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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

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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.”
—————-
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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.

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Intertek launches True Source HoneyT (TSH) Certified Program in India

Posted on 12 September 2011 by admin

Intertek is a leading provider of quality and safety solutions serving a wide range of industries around the world, providing audit, inspection, testing, and quality assurance and certification options.

Intertek, who are the exclusive global partner for True Source Honey™, LLC launched the True Source Honey Certified program in India at The Hotel Eros, Nehru Place. TSH is a global initiative to certify whole chain traceability and sustainability of ethically sourced, fairly traded honey.

Honey is one of the few remaining food products that are considered natural (or without added ingredients or other refined additives that alter the composition of the product). In an effort to protect the product, True Source Honey will work with honey companies in the countries of origin and U.S. importers to set a global standard for high-quality honey. Intertek will play an integral part in helping to set this standard, by handling all of the traceability audits and inspecting the containers of honey imported into the U.S. as registered under the True Source Honey initiative.

The launch was attended by several Government Dignitaries, Diplomats and Important Industry personalities. Shree S Dave, Chairman of Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) was present as the Guest of Honor and the function was presided over by Shree Ashok Sinha, former Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries.

Intertek is a leading provider of quality and safety solutions serving a wide range of industries around the world, providing audit, inspection, testing, and quality assurance and certification options. It has a network of more than 1,000 laboratories and offices and 30,000 people in over 100 countries around the world. Mr. Rajesh Saigal, Managing Director, Intertek India said on the occasion, “Intertek is very pleased that True Source Honey chose our expertise. We look forward to applying our skill to ensure that the complete honey supply chain is protected.”

Besides Intertek, Grant Thornton, one of World’s leading audit, tax and advisory firms, has been exclusively appointed by True Source Honey, LLC (TSH) for the purpose of conducting Financial Audit for companies interested in applying for TSH certification in India. Mr. Mehra, Director, Grant Thornton India said, “The purpose of the Audit will be to determine that the honey of Indian origin only is exported as “Product of India” to the United States.”

“We are pleased to become the first True Source Honey (TSH) Certified entity in the World. As honey circumvention is a much discussed issue all over the world today, this initiative was launched to ensure that the origin of the honey that is supplied – is certified by third party auditors. We are proud to receive this certificate from True Source Honey, LLC” – said, Mr. Kejriwal, MD, Kejriwal Bee Care India (P) Ltd.

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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.”

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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

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Top 10 Reasons to Avoid GMO Foods

Posted on 25 August 2011 by admin

Jeffrey Smith

The leading consumer advocate promoting healthier, non-GMO choices

Posted on 3:39 pm August 25, 2011

10 Reasons to Avoid GMOs

1. GMOs are unhealthy.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) urges doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets for all patients. They cite animal studies showing organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune system disorders, accelerated aging, and infertility. Human studies show how genetically modified (GM) food can leave material behind inside us, possibly causing long-term problems. Genes inserted into GM soy, for example, can transfer into the DNA of bacteria living inside us, and that the toxic insecticide produced by GM corn was found in the blood of pregnant women and their unborn fetuses.

Numerous health problems increased after GMOs were introduced in 1996. The percentage of Americans with three or more chronic illnesses jumped from 7% to 13% in just 9 years; food allergies skyrocketed, and disorders such as autism, reproductive disorders, digestive problems, and others are on the rise. Although there is not sufficient research to confirm that GMOs are a contributing factor, doctors groups such as the AAEM tell us not to wait before we start protecting ourselves, and especially our children who are most at risk.

The American Public Health Association and American Nurses Association are among many medical groups that condemn the use of GM bovine growth hormone, because the milk from treated cows has more of the hormone IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1)―which is linked to cancer.

2. GMOs contaminateforever.
GMOs cross pollinate and their seeds can travel. It is impossible to fully clean up our contaminated gene pool. Self-propagating GMO pollution will outlast the effects of global warming and nuclear waste. The potential impact is huge, threatening the health of future generations. GMO contamination has also caused economic losses for organic and non-GMO farmers who often struggle to keep their crops pure.

3. GMOs increase herbicide use.
Most GM crops are engineered to be “herbicide tolerant”―they deadly weed killer. Monsanto, for example, sells Roundup Ready crops, designed to survive applications of their Roundup herbicide.

Between 1996 and 2008, US farmers sprayed an extra 383 million pounds of herbicide on GMOs. Overuse of Roundup results in “superweeds,” resistant to the herbicide. This is causing farmers to use even more toxic herbicides every year. Not only does this create environmental harm, GM foods contain higher residues of toxic herbicides. Roundup, for example, is linked with sterility, hormone disruption, birth defects, and cancer.

4. Genetic engineering creates dangerous side effects.
By mixing genes from totally unrelated species, genetic engineering unleashes a host of unpredictable side effects. Moreover, irrespective of the type of genes that are inserted, the very process of creating a GM plant can result in massive collateral damage that produces new toxins, allergens, carcinogens, and nutritional deficiencies.

5. Government oversight is dangerously lax.
Most of the health and environmental risks of GMOs are ignored by governments’ superficial regulations and safety assessments. The reason for this tragedy is largely political. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for example, doesn’t require a single safety study, does not mandate labeling of GMOs, and allows companies to put their GM foods onto the market without even notifying the agency. Their justification was the claim that they had no information showing that GM foods were substantially different. But this was a lie. Secret agency memos made public by a lawsuit show that the overwhelming consensus even among the FDA’s own scientists was that GMOs can create unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects. They urged long-term safety studies. But the White House had instructed the FDA to promote biotechnology, and the agency official in charge of policy was Michael Taylor, Monsanto’s former attorney, later their vice president. He’s now the US Food Safety Czar.

6. The biotech industry uses “tobacco science” to claim product safety.

Biotech companies like Monsanto told us that Agent Orange, PCBs, and DDT were safe. They are now using the same type of superficial, rigged research to try and convince us that GMOs are safe. Independent scientists, however, have caught the spin-masters red-handed, demonstrating without doubt how industry-funded research is designed to avoid finding problems, and how adverse findings are distorted or denied.

7. Independent research and reporting is attacked and suppressed.
Scientists who discover problems with GMOs have been attacked, gagged, fired, threatened, and denied funding. The journal Nature acknowledged that a “large block of scientists . . . denigrate research by other legitimate scientists in a knee-jerk, partisan, emotional way that is not helpful in advancing knowledge.” Attempts by media to expose problems are also often censored.

8. GMOs harm the environment.

GM crops and their associated herbicides can harm birds, insects, amphibians, marine ecosystems, and soil organisms. They reduce bio-diversity, pollute water resources, and are unsustainable. For example, GM crops are eliminating habitat for monarch butterflies, whose populations are down 50% in the US. Roundup herbicide has been shown to cause birth defects in amphibians, embryonic deaths and endocrine disruptions, and organ damage in animals even at very low doses. GM canola has been found growing wild in North Dakota and California, threatening to pass on its herbicide tolerant genes on to weeds.

9. GMOs do not increase yields, and work against feeding a hungry world.
Whereas sustainable non-GMO agricultural methods used in developing countries have conclusively resulted in yield increases of 79% and higher, GMOs do not, on average, increase yields at all. This was evident in the Union of Concerned Scientists’ 2009 report Failure to Yield―the definitive study to date on GM crops and yield.

The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) report, authored by more than 400 scientists and backed by 58 governments, stated that GM crop yields were “highly variable” and in some cases, “yields declined.” The report noted, “Assessment of the technology lags behind its development, information is anecdotal and contradictory, and uncertainty about possible benefits and damage is unavoidable.” They determined that the current GMOs have nothing to offer the goals of reducing hunger and poverty, improving nutrition, health and rural livelihoods, and facilitating social and environmental sustainability.
On the contrary, GMOs divert money and resources that would otherwise be spent on more safe, reliable, and appropriate technologies.

10. By avoiding GMOs, you contribute to the coming tipping point of consumer rejection, forcing them out of our food supply.
Because GMOs give no consumer benefits, if even a small percentage of us start rejecting brands that contain them, GM ingredients will become a marketing liability. Food companies will kick them out. In Europe, for example, the tipping point was achieved in 1999, just after a high profile GMO safety scandal hit the papers and alerted citizens to the potential dangers. In the US, a consumer rebellion against GM bovine growth hormone has also reached a tipping point, kicked the cow drug out of dairy products by Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Dannon, Yoplait, and most of America’s dairies.

NOTE: As an additional motivation to avoid GMOs, you may wish to take a lesson from the animals. Eyewitness reports from around the world describe several situations where animals, when given a choice, avoid genetically modified food. These include cows, pigs, geese, elk, deer, raccoons, mice, rats, squirrels, chicken, and buffalo. We’re pretty sure the animals didn’t read the above 10 reasons.

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Asian Honey, Banned in Europe, Is Flooding U.S. Grocery Shelves

Posted on 15 August 2011 by admin

Asian Honey, Banned in Europe, Is Flooding U.S. Grocery Shelves

FDA has the laws needed to keep adulterated honey off store shelves but does little, honey industry says.

BY ANDREW SCHNEIDER | AUG 15, 2011

 

A third or more of all the honey consumed in the U.S. is likely to have been smuggled in from China and may be tainted with illegal antibiotics and heavy metals.  A Food Safety News investigation has documented that millions of pounds of honey banned as unsafe in dozens of countries are being imported and sold here in record quantities.
And the flow of Chinese honey continues despite assurances from the Food and Drug Administration and other federal officials that the hundreds of millions of pounds reaching store shelves were authentic and safe following the widespread arrests and convictions of major smugglers over the last two years.
Thumbnail image for honeycomb406.jpgExperts interviewed by Food Safety Newssay some of the largest and most long-established U.S. honey packers are knowingly buying mislabeled, transshipped or possibly altered honey so they can sell it cheaper than those companies who demand safety, quality and rigorously inspected honey.
“It’s no secret that the honey smuggling is being driven by money, the desire to save a couple of pennies a pound,” said Richard Adee, who is the Washington Legislative Chairman of the American Honey Producers Association.
“These big packers are still using imported honey of uncertain safety that they know is illegal because they know their chances of getting caught are slim,” Adee said.
Food safety investigators from the European Union barred all shipments of honey from India because of the presence of lead and illegal animal antibiotics.  Further, they found an even larger amount of honey apparently had been concocted without the help of bees, made from artificial sweeteners and then extensively filtered to remove any proof of contaminants or adulteration or indications of precisely where the honey actually originated.
An examination of international and government shipping tallies, customs documents and interviews with some of North America’s top honey importers and brokers documented the rampant honey laundering and that a record amount of the Chinese honey was being purchased by major U.S. packers.
Food Safety News contacted Suebee Co-Op, the nation’s oldest and largest honey packer and seller, for a response to these allegations and to learn where it gets its honey. The co-op did not respond to repeated calls and emails for comment. Calls and emails to other major honey sellers also were unreturned.
EU Won’t Accept Honey from India
Much of this questionable honey was officially banned beginning June 2010 by the 27 countries of the European Union and others. But on this side of the ocean, the FDA checks few of the thousands of shipments arriving through 22 American ports each year.
According to FDA data, between January and June, just 24 honey shipments were stopped from entering the country. The agency declined to say how many loads are inspected and by whom.
However, during that same period, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that almost 43 million pounds of honey entered the U.S. Of that, the Department of Commerce said 37.7 million pounds came from India, the same honey that is banned in the EU because it contained animal medicine and lead and lacked the proper paperwork to prove it didn’t come from China.
“There are still millions of pounds of transshipped Chinese honey coming in the U.S. and it’s all coming now from India and Vietnam and everybody in the industry knows that,” said Elise Gagnon, president of Odem International, a worldwide trading house that specializes in bulk raw honey.
The FDA says it has regulations prohibiting foods banned in other countries from entering the U.S. However, the agency said last month that it “would not know about honey that has been banned from other countries …”
Adee called the FDA’s response “absurd.” He said the European ban against Indian honey is far from a secret.
“Why are we the dumping ground of the world for something that’s banned in all these other countries?” asked Adee, who, with 80,000 bee colonies in five states, is the country’s largest honey producer.
“We’re supposed to have the world’s safest food supply but we’re letting in boatloads of this adulterated honey that all these other countries know is contaminated and FDA does nothing.”
The food safety agency said it’s doing the best it can with existing resources and will do more when the newly passed Food Safety Modernization Act is up and running.
Where Is Our Honey Coming From?
honeypot350.jpgThe U.S. consumes about 400 million pounds of honey a year – about 1.3 pounds a person. About 35 percent is consumed in homes, restaurants and institutions. The remaining 65 percent is bought by industry for use in cereals, baked goods, sauces, beverages and hundreds of different processed foods.
However, the USDA says U.S. beekeepers can only supply about a 48 percent of what’s needed here.  The remaining 52 percent comes from 41 other countries.
Import Genius, a private shipping intelligence service, searched its databases of all U.S. Customs import data for Food Safety News and provided a telling breakdown:
- The U.S. imported 208 million pounds of honey over the past 18 months.

- About 48 million pounds came from trusted and usually reliable suppliers in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Uruguay and Mexico.

- Almost 60 percent of what was imported – 123 million pounds – came from Asian countries – traditional laundering points for Chinese honey. This included 45 million pounds from India alone.

“This should be a red flag to FDA and the federal investigators. India doesn’t have anywhere near the capacity – enough bees – to produce 45 million pounds of honey. It has to come from China,” said Adee, who also is a past president of the American Honey Producers Association.

Why Is Chinese Honey Considered Dangerous?
Chinese honeymakers began using various illegal methods to conceal the origin of their honey beginning in about 2001. That’s when the U.S. Commerce Department imposed a stiff tariff – as much as $1.20 a pound — on Chinese honey to dissuade that country from dumping its dirt-cheap product on the American market and forcing hundreds of U.S. beekeepers out of the business.
About the same time, Chinese beekeepers saw a bacterial epidemic of foulbrood disease race through their hives at wildfire speed, killing tens of millions of bees. They fought the disease with several Indian-made animal antibiotics, including chloramphenicol. Medical researchers found that children given chloramphenicol as an antibiotic are susceptible to DNA damage and carcinogenicity. Soon after, the FDA banned its presence in food.

“We need imported honey in this country.  But, what we don’t need is circumvented honey, honey that is mislabeled as to country of origin, honey that is contaminated with antibiotics or heavy metal,” said Ronald Phipps, co-chairman of the International Committee for Promotion of Honey and Health and head of the major honey brokerage firm CPNA International.
Heavy Metal Contamination
The Chinese have many state-of-the-art processing plants but their beekeepers don’t have the sophistication to match. There are tens of thousands of tiny operators spread from the Yangtze River and coastal Guangdong and Changbai to deep inland Qinghai province.  The lead contamination in some honey has been attributed to these mom-and-pop vendors who use small, unlined, lead-soldered drums to collect and store the honey before it is collected by the brokers for processing.
The amount of chloramphenicol found in honey is miniscule. Nevertheless, public health experts say it can cause a severe, even fatal reaction — aplastic anemia — in about one out of 30,000 people.
European health authorities found lead in honey bought from India in early 2010. A year later, the Indian Export Inspection Council tested 362 samples of honey being exported and reported finding lead and at least two antibiotics in almost 23 percent of the test samples.
The discovery of lead in the honey presents a more serious health threat.
“The presence of heavy metals is a totally different story, because heavy metals are accumulative, they are absorbed by organs and are retained. This is especially hazardous for children,” Phipps said.
All the bans, health concerns and criticism of Indian honey hasn’t slowed the country’s shipping of honey to the U.S. and elsewhere. In February, India’s beekeepers and its government agricultural experts said that because of weather and disease in some colonies, India’s honey crop would be late and reduced by up to 40 percent.
Yet two months later, on April 15 in Ludhiana, officials of Kashmir Apiaries Exports and Little Bee Group, India’s largest honey exporters, posed for newspaper photographers in front of “two full honey trains” carrying 180 20-foot cargo carriers with a record 8.8 million pounds of honey headed for the export ports.
“They’re clearly transshipping honey from China and I can’t believe that they are so brazen about it to put it right on the front page of a newspaper,” honey producer Adee said.

Data received by FSN from an international broker in India on Friday showed that within the last month 16 shipments – more than 688,000 pounds – of honey went from the Chinese port of Nansha in Guangzhou China to Little Bee Honey in India.  The U.S. gurus of international shipping documents – Import Genius – scanned its database and found that just last week six shipments of the honey went from Little Bee to the port of Los Angeles. The honey had the same identification numbers of the honey shipped from China.

Government investigators in the U.S. and Europe and customs brokers in India told FSN that previous successful criminal investigations had proven that the Chinese honey suppliers and their brokers are masterful at falsifying shipping documents.

Each of the shipments – whether from China or India – bore an identical FDA inspection number. However, FDA’s Division of Import Operations did not respond to requests for information on how and where it issued that FDA number.

Food Safety News left several messages for the Little Bee Group to discuss the source of their honey and how they were breaking records when the rest of India’s honey producers were months behind schedule. None of the phone messages or emails were returned.

Other major Indian honey exporters insist that India gets no honey from China. However, Liu Peng-fei and Li Hai-yan of the prestigious Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences disagree. In a scientific study of the impact the global financial crisis is having on China’s honey industry, the apiculture scientists wrote that to avoid the “punitive import tariffs” Chinese enterprises “had to export to the United States via India or Malaysia in order to avoid high tariffs…”

Why Hasn’t Smuggling Stopped?
The massive honey laundering scams that plagued the U.S. for more than a decade – the transshipment of Chinese honey to a second country before being reshipped to the U.S. — were presumably given a deathblow over the past two years.
During that period, Justice Department lawyers and Department of Homeland Security and FDA investigators launched a series of indictments and arrests of 23 German, Chinese, Taiwanese and American corporate officials and their nine international companies.
They were charged with conspiracy to smuggle more than $70 million worth of Chinese honey into the U.S. by falsely declaring that the honey originated from countries other than China. That allowed them to avoid paying stiff anti-dumping charges imposed on China.
It was an impressive series of complex busts spanning three continents, and instant fodder for a great whodunit novel. But, according to some of North America’s largest producers and importers of honey, the arrests bombed as a deterrent.
“There are still millions of pounds of transshipped Chinese honey coming into the U.S.A. and it’s all coming now from India and Vietnam. Everybody in the industry knows that,” said Odem International’s Gagnon.
How Do They Get Away With It?
When it comes to honey laundering, the crooks are always trying to stay one step ahead of the criminal investigators.

honeybarrels-inside.jpg

For example, when customs agents discovered that China usually shipped its honey in blue steel drums, the exporters quickly painted the drums green.
It took investigators a while to learn that often — while the drums were in port or en route at sea — the Chinese shuffled drum labels and phony paperwork showing country of origin as places that didn’t have an onerous anti-dumping tariff. The Russian Honey Federation blew the whistle on the Chinese relabeling millions of pounds as coming from Russia.
After that scam became known, the felons then shipped Chinese honey to countries like Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and even Australia. There the honey was repacked, authentic local documents were issued and the honey was shipped on to the U.S. or elsewhere.
Another favorite con among Chinese brokers was to mix sugar water, malt sweeteners, corn or rice syrup, jaggery, barley malt sweetener or other additives with a bit of actual honey. In recent years, many shippers have eliminated the honey completely and just use thickened, colored, natural or chemical sweeteners labeled as honey.
However, sophisticated analysis that will match the pollen in honey to flowers from a specific geographic region is available at just two or three laboratories around the world.  There are also simpler, less expensive tests to detect the telltale presence of commercial sweeteners and other adulterants that are more readily available.
A laboratory in Bremen, Germany, founded a half century ago by German beekeepers, can accurately scan honey samples for flower pollen.   There is only one expert in the U.S. known to analyze pollen in honey to determine where it was actually grown and that would be at the Palygnology Laboratory at Texas A&M.  The lab was created and is run by Vaughn Bryant, a forensic palynologist and Professor of Anthropology.
Melissopalynology, or pollen analysis, has been used for years by geologists seeking evidence of ancient coastal areas – often sites of major oil deposits. Scientists tracing the origins of the Shroud of Turin have identified 61 different pollens on the cloth that could only have come from around Jerusalem.
Forensic scientists have used pollen identification to help solve murder, rapes, kidnapping and at least one espionage case. Now, at least in the labs in Texas and Germany, melissopalynologists use pollen to determine – with great accuracy – the geographic area where the bees foraged for the nectar.
“If they find, for example, pollen from flowers that grow in northern latitudes – like China – but it’s found in honey ostensibly produced in tropical countries – like India, Vietnam, Malaysia and the like – you know something’s rotten or illegal,” said CPNA International’s Phipps, who also produces a quarterly, international intelligence report that monitors the country-by-country supply of honey and everyone’s exports.
To avoid detection by concerned purchasers or criminal investigators, some Chinese producers in state-of-the-art processing plants pump the alleged honey, heated and under high pressure, through elaborate ceramic filters. This ultra-filtration removes or conceals all floral fingerprints and indicators of added sweeteners or contaminants.
“The Chinese have refined methods of masking their contaminated product by ultra-filtration so their honey seems perfect. But it’s not honey anymore. There’s no color.  There’s no flavor. There’s nothing.  So you take this perfect product, which could be confused with honey, and you blend it with real Indian honey,” Gagnon said.
“Everyone avoids tariffs because government agents cannot test to prove it’s from China.”

honeytesting-inside.jpgThe FDA says it has sent a letter to industry stating that the agency does not consider ultra-filtered honey to be honey.

“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,” said FDA press officer Tamara Ward.

“FDA is just not looking” was the answer that most honey brokers offered.  They added that the FDA doesn’t want to find it because then the agency would have to test for it, something it is incapable of doing in its existing laboratories.

Honey experts worry that new technologies will make detection of adulterants even more difficult.
At June’s conference of the Institute of Food Technologists in New Orleans, there were hundreds of Chinese vendors working in small clusters beneath bright red banners. They offered for sale almost any spice, food-processing substance or additives a food processor might want and promises of concocting anything else they could dream of. “All FDA approved,” they emphasized to potential clients.
One salesman quickly jerked back his business card when a reporter pulled out a tape recorder to capture the man’s promises offering a “nanoparticle sweetener for honey that cannot be detected.”
Does the FDA Care?
The U.S. Departments of Customs and Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement have dollar and cents issues to worry about because hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid taxes and anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese imports are circumvented by the honey laundering.
“These honey crimes are not a Republican or Democratic, Liberal or Conservative issue.  The country is being ripped off of millions and millions,” Phipps said.
Recent news releases by the border patrol and the FDA say they have developed an anti-smuggling strategy to identify and prevent smuggled foods from entering the United States and posing a threat to national security and consumer safety.
But at the field level, investigators with the two agencies and an agent with ICE’s Commercial Fraud Unit said the cooperation is more on paper then in practice and that the FDA continues to be the weak link. They say the FDA either doesn’t have the resources to properly do the job or is unwilling to commit them.
ICE and the border patrol can and do go after the honey launderers by enforcing the anti-dumping and tariff violation laws. But protecting consumers from dangerous honey, identifying it as adulterated and therefore illegal for importation, falls to the FDA. And many of its enforcement colleagues say the food safety agency doesn’t see this as a priority.
A Justice Department lawyer told Food Safety News that the FDA has all the legal authority and obligation it needs to halt the importation of tainted honey. He cited two sections of the agency’s regulations defining when food products are considered “adulterated.”
The regulations say: “Food is adulterated if it bears or contains a poisonous or deleterious substance which may render it injurious to health” and “damage or inferiority has been concealed.”
Those two factors pretty much sum up the health concerns that many have with the smuggled honey. But the honey industry and Congress can’t get the FDA to even come up with a legal definition of what honey is.
Eight years ago, America’s beekeepers and some honey packers petitioned FDA to issue an official definition of honey. Their concern was how to determine whether honey is bogus if there is no official standard to measure it against. The FDA did nothing.
Last Nov. 15, senators asked the food safety agency for the same thing. Again, nothing.
On Aug. 10, two members of the Senate Committee on Appropriations tried once more.
Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and John Hoeven (R-ND) urged the FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to issue the official definition.
Calling the lack of regulations “a food safety concern,” Gillibrand said a national standard of identity for honey is needed “to prevent unscrupulous importers from flooding the market with misbranded honey products…”
An investigator in FDA’s import section explained the agency’s refusal to develop an official definition to FSN. “If we had an official description of honey then FDA would have to inspect everything we’re importing to ensure it’s legal. That’s the last thing we want to do,” he said, but would not allow his name to be used because he wasn’t authorized to make public statements.
How Do You Stop The Illegal Flow?
Gagnon and four other major players in the honey industry have formed a voluntary group calledTrue Source Honey.  They hope it will eventually expand into an international, industry-wide program to certify the origin and quality of honey.
“We need an origin traceability program, a professional audit of both the exporters and the packers so those buying and selling honey can ensure its authenticity and quality,” said Gagnon, who is the group’s vice chairman.
Meanwhile, it’s rumored that the feds are increasing their surveillance of the large U.S. importers and not too soon, Adee and others say.
Adee likens the honey laundering to a huge auto chop shop, where the police occasionally arrest the low-level car thieves but others pop up to continue supplying the criminal operation, which authorities never go after.
“That’s what’s happening here,” Adee explained. “ICE and the other investigators have arrested a handful of the middle men, the brokers who supply the honey packers, but haven’t gone after the big operators buying the phony foreign honey.”
Adee and others interviewed by Food Safety News say there are 12 major honey packers in the U.S. and four or five that are involved with the bulk of illegal trade.
“We know who they are,” he said. “Everyone in the industry knows. If these packers are allowed to continue buying this possibly tainted but clearly illegal smuggled honey, the importers will always find a way to get it to them.”

———-

Editor’s Note:  Andrew Schneider, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, writes for Food Safety News and The Food Watchdog.com

 

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Rawesome Foods Raid – SWAT Poured Out RAW Milk!

Posted on 03 August 2011 by admin

Rawesome Foods raid!

Cops poured out the milk!

(2683 views) Uploaded 8/6/2011 12:42:04 PM by HealthRanger

http://www.naturalnews.tv/v.asp?v=C39F34B67FDA804B2D94CD9BBA3F0A0A

Video Information

From the Rawesome Foods raid in Venice, California, this video is from the day of the raid and reveals how the government terrorists poured all the raw milk down the drain! Video courtesy of RealFoodRights.com

Video Keywords: food    health freedom    tyranny    raw milk    raw dairy    food freedom    rawesome foods   government raids

 

Health Ranger: ‘FDA fights organic farmers’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbE3SfvuL1g

 

 

(Rawesome Foods Raid) What Happened – by an employee


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjmYOoa14XY

Rawesome Raid August 3, 2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lI1gvPmA_c8

 

Massive public protest announced against government-sponsored terrorism of Rawesome Foods in California

(NaturalNews) As promised, a massive public protest is now being announced to give the members of the public an opportunity to voice their outrage against today’s arrest of three raw foods advocates who are all being charged with conspiracy.

The protest will be held at the LA County Courthouse located at:
210 West Temple, Division 30
Los Angeles

Arrive there at 7:45 am to join the protest, which needs to be in full swing early, because the court hearing for James is scheduled at 8:30.

Please keep your protests non-violent in nature and bring your signs, shirts and more. LA newspapers and media have already indicated they will be on scene. NaturalNews video journalists will also be on the scene filming whatever goes down. Videos will be posted on www.NaturalNews.TV

Bring your own cameras, too, and record your own photos and videos. Please post on NaturalNews.TV and we will likely link to your video in upcoming coverage of this event.

We apologize for the very short notice of this public protest, but we are publishing details about this story as quickly as we can. The story is breaking big and has already reached millions of listeners on the Alex Jones Show (www.InfoWars.com) and millions of readers through the Drudge Report (www.DrudgeReport.com), which has linked to NaturalNews as the breaking news source for this story.

Once the mainstream media starts covering this story, they will twist it around and LIE about it as they always do. NPR already did a hatchet job on this group following a previous raid. Only independent media (like NaturalNews) can be trusted to bring you the honest story on this without some corporate or government agenda.

There are already misinformed accusations that Rawesome Foods was not licensed as a retail business. But that’s incorrect information: Rawesome Foods is a private buying club and not a retail business that’s open to the general public. People can’t just walk in off the street and shop there like a regular grocery store. Thus, Rawesome does not have to be licensed like a regular grocery store. They are a private buyer’s club.

What went down in Venice, California today was clearly an act of government-sponsored terrorism against innocent citizens who are only “guilty” of selling healthful foods that are in huge demand by happy, healthy members (customers). That the selling of healthful raw milk cannot even be tolerated by the thuggish, corrupt government criminals who run the state of California (and the federal government) today is a powerful statement of just how much freedom we’ve already lost… and how hard we’re all going to have to fight back against tyranny to restore our basic food freedoms.

Watch NaturalNews for more developments on this story, and thank you for spreading the word about this latest assault on food freedom in America.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/033223_Rawesome_Foods_public_protest.html

 

“Rawesome” Raw Milk Farm Raided…Again

Rawesome Foods Co-Op

It has been reported this morning (August 3rd, 2011), that raw milk farm “Rawesome” in Venice, California has been raided once again by members of the SWAT team. With guns drawn, two of the owners arrested, and over $10,000 worth of raw milk dumped out, the freedoms of Americans are diminishing. There is, however, something we can do about it.

Rawesome Raid – Based on Public Health?

The excuse given for these absurd raids (that honestly casts embarrassment over the police force) is that raw milk is a health threat that causes listeria, e. coli disease and death. This certainly can be true for raw milk — but only if you are drinking raw milk from animals that are being raised in inhumane and poor conditions.

The actual excuse for the arrests and the raids have not yet been officially stated. Stay tuned for that news.

Clean, fresh raw milk from grass fed, free ranging animals, however, does not need to be pasteurized. Milk you purchase from a traditional grocery store does require pasteurization, as the farmers who raise these cows raise them in poor, dirty and sanitation conditions. Pasteurization is the answer for man’s dirty mistakes! Nature does not need to be cleaned, and man does not know more than nature.

Raw Milk Proven Safer than Other Commonly Sold Foods

Recent data from researcher Dr. Ted Beals, M.D., shows that between 1999 through 2010 illnesses resulting in raw milk consumption totaled to around462, which is about 42 illnesses per year. Out of the 47.8 million food borne illnesses each year from foods such as raw meat (which is readily available at every grocery store), peanut butter and spinach, it is very curious as to why raw milk is targeted so violently.

Up to 2011, it is estimated that close to 10 million individuals drink raw milk as its popularity rises. More and more individuals are starting to realize and wake up to the fact that are rights as citizens, when it comes to what we consume or inject in our bodies, are slowly being taken away.

We are supposed to be free. We are supposed to be able to make informed decisions on our health. With the majority of the population overweight, diabetic and prediabetic, shouldn’t we focus more attention on the foods that are actually threatening the health of the American population? Shouldn’t we be performing raids on sugary cereals that surpress immune function and accelerate cancer growth, learning disorders and blood sugar instability?

Read Natural News’ article on the illegal actions of the SWAT members and the raid.

http://thehealthyadvocate.com/2011/08/03/rawesome-raw-milk-farm-raided-again/

 

Breaking news: Multi-agency armed raid hits Rawesome Foods, Healthy Family Farms for selling raw milk and cheese

(NaturalNews) This is a NaturalNews exclusive breaking new report. Please credit NaturalNews.com. A multi-agency SWAT-style armed raid was conducted this morning by helmet-wearing, gun-carrying enforcement agents from the LA County Sheriff’s Office, the FDA, the Dept. of Agriculture and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control).

This story is now being followed and widely reported on InfoWars (www.InfoWars.com) and the Drudge Report (www.DrudgeReport.com). See updates below…

Rawesome Foods, a private buying club offering wholesome, natural raw milk and raw cheese products (among other wholesome foods) is founded by James Stewart, a pioneer in bringing wholesome raw foods directly to consumers through a buying club. James was followed from his private residence by law enforcement, and when he entered his store, the raid was launched.

Law enforcement demanded that all customers (members) of the store vacate the premises, then they demanded to know how much cash James had at the store. When James explained the amount of cash he had at the store — which is used to purchase product for selling there — agents demanded to know why he had such an amount of cash and where it came from.

James was handcuffed, was never read his rights and was stuffed into an unmarked car. While agents said they would leave behind a warrant, no one has yet had any opportunity to even see if such a warrant exists or if it is a complete warrant.

Law enforcement then proceeded to destroy the inventory of the story by pouring the milk down the drain and / or confiscating raw cheese and fresh produce for destruction. Video now posted at NaturalNews.TV: http://www.naturalnews.tv/v.asp?v=A…

Note to NaturalNews readers: We believe this was an ILLEGAL raid being conducted mob-style by government thugs who respect no law and no rights. This is an all-out war by the government against people who try to promote healthy raw and living foods.

James is now being held at the Pacific division police department at Centinela and Culver in Los Angeles. He is being held at $123,000 bail with no possibility of using bail bonds. Law enforcement has demanded that if he comes up with the money to cover bail, he must disclose to them all the sources of that money. (This is an illegal demand!)

Massive public protests are needed to teach these criminal law enforcement agencies that they cannot illegally arrest and persecute individuals merely for buying and selling raw milk and cheese. We are organizing a public protest day in cooperation with James. Please watch NaturalNews for an announcement of that. Story is developing…

Right now, James needs help raising money with his legal defense needs. Our non-profit Consumer Wellness Center is currently serving as the collection point for donations. You may donate right now at www.ConsumerWellness.org (100% of the donations go directly to James’ legal defense needs, the Consumer Wellness Center keeps nothing).

See this video of James Stewart talking about his farm:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foKg…

Story on InfoWars.com:

http://www.infowars.com/raw-food-ra…

Here’s background on Healthy Family Farms which was also targeted in the raid:

Healthy Family Farms in Santa Paula, California:

“Healthy Family Farms is a sustainable, pasture-based farming operation. We raise all our livestock on pasture. We raise all of our animals from birth. We do not feed any of our animals soy, choosing instead to feed animals as they are designed to be fed. This results in healthy, sturdy animals needing no hormones, antibiotics, or other artificial “enhancements.” We harvest our animals humanely by hand before they are delivered to the farmers markets. We never freeze our products. In addition to farmer’s markets sales, we have an active CSA, which offers discounts to our valued members.”

Watch NaturalNews.com for more breaking news on this story. We are fed up with these illegal mob-style raids against the raw foods community! It is time to protest and fight back against tyranny!

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/033220_Rawesome_Foods_armed_raids.html

 

Rawesome Foods founder to be prosecuted under special environmental crimes unit in LA

(NaturalNews) Details are still sketchy on this, as we’re breaking this news straight from the front lines in the aftermath of the government raid on Rawesome Foods in Venice, California (http://www.naturalnews.com/033220_R…), but NaturalNews is now being told that the LA County District Attorney will not be prosecuting James Stewart and the other “conspirators” who were arrested yesterday for selling raw milk. Instead, a special “environmental crimes” prosecutor will reportedly be prosecuting the case, which now consists of 13 criminal charges, some of which are felony crimes.

NaturalNews has not yet learned the name of this special environmental prosecutor, but the explanation smacks of the new environmental police who have been promoted through various propaganda outlets as being upstanding protect-the-Earth cops who arrest people for burning too much gas or using non-recyclable cups to drink beverages.

The issue of environmental police has been covered extensively by Alex Jones at InfoWars.com, where he refers to them as eco fascists. See this page to read more about how propaganda ads are being used to get people comfortable with the idea that “environmental crimes” should result in police slamming your face into the ground and handcuffing you:

http://www.infowars.com/audis-eco-f…

The videos on that page have been disabled, but here’s an alternate link of the green police Superbowl Ad:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wq58

(Astonishing ad. You MUST watch it.)

The real aim of the green police agenda

Far from being a campaign merely to protect the Earth (which would be great if it were true), the new “green police” agenda is now being used as a way to terrorize innocent Americans as we’re seeing right now with Rawesome Foods. What’s especially frustrating about all this is that some of the Al Gore followers who largely supported the idea of the green police are, in fact, the very same people who are now being targeted for advocating raw milk. They had been misled, sadly.

You see, eco fascism was never really about protecting the planet and promoting sustainable living. It was always about enslaving the population, destroying health freedom, and mandating total corporate conformity at gunpoint. That’s the lesson we’re now learning from the Rawesome Foods raids, where LA County Sheriffs literally poured thousands of dollars worth of wholesome raw milk down the drain and arrested the buying club owner who will be prosecuted as by a special environmental prosecutor.

For the record, I’m a huge advocate of green living, renewable energy, and green consumer practices — but NOT at the cost of surrendering our Constitutional freedoms to a group of government badge-wearing eco terrorists who raid our raw milk clubs and charge people with conspiracy crimes for “mislabeling cheese.” I believe in solar power, I raise my own chickens and grow a portion of my own food NOT because Al Gore told me to, but because it just makes common sense in today’s unpredictable world to be prepared for food supply disruptions and power grid failures.

I try to minimize my eco-footprint on the planet not because some bureaucracy forces me to, but because I want to support the long-term continuation of sustainable life on our planet. Yes, I’m “green” in my daily practices, and at the same time I’m strongly invested in the powerful ideas of liberty and freedom for individuals. “Green” should never mean we have to mean we give up our freedoms. Forcing people to “go green” at the end of a gun isn’t acceptable. It must be done through education and awareness.

Green cops are no better than regular corrupt cops

It’s very clear to me that much of the political talk about saving the planet and going green was really just a campaign to encourage people to surrender their freedoms to yet another tyrannical enforcement bureaucracy that will abuse its power just like every other government agency abuses its power. “Green police” is just another excuse to put tens of thousands of new badge-wearing power trippers on the streets who will terrorize innocent citizens.

And that’s really, really sad, because I think the core idea of “going green” in our day-to-day lives is extremely valuable and valid. We should stop pouring toxic chemicals down the drain. We should collect rainwater and drink that instead of drinking toxic city water. And for that matter, our own government should stop dumping toxic fluoride chemicals into the water supply in the first place!

Meanwhile, the real environmental threats to our planet — such as the Fukushima meltdowns, the toxic chemicals produced by Big Pharma, and the DNA contamination of our planet with GMOs — remains totally ignored. That’s how this game always works: The big corporate criminals run free while the little people are persecuted in the name of “green.”

How insane is it, really, that this raw milk and cheese buyer’s club is now being prosecuted by the very same people who were given power by the green police movement?

All I can say is, beware of creating new police in any form, because when you create police, military or political forces that have power of your lives, they will ALWAYS abuse that power. Eventually, every bureaucracy or institution becomes totally corrupted by corporate influence, and then it no longer serves the people but the corporatocracy that really runs the show.

Notice that all the wealthy elite who pay no corporate taxes and fly around in private jets aren’t being targeted for arrest by the green police? There’s a reason for that. The whole campaign is designed to muzzle the little guy and remind the slaves that they’re really just slaves.

Pay attention, SLAVE. Drink your dead pasteurized milk, take your psychotropic drugs, gulp down your fluoridated water and shut the hell up. You’re under the control of the new eco fascists now, and it’s no longer just talk. It’s all coming to a farm near you.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/033233_green_police_environmental_crimes.html

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Court rules Organic Farmers Can SUE Conventional GMO Farmers whose Pesticides ‘Trespass’ and Contaminate Their Fields

Posted on 03 August 2011 by admin

(NaturalNews) Purveyors of conventional and genetically-modified (GM) crops — and the pesticides and herbicides that accompany them — are finally getting a taste of their own legal medicine. Minnesota’sStar Tribunehas reported that the Minnesota Court of Appeals recently ruled that a large organic farm surrounded by chemical-laden conventional farms can seek damages for lost crops, as well as lost profits, caused by the illegal trespassing of pesticides and herbicides on its property.

Oluf and Debra Johnson’s 1,500-acreorganicfarm in Stearns County, Minn., has repeatedly been contaminated by nearby conventional and GMOfarmssince the couple started it in the 1990s. A localpesticidecooperative known as Paynesville Farmers Union (PFU), which is near the farm, has been cited at least four times for violating pesticidelaws, and inadvertently causing damage to the Johnson’s farm.

The first time it was realized thatpesticideshad drifted onto the Johnson’s farm in 1998, PFU apologized, but did not agree to pay for damages. As anyone with an understanding of organic practices knows, even a small bit ofcontaminationcan result in having to plow under that season’s crops, forgetprofits, and even lose the ability to groworganic cropsin the same field for at least a couple years.

The Johnson’s let the first incident slide. But after the second, third, and fourth times, they decided that enough was enough. Following the second pesticide drift in 2002, the Johnson’s filed a complaint with the Minnesota Agriculture Department, which eventually ruled that PFU had illegally sprayedchemicalson windy days, which led to contamination of the Johnson’s organiccrops.

PFU settled with the Johnson’s out of court, and the Johnson’s agreed to sell their tainted products as non-organics for a lower price, and pull the fields from production for three years in order to bring them back up to organic standards. But PFU’s inconsiderate spraying habits continued, with numerous additional incidents occurring in 2005, 2007, and 2008, according to theStar Tribune.

After enduring much hardship, the Johnson’s finally ended up suing PFU in 2009 for negligence and trespass, only to receive denial from the district court that received the case. But after appealing, the Johnson’s received favor from the Appeals Court, which ruled that particulate matter, including pesticides,herbicides, and even GM particulates, that contaminates nearby fields is, in fact, consideredillegaltrespass, and is subject to the same laws concerning other forms of trespass.

In a similar case, a California-based organic farm recently won a $1 millionlawsuitfiled against a conventional farm whose pesticides spread through fog from several miles away, and contaminated its fields. Jacobs Farm / Del Cobo’s entire season’sherbcrop had to be discarded as a result, and the court that presided over the case acknowledged and agreed that the polluters must be held responsible (http://organicfood.einnews.com/arti…).

Precedent has now been set fororganic farmersto sue biotechnology companies whose GMOs contaminate their crops

The stunning victories of both the Johnson’s and Jacob’s Farm / Del Cobo against their chemical-polluting neighbors is huge, in that it represents a new set legal precedent for holding conventional, factory farming operations responsible for the damage their systems cause to other farms. And with this new precedent set, many more organicfarmers, for instance, can now begin suingGMOfarmers for both chemical and genetic pollution that drifts onto their farms.

ManyNaturalNewsreaders will recall the numerous incidents involving lawsuits filed byMonsantoagainst non-GMO farms whose crops were inadvertently contaminated by GM material. In many of these cases, the defendants ended up becoming bankrupted by Monsanto, even though Monsanto’s patented materials were the trespassers at fault.

Be sure to check out the extensive and very informative report compiled by the Center for Food Safety (CFS) entitledMonsanto vs. U.S. Farmersfor a complete history of Monsanto’s war against traditional American agriculture:http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/…

But it appears that the tables are now turning. Instead of Monsanto winning against organic farmers, organic farmers can now achieve victory against Monsanto. In other words, farmers being infringed upon by the drifting of GM material into their fields now have a legal leg to stand on in the pursuit of justice against Monsanto and the other biotechnology giants whose “frankencrops” are responsible for causing widespread contamination of the Americanfoodsupply.

Genetic traits are highly transmissible, whether it be through pollen transfer or seed spread, and organic andnon-GMOfarmers have every right to seek damages for illegal trespassing when such transmission takes place. It is expected that many more organic farms will step up and begin seeking justice and compensation for damage caused by crop chemicals, GM materials, and other harmful invaders.

For too long, Monsanto has been getting away with suing farmers whose crops have become contaminated by Monsanto’s patented genetic traits and chemical materials, and winning. Thankfully, the justice system seems to now recognize the severe error in this, and is now beginning to rightfully hold polluters and trespassers responsible. Monsanto, your days are numbered.

Sources for this story include:

http://www.startribune.com/local/12…

Learn more:http://www.naturalnews.com/033216_GMO_contamination_lawsuits.html#ixzz1avVo1iIi

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