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Monday, March 18, 2013

Herbicides for GMOs Driving Monarch Butterfly Populations to 'Ominous' Brink

March 14, 2013 by Common Dreams

Scientist: "If we pull the monarchs out of the system, we're really pulling the rug out from under a whole lot of other species"

- Lauren McCauley, staff writer
A wall of monarch butterflies, which are under severe threat due to the rampant use of pesticides used to protect gmo crops across the US corn belt. (Photo by Mexicanwave / Flickr / Creative Commons)

The migratory population of the monarch butterfly has reached an "ominous" low, researchers in Mexico announced Wednesday.

Scientists are attributing the decline of this essential pollinating population to the ongoing drought and the "explosive" increase in the use of genetically modified crops in the American corn belt.
"Because farmers have planted over 120 million acres of crops resistant to the milkweed-killing herbicide glyphosate, the monarchs' essential food supply has been all but destroyed."

Released by the Mexican government along with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), a recent survey found a 59% decrease in the area occupied by monarch colonies wintering in the forests of central Mexico, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Because of the difficulty in counting butterflies, scientists rely on measurements of the area that butterflies occupy to estimate their numbers; 1 hectare may contain as many as 50 million butterflies.
"The report of the dwindling Monarch butterfly winter residence in Mexico is ominous," said leading entomologist Lincoln Brower.

According to Chip Taylor, director of the conservation group Monarch Watch at the University of Kansas, the decline was "hastened" by North America's ongoing drought and record-breaking heat.

(Photo by farflungphotos / Flickr)

However, the more "alarming" source of decline, according to Taylor and Omar Vidal, head of WWF in Mexico, is the "explosive increase" in the use of herbicide-tolerant genetically modified soybean and corn crops across America's farmland which, the New York Times reports, has "enabled farmers to wipe out the milkweed," on which monarch larvae feed almost exclusively.

"The American Midwest’s corn belt is a critical feeding ground for monarchs, which once found a ready source of milkweed growing between the rows of millions of acres of soybean and corn," they continue. However, as farmers have planted over 120 million acres of crops resistant to the milkweed-killing herbicide glyphosate, the monarchs' essential food supply is all but destroyed.

“That habitat is virtually gone. We’ve lost well over 120 million acres, and probably closer to 150 million acres,” Mr. Taylor said.

Previously, environmental groups cited logging in Mexico's forests, the butterfly's winter habitat, as the primary threat to the population. Since the area was declared a nature reserve in 2000, that is now considered a lesser threat.

"The conservation of the Monarch butterfly is a shared responsibility between Mexico, the United States and Canada," said Vidal. "By protecting the reserves and having practically eliminated large-scale illegal logging, Mexico has done its part. It is now necessary for the United States and Canada to do their part and protect the butterflies' habitat in their territories."

Like bees, butterflies provide essential pollinating functions for entire ecosystems."The fruits, nuts, seeds and foliage that everything else feeds on," said Taylor. "If we pull the monarchs out of the system, we're really pulling the rug out from under a whole lot of other species."

According to Nature World News,
the Monarch butterflies begin life as an egg that hatch into larvae (which feed almost exclusively on the milkweed plant). These larvae become caterpillars and in the fourth stage they become butterflies. Only Monarchs born between late summer and early fall make the migration. Even though it takes about four generations of the Monarchs to make the incredible journey, each butterfly knows the way and at times, these butterflies have been found to come back to the same tree from where their great grandparents had begun the journey.
“This is one of the world’s great migrations,” said Chip Taylor. “It would be a shame to lose it.”

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License
 

At Least 83 Percent of Americans Think GMOs Should Be Labeled

March 17, 2013 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

(NaturalNews) The debate over whether or not to label genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) has long been settled -- the people undeniably and overwhelmingly want to know what is in their food. A new poll released by the Huffington Post and YouGov.com reveals that about 83 percent of all Americans, from all demographic backgrounds, support mandatory GMO labeling, regardless of their own personal views on GMO safety.

The survey is one of the latest in recent years to reveal near-unanimous support for GMO labeling, and it further reinforces the need for full transparency when it comes to food labeling. As it turns out, this fundamental right to know trumps personal opinions about GMO safety in every single demographic category -- even people who do not necessarily see anything wrong with GMOs, or who are unsure how they feel about them, believe everyone has a right to know when they are used in food.

When asked the question, "Do you think foods that contain genetically modified ingredients should be labeled indicating that, or do you think that's not necessary?" 83 percent of respondents to a YouGov.com poll, as of this writing, said "Yes." An even higher amount of HuffPost readers, 95 percent, indicated their support for mandatory GMO labeling, according to the survey.

Even though roughly 21 percent of YouGov.com respondents indicated their belief that GMOs are safe to eat, only nine percent said they do not think it is necessary to label them. 44 percent of respondents to the same poll said they were unsure about the safety of eating GMOs, while 35 percent said they believed GMOs were flat-out dangerous and unfit for human consumption.

On the other hand, the fact that only nine percent of respondents to the YouGov.com poll said they thought it was unnecessary to label GMOs indicates widespread support for mandatory GMO labeling regardless of personal views about them. Meanwhile, a mere eight percent of respondents said they thought GMOs were good for the environment, despite prolific industry propaganda that has long claimed GMOs would benefit farmers.

The joint poll was conducted between February 28, 2013 and March 1, 2013, and included 1,000 adults carefully selected using YouGov.com's opt-in online panel, which is designed to select participants based on a wide range of demographic factors. However, the survey questions are still posted online at HuffPost, as of this writing, which means Natural News readers can also vote and express their views on GMO labeling and safety.

You can access the poll here:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/04/gmo-poll_n_2807595.html

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Connecting the Dots to Genetically Modified Foods and Your Current Health Condition

Feb. 28, 2013, By Cathy Harris, Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert 

As a Health and Wellness Expert and after educating the community for 2 years on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and launching a series of health articles, books and a health blog (http://www.NonGMOHealthMovement.blogspot.com) -- it’s very disheartening to see that many people are still succumbing to “preventable” and “curable” illnesses and diseases.   

Even though we are building momentum in the movement to educate the world about Genetically Modified foods, many people are still left in the dark. They have yet to connect the dots to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and what is happening in their personal lives. 

If you thought the FDA.gov and Congress was here to protect the people from dangerous foods, think again. It’s time to wake up from your mass media induced coma and face the fact that if you want to protect yourself and your children and their children from the deadly effects of Genetically Modified foods, you’re going to have to do it yourself because the government and regulators have been either “paid off” or “silenced” -- so that biotechnology companies can earn huge profits. 

We are at the mercy of biotechnology companies that stand to make billions of dollars from selling GM foods, and could lose billions if they are ever found to be dangerous. This is a very big conflict of interest! The biotech companies are essentially “self-regulating” -- just like the banking industry has been. That should be cause for great alarm! 

If you sleep on this one, by the time the truth becomes known, it will be too late because the effects of these genetically modified foods will already be in the genes of your children and grandchildren. Just because people aren’t dropping dead in large numbers “yet” -- doesn’t mean that it won’t happen in the near future. 

The worst thing about these Genetically Modified crops and genes is that once they get into the wild, they will eventually contaminate ALL of the “non-genetically modified crops” -- so that at some point in the future, there will be no “non-genetically modified crops” in the world! 

Once the genetically modified genes have contaminated all of the non-genetically modified plants, there is presently no way to remove these snythetic genes from the plants. We'll all be stuck with these "toxic plants" that produce toxic foods.

The human health risks associated with genetically modified foods have deliberately been “underplayed.” The ‘scientific loudspeakers’ of the genetically modified industry have been so orchestrated that the moment you mention the health impact of the genetically-altered foods, they pounce upon you like vultures.  

The reason is obvious -- the financial stakes involved are so high that the industry is desperately trying to keep the “food scare” out of the ongoing debate.  

Alarming facts about GMO foods include:

1.    Over 90% of all foods (or ALL PROCESSED FOODS) in your neighborhood grocery stores contain Genetically Modified components or derivatives.

2.    Genetically modified foods were first put on the U.S. market around 1996 so if you have a child or grandchild that was born after that date and eat foods strictly from neighborhood grocery stores -- then you have a “GMO Baby.”

3.    One company, Monsanto, owns over 90% of all seed companies in the U.S. They only sell Genetically Modified seeds and have patented them -  so if farmers don’t save traditional seeds they will be FORCED to buy these seeds.

4.    Michael Young started out as a lawyer representing Monsanto and then went to work at Food and Drug Administration (FDA.gov). He then left FDA to go back to Monsanto as their Vice President. Now he is back at FDA as the Food Czar and is currently in line for another “high-ranking” position at FDA.

5.    There has been no long-term testing on GMOs by the biotechnology industry. Many of the scientists who became whistleblowers have been “silenced.”

6.    To make GMOs companies are mixing pesticides and herbicides with bacteria and fungus to create some type of plant or animal which is some type of  “SUPERBREED” -- to make it grow faster, stronger, and survive longer.

7.    If you eat GMOs there is no way for you to avoid eating pesticides and herbicides which contains POISON and HEAVY METALS which contributes to brain issues such as autism, Alzheimers, MS, Parkinsons, brain cancer, mental illness, depression, brain fog, etc.

8.  GM foods have "no nutritional value" and your body "can't digest" the foods so the foods sits in your body causing all types of multiple illnesses and new diseases such as Morgellons disease; antibiotic resistant diseases; food allergies; toxins; digestive issues; nutritional issues; organ damage; reproductive disorders; autism and other birth effects such as kids born with smaller brains and low brith weight; miscarriages; infertility or lower sperm counts; immune problems; diabetes; high blood pressure; cancer; MS; Parkinson's; Alzheimers; accelerated aging - just to name a few.

Some of the main foods that are involved include corn, soybeans, canola, cottonseed, sugar beets, Hawaiian papaya, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, etc.

If you have not connected your health issues and the health issues of the people you love and live with, work with and know -- then you need to reevaluate what is happening in your life. You have no other choice but to do your best to avoid GMOs.

In order to avoid eating GM foods, you must:
 
  • Buy organic foods which aren’t allowed to use GM inputs.
  • Buy products labeled “Non-GMO”
  • Buy products listed on the “Non-GMO Shopping Guide" (http://www.NonGMOShoppingGuide.com)
  • Read labels and avoid the “at-risk ingredients” - soy protein isolate, lecithin, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, maltodextrin, all corn derivatives, canola oil, cottonseed oil, rBGH, rBST, etc.
The goals of most advocates working to educate America about the devastating effects of eating GMOs is to: 

1.    Educate as many as possible about the devastating effects of eating Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) especially healthcare practitioners, patient advocacy and support groups, parents, schools, campuses, youth, health-conscious consumers and natural products industry, media and messaging, chefs and food service, green groups, spiritual and religious groups, etc.

2.    Ask everyone to switch to “ORGANIC” foods.

3.    Ask everyone to contact their legislators at http://www.Congress.org in every state and urge them to introduce bills to label foods as GMOs.

So far California is the ONLY STATE that has been successful with getting "labeling GMOs" on the ballots but as we all heard, they were unsuccessful with getting the bill passed. Just remember that if you want to protect yourself from the dangerous effects of GMO foods, you're going to have to do it yourself. The people that are supposed to be protecting us are merely selling us out to the highest bidder. Most of them just 'go along to get along.' It's time for you to take a stand for your health and freedom!
 
Many people in many communities are attending over 4 funerals a month. Many times these funerals are for the same family members that are succumbing to “preventable” and “curable” diseases and illnesses simply because they have FAILED to connect the dots to GMO foods.  

To find out more on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) keep monitoring my health blog at http://NonGMOHealthMovement.blogspot.com. Also check out websites by Jeffrey Smith, one of the foremost experts on GMOs at http://www.ResponsibleTechnology.org, http://www.NonGMOShoppingGuide.com, and http://www.SeedsofDeception.com.   

Cathy Harris is a Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert, Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, and the author of 18 books including 3 health books. She is available for lectures, seminars and workshops and can be contacted through her empowerment company, Angels Press, P.O. Box 5288, Atlanta, GA 31107, Phone: (770) 873-2072, Website:  http://www.AngelsPress.com, Email:  info@AngelsPress.com.