November 14, 2014

GMO News Report, November 14, 2014

Filed under: GMO Contamination, GMO Health Hazards — Russ @ 8:45 am


*Monsanto has announced a $2.4 million settlement with Oregon wheat farmers who suffered economic damage from the export disruptions caused by the 2013 discovery of feral Roundup Ready wheat in Oregon, according to media reports. $2.1 million (minus whatever the lawyers take) will be divided among the farmers, with the rest going to growers’ associations. It’s a paltry sum to redress a major crime.
The USDA recently closed its investigation of the incident with little comment. It did confirm that the wheat was a Monsanto Roundup Ready variety field tested some ten years ago, but threw up its hands in resignation over its inability to figure out how the rogue wheat came to be growing in the open. (No GM wheat has been commercialized. A Monsanto attempt to do so ten years ago was defeated by massive farmer opposition. In trying to calm fears over this genetically modified superweed,he USDA criminally repeated the lie that the FDA has tested GMOs and found them safe. In reality the FDA never tested a single GMO, but instead ideologically declared them safe over the objections of rank and file FDA scientists.
This incident, where a non-approved GMO slipped the bonds of the allegedly rigorous containment protocols of the field trial system, is further proof that GMO contamination is impossible to contain and that “co-existence” is impossible so long as GMOs exist at all. This is true at every point along the “regulatory” process, from field trials as in this case to unsegregatable commercial pipelines, as in the case of Syngenta’s illicit maize which keeps turning up in shipments to China and causing those shipments to be rejected. Highlighting this, even as the USDA was wrapping up its investigation of the Oregon outbreak, a new outbreak of feral GM wheat was discovered on the campus of Montana State University, where field trials were conducted from 2000-2003.
(In this connection, here’s the latest report on GMO contamination, based on the GMO Contamination Register maintained by Greenpeace and GeneWatch.)
These are the latest proofs that USDA policy would be utterly incompetent to prevent outbreaks of contamination even if it cared about doing so, and that the USDA’s proposed “co-existence” policy is nothing but a scam. It could hardly be otherwise, since “co-existence” is physically and politically impossible. The ever-escalating rate of inadvertent as well as intentional GMO pollution is proof of this. These incidents, and the paltry recourse available in the legal system, where any recourse is available at all, are part of the proof that humanity must abolish GMOs if we are to redeem the integrity and sustainability of our health, environment, and agriculture.
*An NGO coalition from Russia, Europe, and the US, led by Russia’s National Association for Genetic Safety, has announced that starting in 2015 it will conduct a two-to-three year GMO/pesticide feeding study entitled “GMO Factor”. The group says it will conduct long-term study on five generations of rats, gauging the health effects of RR maize by itself, feed laced with glyphosate, feed laced with Roundup, and the combinations of these factors. It’s especially important that a study compare the results of feeding with pure glyphosate, which is an ivory tower product never used in real life, but which is the only thing tested in government and corporate feeding trials, with feeding Roundup, the most common real world formulation, which many scientists and public health experts think is far more toxic than glyphosate by itself on account of the toxic surfactants and adjuvants mixed into the formulation, which is never safety-tested. The study organizers say their funding (which has not yet been disclosed, but they claim they’ll make it fully transparent once the study begins in 2015) comes only from “neutral” sources, and that they themselves are neutral.
If this does turn out to be a study with legitimate methodology measuring legitimate health parameters over the full two-year life cycle of the animals, it’ll be a worthy contribution. I’ll stress here, however, that we don’t need more studies, as the existing health, environmental, agricultural, socioeconomic, and political record is clear and dispositive. There’s already a definitive scientific and democratic consensus against GMOs. All legitimate scientists and freedom-loving people reject them. It’s simply impossible to be informed about this subject and still support GMOs and their related poisons from any point of view other than corporate profiteering and domination.
I wanted to stress this since there’s also a few suspicious details about this project, especially the way the promoters keep repeating how they’re “objective neutrals” between the alleged extremes of “the anti-GMO movement and the biotech industry”. This kind of false equivalence (which presumably consigns previous longtime GMO supporters Arpaud Pusztai and Gilles-Eric Seralini to the “anti-GMO” category and slanders their work and all the excellent independent work which has been done to date) generally emanates from triangulators who pose as public advocates but are really planning their own corporate propaganda campaign.
Therefore the right position on this is to reserve judgement until we learn more about the methodology and see how the study and its publicity play out over time. Greenpeace and some others seem to be taking this wait-and-see position, though some other GMO critics are letting themselves be carried away by naive optimism. (But then we should always keep in mind that some of the critics really want to be talked out of their criticism, and will listen to a more subtle lie even if they couldn’t bring themselves to believe the more brazen ones.)




  1. Russ, don’t know if you have like a summary of gmos, but if you do I can send it to some relatives and friends. People tend to have pretty short attention spans these days, I don’t know what it would take to summarize the gmo nightmare, (10 – 25 pages?), but you could link it back to your website, and people might circulate it. Maybe you’re already working along these lines. Anyway lots of people don’t really want to follow the day in day out issues, but need a general sense of the big picture, and how to avoid gmos. I’m sure they won’t get it in school or from the boob tube.

    Comment by Tom M Culhane — November 16, 2014 @ 11:05 am

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