Volatility

March 6, 2015

GMO News Report, March 6th 2015

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*Gambia’s president declared that his administration is seeking to build an agricultural sector “strictly maintaining organic agriculture for both our consumption and export”, including “never accepting” GMO cultivation. The proclamation promised strong public investment in agriculture but also, incongruously, the corporate welfare “public private partnerships”. We’ll see how it plays out.
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*A few weeks ago I wrote about Food Sovereignty Ghana’s lawsuit against the country’s National Biosafety Committee and the Food and Agriculture Ministry, alleging the Committee is trying to approve GMO cowpea and rice cultivation without having met the legal requirements for safety testing and public notification and comment. Ghana’s high court has issued a stay halting the GMO commercial release process while the case is refiled and other government ministries join the case as co-defendants. The court is scheduled to issue a judgement April 2nd. As I wrote about last week, Friends of the Earth recently put out a report detailing how USAID and the Gates Foundation are trying to use bogus “biosafety authorities” as pro-Monsanto Trojan horses in African countries. Ghana’s Committee was tailor-made for this purpose.
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*A new study from researchers at the University of Naples documents that the milk of mother goats fed a diet of Roundup Ready soybeans contained 40% less immunoglobulin G (an immune system nutrient) and that kids nursing on this milk has less of the substance in their blood and lowered body weights. A previous study from the same research team documented DNA sequences from RR soybeans in goat’s milk, thus proving that at least with goats the transgenic DNA fragments survive digestion and are in the milk. The new study is the latest of a long line of studies proving that GMO-based diets affect the immune systems of mice, rats, pigs, and fish. To this day no such study has been done with humans, except of course for the monumental, ongoing, uncontrolled, nonconsensual GMO feeding trial using just about all of us as guinea pigs.
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*Egyptian actor and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mahmoud Kabil has joined the board of the Factor GMO study. As I wrote a few weeks ago, I recommend steering clear of the hype on this one and reserving judgement as we see how the PR campaign goes, who else becomes associated with the study, and how the methodology plays out.
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The fact is, if this study brings a result adverse to the GMO and/or to Roundup, it’ll be slandered in exactly the same way the Pusztai and Seralini studies have been, along with the rest of the true independent science that’s been done on these poisons. We already have a solid body of science adverse to GMOs, and the case against Roundup is conclusive: It should be banned as a carcinogen, endocrine disruptor, causer of reproductive problems and birth defects, and for its organ toxicity, along with its many other malign health, environmental, and agronomic effects.
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Meanwhile all the GMO cartel has are lies and frauds. 100% of its “evidence” is fraudulent. Most condemning of all is the negative proof: The fact that Monsanto and the US government refuse to spend the relative pennies it would cost to replicate the Seralini, Pusztai, or any other study to which they claim objections. The fact that the cartel and the government decided from day one to REFUSE to perform ANY safety tests at all on ANY GMO, comprises proof that Monsanto and the government believe GMOs and Roundup are harmful to human and animal health, and that any legitimate study they ever performed would bring this result. That’s the one and only reason they’ve always refused to do any tests.
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Certainly we want and will use all the new science we can get, but I fail to understand activists who seem to think we don’t have enough science and facts to work and win with as it is. The problem isn’t a lack of evidence. We’re buried in evidence for our side, while the enemy has zero evidence on its side. The problem is the lack of relentless, coherent movement discipline in presenting the evidence and asserting the case. Saying we need more evidence is most likely a pretext for continued procrastination, where it’s not concern trolling.
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*Friends of the Earth Europe and Testbiotech are calling for an end to GM maize cultivation in Europe following the publication last year of the most comprehensive study yet on the geographical dispersal of maize pollen, which travels by wind. The study tested at ranges up to 4.45 kilometers and found that given favorable winds pollen disperses greater distances at greater concentrations than previously thought. In particular, the EFSA’s model for pollen dispersal greatly underestimates concentration at significant distances. In response to the study the EFSA announced in December that it would conduct its own investigation, to be concluded by the end of May. Currently the EFSA recommends a farcical 20-30 meters as a buffer between GM and non-GM maize or protected nature sites. MON810 maize is the only GMO currently authorized to be cultivated in Europe, though approval for commercial release of DuPont’s 1507 variety seems imminent for this planting season.
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*Another possible effect of the TTIP. A report by the German parliament’s Scientific Service leaked to Der Spiegel opined that the TTIP could outlaw the government’s proposal to require labeling of meat and milk from animals fed GM feed. Although almost always excluded from GMO labeling policies and proposals, this is inherent to the logic of labeling. Science has proven that GM DNA fragments, Bt toxins, and herbicide residues persist in milk and meat from animals fed GMO feed.
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I don’t know why it was leaked to the media. Was it leaked by TTIP opponents looking to help muster opposition to the TTIP? Or was it the opposite, the typical trick of a government trumping up a pretext to backpedal on a popular policy it had pretended to support but which it really never wanted to enact in the first place. The proof will be in whether the government goes ahead or not.
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The piece analyzing this development comes from the USDA’s “Foreign Agricultural Service”. Why does the USDA have its own Foreign Service? Could it be anything other than a taxpayer-funded corporate lobbying arm? Read the link and see – it’s the GMO corporate state in action, the US government as lobbyist on behalf of export commodities. We’ve recently seen the USDA negotiating with China on (Swiss-based) Syngenta’s behalf. This piece also is a corporate marketing report, very concerned about the costs and regulatory burdens such a labeling policy allegedly would impose on the corporations.
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*Steven Druker has written a new book, Altered Genes, Twisted Truth, on the FDA’s criminal dereliction in the way it refused to follow the laws which required it to seriously regulate GMOs and the way it has systematically lied on the GMO cartel’s behalf. This is already a story well documented in such books as Marie-Monique Robin’s The World According to Monsanto and Jeffrey Smith’s Seeds of Deception but Druker, an attorney who filed a public interest lawsuit against the FDA in 1998, has focused especially on this piece of the monstrous puzzle.
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Here Druker sticks it to the corrupt UK Royal Society.
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*Good to see more people being outspoken about the truth, that the science is 100% against GMOs and other agricultural poisons. Far too many even among GMO critics are prone to implicitly make the wrongheaded concession that there’s some doubt about the science. There’s not.
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*Continued pressure on Costco to pledge not to carry GM salmon when the FDA approves this poisonous altered fish. Whole Foods, Target, Kroger, and Trader Joe’s along with hundreds of smaller retailers have already pledged to shun the false salmon. Two petitions at the link.
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*Farmers and democracy participants won a temporary victory and respite against GM eucalyptus commercial release in Brazil through two simultaneous actions. 300 peasants organized by the farmer movement La Via Campesina occupied the headquarters of Brazil’s pro-industry biotech regulator (is there any other kind?) CTNBio and forced it to close its meeting where it was slated to approve GM eucalyptus. At the same time over a thousand women of the Landless Workers’ Movement occupied a factory run by Futuragene, a subsidiary of the timber company Suzano, the company planning to release the toxic trees, and destroyed the GM seedlings there. Since the government is on the verge of approving the product, it’s probably at a completed development stage and so the direct action isn’t likely to have set back R&D much. But it will at least hamper supply.
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The farmers decry the destructive environmental and socioeconomic effects this intensification of industrial timber will inevitably have. This includes accelerating rainforest destruction as more land is destroyed to make way for eucalyptus plantations, and greater pressure on water tables since GM eucalyptus, like other GMOs, requires far more water than non-GM true crops. It’ll also escalate landgrabbing and the dispossession of small farmers and indigenous tribes.
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These GM trees were originally proposed to become the first commercial vectors of the Terminator gene, which causes plants to produce sterile pollen and/or seeds. This plan seems to have been shelved in the face of massive public opposition, but why was Brazil’s government planning to become the first to break the longstanding international moratorium on deployment of this technology? I can’t help think of Monsanto’s Intacta soybeans, the first GMO product developed specifically for Brazil, and which China approved for importation in food and feed in June 2013. Given China’s evident plan to develop its own GMO industry and its well known contempt for Western intellectual property, Intacta would be highly vulnerable to be copied if it were to reach China in seed form. Since GM eucalyptus is a relatively minor product, certainly minor compared to Intacta soybeans, I wonder if the plan to incorporate the Terminator into it was a camel’s-nose-in-the-tent idea, to be followed by the Terminator’s incorporation into Intacta. Monsanto holds the Terminator patent via its 2006 purchase of Delta and Pine Land.

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4 Comments

  1. Great post, Russ. One would think that with the increasingly negative views being harbored towards GMOs, the producers of the product would be eager to prove opponents wrong. Instead, they just continue to try and smear any one who raises questions about safety. An admission of guilt, to be sure. And more power to those peasants and women!

    Comment by DualPersonality — March 7, 2015 @ 2:59 am

    • They know they can’t prove the critics wrong, which is why without exception every single study the industry has done was either an industrial feeding trial testing only industrial parameters like quick weight gain (these have been the vast majority of industry “studies”; and yet even these non-safety trials consistently found evidence of toxicity) or else a bogus “toxicology” test which was of an illegitimately short duration (no more than 90 days, a fraudulent duration) and incorporated other bogus methodological elements like fraudulent “historical reference groups” intended to drown out any real data signal.

      This is why they’ve always refused to perform legitimate scientific studies on GMOs. They know the results would condemn them. Same goes for Roundup. All the real data on glyphosate is being kept secret by the German government (the EU’s “rapporteur state” for glyphosate; the US government never compiled such data in the first place), while apparently no one has ever done comprehensive testing of Roundup, which is of course the real-world formulation and therefore the only formulation which has practical meaning.

      What’s most telling about the malignant psychology and evident guilty conscience of pro-GMO activists is that even as their rhetoric avows GMOs to be their great affirmative endeavor and benefit to humanity, at the down-to-earth practical level they’re so scared and ashamed that they oppose even modest labeling of food products. They feel an overwhelming need to keep the actual presence of their product a secret from regular people. Can you imagine being so depraved? A pro-GMO activist has such high-falutin pretensions in theory, but on a day-to-day level he’s the practical and moral equivalent of a pervert wearing a raincoat sneaking into a porn theater. That’s the human level of these creatures. But then what can you expect of the human type which touted Nazi eugenics and scoffed at how those who believed cigarette smoking causes lung cancer were being “anti-science”. Pro-GMO activists are the exact same people as these. (And secretly every last one of them remains a closet eugenicist.)

      At the extreme opposite, we see the very best of humanity with those brave peasants and women, who are up against not just massive corporate political power but day-to-day violence.

      Comment by Russ — March 7, 2015 @ 3:20 am

  2. […] this maize contamination in action? Following hard upon the European study we discussed last week confirming how readily GM maize contaminates non-GM, a new study out of South Africa documents GM maize contamination among smallholder farmers who […]

    Pingback by GMO News Report March 13th 2015 | Volatility — March 13, 2015 @ 6:57 am

  3. […] several countries such as Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, the Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Ghana have signed up, the prized adherent Kenya has so far disappointed the cabal. This is in large part […]

    Pingback by GMO News Summary, January 8th 2016 | Volatility — January 8, 2016 @ 8:28 am


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