per day. However, by 1993 this acceptable daily intake had been renamed to be called a “reference dose” and had gone up to 20 times the previous daily limit to 2 mg per kg body weight per day.
How is the EPA to be trusted for safety, as they continue to cater to biotech demands?
According to the nonprofit group, Beyond Pesticides, in May of 2013 the EPA ruled to double allowable limits for glyphosate in several key crops, increasing the limits for glyphosate exposure to 100 parts per million (ppm) in crops grown for animal feed, and 40 ppm in oilseed crops.
Glyphosate stays in the bone
In some of the first studies in the 90s involving rats, 30-36 percent of glyphosate was passed through the animal’s gut wall and into their bodies. A similar study on hens and goats got likewise results. In the rat study, seven days after the glyphosate was administered, the remaining glyphosate levels were found in the rats’ bones. In a WHO publication, “the glyphosate isotope was widely distributed throughout the body, but was primarily found in bone.”
With these findings, it seems that EPA regulators have missed the point. Glyphosate, regardless of what limits are set, sinks into human organs and accumulates, creating a toxic environment for the human body. The EPA’s “reference dose,” is a hoax. A “reference dose” does not take into consideration the long term accumulation of glyphosate in a mammal’s organs, especially bone. Here’s a question: Since bone’s major constituent is calcium phosphate, how might glyphosate, which acts as a fake phosphate in plants, manipulate bone growth?
Learn more: Natural News
(NaturalNews) Last March, a third party watchdog group, the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) found dangerous levels of a carcinogen in the caramel coloring of Coke and Pepsi products.
The carcinogen, 4-methylimidazole, is a byproduct created during the production of caramel coloring. As the caramel coloring goes under high pressures and temperatures, sugars react with ammonia and sulfites, forming the 4-MEI byproduct.
When animal studies showed “clear evidence” that 4-MEI was a toxic carcinogen, including thyroid, liver, and lung cancer incidents, the National Toxicology Program threw up red flags.
It was in 2011 that the state of California responded to the lab results, effectively banning the carcinogen from their state. Since then, all cola products in the state of California have been required to be properly marked with a cancer causing warning label, according to Prop 65 consumer protection laws.
Over a year later, Pepsi still contains high levels of 4-MEI
In the wake of their products being exposed, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo began to change their soda formula for products sold in California. They took an even bigger leap forward when they gave CEH their word that they would not only change their California products, but they would also change their nationwide formula as well, eliminating the production of the carcinogenic 4-MEI altogether.
Unfortunately, according to CEH, over a year later, Pepsi hasn’t complied. Pepsi purchased from ten states reportedly still contains high levels of 4-MEI, while Coca-Cola has taken drastic measures to rid 4-MEI from their products.
Executive Director of CEH, Michael Green, reiterated the importance of honest state labeling laws that help consumers make informed choices. “We applaud Coke for taking this health protective action for consumers nationwide. Pepsi’s delay is inexplicable. We urge the company to take swift action to provide all Americans with the same safer product they’re selling in California.”
Pepsi: 4 to 8 times more poisonous
After asking 10 volunteers across the country to purchase Coke and Pepsi products from 10 different states, the CEH gathered the samples in early June 2013 and tested them for the carcinogen. Lab tests revealed little or no 4-MEI in nine out of ten Coke products, whereas, all ten of the Pepsi samples contained high levels of the carcinogen. Furthermore, outside California, Pepsi products were found to be 4 to 8 times more poisonous than the Pepsi products sold inside California!
According to CEH testing, consumers outside California who drink 24oz of Pepsi per week, are ingesting well over the safe level of 4-MEI. In perspective, nearly half of Americans (48%) drink at least 20oz of soda each day. This means that about half of Americans are continuously poisoning themselves each day.
Beyond 4-MEI, phosphoric acid and HFCS pose their own slate of dangers
Apart from consuming the cancer causing 4-MEI, Americans are also ingesting Coke and Pepsi’s cocktail of phosphoric acid and HFCS. Phosphoric acid effectively creates a high acidity level inside the body, forcing the body to pull calcium and other minerals from the natural reserves in the bones. This leads to lower bone density.
Alongside that, soda pop contains high fructose corn syrup. Derived from genetically modified corn, HFCS is 80 percent fructose, which is rabidly converted to fat by the liver, leading to an excess concentration of fats and lipoproteins in the body. Causing a rise in triglyceride levels, HFCS promotes a wide array of health problems including atherosclerosis, diabetes, elevated cardiovascular risk, and more.
What’s Pepsi going to do?
The carcinogenic production of 4-methylimidazole byproducts may be phased out of America in 2014.
According to PepsiCo Senior Director Aurora Gonzalez, “Our caramel coloring suppliers have been working on modifying the manufacturing process to reduce the amount of 4-MEI. As you know, 4-MEI levels in our products in California are below Prop 65 levels. The rest of the U.S. will be completed by February 2014. In fact, we’ll be starting the process and shipping concentrate by the end of this year.”
Source: Natural News
(NaturalNews) Thanks to the biotech industry’s relentless quest to control our food, McDonald’s, Burger King and even school cafeterias will soon be able to serve up apples that won’t turn brown when they’re sliced or bitten into. A new, almost entirely untested genetic modification technology, called RNA http://theconversation.com interference, or double strand RNA (dsRNA), is responsible for this new food miracle. Scientists warn that this genetic manipulation poses health risks, as the manipulated RNA gets into our digestive systems and bloodstreams. The biotech industry claims otherwise.
Of course, like any non-organic apple, the new GMO ArcticR Apple will be drenched in toxic pesticide residues, untested by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and likely unlabeled. And of course these shiny new high-tech apples will be cheap, priced considerably lower than a pesticide-free, nutrient-dense, old-fashioned organic apple that turns a little brown after you slice it up.
When the Biotech Industry Organization gathers next week in Chicago for the 2013 BIO International Convention, http://convention.bio.org/ BIOTECanada will present its “Gold Leaf Award for Early Stage Agriculture” to Okanagan Specialty Fruits, Inc. (OSF), purveyor of the ArcticR Apple, slated for approval in the U.S. this year. We hate to upset the biotech apple cart, but a pesticide-intensive GMO apple, produced through a risky manipulation of RNA, doesn’t deserve a place on our grocery shelves, much less in the agriculture hall of fame.
That said, the Arctic “Frankenapple” is expected to be approved this year by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), responsible for protecting agriculture from pests and diseases. It does not require approval by the FDA, which is responsible for human food and animal feed.
Just one more bad apple
Apples, that is, apples that haven’t been certified organic, already are on the list of Should-Be-Forbidden fruits. They reliably top the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozenhttp://www.ewg.org/foodnews/ list, for both the volume and the stunning array of pesticides consistently found on them. According to the Pesticide Action Network’s analysishttp://www.whatsonmyfood.org/food.jsp?food=AP of the most recent USDA data, apples tested positive for 42 pesticides, including organophosphate http://www.panna.org/resources/organophosphates and pyrethroid pesticides. Both are endocrine disruptors, both have suspected neurological effects, and both are considered especially toxic for children. (Organophosphates http://www.ndhan.gov/data/mrFacts/Sarin%20Nerve%20Gas.pdf are the basis for nerve gases used in chemical warfare, and have been linkedhttp://grist.org/article/scientists-link-adhd-in-kids-to-routine-pest… to the development of ADHD in kids.)
Given the grim report card of non-organic apples, some might say it really doesn’t make any difference if we start tinkering with the apple’s genetic RNA. After all, unlike the case with GMO corn or salmon, scientists aren’t injecting pesticides or genes from foreign plants or animals into the genes of apples to create the Frankenapple. While most existing genetically engineered plants are designed to make new proteins, the Arctic Apple is engineered to produce a form of genetic information called double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). The new dsRNA alters the way genes are expressed. The result, in the Arctic Apple’s case, is a new double strand of RNA that genetically “silences” the apple’s ability to produce polyphenol oxidase, an enzyme that causes the apple to turn brown when it’s exposed to oxygen.
Harmless? The biotech industry, OSF and some scientists say yes. But others, including Professor Jack Heinemann (University of Canterbury, New Zealand), Sarah Agapito-Tenfen (from Santa Catarina University in Brazil) and Judy Carman (Flinders University in South Australia), say that dsRNA manipulation is untested, and therefore inherently risky. Recent research has shown that dsRNAs can transfer from plants to humans and other animals through food. The biotech industry has always claimed that genetically engineered DNA or RNA is destroyed by human digestion, eliminating the danger of these mutant organisms damaging human genes or human health. But many biotech scientists say otherwise. http://www.gmfreecymru.org/pivotal_papers/crucial36.html They point to evidence that the manipulated RNA finds its way into our digestive systems and bloodstreams, potentially damaging or silencing vital human genes.
There are indirect health consequences, too. Turns out the chemical compound that is shut off in the engineered fruit through RNA manipulation, in order to make it not oxidize or brown, is a chemical compound that also fights off plant pests. What happens when the apple’s ability to fend off insects is compromised? Growers will need to spray greater amounts, of possibly even more toxic pesticides, on a crop already saturated with at least 42 types of pesticides. Those pesticides will eventually find their way into our bodies, either because we ingested the fruit, or breathed the air or drank the water where the pesticides were sprayed.
Testing? What testing?
So what’s the trade-off? Non-organic apple growers will prosper as more moms buy more apples for more kids who will, the industry alleges, be the healthier for it. It makes for a good public relations story, but no matter how you wrap it up or slice it, taking apples that are already saturated in pesticides, and genetically engineering them for purely cosmetic purposes, does not a healthy snack make.
The pro- and anti-GMO movements will debate whether or not the GMO apple is safe for human consumption. The fact is, we’ll never know until they are properly labeled and safety-tested. As with every other GMO food ingredient or product sold in the U.S., the Arctic Apple will undergo no independent safety testing by the FDA or the USDA. Instead, the USDA will rely on OSF’s word that the apple is safe for human consumption. And without any state or federal mandatory GMO labeling laws in place, OSF will not be required to label its Frankenapple, meaning that consumers or children harmed by the dsRNA modified apple will have great difficulty identifying the mutant RNA that harmed them.
The controversy and debate surrounding dsRNA and the Arctic Apple has just begun. But there is no longer any debate about the dangers that pesticides and pesticide residues on non-organic apples pose to humans, whether we directly ingest these toxic residues by eating an apple, or whether we’re exposed to them through contaminated air and groundwater as a result of acres of orchards being sprayed to control increasingly resistant insects and diseases.
What about the argument that a kid eating a few slices of apples can’t consume enough of any one of these pesticides to cause any real risk to their health? Debunked. Recent studieshttp://grist.org/article/2010-08-12-study-kids-exposure-to-toxic-pest… reveal that during apple season, kids exhibit spikes in the level of pesticides found in their urine, spikes that exceed the U.S. government’s “safe levels.” Kids who live in apple-growing regions show even higher spikes. And those 42 varieties of pesticides? The government establishes “safe levels” for each one – but it doesn’t test for the potential effect of ingesting 42 different pesticides, all chemically interacting with each other, and ingested all at once.
From biodiversity to monoculture
How did we get to [the point] where it takes 42 pesticides to keep an apple crop healthy? Michael Pollan best explains it in his book Botany of Desire. Turns out that apples have an extreme tendency toward something called heterozygosity, which means genetic variability. This trait accounts for how, left to its own devices, the apple can “make itself at home in places as different from one another as New England and New Zealand, Kazakhstan and California.” Pollan writes: “Wherever the apple tree goes, its offspring propose so many different variations on what it means to be an apple – at least five per apple, several thousand per tree – that a couple of these novelties are almost bound to have whatever qualities it takes to prosper in the tree’s adopted home.”
Today, you’d have to visit the apple orchard museumhttp://michaelpollan.com/articles-archive/breaking-ground-the-call-of… in Geneva, New York, to find all the varieties of apples that used to thrive in the wild. Over time, in our quest to control the taste, texture and appearance of apples, we’ve eliminated all but a relative few varieties. We’ve gone too far, says Pollan. By relying on too few genes for too long, the apple has lost its ability to get along on its own, outdoors.
Enter the agro-chemical companies. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Agricultural Chemical Use Program, http://eatorganicdaily.blogspot.mx apple growers in states surveyed in 2011 applied carbaryl to 46 percent of their acreage, at an average rate of 1.566 pounds per acre for the crop year; chlorantraniliprole to 45 percent; and chlorpyrifos to 44 percent. Apple growers applied glyphosate isopropylamine salt to 25 percent of acres at an average of 1.604 pounds per acre for the crop year. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The Arctic Apple has been in development for over a decade, the company says. OSF submitted a petition for deregulation to the USDA in May 2010. The USDA, which must hold two public comment periods, concluded the first on Sept. 11, 2011. It’s expected to open the second public comment period this spring or summer, and OSF hopes the GMO apple will be approved for growing and selling in the U.S. this year.
Learn more: Natural News