"Scientists under Attack" Monsanto Tumbles DOWN
Special Edition Issue I 2-22-2012
EDITOR’S PAGE genetic code. Monsanto does this using bacterium and viruses; this combination is a disaster waiting to happen as they are released into the environment. We find them in pollen, in the soil, in ninety percent of Soy, Corn, Canola, and Cotton. Monsanto also uses antibiotics for genetic markers, which we ingestion, from every gene we eat. Could this be why we are immune to antibiotics? GE in itself, as it is self-replicating, cannot be recalled from the environment, once contaminated, it will never resolve itself, only evolve. The time-frame of new diseases correlate with the time of genetically engineered and genetically modified organisms (GMO) being introduced in our food supply. The newly formed ‘AutoImmune’ diseases are suspect, as to exposure to GE. Documentation of shrinking of organs and/or gross deformity, from contamination, includes our unborn children and the placenta, along with mother’s milk. Look at the ingredients in baby formula, Soy is the worst.
Round-Up Ready Crops, by means of an overdose of Round-Up (glysophate). This causes soil to die. It is killing the only plant for the growth of the Monarch caterpillar, (milkweed), it is killing our bees and causing our plants and insects to morph into unknown new varieties which resist the herbicide. This ‘Special Edition’ on ‘Monsanto Tumbles Down’ explains Monsanto as a chemical company, and reviews some of its products. They say you can judge a person by their fruit. This is a very dangerous company. We hope we have given you the information and the tools to build and to make an informed decision about this company and their actions and products. We as consumers have ultimate power over corporations, we MUST remember this.
As I have researched Genetic Engineering (GE), and Monsanto, I am amazed at how many people are unaware of what has happened to our food. Many people make the mistake of simply trusting the government to take Our next magazine will explain and give care of us through the regulatory solutions. The answer to these problems agencies, and expect this to be done is to demanding labeling for all food. We correctly. Well, unfortunately, this is not will match you up with other people true. Monsanto, like many other who care about the earth, care about corporations focus on PROFIT. Being in bed with our government, other people and who have made Monsanto is not required to test the positive change. As we learn, we must Patenting of God’s ‘gift of food’ is a safety of their money making enterprise. watch the global community stance, as means of ‘control of people’, and their food Self-regulation of their own genetic many have not only banned GMO’s/GE, supply, as well, as the control over the engineering is being Okayed daily. but, have burned them, making it illegal farmers who grow the crops, and control to be in possession of these dangerous, over food for animals, domestic and wild. This is aside from Monsanto’s “true biological weapons”. glysophate, the world’s most used GOODNEWPRESS.NET Genetic engineering is the forced entry herbicide. Monsanto, makers of Agent through the protective membrane of the Orange insist this too is safe. Monsanto COPYRIGHT © 2012 GOODNEWPRESS.NET EDITOR @GOODNEWPRESS . NET cell wall. This violent insertion plows has also designed ‘Round-Up Ready 1-972-948-7657 past and through the DNA which Crops’ which are sprayed with RoundCOO AND FOUNDER regulate the switching on and off the Up to kill all plants except Monsanto’s RHONDA VARSANE Fair Use Notice: The material in this magazine is provided for educational and informational purposes. It may contain copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized, by the copyright owner. It is being made available in an effort to advance the understanding of scientific, environmental, economic, social justice and human rights issues, etc. It is believed this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own which go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The information in this magazine does not constitute legal or technical advice.
TABLE OF CONTENTS MONSANTO’S HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
WHAT IS BT
“ b i o l o g i c a l a g e nt ”
What’s a GMO? PAGES 15-21
"Scientists PAGES 45-48 under Attack" REVOLVING DOORS DOES THEIR LOYALITY PAGES
HIDDEN GMO’S SUICIDE ONE OF MILLIONS
Kheti Khurak Azadi Jatha
The Problem: Genetic Engineering
MORPHED DUE TO MONSANTO Collony Collapse at KLlamas.com art by Kristin Llamas
IN THE DARK?
ROUND-UP AND BIRTH DEFECTS PAGE IS THE PUBLIC
U.S. FDA Food, Beverage...
Grocery Dear Store Manager
Forced to Sue to Get Public Records on Bee Mystery
Destroying Monarch Butterfly Habitat
ONE COMPANY PAGE
PAGES own ‘ALL’ the world’s seeds?
HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
1997 AND 2002
transition from chemical giant to biotech giant www.atsdr.cdc.gov (Agency for Toxic Substance & Disease Reg“PCB history is not pretty. As i s t r y ) r e f e r e n c e : h t t p : // timelines show, the manufacturers e n . w i k i p e d i a . o r g / w i k i / and major users of PCBs knew by the 1930’s and 1940’s PCBs caused serious health problems in their workers…” h t t p : / / www. f o x r i v e r watch.com/ monsanto2a_ pcb_pcbs.html
They were widely used as dielectric and in coolant fluids and in synthetic oils used in electrical transformers and carbonless paper, capacitors, and electric motors before they were banned by the United States Congress in 1979 and by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants in 2001.
Polychlorinated_biphenyl May I remind you this chemical company (MONSANTO) has now patented our food.
The manufacture of PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, is now ille- Agent Orange is the code name gal. These contaminants remain in for one of the herbicides and defoliants used by the U.S. Military as aquatic sediment for years. part of its herbicidal warfare proAdditional information on PCBs: gram, Operation Ranch Hand, durwww.epa.gov/PCB (EPA’s main ing the Vietnam War from 1961 to continued on page 6 webpage for PCBs) and
Life in Poison By Joaquin Sapien An Alabama town’s long struggle to survive http://projects.publicintegrity. org/superfund/videos.aspx ANNISTON, AL was the site of the manufacturing of Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) which were produced at this plant from 1929 until 1971. “Seven residents tell their stories on film of a fourty year history of a poorly monitored PCB manufacturing plant which turned the small town of Anniston, AL, into one of the most polluted places in the country, and forever changed its community.” Those interviewed were, Funeral Director Rev. Jeffrey Williams; who has seen more than his share of business in Anniston, Community Activist; David Baker who is fighting for cleanup with grassroots efforts, and Pollis Goodman; on impact on family and community. © 2008, The Center for Public Integrity. All rights reserved.
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1971. Vietnam estimates 400,000 people being killed or maimed, and 500,000 children born with birth defects. A 50:50 mixture of 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D, was manufactured for the U.S. Department of Defense primarily by Monsanto Corporation and Dow Chemical. The 2,4,5-T used to produce Agent Orange was later discovered to be contaminated with 2,3,7,8tetrachlorodibenzodioxin, an extremely toxic dioxin compound. It was given its name from the color of the orange-striped 55 US gallon (200 L) barrels in which it was This little girl is a victim of Agent Orange. shipped, and was by far the most has now patented our food. sponsible for development, behavwidely used of the so-called “Rainior, fertility, and maintenance of bow Herbicides”. Reference: http:/ homeostasis (normal cell me/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ tabolism), and are chemicals The Monsanto Company (MON) is which interfere with endocrine (or Agent_Orange a US-based multinational agricul- hormone system) in animals, inA personal story from a Vietnam tural biotechnology ... Monsan- cluding humans. to began manufactur- These disruptions can cause caning DDT in cerous tumors, birth defects, and 1944. other developmental disorders. Specifically, they are known to DDT is an cause learning disabilities, severe endocrine attention deficit disorder, cognitive
disrupter: Endocrine disrupters are substances which “interfere with the synthesis, secretion, transport, May I remind you this chemi- binding, action, or elimination of cal company (MONSANTO) natural hormones in the body reVet friend of mine, “The soldiers would take the Agent Orange barrels and cut them in half and use them for Bar-B-Que pits.”
and brain development problems, deformations of the body (includcontinued on page 7
products, industrial by-products, which can also be classified in the ing limbs); sexual development Round-Up and pollutants. family of halogenated organic comproblems, feminizing of males or pounds, have been shown to masculine effects on females, etc. May I remind you this chemical bioaccumulate in humans and wildlife due to their lipophilic properties (accumulating in the fat of animals you eat), which, create what we know as: teratogens, mutagens, and carcinogens. Reference: http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1,4-Dioxin continued from page 6
May I remind you this chemical company (MONSANTO) has now patented our food.
Aspartame: In 1984, Monsanto Company bought G. D. Searle, and the aspartame business became a separate Monsanto subsidiary; The NutraSweet Company. On May 25, 2000, Monsanto sold it to J.W. Childs Equity Partners, L.P. Evidence potentially implicating Aspartame includes an early animal study, revealing an exceedingly Any system in the body controlled company (MONSANTO) has high incidence of brain tumors in aspartame-fed rats, compared to by hormones can be derailed by now patented our food. hormone disrupter. The critical period of development for most organisms is between the transitions from a fertilized egg, into a fully Because of their exformed infant. As the cells begin to treme importance as grow and differentiate, there are environmental pollutants, critical balances of hormones and current scientific literaprotein changes which must occur. ture uses the name dioxins commonly to denote Therefore, a dose of disrupting the chlorinated derivachemicals can do substantial dam- tives of dibenzo-1,4-diage to a developing fetus (baby) oxin, more precisely, the whereas; the same dose may not polychlorinated significantly affect an adult mother. dibenzodioxins (PCDDs), among which 2,3,7,8- no brain tumors in concurrent conEndocrine disrupting compounds are in a variety of chemi- t e t r a c h l o r o d i b e n z o d i o x i n trols. The recent finding are the cal classes, including drugs, pes- ( T C D D ) , a t e t r a chlorinated aspartame molecule has muticides, compounds used in the derivative, is the best known. The tagenic potential and close temcontinued on page 8 plastics industry and in consumer polychlorinated dibenzodioxins, Dioxin poisoning caused the mysterious illness of Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko.
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poral association. Aspartame was introduced into the United States food and beverage markets before the sharp increase in the brain t u m o r s m a l i g n a n c y. h t t p : / / aspatamesafety.com/web/gallery/ brain-tumor-news-conference/ The corporations who stand to profit the most from Aspartame have exercised their power over the truth and information about its dangers since the 1980's. And many people have reported the following side effects or problems from Aspartame: Fibromyalgia Syndrome, with multiple symptoms, the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, dizziness, headaches, and menstrual problems. ‘Aspartame Disease’ mimics or worsens the following diseases: Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's disease, Lupus, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS), Diabetes with c o m p l i c a t i o n s , E p i l e p s y,
Alzheimer's disease, Birth Defects, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lymphomalyme Disease, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD and ADHD),
Panic Disorder, Depression, and other Psychological Disorders. There is even evidence which show a relationship between Aspartame and MS. Think of the millions of children and pregnant women who ingest this daily. http://www.associated content.com/article/1045839/ aspartame_dangers_and_ side_effects_pg3.html?cat=5
and global warming.
Ozone depletion is greatly reduced without chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) which were formerly used. But its global warming potential can be 1000 or more, meaning it has 1000 times greater effect on global warming than does carbon dioxide. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Polystyrene http://www.high countryconservation.org/pdf/ May I remind you this chemical T h e % 2 0 F a c t s % 2 0 o n % 2 0 company (MONSANTO) has Styrofoam.pdf now patented our food. May I remind you this chemical company (MONSANTO) has now patented our food. Environmental: Discarded polystyrene does not biodegrade for hundreds of years and is resistant to photolysis. Very little Resistance: Glyphosate is one of waste discarded in modern en- a number of herbicides used by the gineered landfills biodegrades. United States government to Degradation can creates poten- spray Colombian coca fields. It tially harmful liquid and gas- has been reported there has been eous by-products so today’s widespread application of landfills are designed to mini- glyphosate in attempts to destroy mize any contact with air and coca crops, in South America, water which which have resulted in the develmeans there is opment of glyphosate-resistant no degrada- strains. tion of waste which contami- Productivity: In 1999, a review of nates ground- Round-Up Ready soybean crops water and the found, compared to the top conventional varieties, a 6.7% lower air for years. yield. ”Superweeds”are resistant P o l y s t y r e n e to the herbicide glyphosate is foam is a ma- known as Round-Up, this herbicide jor component of plastic de- has blanketed millions of hectares bris in the of cropland through much of the ocean, where U.S. and areas of southwestern it becomes toxic to marine Ontario. This means farmers life. Extruded may no longer be able to reap polystyrene is the benefits of Round-Up Ready u s u a l l y m a d e w i t h hy- crops, which are genetically drochlorofluorocarbon blowing modified to be resistant to agents which have negative glyphosate, allowing farmers to e f f e c t s o n o z o n e depletion continued on page 9
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control weeds with the herbicide without harming the crops themselves. http://www.cbc.ca/ n e w s / technology/story/2011/10/07/ technology-superweedsroundup-ready.html A 2009 study on rats found Round-Up is a potent endocrine disrupter. The endocrine disrupting compounds are the same as hormone disrupters. They are in a variety of chemical classes, including drugs, pesticides, compounds used in the plastics industry and in consumer products, industrial by-products, Round-Up (in rats) and pollutants.
Polystyrene foam i s a major component of plastic debris in the ocean
â€?Superweedsâ€? resistant to the herbicide glyphosate, also known by the trade name Round-Up, have infested millions of hectares of cropland through much of the U.S. and areas of southwestern Ontario.
WHAT IS BT B. thuringiensis
Bt stands for B. thuringiensis which is closely related to B.cereus, a soil bacterium, and B.anthracis, the cause of anthrax. Upon sporulation, B. thuringiensis forms crystals of proteinaceous insecticidal d-endotoxins (called crystal proteins or Cry proteins), which are encoded by cry genes. In most strains of B. thuringiensis, the
pH of their digestive tract activates the toxin. Cry toxin gets inserted into the insect gut cell membrane, forming a pore. The pore results in cell lyses and eventual death of the insect. B. thuringiensis-based insecticides are often applied as liquid sprays on crop plants where the insecticide must be ingested to be effective. The solubilized toxins are thought to form pores in the midgut epithelium of susceptible larvae. Recent research has suggested the midgut bacteria of susceptible larvae are requ i r e d f o r B. thuringiensis insecticidal activity. Typically, exposure occurs through the consumption of plant parts, such as pollen or plant debris, or through Bt ingestion by their predatory food choices.
cry genes are located on the plasmid. Cry toxins have specific activities against insect species of the orders Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies), Diptera (flies and mosquitoes), Coleoptera (beetles), Hymenoptera (wasps, bees, ants and sawflies) and nematodes. Thus, B. thuringiensis serves as an important reservoir of Cry toxins for production of biological insecticides and insect-resistant genetically modified crops (gmo).
The most publicized problem associated with Bt crops is the claim that pollen from Bt-maize could kill the monarch butterfly. Bt containing maize genes were contaminating maize in its center of origin. Colony collapse disorder (CCD) is affecting bee hives all over North America. Initial speculation on possible causes ranged from new parasites to pesticide used on the Bt resistant transgenic crops.
When insects ingest toxin crystals, the alkaline It has been found Bt-Cotton is killing India's sheep.
Bt-Cotton The Translation of A Hindi Poem by Dr. Sudhir Kumar Kaura -
The street tree dried up... There was a perch of birds in it, There was a dusk and dawn in it.
B. thuringiensis (Bt)
diversity, no more organics, no more true seeds, no more true feed for animals which some eat, nor are we left with true food for ourselves. THIS IS AN EMERGENCY. Let us start with the story of Bt-Cotton.
Which was a world in itself, There now is a desert . Each and Every bird of the Street, Now Sobs, The street tree dried up?
Sookh Gaya Wo Ped Gali Ka share words of sorrow, a world inside a world which dies. What affect does the loss of this world have on the larger world. The answer is we are all connected, as one world dies we all die. This is exactly what is happening with genetic engineering. It does not clear up, pass by, become absorbed, nor will it be forgotten. GENETIC ENGINEERING is self-replicating. It has the capability of becoming all. Which means no more bio-
Bacteria are present in most habitats on Earth, growing in soil, acidic hot springs, radioactive waste, water, and deep in the Earth's crust, as well as in organic matter and the live bodies of plants and animals.
Answer to 10 Questions by Rhonda Varsane (Founder and COO of www.goodnewpress.net magazine report.) By Dr. Sudhir Kumar Kaura Question 1: Sudhir as a biotechnologist you should be promoting GM Crops like Bt-Cotton, why are you interested in teaching others of the harmful effects of Bt-Cotton instead? Answer: Actually, I could easily correlate the initial continued on page 12
ment, soil, water, air and huresearch by Dr. Pusztai on GM mans? plants which suggested that GM food is harmful. I thought this non- Answer: My concern is as sense has to be stopped. So I Hydrogen Cyanide (HCN) is started reacting and that reaction already proved to be in Bttook me further to the fields and I Cotton, HCN may greatly poldiscovered that Bt-Cotton, a GM luting our environment. Also, Plants are playing havoc with the the other alien metabolites which may have formed in lives of animals and humans. Bt-Cotton, due to geQuestion 2: n e t i c How did modificayou come to tion are the conclusion Bt-Cotton has a deadly effect also of concern, for there may be no genetic informaon animals? tion on this which we can use Answer: Evidence is in the fields, to deal with people and go there. Those who say there is other creatures subjected to So the GMO cotton is highly allergenic Sudhir? lack of evidence, for them I must Bt-Cotton. More then allergy, it is killing people. Just think if the intestines, heart and lung muscles are affected say, they should just get their minds by this poison, like the skin is affected here in cleared of their daily burden of Question 4: the photograph, will the person/animal survive? work to see how quickly sheep and Has there been any offer or bribe other animals die after eating Bt- from any company to write for or against Bt-Cotton or Monsanto or its was sitting on a ‘fast unto death’ Cotton leaves and twigs. against illegal planting of Bt-Cotton in the Hisar District when a local dealer of Bt-Cotton asked me if I needed, any facility (like a tent, etc.) to help in my protest against Bt-Cotton. continued from page 11
GM food is harmful
Question 5: How has media helped the campaign against Bt-Cotton?
associate companies? Question 3: What is your concern about effects of Bt-Cotton on the environ- Answer: No, never. But, once I
Answer: Media has helped a lot, but, still media has done only a fraction of what it can do. Actually media is dependent largely on advertisements from government and companies who are dealing with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) crops and related products and services. So media, in order to survive, has not played the role it should play. continued on page 13
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Question 9: Can you please help us understand why you are so critical about government, and the credibility of company’s? After all they follow the law, don’t they?
working on the issue of mass murder by governments, companies and organizations by the use of BtCotton. This he has studied for more than ten years. Dr. Kaura is a scientist with a Ph.D. in Genetics and MSc in Biotechnology. He has a BSc (bachelors degree) in Forestry, and campaigns for farmers’ rights. Please visit him at www.savefarmer.info
Answer: They make the laws to take care of their good and/or bad businesses. This is already He is presently directing and producvery well known.
ing films he has developed, on global problems, such as Corruption; 'May Do Something' - A Film Against Corruption and editing of Film 'Dance Without Life?'
Question10: Why did you try to eat BtCotton leaves/twigs when you knew they were poisonous; containing A True Story of Children Who: Hydrogen Cyanide, a Could Not Excel in Education, Could Not Improve Their Grades known deadly poison? Question 6: Why are you so passionate when Answer: I wanted to prove govyou speak about the deadly ef- ernment has heart. They stopped me from eating Bt-Cotton leaves fects of Bt-Cotton? when I threaten to commit suicide Answer: Because passion arises eating Bt-Cotton leaves. They conwhen a person thinks they have fiscated the Bt-Cotton leaves and even took very little power. me into police custody. Question 7: You say government reports So this proves the govshow Bt-Cotton contains Hydro- ernment is very knowlgen Cyanide. Why doesn’t the edgeable Bt-Cottonc an kill humans. I heard regovernment make it public? sponsible senior citizen Answer: Governments are mass of villages near my city. murderers, this has been proven Two children died remany times. An example is cently after eating twigs of nuclear bombs, where they now, Bt-Cotton. While Animal can agree to their crime. Husbandry Department of Government of Andhra Question 8: Pradesh State in India alYou say often companies and gov- ready issued a press ernments are mass murdering warning to farmers/sheppeople with Bt-Cotton. herds not to graze animals on Bt-Cotton plants Answer: Yes, they are mass mur- as it kills the animals. dering, not only the people but the Dr. Sudhir Kumar Kaura is animals and the environment.
Could Not Care for Their Health Could Not Concentrate Could Not Take Care of Their Duties Could Not Boost Their Confidence ...until they found, the Indian Classical Dance 'Kathak' is The Solution To Their Problems.
(c) Copyright Barry Blackman 2011.jpg
What’s a GMO?
lyfish genes (Stanford University) · Tobacco engineered with
By Jeffrey Smith
w w w . r e s p o n s i b l e t e c h n o l o g y. o r g / g m o - b a s i c s / f a q s A GMO (genetically modified organism) is the result of a laboratory process of taking genes from one species and inserting them into another in an attempt to obtain a desired trait or characteristic, hence they are also known as transgenic organisms. This process may be called either Genetic Engineering (GE) or Genetic Modification (GM); they are one and the same. But haven’t growers been grafting trees, breeding animals, and hybridizing seeds for years? Genetic engineering is completely different from traditional breeding and carries unique risks. In traditional breeding it is possible to mate a pig with another pig to get a new variety, but is not possible to mate a pig with a potato or a mouse. Even when species that may seem to be closely related do succeed in breeding, the offspring are usually infertile—a horse, for example, can mate with a donkey, but the offspring (a mule) is sterile. With genetic engineering, scientists can breach species barriers set up by nature. For example, they have spliced fish genes into tomatoes. The results are plants (or animals) with traits would be virtually impossible to obtain with natural processes, such as crossbreeding or grafting.
What combinations have been tried? It is now possible for plants to be engineered with genes taken from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans. Scientists have worked on some interesting combinations: ·
Spider genes were inserted into goat DNA, in hopes that the goat milk would contain spider web protein for use in bulletproof vests.
Cow genes turned pigskins into cowhides.
Jellyfish genes lit up pigs’ noses in the dark.
Artic fish genes gave tomatoes and strawberries tolerance to frost.
Potatoes that glowed in the dark when they needed watering.
Human genes were inserted into corn to produce spermicide.
Current field trials include: · Corn engineered with human genes (Dow)
lettuce genes (University of Hawaii) · Rice engineered with human genes (Applied Phytologics) · Corn engineered with hepatitis virus genes (Prodigene) What is a gene?
· Sugarcane engineered with human genes (Hawaii Agriculture Research Center)
Every plant and animal is made of cells, each of which has a center called a nucleus. Inside every nucleus there are strings of DNA, half of which is
· Corn engineered with jel-
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normally inherited from the mother and half from the father. Short sequences of DNA are called genes. These genes operate in complex networks that are finely regulated to enable the processes of living organisms to happen in the right place and at the right time. How is genetic engineering done? Because living organisms have natural barriers to protect th e m s e l v e s a g a i n s t t h e introduction of DNA from a different species, genetic engineers have to find ways to force the DNA from one organism into another. These methods include: ·
and is prone to dangerous side effects. Economic interests have Current understanding of the way pushed it onto the market too soon. in which DNA works is extremely limited, and any change to the DNA Moreover, molecular marker technologies - so called Marker Assisted Selection (MAS) used with conventional breeding shows much promise for developing improved crop varieties, without the potentially dangerous side effects of direct genetic modification. of DNA in an organism.
GMOs in Foods: What kinds of traits have been added to food crops? The foreign DNA is on the flecks of gold which is blasted in through the cell membrane by use a gene gun. You can clearly see the nucleus of the cell and the dangerous breaks in the cell lining.
Using viruses or bacteria to “infect” animal or plant cells with the new DNA. of an organism at any point can have side ef· Coating DNA onto tiny fects that are imposmetal pellets, and firing it sible to predict or conwith a special gun into the trol. The new gene cells. could, for example, alter · Injecting the new DNA into chemical reactions fertilized eggs with a very within the cell or disturb cell functions. This could fine needle. lead to instability, the · Using electric shocks to creation of new toxins or create holes in the allergens, and changes membrane covering in nutritional value. sperm, and then forcing the new DNA into the sperm Does the biotech industry hold any through these holes. promise? Is genetic engineering precise? Genetic modification of plants is The technology of genetic engi- not the only biotechnology. The neering is currently very crude. It study of DNA does hold promise for is not possible to insert a new many potential applications, includgene with any accuracy, and the ing medicine. However, the current transfer of new genes can dis- technology of GM foods is based rupt the finely controlled network on obsolete information and theory,
Although there are attempts to increase nutritional benefits of productivity, the two main
traits which have been added to date are herbicide tolerance and the ability of the plant to produce its own pesticide. These results have no health benefit, only economic benefit. Herbicide tolerance continued on page 17
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lets the farmer spray weed-killer directly on the crop without killing it. Crops such as Bt-Cotton produce pesticides inside the plant. This kills or deters insects, saving the farmer from having to spray pesticides. The plant s themselves are toxic, and not just
resistant to antibiotics to help them find out which cells have taken-up the new DNA. These marker genes are resistant to antibiotics which are commonly used in human and veterinary medicine. Some scientists believe eating GE food containing these marker genes could encourage gut bacteria to develop antibiotic resistance. What are the problems created through genetic engineering of food and crops?
Currently commercialized GM crops in the U.S. include soy (91%), cotton (88%), canola (88%), corn (85%), Hawaiian papaya (more than 50%), zucchini and yellow squash (small amount), and tobacco (Quest® brand). About half of the sugar beets grown for sugar in 2008 were GM and current projections are which about 90% grown in 2009 will be GM. W h a t a r e o t h e r sources of GMOs? Products derived from the above, including oils from all four, soy protein, soy lecithin, cornstarch, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup among others. Also:
· meat, eggs, and dairy Genetic products from animals that engineers have eaten GM feed (and continually the majority of the GM corn encounter and soy is used for feed); unintended side effects – · dairy products from cows GM plants injected with rbGH (a GM create toxins, hormone); react to GMR-3xP3-reef fluorescent protein marker gene expression in weather · food additives, enzymes, transgenic Drosophila. GMR-3xP3-DsRed, GMR-3xP3-ZsGreen and flavorings, and processing GMR-3xP3-AmCyan marker gene expression in a yellow white (y w) diff e r e n t l y, contain too agents, including the background observed with white light (A) or with red (B), green (C) or cyan (D) filter sets. Sarkar et al. BMC Biotechnology 2006 6:27 much or too sweetener aspartame doi:10.1186/1472-6750-6-27 little nutrients, (NutraSweet®) and rennet bec o m e used to make hard to insects. Farmers in India, who diseased or malfunction and die. cheeses; and let their sheep graze on Bt cotton When foreign genes are inserted, · honey and bee pollen that plants after the harvest, saw dormant genes may be activated may have GM sources of thousands of sheep die! or the functioning of genes altered, pollen creating new or unknown proteins, Why do genetically engineered or increasing or decreasing the The Health Dangers: foods have antibiotic resistant output of existing proteins inside genes in them? the plant. The effects of consuming What are the potential dangers The techniques used to transfer these new combinations of of eating GM foods? genes have a very low success proteins are unknown. There are a number of dangers rate, so the genetic engineers continued on page 18 attach “marker genes” which are What foods are GM?
US population, it might take solutely sure if genetic engineeryears or decades before we ing was the cause. identified the cause. What about GM hormones in What indications are there GM milk? foods are causing problems? Milk from rBGH-treated cows conHasn’t research shown GM Soon after GM soy was introduced tains an increased amount of the foods to be safe? t o t h e U K , s o y a l l e r g i e s hormone IGF-1, which is one of the continued from page 17
which broadly fall into the categories of potential toxins, allergens, carcinogens, new diseases, antibiotic resistant diseases, and nutritional problems.
No. The only feeding study done with humans showed that GMOs survived inside the stomach of the people eating GMO food. No follow-up studies were done. Various feeding studies in animals have resulted in potentially precancerous cell growth, damaged immune systems, smaller brains, livers, and testicles, partial atrophy or increased density of the liver, odd shaped cell nuclei and other unexplained anomalies, false pregnancies and higher death rates. But aren’t the plants chemically the same, whether or not they are GM? Most tests can’t determine the differences at the level of the DNA. And, even if they appear to be the same, eyewitness reports from all over North American describe how several types of animals, including cows, pigs, geese, elk, deer, squirrels, and rats, when given a skyrocketed by 50 percent. In choice, avoid eating GM foods. March 2001, the Center for Disease Control reported that food Haven’t people been eating GM is responsible for twice the number foods without any ill effect? of illnesses in the U.S. compared to estimates just seven years earlier. The biotech industry says that This increase roughly corresponds millions have been eating GM to the period when Americans have foods without ill effect. This is been eating GM food. misleading. No one monitors human health impacts of GM Without follow-up tests, which f o o d s . I f t h e f o o d s w e r e neither the industry or governcreating health problems in the ment are doing, we can’t be ab-
highest risk factors associated with breast and prostate cancer, but no one is tracking this in relation to cancer rates. Why do genetically engineered foods have antibiotic resistant genes in them? The techniques used to transfer genes have a very low success rate, so the genetic engineers continued on page 19
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attach “marker genes” that are resistant to antibiotics to help them to find out which cells have taken up the new DNA. That way scientist can then douse the experimental GMO in antibiotics and if it lives, they have successful altered the genes. The marker genes are resistant to antibiotics which are commonly used in human and veterinary medicine. Some scientists believe eating GE food containing these marker genes could encourage gut bacteria to develop antibiotic resistance. But is there any documented instance of adverse effects of GMOs on people? One epidemic was rare, serious, and fast-acting, and therefore more easily discovered. Called EMS, it was traced to a GM brand of the food supplement L-tryptophan. In the 1980’s, the contaminated brand killed about 100 Americans and caused sickness or disability in about 5,000-10,000 others. Why are children particularly susceptible to the effects of GM foods? Children face the greatest risk from the potential dangers of GM foods for the same reasons they also face the greatest risk from other hazards like pesticides and radiation, these include:
tible to nutritional problems. GM crops on the environment? · Children are in danger from Studies have shown that pesticide antibiotic resistant diseases. producing crops contaminate nearby streams, possibly affecting How dangerous, or potentially aquatic life. They may harm bendangerous, are GM foods rela- eficial insects too. tive to other food dangers, e.g., pesticides, irradiation, addi- As weeds adapt to herbicides, tives, preservatives? they develop resistance and evolve into what are called “super weeds.” When that happens, Since so little research has been herbicide use increases and the done on the safety of GM foods, benefits of herbicide resistant it is not possible to rank its risks. crops are diminished, if not lost. Unlike the others, GM crops C a n t h e g r o w i n g o f G M persist in the environment, and crops effect nearby crops? Pollen from GM crops can contaminate nearby crops of the same type, except for soy, which does not c r o s s pollinate. In fact, virtually all h e r i t a g e varieties of corn in Mexico (the origin of all corn) have been found to ha v e s o m e contamination. Canola and may continue to pose risks to c o t t o n a l s o , cross-pollinate. health for centuries. Why is there an effort to create In addition, transfer of GM-free agricultural zones? transgenes to gut bacteria may Using identity preservation (IP), present long-term chronic farmers keep crop varieties sepaexposure, since the foreign rate from others to meet purity reprotein may continued to be quirements of their buyers. Conproduced inside of us after we no tamination is a key challenge to IP longer consume the GM food. growers. Unwanted varieties may Dangers to the environment cross-pollinate or get mixed up in the seed, harvest equipment, or and traditional agriculture: during storage and transport.
Young, fast-developing bodies are influenced most.
Children are more susceptible to allergies.
Children are more suscep tible to problems with milk. Children are more suscep What is the effect of growing
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standards, contamination by cross- ing for GMO content. Some farm regions create entire pollination is not disallowed. Companies began to enroll their zones which exclude unwanted Organic canola farmers in products in the spring of 2008 and varieties, where all the farms, and Canada sued biotech companies, the first “non-GMO” seals for comif possible all collection and dissince cross-pollination has made panies who fully comply with the tribution points, only handle approved grain. continued from page 19
Have any local efforts in the US been successful? There are local efforts throughout the U.S. which are raising public awareness, changing laws, and creating commitments to non-GM ingredients. Most n o t a b l y, v o t e r s i n Mendocino and Marin Counties in California passed a ballot initiative to ban GM crops, November 9, 2011 California Ballot Initiative to Require Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods, Officials in Trinity County and Arcata, California have passed ordinances banning the outdoor cultivation of GM crops as it impossible for them to grow well. But since then, a California organic, non-GM canola. law was passed prohibiting this type of local initiative. Is the Natural Foods Industry In March 2008, voters at the Montville, doing something to insure the Maine, annual town meeting purity of its products? overwhelmingly passed a binding ordinance banning the cultivation of Right now there are efforts underGM crops in their community. way for an industry wide clean up Is it possible organically of foods labeled organic and nongrown crops can be infected GMO. A handful of noble companies took it upon themselves to by GM genes? ensure consumers could rest asYes. Organic standards do not sured their organic and non-GMO allow the use of GM seeds and foods are truly free of modified therefore steps are taken to try to genes. They established The Nonprevent contamination. Tests are GMO Project, which has created not required, although some vigilant an industry-wide consensus organic companies require them. based set of standards and a third A c c o r d i n g t o t h e o r g a n i c party verification process with test-
protocols were issued in 2009. Government Regulation: Q. Hasn’t the FDA said that GM foods are safe? The biotech industry claims the FDA has thoroughly evaluated GM foods and found them safe. This is untrue. The FDA does not require safety studies. Instead, if the makers of the GM foods claim they are safe, the agency has no further questions. Q. Didn’t the scientists at the FDA study GM foods themselves? continued on page 21
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Agency scientists did warn GM No. The FDA relies solely on foods might create toxins, information supplied by the allergies, nutritional problems, and biotech companies. new diseases that might be difficult to identify. Internal FDA memos Q. What kind of information did reveal that the scientists urged the companies provide? their superiors to require long-term Calgene, the makers of the first safety testing to catch these hard GM crop, the FlavrSavr tomato, to detect side effects.
try manipulation and political collusion â€“ not sound science â€“ was the driving force. The FDA official in charge ignored all warnings of the FDA staff scientists. The official, a former outside attorney for Monsanto, was a political appointee specifically to a new FDA post on GM policy, and left shortly after to become vice president at Monsanto. Q. Why arenâ€™t foods with GMOs at least labeled here? The same political influence and money that got them past the FDA has prevented any labeling laws from being passed. However, President Obama had indicated support for labeling laws during his campaign. Q. So do the biotech companies always get everything they want. No. The biotech companies have fallen far short of their goals due to consumer resistance. The GM potatoes and tomatoes were taken off the market.
The rules of the World Trade Organization (which the US and was the only company to submit Q. What did the FDA do about other 150 countries are members detailed raw data from animal these concerns? of) explicitly prohibit countries feeding studies to the FDA. The Nothing was done which would from banning GM products. rest provide only summaries and protect consumers. In fact, in the Therefore, countries which ban conclusions. Industry research case of genetically modified can be rigged; data often is bovine growth hormone, some them do so at great risk. omitted or distorted. FDA scientists who expressed Some countries have banned GM In the FlavrSavr tests, lab rats concerns were harassed, stripped crops entirely or not approved refused to eat the tomatoes and had of responsibilities, or fired. The certain GM crops are approved to be force-fed. Several developed remaining whistleblowers had to elsewhere. stomach lesions, and seven of forty write an anonymous letter to died within two weeks. Still, the Congress complaining of fraud and In the US, GM wheat was not aptomato was approved, but has since conflict of interest at the agency proved, when wheat farmers been taken off the market. Q. How could the government banned together, because they were concerned contamination Q. Based on the information approve dangerous foods? would seriously hurt exports. So the supplied, did the FDA scientist have concerns? A close examination reveals indus- reason was economic, not safety.
Aspartame (also called) AminoSweet®,NutraSweet® EqualSpoonful®,Canderel®, BeneVia®, E951 baking powder canola oil (rapeseed oil) caramel color cellulose citric acid cobalamin (Vitamin B12) colorose condensed milk confectioners sugar corn flour corn masa corn meal corn oil corn sugar corn syrup cornstarch cottonseed oil cyclodextrin cystein dextrin dextrose diacetyl diglyceride erythritol Equal food starch fructose (any form) glucose glutamate glutamic acid
glycerides glycerin glycerol glycerol monooleate glycine hemicellulose high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) hydrogenated starch hydrolyzed vegetable protein inositol inverse syrup inversol invert sugar isoflavones lactic acid lecithin leucine lysine malitol malt malt syrup malt extract maltodextrin maltose mannitol methylcellulose milk powder milo starch modified food starch modified starch mono and diglycerides monosodium glutamate (MSG)
oleic acid Phenylalanine phytic acid protein isolate shoyu sorbitol soy flour soy isolates soy lecithin soy milk soy oil soy protein soy protein isolate soy sauce starch stearic acid sugar (unless specified as cane sugar) tamari tempeh teriyaki marinades textured vegetable protein threonine tocopherols (vitamin E) tofu trehalose triglyceride vegetable fat vegetable oil vitamin B12 vitamin E whey whey powder xanthan gum
Monsanto's genetic engineering trials in India are dangerous and anti-democratic. The US transnational, Monsanto, is currently carrying out field tests of its genetically engineered crops in forty locations in India. The manner in which these tests are being conducted violates all democratic and ecological norms. The absence of a proper regulatory framework and a proper regulating agency both nationally and internationally to deal with ecological risks associated with the new technology only serves
to reinforce the call made by citizens worldwide for a fiveyear moratorium on genetic engineering in agriculture. ________________________________________ MONSANTO is establishing its empire in the agricultural sector in India at the cost of democracy and ecology. This has once again been proven by the manner in which Monsanto began trials of its genetically engineered crops in India. Even the governments of the
ONE OF MILLIONS states where the trials were being carried out were kept in the dark by Monsanto and the Department of Biotechnology. Public participation in decisions about whether trials can be carried out has not even been considered, although all environmentally destructive activity is supposed to be notified and cleared only after a public hearing. Genetic engineering has serious ecological risks. It is the reason article 19.3 of the Convention on Biological Diversity called for a Biosafety Protocol, which is currently being developed through international negotiations. This is also the reason France has banned all genetically engineered crops and the UK has responded to the call of citizens by having a one-year moratorium on release of genetically engineered crops. Most recently, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), the world's largest body for organic agriculture called for a ban on genetic engineering from agriculture, because it poses hazards without being necessary for the development of agriculture. Risks of Monsanto's toxic plants. Monsanto's present trials in India are being carried out on its genetically engineered 'Bollgard' Cotton or Bt-Cotton which has genes from a bacterium engineered into it so the plant produces its own pesticide, contrary to Monsanto's claim. Bt-Cotton is not 'pest-resistant' but a pesticide-producing plant. The severe ecological risks of crops genetically engineered to produce toxins include the threat posed to beneficial species such as birds, bees, butterflies and beetles which are necessary for pollination and for pest control though pest-
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predator balance. Nothing is yet known of the impact on human health when toxin producing Bt crops such as potato and corn are eaten, or on animal health when oilcake from Bt-Cotton or fodder from Bt-Corn is consumed as cattle feed. Further, while pesticide-producing plants are being offered as an alternative to spraying pesticides, they will in fact create the need for more pesticides since pests are rapidly evolving resistance to genetically engineered Bt crops. The widespread use of Bt containing crops could accelerate the development of insect pest resistance to Bt which is used for organic pest
moth, Indian meal moth, tobacco budworm, Colorado potato beetle and two species of mosquitoes. The genetically engineered Bt crops continuously express the Bt toxin throughout its growing season, long term exposure to Bt toxins promotes development of resistance in insect populations, this kind of exposure could lead to selection for resistance in all stages of the insect pest on all parts of the plant for the entire season. Due to this risk of pest resistance, the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) offers only conditional and temporary registration of varieties producing Bt Monsanto's technology will therefore
control. Already eight species of insects have developed resistance to Bt toxins, either in the field or in the laboratory, including diamond back
destroy beneficial biodiversity and toxics in Bt-crops. To get the full ecocreate super-pests both through wip- logical impact of biodiversity deing out pest predators and by creat- struction and genetic pollution continued on page 25 ing pests which are resistant to pes-
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ticides. While Monsanto's pesticideproducing Bt crops are not based on the terminator technology, which terminates germination of seed so that farmers cannot save it, they are in an ecological sense a terminator technology which terminates biodiversity and the possibilities of ecological and sustainable agriculture based on the conservation of biodiversity. The ecological impact of BtCotton cannot be assessed on the basis of a three-month trial. The trial needs to be carried out over 2-3 growing seasons and impact needs to be assessed on all organisms, including soil microorganisms which have been known to be killed by the
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caused by genetically engineered crops, the following steps are necessary: â€˘ a full biodiversity assessment of the ecosystem in which the genetically modified organism (GMO) is to be introduced. â€˘ assessment of the impact of genetically engineered crop on diverse species including pollinators and soil microorganisms â€˘ assessment of the risks of transfer of genetically engineered traits to non-engineered crops through horizontal gene transfer and pollination. None of these essential steps for assessing the ecological risks of GMOs has been carried out in Monsanto's present trials with Bollgard cotton in Karnataka. When Monsanto states that it has had 93% success, it is referring to agronomic performance, not to ecological safety. Further, since the Bt technology is aimed at pesticide production, not yield increases, Monsanto is deliberately distorting facts when it refers to yield-increasing characteristics of Bollgard cotton. Monsanto is also misinforming the public when it states pesticide-producing plants mean no pesticide needs to be sprayed. The primary justification for the genetic engineering of Bt into crops is this will reduce the use of insecticides. One of the Monsanto brochures had a picture of a few worms and states, 'You will see these in your cotton and it is O.K. Don't spray'. However, in Texas, Monsanto faces a lawsuit filed by 25 farmers over Bt-Cotton planted on 18,000 acres which suffered cotton bollworm damage and on which farmers had to use pesticides in spite of corporate propaganda genetic engineering meant an end to the pesticide era.
The inadequacies of present biosafety regulations. The clearance of Monsanto's trials with toxic plants without the democratic consent of concerned governments, from state to local level, and democratic participation of the public in biosafety decisions reveals the loopholes and inadequacies in the present biosafety regulations from both the democratic perspective and the ecological perspective. The biosafety regulations need to undergo dramatic changes through increasing public participation in decisions related to genetic engineering. The clearance for trials of genetically engineered crops and their release needs to be given not just by the central government but by all levels of government, from the state to the local level. Further before any clearance is granted for trials of a particular genetically engineered
hearings need to be organized in the specific villages and districts and states where the trials and introductions are planned. The scientific framework of the ecological impact of genetically engineered crops on biosafety, ecosystem health and public health also needs to be upgraded for dealing with the impact of field trials and deliberate releases under diverse ecological contexts existing in India. If Monsanto and the Indian government fail to fulfill these ecological and democratic criteria for field trials of genetically engineered crops, we will have further evidence the promotion of genetic engineering by corporations like Monsanto can only be based on dictatorial, distorted and coercive methods. In such context, genetic engineering in agriculture must necessarily be antinature and anti-people. Urgent policy imperatives 1. Monsanto's trials for ge-
crop the application for trials should netically engineered crops in forty lobe notified to the public as part of cations in India should be immedicontinued on page 26 the citizen's right to know. Public
as is clear from the US situation. ately halted since they violate all eco- Monsanto itself states, â€˜Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the logical and democratic norms. 2. A five-year moratorium safety of biotech food'. 'Our interest should be introduced on all commer- is in selling as much of it as possible. continued from page 25
cialization of genetically engineered crops both through imports and through seed production and distribution in India while full and adequate ecological and regulatory frameworks for assessing the ecological impact of genetically engineered crops and public participation are evolved. 3. The regulatory framework for genetic engineering is not just inadequate in India. It is inadequate worldwide. In the US, trials for such crops do not have any ecological dimensions. They only assess agronomic performance. The data from the hundreds of US trials is basically 'non-data from non-trials' in the ecological context. 4. Biotechnology and genetic engineering in agriculture are evolving in a total regulatory vacuum
Assuring its safety is the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) job'. The FDA does not look at the safety of Bt-crops since such crops are treated as a pesticide. The EPA, which is supposed to look at the safety of pesticides, treats genetically engineered crops which produce pesticide as conventional crops and hence does not look at the safety of such crops either. There is, therefore, no agency guaranteeing the safety of genetically engineered crops. It is to fill this policy vacuum in environmental safeguards which citizens worldwide are calling for a five-year moratorium on genetic engineering in agriculture. (Third World Resurgence No. 100/ 101, Dec 98/Jan 99) When Prince Charles claimed thousands of Indian farm-
ers were killing themselves after using GM crops, he was branded a scaremonger. In fact, as this chilling dispatch reveals, it's even WORSE than he feared. The children were inconsolable. Mute with shock and fighting back tears, they huddled beside their mother as friends and neighbors prepared their father's body for cremation on a blazing bonfire built on the cracked, barren fields near their home. The crisis, branded the 'GM Genocide' by campaigners, was highlighted recently when Prince Charles claimed the issue of GM had become a 'global moral question' and the time had come to end its unstoppable march. Speaking by video link to a conference in the Indian capital, Delhi, he infuriated bio-tech leaders and some politicians by condemning 'the truly appalling and tragic rate of small farmer suicides in India, stemming... from the failure of many GM crop varieties'. Ranged against the Prince are powerful GM lobbyists and prominent politicians, who claim genetically modified crops have transformed Indian agriculture, providing greater yields than ever before. The rest of the world, they insist, should embrace 'the future' and continued on page 27
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follow suit. What I found was deeply disturbing and has profound implications for countries, including Britain, debating whether to allow the planting of seeds manipulated by scientists to circumvent the laws of nature. For official figures from the Indian Ministry of Agriculture do indeed confirm in a huge humanitarian crisis, more than 1,000 farmers kill themselves here each month. Simple, rural people, they are dying slow, agonizing deaths. Most swallow insecticide - a pricey substance they were promised they would not need when they were coerced into growing expensive GM crops. It seems many are massively in debt to local money-lenders, having over-borrowed to purchase GM seed. Pro-GM experts claim that it is rural poverty, alcoholism, drought and 'agrarian distress' which is the real reason for the horrific toll. Village after village, families told how they had fallen into debt after being persuaded to buy GM seeds instead of traditional cotton seeds. The price difference is staggering: ÂŁ10 for 100 grams of GM seed, compared with less than ÂŁ10 for 1,000 times more traditional seeds. But GM salesmen and government officials had promised farmers these were 'magic seeds' - with better crops which would be free from parasites and insects. Indeed, in a bid to promote the uptake of GM seeds, traditional varieties were banned from many government seed banks. The authorities had a vested interest in promoting this new biotechnology. Desperate to escape
the grinding poverty of the post-independence years, the Indian government had agreed to allow new bio-tech giants, such as the U.S. market-leader Monsanto, to sell their new seed creations. In return for allowing western companies access to the second most populated country in the world, with more than one billion people, India was granted International Monetary Fund loans in the Eighties and
the amount of water. This has proved a matter of life and death. With rains failing for the past two years, many GM crops have simply withered and died, leaving the farmers with crippling debts and no means of paying them off. Having taken loans from traditional money lenders at extortionate rates, hundreds of thousands of small farmers have faced losing their land as the expensive seeds fail,
Nineties, helping to launch an economic revolution. But while cities such as Mumbai and Delhi have boomed, the farmers' lives have slid back into the dark ages. Though areas of India planted with GM seeds have doubled in two years - up to 17 million acres - many farmers have found there is a terrible price to pay. Far from being 'magic seeds', GM pest-proof 'breeds' of cotton have been devastated by bollworms, a voracious parasite. Nor were the farmers told these seeds require double
while those who could struggle on faced a fresh crisis. When crops failed in the past, farmers could still save seeds and replant them the following year. But with GM seeds they cannot do this. It's because GM seeds contain so-called 'terminator technology', meaning they have been genetically modified so the resulting crops do not produce viable seeds of their own. As a result, farmers have to
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buy new seeds each year at the same punitive prices. For some, this means the difference between life and death. Monsanto has admitted soaring debt was a 'factor in this tragedy'. But pointing out cotton production had doubled in the past seven years, a spokesman added that there are other reasons for the recent crisis, such as 'untimely rain' or drought, and pointed out suicides have always been part of rural Indian life. Officials also point to surveys saying the majority of Indian farmers want GM seeds - no doubt encouraged to do so by aggressive marketing tactics. (A Monsanto spokesman later insisted their seed is 'only double' the price of 'official' non-GM seed - but admitted the difference can be vast if cheaper traditional seeds are sold by 'unscrupulous' merchants, who often also sell 'fake' GM seeds which are prone to disease.) Cruelly, it's the young who are suffering most from the 'GM Genocide' - the very generation supposed to be lifted out of a life of hardship and misery by these 'magic seeds'. Here in the suicide belt of India, the cost of the genetically modified future is murderously high. The Indian peasantry, the largest body of surviving small farmers in the world, today faces a crisis of extinction. Two thirds of India makes its living from the land. The earth is the most generous employer in this country of a billionwhich has farmed this land for more than 5000 years. However, as farming is removed from the earth, the soil, the biodiversity, and the climate, are now linked to global corporations and global markets, and the generosity of the earth is replaced by the greed
'Illegal' or 'non-royalty' Bt cotton seed packet. With no manufacturer's name or address on it. Dubious inpits are a major threat to farmers this season. However, the risks with 'legal' Bt are no less. (Photo by P Sainath)
of corporations, the viability of small farmers and small farms is destroyed. Farmerâ€™s suicides are the most tragic and dramatic symptom of the crisis of survival faced by Indian peasants. 1997 witnessed the first emergence of farm suicides in India. A rapid increase in indebtedness was at the root of farmers taking their lives. Debt is a reflection of a negative economy, a losing economy. Two factors have transformed the positive economy of agriculture into a negative economy for peasants - the rising costs of production and the falling prices of farm
commodities. Both these factors are rooted in the policies of trade liberalization and corporate globalization. In 1998, the World Bank's structural adjustment policies forced India to open up its seed sector to global corporations like Cargill, Monsanto, and Syngenta. The global corporations changed the input economy overnight. Farm saved seeds were replaced by corporate seeds which needed fertilizers and pesticides and could not be saved. As seed saving is prevented by patents as well as by the engicontinued on page 29
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neering of seeds with non-renewable traits, seed has to be bought for every planting season by poor peasants. A free resource available on farms became a commodity which farmers were forced to buy every year. This increases poverty and leads to indebtedness. As debts increase and become unpayable, farmers are compelled to sell kidneys or even commit suicide. More than 25,000 peasants in India have taken their lives since 1997 when the practice of seed saving was transformed under globalization pressures and multinational seed corporations started to take control of the seed supply. Seed saving gives farmers life. Seed monopolies rob farmers of life. The shift from farm saved seed to corporate monopolies of the seed supply is also a shift from biodiversity to monocultures in agriculture. The District of Warangal in A n d h r a Pradesh used to grow diverse legumes, millets, and oilseeds. Seed monopolies created crop monocultures of cotton, leading to disappearance of millions of products of nature's evolution and farmer's breeding. Monocultures and uniformity increase the risks of crop failure as diverse seeds adapted to diverse ecosystems are replaced by rushed introduction of unadapted and often untested seeds into the market. When Monsanto first introduced Bt-Cotton in India in 2002, the farmers lost Rs. One billion due to crop failure. Instead of 1,500 Kg / acre as promised by the company, the harvest was as low as 200 kg. Instead of increased incomes of Rs. 10,000 / acre, farmers ran into
losses of Rs. 6400 / acre. In the state of Bihar, when farm saved corn seed was displaced by Monsanto's hybrid corn, the entire crop failed creating Rs. Four billion losses and increased poverty for already desperately poor farmers. Poor peasants of the South cannot survive seed monopolies. And the crisis of suicides shows how the survival of small farmers is incompatible with the seed monopolies of global corporations. The second pressure Indian farmers are facing is the dramatic fall in prices of farm produce as a result of free trade policies of the W.T.O. The WTO rules for trade in agriculture are essentially rules for dumping. They have allowed an increase in agribusiness subsidies while preventing countries from protecting their farmers from the dumping of artificially cheap produce. High subsidies of $ 400 billion combined with forced removal of import restrictions is a ready-made re c i p e f o r farmer suicides. Global prices have dropped from $ 216 / ton in 1995 to $ 133 / ton in 2001 for wheat, $ 98.2 / ton in 1995 to $ 49.1 / ton in 2001 for cotton, $ 273 / ton in 1995 to $ 178 / ton for soybean. This reduction to half the price is not due to a doubling in productivity but due to an increase in subsidies and an increase in market monopolies controlled by a handful of agribusiness corporations. Thus the U.S government pays $193 per ton to US Soy farmers, which artificially lowers the rice of soy.
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Due to removal of Quantitative Restrictions and lowering of tariffs, cheap soy has destroyed the livelihoods of coconut growers, mustard farmers, producers of sesame, groundnut and soy. Similarly, 25000 cotton producers in the U.S are given a subsidy of $ 4 billion annually. This has brought cotton prices down artificially, allowing the U.S to capture world markets which were earlier accessible to poor African countries such as Burkina, Faso, Benin, Mali.
The rigged prices of globally traded agriculture commodities are stealing incomes from poor peasants of the south. Analysis carried out by the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology shows due to falling farm prices, Indian peasants are loosing $ 26 billion or Rs. 1.2 trillion annually. This is a burden their poverty does not allow them to bear. Hence the epidemic of farmer suicides. India was among the countries which questioned the unfair rules of W.T.O in agriculture and led
denial of any links between free trade and farmers survival. An example of this denial is a Government of Karnataka report on "Farmers suicide in Karnataka A scientific analysis". The report while claiming to be "scientific", makes unscientific â€˜â€™reductionistâ€™ claims the farm suicides have only psychological causes, not economic ones, and identifies alcoholism as the root cause of suicides. Therefore, instead of proposing changes in agricultural policy, the report recommends farmers be required to
The subsidy of $ 230 per acre in the U.S is genocidal for the African farmers. African cotton farmers are loosing $ 250 million every year. This is why small African countries walked out of the Cancun negotiations, leading to the collapse of the W.T.O ministerial.
the G-22 alliance along with Brazil and China. India with other southern countries addressed the need to safeguard the livelihoods of small farmers from the injustice of free trade based on high subsidies and dumping. Yet at the domestic level, official agencies in India are in deep
boost up their self respect (swabhiman) and self-reliance (swavalambam). And ironically, its recommendations for farmer self-reliance are changes in the Karnataka Land Reforms Act to allow larger land hold-
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ings and leasing. These are steps towards the further decimation of small farmers who have been protected by land "ceilings" (an upper limit on land ownership) and policies which only allow peasants and agriculturalists to own agricultural land (part of the land to the tiller policies of the Devraj Urs government). While the "expert committee" report identified "alcoholism" as the main cause for suicides, the figures of this "scientific" claim are inconsistent and do not reflect the survey. On page 10, the report states in one place that 68 percent of the suicide victims were alcoholics. Five lines later it states 17 percent were "alcohol and illicit drinkers". It also states _the majority of suicide victims were small and marginal farmers and the majority had high levels of indebtedness. Yet debt is not identified as a factor leading to suicide.In reports it is stated 105 cases studied among the 3544 suicides which had occurred in five districts during 2000 - 2001, 93 had debts, 54 percent had borrowed from private sources and money lenders. More than 90% of suicide victims were in debt. Yet a table on page 63 has mysteriously reduced debt as a reason for suicide to 2.6%, and equally mysteriously, "suicide victims having a bad habit" has emerged as the primary cause of farmers suicides. The government is desperate to remove farm suicides from economic processes linked to globalization such as rise in indebtedness and increased frequency of crop failure due to higher ecologic vulnerability arising from climate change and drought and higher economic risks due to introduction of untested, unapproved seeds.
This is evident in recommendation no. 188.8.131.52 "The government should launch prosecution on the responsible persons involved in misleading the public and government by providing false information about farmers suicide as crop failure or indebtedness" (page 113 of expert committee report). However, farmers suicides cannot be removed from indebtedness and the economic distress small farmers are facing. Indebtedness is not new. Farmers have always organized for freedom from debt. In the nineteenth century the so call "Deccan Riots" were farmers protests against the debt trap into which they had been pushed to supply cheap cotton to
the textile mills in Britain. In the eighties they formed peasant organizations to fight for debt relief from public debt linked to Green Revolution inputs. However, under globalization, the farmer is loosing her/his social, cultural, economic identity as a producer. A farmer is now a "consumer" of costly seeds and costly chemicals sold by powerful global corporations through powerful landlords and money lenders locally. This combination is leading to corporate feudalism, the most inhumane, brutal and exploitative convergence of global corporate capitalism and local feudalism, in the face of which the farmer as an individual victim feels helpless. The bureaucratic and technocratic
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systems of the state are coming to the rescue of the dominant economic interests by blaming the victim. It is necessary to stop this war against small farmers. It is necessary to re-write the rules of trade in agriculture. It is necessary to change our paradigms of food production. Feeding humanity should not depend on the extinction of farmers and extinction of species. Another agriculture is possible and necessary an agriculture that protects farmers livelihoods, the earth and its biodiversity and public health. If you search the Internet for Monsanto, you will likely come across claims that failure of our
BollgardÂŽ cotton seed products has caused many farmers in India to take their own lives. Not everything you see or read on the Internet is fact and this is a good example. The reality is; phenomena of farmer suicides in India began long before the introduction of Bollgard in 2002. Farmer suicide has numerous causes with most experts agreeing indebtedness is one of the main factors. Farmers unable to repay loans and facing spiraling interest often see suicide as the only solution. In fact, a 2004 survey of cotton farmers in India by the IMRB International showed a 118 per-
cent increase in profit for farmers planting Bollgard over traditional cotton. The same survey showed a 64 percent increase in yield and a 25 percent reduction in pesticide costs. Farmers are Monsantoâ€™s customers, and we are successful only if our customers are successful. Farmers in India have found success with Bollgard. We have many repeat customers and many new ones there every year. According to a recent report in the U.K. Independent, many Indian farmers have lost their farms and land over the past several decades. One of the primary causes is failed investments by farmers who banked heavily on the success of newly introduced GM crops. Multinational biotechnology giants like Monsanto and Syngenta promised farmers GM crops would bring incredible yields at lower costs, and save the country from poverty. But in reality, many of the crops ended up failing, leaving millions of Indian farmers with absolutely nothing. "One farmer every thirty minutes commit suicide in India now, and sometimes three in one family," explained Palagummi Sainath, an Indian journalist, to the U.K. Independent. Left with nowhere to turn and a complete loss of their livelihoods, many farmers are literally drinking their crop pesticides. And since many of these suicides go unreported or unnoticed, actual rates could be even higher than those reported. Years of drought and poor agricultural policy are also to blame for the widespread failure of agriculture in many Indian regions, but it all appears directly connected to the introduction of GMs in the 1990s. The U.K. Independent report states which the Indian government removed cotton subsidies in 1997,
continued on page 33
continued from page 32
which resulted in a significant profit loss for many cotton farmers. But during that same year, GM varieties of cotton were also introduced, which many attribute directly to the crop failures which left the agriculture sector largely in ruin. "Every suicide can be linked to Monsanto," explained scientist Vandana Shiva to the U.K. Independent. After subsidies were lifted, the cost of cotton production rose dramatically, especially when GM cot-
can often try again the next year. But in the GM crop paradigm, the stakes are far higher. Farmers must borrow large sums of money to invest in GM technology. They do so based on promises yields will increase and profits will soar. But when the promises fail to pan out and farmers are unable to keep paying for the expensive pesticides, they typically end up losing everything, including access to reusable heirloom seeds. So, many end up killing themselves because
Art by Stephen Niblock
ton was introduced because it required the application of expensive pesticides and herbicides. Natural varieties of cotton, on the other hand, do not necessarily require chemical applications to grow and flourish. And since farmers can save and reuse natural seeds every year, all is not lost during years of poorer yields because farmers
they literally have nothing left. The introduction of GM agriculture in India shifted the agricultural economy from one of biodiversity to monoculture, which is hugely significant in India's agricultural failures. Rather than grow a variety of different heirloom crops where each respond differently to periodic changes in climate -- which
Indian farmers have always done prior to the introduction of GM crops -- many farmers began to grow only one single GM variety. And when conditions turned out not to be favorable for that crop, both economically and in terms of climate conditions, disaster ensued. In fact, one statistic from a government report in India states more than 90 percent of known suicide victims were in debt, which was largely brought about when farmers took the plunge into GM crops from their former methods. The globalization of agriculture in general has dramatically increased poverty in India, as crop subsidies in other nations began to affect Indian agriculture, driving down crop profits. Indian farmers have lost billions of dollars over the years from having to compete in the global agricultural marketplace rather than grow their own bio-diverse crops to feed their own people. Global powers have literally robbed India of its self reliance and self-sustenance in the name of "ending poverty" by thrusting upon them a system of monopolized agriculture controlled and operated by companies like Monsanto. And unless India somehow secedes from the global system of corruption, conditions will only become increasingly worse for its people.
ROUNDUP and BIRTH
Is the public being kept in the dark?
Roundup link with birth defects – study Photo by Eglantine
Research shows the best-selling herbicide Roundup causes malformations in frog and chicken embryos at doses much lower than those used in agricultural spraying. The malformations found were mostly of the craniofacial and neural crest type, which affect the skull, face, midline, and developing brain and spinal cord. The research team was led by Professor Andrés Carrasco, lead researcher of the Argentine government research body CONICEF. Carrasco was prompted to carry out the study by reports of high rates of birth defects in areas of Argentina dedicated to growing genetically modified Roundup Ready (GM RR) soy. The birth defects seen in humans were of a similar type to those found in Carrasco’s study. GM RR soy is designed to be sprayed with Roundup herbicide, based on the chemical glyphosate. The Roundup Ready gene allows the crop to be sprayed with Roundup herbicide, which kills weeds but allows the crop to survive. It is also important to note GM RR soy and other crops are tolerant rather than resistant to Roundup and glyphosate: which is, they absorb the herbicide and survive. As a result, GM RR crops are a reservoir of potentially high levels of glyphosate, which will then be ingested by animals or people who eat the crops. The spread of GM RR varieties has let to massive increases in the amount of glyphosate sprayed in soy-producing areas. In Brazil, nearly 90,000 tons of glyphosate-based pesticides in 71 different commercial formula-
tions were sold in 2009. In Argentina, over half the cultivated land is given over to GM soy, which is sprayed with 200 million liters of glyphosate herbicide each year. Spraying is often carried out from the air, causing major problems of drift. Carrasco said, “From the ecotoxicological point of view, what is happening in Argentina is a massive experiment.” It is a cautionary tale of what could happen in any country which adopts glyphosate-tolerant GM crops on a large scale.
Day 3 Kheti Khurak Azadi Jatha We share a story of one day, a snippet of a nine day journey, a ‘Yatra’, taking place in Pujab, India. The Yatra’s topic is: ‘Monsanto QUIT India’ and is symbolic of the Yatra which took place when Gandhi walked the streets of India, when the people of all villages joined. This is a planned walk, a procession, a pilgrimage, a cause. They criss-cross the country to meet farmers, seeking to lift their sagging morale, inviting them to march, teaching the people of the villages and the countryside about Monsanto. "No Food Grown Which Is Not Our Own." Amanjot Kaur, our correspondent for
the rally, is twenty-three, and is the only woman. She explains, "The story of the [yatra] should focus on the purpose, the movement, be-
cause people come and go, but movements always remain. "The Yatra is made up of ‘Yatries’ who know the subjects of the Yatra, and
who go first into the village. These Yatries are versed in Genetic Engineering (GE), Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), and Bt-Cotton (Bt). They showed Power-Point programs of Scientists who know, and speak on the dangers of Monsanto. The Yatries reach out to the Elders of the village and teach about what is happening, the problem it poses, and the solutions to be discussed. This message is spread as they march through the streets with signs, yelling ‘Monsanto QUIT India’. Hundreds and hundreds of farmers are committing suicide continued on page 36
munity and how he feels he is do have in abundance, pesticide. a month due to the lies of Mon- perceived by family and friends), The Ya t r a r e a c h e d santo; promises of increased the inability to feed their family, Hariana a t nine A.M. a t the l o yield, less pesticide and herbi- and to take care of their animals c a l Gu r u d w a ra. Master Madan Lal gave a brief introduction about the Yatra. Then Rajbir Singh, reached Pingalwada, Amritsar, addressed those of the village who had gathered. He shared his experience about organic agriculture at Pingalwada farm. He also told how to succeed in organic farming. He replied to the questions asked by farmers. All farmers at the presentation were maize growers. On asking about their own maize seed, they told there was not even a single farmer who had his own seed, they had to get it from the market and this is hybrid seed. For years and years cide, better quality and less ex- and land. farmers of the world and India penses due to the above benefits. In their eyes the only thing have collected the seeds, which continued on page 37 Instead the truth is told by they can do is to drink what they every farmer of loss of crops due to the need of more water, production of less yield, increased pesticide and herbicide use, along with lack of quality in strength and length. Loss of crops due to the above cause by loss of money, their need for more loans, â€˜loss of faceâ€™ (how the farmer is seen as part of his comcontinued from page 35
continued from page 36
had flourished through good and bad, wet and dry and knew which seeds to use for the next season. India is known for having 200,000 different seeds, now they have less than 80,000 seeds in their country. To better understand you must know each farmer has been directed by their government to deal with Monsanto and are not allowed to keep their own seeds. As farmers deal with Monsanto they sign a life long contract stating they will use only Monsanto seeds and will no longer keep the seeds which they have been keeping for centuries.
against Monsanto. “ After this the Yatries had their lunch then had a meeting with a small group at Lambra. In the evening in Shahkot, a march against Monsanto was organized through the streets of the market. Local people joined in the march where handbills and other literature
ral India. They tell of the thousands of farmers who committed suicide monthly due to the lies from the United S t a t e s [Monsanto]. Before Monsanto, India's history was of 200,000 differing seed of food. Now the government has disallowed traditional seeds. The farmer is put in a position of
were distributed among the people. Yatries addressed the gathering of local people and discussed the coming danger of our food and our agricultural freedom. The Yatries also shared information on the dangers of GE/GMO and Bt-Cotton food and food products. Some villages are welcoming with early knowledge of the rally, other villages do not yet know. A new town will greet the Yatras each morning and the nights offer a place to sleep, at Inns and at villagers homes. For nine days 'Monsanto Quit INDIA' rally reported from ru-
purchasing Monsanto's seeds which are a ‘MAGIC’ seed. It take twice as much rain, the cost one hundred times more, the yields are few, if at all, and the remaining seeds are sterile and illegal to gather, even though the Round-Up gene is engineered into each cell. The herbicide [Round-Up], glyphosate, causes the need for exponential increase of the use of pesticides. This combination results in the poisoning of the earth, birds, bees, and butterflies. When the end of the season comes the only thing which the farmer has left is large amounts of debt and expensive pesticide which they drink to die.
Control of feed for animals and food worldwide Umendra Ji told the ga t h e r e d v i l l a g e r s Monsanto’s Hybrid Maize completely failed in District Hoshiarpur. This farmer told the story of how, “Monsanto is looting farmers and making them its slave in the area of seeds.” In the end a pledge was taken by farmers to save seeds and boycott Monsanto. Our next destination was Baghpur Sator where Yatries interact with farmers and speak on Monsanto’s wrong deeds in farming. There Yatries had a good interaction with the farmers. They asked the benefit of this Yatra at a time when Monsanto already has deep roots in India with its Bt-Cotton. Yatries replied, “We still have some things which we can now do. With strong efforts we can build a strong movement
The Problem: Genetic Engineering Genetic engineering enables scientists to create plants, animals and micro-organisms by manipulating genes in a way which does not occur naturally. These genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can spread through nature and interbreed with natural organisms, thereby contaminating non-"GE" environments and future generations in an unforeseeable and uncontrollable way. Our digestive systems have been designed to extract nourishment from particular foods with particular genes. We literally have no idea how well we actually digest GMO foods– or how their components may effect human physiology. To date, the EU, Japan, Australia and Canada have banned the genetically engineered bovine growth hormone because of potential human health effects. The manufacture of herbicide tolerant (HT) biotech crops has also resulted in the creation of hard to kill “superweeds”. Proponents argue genetic engineering is worth the risk because it helps alleviate the global food crisis. However, globally speaking, lack of food is not the cause of hunger. Political challenges and failures are the cause of world hunger with an estimated one billion victims. In other words, more food doesn't necessarily mean fewer are hungry.
The Solution: Non-GMO Agriculture PAGE 38
Dear Grocery Store Manager, http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_22752.cfm
Have you ever wondered how YOU can the food I purchase comes from, how it is grown, make changes, how you can educate and what is in it. Up to 90% of U.S. soybeans, corn, others, how you can make a difference? cotton, canola, and sugar beets are now genetically engineered and routinely incorporated into nonAs one of your regular retail customers, I want to thank organic human and animal foods with no labels or you for providing a selection of healthy, sustainable, safety testing. As a consequence, approximately climate-friendly, fairly-traded, organically certified 80% of current non-organic grocery food items products in your store. contain Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). According to o n g o i n g research by the Organic Consumers Association, only four percent of total sales in conventional grocery store sales are organic. Unfortunately, socalled “natural” foods are produced with pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and often contain genetically modified ingredients. “Natural” foods and products now make up 8% of all grocery store sales, and account for the majority of sales in most natural food stores. “Conventional” foods continue to dominate the grocery marketplace, with 88% of sales; these products undermine public health and contribute significantly to the destabilization of our environment.
Currently, scientific studies suggesting the dangers of GMOs are staggering, and far outweigh studies suggesting their safety.
Considering the growing public health and environmental concerns over GMOs and Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), all food packaging should clearly identify processed foods or animal products carrying any level of non-organic As a citizen and consumer concerned about my soy, corn, cottonseed oil, canola, sugar beets, alfalfa family’s health and the health of our planet, I feel or GM growth hormones with a label or shelf sign continued on page 40 strongly, I have an inalienable right to know, where
Contain GMOs” stickers on their gaining new customers and says “May Contain GMOs” and products. Please also inform your increasing the loyalty of present customers. Retailers identify all meat, dairy, who claim to support and eggs which come mandatory labeling for from CAFOs, where GMO foods and yet the animals were refuse to label likely confined and fed GMO GMO-tainted products grains, with a label or in their own stores will shelf sign which says lose credibility, market “CAFO”. In other share and customers. words, unless a Please join the nation’s product is certified organic consumers in organic, or bears a our pledge to drive certification seal from GMOs and CAFO the Non-GMO Project, I want it to bear a sticker which meat, dairy, and egg suppliers foods out of the marketplace. The continued from page 39
Visual designer and CCA alumna Renée Walker (MFA Design 2011) placed first in the Rethink the Food Label competition, an online contest issued by GOOD magazine and University of California Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism’s News21 project to redesign the nutrition label found on food packaging. Walker’s winning design features bright colors and comprehensible graphics which illustrate the food’s ingredients and relative “goodness.”
says, “May Contain GMOs” or which non-organic products derived from animals reared on “CAFO.” GMO grains or raised in intensive Please join the growing group of confinement will from now on bear ethical retailers and voluntarily stickers which say “CAFO.” adopt these Truth-in-Labeling practices. I ask you to inform your Retailers adopting Truth-in“natural” food vendors which you Labeling practices will stand out as support the placement of “May ethical leaders in the marketplace,
health of my family and yours depends on it. Thank you again for providing safe, clean food for my family, and for your support of a healthier planet. I look forward to your response to this letter. Sincerely, YOUR NAME
U.S. FDA Food, Beverage, and Dietary Supplement Regulations U.S. FDA Food, Beverage, and Dietary Supplement Regulations The U.S. Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) defines food ‘labeling’ as all labels and other written, printed, or graphic matter upon any article or any of its containers or wrappers, or accompanying such article. The term ‘accompanying’ is interpreted liberally to mean more than physical association with the food product. It extends to posters, tags, pamphlets, circulars, booklets, brochures, instructions, websites, etc. The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA), which amended the FFDCA requires most foods to bear specific nutrition and ingredient labeling and requires food, beverage, and dietary supplement labels which bear nutrient content claims and certain health messages to comply with specific requirements. Furthermore, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) amended the FFDCA, in part, by defining “dietary supplements,” adding specific labeling requirements for dietary supplements, and providing for optional labeling statements.
They created the Nutrition Facts label, approve all labels like “low fat” and “all-natural,” and enacted a law to put allergy labeling on processed food. In the news when there’s a salmonella outbreak in peanut butter the FDA gets blamed for their inspection procedures, or lack thereof.
CFSAN oversees: Labeling and nutrition (except for meat and some eggs, which fall under the CFSAN gets its data from: JIFSAN (Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition), which USDA), biotechnology, ingredients and packagworks with the University of Maryland, and NCFST ing, inspections, and compliance. (National Center for Food Safety and Technology), which works with the University of Illinois and CFSAN explains their mission thusly: To “establish food industry reps. Essentially, they do the reand maintain food standards of identity (for ex- search CFSAN translates into labeling. ample, what the requirements are for a product to be labeled, ‘yogurt’) and standards of maximum So labeling is not simple, it is not guided by any acceptable contamination. CFSAN also sets the one agency. The reason the FDA is not involved requirements for nutrition labeling of most foods.” with labeling genetically engineered products is Where you most often see CFSAN’s work is labels. because they see them as a pesticide.
WHY THE FDA LABELing DOES NOT WORK
Rethink the Food Label (as its name suggests) was a contest to make nutrition labels more informative and understandable. The standard black-and-white label, which has not changed since the Nutritional Labeling and Education Act created it in 1991, is long overdue for a modernization. It is easy to focus on the inefficiencies of the current nutrition label, most importantly the lack of information available such as Genetic Engineered ingredients (GE). Renee Walker’s winning label design features bright colors and comprehensible graphics which illustrate the food’s ingredients and relative “goodness.” ditching the standard black-and-white model for one which improves nutrition literacy. The most important information for consumers included the ingredients and the balance of nutri-
brighter the color, the healthier the food.” I created an innovative design which incorporates a variety of colors to present ingredients as a proportion of the food as a whole as well as includes a graphic portion which indicates the calories and nutrients based on the recommended daily intake contained in a standard serving. She said “It will be easy to convert this idea to one which can be used to identify genetic engineering” This design can change the way people think about food. So let it not be said there is no efficient labeling which will work to provide information on genetic engineering.
ents the item would provide for their daily food intake, both of which are difficult to read and interpret with the current food label design. “I didn’t want to create anything making the food more complicated than it had to be,” Walker says. “What’s in the food is most important, so I chose to highlight the ingredients as the first thing people see. The ingredients should be the most prominent part on the label.” “The coloring distinguishes the different food groups, like the food pyramid, where brighter colors represent what’s good for you and grayer colors show additives and preservatives,” she says. “So the
“BI OLOGICAL AGENT”
TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 10 > § 178§ 178. Definitions (1) the term “BIOLOGICAL AGENT” means: any microorganism (including, but not limited to, bacteria, viruses, fungi, rickettsiae or protozoa), or infectious substance, or any naturally occurring, bioengineered or synthesized component of any such microorganism or infectious substance, capable of causing— (A) death, disease, or other biological malfunction in a human, an animal, a plant, or another living organism; (B) deterioration of food, water, equipment, supplies, or material of any kind; or (C) deleterious alteration of the environment; (2) the term “toxin” means the toxic material or product of plants, animals, microorganisms (including, but not limited to, bacteria, viruses, fungi, rickettsiae or protozoa), or infectious substances, or a recombinant or synthesized molecule, whatever their origin and method of production, and includes— (A) any poisonous substance or biological product that may be engineered as a result of biotechnology produced by a living organism; or (B) any poisonous isomer or biological product, homolog, or derivative of such a substance; (3) the term “delivery system” means— (A) any apparatus, equipment, device, or means of delivery specifically designed to deliver or disseminate a biological agent, toxin, or vector; or (B) any vector; (4) the term “vector” means a living organism, or molecule, including a recombinant or synthesized molecule, capable of carrying a biological agent or toxin to a host; and (5) the term “national of the United States” has the meaning prescribed in section 101(a)(22) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 (a)(22)). Office of the Law Revision Counsel, U.S. House of Representatives http://uscode.house. (gov/uscode-cgi/fastweb.exe?) (getdoc+uscview+ t17t20+238+1++%28%29%20%20AN CITE-18 USC Sec. 178 01/07/2011 -EXPCITE-TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE PART I - CRIMES-SOURCE(Added Pub. L. 101-298, Sec. 3(a), May 22, 1990, 104 Stat. 202; amended Pub. L. 104-132, title V, Sec. 511(b)(3), title VII, Sec. 721(h), Apr. 24, 1996, 110 Stat. 1284, 1299; Pub. L. 107-188, title II, Sec. 231(c)(4), June 12, 2002, 116 Stat. 661.)
MISC1-AMENDMENTS 2002 - Par. (1). Pub. L. 107-188, Sec. 231(c)(4)(A), in introductory provisions substituted "means any microorganism (including, but not limited to, bacteria, viruses, fungi, rickettsiae or protozoa), or infectious substance, or any naturally occurring, bioengineered or synthesized component of any such microorganism or infectious substance, capable of" for "means any microorganism, virus, infectious substance, or biological product which may be engineered as a result of biotechnology, or any naturally occurring or bioengineered component of any such microorganism, virus, infectious substance, or biological product, capable of". Par. (2). Pub. L. 107-188, Sec. 231(c)(4)(B), in introductory provisions substituted "means the toxic material or product of plants, animals, microorganisms (including, but not limited to, bacteria, viruses, fungi, rickettsiae or protozoa), or infectious substances, or a recombinant or synthesized molecule, whatever their origin and method of production, and includes - " for "means the toxic material of plants, animals, microorganisms, viruses, fungi, or infectious substances, or a recombinant molecule, whatever its origin or method of production, including - ". Par. (4). Pub. L. 107-188, Sec. 231(c)(4)(C), substituted "recombinant or synthesized molecule," for "recombinant molecule, or biological product which may be engineered as a result of biotechnology". http://www.law.cornell.edu/ uscode /usc_sec_18_00000178---000-.html
FOOD SPECIES IN WHICH A GENETICALLY MODIFIED VERSION EXISTS (PERCENT MODIFIED ARE MOSTLY 2009/2010 DATA) Food
Resistant to glyphosate or glufosinate herbicides
% Modified in US
% Modified in World
Herbicide resistant gene taken New genes, some from bacterium from bacteria inserted into soy- Bacillus thuringiensis, added/transbean ferred into plant genome.
Corn, field Resistant to glyphosate or Insect resistance via producing Bt (Maize) glufosinate herbicides. proteins, some previously used as pesticides in organic crop production. Vitamin-enriched corn derived from South African white corn variety M37W has bright orange kernels, with 169x increase in beta carotene, 6x the vitamin C and 2x folate.
Cotton (cot- Pest-resistant cotton tonseed oil)
Bt crystal protein gene added/ transferred into plant genome
Resistant to glyphosate or New genes added/transferred into Planted in the US banned until January plant genome. from 2005â€“2007; 2011 and presently deglufosinate herbicides regulated
Variety is resistant to the pa- New gene added/transferred into paya ringspot virus. plant genome
Variety in which the production of the enzyme polygalacturonase (PG) is suppressed, retarding fruit softening after harvesting
A reverse copy (an antisense Taken off the market Small quantities grown in gene) of the gene responsible for due to commercial China the production of PG enzyme failure. added into plant genome New genes added/transferred into plant genome
Resistance to certain pesti- New genes added/transferred into cides, high sucrose content. plant genome
Resistance to glyphosate, New genes added/transferred into glufosinate herbicides plant genome
Golden Rice: genetically modified to contain beta-carotene (a source of vitamin A) Current version of Golden Rice under development contains genes from maize and a common soil microorganism.] Previous prototype version contained three new genes: two from daffodils and the third from a bacterium. Forecast to be on the market in 2013
S q u a s h Resistance to watermelon, cu- Contains coat protein genes of (Zucchini) cumber and zucchini yellow viruses. mosaic viruses Sweet Peppers
Resistance to virus
Contains coat protein genes of the virus.
95% planting 2011 under con(2010) trolled conditions 9%
13% Small quantities grown in China
IN ADDITION, VARIOUS GENETICALLY ENGINEERED MICRO-ORGANISMS ARE ROUTINELY USED AS SOURCES OF ENZYMES FOR THE MANUFACTURE OF A VARIETY OF PROCESSED FOODS. THESE INCLUDE ALPHA-AMYLASE FROM BACTERIA, WHICH CONVERTS STARCH TO SIMPLE SUGARS, CHYMOSIN FROM BACTERIA OR FUNGI THAT CLOTS MILK PROTEIN FOR CHEESE MAKING, AND PECTINESTERASE FROM FUNGI WHICH IMPROVES FRUIT JUICE CLARITY.
"Scientists under Attack" Rhonda Varsane COO and Founder of Goodnewpress.net gineering brought to the US, and the beginning- believed when the interviews Bertram Verhaag. the World? By political Leaders USA said -GMOÂ´s are safe. in the US. Rhonda: What was the starting Bertram Verhaag: The White Rhonda: What happens to the repoint to make the movie "ScienHouse forced the scientists of the searchers the scientist, who study tists Under Attack"? B e r t r a m Verhaag: Starting Point was a statement in our previous long film on GMO by an Norwegian Scientist. He believes only 5% of the scientists who do research in the GMO area are independent. And he suggests 95% are dependent from industry money. Rhonda: What is Green Genetic Engineering? B e r t r a m Verhaag: Its genetic engineering in the field of agriculture and food production. Rhonda: What are your thoughts on Green Genetic Engineering? B e r t r a m Verhaag: Its a crime against the environment, the soil, the field crops and the health of consumers. There is no respect to nature.
FDA to allow Genetically Modified plants to enter the market - even though the scientists of the FDA had major concerns. But they where not allowed to do all their Rhonda: How was Genetic En- proposed studies. The world - in
GMO and find out there are bad consequences? What are the bad consequences? Bertram Verhaag: In August 1998, leading food research scicontinued on page 46
food industry. At which point in entist, Dr Árpád Pusztai gives a 1998, two-thirds of the food the short interview on British television. American and British people are eating contained genetically modiDuring this he drops a bombshell, saying he believes genetic modification may be a good thing, but longterm tests have to be carried out before anyone can say it is safe to eat genetically modified food. Given the current state of knowledge, he himself wouldn't eat any. continued from page 45
Dr. Pusztai's reasons are simple - he has made tests where rats fed with genetically modified potato in test series suffered serious organ diseases, inflammations, damage to the immune system and retarded organ growth. Pusztai’s explanation makes a devastating impact on the gold digger mood of the GM
his papers are confiscated and he is denied access to his lab. Within three days he is sacked from his job and excluded from the Royal
fied elements – and the public Society, the UK's leading association of scientists. Pressure from aren't aware of this. highest political authorities leads Pusztai does know, and has this to Árpád Pusztai's personal and fact in mind when he gives his professional ruin. In the spring of BBC interview.......... Within hours, 2001 NATURE does something Pusztai is/was under attack. He's which it had never done before. For forbidden to give out any further in- the first time in 137 years, the formation regarding his research, world's most important science magazine actually retracts a published article. This is very strange and very worrying - a scientist is under attack for doing his job. The renowned biolog i s t D r. I g n a c i o Chapela has submitted this article a few months earlier. It is about cross-pollination of Mexico's indigenous maize by GM varieties, but the continued on page 47
indigenous maize for the whole world, and it was from here that maize set out to conquer the world 5,000 years ago. Ignacio's discovery is highly alarming and Monsanto's response shows that he has hit the weak spot of companies involved in genetic engineering. He undermines the Rhonda: Why has a seemingly normal scientific pa- idea of co-existence, the belief propagated by the per caused such a fuss? B e r t r a m Verhaag: Then GUARDIAN journalists G e o r g e Monbiot and C l a i r e Robinson discover all of the letters behind this calumny (the act of uttering false charges or misrepresentations maliciously calculated to harm another's reputation} campaign trace back to one genetic engineering industry which natural plants single source: the BIVINGS GROUP, an advertising can grow next to genetically manipulated plants without any cross-pollination. agency. continued from page 46
magazine issue has not even finished being distributed when the editors are inundated with a flood of angry e-mails. Ignacio's research scientific qualifications and integrity are called into question.
They also find out the agency is paid by MONSANTO, the giant multi-national chemicals and seed corporation. Monsanto has commissioned the BIVINGS GROUP to carry out a viral marketing campaign proudly lauded on their homepage as an effective and modern advertising strategy to "Infect the world!” Fictitious opinions and letters from nonexistent persons are computer-generated and flood the addressee's inbox.
However Monsanto aren't content with forcing Nature to bow to imaginary pressure and retract the article - they go after Ignacio himself.
Because of his remarkable international career Chapela is expected to be granted professorship and tenure at the University of Berkeley. But he is rejected "for financial reasons" at the end of 2004 and suddenly finds himself in a situation where both his position as a scientist and his livelihood Rhonda: Why is the Monsanto corporation so bent are in jeopardy. on discrediting Dr. Chapela's research?.... Bertram Verhaag: In 2001 Mexican-born Ignacio Rhonda: So is Monsanto's suppression of the unChapela found out the indigenous maize of Oaxaca comfortable facts about crosspollination between province, despite official protection by the Mexican GM and normal crops ‘one of storm’ in a sciengovernment, has been significantly mixed with ge- tific teacup? netically manipulated maize. This is a significant Bertram Verhaag: Definitely not. What Ignacio found discovery, for Oaxaca is not just a spot on the map. is a great danger to everybody's good in threatening continued on page 48 This is the genetic reservoir of different varieties of
continued from page 47
the biodiversity of our plants, the safety of our food and the environment. Already once before, Chapela waged a fight for freedom in doing research which uncomfortably got in the way of the genetic engineering industry. He had just been selected for the office of faculty speaker in 1997 when he found out that the unive r s i t y a d ministration was about to accept a ”donation" of 50 million US $ from the Novartis Group (form e r l y Sandoz, later Syngenta). In return for this, Novartis was to have privileged access to all research results compiled in the biology department and was slated for the exploitation rights of a third of the research results in the area of biology. At which time Chapela was an outspoken, leading opponent and he sharply criticized this ”deal” in public. Having himself once been an esteemed colleague of the Swiss bioengineering corporation Novartis, he knew what that meant. This was a direct encroachment on the independence of public scientific research. The protest led to a hearing in the Senate of the state of California. ”This is not the University of Novartis but the University of Cali-
fornia!” At that time a ”compromise” was found. The grant made by Novartis was reduced by half......................
Rhonda: How can we use open source collaboration to engage individuals, farmers, communities, corporations, universities, and governments in programs to Rhonda: How do we stop the achieve breakthrough advances bad consequences of GMO/GE. which help nourish humanity, inBertram Verhaag: To get in- crease equity, support food seformed. To protest. Not to buy curity, and preserve the Earth.
GMO´s. Ask for labeling. To confront the butcher, the backer, etc. with questions of where the meat or the cheese etc. is coming from. To use our power as consumer and voter.
Bertram Verhaag: The only way is to take food production out of the hands of irresponsible acting multinational companies. The United Nations world food study says the only future is in sustainable small and organic food production not in huge Rhonda: How can something, a industrialized mono culture. GMO, be considered the same as a non-GMO? Please have a look at our website Bertram Verhaag: By the so for further information: called "substantial equivalence" www.scientistsunderattack.com which is a parole of politicians to Telefon +49 (0)89 / 520 577 - 12 avoid special permissions for Fax +49 (0)89 / 520 577 – 52 GMO´s because they argue if a GM-plant is the same as a nor- email@example.com mal plant there is no need for www.denkmal-film.com security tests etc...But if they are www.facebook.com/denkmalfilm the same, what is the reason for Thank Bertram Verhaag for the patenting them? image on page 45 and the cover.
REVOLVING DOORS DOES THEIR
David W. Beier . . .former head of Government Affairs for Genentech, Inc, . . .became Chief Domestic Policy Advisor to Al Gore, Vice President of the United States. Linda J. Fisher . . .former Assistant Administrator of the United Statesâ€™ Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Pollution Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances, . . . then became Vice
L O YA L I T Y Michael A. Friedman, M.D. . . former Acting Commissioner of the United State Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Department of Health and Hu- gotiator at the United States Departman Services then became Senior ment of Agriculture (USDA/APHIS) Vice-President for Clinical Affairs at Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, became Vice President for Food & Agriculture of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO).
Marcia Hale . . . former Assistant to the President of the United States and Director for Intergovernmental Affairs then became Director of International Government Affairs for Monsanto Corporation. Michael (Mickey) Kantor. . . former Secretary of the United States Department of Commerce and former Trade Representative of the United States then became a member of President of Government and Pub- G. D. Searle & Co., pharmaceutical the Board of Directors of Monsanto lic Affairs for Monsanto Corpo- division of Monsanto Corporation. Corporation. ration, and in 2001 became Deputy Director of the Environ- L. Val Giddings . . . former Biotech- Josh King . . . former director of procontinued on page 50 mental Protection Agency (EPA). nology Regulator and (Biosafety) Ne-
of King & Spaulding (for over 12 duction for White House events then years) then became the head of the became Director of Global Commu- Washington, D.C. office of Monnication in the Washington, D.C. of- santo Corporation. fice of Monsanto Corporation. Lidia Watrud . . . former Microbial Terry Medley . . . former Administra- Biotechnology Researcher at Montor of the APHIS of the United States santo Corporation in St. Louis, MisDepartment of Agriculture, former souri (for over 12 years) with the Chair and Vice-Chair of the United EPAâ€™s Environmental Effects LaboStates Department of Agriculture ratory, Western Ecology Division. Biotechnology Council, former member of the FDA food advisory Jack Watson . . .former Chief of Staff committee then and became Di- to the President of the United States, rector of Regulatory and External Affairs of DuPont Corporation's Agricultural Enterprise.
continued from page 49
Larry Zeph . . . former biologist in the Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, then (for over 12 years) Regulatory Science Manager at Pioneer Hi-Bred International. *Margaret Miller, Michael Taylor, and Suzanne Sechen (an FDA "primary reviewer for all rbST and other dairy drug production applications") were the subjects of a U.S. General Ac-
Margaret Miller . . . former Chemical Laboratory Supervisor for Monsanto then became Deputy Director of Human Food Safety and Consultative Services, New Animal Drug Evaluation Office, Center for Veterinary Medicine in the FDA. Michael Phillips . . . recently with the National Academy of Science Board on Agriculture then became the Head of Regulatory Affairs for the Biotechnology Industry Organization. William D. Ruckelshaus . . . former Chief Administrator of the EPA then became a member (for over 12 years) of the Board of Directors of Monsanto Corporation. Michael Taylor . . . former Legal Advisor to the FDA's Bureau of Medical Devices and Bureau of Foods, later to be Executive Assistant to the Commissioner of the FDA, then still later a partner at the law firm of King & Spaulding where he supervised a nine-lawyer group whose clients included Monsanto Agricultural Company, then still later Deputy Commissioner for Policy at the FDA, then back with the law firm
Jimmy Carter, then (for over 12 years) counting Office (GAO) investigaa staff lawyer with Monsanto Cor- tion in 1994 for their role in the poration in Washington, D.C. U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval of Clayton K. Yeutter . . . former Sec- P o s i l a c , M o n s a n t o retary of the U.S. Department of Ag- Corporation's formulation of rericulture, former U.S. Trade Repre- combinant bovine growth horsentative (who led the U.S. team in mone (rbST or rBGH). The GAO negotiating the U.S. Canada Free Office found "no conflicting finanTrade Agreement and helped cial interests with respect to the launch the Uruguay Round of the drug's approval" and only "one miGATT negotiations), (for over 12 nor deviation from now superseded years) a member of the Board of FDA regulations". (Quotations are Directors of Mycogen Corpora- from the 1994 GAO report). tion, whose majority owner is Dow AgroSciences, a wholly This does not even count owned subsidiary of The Dow C l a r e n c e T h o m a s o r a l l Chemical Company. the othe rs!!
SEVERAL INSECTS... While pesticide-producing plants are being offered as an alternative to spraying pesticides, they will in fact create the need for more pesticides since pests are rapidly evolving resistance to genetically engineered Bt crops. The widespread use of Bt containing crops could accelerate the development of insect pest resistance to Bt which is also used topically for organic pest control. Already eight
HAVE MORPHED DUE TO MONSANTO
populations, this kind of exposure could lead to selection for resistance, in all stages of the insect pest, on all parts of the plant, for the entire season. Due to this risk of pest resiscontinued on page 53
Indian meal moth
species of insects have developed resistance to Bt toxins, either in the field or in the laboratory, this includes the diamond back moth, Indian meal moth, tobacco budworm, Colorado potato beetle and two species of mosquitoes. The genetically engineered Bt crops continuously express the Bt toxin throughout its growing season. Long term exposure to Bt toxins promotes development of resistance in insect
Diamond back moth
continued from page 52
tance, the US Environment Protec- ditional and temporary registration Agency (EPA) offers only con- tion of varieties producing Bt. Monsanto's technology will therefore destroy beneficial biodiversity and create super- pests both through wiping out pest predators and by creating pests which are resistant to pesticides. While Monsanto's pesticide-producing Bt crops are not based on the
SUPER PESTS terminator technology, which terminates germination of seed so farmers cannot save it, they are in an ecological sense a terminator technology which terminates biodiversity and the possibilities of ecological and sustainable agriculture based on the c o n s e r v a t i o n o f biodiversity. Potato Beetle (top), Potato Beetle eggs and larve (middle), Field ravaged by the Potato Beetle.
Children of Vietnam Vets
â€˜Collony Collapse at KLlamas.com art by Kristin Llamas
BEES PAGE 55
Step 1: Choose your target There are hundreds of Monsanto facilities for your protest convenience. Pick your poison on our Facilities page: http://occupy-monsanto.com/facilities/
Step 2: Form a plan Do you want to make signs, banners or props? Will people dress in costumes? Are you bringing tents, noisemakers, media recording devices? Will you perform a chant, speech, or ceremony? There are so many ways to express your outrage at Monsantoâ€™s devastation of our food, health, and environment, and many considerations.
Step 3: Take action starting September 17, 2012 Join groups across the world for a week of protest at Monsanto facilities. Make this a week Monsanto will never forget as we unite with a single voice: OCCUPY MONSANTO.
http://occupy-monsanto.com This site is dedicated to empowering citizens of the world to take action against Monsanto during the week of
September 17th, 2012. PAGE 55
NRDC Forced to Sue to Get Public Records on
BEE Mystery WASHINGTON - The Natural Resources Defense Council filed a lawsuit today to uncover critical information the US government is withholding about the risks posed by pesticides to honey bees. NRDC legal experts and a leading bee researcher are convinced the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has evidence of connections between pesticides and the mysterious honey bee die-offs reported across the country. The phenomenon has come to be called "colony collapse disorder," or CCD, and it is already proving to have disastrous consequences for American agriculture and the $15 billion worth of crops pollinated by bees every year.
In 2003, EPA granted a registration to a new pesticide manufactured by Bayer Crop Science under the condition which Bayer submit studies about its product's impact on bees. EPA has refused to disclose the results of these studies, or if the studies have even been submitted. The pesticide in question, clothianidin, recently was banned in Germany due to concerns about its impact on bees. A similar insecticide was banned in France for the same reason a couple of years before. In the United States, these chemicals still are in use despite a growing consensus among bee specialists that pesticides, including Glyphosate, may contribute to CCD.
EPA has failed to respond to NRDC's Freedom of Information Act request for agency records concerning the toxicity of pesticides to bees, forcing the legal action. "Recently approved pesticides have been implicated in massive bee die offs and are the focus of increasing scientific scrutiny," said NRDC Senior Attorney Aaron Colangelo. "EPA should be evaluating the risks to bees before approving new pesticides, but now refuses to tell the public what it knows. Pesticide restrictions might be at the heart of the solution to this growing crisis, so why hide the information they should be using to make those decisions?"
In the past two years, some American beekeepers have reported unexplained losses of 30-90% of the bees in their hives. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), bees pollinate $15 billion worth of crops grown in America. USDA also claims one out of every three mouthfuls of food in the typical American diet has
continued on page 58
bees, and has published a number of academic paa connection to bee pollination. As the die-offs worsen, pers on the taxonomy, behavior and distribution of Americans will see their food costs increase. native bees. continued from page 57
Despite bees' critical role for farmers, consumers, and the environment, the federal government has been slow to address the die-off since the alarm bells started in 2006. In recent Congressional hearings, USDA was unable to account for the $20 million Congress has allocated to the department for fighting CCD in the last two years.
NRDC filed the lawsuit today in federal court in Washington DC. In documents to be filed next month, NRDC will ask for a court order directing EPA to disclose its information about pesticides and bee toxicity.
"This is a real mystery right now," said Dr. Gabriela Chavarria, director of NRDC's Science Center. "EPA needs to help shed some light so researchers can get to work on this problem. This isn't just an issue for farmers -- this is an issue which concerns us all. Just try to imagine a pizza without the contribution of bees! No tomatoes. No cheese. No peppers. If you eat apples, cucumbers, broccoli, onions, squash, carrots, avocados, or cherries, you need to be concerned."
www.BeeSafe.org web site. The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has 1.2 million members and online activists, served from offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Beijing.
More information on CCD can be found at NRDC's
CONTACT: Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Josh Mogerman at 312/780-7424 Chavarria has spent more than 20 years studying firstname.lastname@example.org
The Food Label Movement was formed in September 2010 in an attempt to increase consumer awareness of the foods we eat and to increase transparency between consumers and food manufacturers. Navigating the grocery store can be difficult enough with all the choices which are made available to us, but with misleading labels on food products, it is even more challenging to determine what – and how much – we are truly eating. Although we are a Canadian-based organization, we hopepeople around the world will share our concerns. No matter where you are in the world, you can support The Food Label Movement by signing our petition and getting involved with this cause. Nutrition label laws are a global issue. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/thefoodlabelmovement/ We update the public by incorporating research information, articles, news releases, and food legislation by posting to The Food Label Movement website; Engaging with other interested parties by attending conference, hosting health social events, and discussing shared concerns related to nutrition and general health; Approaching governmental bodies and making it known we as consumers would like to see changes take place.
Mission Statement 1. The Food Label Movement aims to: 2. Lobby for truthful, clear and easy-to-understand labelling on food products. 3. Empower consumers to influence change in the food industry through informed spending. 4. Provide useful, relevant and timely information which will help consumers make better food choices.
“Your food dollar, propelling real change.”
GE Crops Destroying Monarch Butterfly Habitat Thank you to: Roxana Robinson GM WATCH Straight to the Source
genetically modified (GM) corn and soybeans. GM crops resist glyphosphate, the active ingredient in Round-Up. Milkweed cannot. The GM switch meant the loss of eighty million acres of monarch habitat... The monarch and the milkweed will vanish. Everyone knows that economics come before beauty, commerce before conservation. Everyone knows everything legal is safe. Or maybe we all don't know this... Maybe we're not certain GM crops should predominate, playing an unknown role in our children's health. ---
--- THE MONARCH AND THE MILKWEED--NEAR MY back door is a tall, straggly plant, with an awkward shape, nearly colorless flowers. If you saw it you'd think it was a weed, and you'd be right. I planted it. When I put in plants, I hope they'll thrive. I hope
Milkweeds are the only plants on which monarchs lay eggs... Every monarch on the planet depends on milkweed.
You may have thought the problem was monarch butterfly larvae dying when they fed on Bt corn pollen, but it doesn't stop there. ...You used to see milkweeds everywhere... You see them seldom now. We're eradicating milkweed... Most monarch/ milkweed habitat occurs in farmland, vanishing at nearly 3,000 acres a day. The remaining habitat, mostly owned by agribusiness, increasingly grows
they won't be shredded by insects -- which is a risk in my garden. I don't use toxic chemicals, and it's always a race to see which comes first, the end of summer or the end of the garden. I'm tempted by chemicals: a quick misting and the aphids are gone, the walk, weed-free. Still, I don't use them. Their smooth eradicatory sweep makes me uneasy: nature works in messy ebbs and flows, but it's always worked. The wheat farmers of Sicily, for example, breadbasket of the Roman Empire, managed fine without Ortho. In my garden (and many others), plants thrive without chemicals, as they have since the first human
continued on page 61
will thrive, but not that the insects will leave it alone: actually, I want it ripped to shreds. The plant is Synthetic chemicals are newcom- asclepius syriaca, the common ers: it's only about 50 years since milkweed, and the destructive they've been widely used by back- visitor I hope for is Danaus continued from page 60
planted the first yam.
The Methuselah fly to the winter retreat, though no one knows how they find it, since they've never been there. Milkweeds are the only plants on which monarchs lay eggs. Larvae -- caterpillars -- hatch, and eat the leaves. The caterpillar forms a chrysalis, which forms the butterfly. Every monarch on the planet depends on milkweed. In the mornings, on my milkweed, there are monarchs. Brilliant, fire-colored, their wings pulse slowly, in and out. On the leaves, the torpid caterpillars eat their way to-
yard gardeners. Now they're everywhere, their cheery labels carrying ominous small-print warnings. No one knows the long-term consequences. On summer evenings children used to run alongside the DDT truck, letting its cool spray coat their arms and legs.
plexippus, the monarch butterfly.
The ember-colored monarch may be the most beautiful of all butterflies; certainly it's the most famous. Every fall, all the monarchs in the Northern Hemisphere make remarkable journeys. The West Coast ones head for California, the East Coasters -- including mine in Maine -- fly to Mexico. No one knows how they survive the buffeting thumps of airplane traffic, or El Nino.
You used to see milkweeds everywhere -- ditches, fields, empty lots. In the fall, they produce a thick brown pod, tightly packed with seeds, filmy white fibers. You see them seldom now.
When small green caterpillars attacked my roses, I used Bacillus thuringiensis, a naturally occurring organism that attacks caterpillars' intestines. It doesn't affect vertebrates and breaks down without a Most monarchs live about six trace. It sounds safe. weeks. The last generation, hatching in the fall, is called Methuselah, I hope my homely back-door plant and lives from six to nine months.
We're eradicating milkweed. It produces cardenolide alkaloid, which disagrees with cattle. Cattle farmers dislike it. Crop growers dislike it because it's a weed. Traditionally, weeds were tilled under. It's probably what the Sicilians did. Tilling eliminates most weeds, continued on page 62
by townships, backyard milkthough some survive. Until now, weeds by anyone who uses herit wasn't possible to eradicate a bicides. Even organic gardeners plant altogether. are implicated -- remember those tiny caterpillars, and the Bt? Most monarch/milkweed habitat occurs in farmland, vanishing at nearly 3,000 acres a day. The remaining habitat, mostly owned by agribusiness, increasingly grows genetically modified (GM) corn and soybeans. GM crops resist glyphosphate, the active ingredient in Round-Up. Milkweed cannot. The GM switch The monarch and the milkweed will meant the loss of 80 million vanish. Everyone knows economacres of monarch habitat. Road- ics come before beauty, commerce side milkweeds are eradicated before conservation. Everyone continued from page61
knows everything legal is safe. Or maybe we all don't know this. Maybe we think nature, with its messy ebbs and flows, has
butterfly value. Maybe we're not sure a few big companies should eradicate whole species. Maybe we're not certain GM crops should predominate, playing an unknown role in our children's health. We can write letters, quit using herbicides, re j e c t GM crops. We can plant milkweed. For a while, monarchs will appear, airborne jewels, landing dreamily on our plants as though this were the only place on earth they want to be. Which it is. R o x a n a Robinson is a novelist and nature writer. Her most recent novel is "Sweetwater."
WHAT BENEFIT IS IT TO THE WORLD’S PEOPLE TO HAVE ONE COMPANY
OWN ALL THE SEEDS?
THE SAME COMPANY WHO IS PATENTING FOOD AND LIFE. WHO IS TO BENEFIT? List of SEED COMPANIES bought by Monsanto during (1995 – 2005) As with anything, please double check the information.
again from Monsanto in 2005 1996 AGRACETUS INC Cotton, holder of broad patents on cotton, rice, soybeans and others
SEEDS Maize corn, bought for 1 billion US $ 1997 CORN STATES HYBRID SERVICE Maize corn
The world's largest seed company, Monsanto, accounts for almost one-quarter (23%) of the global proprietary seed market. The top 3 companies (Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta) together account for $10,282 million, or 47% of the worldwide proprietary http:// seed market. www.gmwatch.org/gm-firms/ 10558-the-worlds-top-tenseed-companies-who-owns-nature 1995 FT PESQUISA E SEMENTES LTDA Soybean Based in Brazil 1996 HYBRITECH EUROPE SA Wheat includes Company MORSTAR, Czech Republic, HYBRITECH SEED INT’L already part of Monsanto since 1982 1996 EURALIS Maize corn, wheat, soybean. Monsanto bought 10% of the shares 1996 CALGENE INC Cotton, rape seed, GE tomato FlavrSavr´ bought for 322 million US$ STONEVILLE PEDIGREE SEED CO, was part of CALGENE, sold 1999 to HICKS, MUSE, TATE & FURST INC, merged with EMERGENT, bought
1996 AGRIPRO SEED Wheat 1996 GOLDEN HARVEST SEEDS INC Maize corn, soybeans, strategic alliance 1996 FORBIO LTD Potato, joint Venture 1996 AGRIBIOTECH INC Feed crops joint-venture 1996 TERRAZAWA Soybeans, Brazil 1996 FT SEMENTES Soybeans, Brazil 1997 HOLDEN’S FOUNDATION
1997 ASGROW SEED CO Soybeans, bought for 240 Mi US$ 1997 CUSTOM FARM SEED Maize corn 1997 Sementes Agroceres SA Maize corn, biggest supplier in Brazil 1997 MONSOY Soybeans, one of the biggest soybean supplier in Brazil 1997 STINE SEED Soja Cooperation continued on page 65
continued from page 64
SURE GROW SEEDS;
1998 ANHUI AN DAI COTTON
CDM MANDIY; JACOB HARTZ SEED CO
SEED TECHNOLOGY CO LTD Joint-venture between D&PL CHINA (49%) und ANHUI PROVINCIAL SEED CORP (51%) 1998 E.I.D. PARRY (INDIA) LTD Cotton, joint-venture
1998 MAHARASHTRA HYBRID SEED COMPANY (MAHYCO) Cotton and others biggest seed company in India MONSANTO INDIA has 26% of the shares additional joint venture on GE cotton seed MAHYCO MONSANTO BIOTECH (MMB) V.i.
1998 FIRST LINE SEEDS Soybeans, deal completed in 2004 1998 CARGILL INC - INTERNATIONAL SEED OPERATIONS Maize corn and others, bought for about 1,4 Billion US$;
1999 RENESSEN LLC Maize corn, soybean joint venture between MONSANTO and CARGILL 1999 ZIMBABWE COTTON COMPANY (COTTCO) MONSANTO tried to buy 51 % of COTTCO against the will of Zimbabwe government. Outcome still unclear (2002) 1999 SENSANKO Maize corn, wheat, sunflower, acquisition completed in 2000, based in South Africa In 2000 Monsanto has a market share of about 45% in corn and nearly 100% in wheat in South Africa.
1998 DEKALB GENETICS CORP Maize corn, soybeans, bought for
Comprises business in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa
1999 NATIONAL SEED COMPANY OF MALAWI (NSCM) Maize corn
2,5 Billion US$ second largest maize corn seed company in the world including Brazilian company BRASKALB
1998 RALLIS Vegetables, maize corn, sorghum, soybean, cotton, others, leading Indian seed company cooperation on distribution.
2001 AVENTIS CROPSCIENCE Cooperation treaty for cotton seed market
1998 DELTA & PINE LAND CO (D&PL) Cotton, soybeans, exchange of shares at a volume of 1,9 Billion US$, deal includes HARTZ COTTON, ELLIS BROTHERS SEED, ARIZONA PROCESSING, MISSISSIPPI SEED CO,
1998 AGROSEED CORP Philippines 1998 FORAGE GENETICS INC Alfalfa, Cooperation treaty 1998 PLANT BREEDING INTERNATIONAL CAMBRIDGE (PBIC) Potato, wheat, others, bought for 525 million US$ including German PBI SAATZUCHT
2001 CDM MANDIYU S.R.L. Joint venture between D&PL / MONSANTO (60% shares) and Argentian seed company CENTRO INTEGRAL AGROPECUARIA (CIAGRO) on GE cotton 2001 LIMAGRAIN CANADA SEEDS INC Rape seed 2002 CORNWORLD BREEDING SYScontinued on page 66
2004 ADVANTA BV NORTH AMERICAN CANOLA SEED ASSETS Rape seed
they were buying Seminis for $1.4 billion in cash and assumed debt. Noted for its aggressive advocacy of genetically modified crops and its dominance in biotechnology, Monsanto will now have a major presence in the vegetable seed business for the first time. 2005 EMERGENT GENETICS INC Cotton bought for 300 million US$.
2004 CHANNEL BIO CORP Maize corn, bought for 120 million US$, includes WILSON SEEDS, CROW’S MIDWEST
STONEVILLE PEDIGREE SEED CO includes two Indian companies: MAHENDRA HYBRID SEEDS CO
SEED GENETICS, CROW’S HYBRID CORN CO
PARAS EXTRA GROWTH SEEDS LTD
continued from page 65
TEM CORP Maize corn, Philippines 2003 NIDERA (SEMILLAS) SA Soybeans, maize corn, rape seed, sunflower, sorghum, alfalfa
2005 SEMINIS INC World leading company on vegetable and fruit seeds bought for 1 Billion US$ January 2005 Monsanto announced
2005 HAZERA GENETICS Cotton Cooperation treaty 2005 NC+ HYBRIDS INC Maize “The current industrial seed system rests upon the unholy trinity of biotechnology,
corporate concentration and intellectual property rights. Each is mutually reinforcing and none of the three stands without the support of the other two.” http:/ / w w w. f e d c o s e e d s . c o m / s e e d s / monsanto.htm Most documented tests are conducted by the biotech industries who profit from these products being tested. Due to court decisions allowing patenting of life it now allows the components of this patent to be
patented; such as proteins, DNA sequences, individual mutations, single nucleotide polymorphisms , genes, cells, tissue cultures and specific plant parts to be patented. Seminis owned by Monsanto corn, integrated into Monsanto´s AMERICAN SEEDS
consumer-buying habits. IRT's work comes from a dedicated team of subject experts, consultants and staff who generously donate their time and experience. In addition, IRT employs media experts, social network campaigners, writers, graphic designers, communications specialists, fundraisers, The Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT) is a world leader in educating policy makers and the public about genetically modified (GM) foods and crops. We investigate and report their risks and impact on health, environment, the economy, and agriculture, as well as the problems associated with current research, regulation, corporate practices, and reporting. Our success would not be possible without the interest, involvement and support of individuals like you. Founded in 2003 by international bestselling author and GMO expert, Jeffrey Smith, IRT has worked in more than 30 countries on 6 continents, and is credited with improving government policies and influencing outreach professionals and support staff, who operate both at our headquarters in Iowa, and from virtual offices in the US. Download our free Non-GMO shopping Guide at: www.nongmoshoppingguide.com/ shopping-guide.html Please consider a donation, your gift will ensure we get our MESSAGE out to millions more each month. Working together, we can end the genetic engineering of our food supply. Visit us: http://responsibletechnology.org/volunteer-opportunities www.responsibletechnology.org