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Sunday, December 27, 2015

First GMO Corn, Then Frankenfish, and Now - Get Ready for Designer Babies

Published: December 26, 2015

SOURCE: NATURAL BLAZE


We knew it was coming to this. The GMO revolution wasn’t going to stop at our dinner table. But did we think it would happen so soon?

The first week in December, delegates from the top three gene-editing countries—China, the UK and the US—met in Washington, DC for a symposium on the future of gene-editing. For those not familiar with the parlance, gene editing refers to the ability to alter the DNA of an embryo in a manner which affects the germline. The germline is defined as follows; “In biology and genetics, the germline in a multicellular organism is that population of its bodily cells that are so differentiated or segregated that in the usual processes of reproduction they may pass on their genetic material to the progeny.”

In other words, what happens to the germline will affect the offspring and subsequent generations.

The possibilities inherent in such manipulation are staggering. Not only could genetic diseases be removed from the developing embryo, but new and better attributes could be factored in. Mankind could face the possibility that crippling genetic diseases, such as Tay-Sachs or Huntington’s Disease could be forever banished, while a brave new crop of humans, with enhanced intellectual abilities or enhanced musculature, for example, could be harvested.

The symposium was convened with some urgency after the disclosure that researchers in China had reported this past April that they had launched the first attempt to edit the DNA of human embryos. The Chinese project was undertaken to correct a rare and often fatal blood disorder, called beta thalassemia. China’s effort was followed by an application, made in September, by a British research group to edit human embryos for research purposes.

Behind all this gene editing lies a new technology, which works like the “find and replace” function on a word processor. The most popular in this new buffet of tools is the Crispr-Cas9, which was invented by Dr. Jennifer Doudna. Dr. Doudna is a Professor of Chemistry and of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley and has also been an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute since 1997. The Crispr-Cas9 works in the following manner—first it locates the gene to be edited, then makes the desired alteration, either by deleting it or fixing it. Doudna has virtually revolutionized medicine with her invention, which is reportedly simple to use.

The symposium was expected to produce a call for a moratorium on this research, while the ethical implications could be sorted out. Surprisingly, that is not what eventuated. The final formal statement by the International Summit on Human Gene Editing Organizing Committee in fact left the door open.

The Committee, which is comprised of ten scientists and two bioethicists, called on the “Big Three” in gene editing to take charge:

We therefore call upon the national academies that co-hosted the summit – the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and U.S. National Academy of Medicine; the Royal Society; and the Chinese Academy of Sciences – to take the lead in creating an ongoing international forum to discuss potential clinical uses of gene editing; help inform decisions by national policymakers and others; formulate recommendations and guidelines; and promote coordination among nations.

In a non-binding recommendation, the Committee also called for the inhibition of gene editing on viable embryos, stating “if in the process of research, early human embryos or germline cells undergo gene editing, the modified cells should not be used to establish a pregnancy.”

The three-day conference, which was attended by science heavyweights (as well as by some family members with sick children), resulted in an airing of some of the issues surrounding this new science.

Harvard’s George Church made a presentation which propounded a viewpoint that mitigated concerns about the fall- out from gene editing.

Dr. Church, who is a Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, has written articles supporting germline editing and diminishing the possible repercussions. In a recent article in Nature, he wrote:

Human-germline editing is not special with respect to permanence or consent. Replacing deleterious versions of genes with common ones is unlikely to lead to unforeseen effects and is probably reversible. Even if the editing was difficult to reverse, this would not be especially unsafe compared with other commonly inherited risks.

In 2005, Church launched a project called the Personal Genome Project. In this effort, which is billed as “the world’s only open-access information on human genomic, environmental & trait data,” individuals are recruited to have their own genome analyzed and recorded. Church is also involved in doing gene editing in pigs, for the purpose of removing problematic retroviruses which might stand to cause problems in using pig organs as replacement for failing human organs.

Marcy Darnovsky of the Center for Genetics and Society disagrees with the notion that genetic editing is unlikely to result in unforeseen results. “The medical arguments are tenuous and the possible social consequences are grave,” said Darnovsky.

In a subsequent article in the Guardian, Darnovsky wrote:

The recognition that scientists alone can’t decide whether to deploy this society-altering technology is perhaps the summit’s most positive outcome. Already, more and more non-scientists are becoming aware of what’s at stake for all of us, and realizing that germline gene editing is a social and political matter, not just a scientific one.

John Harris could not disagree more heartily. Harris, a Professor of Bioethics at the University of Manchester, believes that this technology provides the possibility for human enhancement on a grand scale and should be employed as soon as the “wrinkles” are ironed out. Harris has stated; “We all have an inescapable moral duty: to continue with scientific investigation to the point at which we can make a rational choice.”

The laws governing gene editing are in many locations inexplicit, to say the least. The UK permits licensed experiments on embryos up to 14 days, but not implantation in a woman. Some British scientists are agitating for a change in these laws. China’s laws are considered to be “ambiguous,” as are South Africa’s, Chile’s and Argentina’s.

The US government has made it clear it will not fund any gene editing research which involves viable embryos.However, by adopting this policy without passing legislation banning the practice, the US has inadvertently (or otherwise) opened the door for private labs to accommodate rich people who want to have designer babies.

One wouldn’t want to state this was the goal, after all. Would one? Designer babies for the wealthy, while the rest of us lump along with our genetic baggage? This begins to sound almost like the engineered societies that science fiction novels warned us about.

The (US) National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine have issued a press release announcing a “data gathering” meeting in February to study the ethical and social implications of gene editing.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

New multi-toxin GMOs that produce their own poison carry 'serious health and environmental risks' scientific review finds

Thursday, December 17, 2015 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer

(NaturalNews) New strains of GM crops that produce pesticides in their own tissues are being approved without rigorous safety testing, even though they may carry "serious health and environmental risks," according to a research review conducted by scientists from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, and published in the journal Frontiers in Environmental Science on November 9.

The crops in question are engineered to carry pesticide-producing genes from the bacterial species Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). In recent years, companies have increasingly turned to crossbreeding different varieties of Bt crops, producing crops that now carry numerous different strains of Bt toxin at once. These "stacked-trait" crops are being approved for planting and sale, based on several false assertions made by the genetically modified (GM) crop industry, the study found.


Hiding toxic effectsOne such assertion is that each individual Bt toxin affects only a small number of insect pests, and has no effects on other species such as beneficial insect predators ("non-target" species). But the researchers found numerous studies showing the opposite to be true.

According to lead researcher Angelika Hilbeck, companies hide the truth by defining non-target effects in a highly narrow fashion: a "quick kill."

"This is an economic concept: you want a quick kill for economic reasons, to save the crop from pest-induced damage," Hilbeck said. "But Bt toxins are not fast-acting toxins. Even in target pests, Bt toxins don't kill quickly – it takes most susceptible insects a day or more to die. The Bt toxin in GM crops is expressed in the crop plant for months at a time. Residues linger in soil and aquatic systems.

"Regulatory tests need to look at long-term and sublethal effects, because that is what non-target organisms are likely to be exposed to. Currently these tests are not required. Yet we found a lot of evidence in the scientific literature that non-target organisms such as ladybirds, water fleas, lacewings and even slugs are adversely affected by Bt toxins."

The review also turned up evidence that Bt toxins may have long-term, toxic effects in mammals – including, potentially, in humans who eat GM crops.

The uncertainty around the safety of stacked-trait Bt crops is only worsened, the researchers noted, by the fact that scientists do not even understand how Bt toxins function. The formerly accepted model has been widely discredited due to new research, and the revelation of scientific misconduct and data tampering by the researchers who first proposed it.


More dangerous than single pesticidesAnother false industry claim is that use of Bt crops reduces pesticide use. But the review found that the total pesticide load in stacked-trait Bt crops often exceeded the typical amount of pesticide used in a non-GM field. For example, SmartStax GM corn contains six different Bt toxins and two herbicide tolerant traits. The total Bt toxin load in this crop is 19 times the average 2010 pesticide application rate!

Perhaps the most glaring regulatory failing uncovered by the review, is the acceptance of industry claims that stacked-trait crops should be approved on the basis of tests conducted on single-trait crops. Yet the review uncovered numerous studies showing that stacked-trait crops caused biological effects not produced by any of the individual toxins alone. The same thing occurred when Bt toxins were mixed with neonicotinoid insecticides, as commonly occurs in the field.

The review also found that industry dossiers seeking stacked-trait approval consistently failed to mention the studies that contradicted their false assumptions. Regulators did not require any further safety testing of stacked-trait crops, beyond a few short-term insect feeding trials.

Instead, the researchers said, regulators should require long-term mammal feeding trials, as a minimum.

Furthermore, Hilbeck said, "We have to extend the definition of 'effect' from the economic to the ecological."

Sources for this article include:

GMWatch.org

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Breaking: Monsanto's Dark Act is dead in Congress

Dec. 16, 2015

Breaking: Major Victory in Congress – Monsanto’s Dark Act riders stopped DEAD in Congress! Hats off to everyone who called and sent letters!

Dear Cathy,

This is huge! With your help and hundreds of thousands of people just like you, we managed to shut down Monsanto in Congress by stopping the Dark Act policy riders that would have killed GMO labeling in America for good.

We've cleared a major hurdle. Many of us feared that the GMA would be successful in inserting a rider to the spending bill, creating the ultimate Monsanto Protection Act, to short-circuit our collective hard work for the past 4 years by taking away states' rights to pass mandatory GMO labeling laws. We're happy to report that Monsanto was defeated - this time!

This means they'll come back stronger than ever after the holidays in January to pass the compromise that Monsanto and the GMA is desperate to achieve, so we won't know if the foods we eat are eating genetically-engineered. We need you today!

Chip in $5, $25, $45 or more so we can continue our work to defeat Monsanto and win GMO labeling once and for all! If you donate today, your tax deductible donation will be matched 2 to 1!Breaking: Monsanto's Dark Act is dead in Congress

Please, Cathy – don't miss this chance to have your gift matched by pitching in whatever you can. Every dollar counts!
Double your impact before time runs out – we need your help today!

https://fdn.actionkit.com/donate/breaking_you_just_Stopped_Monsanto_in_Congress_Major_Victory/?t=7&akid=1753.1013065.jCW1TG

We only have a few weeks to refill our tanks before Congress comes back in session next month - when the GMA and Monsanto will bedesperate to end your right to mandatory labeling once and for all.

Incredibly, a provision regarding GMO salmon was allowed in the Omnibus spending bill that won’t allow genetically engineered salmon to be introduced for sale until the FDA determines proper labeling requirements – and while this is not all of what we want regarding GMO labelin

The Vermont law is scheduled to go into effect in July of next year - 2016. When that happens, Monsanto and the junk food companies know it's game over for them!

Please help us continue our work and stop them cold - once and for all!
Yes, I want to chip in to defeat Monsanto and their cronies at the GMA! Every dollar counts!

We're so close! Please stick with us for the final push to defend our democratic rights and protect our food supply and give Monsanto a huge blow.

In the past 4 years, you’ve help build a movement that’s driven the national conversation on GMOs from California in 2012 to DC today.

Be a part of this Grassroots Surge to defeat Monsanto’s lie machine!

Contribute today to take the fight to Monsanto and keep GMOs off your plate. With your help we will win! Click here to donate $10 or more. Every bit counts.

https://fdn.actionkit.com/donate/breaking_you_just_Stopped_Monsanto_in_Congress_Major_Victory/?t=11&akid=1753.1013065.jCW1TG

This is what happens when we stand up – Together we are unstoppable!

Thank you for participating in food democracy,
Dave, Lisa and the Food Democracy Now! team

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

27 Examples of Journalists Failing to Disclose Sources as Funded by Monsanto

90% of American Moms Want Labels on GMO Food

Mark Ruffalo: ‘Monsanto Chief is Horrible’

Erin Brockovich: The Biotech Industry is Jeopardizing Our Health

Environmental Whistleblower Erin Brockovich, Time.com, Dec. 5, 2015

The new movie Consumed tackles the controversial world of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in unprecedented fashion, offering insight into their risks. Its message could not be more timely in the wake of the recent news that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first genetically engineered salmon for human consumption. The fish, like all genetically engineered ingredients in this country, will not be labeled, leaving American consumers in the dark. Like many food and environmental safety activists around the world, I’m outraged.



American legal clerk and environmental activist, Erin Brockovich poses during a photo shoot at the Stamford Hotel in Brisbane, Australia, on Feb. 17, 2015. Photo credit: Jamie Hanson—Newspix / Getty Images

The biotech industry and the FDA have hijacked not only our basic rights as consumers, but also our fundamental human rights in the face of corporate monopolization of our food supply. They are jeopardizing our health and the environment more than ever before. When will the government agencies put in place to protect us stop servicing the bottom line of corporations?

The Center for Food Safety, a nonprofit environmental advocacy organization, has announced that it is going to sue the FDA over this unethical decision, citing opposition from more than 40 members of Congress, more than 300 environmental, consumer, health and animal welfare organizations, salmon and fishing groups and associations, food companies, chefs and restaurants and about 2 million people who filed public comments, the most the FDA has ever received on a decision.

In detailed comments submitted to the FDA, Michael Hansen, senior scientist at Consumers Union, argues the FDA review process was based on “sloppy science” and the genetically engineered salmon could pose many risks. “Because FDA’s assessment is inadequate, we are particularly concerned that this salmon may pose an increased risk of severe, even life-threatening allergic reactions to sensitive individuals,” he writes.

Hansen also notes that “this analysis does not conform to FDA standard for assessment of a New Animal Drug.” That’s right, the genetically engineered salmon is being regulated as an “animal drug”—not a food, an “animal drug.” Here lies the inherent hypocrisy plaguing our regulatory agencies. The FDA does not label genetically engineered foods, including the newly approved salmon, because they have deemed them “substantially equivalent” to their non-genetically engineered counterparts. In essence, they are not different enough to be labeled. Yet they are so different that they are the first organisms in history to be patented. The logic is confounding.

The FDA, whose mission is “protecting and promoting your health,” has failed consumers by approving the commercialization of genetically engineered salmon. Not only has it usedinadequate science, but it has also turned its backs on the majority of Americans who believe they have a fundamental right to know what is in their food. A 2013 New York Times poll found that 93 percent of Americans want GMOs to be labeled. More than 60 countries labelGMOs and in some cases even ban them, but the U.S. still does not.

To my dismay, genetically modified seeds have not undergone any long-term safety testing by the FDA on animals or humans and the scientific community remains divided on their safety.I’m shocked by those who think that to question GMOs is “anti-science.” This gross mischaracterization must be put into question if we are to ensure food democracy.

Some of the most respected scientific bodies in the world including Codex Alimentarius (jointly run by the World Health Organization and the Food and Agricultural organization of the U.N.), The American Medical Association, The British Medical Association and the American Public Health Association, have stated that, through pre-market safety assessments, more research needs to be done on GMOs before we can truthfully determine their safety.

In addition, since genetically modified crops are married to the chemicals sprayed on them, their consumption poses an overwhelming array of potential risks. According to a 2012 study published in Environmental Sciences Europe, GMO herbicide-tolerant crops have led to a 527 million pound increase in herbicide use in the U.S. between 1996 and 2011. The World Health Organization recently concluded that glyphosate, the main ingredient in the most-used herbicide on GMOs, is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” One study found glyphosate in 60 percent to 100 percent of the rain water in some agricultural areas. More than 3,200 elementary schools are within 1,000 feet of genetically modified corn or soybean fields—what will be the effects of these toxic chemicals on children?

With the FDA’s approval of the first genetically engineered animal now a reality, we have set a dangerous precedent for what is to come. As citizens, we must demand our voices to be heard at this crucial moment in our nation’s history. Tell your congressional representatives to stand up for your rights, spread the message on social media and help spark a larger conversation about the food we are eating in this country.


Movie Trailer:
https://vimeo.com/143568165

Monsanto Put on Mock Trial for Crimes against Humanity in The Hague

Posted on Dec 3 2015 - 6:25pm by Sustainable Pulse

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA), IFOAM International Organics, Navdanya, Regeneration International (RI), and Millions Against Monsanto, joined by dozens of global food, farming and environmental justice groups announced today that they will put Monsanto MON (NYSE), a US-based transnational corporation, on mock trial for crimes against nature and humanity, and ecocide, in The Hague, Netherlands, next year on World Food Day, October 16, 2016.



Since the beginning of the twentieth century according to the groups, Monsanto has developed a steady stream of highly toxic products which have permanently damaged the environment and caused illness or death for thousands of people. These products include:

• PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl), one of the 12 Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP) that affect human and animal fertility;

• 2,4,5 T (2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid), a dioxin-containing component of the defoliant, Agent Orange, which was used by the US Army during the Vietnam War and continues to cause birth defects and cancer;

• Lasso, an herbicide that is now banned in Europe;

• and RoundUp, the most widely used herbicide in the world, and the source of the greatest health and environmental scandal in modern history. This toxic herbicide, designated a probable human carcinogen by the World Health Organization, is used in combination with genetically modified (GM) RoundUp Ready seeds in large-scale monocultures, primarily to produce soybeans, maize and rapeseed for animal feed and biofuels.

Relying on the “Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights” adopted by the UN in 2011, an international court of lawyers and judges will assess the potential criminal liability of Monsanto for damages inflicted on human health and the environment. The court will also rely on the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court in The Hague in 2002, and it will consider whether to reform international criminal law to include crimes against the environment, or ecocide, as a prosecutable criminal offense. The International Criminal Court, established in 2002 in The Hague, has determined that prosecuting ecocide as a criminal offense is the only way to guarantee the rights of humans to a healthy environment and the right of nature to be protected.

The announcement was made at a press conference held in conjunction with the COP21 United Nations Conference on Climate Change, November 30 – December 11, in Paris.

Speaking at the press conference, Ronnie Cummins, international director of the OCA (US) and Via Organica (Mexico), and member of the RI Steering Committee, said: “The time is long overdue for a global citizens’ tribunal to put Monsanto on trial for crimes against humanity and the environment. We are in Paris this month to address the most serious threat that humans have ever faced in our 100-200,000 year evolution—global warming and climate disruption. Why is there so much carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere and not enough carbon organic matter in the soil? Corporate agribusiness, industrial forestry, the garbage and sewage industry and agricultural biotechnology have literally killed the climate-stabilizing, carbon-sink capacity of the Earth’s living soil.”

Andre Leu, president of IFOAM and a member of the RI Steering Committee, said: “Monsanto is able to ignore the human and environmental damage caused by its products, and maintain its devastating activities through a strategy of systemic concealment: by lobbying regulatory agencies and governments, by resorting to lying and corruption, by financing fraudulent scientific studies, by pressuring independent scientists, and by manipulating the press and media. Monsanto’s history reads like a text-book case of impunity, benefiting transnational corporations and their executives, whose activities contribute to climate and biosphere crises and threaten the safety of the planet.”

Marie-Monique Robin, journalist and author of the best-selling documentary (and book by the same name), “The World According Monsanto,” said: “This International Citizens’ Tribunal is necessary because the defense of the safety of the planet and the conditions of life on Earth is everyone’s concern. Only through a collective resurgence of all living forces will we stop the engine of destruction. That’s why today I am calling on all citizens of the world to participate in this exemplary tribunal.”

Also speaking at the conference were Valerie Cabanes, lawyer and spokesperson for End Ecocide on Earth; Hans Rudolf Herren, president and CEO of the Millennium Institute, president and founder of Biovision, and member of the RI Steering Committee; Arnaud Apoteker, creator of the anti-GMO campaign in France, which became one of the priority campaigns of Greenpeace France, and author of “Fish in Our Strawberries: Our Manipulated Food;” and Olivier De Schutter, co-chair of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPESFood) and former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food.

Full list of founding organizations (so far) here.

Full list of Monsanto Tribunal Foundation organizing members here.

More information will be available at www.monsanto-tribunal.org/, after 2:30 p.m. EU time on December 3, 2015.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Poll: Most voters want genetically modified food labels

Tracy Loew, (Salem, Ore.) Statesman Journal, Dec. 2, 2015

SALEM, Ore. — A majority of voters across the USA support mandatory labeling of food containing genetically engineered ingredients, a new national poll commissioned by labeling supporters shows.


Of 800 voters surveyed last month, 89% said they support mandatory labeling; 6% said they oppose such a requirement. The remainder said they do not have an opinion.


The poll comes as some congressional lawmakers are pushing to add a provision to the omnibus spending bill that would block states from putting their own genetically modified organism labeling requirements in place. It also comes less than two weeks after the federal Food and Drug Administration approved the sale of unlabeled genetically engineered salmon.


Environmental Working Group, Consumers Union, Food and Water Watch, Friends of the Earth and Center for Food Safety commissioned the poll.





Q&A: What you need to know about genetically engineered foods


“This is yet another poll that shows broad and deep support for clear GMO labeling at a time when the issue is more important than ever,” said Scott Faber, executive director of Just Label It. “Food manufacturers and lawmakers should work together to give Americans a more transparent food system by crafting a nonjudgmental, mandatory GMO labeling system that is easily found on the packaging.”


The poll also asked voters whether they would choose GMO labels printed on a package or bar codes or QR codes that could be scanned with a smartphone, as Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack suggested.


Consumer and environmental groups say scannable codes discriminate against those who can’t afford smartphones or live in areas without reliable cellphone service.




Mandatory GMO food labeling by states would be banned under proposed bill

“They are a completely unacceptable substitute for clear, concisely worded on-package labeling,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety. “The right to know is a right for all, not just those who can afford it.”


Printed labels were the choice of 88% of poll respondents; 8% preferred scannable bar codes.


The groups also raised a concern that food manufacturers could gather information about customers, such as their location and product choices, when they scan food packages.




Yes, we have no GMO bananas. For now.


Such data collection should be prohibited, according to 82% of poll respondents.


The Mellman Group, a polling organization based in the District of Columbia, conducted telephone interviews Nov. 16 to 19. The poll has a 95% confidence level at an error margin of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.


Follow Tracy Loew on Twitter: @Tracy_Loew

States’ Rights to Label GMOs Could Be Stolen in Congressional Omnibus Fight

December 04, 2015, 04:00 pm
By State Rep. Kate Webb (D-Vt.)

In 2012, the Vermont legislature began working in earnest on a law to allow Vermonters the right to know if the food they purchased was produced using genetic engineering. Over the next three years, the legislature received testimony from hundreds of people including scientists, lawyers, academics, producers, manufacturers, retailers, advocates and consumers on all sides of the issue. 

The final bill received overwhelming non-partisan support passing the House on a vote of 114-30 and 28-2 in the Senate. Similar, but distinct from bills passed in Maine and Connecticut, Vermont’s law goes into effect on July 1, 2016 without any triggering clause. Five weeks after being signed into law, four trade groups brought suit against the state seeking to declare the new law invalid.

In April, the U.S. District Court upheld Vermont’s genetic engineering (GE) law on every count. The plaintiffs appealed and it is now in the Second Circuit with ruling expected soon. Nonetheless, Vermont continues to push forward toward the effective date. Rules are in place and producers from around the country are stepping up and working with the state to learn how to be ready with accurate labels. 

Local affiliates of trade associations, even those suing the state, are helping their members understand and prepare their products for sale in Vermont. While some are reformulating products so as not to have to label, this is producer choice and not a requirement or the purpose of the law. 

Current action in Congress, however, puts Vermont’s law, as well as Connecticut’s, Maine’s and all future state GE labeling laws in jeopardy. The House recently passed a bill prohibiting any current or future state from labeling products produce using GE. 

While movement in the Senate remains unclear, efforts are underway to slide an omnibus rider prohibiting state labeling into the appropriations bill. While most of the country will be focused on the far bigger issue of government shutdown tied to this bill, this barely noticeable rider prohibiting this disclosure for all states, just might clog things up or sneak through undetected until it is too late. 

Although the federal government has jurisdiction over the labeling of foods, there has always been room for states to address emerging areas of interest. Whether it is olive oil production in California, catfish in Arkansas or early examples of state bottled water label requirements, states have often lead the way in labeling.

At this time, congressional leaders are focused on defending GE technology, which obscures the real issue. The real issue is transparency and the ability to make an informed decision about how and where we spend our food dollars based on our values. 

Some are concerned about the lack of longitudinal and peer-reviewed studies and unintended health effects, but it is important not to stop there. It is also about concern for the environmental: the effects of uncontrolled seed (and now fish) trespass on native and organic species, monoculture cultivation practices and an increasing number of seeds owned by corporations rather than “the people.” It is about respect for religious dietary laws in which undisclosed consumption of GE products may violate various ethical-theological requirements.

In the absence of federal labeling requirements, states such as ours have stepped in to fill that void. Vermont is moving forward. Producers are working on labels. We ask Congress to be thoughtful here, stay focused on the big issues of the federal budget and respect our state’s right to continue in our efforts to provide this disclosure to consumers. It is a right shared by 64 countries and consistent with our American value of transparency and consumer choice.

Webb has been in office since 2009. She was the lead sponsor of Act 120: An act relating to the labeling of foods produced with genetic engineering.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Huge Victory! The EPA rejects “Agent Orange Corn”


Max Goldberg,  November 25, 2015

Crop Dusting

In phenomenal news, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just announced that it is revoking the registration of the controversial chemical Enlist Duo, effectively ending for good all prospects for Agent Orange Corn.

Enlist Duo is the super-toxic herbicide (a combination of glyphosate and 2,4-D) to be sprayed on Dow Chemical’s genetically-engineered corn (and soy), widely referred to in the organic industry as Agent Orange Corn.

2,4-D was the primary ingredient in Agent Orange, the herbicidal warfare program in Vietnam that resulted in 400,000 people being killed or maimed, and 500,000 children being born with birth defects. Despite the carnage that this chemical caused, the EPA had previously said that Enlist Duo, which contains 2,4-D, was perfectly safe.

By changing course and revoking the approval of Enlist Duo, the herbicide to be sprayed on Agent Orange Corn, the EPA has effectively killed these genetically-engineered corn and soy crops as well. Why?

Because these crops have been specifically designed to be resistant to Enlist Duo. So, if Enlist Duo is no longer available, there is no point in farmers buying these new GE-crops.

The reason that the EPA decided to pull the plug on Enlist Duo is that it said that it discovered new information that the combination of glyphosate and 2,4-D is likely to be significantly more harmful than it had initially believed.

Before the EPA decided to take this action, there had been a lawsuit against the EPA from the Center for Food Safety and Earthjustice, on behalf of many other groups, for improperly approving this chemical. One can assume that that lawsuit will now be dismissed.

WHAT NOW?

As an organic advocate, I am thrilled about the EPA’s decision but worry about whether this is just a temporary measure and if Agent Orange Corn could eventually resurface.

So, this morning I spoke with Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of the Center for Food Safety, to get his take on the matter. After all, the EPA revoking Enlist Duo is an absolute disaster for Dow Chemical and the company may not give up so easily.

“Dow would have to re-register crops, and we don’t know if it would do that. Similarly, Dow may try to sue the EPA for illegally rescinding Enlist Duo, but I doubt that the company would take that road either. It could take years. In layman’s terms, the EPA’s decision is the end of Agent Orange Crops,” he said.

As I talked about on a recent Persicope, organic consumers are lucky to have so many amazing non-profit groups fighting on our behalf. The work that the Center for Food Safety, Earthjustice and many others did on this case meant that a super-toxic herbicide and two risky genetically-engineered crops will not be harming humans or the environment any time soon, if at all.

This is a victory that we should be very thankful for.



Want to stay up-to-date on the most important news in the organic food world?

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Tiny amounts of Monsanto's Roundup in food cause kidney and liver damage, cancerous tumors

Tuesday, December 01, 2015 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Long-term consumption of tiny levels of Roundup herbicide that are lower than those permitted in U.S. water supplies can lead to liver and kidney damage caused in part by changes in gene expression. 

This is according to a study conducted by an international group of researchers from France, Italy and the United Kingdom that was published in the journal Environmental Health on August 25.

Roundup, also known by the name of its active ingredient glyphosate, is the top-selling herbicide in the world. It is produced by Monsanto.

"There were more than 4,000 genes in the liver and kidneys [of the rats that were fed Roundup] whose levels of expression had changed," said lead researcher Michael Antoniou of King's College London.

"Given even very low levels of exposure, Roundup can potentially result in organ damage when it comes to liver and kidney function. The severity we don't know, but our data say there will be harm given enough time."

Tumors, bleeding and organ damageThe study extends the findings of a paper previously published in 2012. For the experiment, rats had Roundup added to their drinking water at doses lower than those permitted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 


The researchers found that some of the rats underwent "25 percent body weight loss, presence of tumors over 25 percent bodyweight, hemorrhagic bleeding, or prostration."

They also found that rats given Roundup experienced changes in the expression of more than 4,000 genes in their livers and kidneys.

The use of Roundup has exploded worldwide in recent decades. According to an article from the New England Journal of Medicine, more than 250 times as much glyphosate is currently used in the United States as was used 40 years ago. This widespread usage means that glyphosate contamination of water is ubiquitous.

The dose used in the study is "environmentally relevant in terms of human, domesticated animals and wildlife levels of exposure," the researchers warned. They noted that the findings suggest that widespread Roundup use likely has significant health implications for both humans and animals.

In addition to drinking water, consumers might also be exposed to Roundup via residue on food crops.

Because the dose used was so small, "this study should have some kind of public health influence," according to Nichelle Harriott, science and regulatory director for Beyond Pesticides.

"They can't say which caused what, but what you have is an association – the group treated with a little Roundup had a lot of organ damage and the gene expression findings supported that," said Bruce Blumberg of the University of California, who was not involved in the study.

Roundup poisons the whole bodyThe study is only the latest in an accumulating body of research suggesting that Roundup, which is still marketed as a "safe" herbicide, is in fact highly toxic. A 2014 study in theInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health connected Roundup to an epidemic of chronic kidney disease in Sri Lanka, while another study has connected the herbicide to genetic and cellular diseases in Brazilian farmworkers.

Roundup seems to have widespread, systemic effects. The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified glyphosate as a possible carcinogen, and a recent study by researchers from Fliders University in Australia found that even at levels likely to be found in U.S. and Australian drinking water, Roundup caused damaged to the human endocrine (hormonal) system, in part by killing off progesterone-producing cells in women. The researchers also found that Roundup was even more toxic than its active ingredient (glyphosate) alone.


Many regulatory bodies, including the EPA, only regulate levels of glyphosate, presuming that the "inactive" ingredients in the herbicide have no biological effect.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

EPA Withdraws Approval of New Weed Killer for Genetically Engineered Crops

New information from manufacturer Dow AgroSciences indicates the chemical is probably more toxic to other plants than previously thought.

BY ANDREW TAYLORTHE ASSOCIATED PRESS This screen image from a Dow video purports to show a weed sprayed with Enlist Duo surrounded by a flourishing crop of soybeans. The new chemical is a combination of glysophate and an older weed killer called 2,4-D.

WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday withdrew approval of a controversial new weed killer to be used on genetically modified corn and soybeans.

The EPA announced the decision after receiving new information from manufacturer Dow AgroSciences that a weed killer called Enlist Duo is probably more toxic to other plants than previously thought.

It was originally approved a year ago and is designed to be used with new strains of genetically modified corn and soybeans. The agency says it needs to study whether wider buffer zones will be required to protect non-target plants.

The seeds are engineered to resist the herbicide, so farmers can spray the fields after the plants emerge and kill the weeds while leaving crops unharmed.

EPA’s move was welcomed by environmental and food safety groups that had sued to rescind approval of the potent new herbicide. But it is sure to create anxiety for the agriculture industry, since many weeds have become resistant to glyphosate, an herbicide commonly used on genetically modified corn and soybeans now. Enlist includes a combination of glyphosate and an updated version of an older herbicide named 2,4-D.

“With this action, EPA confirms the toxic nature of this lethal cocktail of chemicals, and has stepped back from the brink,” said Earthjustice Managing Attorney Paul Achitoff. “Glyphosate is a probable carcinogen and is wiping out the monarch butterfly, 2,4-D also causes serious human health effects, and the combination also threatens endangered wildlife. This must not, and will not, be how we grow our food.”

Dow AgroSciences issued a statement calling for rapid resolution of the matter, citing “the pressing needs of U.S. farmers for access to Enlist Duo to counter the rapidly increasing spread of resistant weeds” and predicting that “these new evaluations will result in a prompt resolution of all outstanding issues.”

EPA’s decision means that Enlist Duo, which is currently on the market, won’t be in wide use for plantings next spring. EPA hasn’t said whether farmers already in possession of the herbicide will be able to use it, and that could be a topic for future litigation, said Andrew Kimbrell of the Center for Food Safety.

Critics say they’re concerned the increased use of 2,4-D could endanger public health and more study on the chemical is needed. The USDA has predicted that the use of 2,4-D could increase by an estimated 200 percent to 600 percent by the year 2020.

EPA had earlier said when approving the new weed killer that agency officials had used “highly conservative and protective assumptions to evaluate human health and ecological risks.” The EPA said at the time that the herbicide met safety standards for the public, agricultural workers and endangered species.

Now, EPA says it has “has received new information from Dow AgroSciences — the registrant of Enlist Duo — that suggests two active ingredients could result in greater toxicity to non-target plants.”

2,4-D is now used on other crops, including wheat, and on pastures and home lawns. It is the world’s most popular herbicide and the third most popular in the United States, behind atrazine and glyphosate.

Groups opposed to expanded use of 2,4-D’s say they are concerned about its toxic effects and the potential for it to drift. Corn and soybeans are the nation’s largest crops, and the potential for expanded use is huge. Critics also expressed concern that weeds eventually would become resistant to the combination herbicide as they have to glyphosate, something EPA had planned to revisit.

EPA had earlier required a 30-foot buffer zone where the herbicide couldn’t be sprayed and ordered farmers to stop spraying when wind speeds exceeded 15 miles an hour.

EPA had approved Enlist Duo for use in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and North Dakota, and was likely to OK it for other states.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Why GMOs are a disaster in the making

FDA Approves Experimental GMO Salmon for Human Consumption Despite Lack of Adequate Safety Studies


Friday, November 20, 2015 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer


(NaturalNews) Just as we predicted, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has brazenly betrayed the public's trust by approving the world's first genetically modified (GM) animal in direct defiance of science – a transgenic salmon branded "AquAdvantage" that has never been proven safe for human consumption or the natural environment.

The New York Times (NYT) reports that AquAdvantage, a product of AquaBounty Technologies, has received official FDA approval after years of fierce lobbying by its manufacturer in favor of open approval. Despite repeated warnings from detractors that AquAdvantage poses serious threats to aquatic ecosystems and humans, the FDA has determined that this GM fish is completely safe for everything and everyone on the planet.

Many of the claims made about AquAdvantage by its manufacturer have been debunked, including the lie that this "Frankenfish" grows more quickly than natural salmon and is less prone to disease – both of which claims are patently false. 

AquAdvantage was also said to pose no threats to aquatic environments because it is supposedly sterile, but this, too, has been called into question by independent scientific review.

The FDA has repeatedly ignored all petitions from consumer watchdog groups to take a closer and more unbiased look at GM salmon to determine its true safety, including whether or not it is even needed. Consumers have overwhelmingly indicated that they don't want to eat this or any other GM animal, yet the FDA now plans to allow its entrance into the food supply – unlabeled, of course.

"This unfortunate, historic decision disregards the vast majority of consumers, many independent scientists, numerous members of Congress and salmon growers around the world, who have voiced strong opposition," voiced Wenonah Hauter, executive director of the consumer advocacy group Food and Water Watch (FWW), in a recent statement.


Consumer group to file lawsuit against rogue FDA over GM salmon approvalApproval for AquAdvantage has been a long time coming, as AquaBounty petitioned for the FDA's blessing on its phony fish as far back as the 1990s. Five years ago, the FDA granted a type of preliminary approval for AquAdvantage, but the fish never entered the market due to what many believe was the federal government's fear of public backlash.

But the FDA's decision to grant quiet approval for this GM salmon amidst media distraction aimed at global terrorism and war in the Middle East isn't necessarily going as smoothly as planned. The Center for Food Safety (CFS), which has long opposed approval for AquAdvantage on the basis of science, warned within hours of the FDA's approval that it plans to file a lawsuit against the agency.

"The fallout from this decision will have enormous impact on the environment," lamented Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of CFS, in a recent press release. "Center for Food Safety has no choice but to file suit to stop the introduction of this dangerous contaminant. FDA has neglected its responsibility to protect the public."

Not only have millions of Americans voiced their opposition to GM salmon over the past several years – with no acknowledgment from the FDA – but so have at least 40 members of Congress and more than 300 environmental groups that work on behalf of consumers, animals, fisheries, food companies and restaurants.

"The review process by FDA was inadequate, failed to fully examine the likely impacts of the salmon's introduction, and lacked a comprehensive analysis," Kimbrell added. "This decision sets a dangerous precedent, lowering the standards of safety in this country. CFS will hold FDA to their obligations to the American people."

Sources for this article include:

NYTimes.com

NaturalNews.com

CenterforFoodSafety.org

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Monsanto's Coming Genetic Armageddon Documented in Shocking Investigative Report

Thursday, November 19, 2015 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer

(NaturalNews) What you're about to read will probably shock you to your core. We're all familiar with genetically modified organisms in food, and we've even heard talks about genetically modified animals coming down the pipeline. But are you aware of the fact that the U.S. government is right now usingyour tax dollars to fund research into genetically modified humans?

A special investigative report bySkyWatchTV uncovers a heinous conspiracy by those entrusted with protecting our freedom and liberty to literally reengineer the human race using many of the same methods commonly used to reengineer food and plant life in the lab. And it's all happening under the radar with little to no fanfare in the mainstream media.

A short preview of this report on YouTube exposes what the show's hosts refer to as the coming "genetic Armageddon" – the complete undoing of creation as we know it for the purpose of enriching powerful and greedy corporations. And in the process, humanity will be reconstructed as well, presumably to be more compliant and less resistant to tyranny.

"I'm not sure that the world is ready to receive this," says investigative reporter Tom Horn. "We're talking about everything from the food that we eat, to animals, to ultimately humans – literally what we have been doing with genetically modified crops, what we have and are doing with transgenically made animals, we fully intend to do with the human race."

You can watch a preview for the show here:


Congressman, scientist says U.S. government developing blueprints for artificially engineered human race

The goal all along, the report suggests, has not been to enhance humanity through biotechnology, but to replace it. And U.S. Representative Bill Foster (D-Ill.), the last scientist in Congress, warned in a testimony before Congress and in a piece for The Hillthat the U.S. government has already instructed top-level researchers to begin laying the groundwork for what will eventually become a genetically engineered human race to replace the one we currently have.

"Right now, the top science departments in our government that dole out taxpayer funded revenue have already been ordered to literally create the guidelines that are going to be used for genetically modifying the human race," Horn adds in a trailer for the series.

Conventional pet food loaded with putrid meat byproducts and dead animals

The series also captures some of the horrors of the processed food industry, particularly pet food products sold conventionally at grocery and pet stores nationwide. An undercover investigation by Horn and his colleagues revealed that many dried pet foods contain the remnants of diseased animals, not to mention the remains of euthanized pets.

Some shelters literally "recycle" euthanized animals by selling them to pet food manufacturers, according to the report. And millions of Americans are feeding their pets this noxious waste day in and day out, unaware of the true contents of their favorite brands of kibble and canned mush.

It's all part of the plan, of course, to recreate humanity and creation into the image of the "beast" rather than God. And if non-engineered humanity doesn't stand up now to oppose this apocalyptic freak show, it will soon be too late and we'll all be extinct – save an act of God that somehow puts a stop to the madness.

"If Christians are to help shape contemporary culture—particularly in a setting in which I fear the posthuman message will prove attractive, if not seductive—then they must offer an alternative and compelling vision; a counter theological discourse so to speak," explains Horn in a pre-release to the documentary.

Sources for this article include:

YouTube.com

SkyWatchTV.com

Moms Across America - Empowered Moms, Healthy Kids

Concerned Americans Urge White House to Overhaul GMO Regulations by the Thousands

Over 130,000 people call for more rigorous oversight and labeling.

Nov. 16, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Late Friday, over 130,000 individuals, along with leading environmental, food safety, and farmer groups, submitted comments calling for an overhaul of the U.S. government system regulating genetically engineered (GE) plants and animals. 

Known as the Coordinated Framework for Regulation of Biotechnology, the existing guidelines were put together in 1986, prior to commercialization of GE crops, by combining an array of preexisting, non-binding regulatory statutes. As such, the Framework has failed to prevent numerous economic and environmental harms resulting from GE crops and the pesticides designed to accompany them—and has exposed consumers and growers to unlabeled, untested products. 

In July, the Obama Administration called for a review of the Framework, opening up a series of public comment periods.

The public comments echo several common principles, including:

• Mandatory, GE-specific regulation

• Protections related to increased pesticide use

• Protection of non-GE farmers

• Mandatory safety testing

• Mandatory labeling of GE foods

The following statements reflect the sentiments of the public:

“To this point, U.S. regulation of genetically engineered (GE) organisms has been an unmitigated failure. In sharp contrast with much of the rest of the world, the U.S. has prioritized the rapid commercialization of genetically engineered organisms over core governmental duties, such as protection of public health, the environment and the interests of agriculture. This negligence must end,” said George Kimbrell, senior attorney at Center for Food Safety.

“U.S. rules meant to oversee genetically engineered crops are not only failing, but threatening farmers and communities across the country. Over the past twenty years, the unchecked expansion of genetically engineered crops has led to hundreds of millions of additional pounds of pesticides that wind up in our air and water, as farmers remain trapped on an ever-accelerating pesticide treadmill,” said Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, senior scientist at Pesticide Action Network.

Jim Goodman, a Wisconsin beef and dairy farmer, noted, "Forced public acceptance and rapid commercialization of GE organisms has been the clear priority of all branches of the government, publicly funded universities and the agricultural industry. 

Working hand-in-hand they have succeeded in making any meaningful regulation of GE organisms, for all practical purposes, a joke."

“The Consolidated Framework must be significantly overhauled to require that all GE organisms—including those produced with the newer techniques of GE, such as RNA interference or the gene-editing technologies—to go through a systematic safety assessment process which recognizes the potential novel risk of such GE organisms, prior to being released onto the market,” said Michael Hansen, senior scientist at Consumers Union.

“Mandatory safety and environmental assessments are critical before engineered organisms leave the lab and end up on our plates or in the environment,” said Dana Perls, food and technology campaigner with Friends of the Earth. “Broken GMO regulations must be overhauled to put the health of people and the environment ahead of chemical and agribusiness interests. 

The new regulations must also address rapidly changing genetic engineering techniques, such as synthetic biology, that are entering the market and environment ahead of our ability to ensure their safety.”

“The Coordinated Framework is not equipped to handle the risks associated with GE foods already on the market, let alone what’s coming down the pike,” said executive director of Food & Water Watch, Wenonah Hauter. 

“New GE organisms like algae and insects could slip through the cracks of our current regulatory system. Without a massive overhaul of the process, new and risky GE plants and animals will enter the marketplace without anyone understanding or tracking their impacts on human safety and the environment.”

"The U.S. should enact the same common-sense regulations that protect consumers, farmers and the environment in other countries: safety-testing, labels and restrictions on how and where GMO crops may be grown," said Alexis Baden-Mayer, Esq., political director at Organic Consumers Association.

"The current regulatory system fails to take into account the environmental impact and externalities of genetically engineered crops and animals," said Todd Larsen, executive co-director, Green America. 

"It is high time that the USDA implement a system that truly addresses the long-term environmental and human health impacts of the growth and consumption of GE crops."

“Current regulations on genetically engineered foods are hopelessly outdated,” said Dave Murphy, founder and executive director of Food Democracy Now!

“Since the 1980s, when these rules were originally written, scientists have discovered numerous modern scientific techniques that have properly identified the real risks that these novel gene proteins pose to human health and the environment. 

The American public deserves updated regulations that include proper safety testing standards and mandatory labeling of GMOs to provide basic transparency in the marketplace.”

Signatures were collected and submitted to the docket by the following organizations: Center for Food Safety, Food Democracy Now!, Food and Water Watch, Friends of the Earth U.S., Green America, Organic Consumers Association, and Pesticide Action Network North America.

Contact:

Abigail Seiler, Center for Food Safety, 202-547-9359, aseiler@centerforfoodsafety.org

Sara Knight, Pesticide Action Network, 415-625-9070, sara@panna.org

Kate Colwell, Friends of the Earth, 202-222-0744, kcolwell@foe.org

Kate Fried, Food & Water Watch, 202-683-4905, kfried@fwwatch.org

Say No To Biological Colonialism

Nov. 18, 2015 by the Hans India

    The manner in which the Centre is going about allowing genetically modified (GM) food crops is causing serious concern. Five years after the UPA bowed to public pressure and imposed an indefinite moratorium on the commercial cropping of Bt Brinjal, the NDA government is hastening the advent of GM food crops.

An application for approval for commercialisation of GM Mustard has been moved with the apex regulatory body GEAC (Genetic Engineering Approval Committee) in the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change. 

Without putting in place any mechanism for stringent tests, GM Mustard developed by Delhi University called Dhara Mustard Hybrid 11 (DMH11) is being considered for approval.

Mustard has a significant use in Indian cuisine and unless fears of potentially adverse consequences to the environment, animals and human beings are addressed, it should not be introduced.

The GM crops are said to produce higher yields and great protection against diseases. But, farmers would have to procure seeds patented by companies for each crop as has been in the case of Bt Cotton.

Earlier, a Supreme Court order in 2008 called for putting bio-safety data in the public domain for scrutiny and the Technical Expert Committee of the Supreme Court in 2013 raised strong questions about the GEAC conclusions on safety of GM crops. 

Even WHO insists on countries going for GM field trials to assert for themselves direct health effects of GM crops such as toxicity, allergic reactions, stability of the inserted gene, nutritional effects; and any unintended effects on environment from gene insertion.

Terminator technology used in GM crops is also illegal as per India’s Protection of Plant Variety and Farmers Right Act, 2001. It is also banned by the UN Convention of Biodiversity. Barring US and a few countries, European Parliament, Russia, China and dozens of nations have banned GMO.

GM proponents cite hunger deaths, low crop yields, agri crisis etc in India as reasons enough for allowing GM crops. The cost effective agro-ecological approaches, better agronomic practices including production-enhancing techniques should have been exhausted before permitting GM varieties.

GM proponents would not talk about dramatic rise in the use of insecticides and pesticides in the US in recent years despite GM crops, or why Bt Cotton is not so successful in rainfed areas as in irrigated areas in India. In contrast, those practising organic farming have neither crop yield or demand concerns or pest fears.

Bio-safety and bio-diversity should not be compromised in any manner. Hence it is necessary that stringent tests are resorted to and an independent body should make an assessment. 

All the information regarding the safety tests of the GM Mustard must be put in the public domain without which no approval should be granted. 

There is a need to revisit and review the entire experience of Bt Cotton before going into introduction of any other crop, especially genetically modified food crops. India-specific soil conditions, cropping patterns, agronomic conditions, nature of land holdings, etc., need to be considered while developing sustainable biotechnology solutions. No biological colonialism, please!

Editor: Prof K Nageshwar

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Christie Brinkley on GMOS: ‘We’re Guinea Pigs’

By Jade Scipioni, November 17, 2015

She’s graced the cover of more than 500 magazines, and now, 40 years later, supermodel Christie Brinkley is back in the spotlight with a new book called “Timeless Beauty.”

Brinkley wrote the lifestyle book to share her beauty secrets on looking good at the age of 61 and also to inspire people to get healthier, especially with the foods they eat.

“I think there are so many issues with our food industry that are blatantly disrespectful to our planet and us as individuals,” Brinkley tells FOXBusiness.com.

She says the most alarming part is the fact that genetically modified crops are affecting our insect population.

“The bees are suffering right now and without the bees—well, Einstein said when the bees go, the next thing that goes are people,” she says. “What I don’t like about GMOs is that we’re the guinea pigs. The testing—if there’s testing—we’re the ones doing the testing and that is not fair and furthermore it’s not labelled so we don’t know if we’re the ones eating them.”

Europe’s Rejection of GMOs Ignites Eco-Farming Revolution

Timothy Eden, November 16, 2015 12:24 pm
Despite years of pressure and efforts by the European Union political elite in favor of genetically engineered (GE) crops, European citizens and national governments from a broad range of political backgrounds have won a major victory: 17 European countries and four European regions have chosen to ban GE crops. For those in the rest of the world who are fighting large-scale industrial and chemical agriculture—and the GE crops that abet it—this victory gives hope. Now they see hope for equitable and sustainable solutions such as ecological farming.