Archive | GMO Food

Tags: , , , ,

It’s on! Farmers begin suing Monsanto over genetic pollution of wheat crops

Posted on 05 June 2013 by admin

(NaturalNews) The next wave of farmer backlash against Monsanto has just been unleashed by Ernest Barnes, a wheat farmer in Morton County, Kansas. He filed suit this week in the U.S. District Court in Wichita, Kansas, alleging that Monsanto’s genetic pollution has financially damaged himself and other farmers.

Barnes’ case appears to be well supported by the facts: Last week the USDA announced the shock discovery that genetically engineered wheat strains from Monsanto’s open-field experiments had escaped and spread into commercial wheat farms. Almost immediately, Japan and South Korea cancelled wheat purchase contracts from the United States, and more cancellations are expected to follow. The more countries reject U.S. wheat due to GMO contamination (genetic pollution), the lower wheat prices will plunge and the more economic damage will be felt by U.S. farmers.

Monsanto now a confirmed genetic polluter

GMO wheat (i.e. “GE wheat”) has never been commercially grown in the United States… at least not on purpose. Experimental fields were approved by the USDA and planted across 16 U.S. states. Until now, it was not known that these GE wheat experiments escaped their designated field plots and began to spread as a form of self-replicating genetic pollution.

For the record, Natural News openly warned about this possibility in a 2012 article called, “Stop Out-of-Control Science.” There, I wrote:

Humanity has reached a tipping point of developing technology so profound that it can destroy the human race; yet this rise of “science” has in no way been matched by a rise in consciousness or ethics. Today, science operates with total disregard for the future of life on Earth, and it scoffs at the idea of balancing scientific “progress” with caution, ethics or reasonable safeguards. Unbridled experiments like GMOs have unleashed self-replicating genetic pollution that now threatens the integrity of food crops around the world, potentially threatening the global food supply.

Those words, it turns out, were prophetic. We are now faced with precisely this situation in the U.S. agricultural sector, and farmers are starting to feel the economic losses. GMOs are just one of several areas where so-called “science” actually threatens humanity with total destruction.

See my infographic of all 12 dangerous sectors of science with this infographic:
http://www.naturalnews.com/Infographic-SOS-Stop-Out-of-Control-Scienc…

Monsanto engaged in genetic contamination

As Yahoo News reports:

The petition filed by Barnes claims Monsanto knew there was a high risk the genetically modified wheat it was testing could contaminate other varieties of wheat, and the company failed to follow proper procedures to keep the wheat contained.

Monsanto tested the wheat in many states, including Kansas, the top U.S. wheat-producing state, but did not disclose to farmers in those states that it was testing the controversial wheat there, the petition states.

Monsanto to sue the farmers?

Monsanto claims it will mount a “vigorous defense” against the lawsuit, expressing that it takes no responsibility whatsoever for all the genetic pollution it spews across America’s farm lands. If Monsanto’s genetically modified, toxin-producing crops just happen to infect your commercial crops, then that’s your fault!

In fact, I’m surprised Monsanto hasn’t announced plans to sue all these farmers for “stealing” its “intellectual property.” That’s what the company has done before, of course: sued farmers whose fields were contaminated by Monsanto’s genetic pollutants.

Is this not the height of corporate evil? When British Petroleum spills billions of gallons of oil in the Gulf of Mexico, it at least pretends to be sorry about it. But when Monsanto spews its genetic pollution all over the planet, it blames the farmers! It would be like if BP drove an oil tanker right into your front yard, dumped a thousand gallons of oil on your lawn, then sued you for stealing their oil.

That’s the Monsanto model. And it’s yet another example of the total runaway criminality of this evil corporation that frankly should have its corporate charter yanked. This is one business that deserves to be permanently put out of business and never allowed to operate again. When corporations become such arrogant, destructive and threatening monsters that stomp on our farmers and spew their genetic jizz all across the planet like a bunch of sicko ag perverts, something has gone terribly wrong and needs to be stopped.

The recent March Against Monsanto was only the beginning. I even foresee a day when millions of citizens from around the world engage in a far more aggressive march on the Monsanto headquarters and literally tear the place apart brick by brick until this corporate demon is permanently excised from our planet.

We are winning the war against Monsanto

I also predict — but do not condone this violence — that if Monsanto continues to engage in its crimes against farmers, nature and humanity, we are going to start seeing well-planned “acts of justice” against Monsanto executives, employees and scientists. I literally had a bizarre, disturbing dream the other night where a band of activists had kidnapped a Monsanto executive, tied him to a chair, and forced him to admit to all the crimes Monsanto has committed while being filmed on camera. The videos were then released on the internet. I realize this sounds a lot like the plot of a major motion picture, but I believe this could become reality if Monsanto continues on its current path.

Again, for the record, I do not condone the kidnapping of Monsanto executives. Kidnappings and executions are no way to resolve problems in a civilized society. If such an act actually takes place, it would actually hurt the anti-GMO movement and allow the government to paint all GMO protesters as “potential terrorists.” So if anyone out there is actually thinking of doing this, please redirect your energy and focus into non-violent protests and other similar actions that are already making tremendous progress. As I said recently on Natural News,I believe we have reached a tipping point of success against Monsanto. Let’s continue to pressure Monsanto in a grassroots, non-violent way, okay?

After all, we are winning this war against Monsanto and GMOs. They are in full retreat and completely surrounded… by the truth.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/040625_lawsuit_Monsanto_genetic_pollution.html

Share if you eat food or drink water!

Comments (0)

Tags: , , ,

More than 75 percent of All ‘Honey’ Sold in Grocery Stores Contains No Honey at all

Posted on 08 November 2011 by admin

(NaturalNews) Just because those cute little bear-shaped bottles at the grocery store say “honey” on them does not necessarily mean that they actually contain honey. A comprehensive investigation conducted byFood Safety News(FSN) has found that the vast majority of so-called honey products sold at grocery stores, big box stores, drug stores, and restaurants do not contain any pollen, which means they are not real honey.

For the investigation, Vaughn Bryant, one of the nation’s leading melissopalynologists, or experts in identifying pollen in honey, and director of the Palynology Research Laboratory at Texas A&M University, evaluated more than 60 products labeled as “honey” that had been purchased by FSN from ten states and the District of Columbia.

Bryant found that 76 percent of “honey” samples purchased from major grocery store chains like Kroger and Safeway, and 77 percent of samples purchased from big box chains like Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart, did not contain any pollen. Even worse were “honey” samples taken from drug stores like Walgreens and CVS, and fast food restaurants like McDonald’s and KFC, 100 percent of which were found to contain not a trace of pollen.

The full FSN report with a list of all the pollen-less “honey” brands can be accessed here:
http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/11/tests-show-most-store-honey-isn…

So what is all this phony honey made of? It is difficult to say for sure, as pollen is the key to verifying that honey is real. According to FSN, much of this imposter honey is more likely being secretly imported from China, and may even be contaminated with antibiotic drugs and other foreign materials.

Most conventional honey products have been illegally ultra-filtered to hide their true nature

According to FSN, the lack of pollen in most conventional “honey” products is due to these products having been ultra-filtered. This means that they have been intensely heated, forced through extremely tiny filters, and potentially even watered down or adulterated in some way prior to hitting store shelves.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) holds the position that any so-called honey products that have been ultra-filtered are not actually honey. But the agency refuses to do anything to stop this influx of illegitimate “honey” from flooding the North American market. It also continues to stonewall all petitions to establish a national regulatory standard for verifying the integrity of honey.

Ultra-filtering eliminates and destroys all medicinal properties of honey

Assuming that there is any real honey at all in the phony honey products tested by FSN, the removal of pollen and other delicate materials via ultra-filtering renders them medicinally dead. Raw honey is a health-promoting food that can help alleviate stomach problems, anemia, allergies, and other health conditions. Ultra-filtered honey is nothing more than a health-destroying processed sugar in the same vein as white table sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

The good news is that all of the honey products FSN tested from farmers markets, food cooperatives, and “natural” stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, were found to contain pollen and a full array of antioxidants and other nutrients. Local beekeepers are another great source of obtaining raw, unprocessed, real honey.

Be sure to read the entire FSN report at:
http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/11/tests-show-most-store-honey-isn…

Learn more:http://www.naturalnews.com/034102_honey_consumer_alert.html

Tests Show Most Store Honey Isn’t Honey

Ultra-filtering Removes Pollen, Hides Honey Origins

BY ANDREW SCHNEIDER | NOV 07, 2011

 

More than three-fourths of the honey sold in U.S. grocery stores isn’t exactly what the bees produce, according to testing done exclusively for Food Safety News.
The results show that the pollen frequently has been filtered out of products labeled “honey.”
The removal of these microscopic particles from deep within a flower would make the nectar flunk the quality standards set by most of the world’s food safety agencies.
The food safety divisions of the  World Health Organization, the European Commission and dozens of others also have ruled that without pollen there is no way to determine whether the honey came from legitimate and safe sources.
honey-without-pollen-food-safety-news1.jpgIn the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration says that any product that’s been ultra-filtered and no longer contains pollen isn’t honey. However, the FDA isn’t checking honey sold here to see if it contains pollen.
Ultra filtering is a high-tech procedure where honey is heated, sometimes watered down and then forced at high pressure through extremely small filters to remove pollen, which is the only foolproof sign identifying the source of the honey. It is a spin-off of a technique refined by the Chinese, who have illegally dumped tons of their honey – some containing illegal antibiotics – on the U.S. market for years.
Food Safety News decided to test honey sold in various outlets after its earlier investigationfound U.S. groceries flooded with Indian honey banned in Europe as unsafe because of contamination with antibiotics, heavy metal and a total lack of pollen which prevented tracking its origin.
Food Safety News purchased more than 60 jars, jugs and plastic bears of honey in 10 states and the District of Columbia.
The contents were analyzed for pollen by Vaughn Bryant, a professor at Texas A&M University and one of the nation’s premier melissopalynologists, or investigators of pollen in honey.
Bryant, who is director of the Palynology Research Laboratory, found that among the containers of honey provided by Food Safety News:
• 76 percent of samples bought at groceries had all the pollen removed, These were stores like TOP Food, Safeway, Giant Eagle, QFC, Kroger, Metro Market, Harris Teeter, A&P, Stop & Shop and King Soopers.
• 100 percent of the honey sampled from drugstores like Walgreens, Rite-Aid and CVS Pharmacy had no pollen.
• 77 percent of the honey sampled from big box stores like Costco, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Target and H-E-B had the pollen filtered out.
• 100 percent of the honey packaged in the small individual service portions from Smucker, McDonald’s and KFC had the pollen removed.
• Bryant found that every one of the samples Food Safety News bought at farmers markets, co-ops and “natural” stores like PCC and Trader Joe’s had the full, anticipated, amount of pollen.

And if you have to buy at major grocery chains, the analysis found that your odds are somewhat better of getting honey that wasn’t ultra-filtered if you buy brands labeled as organic. Out of seven samples tested, five (71 percent) were heavy with pollen. All of the organic honey was produced in Brazil, according to the labels.

The National Honey Board, a federal research and promotion organization under USDA oversight, says the bulk of foreign honey (at least 60 percent or more) is sold to the food industry for use in baked goods, beverages, sauces and processed foods.  Food Safety News did not examine these products for this story.
Some U.S. honey packers didn’t want to talk about how they process their merchandise.
One who did was Bob Olney, of Honey Tree Inc., in Michigan, who sells its Winnie the Pooh honey in Walmart stores.  Bryant’s analysis of the contents of the container made in Winnie’s image found that the pollen had been removed.
Olney says that his honey came from suppliers in Montana, North Dakota and Alberta. “It was filtered in processing because North American shoppers want their honey crystal clear,” he said.
The packers of Silverbow Honey added: “The grocery stores want processed honey as it lasts longer on the shelves.”
However, most beekeepers say traditional filtering used by most will catch bee parts, wax, debris from the hives and other visible contaminants but will leave the pollen in place.
Ernie Groeb, the president and CEO of Groeb Farms Inc., which calls itself “the world’s largest packer of honey,” says he makes no specific requirement to the pollen content of the 85 million pounds of honey his company buys.
Groeb sells retail under the Miller’s brand and says he buys 100 percent pure honey, but does not “specify nor do we require that the pollen be left in or be removed.”
He says that there are many different filtering methods used by beekeepers and honey packers.
“We buy basically what’s considered raw honey. We trust good suppliers. That’s what we rely on,” said Groeb, whose headquarters is in Onstead, Mich.
Why Remove the Pollen?
Removal of all pollen from honey “makes no sense” and is completely contrary to marketing the highest quality product possible, Mark Jensen, president of the American Honey Producers Association, told Food Safety News.
food-safety-news-good-honey-sample.jpg“I don’t know of any U.S. producer that would want to do that. Elimination of all pollen can only be achieved by ultra-filtering and this filtration process does nothing but cost money and diminish the quality of the honey,” Jensen said.
“In my judgment, it is pretty safe to assume that any ultra-filtered honey on store shelves is Chinese honey and it’s even safer to assume that it entered the country uninspected and in violation of federal law,” he added.
Richard Adee, whose 80,000 hives in multiple states produce 7 million pounds of honey each year, told Food Safety News that “honey has been valued by millions for centuries for its flavor and nutritional value and that is precisely what is completely removed by the ultra-filtration process.”
“There is only one reason to ultra-filter honey and there’s nothing good about it,” he says.
“It’s no secret to anyone in the business that the only reason all the pollen is filtered out is to hide where it initially came from and the fact is that in almost all cases, that is China,” Adee added.
The Sioux Honey Association, who says it’s America’s largest supplier, declined repeated requests for comments on ultra-filtration, what Sue Bee does with its foreign honey and whether it’s ultra-filtered when they buy it. The co-op markets retail under Sue Bee, Clover Maid, Aunt Sue, Natural Pure and many store brands.
Eric Wenger, director of quality services for Golden Heritage Foods, the nation’s third largest packer, said his company takes every precaution not to buy laundered Chinese honey.

“We are well aware of the tricks being used by some brokers to sell honey that originated in China and laundering it in a second country by filtering out the pollen and other adulterants,” said Wenger, whose firm markets 55 million pounds of honey annually under its Busy Bee brand, store brands, club stores and food service.
“The brokers know that if there’s an absence of all pollen in the raw honey we won’t buy it, we won’t touch it, because without pollen we have no way to verify its origin.”
He said his company uses “extreme care” including pollen analysis when purchasing foreign honey, especially from countries like India, Vietnam and others that have or have had “business arrangements” with Chinese honey producers.
Golden Heritage, Wenger said, then carefully removes all pollen from the raw honey when it’s processed to extend shelf life, but says, “as we see it, that is not ultra-filtration.
“There is a significant difference between filtration, which is a standard industry practice intended to create a shelf-stable honey, and ultra-filtration, which is a deceptive, illegal, unethical practice.”
Some of the foreign and state standards that are being instituted can be read to mean different things, Wenger said “but the confusion can be eliminated and we can all be held to the same appropriate standards for quality if FDA finally establishes the standards we’ve all wanted for so long.”
Groeb says he has urged FDA to take action as he also “totally supports a standard of Identity for honey. It will help everyone have common ground as to what pure honey truly is!”
What’s Wrong With Chinese Honey?
Chinese honey has long had a poor reputation in the U.S., where – in 2001 – the Federal Trade Commission imposed stiff import tariffs or taxes to stop the Chinese from flooding the marketplace with dirt-cheap, heavily subsidized honey, which was forcing American beekeepers out of business.
To avoid the dumping tariffs, the Chinese quickly began transshipping honey to several other countries, then laundering it by switching the color of the shipping drums, the documents and labels to indicate a bogus but tariff-free country of origin for the honey.
Most U.S. honey buyers knew about the Chinese actions because of the sudden availability of lower cost honey, and little was said.
The FDA — either because of lack of interest or resources — devoted little effort to inspecting imported honey. Nevertheless, the agency had occasionally either been told of, or had stumbled upon, Chinese honey contaminated with chloramphenicol and other illegal animal antibiotics which are dangerous, even fatal, to a very small percentage of the population.
Mostly, the adulteration went undetected. Sometimes FDA caught it.

In one instance 10 years ago, contaminated Chinese honey was shipped to Canada and then on to a warehouse in Houston where it was sold to jelly maker J.M. Smuckers and the national baker Sara Lee.
By the time the FDA said it realized the Chinese honey was tainted, Smuckers had sold 12,040 cases of individually packed honey to Ritz-Carlton Hotels and Sara Lee said it may have been used in a half-million loaves of bread that were on store shelves.
Eventually, some honey packers became worried about what they were pumping into the plastic bears and jars they were selling. They began using in-house or private labs to test for honey diluted with inexpensive high fructose corn syrup or 13 other illegal sweeteners or for the presence of illegal antibiotics. But even the most sophisticated of these tests would not pinpoint the geographic source of the honey.
food-safety-news-Vaughn-Bryant-honey-tester.jpgFood scientists and honey specialists say pollen is the only foolproof fingerprint to a honey’s source.
Federal investigators working on criminal indictments and a very few conscientious packers were willing to pay stiff fees to have the pollen in their honey analyzed for country of origin. That complex, multi-step analysis is done by fewer than five commercial laboratories in the world.
But, Customs and Justice Department investigators told Food Safety News that whenever U.S. food safety or criminal experts verify a method to identify potentially illegal honey – such as analyzing the pollen – the laundering operators find a way to thwart it, such as ultra-filtration.
The U.S. imported 208 million pounds of honey over the past 18 months. Almost 60 percent came from Asian countries – traditional laundering points for Chinese honey. This included 45 million pounds from India alone.
And websites still openly offer brokers who will illegally transship honey and scores of other tariff-protected goods from China to the U.S.
FDA’s Lack of Action
The Food and Drug Administration weighed into the filtration issue years ago.
“The FDA has sent a letter to industry stating that the FDA does not consider ‘ultra-filtered’ honey to be honey,” agency press officer Tamara Ward told Food Safety News.
She went on to explain: “We have not halted any importation of honey because we have yet to detect ‘ultra-filtered’ honey. If we do detect ‘ultra-filtered’ honey we will refuse entry.”
Many in the honey industry and some in FDA’s import office say they doubt that FDA checks more than 5 percent of all foreign honey shipments.
For three months, the FDA promised Food Safety News to make its “honey expert” available to explain what that statement meant.  It never happened. Further, the federal food safety authorities refused offers to examine Bryant’s analysis and explain what it plans to do about the selling of honey it says is adulterated because of the removal of pollen, a key ingredient.
Major food safety standard-setting organizations such as the United Nations’ Codex Alimentarius, the European Union and the European Food Safety Authority say the intentional removal of pollen is dangerous because it eliminates the ability of consumers and law enforcement to determine the actual origin of the honey.
“The removal of pollen will make the determination of botanical and geographic origin of honey impossible and circumvents the ability to trace and identify the actual source of the honey,” says the European Union Directive on Honey.
The Codex commission’s Standard for Honey, which sets principles for the international trade in food, has ruled that “No pollen or constituent particular to honey may be removed except where this is unavoidable in the removal of foreign matter. . .”  It even suggested what size mesh to use (not smaller than 0.2mm or 200 micron) to filter out unwanted debris — bits of wax and wood from the frames, and parts of bees — but retain 95 percent of all the pollen.
Food Safety News asked Bryant to analyze foreign honey packaged in Italy, Hungary, Greece, Tasmania and New Zealand to try to get a feeling for whether the Codex standards for pollen were being heeded overseas.  The samples from every country but Greece were loaded with various types and amounts of pollen. Honey from Greece had none.
You’ll Never Know
In many cases, consumers would have an easier time deciphering state secrets than pinning down where the honey they’re buying in groceries actually came from.
The majority of the honey that Bryant’s analysis found to have no pollen was packaged as store brands by outside companies but carried a label unique to the food chain. For example, Giant Eagle has a ValuTime label on some of its honey. In Target it’s called Market Pantry, Naturally Preferred  and others. Walmart uses Great Value and Safeway just says Safeway. Wegmans also uses its own name.
Who actually bottled these store brands is often a mystery.

A noteworthy exception is Golden Heritage of Hillsboro, Kan. The company either puts its name or decipherable initials on the back of store brands it fills.
“We’re never bashful about discussing the products we put out” said Wenger, the company’s quality director. “We want people to know who to contact if they have questions.”
The big grocery chains were no help in identifying the sources of the honey they package in their store brands.
For example, when Food Safety News was hunting the source of nine samples that came back as ultra-filtered from QFC, Fred Myer and King Sooper, the various customer service numbers all led to representatives of Kroger, which owns them all. The replies were identical: “We can’t release that information. It is proprietary.”

food-safety-news-Sue-Bee-honey-ad.jpgOne of the customer service representatives said the contact address on two of the honeys being questioned was in Sioux City, Iowa, which is where Sioux Bee’s corporate office is located.

Jessica Carlson, a public relations person for Target, waved the proprietary banner and also refused to say whether it was Target management or the honey suppliers that wanted the source of the honey kept from the public.
Similar non-answers came from representatives of Safeway, Walmart and Giant Eagle.
The drugstores weren’t any more open with the sources of their house brands of honey. A Rite Aid representative said “if it’s not marked made in China, than it’s made in the United States.” She didn’t know who made it but said “I’ll ask someone.”
Rite Aid, Walgreen and CVS have yet to supply the information.
Only two smaller Pacific Northwest grocery chains – Haggen and Metropolitan Market – both selling honey without pollen, weren’t bashful about the source of their honey. Haggen said right off that its brand comes from Golden Heritage. Metropolitan Market said its honey – Western Family – is packed by Bee Maid Honey, a co-op of beekeepers from the Canadian provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
Pollen? Who Cares?
Why should consumers care if their honey has had its pollen removed?
“Raw honey is thought to have many medicinal properties,” says Kathy Egan, dietitian at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.  ”Stomach ailments, anemia and allergies are just a few of the conditions that may be improved by consumption of unprocessed honey.”
But beyond pollen’s reported enzymes, antioxidants and well documented anti-allergenic benefits, a growing population of natural food advocates just don’t want their honey messed with.
There is enormous variety among honeys. They range in color from glass-clear to a dark mahogany and in consistency from watery to chunky to a crystallized solid. It’s the plants and flowers where the bees forage for nectar that will determine the significant difference in the taste, aroma and color of what the bees produce. It is the processing that controls the texture.
Food historians say that in the 1950s the typical grocery might have offered three or four different brands of honey.  Today, a fair-sized store will offer 40 to 50 different types, flavors and sources of honey out of the estimated 300 different honeys made in the U.S.. And with the attractiveness of natural food and the locavore movement, honey’s popularity is burgeoning. Unfortunately, with it comes the potential for fraud.
Concocting a sweet-tasting syrup out of cane, corn or beet sugar, rice syrup or any of more than a dozen sweetening agents is a great deal easier, quicker and far less expensive than dealing with the natural brew of bees.
However, even the most dedicated beekeeper can unknowingly put incorrect information on a honey jar’s label.
Bryant has examined nearly 2,000 samples of honey sent in by beekeepers, honey importers, and ag officials checking commercial brands off store shelves. Types include premium honey such as “buckwheat, tupelo, sage, orange blossom, and sourwood” produced in Florida, North Carolina, California, New York and Virginia and “fireweed” from Alaska.
“Almost all were incorrectly labeled based on their pollen and nectar contents,” he said.
Out of the 60 plus samples that Bryant tested for Food Safety News, the absolute most flavorful said “blackberry” on the label. When Bryant concluded his examination of the pollen in this sample he found clover and wildflowers clearly outnumbering a smattering of grains of blackberry pollen.
For the most part we are not talking about intentional fraud here. Contrary to their most fervent wishes, beekeepers can’t control where their bees actually forage any more than they can keep the tides from changing. They offer their best guess on the predominant foliage within flying distance of the hives.
“I think we need a truth in labeling law in the U.S. as they have in other countries,” Bryant added.
FDA Ignores Pleas
No one can say for sure why the FDA has ignored repeated pleas from Congress, beekeepers and the honey industry to develop a U.S. standard for identification for honey.
Nancy Gentry owns the small Cross Creek Honey Company in Interlachen, Fla., and she isn’t worried about the quality of the honey she sells.
“I harvest my own honey. We put the frames in an extractor, spin it out, strain it, and it goes into a jar. It’s honey the way bees intended,” Gentry said.
But the negative stories on the discovery of tainted and bogus honey raised her fears for the public’s perception of honey.

food-safety-news-honey-samples-tested.jpgShe spent months of studying what the rest of the world was doing to protect consumers from tainted honey and questioning beekeepers and industry on what was needed here. Gentry became the leading force in crafting language for Florida to develop the nation’s first standard for identification for honey.

In July 2009, Florida adopted the standard and placed its Division of Food Safety in the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in charge of enforcing it.  It’s since been followed by California, Wisconsin and North Carolina and is somewhere in the state legislative or regulatory maze in Georgia, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, New York, Texas, Kansas, Oregon, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia and others.
John Ambrose’s battle for a national definition goes back 36 years. He said the issue is of great importance to North Carolina because it has more beekeepers than any other state in the country.
He and others tried to convince FDA that a single national standard for honey to help prevent adulterated honey from being sold was needed. The agency promised him it would be on the books within two years.
“But that never happened,” said Ambrose, a professor and entomologist at North Carolina State University and apiculturist, or bee expert. North Carolina followed Florida’s lead and passed its own identification standards last year.
Ambrose, who was co-chair of the team that drafted the state beekeeper association’s honey standards says the language is very simple, ”Our standard says that nothing can be added or removed from the honey. So in other words, if somebody removes the pollen, or adds moisture or corn syrup or table sugar, that’s adulteration,” Ambrose told Food Safety News.
But still, he says he’s asked all the time how to ensure that you’re buying quality honey.  ”The fact is, unless you’re buying from a beekeeper, you’re at risk,” was his uncomfortably blunt reply.
Eric Silva, counsel for the American Honey Producers Association said the standard is a simple but essential tool in ensuring the quality and safety of honey consumed by millions of Americans each year.
“Without it, the FDA and their trade enforcement counterparts are severely limited in their ability to combat the flow of illicit and potentially dangerous honey into this country,” Silva told Food Safety News.
It’s not just beekeepers, consumers and the industry that FDA officials either ignore or slough off with comments that they’re too busy.
New York Sen. Charles Schumer is one of more than 20 U.S. senators and members of Congress of both parties who have asked the FDA repeatedly to create a federal “pure honey” standard, similar to what the rest of the world has established.
They get the same answer that Ambrose got in 1975:  ”Any day now.”
—————-
Share if you eat food or drink water!

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , ,

Roundup Ready Soybean Patent Expiration

Posted on 02 November 2011 by admin

cia_rrsoybean.jpg

The world’s most widely adopted biotech trait, Roundup Ready® soybeans, is set to go off patent soon in the U.S. – the last applicable Monsanto-owned patent is expected to expire in 2014.

We introduced our second-generation Roundup Ready soybean technology in 2009 – Genuity™ Roundup Ready 2 Yield®. Monsanto-owned seed brands will be wholly focused on the Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield platform by 2012. We believe the grower benefits will be impressive, as compared to the post-patent choice of a royalty-free Roundup Ready trait. That’s why Genuity™ Roundup Ready 2 Yield technology will be the base platform for our future soybean technologies.

Seed Company and Farmer Choice After 2014

Farmers and seed companies will have the opportunity to make their own decisions about the value of Genuity™ Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans compared to Roundup Ready soybeans. Our seed company licensees will be able to continue to provide farmers with soybeans containing the Roundup Ready trait through the Roundup Ready patent expiration and beyond.

That means Roundup Ready trait licensees can make business plans that make the most sense for their operations and for their customers.

Here are some key points about the Roundup Ready patent expiration:

  • Monsanto is amending all Roundup Ready soybean trait licenses to extend through the final patent expiration. As a result, the last crop year for which Monsanto will collect royalties on the technology is 2014.
  • Licensees have no obligation to destroy or return seed due to expiration of the Roundup Ready soybean trait licenses.
  • Monsanto will not use variety patents against U.S. farmers who save varieties containing the Roundup Ready trait for planting on their own farms after expiration of the trait patent. Farmers should check with seed suppliers regarding the policy for seed varieties developed by other companies and contain the Roundup Ready trait.
  • Monsanto will maintain full global regulatory support for this first-generation technology through 2021. This will allow grain from the 2014 crop to be sold and processed. We will continue to monitor and assess the planned use of this first-generation technology beyond 2021 and work with appropriate stakeholders on any extension of regulatory support that may be needed.
  • Seed company licensees who choose to work with Genuity™ Roundup Ready 2 Yield technology will be able to continue to sell varieties with Roundup Ready after the patent expires. There is no need for them to stop selling Roundup Ready technology in order to sell the new trait.
  • Universities will also be able to offer soybean varieties containing the Roundup Ready trait. A number of universities have been breeding with the Roundup Ready soybean trait for a number of years and they will be able to continue this both now and following expiration of the patent.

Patent Protection, Innovation and Choice

The fact that Monsanto and other biotech companies continue to invest in the development of new soybean traits that will benefit farmers shows the U.S. patent system provides incentive for innovation.

The transition of Roundup Ready soybean technology into the public domain represents another benefit – patent expiration provides a means for public access to this technology.

This system motivates individuals as well as companies, to invest in all types of new technologies that make U.S. farmers and our economy more competitive.

Roundup Ready Trait and Soybean Variety Patents

Despite the advantage of the Genuity™ Roundup Ready 2 Yield trait, some farmers may want to use Roundup Ready soybean technology following the end of the trait patent.

Many Roundup Ready varieties are also covered by variety patents and plant variety protection certificates.  Monsanto will continue to enforce its intellectual property, including variety patents, with respect to commercial and developmental use of patented Roundup Ready varieties after the patent expiry.

However, as stated above, Monsanto will not use variety patents against U.S. farmers who save soybean varieties containing the Roundup Ready trait for planting on their own farms after patent expiration.

Share if you eat food or drink water!

Comments (1)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Partial List of Food Products That Contain Genetically Modified Corn Oil and Corn Products, Soy, Canola Oil, Cottonseed Oil

Posted on 15 October 2011 by admin

  • Salad Dressings
  • Infant Formula
  • Bread, Rolls, Pastry
  • Baby Cereal
  • Canned rolls and breads
  • Hamburgers and Hotdogs
  • Margarine
  • Processed Meats
  • Mayonnaise
  • Crackers
  • Chocolate
  • Cookies
  • Candy
  • Fried Foods
  • Frozen Foods
  • Chips
  • Tofu
  • Veggie Burgers
  • Soy Burgers
  • Meat Substitutes
  • Aspartame
  • Ice Cream
  • Frozen Yogurt
  • Tamari
  • Soy Sauce
  • Soy Cheese
  • Soy Nuts and Products
  • Processed Cheese
  • Pasteurized Cheese
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Marinades
  • Barbeque Sauce
  • Soups
  • Canned Stews
  • Sauces
  • Dried and Dehydrated Soups/Sauces
  • Condiments
  • Drinks
  • Protein Powder
  • Baking Powder
  • Alcohol
  • Vanilla
  • Peanut Butter
  • Pasta
  • Enriched Flour
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Children’s snacks
  • Cereals
  • Cake and Baking Mixes
  • Frozen pie and pastry shell
source: purezing.com
Share if you eat food or drink water!

Comments (1)

Tags: , , , , , ,

Mexico to Expand GMO Corn Planting-group

Posted on 19 September 2011 by admin

(Reuters) – * More than 10 permits sought again for pilot projects

* Pro-GMO group sees commercial corn planting by next year

(Reuters) – Permits to plant large extensions of genetically modified (GM) corn for the first time in Mexico are likely to be approved before the end of the year, said a company lobby group on Monday.

Monsanto , DuPont’s Pioneer seed unit and Dow Chemical’s agricultural arm have all applied to expand on tiny experimental plots of GM corn in northern Mexico, said AgroBIO, an organization that represents the biotech companies.

The group expects the government will approve more sizable pilot plots for the corn-growing state of Sinaloa by the end of October and in Tamaulipas by November with other states following soon after.

The aim is to have the first commercial planting by the end of 2012, AgroBIO’s director Alejandro Monteagudo said.

For years the revered status of corn in Mexico, widely believed to be the birthplace of the grain, has made the country hesitant to adopt transgenic maize seeds.

Tough regulations require companies first plant test plots on less than 2.5 acres (1 hectare), destroying all the corn produced.

Once the experiments show they are not harming the environment or contaminating Mexico’s native corn varieties, the law allows for a pilot phase of around 25 acres (10 hectares).

When that hoop is cleared, farmers can move on to commercial planting.

“We are not gaining anything from just staying in the experimental phase,” Monteagudo said.

Most of the eleven petitions for pilot projects were initially rejected by the government on the grounds there was a lack of sufficient information from the experiments.

AgroBIO resubmitted the claims and is waiting for a response. The Agriculture Ministry did not respond for a request for comment on the new round of permit requests.

Mexicans eat corn with nearly every meal and the grain was worshiped as a god by the region’s pre-colonial cultures.

Now one of the world’s biggest corn producers — more than 20 million tonnes on average per year — Mexico has fallen behind other agricultural powerhouses such as its neighbor the United States where genetically modified seeds are widespread.

Mexico imports around 10 million tonnes of corn every year, mostly a yellow variety from the United States used for animal feed. AgroBIO says the expensive GM seeds could increase yields in Mexico by up to 15 percent and reduce the cost of fertilizers and other inputs.

Farmers in the country’s north, where there are vast expanses of mechanized and irrigated land, say they need the seeds to be more competitive.

But the rest of Mexico’s corn is grown by small producers, many of whom use the grain to feed their families and livestock. They worry the engineered seeds will overtake indigenous corn varieties or create dependencies on international companies. (Reporting by Mica Rosenberg; editing by Miral Fahmy)

Share if you eat food or drink water!

Comments (0)

Tags: , , ,

Labels demand after shock GMO Soy-drink Tests

Posted on 16 September 2011 by admin

The Consumer Council has called for a mandatory labeling system on all pre- packaged and genetically modified food sold in Hong Kong after revealing that half the soy drinks on the market contain GM ingredients.

It detected GM ingredients in half the 50 samples tested, though some had very limited amounts that were hardly quantifiable.

Seven of the soy drinks tested with GM components are labelled “Organic” on the packaging.

A further four, three of which are manufactured in Taiwan and the other in Hong Kong, contained 0.2 to 1.1 percent of GM components.

Two of these had labels claiming “non-GMO,” meaning no genetically modified organisms in the drinks.

 

Ambrose Ho Pui-him, the council’s publicity and community relations committee vice chairman, suggests food manufacturers avoid using “non-GMO” labels since the food may be accidentally contaminated by GM components during the production process.

 

At present, there is only a voluntary labeling guideline issued by the Centre for Food Safety, but no specific law governing sales and mandatory labeling.

“It has yet to be proved that GM food is harmful to human health when compared to traditional food, and the long-term effect towards human health is still unknown,” Ho said. KELLY IP

Share if you eat food or drink water!

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , ,

Whole Foods Market Policy on Genetically Engineered Food GMOs

Posted on 15 September 2011 by admin

Genetically Engineered Foods

Our goal at Whole Foods Market is to provide informed consumer choice with regard to genetically engineered ingredients (also known as GMOs or Genetically Modified Organisms). Clearly labeled products enable shoppers who want to avoid foods made with GMOs to do so. Accordingly we offer a growing array of choices in our stores by sourcing our 365 Everyday Value® food products to avoid GMOs, by supporting organic agriculture (which prohibits the use of GMOs), and by encouraging other food producers to offer non-GMO options.

NON GMO Project Verified

When developing our national store brand food products under the 365 Everyday Value® label, we work with our manufacturers to source non-GMO ingredients. In July 2009, we began working with the Non-GMO Project to verify and label our store brand food products using the nation’s first authoritative standard for Non-GMO products. All of our 365 Everyday Value® food products are enrolled in the Project, and you can find a list of verified products (both our store brands and other brands) on your local Whole Foods Market’s store web page.

The Project is a collaboration of manufacturers, retailers, processors, distributors, farmers, seed breeders and consumers who have developed North America’s first independent third-party Non-GMO Product Verification Program. This program ensures that food production follows rigorous best practices for GMO avoidance, and the seal allows consumers to make informed food buying choices.

The Product Verification Program uses a process that combines on-site facility audits, document-based review and product testing to verify compliance with the standard at every level of the supply chain, from manufacturing facilities to ingredient suppliers. For a product to be verified and bear the seal, it must undergo a process through which any ingredient at high risk for GMO contamination—soy or corn, for example—has been proven to meet the standard through avoidance practices and testing.

GMOS & CERTIFIED ORGANIC PRODUCTS

USDA Organics

By law, organic products must be created only with non-GMO ingredients. Buying organic products throughout our stores is a reliable way for customers to choose non-GMO foods. Accordingly, we encourage manufacturers and producers to label organic products as not grown from genetically engineered seed.

We also encourage other manufacturers and producers to create products without GMO ingredients or processes and to have them verified and labeled as such.

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/values/genetically-engineered.php

Share if you eat food or drink water!

Comments (1)

Tags: , , ,

EU Bans GMO-Contaminated Honey

Posted on 07 September 2011 by admin

EU bans GM-contaminated honey from general sale

Bavarian beekeepers forced to declare their honey as genetically modified because of contamination from nearby Monsanto crops

Honey bees sit on a honeycomb at Bad Segeberg, northern Germany

Honey bees on a honeycomb in Germany. A European court has ruled that honey which contains traces of pollen from genetically modified crops needs special authorisation before it can be sold. Photograph: Heribert Proepper/AP

The European Union’s highest court on Tuesday ruled that honey which contains trace amounts of pollen from genetically modified (GM) corn must be labelled as GM produce and undergo full safety authorisation before it can be sold as food.

In what green groups are calling a “groundbreaking” ruling, the decision could force the EU to strengthen its already near-zero tolerance policy on genetically modified organisms (GMO

Bavarian beekeepers, some 500m from a test field for a modified maize crop developed by Monsanto – one of only two GM crops authorised as safe to be cultivated in Europe - claimed their honey had been “contaminated” by pollen from the plant.

The European court of justice found in their favour, a ruling that should offer grounds for the beekeepers to claim compensation in a German court.

But the court’s finding also potentially threatens recent EU legislation, introduced in July this year, that permits traces of GMOs in animal feed without a safety review.

Mute Schimpf, food campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe, said that the ruling “would confirm that existing laws allowing traces of unauthorised GM contamination are insufficient and would need revising.”

French Green MEP José Bové, an ex-farmer well-known for his destruction of a McDonald’s franchise in the south of France and the uprooting of GM crops in Brazil, said that the only protection farmers can have is for a complete ban on GMOs in Europe. “Beekeepers are powerless to prevent the contamination of their honey by GM pollen, as farmers are for their crops, and thus powerless to prevent the tainting of the foodstuffs they produce and the integrity of their product.

“The only sure way to prevent this is by precluding the cultivation of GMOs.”

Greenpeace, describing the traces of pollen in the honey as “genetic pollution” said that Monsanto and the Bavarian state should be held liable for the beekeepers’ losses as a result of their product having to be labelled as containing GMOs.

However, agricultural specialists criticised the ruling, saying that the decision has no grounding in science.

Guy Poppy, the director of the centre for biological sciences at the University of Southampton, told the Guardian: “There is no safety issue. This honey is as safe as any other.”

The corn in question is genetically engineered to produce an insecticide that naturally occurs in the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (BT). The production of this toxin protects the maize plants from European corn borer larvae.

“The Monsanto maize is genetically modified to produce the BT protein. But this same protein actually has been regularly used for years as a spray even by organic farmers,” he added.

“The consequences of these sorts of ruling is that new methods of plant breeding, whether GM or other forms that are developed, could be thrown out of potential use, making it impossible to innovate.”

Vivian Moses, professor of biotechnology at the University of London and the chairwoman of Cropgen, an advisory group on GM foods, said: “These beekeepers believe that there is a sensitivity among consumers of the presence of GM material, that the honey containing GM loses quality. They are just protecting their economic interest.

“But scientifically this doesn’t add up to anything, as the crop has been judged as safe for human consumption.”

In response to the ruling, the European commission will in two weeks discuss the issue of GMOs and honey with EU member states.

According to Brussels, it is likely that the decision will have an impact on the honey into the EU as Europe does not itself produce sufficient quantities for the size of the market. The bloc produces 200,000 tonnes per year and must import an additional 140,000 tonnes.

Argentina and China, both GM-friendly countries and the two biggest importers of honey into the EU, are likely to be affected in particular, the commission warned.

“The honey is not dangerous. There is no health risk from honey in the EU,” insisted EU consumer protection spokesman, Frédéric Vincent, worried that shoppers might stop buying honey as a result of the news.

“It’s an important ruling from the court. I can’t say at this point whether we need to change any laws,” he added. “The contamination is done by the bees themselves. We can’t put GPS tracking on the bees.”

Share if you eat food or drink water!

Comments (0)

Tags: , ,

GMO Honey – EU Court Puts Limits On Genetically Modified Honey

Posted on 06 September 2011 by admin

BRUSSELS — Honey that contains traces of pollen from genetically modified crops needs special authorization before it can be sold in Europe, the European Union’s top court said Tuesday, in a judgment that could have widespread consequences on the bloc’s policy on genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

The ruling from the European Court of Justice came after several Bavarian beekeepers demanded compensation from their government for honey and food supplements that contained traces of pollen from genetically modified maize.

The beekeepers had their hives close to fields where the Bavarian government was growing Monsanto’s MON 810 maize for research purposes.

The EU has strict guidelines on authorizing and informing consumers about foods containing GMOs – a policy that has caused problems for producers of genetically modified seeds such as U.S.-based Monsanto Co. that are used to much laxer rules in other parts of the world.

Kelli Powers, a spokeswoman for Monsanto, said the company could not provide detailed comment on the ruling until the firm had a chance to read the entire judgment.

But Powers emphasized that the company’s engineered corn seed has been approved as safe for human consumption.

“…the safety of MON 810 is confirmed by multiple regulatory approvals, including those in the EU, and by up to 15 years of successful commercial use and consumption of MON810 corn products in the EU and around the world,” Powers said in an e-mail.

Environmental activists said Tuesday’s ruling will force the 17-country European Union to strengthen the rules even further at a time they worried the bloc was dropping its zero-tolerance policy toward GMOs.

“This is a victory for beekeepers, consumers and the movement for GMO-free agriculture in Europe,” Mute Schimpf, a food campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe, said in a statement. “This ruling rewrites the rule book and gives legal backing to stronger measures to prevent contamination from the likes of Monsanto.”

Earlier this year, the EU approved rules to allow the import of animal feed contaminated with small traces of genetically modified crops – a move that was heavily criticized by environmental groups.

The EU and feed suppliers argued that a loosening of the ban was necessary because it was difficult to prevent minute traces of GMOs from finding their way into large shipments from overseas.

In its judgment on the honey, the Luxembourg-based court however seemed to take a stricter view.

The EU’s “authorization scheme for foodstuffs containing ingredients produced from GMOs applies irrespective of whether the pollen is introduced intentionally or adventitiously into the honey,” it said in its ruling.

The obligation to get special permission to sell the honey exists “irrespective of the proportion of genetically modified material contained in the product in question,” the court added.

___

AP Reporter Christopher Leonard in St. Louis contributed to this report.

Share if you eat food or drink water!

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

ConAgra Anti-GMO Lawsuit Has Big Implications for Food Labeling

Posted on 02 September 2011 by admin

Product labeling is an area where loopholes and CSR seem to converge. It is precisely these loopholes that make it easy for companies to engage in a degree of greenwash but there is a thin line between ‘greenwash’ and ‘misleading the consumer.’  A recent lawsuit against ConAgra proves this point. The American food giant that owns several brands like Healthy Choice, Wesson, Slim Jim, & Banquet has been under attack for alleged false labeling.

The Food Safety News reports that its Wesson brand of cooking oil has been slapped with various lawsuits for claiming to be “all natural.” This deceptive marketing suit was brought against ConAgra in June by Millberg LLP. It could actually make food manufacturers think twice about bandying about the word ‘natural.’ Four Wesson varieties are implicated in the case: Canola Oil, Vegetable Oil, Corn Oil, and Best Blend, all of which have the  ”100% natural” claim on their labels.  However, the products include a number of genetically modified organisms (GMO).

The problem of course does not reside only with Wesson. There are thousands of processed food items that line grocery shelves that have the ‘natural’ label but are known to contain GMOs. 85% of US corn and 91% of soybean is genetically modified – both of these are common ingredients in processed food either by themselves or in the form of derivatives like soya lecithin, high fructose corn syrup, corn starch etc. 90% of Americans want full disclosure on their food products which may mean that every major food company needs to overhaul its labeling policies.

This is a very significant breakthrough for anti-GMO campaigners because it shows how much consumer choice actually affects companies. This is also a case for those companies and governments pushing forintroduction of GMO in their countries. India is currently in the midst of signing off on a bill that will enable the free production of GMO fruit and vegetables. This would be a potentially calamitous move due to the lack of labeling laws in India as well as the fact that the country by and large still follows a bulk-bin system of buying produce.

Con Agra might be able to wriggle its way out of the suit. Its recent disclosure report revealed that it spent $100,000 in the second quarter on lobbying government officials on agriculture programs, ethanol regulations, etc. According to the report it filed, the company lobbied the FDA, the Department of Agriculture and the Office of Management and Budget, apart from Congress. I wonder how much of this went towards GMO lobbying.

Food companies can no longer hide behind ambiguous labels like ‘natural’ because food essentially is natural! The label itself is an oxymoron. With the advent of the suit on Con Agra, it is necessary for other companies to question their methods of labeling and/or food sourcing so that they are not open to liabilities. Currently under US laws, GMOs are not required to be labelled but labeling a product ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ when it does contain GMO is misleading to the consumer. Surely that is illegal?

“ If they have to put the word ‘natural’ on a box to convince you, it probably isn’t “

- Eric Schlosser, author, Fast Food Nation

Share if you eat food or drink water!

Comments (0)

Advertise Here
Advertise Here