Jan 052011
 

CONTENTS

(1)   COMMENTARY

(2)   GENETICALLY MODIFIED PIG, THANKS TO CANADA.  YOU’LL WANT IT ON YOUR GROCERY LIST.

(3)   MONSANTO’S GLYPHOSATE (ROUNDUP):  IMPACTS ON HUMAN HEALTH AND PLANT LIFE

(4)   THE TRAGIC HUMAN CONSEQUENCES OF GLYPHOSATE SPRAYING OF GM SOY  (ARGENTINA)

(5)   THANKS TO WIKILEAKS:  U.S. EMBASSY RECOMMENDS A LIST OF COUNTRIES FOR ‘RETALIATION’ OVER THEIR OPPOSITION TO GENETIC MODIFICATION

(6)   THANKS TO WIKILEAKS:  POPE ‘QUIETLY’ SUPPORTIVE OF GMO’s

(7)   WHEN AN APPLE A DAY MAKES THINGS WORSE:  GMO APPLES, ALSO COMPLIMENTS OF CANADA

(Note:  update on Bayer’s GMO’s in a separate posting)

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(1)   COMMENTARY

Looking over the recent updates in the field of GMO’s, Monsanto, chemicals, and food, the options are:

-   Commit suicide

-   Finish off the bottle of wine

-   Let the soul be transported by music, forget this stuff

-   Call on your friends:  hey! There’s an easy thing to do, and …  it will make a difference!

I opted for the latter, lucky you!

First I thoroughly depress you, then comes the trumpet call-to-action – - in a separate posting.

Ummmm . . it’s not me.  It’s YOU who are sending me these emails.  So let me thank? YOU on behalf of all us! 

The following is just A SAMPLING of what’s going on.  It’s a continuation of previous work;  we became thoroughly engaged in GMO’s in about 2003, the battle to stop the introduction of genetically modified wheat.

I have started posting some of that past documentation onto the blog, so newcomers can refer to it if they wish.  The situation has not changed.  The lack of information and discussion in the public domain (mainstream media) in North America is appalling and disgusting. 

In 2004 we circulated information on the documentary “Life Running Out of Control” with its footage of the PIGS that had human growth genes inserted into them.  The images of the deformities are hard to forget.  But that was happening in the UNITED STATES, those terrible people.  You will see in item #2  where the genetically modified pigs are in CANADA, those terrible people.  

In “Life Running Out of Control” the genetically modified FISH were being developed in CANADA.  Now the genetically modified SALMON are in the UNITED STATES.  …  I forgot.  There’s another thing I’d like to do (besides suicide, drinking, sticking my head-in-the-sand  and that is  - – swear.  And swear loudly. There are so many obvious questions that these people are not addressing.  And the Government is part of it all.  May they (5 letters) in (4 letters).

I sincerely apologize for oversights in giving credit where credit is due for the following input and elsewhere.  /Sandra

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(2)    GENETICALLY MODIFIED PIGS, THANKS TO CANADA.  YOU’LL WANT IT ON YOUR GROCERY LIST. 

This is a BBC report.  There is a lot of subtle propaganda in the newscast.  They present only the cute little pigs.  They do not address the agonies of the animals that have gone before, that have been “rejects” in the production process and so on (see Note* below).   They use minimizing words like “small” changes.  And it is inferred that it is only a matter of time before we, the unenlightened, will see the wisdom and accept the genetically modified pigs (and other  life forms).  

Thanks to Elaine:

WATCH:  Enviropig: First Genetically Modified Farm Animal  (from blog Dandelion Salad)

http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/enviropig-first-genetically-modified-farm-animal/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DandelionSalad+%28Dandelion+Salad%29

*Note:  “Life Running Out of Control” (emails 2004 – -2005) would indicate that these are not the first genetically modified farm animals.  And also that there is much more to the story.

2004-11-13  Genetically modified:  documentary “LIFE RUNNING OUT OF CONTROL”.  GM fish and pigs.

2005-02-07  Genetically modified:  “Life Running Out of Control” debuts  (item #2, the interview with Bertram Verhaag).

2005-08-02   GMO’s   Monsanto applies for global pig patent

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(3)    MONSANTO’S GLYPHOSATE (ROUNDUP):  IMPACTS ON HUMAN HEALTH AND PLANT LIFE

What is being said here is consistent with scientific research circulated earlier:  fusarium (a fungus that you absolutely do not want in the food supply because of the health implications) is a problem in genetically modified crops (wheat at the time of the discussion).  The crops are engineered to be resistant to applications of glyphosate (Monsanto’s Roundup).  In my simple description:  the application of the chemicals compromises the immune systems of the plants.  The “scientists” who promote these technologies are doing an incredible disservice to the long term viability of the food system.  This is just one of the associated issues.

Thanks to Elaine.

http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_21039.cfm  for the complete text. 

Excerpts: 

. . . .    Don Huber: I have been doing research on glyphosate for 20 years. I began noticing problems when I saw a consistent increase in “take-all” (a fungal disease that impacts wheat) where glyphosate had been applied in a previous year for weed control. I tried to understand why there was an increase in disease with glyphosate. . . . . 

. . .   There are a lot of serious questions about the impacts of glyphosate that we need answers for in order to continue using this technology. I don’t believe we can ignore these questions any more if we want to ensure a safe, sustainable food supply and abundant crop production.

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(4)    THE TRAGIC HUMAN CONSEQUENCES OF GLYPHOSATE (ROUNDUP) SPRAYING OF GM SOY  (ARGENTINA) 

Thanks to Michael: 

Watch this 2 part video. It is our thirst for cheap processed food and animal feed that fuels the soybean industry which is behind the horror. I avoid buying anything from the supermarket that contains soybean oil, soya, tofu and pork, chicken, beef and atlantic salmon (which are usually fed a steady diet of soybean), unless the product is certified organic.  

http://www.gmwatch.eu/gm-videos/26-gm-in-latin-america/12580 

This news report by journalist Rolando Grana, recorded in Santa Fe, Argentina, graphically shows the tragic human consequences of glyphosate spraying of GM soy, including babies with birth defects. It contains interviews with Dr Dario Gianfelici, a medical doctor; scientist Prof Andres Carrasco, whose research showed that glyphosate/Roundup causes birth defects in doses far lower than those used in agricultural spraying; and the journalist Marie-Monique Robin, who made the film, The World According to Monsanto

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(5)     THANKS TO WIKILEAKS:  U.S. EMBASSY RECOMMENDS A LIST OF COUNTRIES FOR ‘RETALIATION’ OVER THEIR OPPOSITION TO GENETIC MODIFICATION

TWO REPORTS:

Thanks to Robin who writes:  Not sure if aware but is said to be missing the media – what else is new?

http://www.truth-out.org/wikileaks-us-ambassador-planned-retaliation-against-france-over-ban-monsanto-corn66131  

Thanks to Herman:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/03/wikileaks-us-eu-gm-crops  

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(6)    THANKS TO WIKILEAKS:  POPE ‘QUIETLY’ SUPPORTIVE OF GMO’s

Thanks to Michael:

 December 20, 2010

Newly Leaked Cable: Pope ‘quietly supportive’ of GMOs

By Rady Ananda

Just released yesterday, a November 19, 2009 leaked cable indicates Pope Benedict XVI supports genetically modified foods, though he will not publicly admit it.  A June 2009 cable from the US Vatican Embassy confirmed the Pontiff’s refusal to take a stance on GM foods, which was verified in December 2010 by a Vatican spokesperson. However, this latest cable tells quite a different story:

“Linking development with use of agricultural technologies (i.e., biotechnologies), Benedict stressed good governance and further infrastructure development as essential to increasing food security over the long-term. (Note: Benedict’s mention of agricultural technologies is a small but significant step towards more vocal Vatican support of biotechnologies. End Note)”

The  analyst further concludes:

“While the Vatican’s message on caring for the environment is loud and clear, its message on biotechnologies is still low-profile (ref. b). Quietly supportive, the Church considers the choice of whether to embrace GMOs as a technical decision for farmers and governments.”

Providing much more analysis than the June 2009 cable, the November 2009 cable indicates strong support within the Vatican scientific community, which apparently remains unaware of the biotech industry’s penchant for suppressing science:

“The Vatican’s own scientific academy has stated that there is no evidence GMOs are harmful, and that they could indeed be part of addressing global food security. However, when individual Church leaders, for ideological reasons or ignorance, speak out against GMOs, the Vatican does not — at least not yet — feel that it is its duty to challenge them.”

Vatican proponents of GM foods may have missed several scientific reports [1] that highlight  problems with GMOs.  As previously reported, several times:

* GM foods have been linked to organ damage and sterility in mammals, while others correlate rising diabetes and obesity rates with GMO introduction. There’s also the question of allergic reaction to GM foods, proof of which is hidden by lack of labeling.

* GM crops (and GM forests) are genetically modified to produce or tolerate pesticides. Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, has been linked to birth defects, cancer and miscarriages in humans.  Pesticides are suspected in causing or contributing to mass bee, bat and butterfly die-off, as well as a pandemic amphibian decline. Their use is also linked to 11 million acres of superweeds in the U.S.

* Further, GM crops cannot be contained. They’ve spread in nations all over the world, even becoming established in the wild.

Given such strong evidence of environmental harm, the Pope’s strong advocacy of the environment would logically include opposition to GM crops. In fact, we find the opposite.

This latest cable further confirms that globally promoting genetically modified foods is a high priority for the US State Department. As discussed in a prior piece, numerous leaked cables reveal a strong focus by embassy officials on cataloging how nations perceive GMOs, boosting GM acceptance in Africa, and even going so far as to discuss spiking food prices to spur GM acceptance in Europe. The latest cable is no different:

“Post will continue to lobby the Vatican to speak up in favor of GMOs, in the hope that a louder voice in Rome will encourage individual Church leaders elsewhere to reconsider their critical views. End Comment.”

Strong opposition within the church cites the monopoly control over food held by multinational corporations:

“The Vatican cannot force all bishops to endorse biotechnology, he said, particularly if their opposition has to do with concerns over protecting profits oflarge corporations who hold the patents for the crops, versus feeding the hungry. In the Philippines, he noted, bishops strongly protested GMOs in the past. (Note: South African Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier’s November 16 comments to a news agency that ‘Africans do not need GMOs, but water’ is another example of specific Church leaders skeptical about the potential benefits of new biotechnologies. End note.).”

Corporate control of the food supply is only one problem with biotech foods, albeit a major one.  After fourteen years of commercial experience, the U.S. is fast becoming the poster child for why nations, and the Church, should reject such technology.

NOTES:

[1] See, e.g.:

GM Soy: Sustainable? Responsible? Summary of scientific evidence on genetically modified soy and the effects of the herbicide glyphosate, Sept. 2010

Impacts of Genetically Engineered Crops on Pesticide Use: The First Thirteen Years, The Organic Center, November 2009

Failure to Yield: Evaluating the Performance of Genetically Engineered Crops, Union of Concerned Scientists, April 2009

50 Harmful Effects of Genetically Modified Foods by Nathan Batalion, 2000, rev. 2009

http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2010/12/20/pope-supports-gmos/

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(7)    WHEN AN APPLE A DAY MAKES THINGS WORSE:  GMO APPLES, ALSO COMPLIMENTS OF CANADA

Thanks to Elaine:

http://gmo-journal.com/index.php/2010/11/30/when-an-apple-a-day-makes-things-worse-gmo-apples/

By Boris Gitlin | November 30th, 2010

A Canadian specialty biotechnology company has asked USDA to approve a genetically modified apple variety that keeps from oxidizing and going brown when cut or damaged.

Unlike the typical commercial GMOs that focus on pesticide or insecticide resistance, the company’s gamble is that tree fruits that do not deteriorate as quickly when cut will help boost sales of freshly sliced apples.  The fresh-cut sliced apple market segment has been booming, but this bet is bound to face enormous challenges with consumer, farmer, and industry acceptance.

The company behind the GM apple is Okanagan Specialty Fruits (OSF) based in British Columbia that was founded in 1996.  OSF exclusively licensed its gene control technology from Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, and it is looking to alter genes of apples, as well as pears, peaches and cherries.  The company expects that genetic modification will be the right cosmetic touch to benefit apple processors and the food service industry, however it is bound for a failure. 

While the USDA and FDA approval process has barely started, the biggest challenge for OSF may be winning over consumer approval.   Beyond public concerns over genetic modified foods, there are also worries that this technology may help hide any damage that apples had incurred during harvest and transportation, as well as the real age of produce on the store shelf.  And the company’s actual stated goal is to genetically alter the symbol of nutrition and health and to put this novelty in children’s lunch boxes — that’s hardly a way to win over worried parents.

Already some apple industry leaders have expressed skepticism about the potential of this product.  Why tinker with DNA when we already have a number of existing readily-available approved and safe alternatives that keep packaged apple slices fresh.

Similarly, OSF will face an uphill battle in convincing farmers to grow GM apples. “Genetically modified — that’s a bad word in our industry,” said Todd Fryhover, president of Washington Apple Commission, to the Associated Press.  Fryhover also put the price of replanting for apple farmers as possibly too high to make economic sense. Fryhover’s Washington state produces more than half of U.S. apple crop.

The company doesn’t specify which apple variety was the basis for its proprietary variety named “Arctic” apple which critics dubbed as the “botox apple.”

Whichever way you slice it, the regulatory approval process for non-browning GM apples is expected to take years.  This may be one cosmetic surgery on produce that nobody wants.

 Posted by at 9:07 pm

  One Response to “2011-01-05 Updates: GMO’s, Monsanto, chemicals (roundup / glyphosate), genetically modified pigs”

  1. From: Tony Haynes
    Sent: Thursday, January 06, 2011 10:38 AM
    To: Sandra Finley
    Subject: Updates: GMO’s, Monsanto, chemicals, food

    Re the Pope’s support of GMO’s, it would be useful if you did not just repeat all that comes out from “your sources” and if they themselves took the trouble to put in perspective the statements of both the Pope and the Vatican.

    Remarkable ignorance exists among supposedly educated people about the power of the pope in terms of infallibility.

    It ill behooves you to pass on a commentary that does not take into account the activities and pronouncements of varying organizations within the Vatican; instead elevating a statement of the present pope to one of divine significance.

    In actual fact, when an organization within the Vatican sponsored a conference on this GMO subject, it accepted the recommendation of the majority of the attendees who came from pro GMO industries and adherents. A similar situation had developed when it was presssured by the American embassy prior to the outbreak of the Iraqi war.

    Both have since been corrected, but faced with the “care” of so many starving people in the world which the Vatican and its many subordinate organizations, the conference of pro GMOs “experts” warranted support.

    It is because many of us objected to the components of the conference and the conclusions of the attendees, that the matter has been corrected, not in the way your source interprets.

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