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March 18, 2016

GMO News Summary March 18th, 2016

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*Imagine if every American who claimed to believe in property rights, and who claimed to believe that trespassers, vandals, and assailants should be punished, would be serious and actually apply that to real cases like poison drift. Imagine if America really believed in this kind of property right and really thought there was no right to trespass and destroy. Just one of many reasons pesticides could never have gotten started in the first place if this was a rational, moral society.
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*Demand for non-GM conventional maize, soy, and other crops has been growing in recent years. Farmers who can deliver non-contaminated shipments are offered premiums by an increasing number of processors and manufacturers. This demand has been driven almost completely by grassroots political and consumer demand as embodied in the labeling movement and the rising abolition movement. Meanwhile farmers are also being driven away from GMOs by the overall poor and deteriorating performance of increasingly expensive GM crops. The political and consumer trend has been bolstered recently by low commodity prices, which are giving farmers an added incentive to make the switch from GM to non-GM cultivation. They look to the non-GM premium to make up for lost revenues. As a result in 2015 GM plantings in the US were stagnant for soybeans and declined for maize. But figures for both have been above 90% for years, and it’s likely that GMO cultivation has reached market saturation in the US as it has almost everywhere else on Earth. The cultural, scientific, and political movement to abolish GMOs therefore can contemplate the prospect that our main action can be to start driving back the monster, if natural and economic structural limits are already imposing a cordon on the GMO advance.
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*The Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR) is dedicated to industrialized commodity cotton production. By no stretch of the imagination is it anti-GMO. Nevertheless it seems free of the religious cultism which is standard among Western regulators and researchers. It looks soberly at GMO technology, assessing it from a “rational” capitalist point of view. (That is, as rational as one can be within the insane framework of commodity agriculture.) Today the CICR is of the opinion that India will lose nothing and be better off if Monsanto were to become the first ever Galtian crybaby to actually follow through on its threat to quit and go home. In this case the tantrum and threat are because the Indian government has once again cut the tax it will allow Monsanto to exact on its seed sales. It’s quite true that India will lose nothing and be better off. But Monsanto probably won’t do us the favor of following through on its hissyfit.
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*A new industry report confirms what Charles Benbrook has been reporting for years, what Brazil’s National Cancer Institute said a year ago, and what we all know is the case, that GMOs greatly increase pesticide use. The report focuses on how GMOs have driven the great leap in glyphosate use in recent decades. The report is unrealistically optimistic about the future prospects for GMOs and glyphosate, however.
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*Thanks to pressure from labeling advocates, the Senate voted very narrowly to reject cloture on the DARK Act. It’ll be back immediately, indeed this was a procedural vote rather than a “final” vote until a new bill comes along. While I agree that the DARK Act must be opposed, this is obviously not sufficient. I note the changed concepts of what’s the basic trend and what’s a positive development: A few years ago the trend was the gradual but progressive growth of the state level labeling movement, and what was good was any progress on this front. Today the trend is an ever more obsessive focus on the pro-Monsanto central government, and what’s good is endlessly fighting off iterations of the hard version of the DARK Act while increasingly swooning over soft-DARK proposals. Axiom: Any version of FDA preemption is philosophically abhorrent and fraudulent as a practical matter, if the goal is really supposed to be a strong labeling policy as a step toward abolition. But where it comes to many labeling advocates, I increasingly doubt either of those is a real goal. Is this war of attrition, this rut, really now the measure of progress? Am I the only one who’s already extremely sick of it?
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4 Comments

  1. To answer your question, no, there are two of us now.

    I was not aware of this, were you?

    ———————————-

    2000

    A new Monsanto Company, based on the previous agricultural division of Pharmacia, is incorporated as a stand-alone subsidiary of the pharmaceutical company. (Pharmacia itself eventually becomes a subsidiary of Pfizer, in 2003).

    Original Monsanto Company
    2000

    The original Monsanto enters into a merger and changes its name to Pharmacia Corporation. (For a detailed history about the relationships among Monsanto Company, Pharmacia Corporation, Pfizer Inc., and Solutia Inc.

    ————————————–

    http://www.monsanto.com/whoweare/pages/monsanto-history.aspx

    It certainly makes sense to me that Pfizer and Monsanto would be in bed together, or that they are really just subdivisions of one giant poison pushing institution. The more I have looked into vaccine & drug manufacturers and their cultist principles (borrowing your parlance there), the more it becomes clear that vaccines and GMOs mirror each other…. with the only significant difference being that one puts the poison on and in your foods and the other injects it right into your bloodstream. Both believe humans and nature are fundamentally flawed and need a good corporate lab coat super fixing. This makes for a perfect sick for profit racket with guaranteed perpetual customers.

    Comment by Pete — March 20, 2016 @ 10:03 am

    • All that reshuffling ended up with Monsanto reborn as a stand-alone agrochemical company, Pharmacia taking what used to be Monsanto’s drug division, and the chemical company Solutia sent off to the wilderness to die, hopefully taking all PCB liability with it. That last part, at least, didn’t work.

      You got it right, all these threads run parallel (and often intertwine). In all cases they seek control, want total domination of humans and nature, and of course the standard profit goal.

      Comment by Russ — April 2, 2016 @ 4:38 am

  2. Another new Chemical company has emerged, CHEMCHINA. They want to grow gmo corn in China. People in China are very reluctant about this company which is now trying to grow its gmo corn in USA. The trade agreements, TPP, TPPIP are scary as they support all these chem giants. Is it any wonder that the labeling issue is entwined with politics in the USA election year? The DARK ACT is bouncing and changing with those who aim to protect Monsanto. It is an insult to all citizens that these same politicians are also suggesting Monsanto be freed from having to pay for PCB contamination cleanups. The world has been its OYSTER long enough. So, it is time to shut Monsanto and other corporations out of having ‘personhood’ rights. I am Canadian and I had to research why Monsanto could get away with their terrible farming practices and finally found out about citizen’s united. Unfortunately my country followed suit with the corrupt FDA about gmo food safety. I fight with my pocketbook and hardly remember the taste of corn, soy, canola and sugar since Monsanto came our with bt sweet corn in 2012.
    As your blog suggests, the labeling issues of GMO’s is expanding. After all, we activists are simply people: moms, dads, farmers who reject GMOs in a world being run over by chemicals without any relevant long term studies about changing dna and gut flora. Pardon me Monsanto, I want 0 ppm in my food. Once ppm of glyphosate is accepted, the ppm will increase with every new player for herbicides/pesticides.
    I think a major upset for Monsanto and a victory for people was the announcement by the WHO regarding ‘probable carcinogen’ pointed at glyphosate early 2015. Monsanto is trying with governmental support to get this reversed. This would likely solve a lot of problems for them legally. Overal, it is up to us, people worldwide to continue pressuring their governments to either label (USA + Canada) or reject Glyphosate (EU and counting).

    Comment by ladybloggerist — March 22, 2016 @ 9:51 pm


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