Category Archives: Food

U.S. tax dollars promote Monsanto’s GMO crops overseas

monsanto GMO FDA Food Safety

U.S. tax dollars promote Monsanto’s GMO crops overseas

By Carey Gillam

Tue May 14, 2013 9:05am EDT

(Reuters) – U.S. taxpayers are footing the bill for overseas lobbying that promotes controversial biotech crops developed by U.S.-based Monsanto Co and other seed makers, a report issued on Tuesday said.

A review of 926 diplomatic cables of correspondence to and from the U.S. State Department and embassies in more than 100 countries found that State Department officials actively promoted the commercialization of specific biotech seeds, according to the report issued by Food & Water Watch, a nonprofit consumer protection group.

The officials tried to quash public criticism of particular companies and facilitated negotiations between foreign governments and seed companies such as Monsanto over issues like patents and intellectual property, the report said.

The cables show U.S. diplomats supporting Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company, in foreign countries even after it paid $1.5 million in fines after being charged with bribing an Indonesian official and violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 2005.

One 2009 cable shows the embassy in Spain seeking “high-level U.S. government intervention” at the “urgent request” of Monsanto to combat biotech crop opponents there, according to the Food & Water Watch report.

The report covered cables from 2005-2009 that were released by Wikileaks in 2010 as part of a much larger release by Wikileaks of a range of diplomatic cables it obtained.

Monsanto spokesman Tom Helscher said Monsanto believes it is critical to maintain an open dialogue with government authorities and trade groups in other countries.

“We remain committed to sharing information so that individuals can better understand our business and our commitments to support farmers throughout the world as they work to meet the agriculture demands of our world’s growing population,” he said.

State Department officials had no immediate comment when contacted about the report.

monsanto GMO FDA Food SafetyFood & Water Watch said the cables it examined provide a detailed account of how far the State Department goes to support and promote the interests of the agricultural biotech industry, which has had a hard time gaining acceptance in many foreign markets.

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

But U.S. officials, Monsanto and many other companies and industry experts routinely say that biotech crops are needed around the world to increase global food production as population expands. They maintain that the crops are safe and make farming easier and more environmentally sustainable.

PROMOTION THROUGH PAMPHLETS, DVDs?

The cables show that State Department officials directed embassies to “troubleshoot problematic legislation” that might hinder biotech crop development and to “encourage the development and commercialization of ag-biotech products”.

The State Department also produced pamphlets in Slovenia promoting biotech crops, sent pro-biotech DVDs to high schools in Hong Kong and helped bring foreign officials and media from 17 countries to the United States to promote biotech agriculture, Food & Water Watch said.

Genetically altered crops are widely used in the United States. Crops spliced with DNA from other species are designed to resist pests and tolerate chemical applications, and since their introduction in the mid 1990s have come to dominate millions of acres of U.S. farmland.

The biotech crops are controversial with some groups and in many countries because some studies have shown harmful health impacts for humans and animals, and the crops have been associated with some environmental problems.

They also generally are more expensive than conventional crops, and the biotech seed developers patent the high-tech seeds so farmers using them have to buy new seed every season, a factor that makes them unappealing in some developing nations.

Many countries ban planting of biotech crops or have strict labeling requirements.

“It’s appalling that the State Department is complicit in supporting their (the biotech seed industry’s) goals despite public and government opposition in several countries,” said Ronnie Cummins, executive director of nonprofit organization Organic Consumers Association.

“American taxpayer’s money should not be spent advancing the goals of a few giant biotech companies.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/14/us-usa-gmo-report-idUSBRE94D0IL20130514

Facebooktwitterrss

Consumers Will Soon Have Devices In Their Hands To Detect GMO and Toxic Foods

test gmo metals herbicide toxicity

How flipping awesome is this gadget? GMO labeling? HA! Doesn’t matter! So there! Take that!

You’v been served, Monsanto…

Consumers Will Soon Have Devices In Their Hands To Detect GMO and Toxic Foods

by – Marco Torres – preventdisease.com
In the not too distant future, consumers will be able to run on-the-spot tests for environmental toxins, GMOs, pesticides, food safety and more with their smartphones and other hand-held devices.

Every human being on every developed nation on Earth, whether living in a rural or isolated area, in the middle of a large city, or near an industrialized area, now contains at least 700 contaminants in their body including pesticides, pthalates, benzenes, parabens, xylenes and many other carcinogenic and endrocrine disrupting chemicals.

We are being bombarded on a daily basis by an astronomical level of toxicity, all controlled by chemical terrorists on behalf of the food industry. Morever, many of these toxins affect our fertility and those of successive generations.

It’s time for people to know exactly what they are putting in their bodies and technology is coming to the rescue. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers have developed a cradle and app that uses a phone’s built-in camera and processing power as a biosensor to detect toxins, proteins, bacteria, viruses and other molecules.

“We’re interested in biodetection that needs to be performed outside of the laboratory,” said team leader Brian Cunningham, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and of bioengineering at Illinois. “Smartphones are making a big impact on our society — the way we get our information, the way we communicate. And they have really powerful computing capability and imaging. A lot of medical conditions might be monitored very inexpensively and non-invasively using mobile platforms like phones. They can detect molecular things, like pathogens, disease biomarkers or DNA, things that are currently only done in big diagnostic labs with lots of expense and large volumes of blood.”

test gmo metals herbicide toxicity“Modern biological research is also allowing an extension of laboratory devices on to small computer chips to detect biological information within DNA sequences,” said biotech specialist Dr. Marek Banaszewski. “Bioinformatic algorithms within programs will aid the identification of transgenes, promoters, and other functional elements of DNA making detection of genetically modified foods on-the-spot and real-time without transportation to a laboratory.”

The wedge-shaped cradle created by Cunningham’s team contains a series of optical components — lenses and filters — found in much larger and more expensive laboratory devices. The cradle holds the phone’s camera in alignment with the optical components.

At the heart of the biosensor is a photonic crystal. A photonic crystal is like a mirror that only reflects one wavelength of light while the rest of the spectrum passes through. When anything biological attaches to the photonic crystal — such as protein, cells, pathogens or DNA — the reflected color will shift from a shorter wavelength to a longer wavelength.

The entire test takes only a few minutes; the app walks the user through the process step by step. Although the cradle holds only about $200 of optical components, it performs as accurately as a large $50,000 spectrophotometer in the laboratory. So now, the device is not only portable, but also affordable for fieldwork in developing nations.

In a paper published in the journal Lab on a Chip, the team demonstrated sensing of an immune system protein, but the slide could be primed for any type of biological molecule or cell type. The researchers are working to improve the manufacturing process for the iPhone cradle and are working on a cradle for Android phones as well. They hope to begin making the cradles available next year.

In addition, Cunningham’s team is working on biosensing tests that could be performed in the field to detect toxins in harvested corn and soybeans, and to detect pathogens in food and water.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Modular Solid State Technologies EMFT in Regensburg have also engineered an ingenius solution to detecting toxins – a glove that recognizes if toxic substances are present in the surrounding air.

The protective glove is equipped with custom-made sensor materials and indicates the presence of toxic substances by changing colors. In this regard, the scientists adapted the materials to the corresponding analytes, and thus, the application. The color change — from colorless (no toxic substance) to blue (toxic substance detected). The researchers also envision other potential applications for the glove in the food industry.

Other handheld devices currently in development are portable chemiluminescence detectors, but based on enzyme-catalyzed reactions emitting light. The detection devices for nucleic acids, biotin associated with the target DNA provides the handle for the chemiluminescent detection. The non-radioactive DNA detection chemistry will be able to readily identify single-copy genes in transgenic plants making them suitable for GMO detection.
Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.

http://www.infowars.com/consumers-will-soon-have-devices-in-their-hands-to-detect-gmo-and-toxic-foods/

— with Steve Burns and Garfield Rupe.

Facebooktwitterrss

Illinois Illegally Seizes Bees Resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup; Kills Remaining Queens

government helps monsanto wipe out bee population

If anyone supports government inspections of private property, this should be a warning to them.

If you think it would be OK to have government agencies inspecting your home for guns, or even keeping you on a list of gun owners, here is the kind of evidence that shows that governments are, at best, inherently arbitrary and unjust. At worst governments are corrupt and tyrannical.

So now they don’t seem to know what happened to his bees. “Golly. I didn’t know we were supposed to keep track of the property we “confiscate” (i.e. steel) from citizens. I thought we could just arbitrarily go wherever we wanted, taking anything we wanted at any time… with impunity. Why would we have to keep track of it or return it?”

It’s sort of like the gun confiscations that went on after hurricane Katrina. What gives the government a right to take a $300 gun from someone who isn’t causing any trouble at all and who only wants it to protect his property? That is money that government entities are stealing outright from citizens. Would you be OK with some military or law enforcement officer say, “Hey. Give me that valuable object you own.”? Me neither. What if they could just “confiscate it no matter what it was? That’s what we’re looking at here.

Honey bees are absolutely necessary to the growing of food. Just ask the thousands of big farmers that contract with bee keepers to pay to have honey bees put next to their fields or orchards. Without bees, food doesn’t grow. Now our ever-beloved Monsanto has managed to wipe out droves of bees and coming back for the ones that are resistant to their pesticide. The government is apparently on their side.

Should we not have the right to grow food if we want? We should probably leave that up to the government too. They do such a great job with everything else…

 

Illinois Illegally Seizes Bees Resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup; Kills Remaining Queens

The Illinois Ag Dept.  illegally seized privately owned bees from renowned naturalist, Terrence Ingram, without providing him with a search warrant and before the court hearing on the matter, reports Prairie Advocate News.

Behind the obvious violations of his Constitutional rights is Monsanto. Ingram was researching Roundup’s effects on bees, which he’s raised for 58 years.  “They ruined 15 years of my research,” he told Prairie Advocate, by stealing most of his stock.

A certified letter from the Ag Dept.’s Apiary Inspection Supervisor, Steven D. Chard, stated:

“During a routine inspection of your honeybee colonies by … Inspectors Susan Kivikko and Eleanor Balson on October 23, 2011, the bacterial disease ‘American Foulbrood’ was detected in a number of colonies located behind your house…. Presence of the disease in some of your colonies was confirmed via test results from the USDA Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland that analyzed samples collected from your apiary….”

Ingram can prove his bees did not have foulbrood, and planned to do so at a hearing set in April, but the state seized his bees at the end of March. They have not returned them and no one at the Ag Dept. seems to know where his bees are.

The bees could have been destroyed, or they could have been turned over to Monsanto to ascertain why some of his bees are resistant to Roundup. Without the bees as evidence, Ingram simply cannot defend against the phony charges of foulbrood.

Worse, all his queens died after Kivikko and Balson “inspected” his property, outside of his presence and without a warrant.

 

Of note, Illinois beekeepers are going underground after Ingram’s experience and refuse to register their hives, in case the state tries to steal their private property on phony claims.

if bees die food won't grow

Facebooktwitterrss
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!