April 18, 2014

GMO News Summary April 18th, 2014


*Vermont’s Senate voted 26-2 to pass a state GMO labeling policy which will go into effect in July 2016. The bill will have to be voted again in the House (where it’s already passed). The governor has said he’ll sign it.
*The Grocery Manufacturers Association’s preemption bill against GMO labeling has been introduced in Congress. I wrote a full analysis here. This federal preemption policy would enlist the FDA to ban the states from enacting any kind of truth-in-labeling laws. Instead the FDA would be given new propaganda tools to continue its fraudulent pretense that it undertakes any “regulation” of GMOs whatsoever.
That the FDA does anything at all to assess the safety of GMOs and other agricultural poisons is one of the core lies of the GMO hacks. In truth the FDA has never once performed or required a single test. But it has always implicitly endorsed the lie that it does do such testing. The GMA bill is designed to intensify this campaign of lies.
*Testbiotech has released a thorough assessment of how all alleged “study” considered by the EFSA on the GM maize variety 1507 has been controlled by the cartel, either directly or through revolving door personnel posing fraudulently as “independent” researchers. 1507 may be approved in May in spite of the lack of any safety testing at all, as well as its rejection in votes by the European Parliament and European Council.
*As I’ve predicted several times before, the EC is moving to constrain and render impracticeable its “subsidiarity” policy (cf. especially p. 6 and 10-11 of the PDF) under which EU member states can institute state-level bans on the cultivation of a GM crop approved at the EU level by the Commission. Currently only the MON810 maize variety is approved for cultivation in the EU. It has been banned by ten countries, and is widely grown only in Spain.
But under the proposed policy change, each country would be required to make a special bureaucratic request of the applying corporation for each individual application, a priori, asking that its own territory be excluded from the scope of the application. Only if the applicant refuses will the member state then be allowed to enact its own ban. The technical criteria for such a ban to be valid in the bureaucratic courts would also be tightened. The policy proposal would further erode the Precautionary Principle and further exalt the preemptive power of EFSA assessments. The revolving door EFSA is little more than a Monsanto division.
Obviously this is meant to be cumbersome to the point of impossibility. Instead of taking cultivation approvals on a case by case basis, a national government is supposed to track down every pending application, assess its approval in a hypothetical way, make a future-oriented decision, and formulate a request. And who is supposed to do this – a bureaucracy which is naturally more likely to support the corporate project than a legislature which is more likely to be responsive to the public good. And then there’s the fact that the government of a day is to be able to tie the hands of its successors in perpetuity. Once again we see the fundamental hostility of the EC to democracy and to politics as such.
*GeneWatch UK is filing Freedom of Information requests, and now a complaint with the Information Commissioner, demanding access to withheld and redacted parts of communications between the government’s Department of the Environment, Farms, and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the GMO cartel’s lobby group the Agricultural Biotechnology Council (ABC). The information already released details coordinated media strategies and how the government keeps the lobby informed about upcoming minister speeches and policy proposals. It’s clear that little will be needed from TTIP “regulatory coherence” to increase the intensity of government/corporate bureaucratic Gleichschaltung in the UK. 
*A detailed account of the politics of how over 200 GM field trials were okayed in India earlier this year.
*I’m sure we’re all very sorry about the news that parasite commodity traders have “lost” as much $427 million in reduced US maize exports to China, because the US commodification system is incompetent to provide the uncontaminated products the buyer requests. This is a severe indictment of the entrepreneurial abilities of US commodifiers. Now the traders are squabbling with the GMO cartel about why it’s not possible to segregate the particular variety China has been rejecting, Syngenta’s MIR162 line.
The answer, of course, is that the commodification system is unsuited to provide versatility and diversity because it’s designed to supply the opposite, an undifferentiated monoculture commodity flow. Even more importantly, this proves contamination by unwelcome GMOs at every point of the growth and supply chain is inevitable. Over the long run segregation is impossible, just as “coexistence” in general is impossible. In some cases like this one, it’s evidently impossible even in the immediate run.



  1. I’ve seen articles here and there claiming Monsanto’s stock is significantly down. Is this optimism, or for real?

    Comment by DualPersonality — April 18, 2014 @ 9:32 am

    • I don’t usually pay attention to stock prices. It looks like today there was a dip and then a rally. Also the CEO just dumped a significant fraction of his shares.


      That’s not the first time for that. As I recall he and other execs dumped stock sometime last summer. Bankster analysts often express skepticism about the long run prospects for Monsanto and GMOs. They seem disinclined to believe the lies, and recognize that the whole thing is one big force- and welfare-based hoax.

      Comment by Russ — April 18, 2014 @ 2:41 pm

  2. Russ, thought I’d run a question by you and your readers. I just picked up some corn seed from the local feed seed supply store in town. I bought some “silver queen” and “golden queen” corn, because locals have told me before these varieties do well around here. Last year I planted an heirloom variety, “bloody butcher”, I bought from seedsavers dot org, and it grew to 9 feet high, but the cobs were very small if at all. Anyway so I’m not ready to plant a bunch of varieties of corn yet, like I did with the 10 types of older wheats last fall, because corn cross pollinates so easily… and so I just bought these two local varieties, but couldn’t get a straight answer from the guy at the seed store on whether they are gmo or not. He said it would be lllegal for him to tell me they are not, if it doesn’t say they are not, on the label…

    Other people at seed stores had told me long ago that these varieties are the same corn that they ate as kids. They are hybrids, not open pollinating, but if I understand things correctly, hybridization happens naturally in nature. But are they gmo?

    Are these sleazy corporations allowed to genetically alter existing varieties yet continue using the same name for the variety, fooling people into thinking they are eating the same food they ate as kids? I would assume so. So I don’t know if I should toss this seed and order some heirloom corn.

    Comment by Tom M Culhane — April 18, 2014 @ 11:14 am

    • Silver Queen is a classic hybrid sweet corn variety. I’m not familiar with Golden Queen but it’s similar, just yellow rather than white. They’re not GMO in themselves. What makes a crop GMO isn’t the variety but that a poison-based transgene (to express Bt toxin or to let the crop assimilate in its cells a huge amount of herbicide) is inserted.

      I don’t know which varieties Monsanto or Syngenta pirated for their GM sweet corn, but you certainly couldn’t buy it without paying a big premium and signing a contract. So you can’t buy GM corn or anything else by mistake.

      What the guy meant was that he wasn’t willing to guarantee those seeds aren’t contaminated. They’re not supposed to have GE material, but contamination of corn is becoming more prevalent. If you’re buying seeds the best you can do is buy from a seller who is certified organic and/or has taken the Safe Seed Pledge. Those at least indicate some care is taken vs. contamination. But nothing is failsafe short of rigorously producing one’s own seed. (On one’s own or as part of some cooperative venture.)

      What company sells the ones you got?

      Comment by Russ — April 18, 2014 @ 3:02 pm

      • Thanks Russ. I know Ken in David’s blog says he stopped buying alfalfa because there is really know way to know it it’s contaminated today. Pretty scary. The seeds are from the local seed store that just measures out what you want and puts it in a paper bag. I could check to get more info, but local seed places in other small towns around here have the same kind of stores.

        I guess I’m going to have to become an expert on seeds.

        I’m thinking of buying like ten varieties of heirloom corn from seedsavers or somewhere, and plant them all and see what happens, which grow… In their forum there one of the senior people had suggested I do that with melons, and buy two of each packet so the ones that do well, next season I can plant that type of seed (as they will have crosspollinated).

        If you know offhand though, wouldn’t that change the melon/corn… so you wouldn’t know what it would have tasted like if the plant had not been around other varieties? In other words when plants cross, the seeds will then produce a mixed variety next generation, but will the melon/corn be the same or mixed also, that first time you do it? If you see what I’m saying. I seem to be getting a different answer for corn as for melons.

        Comment by Tom M Culhane — April 19, 2014 @ 10:21 am

      • As a rule cross-pollination affects only the genome of the new seed, not the quality of the fruit of that generation. But corn is an exception. If you let varieties of varying sweetness/starchiness cross, you can end up with more starchy ears than the variety would otherwise have produced.

        So yes, if you were to plant ten sweet corns in close proximity, you’ll get unpredictable results in both the seed genetics and that first generation of food. With the melons, just the seed will be unpredictable, but the fruits of the first generation will be of those ten types.

        Comment by Russ — April 19, 2014 @ 11:36 am

      • Russ you are quite a resource. (btw just got a digital piano and software so I can play those ancient keys of music I’ve recovered, so when I write some nice songs I’ll have to send you a few…)

        Comment by Tom M Culhane — April 19, 2014 @ 2:54 pm

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