Leak: US Using Taxpayer Dollars To Promote Monsanto GMOs Overseas

by
May 15th, 2013

Just when you thought the latest Supreme Court ruling in favor of Monsanto’s anti-farmer patent policy was enough evidence of Monsanto’s deep relationship with the US government, hundreds of new cables from the State Department and embassies around the world reveal that your taxpayer dollars are being used to push Monsanto’s genetically modified seeds.

Even mainstream news websites like Reuters are now reporting on the cable details, as it becomes more than crystal clear that the United States government is literally assisting Monsanto in promoting it’s health-crushing genetically modified seeds and escalating the corporation above the law. The same corporation busted for running slave-like work rings where ‘employees’ were required to work on the GMO corn fields for up to 14 hours a day or have their pay withheld.

“It really goes beyond promoting the U.S.’s biotech industry and agriculture,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. “It really gets down to twisting the arms of countries and working to undermine local democratic movements that may be opposed to biotech crops, and pressuring foreign governments to also reduce the oversight of biotech crops.”

Read the full article here

7 Foods To Stop Consuming Today

If just one quarter of developed nations would stop consuming the following seven foods, the incidence of obesity and preventable disease would drop more than 50 percent.

1. Wheat
There are many health risks associated with the consumption of wheat.
Mainstream nutrition rarely focuses on all the crippling effects of wheat such as neurological impairment, dementia, heart disease, cataracts, diabetes, arthritis and visceral fat accumulation, not to mention the full range of intolerances and bloating now experienced by millions of people.

2. Soy
If you stop 10 strangers on the street and ask them if soy is health food, most will probably say yes, of course, everyone knows soy is healthy. However many people are now realizing how toxic soy really is.  Even so, the public’s perception of soy as health food got a boost from the FDA with a rule that permits soy beverages, soy-based cheese substitutes, and soy-based butter substitutes which are all toxins.

3. Corn
The second most genetically modified crop after soy is corn. According to one study, three varieties of Monsanto’s GM corn – Mon 863, insecticide-producing Mon 810, and Roundup herbicide-absorbing NK 603 – are approved for consumption by US, European and several other national food safety authorities.

4. Processed Foods
Eating too many processed foods with high sodium levels contributed to 2.3 million deaths from heart attacks, strokes and other heart-related diseases throughout the world in 2010, representing 15 percent of all deaths due to these causes, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2013 Scientific Sessions.

5. Refined Grains/Flour
Most refined grains and flours are also courtesy of Monsanto and GMO. Do you realize how much power one company can have over the foundation of the world’s food supply? Without stiff competition, Monsanto could raise its seed prices at will, which in turn could raise the cost of everything from animal feed to wheat bread and cookies. Stop eating them!

6. Conventional/Processed Meats
Conventional meat meaning factory farmed and processed meat meaning any meat preserved by smoking or adding chemical preservatives or refined salt.

Most meat eaters may be unaware that more than 70% of all beef and chicken in the United States, Canada and other countries is being treated with poisonous carbon monoxide gas. It can make seriously decayed meat look fresh for weeks. The meat industry continues to allow this toxic gas injection into many of the meat products people consume on a daily basis.

7. Conventional Dairy
Some studies have linked high intakes of dairy to increased risk of cancer. But others have found no connection, and even a reduced risk. The question is, which ones are unbiased studies and which ones are sponsored by the dairy industry?

US scientists suspect this is because milk and other dairy foods contain the hormone oestrogen, which encourages tumour growth.

Breakfast:
Try a smoothie for breakfast filled with fresh and frozen fruits, add some chia seeds and green your smoothie with kale, spirulina or spinach. Add a scoop of almond butter. Need more protein? Mix in some hemp protein powder or raw sprouted protein powder. Still hungry? Have some nuts, pumpkin seeds or some dates with coconut butter.

Lunch:
Need a sandwich for lunch? How about egg salad? Try sprouted Ezekiel bread (now available at many grocery retailers). Use organic eggs, hardboiled (cook them to perfection using this method). Mayo recipe on that link as well. Add the mayo with some finely chopped celery and red pepper. Add a pinch of pepper and you have a healthy great tasting sandwich.

Dinner:
Make yourself a beautiful large salad with a high quality olive oil and mix in your favorite greens and veggies. Shavings of some raw unpasteurized Parmesan cheese is always a nice addition along with olives and walnuts. This is a wonderful meal that should keep most satisfied until bed time. If it doesn’t, have another hemp protein smoothie, on the lighter side with minimal fruits, but add celery and cucumber with a pinch of ginger and some honey.

Full article

The GE Process

What is a GMO?

A GMO (genetically modified organism) is the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. The foreign genes may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans. Because this involves the transfer of genes, GMOs are also known as “transgenic” organisms.

This process may be called either Genetic Engineering (GE) or Genetic Modification (GM); they are one and the same.

What is a gene?

Every plant and animal is made of cells, each of which has a center called a nucleus. Inside every nucleus there are strings of DNA, half of which is normally inherited from the mother and half from the father. Short sequences of DNA are called genes. These genes operate in complex networks that are finely regulated to enable the processes of living organisms to happen in the right place and at the right time. 

How is genetic engineering done?

Because living organisms have natural barriers to protect themselves against the introduction of DNA from a different species, genetic engineers must force the DNA from one organism into another. Their methods include:

  • Using viruses or bacteria to “infect” animal or plant cells with the new DNA.
  • Coating DNA onto tiny metal pellets, and firing it with a special gun into the cells.
  • Injecting the new DNA into fertilized eggs with a very fine needle.
  • Using electric shocks to create holes in the membrane covering sperm, and then forcing the new DNA into the sperm through these holes.

Is genetic engineering precise?

The technology of genetic engineering is currently very crude. It is not possible to insert a new gene with any accuracy, and the transfer of new genes can disrupt the finely controlled network of DNA in an organism.

Current understanding of the way in which DNA works is extremely limited, and any change to the DNA of an organism at any point can have side effects that are impossible to predict or control. The new gene could, for example, alter chemical reactions within the cell or disturb cell functions. This could lead to instability, the creation of new toxins or allergens, and changes in nutritional value.

But haven’t growers been grafting trees, breeding animals, and hybridizing seeds for years?

Genetic engineering is completely different from traditional breeding and carries unique risks.

In traditional breeding it is possible to mate a pig with another pig to get a new variety, but is not possible to mate a pig with a potato or a mouse. Even when species that may seem to be closely related do succeed in breeding, the offspring are usually infertile—a horse, for example, can mate with a donkey, but the offspring (a mule) is sterile.

With genetic engineering, scientists can breach species barriers set up by nature. For example, they have spliced fish genes into tomatoes. The results are plants (or animals) with traits that would be virtually impossible to obtain with natural processes, such as crossbreeding or grafting.

What combinations have been tried?

It is now possible for plants to be engineered with genes taken from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans. Scientists have worked on some interesting combinations:

  • Spider genes were inserted into goat DNA, in hopes that the goat milk would contain spider web protein for use in bulletproof vests.
  • Cow genes turned pigskins into cowhides.
  • Jellyfish genes lit up pigs’ noses in the dark.
  • Artic fish genes gave tomatoes and strawberries tolerance to frost.

Field trials have included:

  • Corn engineered with human genes (Dow)
  • Sugarcane engineered with human genes (Hawaii Agriculture Research Center)
  • Corn engineered with jellyfish genes (Stanford University)
  • Tobacco engineered with lettuce genes (University of Hawaii)
  • Rice engineered with human genes (Applied Phytologics)
  • Corn engineered with hepatitis virus genes (Prodigene)
  • Potatoes that glowed in the dark when they needed watering.
  • Human genes were inserted into corn to produce spermicide.

Does the biotech industry hold any promise?

Genetic modification of plants is not the only biotechnology. The study of DNA does hold promise for many potential applications, including medicine. However, the current technology of GM foods is based on obsolete information and theory, and is prone to dangerous side effects. Economic interests have pushed it onto the market too soon.

Moreover, molecular marker technologies – so called Marker Assisted Selection (MAS) used with conventional breeding – show much promise for developing improved crop varieties, without the potentially dangerous side effects of direct genetic modification.

Source

GMO Trilogy

This explosive exposé reveals what the biotech industry doesn’t want you to know – how industry manipulation and political collusion, not sound science, allow dangerous genetically engineered food into your daily diet. Company research is rigged, alarming evidence of health dangers is covered up, and intense political pressure applied. Chapters read like adventure stories and are hard to put down:

  • Scientists were offered bribes or threatened. Evidence was stolen. Data was omitted or distorted.
  • Government employees who complained were harassed, stripped of responsibilities, or fired.
  • Laboratory rats fed a GM crop developed stomach lesions and seven of the forty died within two weeks. The crop was approved without further tests.
  • The only independent in-depth feeding study ever conducted showed evidence of alarming health dangers. When the scientist tried to alert the public, he lost his job and was silenced with threats of a lawsuit.

Read the actual internal memos by FDA scientists, warning of toxins, allergies, and new diseases – all ignored by their superiors, including a former attorney for Monsanto. Learn why the FDA withheld information from Congress after a genetically modified supplement killed nearly a hundred people and disabled thousands. The GMO Trilogy’s was released in April 2006 in conjunction with Earth Day (April 22) and International GMO opposition Day (April 8)—a coordinated 30-nation campaign to raise awareness about genetically modified (GM) food.

Unnatural Selection (parts 1 – 5)





Hidden Dangers in Kids’ Meals: Genetically Engineered Foods (parts 1-3)



You’re Eating WHAT?

 

GMO – The undisclosed legal perils looming for Belize

— 30 September 2011 — by M. Vargas

Dear Editor,
  
Great thanks to Ms. Adele Trapp for undertaking an article on the volatile issue concerning Genetically Modified seeds (GM). The decision to allow the testing of GM corn in Belize is an issue so vital and far reaching that it potentially threatens the future of food security in Belize for all generations that follow.
  
It seems to me that the protocol set up by the historic acts of the GOB actually prevents the importation of GM grain at this point in time. So why is it sitting in a vault at Cardi?
  
What folly are we playing out on the landscape of Belize?
  
Cross-contamination is the paramount peril for the agricultural sector in Belize with ANY introduction of GM seeds, not only due to the negative environmental implications, but the onerous legal liability that comes with the seed.  
  
Let’s be realistic about the situation. A sterile isolated environment is the only way to test a GMO to assure no escape of pollen. Given that one of the objectives for the trial is reduction of crop damage from pest infestation, in an enclosure, how will one test the premise of pest control, if the crop is not exposed to pests?
  
If the trial is conducted in the open field in the “off season” as Ms. Trapp states in her article, will there even be sufficient volume of the vector in the open field to test the efficacy of the genetic gnome imprinted in the corn against the vector?
  
Once this pollen escapes and cross pollinates with local strains of corn, the unsuspecting and unknowing village milpa farmer, the adjacent industrial farmer, the family gardener, will be liable for potential payment of royalties to Monsanto.
  
While MAF states that they do not have to ratify Monsanto’s patent for intellectual property, I am sure given the financial resources of this global mega corporation, whose annual budget exceeds that of Belize by 200 times, will find a way through the legal maze to benefit itself in the end.
  
To protect its patent rights, Monsanto enforces a “limited use license” called a Technology Agreement. This contract shields Monsanto from liability associated with contamination of innocent, unsuspecting neighboring farmers and passes the responsibility to the GM farmer for keeping GM crops out of markets, elevators or other farmers’ fields that do not want GM crops.
  
In a case of cross-contamination, the victim farmer must sue the GM farmer to recover income loss from crop damages and loss of market, as the GM farmer has indemnified Monsanto against such contamination by the simple act of just opening a bag of Monsanto’s GM seed.
  
In turn, Monsanto sues the victim farmer for patent infringement. Quite a clever scheme.
  
Thousands of farmers have been sued and spied upon for alleged “seed piracy” – at least 2,391 farmers in 19 states in the United States through 2006, according to Monsanto website documents obtained by the Washington, DC-based Center for Food Safety (CFS).
  
A report by CFS, using company records, found that “Monsanto has an annual budget of $10 million dollars and a staff of 75 devoted solely to investigating and prosecuting farmers.”
  
Per the Technical Agreement, all legal disputes must be settled in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Does this imply that US law governs over the patent issues?
  
Furthermore, the terms of this agreement are not negotiable, and are binding upon the parties even after the farmer ceases to plant Monsanto’s GM seed.
  
Has anyone in position of power considered who will step up and pay the legal bills for defending Belize farmers, large and small, from Monsanto on the alleged grounds of “seed piracy” and the infringement of patents? 
  
To say that Belize will not register the patent will not alleviate the legal liability potential.
  
Gentlemen, we are playing with fire, so they say.
 
Best,
M. Vargas
Ontario Village, Cayo

 

Countries Growing GMOs

The world’s leading producers of GM crops are the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, India and China. In 2006, GM crop production also reached noteworthy levels in Paraguay, South Africa, Uruguay and Australia. In the EU, GM crops have remained uncommon. Appreciable GM maize production in the EU only took place in Spain on an area of nearly 60,000 hectares. In Portugal, Germany, France and the Czech Republic, transgenic crops were primarily grown for small-scale field trials.

In 2005, Iran and the Czech Republic were added to the list of countries commercially growing transgenic crops. As of 2006, 38 percent of GM crops are grown in developing countries.

Global Area of Genetically Engineered Crops, 1996 to 2006: By Country (Million Hectares)
Country USA Argentina Brazil Canada China Paraguay
1996 1.5 0.1 0.1
1997 8.1 1.4 1.3 0.0
1998 20.5 4.3 2.8 <0.1
1999 28.7 65.7 1.4* 4.0 0.3
2000 30.3 10.0 3.6* 3.0 0.5
2001 35.7 11.8 5.7* 3.2 1.5
2002 39.0 13.5 6.3* 3.5 2.1
2003 42.8 13.9 3.0 4.4 2.8
2004 47.6 16.2 5.0 5.4 3.7 1.2
2005 49.8 17.1 9.0 5.8 3.3 1.8
2006 54.6 18.0 11.5 6.1 3.5 2.0

*illegal cultivation of gmos: calculated area

Global Area of Genetically Engineered Crops, 1996 to 2006: By Country (Million Hectares)
Country India South Africa Uruguay Aus-tralia Mexico Romania
1996 <0.1 <0.1
1997 0.1 <0.1
1998 <0.1 0.1
1999 0.1 0.1 <0.1 <0.1
2000 0.2 <0.1 0.2 <0.1 <0.1
2001 0.2 <0.1 0.2 <0.1 <0.1
2002 <0.1 0.3 <0.1 0.1 <0.1 <0.1
2003 0.1 0.4 0.1 0.1 <0.1 <0.1
2004 0.5 0.5. 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.1
2005 1.3 0.5 0.3 0.3 0.1 0.1
2006 3.8 1.4 0.4 0.2 0.1 0.1
Global Area of Genetically Engineered Crops, 1996 to 2006: By Country (Million Hectares)
Country Philippines Honduras Colombia Iran  Spain Por- tugal Ger- many
1996
1997
1998 <0.1
1999 <0.1 <0.1
2000 <0.1 <0.1
2001 <0.1 <0.1
2002 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1
2003 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1 0.1 <0.1 <0.1
2004 0.1 <0.1 <0.1 0.5 0.1 <0.1
2005 0.1 <0.1 <0.1 1.3 0.1 <0.1 <0.1
2006 0.2 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1 0.1 <0.1 <0.1

Source: ISAAA, Clive James, 2006.