Jul 252009

the most genes artificially added to a single plant was three, but Smartstax includes eight

These are eight poisons built into the genome of the corn.   Genes do not wash off.



To see the CFIA documentation on the approval for Smartstax corn, go to:  2013-05-28  Dismay when people realize connection between GMO corn and tacos, tortillas, corn chips (corn meal).

Earlier, on corn see:  2004-06-14   Another big hit – $112 million pay out over Contamination of Corn (Aventis StarLink corn)


We’ve done a lot of work on GMO crops, our food supply.

This recent development made me so mad I phoned Carole Swan, President of the CFIA and gave them a piece of my mind.

I later talked with Lucy Sharratt who is dedicated to GMO’s at CBAN (Canadian Biotechnology Action Network).  Numbers of other people have phoned Carole Swan.  Lucy’s reading on the situation is that the CFIA is getting nervous.  I am sure that a phone call from you will add to their nervousness:

Carole Swan

President of the CFIA

(613) 773-6000


(613) 773-5762

Sherry – Exec Asst

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Smartstax corn was approved on the same day in Canada, as in the U.S.   Which is to say that the “harmonization” of regulation that the industry has been working on is now in place.  (Canada established an independent approval process after the IBT Laboratory Scandals in the U.S. in the 1980s.  Monsanto played a role.  By 2009 they have effectively removed the “independent” approval system in Canada.)

From Wikipedia – info obviously from Monsanto/Dow themselves.:

SmartStax is a brand of genetically modified seed made through a collaboration between Monsanto Company and Dow.[1] It takes advantage of multiple modes of insect protection and herbicide tolerance. SmartStax takes advantage of Yieldgard VT Triple (Monsanto), Herculex Xtra (Dow), RoundUp Ready 2 (Monsanto), and Liberty Link (Dow). The traits included protect against above-ground insects, Below-Ground insects, and provide broad herbicide tolerance. It is currently available for corn, but cotton, soybean, and specialty crop variations are to be released. Previously, the most genes artificially added to a single plant was three, but Smartstax includes eight. Smartstax also takes advantage of the Acceleron Seed Treatment System which protects against insects at the earliest stages of development. SmartStax is ground-breaking in that it requires only 5% refuge acres as opposed to the 20% required of older technologies. Smartstax builds towards Monsanto’s Promise of doubling yields by 2030 on the same or less land.[2] Smartstax is sold under the Genuity (Monsanto) and Mycogen (Dow) brands.


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Quick, quiet genetic corn approval questioned

By Michelle Lalonde

Montreal Gazette via Canwest News Service

July 25, 2009

MONTREAL — The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has quietly approved a new genetically engineered corn with eight different insect- and weed-fighting traits, but farmer and environmental groups in Canada say the approval was rushed and environmental risks ignored.

Developed through a research agreement between Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences, SmartStax corn is unique in that it “stacks” eight different genetically engineered traits that will allow corn to tolerate certain weed- and insect-killing products made by the two companies.

Each of the eight traits has been individually approved by the CFIA, but opponents are concerned there might be unintended consequences when the traits are combined.

“You’d think that a combination of eight GE traits would trigger an environmental assessment, but the CFIA has (provided) no public record of their evaluation,” said Lucy Sharratt, co-ordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network.

The CFIA has also conditionally authorized for SmartStax a reduction in the size of the buffer zone, or “refuge,” normally required around genetically engineered corn.

Farmers who grow insect-resistant corn have to plant regular corn around it in an area equal to 20 per cent of the GE cornfield. This is to delay the evolution of insect resistance to the toxins in the GE corn, which would then necessitate the use of stronger pesticides.

CFIA officials were not available for comment Friday. A short statement on its website said “the CFIA has evaluated the potential impact on and risk to the environment of using a 5 per cent non-Bt refuge strategy for this product, and has concluded that a conditional authorization until Dec. 31, 2012, of the use of this refuge poses minimal risk to the environment.”

“Not only did the CFIA neglect to do a risk evaluation for SmartStax corn, but it has also seriously reduced one of the only precautions imposed on farmers,” said Benoit Girouard of Quebec’s Union Paysanne, a farmers’ group.

Between now and December 2012, the CFIA statement said, Monsanto and Dow are required to evaluate how insects like corn rootworm are adapting to the product.

“It’s like putting the wolf in charge of the sheep’s welfare,” said Eric Darier, director of Greenpeace Quebec.

In May, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine called for an immediate moratorium on genetically modified foods, saying they pose a “serious health risk.”

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