Tag Archive | "Syngenta"

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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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2 Mexican States Ban GMO Corn

Posted on 05 March 2011 by admin

The Mexican States of Tlaxcala and Michoacán each passed legislation banning the planting of genetically modified corn to protect natural plants from further contamination of transgenes.  Together, both states produce about a third of all of Mexico’s corn. Below this story is a detailed timeline of genetic contamination and legislation in Mexico.

By Aleira Lara
Greenpeace

It’s been an exciting couple of months in the debate over Mexican maize with some good news for Mexican agriculture and biodiversity. However, the consequences of recent frosts in northern states and the aggressive propaganda of the industry is still putting at risk Mexican’s basic grain. Here’s the latest:

GM FREE STATES ARISING IN MEXICO:

Because of the lack of interest of federal government to protect the large diversity of Mexican maize against the contamination of GM crop, Michoacán State congress passed by a majority the “Law of Promotion and Protection of Native Maize as Alimentary Patrimony of Michoacán State”, which will allow the protection of 18 of the 59 races of this crop that exist in Mexico. Michoacán is the fourth largest maize producer on a national scale and represents 30 percent of Mexico’s total maize crop area.

Michoacán’s initiative follows the recent approval of the “Law of Promotion and Protection of Native Maize as an original patrimony, in constant diversification, and alimentary for Tlaxcala State”. Both states decided to go ahead with the protection of such an important crop for Mexican society.

This process is directly related to the lack of political will of the federal government to promote local production and the fierce interest of multinational companies such as Monsanto, Syngenta, Pioneer and Dow Agroscience to impose GM maize within Mexican territory. We hope that this process will continue and that more and more states will protect their maizes races, especially the northern states that are currently developing GM maize experimental trials such as “Sinaloa” and “Chihuahua”.

Learn more about the origin and diversity of maize in the American continent, TlaxcalaMichoacán.

ANOTHER DEFEAT FOR MONSANTO

In January, the secretary of agriculture announced his decision to deny pilot trials to Monsanto in the State of Sinaloa – principal producer of white corn for human consumption in Mexico. Pilot trials are the next step after the experimental stage.We have been working hard in this state, facing the will of local authorities that are closely linked to the industry and have distributed GM maize propaganda widely within the region.

Recently we’ve released a new report ““Cultivos transgénicos: cero ganancias” (GM crops,zero profit”) in local meetings. Moreover, in 2007 we made a formal complaint to theProcuraduría General de Protección al Ambiente (Profepa) (Environment Protection Agency).We received additional information in 2010 related to the irregularities in GM trials in Sinaloa state. We published this information and we asked for the suspension of experimental trials in the country. Here is the what the government press release had to say: This is why all Federal Government resolutions are based in scientific principles are decided impartially according to the Law of Biosafety of Genetically Modified Organisms and all the implications it has of official institutions that are concerned”

Read the whole press release in Spanish.

BIOTECH INDUSTRY’S PROPAGANDA AFTER BAD HARVESTS

On the other side, the consequences of recent frosts in northern states on maize production and the aggressive propaganda of the industry is still putting Mexican’s basic grain at risk.

Our warnings to the Mexican government have fallen on deaf ears and now the tragic loss of more than 5 millions foods grain confirms our worse fears: a model that neglects and excludes indigenous and small corn producers from public policies, that ignores and doesn’t take care of the ecological production and instead concentrates the nation’s resources in mono-crop industrial agriculture is vulnerable to massive failure. The biotech industry won’t hold back and wants to take advantage of the recent crisis to push forward the planting of its transgenic seeds as the magic tool against climate extremes. We are fighting hard to counter these false statements despite of their strong lobbying. The biotech companies are trying to take advantage of a dramatic situation directly related to the economical model they represent.Our struggle for Mexican maize, people and agriculture is still on, and we hope that this year will be full of victories for our campaign, in order to prevent Mexico to be a center of origin of a basic grain to liberate the GM crop on a commercial scale within its territory.

TIMELINE

(Data thru 2006 from History Commons)

1998: Mexico Bans GM Crops

Mexico bans the planting of genetically modified crops. [Mother Jones, 7/9/2002]

July 1999: Grupo Maseca Says it will Stop Using GM Corn

Grupo Maseca, Mexico’s top producer of corn flour, says it will phase out its use of genetically modified corn. Mexico purchased $500 million of US corn in 1998. [Food & Drink Weekly, 9/13/1999Canadian Business, 10/8/1999]

October 2000: Genetically Modified Genes Found in Native Mexican Maize

Dr. Ignacio Chapela, a microbial ecologist, and his assistant, David Quist, a graduate student at UC Berkeley, discover the presence of genetically modified (GM) genes in native Mexican maize growing in the remote hills of Oaxaca, Mexico. The contaminant genes contain DNA sequences from the cauliflower mosaic virus, which is often used as a promoter to “switch on” insecticidal or herbicidal properties in GM plants. Contamination is also found in samples from a government food store that purchases animal feed from the US. The Oaxaca region is considered to be the birthplace of maize and the world’s center of diversity for corn, “exactly the kind of repository of genetic variation that environmentalists and many scientists had hoped to protect from contamination,” the New York Times reports. Scientists worry that the genes could spread through the region’s corn population reducing its genetic diversity. Critics of genetically modified crops have long argued that the technology cannot be contained. According to Dr. Norman C. Ellstrand, evolutionary biologist at University of California at Riverside, the discovery “shows in today’s modern world how rapidly genetic material can move from one place to another.” The findings are not good news for the biotech industry which is currently lobbying Brazil, the European Union, and Mexico to lift their embargoes on genetically modified crops. [New York Times, 10/2/2001; Manchester Guardian Weekly, 12/12/2001; BBC, 3/13/2002] It is later learned that the contamination resulted from Oaxacan peasants planting kernels they purchased from a local feed store. Though there’s a moratorium on the growing of GM crops, there’s no such ban on animal feed containing GM seed. [Cox News, 10/2/2001]

September 18, 2001: Mexican Government Says It Has Found GM Contamination in Native Mexican Maize

Mexico’s Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources announces that it has found genetically modified (GM) corn growing in 15 different localities. It began investigating potential GM contamination after two Berkeley scientists found maize growing in Oaxaca (see October 2000) that was contaminated with genetically engineered DNA sequences from the cauliflower mosaic virus. [New York Times, 10/2/2001] Mexico does not release its study until January 2002 (see January 2002).

(Late 2001): Ecologist Warned Not To Publish Study on GM Contamination in Mexico

When Dr. Ignacio Chapela, a microbial ecologist who recently discovered the presence of genetically modified (GM) genes in Mexican maize (see October 2000), meets with a Mexican agricultural official to discuss the GM contamination, he is warned not to publish his research. Chapela later recalls in an interview with BBC Newsnight, “He [told] me how terrible it was that I was doing the research and how dangerous it would be for me to publish.” When he refuses to back off the issue, the official suggests that Chapela join a research team tasked with proving that the suspected GM genes are actually naturally occuring gene sequences similar to the ones in GM corn. “We were supposed to find this in an elite scientific research team of which I was being invited to be part of and the other people were two people from Monsanto and two people from Dupont supposedly… .” Monsanto denies its scientists were involved in any such study. Chapela also meets with Mexico’s Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources, whose officials are concerned about the discovery. They launch their own investigation and also find evidence of contamination (see September 18, 2001). [BBC, 6/2/2002]

Late November 2001: Berkeley Scientists Publish Study on GM Contaminated Maize in Mexico

Berkeley grad student David Quist and Dr. Ignacio Chapela, a microbial ecologist, publish the results of a study (see October 2000) finding that native Mexican maize has been contaminated with genetically modified genes. The study—published by the British journal Nature after an eight-month long peer-review process—presents two arguments. In addition to reporting the discovery that some of Oaxaca’s maize contains transgenic material, the paper says they found transgene fragments scattered throughout the plants’ modified DNA. [Quist and Chapela, 11/29/2001 ]The study’s second conclusion causes a controversy because it contradicts the assertions of the biotech industry that genetic engineering is a safe and exact science, and that the technology is capable of controlling precisely where the modified sequences are positioned, how they will be expressed, and whether or not they will be passed on to successive generations. One of the main arguments of the technology’s detractors is that the methods used to insert trangenic genes into an organism’s DNA cannot be done with accuracy and therefore are liable to produce unpredictable and undesirable effects. Following the publication of Quist and Chapela’s article, other Berkeley biologists—who work in a Berkeley University program partially funded by Syngenta, a major biotech firm—criticize the study, leading Quist and Chapela to acknowledge that the analyses of two of the eight gene sequences in their paper were flawed. However they stand by their conclusions that the remaining six sequences contained scattered modified gene sequences. Critics of the article also note that both Quist and Chapela strongly oppose the genetic engineering of crops and participated in an unsuccessful effort to block the Berkeley-Syngenta partnership. The issue soon grows into a very large controversy that some suggest is fueled by the efforts of the biotech industry, and in particular, the Bivings Group, a PR firm on Monsanto’s payroll. Forum postings at AgBioWorld.org are reportedly traced to a Bivings’ employee. It is also noted that another person posting on the forum makes “frequent reference to the Center for Food and Agricultural Research, an entity that appears to exist only online and whose domain is [allegedly] registered to a Bivings employee.” Bivings denies that it is in any way connected to the forum postings. In spite of the controversy surrounding the article’s second finding, the other conclusion, that Mexico’s maize has been contaminated, is largely uncontested, and is buttressed by at least three other studies (see January 2002February 19, 2003-February 21, 2003). [Associated Press, 4/4/2002East Bay Express, 5/29/2002;BBC, 6/2/2002Mother Jones, 7/9/2002]

January 2002: Mexican Environmental Ministry Publishes Study on Transgenic Contamination in Mexican Maize

Mexico’s Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources publishes the results of its study (see September 18, 2001) on transgenic contamination in Oaxaca and nearby Puebla. The study found contamination levels between 3 and 13 percent in eleven communities and between 20 and 60 percent in four others. Tests conducted on maize sold in government food stores revealed that 37 percent contained the GM genes. [East Bay Express, 5/29/2002]

April 2002: British Science Journal Pulls Support for Article on GM Contamination in Mexico

In an unprecedented move, Nature runs an editorial pulling its support for a controversial study by Berkeley scientists David Quist and Dr. Ignacio Chapela on genetic contamination of native Mexican maize. The study, published the previous fall (see Late November 2001), reported that native maize in Oaxaca had been contaminated with genetically modified (GM) genes and that transgene fragments were found scattered throughout the plants’ modified DNA. Immediately after being published, the article came under attack by pro-GM scientists who disputed Quist’s and Chapela’s second finding. “In light of these discussions and the diverse advice received, Nature has concluded that the evidence available is not sufficient to justify the publication of the original paper,” the journal’s editor, Philip Campbell, writes. “As the authors nevertheless wish to stand by the available evidence for their conclusions, we feel it best simply to make these circumstances clear, to publish the criticisms, the authors’ response and new data, and to allow our readers to judge the science for themselves.” Though the journal withdraws its support, it does not retract the article. [Associated Press, 4/4/2002East Bay Express, 5/29/2002Mother Jones, 7/9/2002] The decision to withdraw support is based on the opinions of three unnamed independent experts whom Nature consulted. Only one of those experts, however, disputed Quist’s and Chapela’s finding that there was evidence of contamination. All three agreed that the second finding—that transgene fragments were scattered throughout the plants’ modified DNA—was flawed. [BBC, 6/2/2002]

April 18, 2002: Mexico Finds More Evidence of GM Contamination in Native Mexican Maize

Jorge Soberon, the executive secretary of Mexico’s biodiversity commission, announces that government scientists have confirmed that genetically modified (GM) corn is growing in Mexico. The finding supports what two US scientists reported several months earlier (see Late November 2001) in a highly controversial paper published in the journal Science. Calling it the “world’s worst case of contamination by GM material,” he says 95 percent of the sites sampled in Oaxaca and Puebla were found to have GM maize. Samples taken from these sites indicated a contamination level as high as 35 percent. [Daily Telegraph, 4/19/2002Mother Jones, 7/9/2002]

January 2003-August 2003: More GM Contamination Discovered in Mexico

A study conducted by a coalition of North American civil society organizations finds that cornfields in nine Mexican states—Chihuahua, Morelos, Durango, Mexico State, Puebla, Oaxaca, San Luis Potosi, Tlaxcala, and Veracruz—are contaminated with genetically modified (GM) DNA. A total of 2,000 plants from 138 farming and indigenous communities are tested. Contaminated corn is discovered in 33 of these communities, or 24 percent. Contamination levels vary from 1.5 percent to 33.3 percent. Some plants are found to contain as many as four different types of GM DNA—one herbicide-resistant variety and three Bt varieties, including Starlink, which is banned for human consumption in the US. Several plants in at least one of the contaminated fields are deformed. “We have seen many deformities in corn, but never like this,” Baldemar Mendoza, an indigenous farmer from Oaxaca, says during a news conference. “One deformed plant in Oaxaca that we saved tested positive for three different transgenes. The old people of the communities say they have never seen these kinds of deformities.” [ETC Group, 10/11/2003]

October 29, 2004: Canada and Mexico Adopt Looser Standards Regulating the Import of GM Contamination Feed

The US, Mexico, and Canada enter into a trilateral agreement that allows food and grain shipments to have GM contamination levels as high as 5 percent. Shipments containing less than the five percent level will only have to bear a label indicating that the grain may contain genetically modified organisms. Additionally, accidental contamination of corn shipments into Mexico will not trigger any labeling requirements. Only the distributor will have to be informed of the contamination. The Mexican government enters into the agreement without the Mexican Senate’s approval. [Associated Press, 2/26/2004] Critics of the deal say the US is attempting to protect agricultural biotech companies and US agriculture. A large percentage of the country’s crop is genetically modified and as a result US farmers and biotechs are having a tough time finding markets abroad. Raising the acceptable contamination limits in other countries will help increase US grain exports. Critics also say that the deal could have a dramatically adverse effect on the genetic diversity of Mexico’s maize. It could result in the planting of more genetically modified corn since small farmers have been known to occasionally plant feed as seed. A few years before, maize growing in Oaxaca and Puebla was discovered to contain genetically modified genes (see October 2000April 18, 2002). It is believed that the contamination was caused in part by farmers who had planted feed from local stores selling grain imported from the US. The ETC Group, a Canadian-based organization that is opposed to genetically modified crops, warns that if Mexico permits the import of grain with such high levels of contamination, the country’s “maize crop would be riddled with foreign DNA from the Rio Grande to Guatemala in less than a decade.” [ETC Group, 2/26/2004]Greenpeace believes that US efforts to convince countries to lower the accepted levels of contamination are aimed at undermining the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (see January 24-29, 2000), which has been set up to regulate transboundary shipments of genetically modified organisms.[Greenpeace, 2/11/2004]

October 9, 2006: Mexico Denies Permits to Biotechs to Plant GE Corn in Northern States

The Mexican Department of Agriculture turns down all seven requests filed by biotech companies to plant experimental fields of genetically engineered corn in northern Mexico. Companies that applied for permits included Monsanto, Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc., and others. [Associated Press, 10/18/2006]

March 6, 2009 Mexico lifts ban on GM maize

Mexico has lifted the ban on experimental cultivation of transgenic maize imposed in 1999 in this country where the crop was first domesticated and shaped human culture. Biotech giants have put forward two dozen projects for approval and have announced investments of 382 million dollars up to 2012. The green light was given by the government of conservative President Felipe Calderón to the trials, by means of an executive decree which came into force early this month. [Farming UK, 3/19/09]

Calderon took office under a storm of controversy over election fraud in the 2006 election, prompting millions to protest. The protests were crushed by US and Mexican military. (Click here for links to several news reports, plusthis one by Al Giordana.)

Also see Phantoms in the machine: GM corn spreads to Mexico by author and filmmaker Marie-Monique Robin (The World According to Monsanto), Aug. 19, 2010.

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EU clears 6 types of GM Corn for animal feed

Posted on 28 July 2010 by admin

BRUSSELS — European regulators authorised on Wednesday the import of six types of genetically-modified maize for use in animal feed after governments were deadlocked over whether to ban or approve them.

The European Union has been divided for years over genetically-modified foods and the European Commission has proposed new rules aiming to break an impasse that has severely limited the cultivation of such crops.

Agriculture ministers meeting last month in Luxembourg were unable to reach a qualified majority on maize from US biotech firms Monsanto and Pioneer, and Swiss company Syngenta to be used for feeding animals, not cultivation.

Under European Union rules, the decision was passed on to the European Commission, which gave the six maize types the green light because they were scientifically sound, a commission spokesman said.

Two weeks ago, the EU’s executive arm proposed new rules that would give individual EU states the ultimate power to ban or grow genetically-modified crops.

“One of the reasons that the commission came up with its proposals a few weeks ago to change the whole system was to get past the deadlock,” Roger Waite, a commission spokesman for agriculture, told a news briefing.

“The hope is that the new rules that will apply will get past this problem about member states that like GMOs (genetically-modified organisms) and those that don’t like GMOs,” Waite said.

The authorisations for the maize that won approval for animal feed on Wednesday are valid for 10 years. One of them, Syngenta’s Bt11 maize, was up for renewal while the five others were new authorisations.

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Epicyte, Calif. Biotech Co., Making Corn Containing Spermicide

Posted on 11 June 2010 by admin

A small California biotech company, Epicyte, in 2001 announced the development of genetically engineered corn which contained a spermicide which made the semen of men who ate it sterile. At the time Epicyte had a joint venture agreement to spread its technology with DuPont and Syngenta, two of the sponsors of the Svalbard Doomsday Seed Vault. Epicyte was since acquired by a North Carolina biotech company. Astonishing to learn was that Epicyte had developed its spermicidal GMO corn with research funds from the US Department of Agriculture, the same USDA which, despite worldwide opposition, continued to finance the development of Terminator technology, now held by Monsanto.

In the 1990’s the UN’s World Health Organization launched a campaign to vaccinate millions of women in Nicaragua, Mexico and the Philippines between the ages of 15 and 45, allegedly against Tentanus, a sickness arising from such things as stepping on a rusty nail. The vaccine was not given to men or boys, despite the fact they are presumably equally liable to step on rusty nails as women.

Because of that curious anomaly, Comite Pro Vida de Mexico, a Roman Catholic lay organization became suspicious and had vaccine samples tested. The tests revealed that the Tetanus vaccine being spread by the WHO only to women of child-bearing age contained human Chorionic Gonadotrophin or hCG, a natural hormone which when combined with a tetanus toxoid carrier stimulated antibodies rendering a woman incapable of maintaining a pregnancy. None of the women vaccinated were told.

It later came out that the Rockefeller Foundation along with the Rockefeller’s Population Council, the World Bank (home to CGIAR), and the United States’ National Institutes of Health had been involved in a 20-year-long project begun in 1972 to develop the concealed abortion vaccine with a tetanus carrier for WHO. In addition, the Government of Norway, the host to the Svalbard Doomsday Seed Vault, donated $41 million to develop the special abortive Tetanus vaccine. 12

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.p…xt=va&aid=7529

GM Foods: The U.S. Fights Mandatory Labeling in An Untested Human Experiment

Monday, June 30, 2008 by: Dr. Gregory Damato, Ph.D.

The U.S. and several other nations recently attended a Codex meeting this month in Calgary, Canada to discuss food labeling. The Codex Alimentarius Commission implements the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Program, the purpose of which is to bullcrap protect bullcrap the health of consumers and to ensure bullcrap fair bullcrap practices in the food trade.

The Codex Alimentarius (Latin, meaning Food Law or Code) is a collection of internationally adopted food standards presented in a uniform manner. One of the principle reasons for this forum was to discuss the necessity, or lack of necessity as the U.S. sees it, to set up mandatory labeling of GM (genetically modified) and GE (genetically engineered) foods for consumers. (MONSANTO) South Africa (SA) and many African countries are strong dissenting voices of the U.S. policy that all GM/GE foods are considered equal to non-GM/GE foods and are in fact deemed safe under a 1992 George H. W. Bush Executive Order.
(Can you say New World Order and Global Depopulation Program?)

Under this official policy, all GM/GE foods are not required to undergo any kind of safety testing before entering the market. Below you will find the exact policy of the FDA concerning GM food:

Nearly every modified food in the U.S. is completely untested for safety. This is very noteworthy for two reasons: (a) the U.S. leads the world in GM/GE foods (with up to 80% of its prepared and prepackaged foods being modified); and (b) every other nation besides the U.S. tests all GM/GE food before they are put into the food chain. Several African nations have dubbed GM/GE foods as “lethal” and believes the United Nations WHO is fulfilling a population GENOCIDE strategy in Africa.

http://www.naturalnews.com/023539.html

CODEX ALIMENTARIUS
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyLI8UVdTzQ

* In 2005 and 2006, researchers at the Russian Academy of Sciences reported that female rats who were fed glyphosate-tolerant GM soya produced an excessive number of stunted pups with over 50% of them dying within three weeks. The other half were all sterile. This experiment was repeated several times with the same result [3].

* Between 2005 and 2006 in the Warangal district of Andhra Pradech in India, thousands of sheep died while grazing on residues from Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis, which is a type of bacteria which is toxic to some types of insects) cotton crops [4].

* In 2003, villagers in the Philippines’ south suffered mysterious illnesses when a Monsanto Bt maize hybrid came into flower. At least five have died and many villagers tested positive for antibodies to the Bt protein while others still remain chronically ill [5].

* Between 2001 and 2002, 12 cows died in Hesse, Germany after consuming Syngenta GM maize (Bt176), while many others had to be slaughtered due to mysterious illnesses [6].

* From 2002 to 2005, researchers from four Italian universities published articles indicating that GM soya adversely affected pancreatic, hepatic (liver) and testicular cells in young mice [5].

* In 2005, Australian researchers at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Canberra reported that a harmless protein in beans (alpha-amylase inhibitor-1) caused inflammation in the lungs of mice and elicited increased dietary sensitivities to other proteins when transferred to peas [7].

* In 1998, researchers reported damage to every organ system of young rats who were fed GM potatoes containing snowdrop lectin [8]. In the same year, researchers in Egypt found analogous effects on the guts of mice fed Bt potato [9].

* In 2002, Aventis, later named Cropscience, submitted research to regulators in the U.K. reporting that chicken fed glufosinate-tolerant GM maize Chardon LL were twice as likely to die prematurely than chickens in the control group [10].

http://www.holywar.org/poster1750.jpg
08-23-2009 10:06 PMdolphin
Some Interesting History

In Carthage, the Canaanites called themselves Punics. Rome attacked Carthage in full force, beginning in 264BC and completed their task after killing or enslaving every Carthaginian, by sowing the land to salt so that nothing could ever grow there again. The Edomites descended from Esau later intermarried with the Turks to produce a Turco-Edomite mixture which later became known as Chazars – who are the present occupants of Israel. These Canaanites eventually adopted the name “Sepharvaim” for deceptive purposes. They later became known as Venetians, and by marrying into European royalty and arsitocracy, the “black nobility.” The Venetians today control the Federal Reserve system in the US.

Around AD1400, European power centers coalesced into two camps: the Ghibellines, who supported the Emporors Hohenstaufen family, and the Guelphs, from Welf, the German prince who competed with Frederick for control of the Holy Roman Empire. The Pope allied himself with the Guelphs. All modern history stems directly from the struggle between these two powers. The Guelphs are also called the Neri, Black Guelphs, or Black Nobility, and supported William of Orange in his seizure of the throne of England, which eventually resulted in the formation of the Bank of England and the East India Company, which would rule the world from the 17th century. All coup d’etats, revolutions and wars in the 19th and 20th centuries are centered in the battle of the Guelphs to hold and enhance their power, which is now the New World Order. The power of the Guelphs would extend through the Italian financial centers to the north of France in Lombardy (all Italian bankers were referred to as “Lombards”). Lombard in German means “deposit bank”, and the Lombards were bankers to the entire Medieval world. They would later transfer operations north to Hamburg, then to Amsterdam and finally to London. The Guelphs would start the slave trade to the colonies. The Guelphs, in order to aid their control of finance and politics, would perpetuate gnostic cults which eventually developed into the Rosicrucians, Unitarians, Fabian Society and the World Council of Churches. The East India company, together with John Stuart Mill, would finance the University of London. A friend of Mill, historian George Grote, a founder of London University donated £6000 for the study of “mental health”, which began the worldwide “mental health” movement.

Banks large and small in the thousands are in the Committee of 300 network, including Banca Commerciale d’Italia, Banca Privata, Banco Ambrosiano, the Netherlands Bank, Barclays Bank, Banco del Colombia, Banco de Ibero-America. Of special interest is Banca del la Svizzeria Italiana (BSI) – since it handles flight capital investments to and from the United States – primarily in dollars and US bonds – located and isolated in “neutral” Lugano, the flight capital center for the Venetian Black Nobility. Lugano is not in Italy or in Switzerland, and is a kind of twilight zone for shady flight capital operations. George Ball, who owns a large block of stock in BSI, is a prominent “insider” and the bank’s US representative.

In the secret 1822 Treaty of Verona (between Austria, France, Prussia and Russia) the Jesuits agreed to smash the US Constitution and suppress the freedom of the US. Their methods included destroying free speech, destroying and suppressing the press, universal censorship, sustaining the cooperation of the Pope and clergy to use religion to help keep nations in passive obedience and financing wars against countries with representative governments. The monarchs who signed this treaty were ultimately deposed. Most of these families are very wealthy and may be more powerful today than when they sat upon thrones. They are known collectively as the Black Nobility. Privately these families refuse to recognize any right to rule except their own. The fact that this treaty was made long ago does not mean it is void. The treaty was placed in the Congressional Record on April 25, 1916 by Senator Owen.

In 1948 George H.W. Bush graduated from Yale University and the Skull and Bones. He is a distant cousin of the Queen of England, part of the Black Nobility which traces its power back 5,000 years.

Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands created a group that became known as the Bilderbergers. Many “conservative” researchers have come to recognize the Bilderbergers as an important force for the “New World Order.” (Note: Since the Bildebergers, according to former British Intelligence agent John Coleman, serve as a BINDING force between the three major ‘one world government’ forces – the Wicca-Masons (i.e. Communism); the Black Nobility descendants of the early Roman emperors; and the Maltese Jesuits. . . each of which have 13 respective representatives on the 39-member Bildeberger board – and since a Nazi SS stormtrooper was responsible for developing this “New World Order” coordination council, and since Adolph Hitler’s second book was titled [believe it or not] “The New World Order.” No wonder Adolph Hitler’s dream – and that of his predecessors the “Kaisers”, a German translation of “Caesars” – was the revival of the Roman empire). According to former British Intelligence agent Dr. John Coleman, the three world power groups: the Wicca-Masons (i.e. Communism), the Maltese-Jesuits and the Black-Nobility (‘Black’ in this context refers to their character, not their skin color) all work for and under the central Command of the Bavarian Illuminati which binds them together. The Bavarians created the Bilderberg society for this purpose, the core of which is a council of 13 members from each of the three ‘groups’ or 39 in all. The old-line ruling families who believe that they have the right to rule the world because they are descended from the emperors of the ancient Roman and so-called ‘holy’ Roman Empires consist of 13-15 ‘blue blood’ families. Which include: Rothschild; Kuhn; Loeb; Lehman; Rockefeller; Sach; Warburg; Lazard; Seaf; Goldman; Schiff; Morgan; Schroeder; Bush and Harriman . . . Others that have not been mentioned are more ‘powerful’ than others. But these names will get you started if you wish to track down the present-day inner core of the conspiracy. The history of the Bilderberg group itself, a cover for the Bavarian Illuminati, and its Nazi conections, would probably be the best place to start.

Prominent on the board of two insurance giants are Committee of 300 members: the Giustiniani family, Black Nobility of Rome and Venice who trace their lineage to the Emperor Justianian; Sir Jocelyn Hambro of Hambros (Merchant) Bank; Pierpaolo Luzzatti Fequiz, whose lineage dates back six centuries to the most ancient Luzzatos, the Black Nobility of Venice, and Umberto Ortolani of the ancient Black Nobility family of the same name. Other old Venetian Black Nobility Committee of 300 members and board members of ASG and RAS are the Doria family, the financiers of the Spanish Hapsburgs, Elie de Rothschild of the French Rothschild family, Baron August von Finck (Finck, the second richest man in Germany now deceased), Franco Orsini Bonacassi of the ancient Orsini Black Nobility that traces its lineage to an ancient Roman senator of the same name, the Alba family whose lineage dates back to the great Duke of Alba, and Baron Pierre Lambert, a cousin of the Belgian Rothschild family.

Italy was chosen as a test-target by the Committee of 300. Italy is important to the conspirators’ plans because it is the closest European country to the Middle East, and linked to Middle East economics and politics. It is also the home of the Catholic Church, which Weishaupt ordered destroyed, and home for some of Europe’s most powerful oligarchical families of the ancient Black Nobility. Should Italy have been weakened by Aldo Moro’s death, it would have had repercussions in the Middle East which would have weakened US influence in the region. Italy is important for another reason; it is a gateway for drugs entering Europe from Iran and Lebanon.

Various groups combined under the name of socialism to bring about the downfall of several Italian governments since the Club of Rome was established in 1968. Among these are the Black Nobility of Venice and Genoa, P2 Masonry and the Red Brigades, all working for the same goals. Police investigators in Rome working on the Red Brigades-Aldo Moro case came across the names of several very prominent Italian families working closely with this terrorist group. The police also discovered evidence that in at least a dozen cases, these powerful and prominent families had allowed their homes and/or property to be used as safe houses for Red Brigades cells.

Peccei headed the Atlantic Institute’s Economic Council for three decades while he was the Chief Executive Officer for Giovanni Agnellis’ Fiat Motor Company. Agnelli, a member of an ancient Italian Black Nobility family of the same name, was one of the most important members of the Committee of 300. He played a leading role in development projects in the Soviet Union. The Club of Rome is a conspiratorial umbrella organization, a marriage between Anglo-American financiers and the old Black Nobility families of Europe, particularly the so-called “nobility” of London, Venice and Genoa. The key to the successful control of the world is their ability to create and manage savage economic recessions and eventual depressions. The Committee of 300 looks to social convulsions on a global scale, followed by depressions, as a softening-up technique for bigger things to come, as its principal method of creating masses of people all over the world who will become its “welfare” recipients of the future.

To introduce new cults and continue to boost those already functioning which includes rock “music” gangsters such as the filthy, degenerate Mick Jagger’s “Rolling Stones” (a gangster group much favored by European Black Nobility) and all of the Tavistock-created “rock” groups which began with “The Beatles.” To continue to build up the cult of Christian fundamentalism begun by the British East India Company’s servant, Darby, which will be misused to strengthen the Zionist state of Israel through identifying with the Jews through the myth of “God’s Chosen People” and by donating very substantial amounts of money to what they mistakenly believe is a religious cause in the furtherance of Christianity.

Brzezinski was not writing as a private citizen but as Carter’s National Security Advisor and a leading member of the Club of Rome and a member of the Committee of 300, a member of the CFR and as a member of the old Polish Black Nobility. His book explains how America must leave its industrial base behind and enter into what he called “a distinct new historical era.”

In this regard a French Black Nobility member, Etienne D’Avignon, as a member of the Committee of 300, was assigned the task of collapsing the steel industry in the US It is doubtful that any of the hundreds of thousands of steel workers and shipyard workers who have been without jobs for the past decade have ever heard of D’Avignon.

A second assassination bureau is located in Switzerland and was until recently run by a shadowy figure of whom no photographs existed after 1941. The operations were and probably still are financed by the Oltramaire family – Swiss Black Nobility, owners of the Lombard Odier Bank of Geneva, a Committee of 300 operation. The primary contact man was Jacques Soustelle – this according to US Army-G2 intelligence files. This group was also closely allied with Allen Dulles and Jean de Menil, an important member of the Committee of 300 and a very prominent name in the oil industry in Texas. Army-G2 records show that the group was heavily involved in the arms trade in the Middle East, but more than that, the assassination bureau made no less than 30 attempts to kill General de Gaulle, in which Jacques Soustelle was directly involved. The same Soustelle was the contact man for the Sendero Luminosa-Shining Pathway guerilla group protecting the Committee’s Peruvian cocaine producers.

Richard Gardner was sent to Rome on a special assignment. Gardner married into one of the oldest Black Nobility families of Venice, thus providing the Venetian aristocracy a direct line to the White House. The late Averill Harriman was another of the committee’s direct links with the Kremlin and the White House, a position inherited by Kissinger after Harriman’s death.

In 1986 in “The Order of St. John of Jerusalem” Dr. Coleman wrote: “(I)t is therefore not a secret society, except where its purposes have been perverted in the inner councils like the Order of the Garter, which is a prostituted oligarchical creation of the British royal family, which makes a mockery of what the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem stands for. As an example, we find the atheist Lord Peter Carrington, who pretends to be an Anglican Christian but who is a member of the Order of Osiris and other demonic sects, including Freemasonry, installed as a Knight of the Garter at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of England, of the Black Nobility Guelphs, also head of the Anglican Church, which she thoroughly despises.” $15.8 billion is one realistic estimate of the Queen’s worth – tax exempt – BOE. “Only the little people pay taxes.” — Leona Helmsly black.htm
http://www.assatashakur.org/forum/br…-nobility.html

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After Monsanto’s GMO Meltdown in the USA

Posted on 14 April 2010 by admin

After Monsanto’s GM Meltdown in the USA…

Syngenta comes to the rescue to keep the transgenic treadmill going Prof. Joe Cummins

A fully referenced version of this article is posted on ISIS members’ website and can be downloaded here

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One major impact of crops genetically modified (GM) for insect resistance is that the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry toxins conferring insect resistance are specific for particular pests. After the Bt crops have been planted for several years, the target pest is usually diminished, leaving an ecological niche into which another insect pest species may invade. This has already happened with Bt cotton in India [1] (Mealy Bug Plagues Bt Cotton in India and PakistanSiS45) and in the United Stated, where the tarnished plant bug has emerged as the major pest in the cotton belt [2] (GM Crops Facing Meltdown in the USA,SiS 46).

Now Christoph Then of Test Biotech, an independent German research group, reports on the spread of the western bean cutworm (Striacosta albicosta) and the massive damage inflicted on Bt maize in the United States [3]: “The infestation has been observed since the year 2000.…. This cutworm has historically been confined to very limited regions and did not cause any major problems in maize crops. For several years now the pest has been spreading into more and more regions within the US Corn Belt and causing substantial economic damage. In 2009, maize plants affected by the western bean cutworm were even found in Canada for the first time. According to scientific publications, this new pest has been caused by the large-scale cultivation of genetically engineered plants expressing Cry1Ab such as MON810. It is seen as a case of ‘pest replacement’, often found where there is extensive use of pesticides in industrial agriculture. Pest replacement means that new ecological niches open up which other competitors then occupy. In this case, a naturally occurring competitor of the western bean cutworm has been intentionally suppressed by the extensive cultivation of Bt maize plants, thus allowing the new pest to spread on a large scale and heavily infest the crop. A whole arsenal of insecticides – some of them highly toxic – and genetically engineered multi-stacked maize are recommended for controlling the pest.”

Syngenta MIR162 to the rescue

For the most part, the pesticides used to combat new pests are toxic, expensive and leave residues on food and feed.  The Bt Cry toxins available for genetic modification have not proven   sufficiently effective against the newly emerged pest. Syngenta Corporation was quick to fill the pesticide gap by introducing a maize line called Agrisure Viptera to control western bean cutworm.  That GM maize line is derived from event MIR162 incorporating a Bt vegetative insecticidal protein, VIP3Aa [4]. VIP toxins are produced in growing Bt cells as distinct from the Cry toxins that are produced as crystals in stationary stage sporulating Bt cells. Agrisure Viptera was cleared for commercial release by USDA/APHIS and USEPA in time for the growing season in 2010.

Event MIR162’s Bt insecticidal vegetative protein gene vip3Aa20 is driven by a maize polyubiquitin promoter with the CaMV 35S 3’ polyadenylation termination signal. A selectable marker pmi encoding mannose-6-phosphate isomerise from E. coli, also driven by the maize polyubiquitin promoter, withAgrobacterium nopaline synthase terminator. The phosphomannose-isomerase converts mannose-6-phosphate to fructose-6-phosphate. Only transformed cells are capable of utilizing mannose as a carbon source. Transgenic plants regenerated from selected transformed immature embryo-derived calli contained the pmi gene and the gene was transmitted to the progeny in ‘Mendelian’ fashion [6]. (This is based on the statistical misuse of failure to depart from ‘Mendelian ratios’ as evidence of transgene stability,  as pointed out by ISIS [7] GM Rice Unstable (isisnews 9/10). The Syngenta petition for non-regulated status of MIR162 maize was an extensive document describing the construction of the transgenic maize line and its field testing for productivity and resistance to pests. VIP3Aa20 produces pores in the gut cell membrane of insect pests that caused the cells to burst; its target cell proteins are different from those of the Cry proteins. The impact of MIR163 on non target organisms were examined, but only with the VIP3Aa20 protein produced in the bacterium E coli, which is  different from that expressed in the transgenic maize.  The latter is transcribed from a DNA sequence that had been altered to optimise production of VIP3Aa20 protein in maize, differing by several amino acids, but assumed, unjustifiably, to be insignificant [6].

In 2005, USDA/APHIS  determined that Syngenta Corporation cotton event COT102 with transgene VIP3A was no longer regulated, and is now used to control a number of Lepidopteron pests  [8, 9].

Syngenta’s patented death proteins

Syngenta corporation, producer of chemical and biological pesticides, has patented the vip genes for use in transgenic crop plants and microbes [10]. The patent provided evidence that Vip3A toxin produces apoptotic cell death, a series of cytological changes including the production of membrane bound apoptotic bodies and activation of endonuclease enzymes that cleave chromatin into discrete fragments. Apoptosis (meaning petals falling from a flower) or programmed cell death, is common to all cells with discrete nuclei. Apoptosis is a part of normal development, but that induced by VIPp3A toxin is not. In order to function fully in the plant cells the vip3A gene is modified in its coding sequence, and is given additional extraneous sequences: a strong promoter to drive transcription, an intron to facilitate transfer of the pre-messenger RNA from nucleus to cytoplasm, a transcription terminator, and signal for polyA addition. The insect VIP3A receptor was identified and its ‘death domain’ recognition sequence characterized. Organisms whose cells have nuclei generally have families of receptors with ‘death domain’ recognition sequences, just as the insect VIP3A receptor is a unique member of a family of receptors [11, 12]. The death domain of VIP proteins is a 60 to 70 amino-acid motif, that is present in many proteins and phylogenetically conserved, as I pointed out previously [13] (Death Domains in New Bio-pesticidesSiS 26). The effects of VIP proteins on non-target organisms need to be very thoroughly investigated. USDA /APHIS finding of no significant impact (FONSI) has allowed the unconfined cultivation and use of COT102. The environmental assessment responded to public comment about apoptosis,  but did not discuss the topic extensively [12].

Continuing trangennic treadmill

Syngnta seems to have quickly turned adversity into opportunity. Nevertheless, once the western bean cutworm occupied niche is subdued, another resistant pest will appear to provide further opportunity for enriching biotech corporations in the endless transgenic treadmill [14] (see Glyphosate Resistance in Weeds – The Transgenic TreadmillSiS 46).

The only escape from the transgenic meltdown may well be organic cropping [2].

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Monsanto completes sunflower business sale

Posted on 31 August 2009 by admin

Monsanto Co. said Monday it completed the divestiture of its global sunflower assets to rival Syngenta.

Switzerland-based Syngenta bought assets and assumed liabilities associated with Monsanto’s global hybrid sunflower seed business for $160 million.

Monsanto’s sunflower business recorded sales of $75 million in fiscal 2008.

Creve Coeur, Mo.-based Monsanto Co. (NYSE: MON), led by Chairman, President and CEO Hugh Grant, develops insect- and herbicide-resistant crops and other agricultural products. It is one of the largest employers in St. Louis with 4,000 local employees. Its seeds and traits portfolio includes corn, cotton and soybeans.

http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/stories/2009/08/31/daily13.html

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Corporate Agriculture Is to Blame for the 100,000s of Farmer Suicides in India

Posted on 20 May 2009 by admin

Vandana Shiva: Our Corporate Farming System Is to Blame for 

AlterNet – San Francisco, CA

Last month, the world got a glimpse of an epidemic that has hit India in the last decade when news reports alerted readers to the suicides of 1,500 farmers in the Indian state of Chattisgarh.

But this has been only a fraction of the suicides committed by farmers since 1997, says Vandana Shiva, Ph.D., a physicist, environmentalist, feminist, science policy advocate and director ofNavdanya and the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology.

While initial news reports blamed the recent suicides on falling water levels, Shiva explains that the suicide epidemic in India is a lot more complicated and far-reaching.

“Rapid increase in indebtedness is at the root of farmers’ taking their lives,” she wrote recently. “Debt is a reflection of a negative economy. Two factors have transformed agriculture from a positive economy into a negative economy for peasants: the rising of costs of production and the falling prices of farm commodities. Both these factors are rooted in the policies of trade liberalization and corporate globalization.”

At the heart of this is a circle of indebtedness that has resulted from the so-called Green Revolution, which exported industrial agricultural practices to places like India and in doing so, made seeds, a once-renewable resource for farmers, into something that had be bought from corporations.

“In 1998, the World Bank’s structural-adjustment policies forced India to open up its seed sector to global corporations like Cargill, Monsanto and Syngenta,” Shiva wrote. “The global corporations changed the input economy overnight. Farm-saved seeds were replaced by corporate seeds, which need fertilizers and pesticides and cannot be saved. … The shift from saved seed to corporate monopoly of the seed supply also represents a shift from biodiversity to monoculture in agriculture.”

In an interview with AlterNet, Shiva explained how Monsanto’s Bt cotton has exemplified what can go wrong with industrial agriculture; what happens to farming communities when traditional farming methods are replaced by corporate sponsored mono-cropping; and how to stem the tide of farmer suicides.

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From Seeds of Suicide to Seeds of Hope: Why Are Indian Farmers Committing Suicide and How Can We Stop This Tragedy?

Posted on 28 April 2009 by admin

Vandana Shiva

In a land where reincarnation is a commonly held belief, where the balance sheet of life is sorted out over lifetimes, where resilience and recovery has been the characteristic of the “kisan,” the peasant cultivation, why are Indian farmers committing suicide on a mass scale?

200,000 farmers have ended their lives since 1997.

In 1998, the World Bank’s structural adjustment policies forced India to open up its seed sector to global corporations like Cargill, Monsanto and Syngenta. The global corporations changed the input economy overnight. Farm saved seeds were replaced by corporate seeds, which need fertilizers and pesticides and cannot be saved.

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Biotech’s history of overpromising and underdelivering may be catching up with it

Posted on 22 April 2009 by admin

GMOs: false promise?

Tom Philpott’s post on USDA chief Tom Vilsack’s comments regarding biotech deserves a bit more attention. Vilsack was speaking at the first ever meeting of the Group of Eight agricultural ministers. I guess we have to consider it progress that the top ag officials from the eight largest industrialized nations finally decided it was worth getting together despite the fact that there’s no consensus on what to do about food.

It doesn’t help that when Tom Vilsack leaves the country—the meeting was held in Italy—he goes from being “Farmer Tom” to “Salesman Tom.” His prime responsibility (indeed a fundamental mission of the USDA) is to further the interests of US agriculture. Right now that means two things—pushing US food and technology exports. It’s almost a reflex—there’s no indication of any meaningful thought behind his position. Rather, if you take another of Vilsack’s statements in the FT article Philpott linked to—“[t]his is not just about food security, this is about national security, it is about environmental security”—at face value, it’s entirely at odds with a reliance on GM seeds.  After all, GM seeds are controlled by a handful of companies—Monsanto, Syngenta and Dow (although Monsanto really is the most dominant player)—and are wedded to the Three Evil Sisters—synthetic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers and diesel fuel, which has nothing to do with “environmental security.”

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