Posts Tagged ‘Monsanto’
A senior scientist at MIT has declared that we are facing an epidemic of autism that may result in one half of all children being affected by autism in ten years.
Dr. Stephanie Seneff, who made these remarks during a panel presentation in Groton, MA last week, specifically cites the Monsanto herbicide, Roundup, as the culprit for the escalating incidence of autism and other neurological disorders. Roundup, which was introduced in the 1970’s, contains the chemical glyphosate, which is the focal point for Seneff’s concerns. Roundup was originally restricted to use on weeds, as glyphosate kills plants. However, Roundup is now in regular use with crops. With the coming of GMO’s, plants such as soy and corn were bioengineered to tolerate glyphosate, and its use dramatically increased. From 2001 to 2007, glyphosate use doubled, reaching 180 to 185 million pounds in the U.S. alone in 2007.
If you don’t consume corn- on- the -cob or toasted soybeans, however, you are hardly exempt from the potential affects of consuming glyphosate. Wheat is now sprayed with Roundup right before it is harvested, making any consumption of non- organic wheat bread a sure source for the chemical. In addition, any products containing corn syrup, such as soft drinks, are also carrying a payload of glyphosate.
According to studies cited by Seneff, glyphosate engages “gut bacteria” in a process known as the shikimate pathway. This enables the chemical to interfere with the biochemistry of bacteria in our GI tract, resulting in the depletion of essential amino acids .
Monsanto has maintained that glyphosate is safe for human consumption, as humans do not have the shikimate pathway. Bacteria, however, does—including the flora that constitutes “gut bacteria.”
It is this ability to affect gut bacteria that Seneff claims is the link which allows the chemical to get on board and wreak further damage. The connection between intestinal flora and neurological functioning is an ongoing topic of research. According to a number of studies, glyphosate depletes the amino acids tyrosine, tryptophan, and phenylalanine, which can then contribute to obesity, depression, autism, inflammatory bowel disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
GMO crops like these Roundup Ready sugar beets near Monroe would be outlawed in Benton County under Measure 2-89, but the initiative would have to stand up to legal challenges in court. Photo: Amanda Cowan
A ban on genetically modified crops is not the most radical part of Measure 2-89.
The most radical part of the Benton County ballot measure is its attempt to circumvent state law by asserting a fundamental right of local self-governance, even in the face of state or federal law.
If passed by voters in the May 19 special election, Measure 2-89 — also known as the Benton County Local Food System Ordinance — would prohibit corporations and government entities from using genetically modified organisms anywhere in the county and require them to harvest, remove or destroy all GMOs within 90 days of passage.
But in order for the measure to take effect, it would have to override Oregon Revised Statute 633.738, a two-year-old state law that bars local jurisdictions from regulating seeds or agricultural production.
In high-flown language reminiscent of the nation’s founding documents, M2-89 begins with a statement of “findings and intent” that directly challenges the rights of corporations and the authority of state and federal laws, culminating in this remarkable statement:
“We the people of Benton County therefore enact this local law pursuant to the inherent and inalienable right of the residents of Benton County to govern their own county for their own health, safety and welfare. That authority is also secured by the Declaration of Independence’s assertion that governments are instituted to secure the rights of the people, in the State Constitution of Oregon’s recognition that all power is inherent in the people, and in the Benton County Charter, which delegates the authority to the people and their representatives to enact local legislation on matters of county concern.”
The question, of course, is this: Can they really get away with that?
….. continued at site
Written by laudyms
May 9, 2015 at 7:30 am
Global rejection sent Monsanto profits plummeting, farmers abandoning GM crops in record numbers, reclassification of glyphosate as probable carcinogen triggering fresh calls for bans and restrictions; GMOs failing old and new, while organic and non-GMO markets continue booming; the days of GMOs are numbered, let’s hasten the demise.
Sign the petition to ban glyphosate here: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/monsanto_dont_silence_science_loc/
The year 2015 is auspicious. It started with oil prices plunging to a five year low, sparking a downsizing wave in an industry desperate to rid itself of stranded assets as burgeoning renewable energies are making oil redundant and civil society grassroots movements are winning major campaigns to divest mega-investments from fossil fuels and leave oil in the ground (see  Age of Oil Ending? SiS 65).
Simultaneously, a remarkable conjunction of events is boding ill for GMOs (genetically modified organisms). There is superb synergy between the end of oil and the end of the heavily oil-dependent GMO monoculture for a truly sustainable world under climate change, which we made clear in a comprehensive report  Food Futures Now -Organic -Sustainable -Fossil Fuel Free published in 2008. So let’s read the signs, and do our best to hasten the end of GMOs.
Mass rejection of US GM corn exports and record losses
It began with China rejecting shipment after shipment of US corn imports that tested positive for Syngenta’s Agrisure Vipera GM corn released and deregulated in the US since 2011, but not approved in China. Between November 2013 and April 2014, 1.45 million tonnes of US GM corn were destroyed or turned back . Farmers and farming businesses in 20 States in the US have filed more than 360 lawsuits against Syngenta and hundreds more are expected as a federal judge is organizing the complex case. Claims may be up to $3 billion . Although China eventually approved Vipera in December 2014, sales have not improved for US corn growers . One reason is that China has been importing Ukrainian non-GMO corn under a loan-for-grain deal . Ukraine shipped nearly 1 million tonnes to China in 2014, 470 047 tonnes were shipped in January 2015, and more expected to follow.
The other more significant reason is that US farmers are abandoning GMO crops and returning to non-GMO or switching to organic crops (see later).
GMO labelling fight reaches national level in the US
The GMO labelling movement in the US has been inching forward, despite the fact that 64 countries worldwide now label food containing GMOs, including China, Japan, Russia, Australia and all the EU countries. Three states, Vermont, Maine, and Rhode Island have passed GMO labelling laws so far, but California, Colorado and Oregon have been defeated thanks to heavily-funded counter-campaigns by Monsanto, DuPont and the Grocery Manufacturers Association . A total of 70 bills for labelling were proposed in 30 states within the past two years. Now, the battle has shifted to the national level. Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo introduced the ‘DARK’ (denying Americans the right to know) Act, which would pre-empt states from setting up their own GMO labelling systems and bar them from defining “natural” foods as free from GMOs. Food safety advocates and consumer groups are fighting back, supporting a national mandatory labelling bill called the Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act, re-introduced in February by a group of congressional Democrats. Read the rest of this entry »
Written by laudyms
April 21, 2015 at 6:00 am
Two days ago, an agency of the World Health Organization issued a report concluding that glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, likely causes cancer in humans.
If you eat foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs), you are consuming glyphosate—because the U.S. EPA not only allows glyphosate residue on your food, the agency actually raised the allowed limits in 2013.
How do you know you’re eating GMO foods? You don’t. Because Monsanto and the EPA, USDA and FDA made certain of that by refusing to require labels on GMO foods. Even though about 80 percent of processed foods in the U.S. contain GMO ingredients.
You may be thinking, is it worth it to keep funding these state GMO labeling campaigns, when Monsanto and Big Food come in with their hundreds of millions of dollars to snuff them out?
The answer is a resounding yes. Here’s why.
First, it’s more urgent than ever for your health. The FDA just signed off on the GMO apple and the GMO potato, and will likely sign off on GMO salmon and GMO wheat. This, in addition to new GMO corn and soy varieties the USDA recently approved—crops engineered to withstand massive doses of a toxic combination of both glyphosate and 2,4-D (a form of which was used to make Agent Orange).
More and more studies are being done on the toxic effect of glyphosate on human health. But this most recent study, from the World Health Organization, may be the most incriminating of all. Yet, we have no indication from the U.S. government that it will heed this new warning and take action.
Second, Monsanto’s lobbyists are pushing Congress to pass a law that would kill states’ rights to pass GMO labeling laws.
Word is that within weeks, if not sooner, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) will reintroduce what activists have labeled the DARK ACT—Deny Americans the Right to Know. The bill is an attempt to strip states’ of their constitutional right to pass GMO labeling laws.
If we pass GMO labeling laws in Maine, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, in addition to the law already passed in Vermont, we’ll make it much more difficult for Congress to take on all four of these states.
In what is a clear sign that Pompeo is about to reintroduce his bill, the House Agriculture Committee is holding a full committee hearing on the costs and impacts of GE food labeling, The Gene Giants and Big Food will pack that hearing with their lobbyists.
Third, it is absolutely essential that we not give up this fight—your fight—or we risk sending the wrong message to Monsanto, and state and federal lawmakers.
We may have (very narrowly) lost several key state battles, but those battles launched a massive national public education campaign, and helped launch similar initiatives and legislative campaigns in more than 20 states.
Without the support of people like you—concerned consumers, voters, moms and dads, from every generation and every point across the political spectrum—most Americans still wouldn’t know what a GMO is or why it matters, much less that they are being denied this basic information on food packaging—information that consumers in more than 60 countries rightfully have.
Instead, thanks to you, more than 90 percent of Americans are now standing up to demand the right to know.
It is absolutely critical that we keep this fight alive. So state and federal lawmakers know that we are serious. That’s why we’re asking for your support so we can provide resources to these important GMO labeling battles in New England.
We need to raise another $145,000 to meet our goal of $200,000 by March 31 to fund GMO labeling in Maine, and in other New England states, including Massachusetts. Details on how to donate online, by check or by phone here.
Donations made to the Organic Consumers Fund, our 501(c) 4 lobbying arm, are not tax-deductible. If you want to support the grassroots advocacy and education campaigns in these states, you can make a tax-deductible donation to our 501(c)3 here.
National Director, Organic Consumers Association and Organic Consumers Fund
P.S. These campaigns in New England are urgent. We must stop attempts by Monsanto to strip states of the right to pass GMO labeling laws, especially in light of this new declaration by the World Health Organization that glyphosate probably causes cancer in humans.
Genetically engineered crops, glyphosate and the deterioration of health in the United States of America
Within the last 20 years there has been an alarming increase in serious illnesses in the US, along with a marked decrease in life expectancy (Bezruchka, 2012). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the cost of diabetes and diabetes-related treatment was approximately $116 billion dollars in 2007. Estimated costs related to obesity were $147 billion in 2008 and cardiovascular diseases and stroke were $475.3 billion in 2009. Health care expenditures in the US totaled 2.2 trillion dollars in 2007 (CDC, 2013a). The onset of serious illness is appearing in increasingly younger cohorts. The US leads the world in the increase in deaths due to neurological diseases between 1979-81 and 2004-06 for the 55-65 age group (Pritchard et al., 2013). These mental disorder deaths are more typical of the over 65 age group. There have been similar findings for obesity, asthma, behavior and learning problems, an d chronic disease in children and young adults (Van Cleave et al., 2010). Type II diabetes in youth is being called an epidemic (Rosenbloom et al., 1999). The rate of chronic disease in the entire US population has been dramatically increasing with an estimated 25% of the US population suffering from multiple chronic diseases (Autoimmunity Research Foundation, 2012). These findings suggest environmental triggers rather than genetic or age-related causes.
To genetically modify a plant for herbicide tolerance, genes are identified which convey tolerance of the active chemical in the herbicide to the organism. In the case of glyphosate, glyphosate-tolerant genes were isolated from a strain of Agrobacterium. These were inserted into the genome of the plant via a multi-step process resulting in a plant that can withstand the direct application of the herbicide. Genetic modification is also utilised for developing insect resistant plants by using insecticidal proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt toxin. The promoter used to drive the expression of the foreign genes is generally the 35S promoter from the Cauliflower Mosaic Virus (CaMV). Not only are the virus and bacteria genes themselves potentially harmful (Ho, 2013; Ewen & Pusztai, 1999), but the plants are sprayed directly with herbicides. The herbicide-tolerant plants absorb the poisons and humans and domestic animals eat them. ….
Written by laudyms
March 20, 2015 at 5:33 pm
A Roundup of Roundup® Reveals Converging Pattern of Toxicity from Farm to Clinic to Laboratory Studies
We need to ban glyphosate from our own communities as most governments fail to protect citizens
Institute of Science in Society 1/19/15
**please support research of Seralini’s team on analysing glyphosate residues in rats exposed to Roundup here: http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Support_Seralini_Team_for_New_GMO_Risk_Research.php
What is glyphosate?
Glyphosate, perhaps surprisingly for a chemical so ubiquitously associated with our food, was not first used as an agricultural chemical but instead first patented as a metal chelator in 1964 by Stauffer Chemical company (US 3160632 A)  and used as an industrial pipe cleaner. It was later patented by Monsanto as an herbicidal agent in 1974 (US3799758 A)  based on its ability to block the shikimate pathway involved in the production of aromatic amino acids in both plants and bacteria. It has become the most popular herbicide in the world especially since glyphosate tolerant genetically modified (GM) crops were commercialized in the mid-1990s, together with the assumption (perpetrated by Monsanto) that the herbicide is safe for health and the environment. In 2010, it was also patented by Monsanto as an antibiotic agent. Moreover, it is being increasingly used as a pre-harvest desiccant for drying seeds, a process that results in contamination of non-GM grains, one of the main exposure routes in the EU where GM crops are not commonly grown. Thus, an estimated 70 % of UK oil seed rape (canola) and 50-60 % of EU sunflowers are sprayed with glyphosate , resulting in products of major food brands in the UK testing positive for glyphosate residues in a 2014 analysis by GM Freeze, with glyphosate the most commonly detected of all chemicals .
All of glyphosate’s chemical properties already mentioned have implications for the health of both people and planet. Scientific research has additionally implicated glyphosate as an endocrine disruptor and a DNA mutagen; and it affects over 291 different enzymes in the body . It is increasingly linked with a wide variety of illnesses, the sharp rises in illnesses occurring in parallel with glyphosate application across various GM cultivating regions of the world.
The most convincing evidence of glyphosate toxicity is the consistent pattern of diseases associated with glyphosate that has emerged from the farm to the clinic and from scientific studies to citizen testimonials.
Glyphosate widespread in the environment and in our bodies
Glyphosate’s popularity is due in large measure to its concomitant use with the most widely planted type of GM crops, those tolerant to glyphosate-herbicides. Monsanto commercialised the first Roundup-ready crop in 1996 (Roundup being the commercial formulation containing ‘adjuvants’ that make it much more toxic than the active ingredient glyphosate alone, see later). In countries such as Argentina where large swaths of the country have been dubbed soy deserts, GM soybean cultivation has resulted in an 858 % rise in glyphosate use (see  Devastating Impacts of Glyphosate Use with GMO Seeds in Argentina, to appear). Similarly, the US has seen even greater rises of 2 500 % from 1987 to 2007 .
This widespread and massive application of glyphosate herbicides has resulted in almost ubiquitous contamination of the environment. A 2014 study on US water systems across 38 states found glyphosate and its principle metabolite AMPA (aminomethylphosphonic acid) not only in rivers, lakes and streams, but also rain, soil and sediment, ditches and drains and groundwater (see ). Some 70 % of rain samples tested positive for glyphosate. Similarly in Europe, (in Catalonia, a large region of Spain) it was found that all 11 groundwater sites were positive for glyphosate despite it being a region free from glyphosate-tolerant crop cultivation; 41 % of samples were above detection limits . The detection in groundwater goes against one of the claims on glyphosate safety that its propensity to bind to soil and sediment means it will not leach into our fresh water supplies. In Argentina, new data of rain sample measurements averaged an extreme 6.5 µg/L and reaching as high as 67 µg/L (67 ppt) across four regions from October 2012 to April 2014 . These levels are far higher than those seen in US rain samples where the average and maximum concentrations were 0.11 µg/L and 2.5 µg/L respectively . Read the rest of this entry »
Written by laudyms
January 19, 2015 at 12:01 pm
DuPont’s massive donation of $4.46 million this week, shattered the record for making the single largest contribution to a political campaign in Oregon history!
- DuPont – the giant chemical corporation – dumped a whopping $7.46 MILLION into the GMO labeling fight this week – $4.46 million in Oregon and $3 million in Colorado!
- Already Monsanto has spent more than $8.1 million in Oregon and Colorado to prevent common sense labeling initiatives from being passed into law.
- These companies – combined with Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and the rest of their agrochemical friends – have spent a whopping $30+ MILLION to defeat GMO labeling.
That’s right, these 5 corporations are leading the pack to deceive voters by dumping in a stunning $30 MILLION to silence our voices and keep GMOs unlabeled on our tables. In Oregon, Monsanto, DuPont and Friends have already dumped more than $16.5 million to defeat Measure 92, while pouring another $14.3 million to defeat of Colorado’s Prop 105.
The real question is – What are they so desperate to HIDE?
We saw this in Washington in 2013 and California in 2012 – Monsanto, DuPont and the rest of their Big Food friends will stop at absolutely nothing in their disinformation campaign to defeat GMO labeling. They’ll lie to and confuse voters in misleading TV ads airing every single day if it means preventing GMO labeling from becoming law.
We can’t let them win! A victory at the ballot boxes for labeling would be a historic moment for our GMO labeling movement. We could see a wave of similar labeling measures roll across the entire nation – but only if we’re able to fight back now and deliver a crushing blow to Monsanto.
You could be the deciding factor in defeating Monsanto and winning GMO labeling. Make an urgent contribution today and we’ll rush it directly to labeling supporters in Colorado and Oregon.
What your contribution today will help accomplish:
- Chip in $25 today to support volunteers going door to door in neighborhoods across Oregon and Colorado.
- Chip in $50 today to buy 70 mailers to get the message out to voters. With the 3 to 1 match this will reach 210 voters!
- Chip in $100 today to support volunteer phone banks to make more than 500 calls! With the triple match this grows to 1,500 phone calls to targeted voters!
- Chip in $250 today to reach 400,000 voters with a hard-hitting TV ad!
- Chip in $500 today to reach 1 million voters to combat the lies of Monsanto and the GMA’s misleading ads.
We’re running out of time to fight for GMO labeling in Colorado and Oregon. Standing up to the huge chemical companies will take everything we’ve got – are you in?
Please don’t wait – contribute before midnight tonight and your donation will be triple-matched by the incredible teams at Presence Marketing and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps.
Written by laudyms
October 26, 2014 at 10:19 am