Tag Archives: GMO

If you don’t want Monsanto to own the world’s apples and apple trees, submit a comment

GMO apple
Source: Inquistr
Monsanto and companies like it that produce GMO (aka GE) seed want to own all the food produced in the world. They are working towards this goal bit by bit, using GMO seeds as an inroad to accomplish it. Don’t let them! If you believe in people owning our food supply as opposed to major corporations owning it and deciding when, where and how much we can eat then you need to submit a public comment saying so by 12 Sept 2016.

Submitting a public comment has become a very easy process and is fast. You can feel free to speak from your own heart or to use any part of my statement that you like. Additional information and facts are also available at Food Safety News.

Submitted by Kimi Wei on 27 August 2016:

Dear Sirs and Mesdames,

It’s absurd to even think of giving in to the whims of a public which, due to ignorance, concern themselves more with appearance than their own health and the consequences of being deprived of the right to eat good, healthy food and build communities around this simple human need.

GMO products give control over food sources to major corporations, as they control the sales of GMO seed and eventually, can even prevent farmers from using traditional seed – this is happening in several countries around the world. GMO seed also is much costlier than traditional seeds are.

While people may choose to be ignorant of the facts, there’s no excuse for government officials to fail in this area. You need to ensure that Americans continue to enjoy food sovereignty; that we not risk planet and personal health crises by using GMO products which may cause unforeseen negative long-range impacts; that food production is not turned over to entities concerned with profit at the expense of humanity; and that the planetary and natural protections offered by small-holder farmers who practice natural planting and growing are not replaced with Big Ag monoculture crops that are always highly destructive to planet and people.

Furthermore, in the United States GMO seed and plant producers have used GMO seeds as an excuse to steal away smaller farmers’ lands by claiming that seeds that invade adjacent farms by the wind or birds carrying them over are in fact being stolen by the smaller farmers. Successful legal claims have been made stating that the only remedy for this theft is for the GMO planters to take possession of farmers lands that were invaded by their seed. The fact that the farmers didn’t want GMO seed and were advocating for it to be blocked from invading their land, meant nothing to the GMO plant growers, or the courts.

To submit a comment by USPS mail (snail mail), send to:
Docket No. APHIS-2016-0043
Regulatory Analysis and Development
PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8
4700 River Road Unit 118
Riverdale, MD 20737-1238

Thanks Howard Vlieger for sharing the opportunity to comment.

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GMOs are a fraud the US and Africa must resist believing in, using

GMOd tomatoesNational Geographic writer Simon Worrall has nothing good to say about GMOs and plenty of cautions about following what has become conventional wisdom in the agri-business food industry. BTW, when did we start to refer to frankenscience by the term ‘conventional‘?

Monsanto was driven out of England after widespread protests against seed trials. Why are the Europeans so much more critical of GMOs?

Because Europeans have been better informed of the facts. The media in Europe, up to a few years ago, reported this scientific controversy fairly. People knew many well-credentialed scientists did not agree with the claim that these foods were safe. Adverse research showing harm to lab animals got publicized. As a result, European citizens made it clear they didn’t want these foods. Here, the media has not reported the controversy fairly. They’ve almost always presented the pro-GMO side. As a result, the American public has been systematically deceived…

Only if there were not risks that might impact health in ways we don’t yet know. As I said, when it comes to food safety, benefits should not be considered in offsetting risks. Everybody has to eat food and changes to food should not entail new risks, no matter what the purported benefits. Several studies by the UN and World Bank also concluded that genetic engineering is not needed to meet the world’s food needs. One of the directors of these studies was asked, “What role do you see for GMOs in the future of food?” He said, “Actually none. They aren’t needed. They haven’t been boosting yields. Small scale, agro-ecological methods are what’s needed in the Third World.”

Worrall believes in small holding farming, especially in Africa which is just beginning to experience the destruction of GMOs:

What would you say to an African farmer who wants to use GMOs to feed his starving child today rather than worry about an imaginary threat tomorrow?

First I would say: Read what the UN and World Bank-sponsored reports have said. You don’t need GMOs … there are solutions that do not rely on GMOs, which have been proven to work in Africa. So I would say: Get with the sound science, spend less money, and solve your food problem in a way that will create healthy soil, a healthy family and a healthy Africa.

Wow. Sen Menendez IS NOT opposed to GMO food!

EWG GE labeling won't cost moreI’m normally a Bob Menendez fan but WOW, today I’m so disappointed. The Senator wrote to tell me that he doesn’t believe that states should have the right to label GMOs. And he doesn’t believe in GMO labeling at the federal level either. In fact, Sen Menendez made it clear that he does not oppose the genetically engineered modifications of our foods.

The single reason states have started trying to pass their own GMO labeling laws is that the federal government won’t pass laws to allow United States citizens and residents to know what’s in our food. Vermont is the first state to require GMO labeling of all foods.

Here’s the letter Sen. Menendez sent me:

Dear Ms. Wei:

Thank you for contacting me to express your support for the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act. Your opinion is very important to me, and I appreciate the opportunity to respond to you on this critical issue.

As you may know, the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act would amend the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to deem any food destined for human consumption as misbranded if it has been genetically engineered or contains genetically engineered ingredients, unless such information is clearly disclosed. The bill labels food as genetically engineered if it is an organism that is the product of intentional genetic engineering or contains any ingredients that are intentionally genetically engineered. This legislation has been introduced before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, which I am not a member of. However, should the bill be presented for a vote before the full United States Senate, I will be sure to keep your views in mind.

As the Garden State, New Jersey has a proud reputation as a leader in many agricultural fields, and I am committed to preserving this legacy. While farmers have naturally modified crops to improve growth and yields for centuries, recent advances in genetic engineering have raised questions about the safety of some of these food products. I believe we must be prudent when approving genetically modified food but I also recognize that unnecessarily labeling inherently safe products, could actually risk confusing and misleading consumers. It is vitally important that we fully understand the impact of these practices on our food supply and our health while harnessing the advantages of modern science and innovation.

Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees the implementation of food labeling set forth by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Foods that must be labeled include most prepared foods, such as breads, cereals, canned and frozen foods, snacks, desserts, and drinks. Foods that do not have to be labeled are called “conventional foods,” which include raw produce such as fruits, vegetables and fish. I continue to believe these standards should be regulated on the national level by objective scientific experts in the FDA rather than through a patchwork of state regulations that could have the unintended consequence of confusing consumers. Please know that I will continue to look for ways to ensure that Americans have access to appropriate and accurate nutritional information, without misleading consumers or imposing overly onerous requirements on food producers.

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I may be of further assistance. You may also visit my website (http://menendez.senate.gov) to learn more about how I am standing up for New Jersey families in the United States Senate.

Learn more about why you should care and find out how the Non-GMO Project can help you get there.

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Ask Trader Joe’s CEO for clarification on GMO policy

Trader Joe's and its big food vendors
Trader Joe’s says it doesn’t carry any GMO products but that can’t actually be true as a lot of its products list sugar as an ingredient. Over half of US sugar is beet sugar which is heavily GMOed. If you want natural sugar, you should look for cane sugar specifically.

Furthermore, it seems like a major Trader Joe’s vendor is ConAgra, which is one of the big companies fighting against GMO labeling laws and spending mega-bucks to do so.

I like Patrick‘s idea (commenter on GMO Awareness):

I suggest folks contact ALISON MOCHIZUKI, Director of Public Relations at TJ’s, and request a response.

If you’ve got an idea too, let’s hear it.

Farmers & people creatively resist GMOs

gmo seed costs moreTwo of the problems farmers face with GMOs is how much they strengthen weeds and insects, and how much they cost. Over time, the amount of pesticides and herbicides farmers use to kill weeds and insects increases as GMO crops become immune to their effect. Modern Farmer shares these chilling statistics,

Between 2001 and 2010, the consumer advocacy group Food & Water Watch reports, total on-farm herbicide use increased 26 percent as weed resistance grew.

Genetically altered seed producers in the United States and the processed food companies that support them have quadrupled their investments in lobbying efforts and public relations campaigns to fool politicians and the public into believing GMO foods are safe and there’s no need to label them. If that’s true, why are these companies so determined that the public not know that GMOs are in all of the common processed foods they eat and all corn products, most soy products and now, even wheat? Monsanto, Pepsi, Coke, Nestlé and other companies are spending tens of millions of dollars to make sure United States residents do not realize how pervasive GMO contamination has become in the US.

This has led some US crop farmers to return to traditional seeds – not because they believe in a GMO free world, but for economic reasons. GMO seeds cause farmers more out of pocket expense to purchase them and increasing amounts of the pesticides and herbicides they use to protect crops. And, GMO contaminated harvests can’t be sold everywhere. Aside from foreign countries that have banned them, some US buyers won’t touch them either. Modern Farmer explains,

Clarkson Grain, which buys conventional and organic corn and soybeans, pays farmers a premium — up to $2 extra per bushel over the base commodity price of soybeans, $1 for corn — to not only grow the crop but also preserve its identity. (That is, keep it separate from genetically modified grain all the way from planting through harvest, storage and transportation.)

Non-GMO Project
And talks about other players in the non-GMO space. The most interesting of which is the Non-GMO Project. It’s ironically funny that since Monsanto & its friends have successfully blocked most legislation to require GMO labeling, this organization emerged to champion the flip side of the issue with recognition for and labeling of, foods that are GMO free. Modern Farmers tells us that for food producers, the benefits of non-GMO verification are many

Sales at Hiland Naturals, which makes conventional and organic feeds for livestock, have more than doubled since it received Non-GMO Project verification last year. Most of Hiland’s customers are small farmers who sell eggs or meat at farmers markets and natural grocery stores. But many sell birds to Whole Foods and to institutions like colleges. Some of Hiland’s growth, owner Dan Masters says, comes from people wanting to know what they’re eating, some is from pending labeling laws and some is from “people who are tired of big corporations and big agriculture.”

Good on us.

GMO apples will begin the end of real food. Tell Feds NO.

wicked witch says trust me GMO apple is safeSubmit your comment to the US federal government saying why you stand against the approval of GMO apples. The time to act is now! Here’s some scientific background on GMO apples are so bad, even McDonalds and Gerber doesn’t want them. After you post your comment, please share it with us. Here’s mine:

Private companies cannot be allowed to put in claims to own nature or our food supply. It’s time to radically head off manufacturers of GMOs from attempts to take over society by stopping them from selling their products, ever. The US government must act immediately to make the GMO process and the sale of GMO seeds, illegal.

GMO products and patented seeds, are responsible for the killing of bees, natural ecosystems, and ring the death knoll for small farms around the world.

Our food system relies on bees for pollination. Ecosystems rely on a diversity of plant and animal life to thrive, much in the same way that human bodies do. Small farms are being seized and eradicated by GMO distributors through a variety of nefarious and underhanded moves.

GMO producers are dishonest and extremely dangerous.

You cannot allow them to continue harming the earth, our food supply and the people of the United States. GMO incursion is bad for people and the natural world that God created, which it is the fundamental and inalienable right of US citizens and all people, to enjoy.

The myth is being sold by self-serving producers of mono-culture crops that our societies will be better, or safer, if we allow them to take over the growing process, beginning with seed alteration and patenting, but this is the reverse of true. Mono-cultures are exactly the opposite of good, and the results GMO companies bring into the world are disastrous over both the long and short terms.

The approval of GMO apple seeds will open the door to other varieties of patented seeds being brought into the food supply chain. In the short run, family farmers and small farms will be ruined. In the long term, GMO producers want to make sure that only their eco-system destroying apples can be planted and sold. They want to make natural seeds illegal and own the growing process from start to finish.

GMO crops which contain pesticides also produce pesticides resistant super-insects that cannot be controlled by normal strength pesticides. The GMO crops are directly responsible for the super-insects wiping out natural crops (grown by family/small farmers) in regions where the GMO crops that create them are grown. We can only imagine how bad the pesticide-based crops will reveal themselves to be for human health.

GMO companies seek to replace good, healthy food grown by loving hands which shares a beneficial, symbiotic exchange with nature … with chemically altered food that destroys nature, ecosystems, the natural pollination process (and bees), health, family farms and world society as we know it.

They cannot be allowed to continue to operate in society. There must be NO place for them at all. Please, cast a vote for the wellbeing of United States residents and the world at large, by banning GMO seeds from entering the world.

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Videos teach environmental and health impact of GMOs

farm fresh foodWhat could be wrong with family farming? Family farms, also known as traditional or small farms, produce good food with little or no pesticides … The farming methods they use keep both farm animals and the people eating the vegetables, dairy and meats produced on them, healthy and strong.

There’s the problem! For Big $, Big Ag, health insurance companies and Big Pharma, family farming is bad bad bad: because it leads to less need for hospitalization, insurance, pharmaceutics and erases the need for factory produced pesticides, fertilizers or seeds: in other words, major corporations can’t make a profit from family farming. So, they want to ban it. But for the real people of the world, people like you and me, family farming is good good good and we want more of it.

Check out the brilliant Food Revolution Europe video showing why GMOs and mono-crops are so bad for both people and the environment. Learn why we must say NO to GMOs, help spread the word about how bad they are and demand that governments halt their use.

We must also protect the family farmers of our world. Big Ag is using GMO crops to force small farmers out of business and steal their land, and we need to stop them. Their wellbeing and our health are irrevocably tied together.

In another video, Physicist Vandana Shiva tells why GMOs are the world’s death knell. OK, maybe Dr. Shiva is a bit serious, but she’s speaking relevant truths that all people should know. She also speaks as a native of India, where close to 300,000 cotton farmers have committed suicide because GMO seeds from Monsanto have bankrupted their farms, destroyed their families’ living and broken ties to land and homes they owned for generations.

A Truthout article shares more ugly facts about Monsanto:

Given Monsanto’s legacy as a producer of the lethal defoliant Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, Southeast Asian agriculture would presumably beg to differ with this characterization.

Sustainability is also not the first word that comes to mind when contemplating Monsanto’s policy of sowing the earth with genetically modified seeds that destroy soil and are designed with nonrenewable traits so as to require constant repurchase as well as acquisition of a variety of other company products like fertilizers and pesticides.

Nor would the term appear to define a situation in which nearly 300,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide since 1995 after being driven into insurmountable debt by neoliberal economics and the conquest of Indian farmland by Monsanto’s Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton.

In tragic irony, many kill themselves by imbibing pesticides intended for their crops.

As for Monsanto’s shameless claim that one of its primary objectives is “to improve lives,” we might similarly conclude that butchers aim to improve the lives of cows and pigs and that two plus two is 86.

New Alliance heralds rapid destruction of rural Africa

rural agriculture in AfricaRural life and natural techniques of agriculture in Africa are in imminent danger of disappearing from this continent forever. Industrialized countries have run out of land and easily exploitable communities in their own countries and are now turning their attention to Africa, where they are teaming up with governments of African countries to seize land from villagers, create mono-culture plantation farms, export massive amounts of food. And to force the use of modified seeds, the free distribution and exchange of native seeds is being outlawed.

In plain English, African countries are required to change their trade and agriculture laws to include ending the free distribution of seeds, relax the tax system and national export controls, and open the doors wide for profit repatriation (allowing the money as well as the crops to be exported). In Mozambique, as elsewhere across the continent, local farmers have been evicted from their land under land sales agreements and, according to Guardian newspaper, the country “is now obliged to write new laws promoting what its agreement calls ‘partnerships’ of this kind”

…African nations are required to “change their seed laws, trade laws and land ownership in order to prioritize corporate profits over local food needs”.

…The New Alliance, according to the British prime minister, is “a great combination of promoting good governance and helping Africa to feed its people”. He and the rest of the G8, Friends of the Earth believes, “[pretend] to be tackling hunger and land grabbing in Africa while backing a scheme that will ruin the lives of hundreds of thousands of small farmers”. This new deal is “a pro-corporate assault on African nations”, providing “investment and support” opportunities for greedy investors looking to further expand their corporate assets with the support of participating governments.

…True investment in Africa is investment in the people of Africa: the smallholder farmers, the women and children, and the communities across the continent. It involves working collectively, consulting, encouraging participation and, crucially, sharing – sharing knowledge, experience, technology, land, food, water and minerals equitably among the people of Africa and indeed the wider world.

To date, 9 of 54 African nations have entered into “New Alliance” agreements, including

Ethiopia, where wide ranging human rights violations, including forced displacement and rapes, have reportedly accompanied land sales…

http://www.redressonline.com/2013/06/the-g8s-commercial-colonization-of-africa/

Monsanto responsible for Indian farmer suicidesIn India, farmers who find themselves embroiled in mounting debt from the use of GMO seeds commit suicide at the rate of one every 30 minutes. How will African farmers react when they discover the ramifications of the seed agreements being forced on them?

The only seeds available in India now are GMOs (genetically modified organisms), which require farmers to pay an annual royalty each time they are replanted. The GMOs need additional fertilizers, and as the seasons move forward, more insecticides and pesticides. The soil in which these seeds are planted requires more water. All of which means more and more money for the farmer to lay out.

… Another story weaving in and out of the film is that of a neighboring girl in college who has recently lost her father to suicide, an end claiming lives all over India’s farmlands. She wants to tell his story, along with the stories of all the other suicide victims in the area. Her research and intuition have shown her that at the root of these suicides are GMO seeds.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/zester-daily/bitter-seeds-film_b_1902221.html


Also see “Lack of conventional seeds enlarges Bt cotton area” and Bitter Seeds (the movie)

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Transgenic foods, GMOs and clear labelling

I don’t know a whole lot of transgenic foods, but I think there’s something wrong, anyway, in adding salmon fish genes to say, whatever plant my tortilla chips are produced from in order to make those plants not as susceptible to some disease or pest, or more likely to grow in a certain way or at a certain rate of speed. I don’t want to argue with people who say, “You can’t impede commerce and every part of the world has to be somebody’s commercial oyster.” Those people are wrong, but I don’t care to argue with them.

However, I do think that we, the people, should know when weird stuff is implanted in the foods we consume thinking we’re eating something we’re familiar with and that’s naturally derived. I am so not alone in my thinking. By the way, transgenic and GMO are terms for the same practice – modifying the genes of one form of life with a gene from a different life form. U-T San Diego reports,

In a nationwide telephone poll conducted in October 2010 by Thomson Reuters and National Public Radio, 93 percent said if a food has been genetically engineered or has genetically engineered ingredients, it should say so on its label — a number that has been consistent since genetically modified crops were introduced. FDA guidelines say that food that contains genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, does not have to say so and can still be labeled “all natural.”

In California, voters in November will decide on a ballot initiative requiring the labeling of such foods.

In October, an online campaign called Just Label It began collecting signatures and comments on a petition to the FDA, requesting rules similar to those in the European Union, Japan, China, India and Australia, stating what transgenic food is in the package.

and Natural Society’s Feb 1 2012 article shows Vermont is taking the GMO labeling issue seriously as well.

Vermont has taken the initiative against Monsanto and other biotechnology corporations in launching new legislation that would require the labeling of products containing genetically modified ingredients. The bill, known as the ‘VT Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act’, was introduced to the Vermont House of Representatives by Representative Kate Webb of Shelburne on February 1st, 2012. The bill would require the labeling of not only products filled entirely with GMOs, but also for those partially created using GM ingredients.

My friend Lenny Thomas attributes the death of honey bees to genetically modified crops. What do you think, New Jersey, should we get a movement like this started in our state?