Genetic Changes to Food May Get Uniform Labeling
Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse â€” Getty Images 1
Opponents of genetically engineered food protested last month at Lafayette Park near the White House. By STEPHANIE STROM Published: January 31, 2013 With Washington State on the verge of a ballot initiative that would require labeling of some foods containing genetically engineered ingredients and other states considering similar measures, some of the major food companies and Wal-Mart, the country’s largest grocery store operator, have been discussing lobbying for a national labeling program.
Rachel La Corte/Associated Press Chris McManus, with boxes of petitions for his initiative to require the labeling of gene-engineered food sold in Washington State. Executives from PepsiCo, ConAgra and about 20 other major food companies, as well as Wal-Mart and advocacy groups that favor labeling, attended a meeting in January in Washington convened by the Meridian Institute, which organizes discussions of major issues. The inclusion of Wal-Mart has buoyed hopes among labeling advocates that the big food companies will shift away from tactics like those used to defeat Proposition 37 in California last fall, when corporations spent more than $40 million to oppose the labeling of genetically modified foods. “They spent an awful lot of money in California — talk about a lack of return on investment,” said Gary Hirshberg, co-chairman of the Just Label It campaign, which advocates national labeling, and chairman of Stonyfield, an organic dairy company. 2
Instead of quelling the demand for labeling, the defeat of the California measure has spawned a ballot initiative in Washington State and legislative proposals in Connecticut, Vermont, New Mexico and Missouri, and a swelling consumer boycott of some organic or “natural” brands owned by major food companies. Mr. Hirshberg, who attended the January meeting, said he knew of roughly 20 states considering labeling requirements. “The big food companies found themselves in an uncomfortable position after Prop. 37, and they’re talking among themselves about alternatives to merely replaying that fight over and over again,” said Charles Benbrook, a research professor at Washington State University who attended the meeting. “They spent a lot of money, got a lot of bad press that propelled the issue into the national debate and alienated some of their customer base, as well as raising issues with some trading partners,” said Mr. Benbrook, who does work on sustainable agriculture. For more than a decade, almost all processed foods in the United States — like cereals, snacks and salad dressings — have contained ingredients from plants with DNA that has been manipulated in a laboratory. The Food and Drug Administration, other regulators and many scientists say these foods pose no danger. But as Americans ask more pointed questions about what they are eating, popular suspicions about the health and environmental effects of biotechnology are fueling a movement to require that food from genetically modified crops be labeled, if not eliminated. Impending F.D.A. approval of a genetically modified salmon and the Agriculture Department’s consideration of genetically engineered apples have further intensified the debate. “We’re at a point where, this summer, families could be sitting at their tables and wondering whether the salmon and sweet corn they’re about to eat has been genetically modified,” said Trudy Bialic, director of public affairs at PCC Natural Markets in Seattle. “The fish has really accelerated concerns.” 3
Mr. Hirshberg said some company representatives wanted to find ways to persuade the Food and Drug Administration to proceed with federal labeling. “The F.D.A. is not only employing 20-year-old, and we think obsolete, standards for materiality, but there is a general tendency on the part of the F.D.A. to be resistant to change,” he said. “With an issue as polarized and politicized as this one, it’s going to take a broad-based coalition to crack through that barrier.” Morgan Liscinsky, an F.D.A. spokeswoman, said the agency considered the “totality of all the data and relevant information” when forming policy guidance. “We’ve continued to evaluate data as it has become available over the last 20 years,” she said. Neither Mr. Hirshberg nor Mr. Benbrook would identify other companies that participated in the talks, but others confirmed some of the companies represented. Caroline Starke, who represents the Meridian Institute, said she could not comment on a specific meeting or participants. Proponents of labeling in Washington State have taken a somewhat different tack from those in California, arguing that the failure to label will hurt the state’s fisheries and apple and wheat farms. “It’s a bigger issue than just the right to know,” Ms. Bialic said. “It reaches deep into our state’s economy because of the impact this is going to have on international trade.” A third of the apples grown in Washington State are exported, many of them to markets for high-value products around the Pacific Rim, where many countries require labeling. Apple, fish and wheat farmers in Washington State worry that those countries and others among the 62 nations that require some labeling of genetically modified foods will be much more wary of whole foods than of processed goods. The Washington measure would not apply to meat or dairy products from animals fed genetically engineered feed, and it sharply limits the ability to collect damages for mislabeling. 4
Mr. Benbrook and consumer advocates say the federal agencies responsible for things like labeling have relied on research financed by companies that make genetically modified seeds.
The Looming Future Of GMO Technology: Transhumanism, Biocrops, & More by Anthony Gucciardi January 31st, 2013
Right now we stand on the forefront of intellectual battle against biotechnology giants such as Monsanto who seek to monopolize the food supply through the extensive use of their genetically modified organisms, but what about tomorrow? It’s crucial that we continue the fight against Monsanto and GMO ingredients within the food, but as many are busy campaigning against the visible roots of GMO technology, the unseen roots of the biotech industry have grown much deeper — deep enough to delay any debate over today’s biotech initiatives until tomorrow. It’s a powerful technique to utilize within the media, and I will highlight the specific key points in how it is deployed. You see as we are hammering Monsanto day in and day out over their pollution of the seed supply, corporations like Dow AgroSciences are working 5
overtime on separate and far more serious initiatives. Initiatives are being set in motion to extend genetic modification to the human body at large. And it’s no longer being done behind the scenes. Drugs, Vaccines Grown in Crops One such direction includes what is known as biopharmaceutical farming. which has already been done to the point in which it contaminated the traditional food supply. For starters, a biopharmaceutical crop is one that actually grows the components of certain drugs or vaccinations. This can include anything from widescale birth control and antidepressants to the latest vaccination being pushed on the public. In the case of the 2002 contamination that actually led to a criminal trial, a company known as ProdiGene decided to begin planting a ton of biopharmaceutical crops that contained ingredients for vaccinations like AIDS, diabates, and diarrhea. These biopharmaceutical crops, as it turns out, were mixed with traditional crops and the farmers had no idea. Despite this fact along with a series of criminal charges and some bad press, ProdiGene declined to apologize. In fact, they continue to assert that biopharmaceutical crops are the answer. They were eventually hit with $500,000 in fines and some minor words from the USDA, but assert along with Dow AgroSciences that by 2014 they will manage to weasel in around $200 billion worth of biopharmaceutical farming. They even are claiming that 10% of the corn within the US will be biopharmaceutical by that time. One company even suggested creating spermicidal corn used as a mass contraceptive on the population. In an AlterNet piece covering the issue entitled ‘Spermicidal Breakfast Cereal’, author Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero asks: “What would happen if contraceptive corn or antibiotic wheat accidentally made it to the supermarket? Nobody knows, but that isn’t stopping agribusiness from pursuing these crops.”
GMO Humanity Beyond crops, biotech scientists are already creating human hybrid experiments that go past any moral debate and into the realm of pure insanity. With the announcement of the 2045 program, which is essentially a ‘public friendly, soft’ PR version of a mission to create genetically modified ‘super’ bodies called avatars, these creations will ’replace the human body’. That’s the intention at least. Very few news sources have actually discussed projects like the 2045 program, which is absolutely one of the lightest of the many GMO tech adaption projects that sit under the label of transhumanism and Singularity (the final stage of the 2045 project in which the ‘mind’ of men is turned into a neural network). The project, which is being led by a Russian scientist, Dmitry Itskov, and his team of biotech associates, projects ‘holographic avatar’ bodies available by 2015. From there: 2015-2020 Plan During this time period scientists are estimating to have created ‘avatar’ bodies which are controlled with a ‘brain-computer’ chip interface system — likely RFID in nature. This chip would be established to issue ‘orders’ to the artificial body and eventually interlink with the artificial brain that comes later. 2020-2025 This time frame involves the linking of the human brain and robot with an ‘autonomous life-support system’, giving way to a new field of transhumanistic developments and further turning the human body into a bio-electronic ‘avatar’. 2030-2035 In this second to last period, ‘human consciousness’ is to be planted into an artificial carrier or ‘brain’ which will then accordingly create what scientists label ‘cybernetic immortality’. Artificial intelligence will emerge with robots likely taking the role of all military, police, 7
and others. These robots will have their own form of artificial ‘consciousness’. Year 2045 The artificial brain turns into something that has no substance, linking into an ‘internet’ of sorts in which the ‘global consciousness’ network is established. Humanity is set to “become a new species” and forfeit any form of physical materialization. Ultimately, current GMO tech transforms through time with the final goal being a large scale override of the human race. The ways in which this technology can be manipulated for corrupt and malicious reasons is limitless, and even major players within the transhumanism realm agree that it is far too extreme and immoral. One top Singularity CEO even admitted that yes, Singulairty will not go well for humans. The result will actually be the GMO bodies devastating the human race. He stated in an interview: “Unfortunately, the singularity may not be what you’re hoping for. By default the singularity (intelligence explosion) will go very badly for humans… so by default superhuman AIs will end up optimizing the world around us for something other than what we want, and using up all our resources to do so.“ So why let biotech companies allow us to get to that point? The reality is that we can resist it, it’s just a matter of even acknowledging the existence of this threat. The future of GMO tech looms eerily above unnoticed to the general public — even to many GMO activists. There is a serious need to fight GMOs in foods on the front lines, but it’s not too late to realize that their real Ace has yet to be played. Anthony Gucciardi is an accomplished investigative journalist whose articles have appeared on top news sites and have been read by millions worldwide. Anthony's articles have been featured on top health & political websites such as Reuters, Yahoo News, MSNBC, and Bloomberg. Anthony is also a founding member of Natural Attitude, a leading developer of super high quality spagyric formulations.
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Published on Feb 21, 2013