GMOs — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor May 22, 2013
Kudos to Dr. Vandana Shiva for kicking this off. Watch the videos to find out more, and get involved!
GMOs — by Stefan Boone May 9, 2013
In the mid 1980s, scientists unlocked the genetic keys to manipulating our world. Suddenly everything seemed possible! There would be no more hunger or malnutrition; diseases would be vanquished and poverty wiped out. But twenty years on the situation looks very different. From the loss of biodiversity to health scares about GM food, the effects of genetic technology are prompting more and more debate.
Across the world, multinationals like Monsanto are meeting with unexpected resistance to their genetically modified products. But are these concerns justified? Or are activists battling the forces of progress? Renowned filmmakers Bertram Verhaag and Gabriele Krober sets out on a global journey to explore the development of genetic technology. Spanning three continents and beautifully filmed, this high quality doc hears from the scientists, farmers and activists at the heart of the debate.
GMOs, Health & Disease, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by I-SIS May 7, 2013
Genetically modified foods are a threat to our dwindling water supplies; they are less water-efficient and contaminate fresh water
Genetically Modified (GM) crops are widely recognised for their potential to damage both human health and the environment. Evidence is now accumulating of the contamination of streams, rivers, rain, as well as groundwater with GM-associated chemicals including Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicide, while genetic elements such as antibiotic resistant genes are emerging in water-borne microbes. Further, GM crops have been shown to be less water efficient, corroborating farmer’s reports of failing GM crops during droughts. Industrial farming in general has been shown to be ill-adapted to extreme weather events such as hurricanes as well as droughts; and GM crops are not expected to do any better.Comments (3)
GMOs, Health & Disease — by I-SIS May 2, 2013
Small double-stranded RNA (dsRNAs) that aim to interfere with specific gene expression are increasingly used to create GM crops; unfortunately they have many off-target effects and can also interfere with gene expression in all animals exposed to the crops.
Genetic modification by RNA interference
Most commercially grown genetically modified (GM) crops are engineered to produce foreign proteins, but new ones are increasingly engineered to produce RNA of a special kind – double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) – that aims to interfere with the expression of a specific gene, usually to silence the gene  (Table 1).
Table 1 GM crops with dsRNA commercially approved or in the approval pipeline
|Flav Savr tomato||Monsanto||Withdrawn from market|
|High oleic acid soybean lines G94-1, G94-19 and G168||Monsanto||FSANZ*
Withdrawn from market
|New Leaf Y and New Leaf Plus Potato||Dupont Pioneer||FSANZ* approved 2001
Withdrawn from market
|High oleic acid soybean lind DP-305423-1||Dupont Pioneer||FSAMZ* approved 2010|
|Herbicde tolerant, high oleic acid soybean Line MON87705||Monsanto||approved 2011|
|Golden mosaic virus resistant pinto bean||Embrapa*||Brazil
|Papaya ringspot virus resistant papaya||Hawaii University||USA
1996, Canada 2003, Japan
|Altered grain starch wheat||CSIRO*||Approved for field trials & feeding experiment|
*CSIRO Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization
*Embrapa Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation
*FSANZ Food Standards Australia New Zealand
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Biodiversity, GMOs, Health & Disease — by Vandana Shiva April 25, 2013
Billionaires forgo iron-rich crops in push for GM bananas in India
Nature has given us a cornucopia of biodiversity rich in nutrients. Malnutrition and nutrient deficiency result from destroying biodiversity. The Green Revolution has spread monocultures of chemical rice and wheat, driving out biodiversity from our farms and diets. And what survived as spontaneous crops — like amaranth greens (chaulai) and chenopodium (bathua) that are rich in iron — were sprayed with poisons and herbicides. Instead of cherishing them as iron- and vitamin-rich gifts, these vegetables were treated as “weeds”.
The “monoculture of the mind” treats diversity as disease and creates coercive structures to remodel this biologically and culturally diverse world of ours on the concepts of one privileged class, one race and one gender of a single species. As “the monoculture of the mind” took over, biodiversity disappeared from our farms and food. It’s the destruction of biodiverse rich cultivation and diets that has led us to the malnutrition crisis.Comments (1)
GMOs, Health & Disease — by I-SIS April 22, 2013
A comparison of US Midwest non-GM with GM corn shows shockingly high levels of glyphosate as well as formaldehyde, and severely depleted of mineral nutrients in the GM corn.
The results of a comparison
of GM and non-GM corn from adjacent Midwest fields in the US that first
appeared on the Moms Across America March website  are reproduced in Table
Table 1 Comparison between GM and non-GM corn grown side by side*
|Parts per million (ppm)|
|Ingredient||GM corn||Non-GM corn|
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GMOs, Health & Disease — by Jeffrey M. Smith April 18, 2013
In the U.S., we pride ourselves on having choices and making informed decisions. Under current FDA policy, we don’t have that choice when it comes to genetically engineered (GE) ingredients in the foods we purchase and feed our families. But thanks to your tireless support, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) will introduce new Federal legislation next week that would require the labeling of all genetically engineered (GE) foods; the first labeling bill to be introduced in the Senate in over a decade!Comments (4)
GMOs, Health & Disease — by I-SIS January 28, 2013
ISIS has warned against the CaMV 35S promoter and called for all affected GM crops to be withdrawn since 1999 while damning evidence on its safety continues to emerge
How to bury a bombshell
Cauliflower Mosaic Virus
A European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) scientist has just discovered that major GM crops and products the regulatory agency has been approving for commercial release over the past 20 years contain a potentially dangerous virus gene. The gene – Gene VI – overlaps with the cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) 35S promoter. The CaMV 35S promoter is the commonest, most widely used regulatory sequence for driving gene expression in GM crops. This momentous discovery was published in a little known journal during the holiday season at the end of 2012 , and would have passed unnoticed had it not caught the attention of Jonathan Latham and Alison Wilson of Independent Science News. They described the finding and carried out a proper retrospective risk assessment on the Gene VI fragment in a report posted on their website . This attracted so much public attention that EFSA and its counterpart Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) are said  to have jointly “shredded” the scientific paper on which Latham and Wilson’s report is based.Comments (1)
Biodiversity, Deforestation, Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease — by Gerald Anderson January 25, 2013
This is a good summary of what Vandana Shiva talks about lately. Even if you think you’ve heard it all before, I think this is a excellent one to watch and share.
Forbes Magazine called Vandana Shiva one of the seven most influential women in the world. A noted philosopher, scientist and author, Dr. Shiva addressed a full house at Coady International Institute at StFX University on the theme of food justice. — YouTube
Further watching:Comments (3)
GMOs, Health & Disease — by Safe Food Foundation January 23, 2013
Cauliflower Mosaic Virus
Australian food regulators are being urged to investigate alarming reports from Europe that GM crops worldwide may contain a gene that is potentially poisonous to humans.
A study by the EU’s official food watchdog – the European Food Safety Authority – has revealed that the international approval process for GM crops failed to identify the gene when these food crops were being assessed for safety.
The discovery is the work of independent experts, the EFSA’s Nancy Podevin and Patrick du Jardin of the University of Liege in Belgium.
The findings will come as an embarrassment to pro-GM interests during their current PR blitz in Australia and overseas.Comments (0)
by Jonathan Latham and Allison Wilson. Originally published on Independent Science News.
Cauliflower Mosaic Virus
How should a regulatory agency announce they have discovered something potentially very important about the safety of products they have been approving for over twenty years?
In the course of analysis to identify potential allergens in GMO crops, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has belatedly discovered that the most common genetic regulatory sequence in commercial GMOs also encodes a significant fragment of a viral gene (Podevin and du Jardin 2012). This finding has serious ramifications for crop biotechnology and its regulation, but possibly even greater ones for consumers and farmers. This is because there are clear indications that this viral gene (called Gene VI) might not be safe for human consumption. It also may disturb the normal functioning of crops, including their natural pest resistance.Comments (6)
The Lynas School of Pseudo-scientific Environmentalism – Twenty-two Pieces of Junk Science from the Lynas Manifesto
GMOs — by Dr. Brian John January 22, 2013
by Dr Brian John, Past Lecturer in Geography, University of Durham 6th January 2013
In a high-profile lecture to the recent Oxford Farming Conference, self-proclaimed neo-scientist Mark Lynas launched a vicious polemic, aimed at the organic farming movement and at those who oppose GM crops and foods and the activities of the GM multinationals. The speech was linked in to a highly orchestrated pro-GM publicity campaign. The press loved it — and Lynas was pretty pleased with it himself, pushing the text of his speech out in all directions and twittering happily about its impact on the global stage… which included 30,000 hits on his web site. The theme which the press picked up on was of course that of the ex-GM crop trasher who has now put emotion and prejudice to one side and who has become instead a science junkie. Others might see the conversion of a naive individual from one religion to another….Comments (4)
GMOs — by Kim Crieger Goodwin
Please read this important message from Oregonians for Farm & Food Rights regarding proposed canola production in the Willamette Valley, Oregon. Attend the hearing on Jan. 23 or submit your written comment to the Oregon Department of Agriculture by Jan. 25.
The Willamette Valley is one of the world’s last five great seed-growing regions. An unprecedented coalition of farmers — vegetable seed, wheat, clover, grass seed, organic farmers, fresh produce growers, and even sugar beet seed farmers — have banded together to stop the harmful introduction of this crop in their region. Our farmers truly need your help.Comments (2)
Biodiversity, Biofuels, Consumerism, Deforestation, Desertification, Economics, Food Shortages, GMOs, Health & Disease, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Geoff Lawton January 7, 2013
- A Farm for the Future (BBC video)
- The Rodale Institute’s 30-Year Farming Systems Trial Report
- Biodiverse Systems are More Productive
- The Food Crisis: “A Perfect Storm” – and How to Turn the Tide
- Orchestrating Famine – a Must-Read Backgrounder on the Food Crisis
- Food Futures Now – Feeding People & Place Without Fossil Fuels
- The Looming Food Crisis and the ‘Food 2030′ Report
- The Story of Soil
- A ‘New’ Discovery – Soluble Nitrogen Destroys Soil Carbon
- Which Came First – Pests, or Pesticides?
- Soil – Our Financial Institution
GMOs, Health & Disease — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor December 3, 2012
Back in March I mentioned that Peru legislated a ban on GMO foods. I thought I’d follow up by letting you know that this legislation has now come into force:
A 10-year ban on genetically modified foods in Peru came into effect this week, state news agency Andina reported.
Peru’s executive has approved the regulations for the law that prohibits the importation, production and use of GMO foods in the country.
Violating the law can result in a maximum fine of 10,000 UIT tax units, which is about 36.5 million soles ($14 million). The goods can also be seized and destroyed, according to the norms.
The law, which was approved by President Ollanta Humala last year, is aimed at preserving Peru’s biodiversity and supporting local farmers, Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar Vidal said. — Peruvian Times
And in another blow to the biotech monopolisers, Kenya has also just banned the importation of GMOs into their African nation:Comments (0)