Volatility

December 19, 2017

The Dicamba Crisis (Part 1)

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Decades of experience prove the model of agriculture based on pesticides doesn’t work and is unsustainable. A rational, honest person would long ago have rejected poison-based agriculture in favor of agroecology. They would have had a “Show Me” attitude toward Missouri-based Monsanto’s proposition that the GMO version of this poison model would be any different, and they quickly would have realized it’s the same failure.
 
That’s how we know support for GMOs, and continued support for pesticides, has zero to do with reason and science. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the case of the resurrection of such herbicides as 2,4-D and dicamba which the GMO paradigm previously declared obsolete. Nowhere is the big lie more obvious than in the case of how dicamba’s new GMO-based escalation immediately precipitated the most acute American agricultural crisis since the Southern corn leaf blight epidemic of 1970.
 
In the 1990s Monsanto rolled out its glyphosate-tolerant Roundup Ready product line of GM crops. One of the big selling points was that glyphosate allegedly was less harmful to human health, the environment, and other crops than dicamba and 2,4-D. Monsanto and the USDA promised Roundup Ready would permanently supersede these bad old poisons. Monsanto and the USDA also promised weeds never would become resistant to glyphosate.
 
As anyone could have predicted and many did, these were both lies. Within a few years Roundup-resistant weeds began to proliferate. Soon the same old arms race was on between ever more commonplace and resistant weeds and escalating glyphosate applications. A few more years and Roundup Ready was in ruins, glyphosate near worthless, glyphosate-resistant weeds on a triumphal march across America’s farmland.
 
Monsanto was lying when it claimed Roundup Ready was the final word on weed control. On the contrary, as per the standard corporate program of planned obsolescence the company developed a new type of herbicide tolerant GMO in anticipation of the obsolescence of Roundup Ready. Monsanto’s new flagship product, designed to rescue the company from its Roundup dependency and lift it to new heights of dominion and profitability, is the Xtend system of dicamba herbicide and dicamba-tolerant GM cotton and soybeans. In 2015 Monsanto put Xtend cotton seed on the market, in 2016 Xtend soybeans. The EPA was uncharacteristically slow and didn’t approve the new Monsanto and BASF dicamba formulations until autumn of 2016. In 2017, in tandem with the new and allegedly improved brand-name dicamba, Monsanto was able significantly to escalate the acreage of Xtend soybean sales.
 
Knowledgeable commentators long forsaw problems. Pesticide drift has always been a problem, and this problem is especially acute with dicamba. Prior to the advent of the Xtend system dicamba was used only early in the season before crops had sprouted and under weather conditions which didn’t maximize its drift potential. As early as 2011 farmers, scientists, and industry figures warned that any large-scale spraying of dicamba under the warm, humid conditions of late spring onward was likely to maximize drift and the damage to other crops and plants this drift would cause. Dicamba kills all broad-leaf plants. Soybeans are especially sensitive to it, but it easily damages and kills most crops, ornamentals, and trees.
 
Right on schedule, as dicamba began to be sprayed during the growing season the drift damage to innocent bystander crops began to be reported. There was significant damage in 2015 and far more in 2016 as the acreage sprayed greatly increased. But this was only the prelude to the full blown disaster of 2017. By May a flood of damage reports was coursing in to the agricultural departments and university extensions of the major soy producing states, especially Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Tennessee. Soybeans everywhere not engineered to be tolerant of dicamba were sustaining often lethal damage, along with peanuts and vegetable crops such as tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, and leafy greens. Arkansas’ largest peach orchard was decimated for the second straight year. Symbolically, the University of Arkansas test plot where researchers were studying the drift potential of name-brand dicamba succumbed to drift and was wiped out.
 
By July Arkansas and Missouri issued emergency bans on further spraying of dicamba, but Missouri quickly backpedaled under Monsanto pressure. The damage reports continued to pile up across more than twenty states. By season’s end weed scientist Kevin Bradley of the University of Missouri tallied 3.6 million acres of non-Xtend soybeans damaged or killed by drifting dicamba.
 
Throughout the destructive year Monsanto ran its standard campaign of denial, lies, and scapegoating. Forced to take some kind of action the EPA announced a voluntary agreement with Monsanto and BASF to impose new certification requirements for dicamba applicators. More substantially, the Arkansas Plant Board unanimously recommended that its existing emergency ban be made policy for 2018, banning dicamba use from April 16th through October 31st. (This proposal is currently in limbo as Monsanto-subservient state legislators are trying to gut the ban. Monsanto also has sued to prevent its enforcement.)
 
 
Dicamba can move off site in several ways. One typical way for pesticides to drift is when applicators are careless about spraying under windy conditions and the poison immediately is wafted away on the wind. This is what is properly called “drift”. But dicamba has a far more insidious and destructive mode of drifting. Under common conditions of warmth and humidity liquid dicamba resting on plants and soil is prone to volatilize, turn into a gas, lift off the surfaces, and float on the air often many miles from the site of spraying before weather conditions change and cause it to resettle on whatever plants are in the vicinity. The more dicamba is sprayed in a region, the more all-pervasive the suffusion becomes. This is called atmospheric loading.
 
Dicamba’s volatility effect is well known. Monsanto and BASF promised that their new dicamba formulations, XtendiMax and Engenia, had solved the problem and would not be volatile. But Monsanto immediately signaled it was lying when it forbade university researchers pre-market access to XtendiMax in order to test it for volatility. They were allowed to test only its herbicidal capability.
 
Sure enough, in 2017 when researchers were able to purchase XtendiMax and Engenia at the store and test it themselves they found that these brand name formulations are nearly as volatile as the earlier cheap formulas. The fact is that all dicamba is volatile. It’s impossible to use it under warm humid conditions, i.e. the way it’s intended to be used under the Xtend system, and not have it promiscuously volatilize, move off site, and kill any broad leaf crops and plants it resettles upon.
 
Many farmers already have filed suit against Monsanto and BASF, as individuals and in class actions, seeking to hold these poison-peddlers accountable and make them pay for the damage they willfully have caused.
 
 
The Xtend/dicamba GMO series is the most extreme manifestation yet of what is typical of all commercial GMOs. They’re pesticide plants designed to escalate poison use and escalate the futile arms race between pesticides and the resistant pests and weeds. This absurd and destructive treadmill clearly is, in itself, the purpose of poison-based agriculture and especially its GMO-based incarnation. The pesticide treadmill ensures incessant product obsolescence, constant escalation of the potency and amount and cost of the pesticides which must be deployed, maximal dependency of farmers on the most artificial, vulnerable mode of agriculture which requires the maximum of the costly inputs supplied by agribusiness.
 
In this way agribusiness consolidates maximum control over farming and the food supply and launches a general assault on the ecology, all toward the goal of maximizing human and ecological monoculture. This is the scorched-earth terrain which provides the best habitat for pest, weed, and disease infestation, and therefore the maximum ideological and political habitat for the power claims of agribusiness, the scientism cult, and all who hate humanity and nature and who seek total domination. Poisonism therefore generates the maximal habitat for the propaganda campaign of lies, fear-mongering, and fraudulent promises that the solution is right around the corner if farmers and society only stay the poison course. This is proven every day in a hundred new articles and press statements from corporations, governments, Wall Street, academia, and the mainstream media, all speaking as one proclaiming that the only solution to the escalating crisis is to escalate the poison.
 
 
This doesn’t cause those of the true faith to falter, because beyond mundane profiteering poisonism is an ideological cult. Monsanto of course has responded with a campaign of lies. They openly deny that brand name dicambas are volatile and instead blame farmers for improper application which leads to regular wind drift, and for using older dicamba blends which are volatile.
 
The response of pro-dicamba activists across the board has been to promulgate new certification requirements and restrictions on how and when dicamba can be sprayed, in accord with the right wind conditions, temperature, time of day, and the right equipment. The EPA’s voluntary agreement with Monsanto and BASF enshrines these kinds of restrictions which allegedly will solve the problem.
 
But the whole notion of new regulations is based on the false premise that volatility isn’t the main cause of the off-target damage. This already has been proven false. The 2017 research demonstrated that no amount of care in the application can prevent dicamba from volatilizing and moving off site. Therefore the entire campaign for new restrictions is conjoined with Monsanto’s primary lie. In other words the entire campaign is bogus, nothing but a sham. As usual, EPA is the lead government propagandist backing up the corporate lies.
 
The most direct proof that these restrictions don’t work comes from Missouri. I mentioned earlier how in July Missouri instituted a temporary spraying ban but quickly lifted it. At the same time it rescinded the dicamba ban Missouri imposed the now standard set of new restrictions on its use. But this accomplished nothing: Within weeks the damage reports surged anew. This is the most proximate proof that the extra regulations don’t work.
 
But then we didn’t need that extra proof. Contrary to Monsanto’s lies, most farmers who spray dicamba do their conscientious best to spray so that it doesn’t spread beyond their farms and damage their neighbors. (Besides, if you’re going to pay to spray a pesticide, of course you’re going to do your best to keep the maximum amount on your site in order to get the full extent of what you think is the benefit.) In spite of this dicamba has drifted promiscuously, in many cases miles away from where it was sprayed. This is in spite of every care taken, and it certainly will continue in spite of any added care short of a ban on spraying past mid-April.
 
This proves that all dicamba is highly volatile and nothing can prevent it from moving off site and killing other crops and plants. Co-existence with the Xtend system is impossible. If dicamba continues to be deployed the way it was in 2017 (and Monsanto is projecting a doubling of the Xtend soybean acreage in 2018, from 20 million acres to 40 million), all soy farmers will have no choice but to buy Xtend GM seeds, while much vegetable farming and gardening as well as the existence of many other plants and trees will become impossible in the soybean zones. This proves that Monsanto’s goal remains the same as it’s always been, the goal it enshrined in what it calls its “Expanded Trait Penetration” program. Monsanto’s goal always is to force farmers to buy as many stacked GM traits as possible. Xtend is the most extreme version yet of this program. Monsanto’s goal is to extort all soybean farmers, under threat of the drift destruction of their crop, into buying the Xtend seeds and the XtendiMax herbicide (along with Roundup; Xtend is tolerant of both dicamba and glyphosate).
 
 
We see their wickedness. The dicamba crisis is the epitome of all that’s bad about GMOs as such and herbicide tolerant GMOs in particular. Agronomically this system shackles farmers to a destroyed soil and weak, denuded crops which constantly must be goosed with fertilizer, irrigated water, and an ever greater slathering of pesticides. It drives the monoculture of crop varieties as Monsanto seeks its goal of forcing seed growers to increase and farmers to buy only the few varieties into which the Xtend trait has been crossed, as only these will be viable in an atmospheric zone suffused with dicamba vapors. Weeds are guaranteed to evolve to resist dicamba, indeed already are doing so. This will require an even more complex, expensive, toxic brew to be deployed. Sure enough, in 2017 the corporations already were touting the poison plants slated to replace Xtend in a few years.
 
Socioeconomically the herbicide tolerance GMO model is designed to destroy hand-weeding jobs and force farm consolidation by driving out smaller farmers and rendering giant plantations more easy to manage. In this way agribusiness works to attain domination over farming. The fewer and bigger the farms, the easier they are to control.
 
Ecologically this poison-based monoculture wipes out habitat for monarch butterflies and many other animals and plants, kills honeybees, and directly poisons the soil, water, and air, causing havoc among these ecosystems. During spraying season humans and animals continually breathe the atmospheric load of vaporized dicamba. This aggravates dicamba’s known irritant effects on the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. Dicamba causes cancer and birth defects. We can expect to see a spike in birth defects in the dicamba zone in 2018. Along with glyphosate and 2,4-D dicamba, as a grossly abused antibiotic, drives antibiotic resistance among many strains of harmful bacteria, thus contributing to the general campaign of corporate industrial agriculture to wipe out antibiotics as a medically effective treatment.
 
These crises are endemic to massive herbicide use in general. Dicamba, by spreading beyond where it’s sprayed to a far greater extent than other herbicides, represents a great escalation of all the crises of agronomy, farm economy, ecology, and public health.
 
 
The system offers no solution, whether it be to the acute dicamba crisis or the general chronic crisis of corporate industrial agriculture. Even the weed scientists who have been doing the volatility research, tallying the destruction, and sounding the alarm offer nothing but the meek suggestion that poison use, while “necessary”, should be reformed and limited. In a mass manifestation of Stockholm syndrome damaged farmers still say the same. But the scientists’ own research demonstrates that the standard reforms can accomplish nothing, while the corporations will never accept such limits. Even as Monsanto pretended to endorse the EPA-brokered voluntary agreement it continued defiantly to assert there should be no restrictions beyond its own label.
 
Nothing within the system can meet the challenge of a crisis inherent to the core premises of the system itself. Poisonism has no future. The only way forward for weed and pest control is soil-building combined with organic pest management. The health of the soil, so ravaged by industrial agricultural practice, is the foundation of all sustainable agriculture and agriculture’s entire future. Everything else is a footnote.
 
Only a new movement built completely from outside the corporate agriculture system can meet the challenge of the day. This movement must be based on the rising ecological, agronomic, cultural, spiritual paradigm centered on the necessary transformation to agroecology and food sovereignty and the necessary abolition of poison-based agriculture.
 
 
We started by pointing out that anyone motivated by reason and the scientific mindset would long ago have concluded that poison-based agriculture doesn’t work, does far more harm than good, and should be rejected in favor of agroecology. They would have been skeptical of GMOs based on escalating this already disproven agricultural model. They would’ve found quickly that the GMO version of this model is no different and simply intensifies the same failure while rendering it even more destructive.
 
The continued denial and defense of the dicamba outbreak on the part of the pro-poison activists proves that for today’s cultists reason is the last thing any of them care about, and actual scientific evidence a close second to last. It proves that support for GMOs has zero to do with reason and science and everything to do with religious/ideological wingnuttery, where it’s not just a gutter profiteering motive. They have proven this true with every step of the genetic engineering deployment. Nowhere is this better demonstrated than the way they’ve seized upon the collapse of Roundup Ready, by any rational measure a catastrophic discrediting of the entire GMO and pesticide paradigm, as an opportunity to exalt an even more destructive poison product, one which they themselves started out promising Roundup Ready would render obsolete, and whose doom at the stems and vines of the same resistance-evolving weeds is already on the horizon.
 
The already disastrous advent of the dicamba GMOs, and the fanatic will of the GMO cultists to push forward such an insane, disproven, short-sighted, destructive project, is the best proof that the scientism/technocracy cult, just as much as the poison corporations, is the enemy of humanity and the Earth. Humanity must organize against this cult as surely as against the corporations themselves, as a key part of the corporate totalitarian cabal against humanity and the Earth. The ecocidal and genocidal monoculture aspiration of this cabal is self-evident, as is clear from the dicamba onslaught.
 
 
 
 

February 19, 2016

GMO News Summary February 19th, 2016

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*As was clear from the start, the number one pressing goal of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Campbell’s, Mark Lynas, agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack, and the rest of the pro-Monsanto, anti-labeling brigade has been to prevent the Vermont labeling law from going into effect.
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Today we’re hearing from the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) of a new attempt at “compromise”, i.e. exactly the kind of scam I predicted all along. This is a version of what I call DARK Act Plan B. The idea is that since the original DARK Act which would directly preempt Vermont looks unable to pass in the Senate, the anti-Vermont forces with propaganda help from Gary Hirshberg (and probably the rest of industrial organic) will push for a two year Congress-imposed “delay” to prevent Vermont’s law from going into effect. This two years would then be used to get a more permanent preemption policy enacted, or for new lawsuits to be filed by the GMA, or to cause Vermont to wither and die in some other way. The OCA is right to be upset, although they too have been willing to waffle away from what used to be an uncompromising anti-preemption, pro-democracy position (i.e. for the state-level movement, against FDA preemption). Now we see where such waffling gets one.
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It’s always been clear that preemption is the absolute litmus test. To be uncompromisingly, unequivocally against preemption is a prerequisite for strong labeling, the right to know, and democracy. To be for preemption is to be against all these things, in principle and in practice.
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The history of preemption proves this, in the same way that the FDA’s history (especially where it comes to GMOs) proves its inability and unwillingness to enact or carry out a real labeling policy. These are examples of why pro-corporates hate history so much and do all they can to encourage people’s general anti-historical bent. Because movements which can’t be bothered to know their history set themselves up for assured failure.
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*A scientific panel of the French environmental ministry ANSES endorses the WHO’s finding that glyphosate is cancerous to humans. The environmental minister Segolene Royal publicly supports the panel and says she wants the agency to withdraw approval for glyphosate formulations, especially those containing the surfactant POEA. (There’s no rational or scientific difference between the so-called “active ingredient” in a pesticide or any other chemical product or drug, as opposed to the “inert ingredients”, which contrary to the English definition are often extremely toxic. Those two terms are purely ideological jargon meant to make the product seem less toxic than it is. In reality, commercial formulations are usually far more toxic than the nominally primary ingredient by itself. This is because the additional chemicals are there to render the primary ingredient more potent, and because these additional ingredients are often so poisonous in themselves. Plus any escalated synergy effect among these combined toxins. This is why corporations and regulators insist that only the so-called “active ingredient”, never the real-world formulation, be subject to whatever bogus testing they perform. It’s a scientific fraud and a public health crime. That’s how the BfR and EFSA were able to claim that the IARC was wrong about cancer, even as they admitted the evidence is there. They admitted that perhaps the commercial formulations may be carcinogenic. In other words they admitted that in real life glyphosate causes cancer. Royal and the ANSES panel are now taking what the EFSA said at face value and proceeding accordingly.) In 2015 Royal touted how proactive France allegedly is being, on the occasion of new legal restrictions on the sale of glyphosate at garden centers: “France must be on the offensive with regards to the banning of pesticides…I have asked garden centers to stop putting Monsanto’s Roundup on sale.” France also has bans or restrictions on aerial spraying of pesticides and spraying in parks.
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As I said in last week’s summary, the impetus is spreading gradually. Let’s get the glyphosate abolition campaign going and really intensify and accelerate the natural political momentum already gathering toward this necessary and inevitable goal.
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*More of the same proven-to-fail scams from corporate “environmentalist” front groups like the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), which issued this fluff piece. “Habitat exchange”, that’s their new term for the same old scam? Meanwhile the real goal is always the same for the likes of the EDF, to misdirect focus away from the need to ban glyphosate, period. Because that’s what groups like the EDF are there for, to make sure the corporate project always continues unhindered. Therefore the corporate environmental prescription is always of the same basic form: Allow the corporation to continue destroying, often in what the flacks themselves call a “sacrifice zone”. But make a deal to somehow “make up for” the destruction through something like a “carbon offset” or a “mitigation” where another piece of land is allegedly not destroyed, or is restored, or is “improved”. The scam is often bolstered with a phony application of the “island biogeography” concept, even though even in principle the fragment “conserved” in some mangled state doesn’t even remotely resemble a bona fide natural island habitat. Meanwhile the conservation is always a straight-up scam. Almost all projects endorsed under “offset”-type scams were going to be built anyway, and almost all which are mothballed were going to be mothballed anyway. The conserved fragment often ends up destroyed anyway and is always severely damaged. The greenhouse gas emissions, chemical poisoning, carbon sink destruction and biodiversity destruction continue unabated. The corporate “environmental” front groups give PR cover to it all. “Habitat exchange” joins this Orwellian parade of happy lies.
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The evidence has been piling up which associates the monarch decline more and more strongly with glyphosate, especially as farm subsidies increasingly encourage cultivation of “marginal” land. Studies have assembled this evidence. Of course a corporate group like the EDF is congenitally capable of thinking only in terms of, at best, rejiggering the subsidy system (as this piece advocates). But that’s already proven to be a failure in general, and more often a fraud. (Now if we could all get together to campaign to abolish industrial farm subsidies completely, that would really be something worthwhile) At any rate it’s intentional misdirection in order to diffuse focus and waste time. I bet Monsanto’s hoping the monarch will go extinct ASAP so they can stop having to hear about it and everyone else will forget about it. We can take it to the bank that if we do anything but the opposite of what the likes of the EDF propose, we’ll lose the monarch in no time.
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*The whistleblower controversy at the USDA is blossoming into a bona fide scandal requiring even the attention of the department’s inspector general. Now the inquiry is expanding to take in animal abuse at USDA labs. Gratuitous neglect and abuse of animal subjects will automatically follow when the sociopathic commitment of a system reaches a certain point (today’s corporate regulators are way past that point), just as the scientists empowered by the Nazis to experiment upon human subjects in the concentration camps quickly went beyond the nominal scientific purposes of the research and started gratuitously inflicting pain and death, just for the hell of it, as a form of “pure science”. I think this fact is key for understanding everything that’s happening today, and where the vector is headed.
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*In recent years the agrochemical industry has wearily confessed that it has no ideas for new herbicide “modes of action” to combat the increasingly triumphant superweeds which GMOs are producing. “Growers think there will be something over the horizon that will bail them out, says Larry Steckel, weed management scientist at the University of Tennessee’s West Tennessee Research and Education Center in Jackson. But there isn’t.” But there’s new research contradicting this and playing to the fantasies of those alleged growers. The piece is published at the propaganda front group called the “American Association for the Advancement of Science”, by which they mean corporate “science”.
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According to publicly-funded profit-oriented researchers at Britain’s John Innes Center, they’ve discovered a specimen of Arabadopsis thaliana (a mustard often used in botanical research, the plant equivalent of the fruit flies regularly used in genetic research) which is resistant to the antibiotic ciprofloxacin. This poison kills bacteria and plants by interfering with an enzyme necessary for photosynthesis. The researchers doused 400,000 mutated tissue-cultured specimens to find one which showed resistance to the antibiotic. (The rest were thrown out, typical of the extreme wastefulness and sociopathic attitude toward life inherent in all genetic engineering.) Next they’ll try to figure out how to turn the tolerance mutation into a transgene while they also work on an herbicide based on the antibiotic or a similar compound. The researchers disavow any intention of directly using the antibiotic as an herbicide, but of course this is a lie. We already see their paradigm’s standard attitude toward antibiotics in their attitude toward subtherapeutic antibiotic use in CAFOs and in genetic engineering itself including this experiment. Certainly no one among them would object to an antibiotic-based herbicide. Glyphosate is an antibiotic and was patented as such in the 1960s. Nor do these scientists, engineers, regulators, and corporate cadres care about the fact that existing commercial herbicides help trigger antibiotic resistance among potentially pathogenic bacteria, or that glyphosate selects for pathogenic bacteria in the mammalian digestive tract. No, I think we can rest assured that if the corporations demand such an herbicide and it can be made to work, these researchers will happily deliver it, and the AAAS will be right there cheering them on as it cheers on all these crimes against humanity and the Earth.
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The AAAS is also regurgitating the straight bald-faced Monsanto lie, most commonly told about glyphosate, that if a poison affects only plants and bacteria then it won’t affect humans: “This research also highlights another important benefit for using DNA gyrase as a target for the development of new herbicides. DNA gyrase is only present in plants and bacteria, and does not exist in animals. Therefore any new herbicides that target this DNA gyrase in plants are very unlikely to be any danger to humans.”
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Even if this were true as far as it goes (it’s a lie for glyphosate, which affects the mammalian cytochrome P450 and retinoic acid pathways as well as adversely affecting mineral chelation), it’s a complete lie because science knows humans and other mammals are symbiotic with our bacterial microbiome. What harms our gut bacteria, harms us. The AAAS knows this, they lie about it, they are criminally culpable for any harm which follows from it.
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The piece once again reminds us how by now the pro-GMO activists are perfectly at home simultaneously telling two mutually exclusive and directly contradictory lies, that “GMOs reduce pesticide use” while we also need “Eureka! New pesticides!” It’s also another example of how they’ve had to drop the whole line of bull that “we’re for hi-tech GMOs, not for luddite chemical pesticides” and especially “GMOs don’t equal Monsanto, and we ARE NOT Monsanto shills.” But then the WHO pretty much forced everyone’s hand on that one. Since then Monsanto’s needed all hands on deck to stick up for Roundup, no matter how much of a stupid, luddite, dinosaur technology it is. But then all of GMO agriculture is really only pseudo-advanced. It’s really all retrograde, backward, reactionary. It’s a jalopy on blocks, but with a flashy new paint-job, and those who fall for the hype are the kind of morons who would fall for any scam like that.
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*Looks like another dotcom bubble in the making. This provides some insight into the fundamentally fictive, socially engineered character of agribusiness. It plunges ahead not just in the regular bubble manner [i.e. unrelated to the real, productive economy, like the recent dotcom, tech, and housing bubbles, or today’s fracking bubble and general stock bubble] but in direct defiance of the real fundamentals of the sector. We see the basic lack of connection with reality which has always been evident with agricultural GMOs and genetic engineering in general. When an ideology has such direct contempt for science and reality, although corporate profiteering via government subsidies can prop it up and keep it going for awhile, it’s also bound to collapse quickly like any other bubble. Indeed, it wouldn’t surprise me if the erosion of the fundamentals for the agrochemical sector don’t go hand in hand with a bubble centered on the idea of “hi-tech agriculture”. Along with everything else that’s stupid, shoddy, and harmful about GMOs, I’ve always seen them as an aspiring tech bubble. Maybe someone who had a few extra bucks lying around who was thinking of dabbling in stocks might consider Monsanto along with some of these start-ups. These stocks have been disparaged for awhile now, but they might be ready to temporarily surge. The current mainstream excitement over mergers and further oligopoly consolidation, which ought to tell us how creatively bankrupt and decadent the sector is, can readily be transformed into the typical bubble irrationality. Just don’t be one of the idiots who buys high right before the bubble bursts. And for the divestment movement, if these stocks do start rising, make sure to tell the pension funds that it’s a bubble, hype over an idea which has no basis in reality and no staying power.
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January 29, 2016

GMO News Summary, January 29th, 2016

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*The court decision refusing the EPA’s request that it temporarily rescind Enlist Duo’s registration is going to get its own post. For the moment I’ll point out that even if you don’t think the courts are corrupted beyond redemption, here we have proof that the law itself certainly is. If it’s true that the law is so calcified and maladaptive that it can’t react when a toxicity situation arises which is so dire that even the EPA wants to slow down and take another look, then that’s proof of a terminally busted system of law. We have to get it straight, in addition to all its de jure evils, this system does not work.
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*The fighters of Argentina continue to stand tall blocking Monsanto’s poison factory.
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*Here’s more on the attempt to partially repeal Oregon’s preemption law which was passed to crush the groundswell of county-level democracy action. One good paragraph concisely describes why it’s impossible for the state government of Oregon to make assertive agricultural policy which would be just, rational, or practical.
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So currently, although there are seven distinct geographical agricultural sectors in Oregon, each with different agricultural emphases, (for example, apples in Hood River, alfalfa in the Klamath Basin, brassica seed in the Willamette Valley), none of these sectors now have the right, either democratically or through a court of law, to address their own particular agricultural concerns, even regarding weed seeds. Can you see which way the wind is blowing?

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Imagine how much less possible it is for the federal government to be legitimate or rational in asserting itself over hundreds of distinct foodsheds and watersheds? When we ponder those who claim to care about food and agriculture but who still believe in federal power over these, only “better”, it sure looks like their level of knowledge and policy position is similar to Monsanto’s, only from a superficially different angle. What does this mean where it comes to NGOs and GM labeling advocates who want things like a preemptive FDA labeling standard or the “Food Safety Modernization Act”? (How’s that for an Orwellian name?) They’re just as ignorant as Monsanto and often as arrogant, only from a superficially different point of view. That’s one reason I don’t trust them to ever really draw a line in the sand and say “no further.” (For example the party line seems to be, “support preemption only if the FDA policy is at least as strong as Vermont’s”. I don’t believe they’ll hold to that, and since such an FDA policy is impossible anyway, because that’s not what the FDA does or wants to do, what’s the point of saying such a thing, other than to buy time for further triangulation?) Their underlying logic is basically the same as that of the corporations. Also in the clear fact that democracy in itself is no principle for them and has no value to them at all.
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A federal labeling law is the worst possible “solution”, since it’s guaranteed to be a preemptive sham, meant to lead in the wrong direction and waste time and resources we don’t have to waste. As the history proves, preemption never works the way so many people seem to want to hope and believe. The only point of it is to force the lowest standards. Otherwise why would any “stakeholder” want it? Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
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*Dueling Monsanto lawsuits, one as plaintiff, two new ones (two more of many) as defendant. Monsanto is suing California trying to prevent the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) from listing glyphosate on the list of carcinogens. This would impose some labeling requirements and restrictions on its use. Monsanto’s complaint is just a bunch of whining with no substance whatsoever. I’ll be writing more about this lawsuit separately.
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Meanwhile the city of Seattle has filed the latest lawsuit trying to force Monsanto to pay for a cleanup of the PCBs still ubiquitous in sediments of the city’s drainage system and the Duwamish River. Monsanto lied for decades about PCBs although it knew of their toxicity at least since 1937. A major reason for the corporate reshuffling Monsanto undertook in order to dump its industrial chemical division Solutia in 2002 was to try to unload its PCB liability. This hasn’t worked so far, though the penalties aren’t even in the same galaxy with what the company, its executives, its technicians and its salesmen deserve. And the Nuremburg-actionable lies continue still to this day. Just as the CEO of Solutia continued to lie for years, so Monsanto lies today:
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“PCBs sold at the time were a lawful and useful product that was then incorporated by third parties into other useful products. If improper disposal or other improper uses allowed for necessary clean up costs, then these other third parties would bear responsibility for these costs.”

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This is a direct Nuremburg lie. Monsanto has known since the 1930s that PCBs as such are extremely toxic. They cause cancer, birth defects, and horrible skin and organ symptoms. Over the 1950s-60s Monsanto accumulated very detailed knowledge and sought systematically to cover it up. See Marie-Monique Robin’s The World According to Monsanto for a detailed history of this and many of Monsanto’s other crimes against humanity. Monsanto adhered to this stonewalling strategy for decades. So it was Monsanto which lied to its customers and encouraged these third parties to incorporate the PCB product without warning them of what it knew about the danger.
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Finally, in California Brenda and James Huerta are suing Monsanto for giving them cancer through chronic long-term exposures to Roundup spraying while they lived on a commercial sod farm in the state’s Riverside County. Here the law is geared to protect the seller and the sprayer. Even if the US and California state governments recognized glyphosate as carcinogenic (as we just mentioned Monsanto is currently suing to prevent the state from recognizing it as such, while the US EPA denies it), it would generally be considered impossible to ascribe a particular case of cancer to the product. And if all else failed, Monsanto would try to claim the sprayer didn’t adhere to the label requirements for application. Farmer scapegoating is standard wherever straight lies and denial don’t work.
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These are reasons why the abolitionist position must be to impose strict liability on all manufacturers, sellers, and users of a poisonous product for all harms which come from it. In a legal sense they’re all part of one big conspiracy to promote cancer, and since it is usually not feasible to identify the “particular” culprit in a given case, all must be held equally responsible. I propose the same standard for pesticide drift effects, for any campaign against 2,4-D and dicamba GMOs. Strict liability first as a philosophical and polemical plank, wherever possible as a demand for legal reform, and always as the Nuremburg standard which must be imposed once we the people take back the power.
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So we have dueling lawsuits. Monsanto sues California for saying glyphosate causes cancer, citizens are suing Monsanto for giving them cancer, Seattle files the latest of many lawsuits because Monsanto systematically sickened and murdered people with PCBs and to this day systematically lies about it. The EPA, FDA, and USDA say Monsanto is a good, honest citizen. Who do you trust about Roundup?
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*More data on glyphosate residues in urine, as monitored over 15 years by Germany’s federal environmental agency. The levels are lower than EFSA “tolerance” limits, which means little. Regulators mechanically raise these legal levels in accord with how much poison the manufacturer expects to sell. In itself this is a strong indicator of the regulators’ poison-maximizing ideology. The procedure has zero scientific content and exists at all only as a political farce, to make it look like the regulator is “protecting” us. Scientifically, like all pesticides glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor which means it causes cancer and birth defects at ultra-low doses, and there is no safe level. The German agency also warned that formulations are far more toxic than glyphosate by itself. In other words, bad as this is, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
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*Here’s one thing that won’t wait for labeling to be gotten right over however many years that would take. If we don’t want to see the monarch butterfly go extinct within our lifetimes, we have to abolish glyphosate NOW. Anything else is just empty talk.
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There’s a new petition to the world’s most pro-Monsanto, pro-Roundup government, calling for better action for the monarch. Seems far-fetched, but it’s possible if there were enough of a groundswell on everything from monarchs to cancer, the system might be forced to sacrifice Roundup as long as it thought it could preserve the rest of the poison regime. But this will require a full-scale social movement toward this goal. (The goal of abolishing glyphosate must be part of the broader goal of abolishing poison-based agriculture, but we can also choose particular campaigns for special focus.) Things like petitions not rooted in a movement grounding will be blown off like the air they are. The prognosis is clear. Unless glyphosate is completely banned, it’ll be the end of the monarch. Americans are going to have to choose once and for all. What’ll it be, the monarch or Monsanto? You can’t have both.
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*Gilles-Eric Seralini has performed another of his thorough and damning analyses of GMO trial data. This time he analyzed the trial data and the subsequent veterinary records from the 1997-2002 dairy cow feeding trial in Germany with silage from Syngenta’s Bt176 maize. This was one of the ominous incidents in GMO history. The animals became badly ill, many died, the records were analyzed by Syngenta and the German government, and farmer Gottfried Glöckner sued the company. Although Syngenta has always denied the GMO had anything to do with the epidemic, it paid off Glöckner and pulled Bt176 from the market. Now Seralini, assisted by Glöckner, has analyzed all the records and concluded that Bt176 “provoked long-term toxic effects on mammals”. There are many anecdotal reports of similar epidemics stemming from diets with a heavy Bt crop proportion, among farm workers in South Africa and livestock in India.
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The action needed is not, however, “more testing” as Seralini calls for. He’s a scientist so of course that’s his first thought. But in fact this new evidence adds to what’s already conclusive proof – Bt-expressing GMOs don’t work and are dangerous to human, animal, and environmental health. They must be abolished, not tested over and over again forever. Every time I see the “more testing” call I wonder how much evidence would finally satisfy people. There’s far more than enough to satisfy anyone without a strong investment in the poison system itself, if that evidence is propagated competently and relentlessly and in the context of the affirmative Food Sovereignty idea. On the other hand, without this work even a hundred times as much evidence would be of little use.
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*Meanwhile the state government of Idaho is acknowledging a pesticide crisis. Here they let potato farmers apply methyl bromide, which of course suffused the soil. The poison then became part of the tissue of a subsequent alfalfa crop whose poisoned hay caused “deformities and sickness” in cattle which fed upon it. “Additionally, test samples of wheat, barley, potatoes, alfalfa, tomato, corn and straw grown on other treated fields also showed some level of bromide.” The state agriculture department told the legislature that the soil needs an emergency cleanup, of course asking for taxpayer money to be provided for the necessary research and work. To the great injury of the poisoning of our food and soil they now add the insult of expecting the people, not the criminals, to pay to clean it up.
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If GMOs tolerant of 2,4-D and dicamba are deployed on a large scale, the result will be this same quarantine of the soil and destruction of vast swaths of crops from the toxic drift. The whole thing, everywhere, sums to one vast moral insult. This insult shall never be made whole until we the people apply all moral force necessary to abolish these poisons.
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.*The Indian state of Karnataka is yet again having to prepare a farmer bailout after yet another Bt cotton disaster. This time the target pest, the pink bollowrm, simply feasted as if the two Bt toxins and neonics weren’t even there. Karnataka will yet again have to decide whether and how to demand the seed companies pay farmer compensation. Karnataka is one of the states most severely devastated by the suicide epidemic among Indian small cotton farmers. The state really ought to launch a transformation program away from commodity production and toward organic production, as fellow state Sikkim is proving can be done on a large scale.
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Another Bt cotton blunder may soon be history, as Burkina Faso’s farmers and seed dealers are abandoning the product. The country’s experience with Bt cotton has paralleled that of other countries, including the crop’s poor performance under anything but optimal conditions. Burkina Faso also experienced low-quality lint production even when the overall boll yield was good. This problem, which has also been seen in India, seems to be related to pleiotropic effects from Monsanto’s breeding its Bt cultivar into the pirated regional Burknabe variety. Here’s the latest proof of how imprecise and unpredictable genetic engineering is. It’s always a crapshoot. Monsanto is implicitly admitting this as it’s now frantically “backcrossing its Bt varieties into a new local cultivar.” But farmers seem to be fed up with the whole Bt cotton concept, as have been all non-rich farmers who ever tried to work with it. It’s a shoddy product, in addition to its health dangers.
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Food sovereignty and civil society campaigners are confident that Burkina Faso’s rejection of Bt cotton will help steel African resolve to resist this and other GMOs. The struggle continues in Kenya as farmer and civil society groups oppose proposals to lift the government’s moratorium on cultivation and importation of GMO products. In recent weeks the government has indicated it will soon approve cultivation of Bt maize, but missed a scheduled press conference. For more on the truth of the corporate-driven food insecurity in Africa which GMOs promise to make much worse, see here.
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*Canadian environmental groups Ecology Action Centre and Living Oceans Society are suing the government to overturn a 2013 ruling which threatens to allow the grow-out of GM salmon under conditions exceeding those allowed by Canadian environmental law.
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*Much ado about the temporary retraction of a paper by Italian researchers documenting transgenic DNA fragments persisting in the tissues of animals fed GM feed. The retraction is on grounds of what the retracting journal calls an “honest error” involving the reuse of some images which had appeared in an earlier paper by the same researchers. The study’s basic findings remain intact. In a sign of how desperate the pro-GMO activists are, they whooped it up as if this technicality constituted some kind of evidence in their favor. The GMWatch piece does a good job detailing the hypocrisy and double standards of the GMO lobby and corporate media. In fact even if this particular study’s substantive finding were in doubt, it would be just be one drop retracted from a lake of evidence. GMWatch adds:
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Several years ago we at GMWatch were reprimanded by a government scientist (who was emphatically not anti-GMO) for our naive belief that we still had to ‘prove’ that GM DNA was detectable in the tissues of animals that ate GM feed. This fact, the scientist pointed out, was “not controversial and we have known it for a long time”. The only controversial aspect was whether such GM DNA had any biological effect on animals that was different from the effects of non-GM DNA.

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I think it’s time for the whole movement to be more confident about what’s been proven beyond any doubt and go from there, rather than imply we’re willing to keep running in place forever needing “more study”, as if we ourselves weren’t 100% confident in the existing evidence. Endless calls for “more data” are a classic sign of the Peter Principle in action.

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March 20, 2015

GMO News Report March 20th 2015

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*Good article on the current status of the land-grabbing onslaught, with special focus on Mozambique. As we knew all along, land-grabbing, like globalized corporate agriculture in general, has zero to do with food production and is about nothing but profit for the finance sector, Big Ag, and the corrupt governments of the target countries.
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*The most direct cause of the impending extinction of the monarch butterfly is the destruction of its larval food source, milkweed, by herbicides, in particular Roundup. A letter from 52 House members to Obama correctly points out that nothing short of “a sea-change in how the federal government address the use of herbicides, especially as applied to herbicide-resistant crops, vital monarch habitats will simply continue to disappear”. The letter implicitly wants to use monarch’s listing under the Endangered Species Act as the weapon to force a phase-out of herbicide-tolerant GMOs.
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I have my doubts about that. As I’ve written many times before, it’s one thing to muster a coalition to pressure the likes of the EPA or FDA to act against a specific industrial project or poison in an ad hoc way. It’s something different to expect the government to act against a whole genre which is not only tremendously profitable to a powerful corporate sector but which is critically important to the continued propagation of capitalism itself. Herbicide-tolerant GMOs are an example of these latter cases.
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If people want to try to use the ESA to fight for the monarch, that’s great as long as they’re conscious of the fact that no kind of ad hoc “habitat preservation” can work here. The problem is a systemic industrial practice. Thus the goal is not to preserve territory but to eradicate a practice. Meanwhile, the letter correctly points out that individuals planting milkweed, while a fine thing to do (I’ve done it too), is no systemic solution. To view that as sufficient would be an example of the same kind of delusion as that changing one’s light bulbs, in itself, is a meaningful action vs. climate change.
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*Here’s a good report on the Australia GM contamination case, now headed on appeal to the supreme court. It confirms the flippant attitude of the government toward the contamination that all rational observers, for example the insurance companies, considered inevitable. The pro-Monsanto judge who issued the initial decision against Marsh also implicitly acknowledged that “co-existence” is impossible and contamination is inevitable.
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*The Pakistani small and landless farmer union Kissan Mazdoor Tehreek is vowing to fight back against the country’s new draconian seed law. This law was unconstitutionally passed by the National Assembly even though in Pakistan agriculture is a state matter. (There’s a similar coup being attempted in India, where the proposed Biotechnology Regulatory Authority bill would usurp constitutionally declared state agricultural power and override it with central government preemption.) The law will enshrine the patent and taxation rights of Monsanto and other global corporations and would force a licensing system upon all seed marketing. The farmers have fiercely resisted equivalent bills at the state level. This policy and a similar pending Plant Breeder Rights bill (which will intensify the intellectual property licence being enshrined by the seed law) will further impose upon farmers the industrial model which is already a proven failure in Pakistan, just as it is in India. The goal in both countries is the same, to liquidate small farmers, drive them off the land and into shantytowns, and concentrate the farmland into large industrial plantations controlled by the corporations.
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As always with seed privatization laws, this one has no provision for quality control or farmer recourse in the case of failed or fraudulent seeds.

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June 13, 2014

GMO News Summary June 13th, 2014

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*The Organic Consumers Association is renewing its call for a boycott of all the brands, including certified organic brands, of the members of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). The GMA is Monsanto’s main conduit for mainstream propaganda and its main attack dog vs. the people’s labeling campaigns. The GMA is also the impresario of the pre-emptive DARK Act now being bruited in Congress.
 
*An open letter from 815 scientists worldwide and counting deplores the reckless release of GMOs with zero scientific study in accordance with the Precautionary Principle, along with the known socioeconomic and environmental evils of poison-based agriculture. It calls for abolishing GMOs and patents on seeds and the worldwide embrace of agroecology. Like similar previous letters, it also self-evidently refutes the canned lie that there’s a scientific “consensus” in favor of GMOs.
 
The letter is posted at the website of the Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance and Agent Orange Dioxin Survivors Uniting Internationally, as part of humanity’s campaign to halt the spread of Agent Orange GMOs.
 
*A new Canadian study confirms the growing consensus that GMO-based agriculture is decimating the monarch butterfly population. The omnipresent spaying of glyphosate has wiped out milkweed, the monarch’s only egg-laying and larval diet plant, across wide swaths of the monarch’s breeding grounds in the US midwest.
 
*DuPont shareholders have filed a $1 billion lawsuit against the CEO and several directors for forcing an incompetent strategy and research program upon the company. This involves DuPont’s failed attempt to develop its own glyphosate-tolerant GMO technology. In the aftermath of this failure DuPont lost a $1 billion lawsuit to Monsanto over a dispute involving DuPont’s licensing of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready trait.
 
*First death squads, now Monsanto seeds and herbicides. The US government just keeps on “aiding” El Salvador.
 
*From Western Australia, a typical example of the rigorous anti-contamination measures at GMO field trial sites. The “Jill” quoted in the piece seems to be some kind of pro-GM whistleblower, since her revelations are interspersed with typical canned lies.
 
*China continues with its campaign to control the spread of GMO cultivation and use in food. China’s government is certainly not anti-GMO, but wants to maintain control of China’s food destiny, unlike the countries which have come completely under the US/Monsanto thumb. China, perhaps in consortium with Russia, intends to build its own rival GMO cartel.
 
Abolitionists must always embrace anything which hinders the advance of the GMO cartel while not supporting “alternatives” which are not alternatives. We don’t want a GMO version of the Cold War, but the self-assertion of global farmers and eaters against all who would control our agriculture and food.
 
*Maui’s SHAKA movement has gotten on the ballot with its ordinance requiring a moratorium on GMO cultivation.

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February 7, 2014

GMO News Summary February 7/2014

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I’m intending to do a weekly news summary. Here’s the first installment.
 
*If the monarch butterfly goes extinct, as it looks poised to do within our lifetimes, the main cause will be herbicide-based agriculture. GMO abolition can still prevent this outcome.
 
*Scotts’ GM Kentucky bluegrass is looking to be the first commercialized GMO to enter a non-regulatory black hole the USDA has created. GMO regulation in the US is already a joke, in principle and practice. But for newer varieties, as far as the USDA is concerned there’s to be no regulation at all.
 
(Another good example of how under Democrat power the GMO assault has been escalated and accelerated. In practice there’s no difference between Democrats and Republicans, and GMO policy is one of the best examples of this. It’s impossible for anyone who cares about GMOs to think there’s anything to choose here. Obama’s been the most aggressively pro-Monsanto president yet in every way, and clearly considers this a core element of his presidency.)
 
*It’s a race to the bottom, and indeed probably illegal, to find experimental subjects for the alleged “cancer-fighting GM purple tomato”. The thing is probably not even meant to be commercialized. It’s more potentially useful as hype than as another failed GM product like the Kenyan GM sweet potato or any glyphosate-tolerant variety. It’s worthless and unnecessary. Meanwhile, as always in these cases, there exists a higher-quality, non-hazardous, less expensive non-GM variety. High-anthocyanin purple tomatoes have been conventionally bred in Brazil.
 
*The editor of Food and Chemical Toxicology refuses to retract a recently published bogus study, although in every way it’s inferior to Seralini study, including in being far less “conclusive”. Hayes gave as his reason for the retraction that the Seralini was “inconclusive”. This is not only a lie – the Seralini study is above average among scientific studies in general in the strength of its conclusions – but violates Committee on Publishing Ethics (COPE) guidelines, which allow for retraction only in the case of fraud, misconduct, or gross incompetence. Hayes cleared Seralini of any such problems. (Given his general willingness to lie, we have to figure the reason Hayes didn’t accuse Seralini of fraud while he was at it is that he’s a coward. Seralini has a history of successfully suing hacks for libeling him, so Hayes was probably too cowardly to cross a certain line in his lies.)
 
*New website dedicated to the rising protest of scientists against the suppression of the Seralini study and the corporate hijacking of science it exemplifies.
 
*Speaking of Seralini, he’s part of a team out with a new study comparing nine commercial poison formulations (three herbicides, three insecticides, three fungicides) with their official “active ingredients” in isolation. The study compares the toxicity of these poisons to human cells in vitro. The results: in 8 of 9 cases, the commercial formulation is more toxic, in most cases far more so, than the “active ingredient”.
 
This is further support for what citizens, scientists, public health workers, environmentalists, and many others have long been documenting, that regulation which focuses on a single arbitrary “active” ingredient rather than the true toxic brew which will be deployed in reality is a sham. The commercial formulations are far more toxic.
 
*Germany (the EU’s “rapporteur state” on glyphosate) recommends the EU recertify glyphosate and allow an increased level in food. As always, these recommendations of regulators that allowed levels of poisons be increased has zero to do with scientific evidence of safety (and usually directly contradicts the evidence), but simply authorizes whatever level the corporations want to deploy. This is regulator triangulation at its most stark and malevolent.
 
*Russian legislators are pushing a bill to ban all GM cultivation and restrict imports. Currently no cultivation has been approved, but several varieties are authorized for import in food and feed. The only restriction on these is that food containing them must be labeled. Meanwhile a new state registry for GMOs and products containing them is supposed to go into effect in June 2014. I’ve read conflicting reports on whether this is a good thing or not. Some campaigners oppose it claiming it will give the prime minister dictatorial discretion to allow GMO cultivation and expanded importation. The current PM, Medvedev, hasn’t sounded very pro-GMO, and in September ordered government agencies to study the prospect of a ban. Certainly a legal ban is much better instead of or on top of any government registry.
 
Although I haven’t had a chance to study Russia’s GMO situation yet, my default is to assume that their situation is similar to that of China. The elites don’t oppose GMOs out of the kindness of their hearts. If they have a go-slow or even oppositionist position, it’s because they view the Monsanto/US GMO cartel in the same way they’ve always viewed aggressive, domination-seeking US power. In that case they’re probably thinking in terms of building their own rival cartel.
 
*The latest experimental release of Oxitec’s GM mosquitoes will be in Panama this month. These frankenbugs allegedly are meant to help cut down on the population of mosquitoes which transmit dengue fever. Previous releases in the Cayman Islands and Malaysia, and an ongoing experiment in Brazil, have produced no evidence that this method works. The most likely result is that if it does work to reduce the target species, another species which also transmits dengue fever will expand to occupy the ecological niche. Such secondary pests are a regular result of GMO gambits, such as mirid bugs in China ravaging any Bt cotton which does temporarily work to suppress the target weevil.
 
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Let me know if there’s any other news. I didn’t get a chance yet to read about Bangladesh’s impending commercialization of BT brinjal (eggplant), an awful development. There’s zero reason for this product, and Southeast Asia is the world’s germplasm heritage center for eggplant. There are thousands of well-adapted varieties, including for insect resistance. No one on earth except for a handful of corporate gangsters needs or wants GM eggplant, and it would be a disaster for everyone except for these criminals.
 
This naturally effective biodiversity is exactly what GMO-based monoculture seeks to eradicate. That’s why Monsanto wants to eradicate the world’s resilient, public domain eggplant germplasm heritage and replace it with a hyper-vulnerable, genetically crippled and sterile, sure-to-fail proprietary enclosure.
 
So far Monsanto’s offensive has stalled out in India and the Philippines, but they’ve been hoping to break through in Bangladesh. The goal will then be to illegally infiltrate the rest of Southeast Asia, achieve a genetic coup, and present governments with an accomplished fact.
 
If this attack succeeds, the result could be the middle-run total enclosure of a radically diminished eggplant germplasm, and the long-run complete failure of the crop, with subsequent famine. This is what humanity is up against with all GMOs. This is why “coexistence” with GMOs is impossible, and why their total abolition is necessary.

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