Tag Archive | "Monsanto"

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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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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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Mexico to Expand GMO Corn Planting-group

Posted on 19 September 2011 by admin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Honey made near Monsanto crops must get EU check, court says

Posted on 07 September 2011 by admin

Wed, 7 Sep 2011 06:05:15

Beekeepers with hives close to fields of Monsanto Co. genetically modified corn must have their honey checked by regulators before selling it in the European Union, the region’s highest court said.EU rules require prior authorization before goods containing genetically modified organisms are marketed.

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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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Where’s The Outcry To Stop GMO Grass Seed?

Posted on 18 August 2011 by admin

Announced by the United States Department Agriculture back on the afternoon of July 1 — when most people were shopping for beer and burgers for the long holiday weekend — the word that the government was allowing Scotts Miracle Gro to further contaminate our lawns SHOULD HAVE BEEN front-page news. The story about the world’s largest retailer of legal lawn poisons being handed a license to sell even more Roundup SHOULD HAVE been the top story for whomever was filling in for Brian Williams that night.

Instead, the year’s most shocking environmental story was relegated to the blogosphere and, to his credit, Andrew Pollack at the New York Times.

THE BACKGROUND

It might sound like hyperbole to put this story ahead of, say, the epic drought, or the decline of the oceans or this year’s earlier bombshell that the federal government was going to allow genetically modified alfalfa. Certainly all those issues are having more impact today and tomorrow. But what about next year and beyond when Miracle Gro will be allowed to sell Roundup Ready lawn grass — unless we all stand up and do something about it?

This “Miracle GMO” lawn seed story has been unfolding for more than a decade, ever since Scotts Miracle Gro revealed its plans to test its new genetically modified creeping bentgrass in Oregon in 2001. Despite the protests of the environmental community back then, Scotts was allowed to plant test GMO seed, which then predictably escaped the confines of the trial farms and cross-pollinated with other related grasses in the wild. Since pollen from grasses typically rides the wind from plant to plant, this kind of “gene flow” is unavoidable.

The government had the good sense five years ago to block Scotts’ creeping bentgrass experiment gone amok, and even fined the company several hundred thousand dollars for letting the untamable cow out of the proverbial barn. Astory out late last year showed that the government is still spending lots of time and money running from ditch to ditch in the Pacific Northwest to dig up Scotts’ runaway grass.

Back then, in November of 2010, however, Scotts sounded strangely undaunted by the government’s slap on the wrist — as if the chemical giant knew something we didn’t. This year, on July 1, the end game was revealed: the bullish company had convinced the impotent matadors at the USDA to wave the towel, step aside and let the mutant cash cow rush past.

Make no mistake, this deal for Scotts is potentially huge. Whereas bentgrass is grown on golf course greens and a few home lawns in the Northwest, Kentucky bluegrass is grown virtually everywhere in the temperate climates of North America. North of the line that runs from DC in the East to San Francisco in the West, bluegrass is the predominant species on our soccer and football fields, on our home lawns and, in fact, in many farmer’s fields where livestock graze. In the view of Jim Hagedorn, the CEO at Miracle Gro, all that bluegrass will be his one day, to be sprayed several times a year by the toxic weed-killer known as Roundup — which is already his to sell, by the way, given his long-standing retail agreement with the manufacturer, Monsanto.

WHY THIS IS SO BAD . . .

Entire books have been written about the concerns related to genetically modified plants, but this GMO lawn issue essentially boils down to two major factors: 1) undoubtedly more spraying of Roundup, which has been linked to everything from cancer to birth defects and beyond; and 2) the modified bluegrass will most assuredly escape lawns and soccer fields and jump to fields where animals forage. The USDA’s secretary of agriculture, Tom Vilsack, admitted as much in a letter he wrote to Scotts essentially asking the company to self-regulate its latest product.

This comes from the man in charge of protecting our food supply:

“The USDA recognizes that if this GE variety were to be commercially released, producers wishing to grow non-GE Kentucky bluegrass will likely have concerns related to gene flow between the GE variety and non-GE Kentucky bluegrass. Exporters of Kentucky bluegrass seed, growers of non-GE Kentucky bluegrass seed, and those involved in the use of non-GE Kentucky bluegrass in pastures will likely have concerns about the loss of their ability to meet contractual obligations.

“USDA therefore strongly encourages Scotts to discuss these concerns with various stakeholders during these early stages of research and development of this GE Kentucky bluegrass variety and thereby develop appropriate and effective stewardship measures to minimize commingling and gene flow between GE and non-GE Kentucky bluegrass.”

Minimize commingling? That statement is simply beyond absurd. You’d have to build a wall as far and as high as the wind itself can blow if you want to stop genetically modified bluegrass from contaminating the bluegrass that’s growing all around us. Even if you would never even think of spraying Roundup on your own lawn when this mutant bluegrass inevitably shows up, you simply must understand that we’re setting ourselves up for the day when all of our animals are foraging on genetically modified material. The health implications of this — for the animals and for us — are predicted to be catastrophic by many scientists.

THE LEGAL ISSUES

Scotts deftly got around the existing laws that regulate genetic modification of plants and animals with clever legal maneuvering. Operating under The Federal Plant Pest Act of 1957, the USDA has had the power to restrict the introduction of organisms that might harm plants. It had used this power to regulate GMO crops until this July 1 announcement. The reasoning is that most GMO crops qualify as “plant pests” because the DNA from natural plant pathogens and microbial material — such as bacteria and fungi — had been the primary source of material used in the genetic engineering of various plants up to now.

Since Scotts had genetically engineered its bluegrass using genes taken from rice, corn and the Arabidopsis plant, from the mustard family, the company asked the USDA that its new GMO grass not be considered a plant pest under this 54-year-old law. The agency, shockingly or not, agreed.

The USDA’s other jurisdiction in this matter concerns invasive weeds. In other words, if a plant such as purple loosestrife or asiatic bittersweet shows that it roguishly moves where it’s unwanted, the USDA can play sheriff and place the plant on its Most Unwanted list. Folks can’t thereafter legally plant the stuff.

But since Scotts’ new mutant bluegrass hasn’t yet proven itself to be a weed, and existing bluegrass is not considered a weed, the USDA acquiesced to the position that it had no jurisdiction over Scotts’ new product.

To those of us in the environmental community, this is the same kind of legal wrangling that let O.J. and a certain mother walk free. It doesn’t, in other words, pass the common sense test. Scotts’ genetically modified Kentucky bluegrass will cross-pollinate with existing Kentucky bluegrass — there’s no way it won’t — but because of a legal loophole our government can’t, or won’t, do anything about it.

But that’s under existing laws. What about a new law that bans the genetic modification of plants that are wind pollinated? Can we get a politician to propose it? What about a law that bans the genetic modification of perennial plants that come back year after year? That could score some political points. Genetic modification of annual plants like corn, soy and canola at least leaves open the possibility that we can put the cow back in barn. We could conceivably eliminate these annual crops when enough consensus evolves that these crops are bad. But in the case of perennial grasses like alfalfa and bluegrass, there’s no turning back — EVER.

We need to put our government to its best use and implore our Congressional leaders to do something about it. Immediately.

WHAT WE NEED TO DO

In this world of social media, the possibilities are almost endless. You can write Letters to the Editor, letters for your elected officials, or start your own blog. I did manage to find a Facebook page that’s taking dead aim at this issue, but as of this writing it has a whopping 28 “Likes:” http://www.facebook.com/pages/Boycott-Scotts-Miracle-Gmo-Products/234083576622986.

Another strategy would be to call Scotts and demand the company put an end to this nonsense. There’s no way in hell that Jim Hagedorn would ever voluntarily walk away from a dollar, but you can get the satisfaction of making your voice heard. Here’s the Scotts Miracle Gro number: 888-270-3714.

Then there’s Thomas Vilsack and Barack Obama. All of this potential tragedy has happened on their watch. Don’t stand for it: http://action.foodandwaterwatch.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=5450.

Source: safelawns.org

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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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Hungary destroys illegal GMO Corn fields, plans to make distributing GMO Seeds a felony

Posted on 23 July 2011 by admin

(NaturalNews) Earlier in the week it was announced that every crop field in Hungary that was known to contain genetically-modified (GM) corn has been plowed under and destroyed. According to reports, GMO seeds are illegal in Hungary, and authorities have been working hard to ensure that no illegal plantings or sales of GMO seeds take place in the nation.

Hungary’s deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development Lajos Bognar announced that, upon the recent discovery of roughly 1000 acres of illegalGM corn, all of these “frankencrops” were systematically destroyed. He also claimed that none of the pollen from thecropshad spread, and that thegovernmentwill continue to monitor seed distribution and crop plantings to ensure that no moreGMOsare planted.

A new Hungarian law enacted back in March stipulates that before any newseedsare introduced into the market, they must first undergo checks to make sure they are free of GMOs. Seed traders are also required to personally verify that all of their products are free of GMOs before distributing them, especially due to the fact that GMO seeds fromMonsantoand Pioneer, two large biotechnology companies, have been found unintentionally intermixed withnaturalseeds.

Unfortunately for many unwitting Hungarian farmers, thediscoveryof unknown GMOs in their fields came at a time when it was too late to replant new crops in time for this year’s harvest. And any potential compensation paid by Monsanto or Pioneer as a result of the damages will likely go to the creditors of the seed company that provided them, which is now under liquidation.

It was announced shortly just days after these events that the Hungarian government plans to make distributingGMOseeds a felony. Since as many as 6,200 acres of crop land may have already been contaminated by the unintentional or careless planting of GMO seeds, authorities are cracking down as best they know how to keep Hungary GMO-free.

Sources for this story include:

http://www.allaboutfeed.net/news/hu…

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/9…

Learn more:http://www.naturalnews.com/033098_Hungary_GMOs.html#ixzz1aw3Qaqv9

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Greenpeace Destroys GMO Wheat trial in Australia

Posted on 14 July 2011 by admin

Greenpeace’s own photo of their criminal activity in destroying the wheat trial in ACT, Australia

 

Greenpeace recently enlisted Vandana Shiva to protest on their behalf about GM wheat trialsunderway in Australia. Vandana Shiva endorses criminal arson as direct actionagainst scientific laboratories she disproves (explicit video interview).

Now Greenpeace — by their own self-acknowledged vandalism — are following Vandana Shiva (Sydney Peace [sic] Prize recipient)  into the cesspool of criminality.

.

Greenpeace destroys GM wheat
Jessica Nairn, ABC Radio 666 Canberra
Updated July 14, 2011 11:08:36

Greenpeace protesters have broken into a CSIRO experimental farm in Canberra to destroy a crop of genetically modified wheat.

In the early hours of this morning a group of Greenpeace protesters scaled the fence of the CSIRO experimental station at Ginninderra in the capital’s north.

Greenpeace says activists were wearing Hazmat protective clothing and were equipped with weed string trimmers.

They say the entire crop of genetically modified wheat has been destroyed.

About half a hectare of GM wheat is being grown on the site, as part of Australia’s first outdoor trials.

No genetically modified wheat strain had ever been approved for cropping in Australia before.
Last month the CSIRO received permission to conduct Australia’s first trial in which humans will eat GM wheat.

The wheat’s genes have been modified to lower the glycemic index and increase fibre to create a product which will improve bowel health and increase nutritional value.

Animal feeding trials of up to three months have been conducted, with human trials at least six months away.

Greenpeace says it has taken action because of concerns over health, cross-contamination and the secrecy surrounding the experiments.

Campaigner Laura Kelly says the Federal Government needs to put an end to testing GM wheat in Australia.

She says parts of the United States and many countries throughout Europe have already rejected the crop, and Australia should do the same.

“No one is looking after the health of Australians. Julia Gillard isn’t standing up to foreign GM countries to protect our daily bread so Greenpeace has to,” she said.

ACT Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury used to work for Greenpeace and says he is not surprised the group has taken such action.

“It’s always very controversial these sorts of actions, but you have to stand up for what you believe in sometimes,” he said.

“Greenpeace has clearly formed a view that the best way to both draw attention to this issue and to potentially protect the human food chain in Australia is to take this action.”

Mr Rattenbury says Greenpeace has a track record of breaking the law to highlight problems.
“I’ve certainly been involved in action in the past where Greenpeace has broken the law and that has been necessary to highlight what we’ve considered at the time to be a greater issue than perhaps a simple trespass,” he said.

ACT police have confirmed they are investigating but have not released any further information.

GM crop destroyed
BY STAFF REPORTERS (Canberra Times)
14 Jul, 2011 09:08 AM

…ABC radio reported that the four protesters scaled the fence at the secure facility in Ginninderra wearing full-body Hazmat protective clothing.

Greenpeace have confirmed at least two women scaled the fence, including one mother, Heather McCabe*, who is concerned about her family’s health.

“This GM wheat should never have left the lab,” said Ms McCabe.

“I’m sick of being treated like a dumb Mum* who doesn’t understand the science. As far as I’m concerned, my family’s health is too important. GM wheat is not safe, and if the Government can’t protect the safety of my family, then I will.”

Canberra Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury [Pundit note:former Greenpeacer staffer] this morning condoned the action on ABC Radio, citing Greenpeace’s long-held opposition to GM crops, and saying that sometimes the end justified the means.

The site was being used to grow some of the first outdoor GM wheat crops in Australia, and trials were due to begin on human consumption of the modified wheat.

“We had no choice but to take action to bring an end to this experiment,” said Greenpeace Food campaigner Laura Kelly in a release this morning.

“This is about the protection of our health, the protection of our environment and the protection of our daily bread.

“It is time Julia Gillard stood up to global biotech companies and protected Australia’s daily bread. With public health and our largest food export under threat, this is too big an issue for the Prime Minister to continue to ignore.”

Police are investigating the incident.

There is a  Heather McCabe on the Greenpeace pay-roll according to linked-in. The dumb Mum treatment thus may be related to her place of employment.
Updates:
Robust reader comment thread

BY EWA KRETOWICZ, CITY REPORTER, Canberra Times
15 Jul, 2011 06:57 AM
Scientists have lost a year of work and up to $300,000 after Greenpeace activists destroyed a crop of genetically modified wheat at Ginninderra.
The CSIRO has labelled the act a media stunt and will review its security procedures….
The GM trials were conducted under licences from the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator which imposes strict containment conditions.
CSIRO Plant Industry chief Jeremy Burdon said the wheat was modified to increase yield and improve nutritional value. He denied the government-funded science body had links to multinational biotechnology company Monsanto.
”I don’t see the grounds under which anyone should be concerned about the level of integrity the CSIRO [employs in its] experimental work,” Dr Burdon said.
He said the GM crops were safe.
”Gene silencing basically allows you to turn off genes and manipulate existing genes within a plant. It’s not like some GM products where you bring in a gene from a totally different species. In this case, you are simply taking the existing genes that are there and turning them on or off.”…
From: “Australian Academy of Science”
Subject: Media Release – GM Crop destruction unacceptable: Academy of Science
(14 July 2011)
GM Crop destruction unacceptable: Australian Academy of Science
The Australian Academy of Science today condemned last night’s destruction of a scientific trial of genetically modified crops at CSIRO in Canberra by Greenpeace activists.
“The Academy condemns this behaviour in the strongest possible terms,” said Academy President Professor Suzanne Cory.
“This kind of mindless vandalism against science is completely unacceptable.”
Professor Cory said scientists must be free to conduct their work without fear or favour.
“The trials are being conducted under licences from the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator [official Australian Government gene technology regulatory agency] which impose strict containment conditions,” Professor Cory said.
“These conditions have been deliberately breached by Greenpeace.
“For an organisation that claims to be dedicated to the protection of the environment, this is an unconscionable act.”
Australian Farmers React:
Thursday 14 July 2011

Press release Grain Producers of Australia

GRAIN PRODUCERS SLAM GREENPEACE STUNT

Australian Grain Producers have today called for Greenpeace to be reprimanded and appropriate

action taken, following the destruction of CSIRO wheat field trials in Canberra.

“The destruction of world class science is absolutely despicable.  Attacking the research that supports Australian farmers is the same as attacking Australian farmers and generally we are sick of it. It is irresponsible, unethical and in this case illegal” said Mr Peter Mailler, Chairman, Grain Producers Australia.

Mr Mailler said .”CSIRO is an iconic organisation, responsible for many of the agricultural advancements that enable Australian farmers to produce the cleanest, safest and healthiest food and fibre that feeds and clothes hundreds of millions of people across the globe every year ”

“GM wheat is seven to ten years away, CSIRO has been responsibly conducting GM wheat field trials at this site for fourteen years. Today’s Greenpeace actions are totally unacceptable,” he said.

“Plant science and research and development are critical to the future of our industry,” said Mr Andrew Weidemann, R&D spokesperson, Grain Producers Australia.

“Australian farmers are highly innovative and have continued to adapt to changes in climate, customer requirements and the global operating environment, but we cannot achieve ongoing production without new tools and technologies,” he said.

“Gene technology is a proven and safe plant science. GM crops have been grown, traded and consumed around the world for fourteen years, delivering significant agronomic, environmental and sustainable outcomes,” he said.

“Today’s illegal Greenpeace activity has once and for all proven what many of us have feared for quite some time – Greenpeace is not interested in green outcomes or sustainable agriculture and food production. This is purely a non-factual, high profile fund raiser and Australian consumers need to be aware of this,” said Mr Weidemann.

Pruducers Forum Press release 14 July 2011

FARMERS CONDEMN GREENPEACE ASSAULT

Today the multi-million dollar multi-national Greenpeace continued its assault on Australian agriculture and in doing so revealed its true nature. By illegally entering the CSIRO property and deliberately destroying trial plots at the site, the Greenpeace activists and those who support them are making a mockery of Australia’s dearly held democratic rights and freedoms. “Our farmers are appalled at the unconscionable actions of the trespassers and believe that they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” said Heather Baldock, National Convenor of Producers Forum.

“People have been contacting me to express their outrage and wondering what we can do about it. Civil protest is one thing. Wilful, illegal, destruction is something else entirely and must be roundly condemned,” she continued. “This is the nation’s property yet we have individuals, egged on by a multi-national NGO, willing to destroy it. It is hardly a wonder people are outraged,” Ms Baldock said.

“Australian farmers are innovators. Adopting new tools, techniques and technologies have allowed them to be among the best in the world, made possible by the support of Australian scientists and research organisations.

“The research and development (R&D) and innovation that today allows Australian farmers to produce the safe, healthy and affordable food that consumers value and expect continues to be needed to face the challenges of food production into the future. Our farmers are rightfully proud of the quality, quantity and variety of foods they produce,” Ms Baldock added.

Wayne McKay farms in the Central West of NSW. He says that the Australian grain industry strongly supports R&D in all facets of agriculture including  GM crops, and notes that the rate of production increase in Australia has declined and that Australians do not need fear mongering naysayers trying to undermine and destroy valuable R&D that supports agriculture and food production.

“Australia’s CSIRO is recognised world-wide as a first class   research organisation. The scientists working in the fields of molecular biology and gene technology operate within the processes and guidelines set down by the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) and our regulatory system is widely regarded as among the best in the world.

“To imply that these scientists are doing anything that would harm Australians or any other people is quite  imply and demonstrably wrong. It certainly does Greenpeace no credit,” Mr McKay said.

“Attacking our CSIRO is a bit like attacking motherhood,” he said.

Ms Baldock says that the community must question Greenpeace’s motives in attacking a technology that is good for the environment, and helps small farmers in developing nations to become more self sufficient.

COSMOS magazine are on the job.

Greenpeace targets CSIRO crops

Thursday, 14 July 2011

by Myles Gough

Cosmos Online

SYDNEY: In the early hours of July 14, Greenpeace protestors gained illegal entry into an experimental CSIRO operated farm near Canberra and destroyed a crop of genetically modified (GM) wheat….

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FDA is Considering Adding Agent Orange to Your Dinner Plate

Posted on 02 July 2011 by admin

Total Video Length: 1:12:45
Download Interview TranscriptHere, Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of the Center for Food Safety since 1997, and one of the United States’ leading environmental attorneys, shares his ideas about the ideal future of food.

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Dr. Mercola’s comments:

Mr. Kimbrell is one of the United States’ leading environmental attorneys, and an author of articles and books on environment, technology and society, and food issues. He’s also the Executive Director of the Center for Food Safety, which he founded in 1997 as a way to prevent genetic engineering and sewage sludge remediation from becoming acceptable practices under the organic laws.

Organics and Beyond

But the Center for Food Safety has far grander goals than simply fighting for pro-organic laws.

“[W]e call it “Organic and Beyond,” Kimbrell says.

“We do that because we have to defend the organic standards. Over the last eight years, virtually the entire government’s all three branches, from judiciary to executive to congress, were trying to undermine the organic rule. It didn’t get as much publicity as it should have…

But we don’t want just to defend the organic rule in food. We want to evolve the ethic.

While organic is great and we need to defend that, we also want to make sure that we extend it to include for instance issues of animal welfare… We want to have bio-diverse crops… We want to make sure that our farming is local, in appropriate scale. We also want to make sure that we’re socially just. Just because we’re organic it doesn’t mean that we’re treating farm workers in a socially just manner.

Those are the beyond organic aspects of the future of food that we’re really interested in, which is a humane, local, appropriate scale, biodiverse, and socially just [system].

If we can think of the organic not as the ceiling for our food in the future but as the floor and we build this house, our future food house with those other elements… then I think we really will have done something.”

Saying “No” to Some Things is Saying “Yes” to Others

As you probably know, we are inundated with tens of thousands of chemicals these days, which have never before existed on Earth—many of which are extremely toxic. Much of the rise in chronic disease can be traced back to the excessive exposure to toxins from our food, air, water supply, and many of the personal- and household products we use on a daily basis.

What led us to this point?

In a word, technology.

For all the benefits and wonders many technologies bring, there are also some profound downsides, especially when they’re introduced without proper safety testing and forethought of the long-term consequences. Nuclear energy is just one glaring recent example. But this applies to food as well, as biotech has crept in to modify nature’s bounty in all sorts of ways, and mass-producing farms have altered the way food is grown to include massive amounts of chemicals.

“[O]rganic is really amazing because organic says: we’re looking at chemicals, and fertilizers and pesticides and we’re saying no. We’re looking at genetic engineering and we’re saying no. We’re looking at irradiated foods and we’re saying no,” Kimbrell says.

“We’re saying, progress sometimes means saying no to these technologies and saying yes to a far more natural, a far more sustainable way of doing business. It’s quite a remarkable revolution, not just because of the food, but because of the consciousness.

It’s saying progress doesn’t mean more and more exploitation and manipulation of nature through technology, it means more and more integrating the human into the entire natural context and learning to live within that context.”

“We Defend what We Love”

Kimbrell’s passion for this work stems from learning to love nature through his brother, who was an avid outdoorsman. He also worked on a farm for two and a half years before going to law school, and while he loved it, he wasn’t very good at it. The farmer he worked for suggested he go to law school instead, and “see what you can do for farms and for the whole community of life that makes for a healthy farming system.”

It turned out to be good advice. Some of his first work as an environmental attorney was in defending rivers and natural areas from exploitation, which, over time “evolved into an understanding of how technologies were hurting the natural world.”

“Those two things – my love of the natural world and my work on a farm– sort of coalesced, if you will, to create my desire to use my legal skills and whatever skills we have, to accomplish the goals that we just talked about,” Kimbrell says.

Food and the Environment

As Kimbrell states in this interview, food is the most intimate relationship you have with your environment.

“I’m always amused when people say, I’m not interested in food issues, I’m interested in environmental issues. I would say, “Whoa, let’s sit down for a second to talk about that.” There is no more intimate relationship that we have with the environment than what we eat.

To me it is a great moment for everybody out there to say, ‘I’m making a choice every day—a choice that I can control to a great extent—of what I eat, what my family eats, and to a certain extent what people around me eat.

That is to me a really important moment, because in that moment, you can reflect your views on social justice, your views on animal welfare, your views on the environment, on protecting our waters, protecting our air, protecting our soil, protecting our farm communities and protecting our community health. All of that is based in that decision that we all make several times a day.”

The Dangers of Genetically Modified Foods

From Kimbrell’s perspective, as well as my own, genetically modified (GM) food is one of the biggest threats to life and health we currently face on this planet.

“It turns out that [genetic engineering] is a lot more difficult than people thought,” Kimbrell says. “There are a couple of reasons for that. For example, folks may remember the Human Genome Project. We were supposed to have about 100,000 to 140,000 genes. We only have about 20,000 genes it turns out. That’s about as many as a worm.

A kernel of corn has, any cell on that kernel has 35,000 genes… They just did the genome of wheat and it has 80,000 genes. So wheat has four times as many genes as humans.

It turns out that the biology of these crops isn’t some simple thing but extremely complex and it turns out there is a huge amount we do not know. So this idea that you can take a little piece of DNA called a gene and switch it around between plants and animals, and human and plants, and bacteria and plants, and get predictable results turn out not to be true.”

At the present time, the most prominent genetic modification of crops is the modification to make plants immune to herbicides.

Since you can spray these crops with large amounts of chemicals without killing the crop, this, in theory, should significantly reduce weed growth. However, in the years since the introduction of “RoundUp ready” corn and soy, we’ve witnessed increasingly profound downsides to these unnatural seeds, including brand new “super weeds” that are also impervious to RoundUp (glyphosate).

According to Kimbrell, we now have 10-20 million acres of these super weeds that you can’t kill. They’re the thickness of a baseball bat, and they loom six to seven feet tall!

GM Crops Demand HIGHER Levels of Toxic Herbicides and Pesticides

Additionally, what many fail to realize is the incredible increase in toxic chemicals being used on these crops, which eventually ends up in your stomach.

“[I]n the last two years we’ve sprayed 153 million more pounds of herbicide on our crops because of the corn and soy Roundup-ready crops…” Kimbrell says.

This dilemma is leading us further and further into a quagmire of increasingly toxic remedies.

“Right now, the FDA is looking to approve crops resistant to 2,4-D, which is an element in Agent Orange,” Kimbrell says. “I kid you not, Dow Chemical is doing this. Corn and soy that has been genetically engineered so you can spray as much 2,4-D (Agent Orange) on these crops as you want and it won’t kill them.

Now that Roundup is becoming less and less useful, they’re looking for newer and more toxic herbicides that they will bathe our crops in, in order to make money…

Monsanto is now coming up with Dicamba, which is extremely dangerous. It’s a volatilizing herbicide. In other words, you spray it and under certain weather conditions it’s going to go back up from the ground, re-volatilizing to a cloud and it could go a mile or two away and come back down and it will kill everything green. It’s a very toxic herbicide.”

This poses tremendous challenges for organic farmers, threatens our environment and human health everywhere, whether you happen to live in an agricultural area, or simply eat the food produced from these now highly toxic crops.

  • Where is the breaking point?
  • When will the food produced become too toxic to eat?
  • And what do we do then?

GM Foods Line the Pockets of Chemical Companies

There can be little doubt that the technology of genetically engineered crop seeds has little to do with saving the planet, and a lot to do with promoting herbicide use and increasing herbicide sales. The major purveyors of GM crop seeds also make the chemicals and herbicides to go along with those seeds.

These companies include:

Monsanto Dow Dupont
Syngenta Bayer BASF

“These are herbicide companies that have invented a way to sell a lot more of their chemicals,” Kimbrell says.

In the end, we may be over-run with superweeds that cannot be killed even by dousing it with Agent Orange, and GM crops that contaminate all its conventional and organic counterparts. That will be their legacy to our children and grandchildren…

Only Sustainable, Smaller-Scale Farming Can Successfully Feed the Planet

“I think one of the great things about the Organic and Beyond movement is that we are trying to go back and learn,” Kimbrell says. “We can use some modern technologies that help us better understand agronomy, but basically go back into a sustainable, smaller, more localized farming system.

What makes this so great is that two studies just came out of the UN, and it turns out that the way to feed the world is through small and medium sized organic and sustainable farms because they are creating a lot more food!

Right now, we have so many acres devoted to corn but you cannot live on corn alone. As a matter of fact you shouldn’t be living on much corn at all really. That’s not really food. That’s a crop. It’s a crop that’s used to feed animals, for biofuels and for fructose corn syrup and other additives.

Small medium sized farms have numerous diverse crops and animals. It’s a far more sustainable way to not produce massive crops but actual food.”

Change is an Uphill Battle that Oftentimes Requires Litigation

Unfortunately, despite the evidence showing that our current agricultural system is unsustainable, if not downright dangerous, change is hard to come by. The agricultural committees are primarily run by the agribusiness industry, which will always vote to protect their own best interests.

One effective way to slow down the madness, as it were, is through litigation. According to Kimbrell, litigation has halted the introduction of a number of genetically engineered crops, such as GM:

  • Wheat
  • Rice
  • Bentgrass

Market campaigns also successfully thwarted the introduction of GM tomatoes and potatoes.

“We can vote with our dollar in the marketplace by buying organic, by buying non-GMO,” Kimbrell says. “But we can also then make sure that we use the courts as best we can to halt some of these damaging technologies while we promote this Organic and Beyond vision. And everyone can get involved.”

Current Campaigns to Eliminate GMOs

The Center for Food Safety, along with a number of other organic businesses, organic organizations, and non-governmental organizations, are now starting a campaign to demand labeling of all GM foods.  This is the most sensible strategy as over 90 percent of the public do not want GM foods and if they had a choice they would avoid Them. We don’t need legislation to outlaw GM, we just need an informed public to make the right choice.

Genetically engineered foods are required to be labeled in the 15 European Union nations, Russia, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries around the world, but not the US or Canada…

“You’re looking at a food that offers you risk and no benefits. It is true because the companies and the government have never looked at it. We don’t know the exact extent of that risk but we know the risk is there.

What rationale person would ever pick a food if it was labeled? … The GMO offers me no additional benefits, and only additional health risks. What would you choose?

No one is going to choose the GMO version. That’s why they don’t want labeling.”

Another very important aspect of labeling is traceability of health effects. This can literally become a life and death issue. This is yet another reason why the industry is fighting tooth and nail to avoid labeling, because they know that without labeling it’s virtually impossible to trace any health effects that may be associated with the GM ingredients. This releases them from liability.

During the Presidential campaign of 2008, Obama put in writing a promise to support mandatory labeling on GMOs.

It’s time to hold him to that promise!

I urge you to sign the petition for mandatory labeling, and to share it with everyone you know!

Also, if you don’t already have a copy of the Non-GMO Shopping Guide, please print one out and refer to it often. It can help you identify and avoid foods with GMOs. Also remember to look for products (including organic products) that feature the Non-GMO Project Verified Seal to be sure that at-risk ingredients have been tested for GMO content. Many health food stores will carry these products.

You can also download the free iPhone application that is available in the iTunes store. You can find it by searching for ShopNoGMO in the applications.

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