Study finds increased risks in stacked-trait GMOs

Stacking traits in GMO foods, such as corn, could have dangerous, unexpected synergistic effects. Photo: Non-GMO Project

Stacking traits in GMO foods, such as corn, could have dangerous, unexpected synergistic effects. Photo: Non-GMO Project

According to a recent post on, a new report shows that safety testing for GMOs with stacked traits isn’t as thorough as it should be. The study showed that stacking traits in GMO crops could result in unexpected combination effects that slack regulations aren’t catching.

These combination effects could impact herbicide tolerance, create abnormal protein levels and metabolic pathways. The study also found that “stacking herbicide and insecticide transgenes induces synergistic and antagonistic effects in the proteome of such plants.”

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Filed under Food Sovereignty, Geoengineering, GMOs

Greenpeace Chooses Marketing Over Ethics in Peru Action

Greenpeace activists stand next  to massive letters delivering the message "Time for Change: The Future is Renewable" next to the hummingbird geoglyph in Nazca in Peru, Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. The Nazca peoples' ancient geoglyphs are one of the country's cultural landmarks.

“Greenpeace May Have Permanently Damaged An Ancient, Sacred Site. Now What?”. CREDIT: AP PHOTO/RODRIGO ABD

Once again Greenpeace chose marketing over ethics in a deeply offensive and destructive action at a sacred site in Peru last week.  While Greenpeace ED Kumi Naidoo has made a videotaped apology for this idiotic action, I don’t buy it.  I personally witnessed Kumi’s sleazy tactics at the UN Climate talks in Durban where he orchestrated a fake “arrest” with UN security so that the media would run photos of him being led out of the talks in handcuffs–another marketing ploy.  How do I know this was a fake arrest?  Because a colleague and I engaged in civil disobedience at the same action, refusing to comply with UN security, being carried out of the talks and banned permanently from all future talks.  But there were no handcuffs.

Kumi, on the other hand, worked hand in hand with security throughout the youth-led action to ensure the youth left in an orderly fashion.  For my report from this disgusting incident, read my post “Showdown at the Durban Disaster: Challenging the Big Green Patriarchy.”

–Anne Petermann, GJEP

Greenpeace International set off a firestorm in Peru last week, and not the kind it had hoped for. After a few of its members damaged, perhaps irreparably, one of the most important cultural heritage sites in the country, a debate is beginning over how to interpret the environmental groups offensive actions.

Greenpeace’s intention was good, some argue. It’s not like the whole organization was in on it. Think of all the other important acts Greenpeace has done in the past, they say. The climate movement needs Greenpeace.

But others maintain Greenpeace International committed a grave offense. Its illegal actions illustrated the group’s willingness to disrespect cultural patrimony for the sake of making a headline. And in a way, its attempt to promote renewable energy may have actually set back that very cause, as political opponents jump on the story as indicative of a radical and crass organization with no real respect for the environment.

Read the rest of the story here

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Citizen Journalism – Does this mean you?

Photo by GJEP campaigner Ruddy Turnstone at Flood Wall Street, 21 September 2014 as the people wash pepper spray out of their eyes.

Photo by GJEP campaigner Ruddy Turnstone at Flood Wall Street, 21 September 2014 as the people wash pepper spray out of their eyes.

Citizen journalism is making a big difference in this age of the internet. Individuals can and have documented and circulated events including police murders, demonstrations, military actions, and beautiful things.

Cuteness aside, citizen journalists are a great threat to corporate media in that often, citizens can act independently of cultivated sources that are the corporate or mainstream media reporters, editors, and producers. Make no mistake, sometimes those cultivated sources are very productive. But we would not have the kind of documentation of things like the police murder of Eric Garner in New York City if it wasn’t for a citizen with the cell phone camera, recording it on video and sending it out for the world to see.

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by | December 17, 2014 · 4:00 PM

Breaking News: New York Governor Cuomo Announces Ban on Fracking in New York

For those of us that have worked on this issue for so long, this is both refreshing and somewhat unexpected news. But wowowo! thank-you to all of you that have advocated for this, pressed the governor, and gone head to head with industry reps and talking heads!

Protesters in Buffalo November 2014  photo by Jay Burney

Protesters in Buffalo November 2014 photo by Jay Burney

Cuomo to Ban Fracking in New York State, Citing Health Risks
By Jesse McKinley, New York Times. 17 December 2014

ALBANY — The Cuomo administration announced Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State, ending years of uncertainty by concluding that the controversial method of extracting gas from deep underground could contaminate the state’s air and water and pose inestimable public-health risks.

Read the whole article here



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Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Commodification of Life, Confronting Government Agencies, Energy, Fossil Fuel Infrastructure, Fracking

Colorado biomass power plant goes up in smoke

Flames erupted at a Colorado Biomass Facility on Dec. 13, 2014. Photo: Greater Eagle Fire Protection Disctrict

Flames erupted at a Colorado Biomass Facility on Dec. 13, 2014. Photo: Greater Eagle Fire Protection Disctrict

The serenity of Gypsum, a small Colorado town nestled among rolling hills and snow-capped peaks, exploded as fire crews were called in to a three-alarm blaze at a biomass power plant. According to an article in The Denver Post, the plant, which burns beetle-kill timber, was the first in Colorado, having began operation nearly one year before the fire. Currently, the plant is closed.

Fires, explosions, injuries and even death are not uncommon occurrences at bioenergy facilities. In the last few years the smoke screen has been lifted from several these “renewable” sources of energy, including a near-fatal California boiler rupture in 2013. There are many debates about the safety and sustainability of biomass and the dangers involved in wood-burning plants continues to tip the scales.

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Filed under Biiotechnology, Biofuelwatch, Climate Change

Australian climate protesters halt first coal train from Maules Creek mine


Newcastle, Australia: A peaceful blockade has halted the first train load of coal coming from the controversial Maules Creek coal mine on its way to Newcastle’s Kooragang Island coal export terminals this morning.

A group of 22 people met the train this morning. Eight people have occupied and stopped the train and are refusing to leave.

20141215_061108-e1418609338604The train was stopped during the night and delayed for over 6 hours by a protestor who locked onto locomotives needed to push the coal over the Great Dividing Range. The 58 year-old protestor, Bruce, from Northern Rivers, was arrested. Speaking about why he took action, Bruce said:

“Australia’s response to climate change is headed completely backwards. If we can stop this new coal mine we set a precedent for the rest of Australia to stand up.”

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Filed under Climate Change, Coal, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Fossil Fuel Infrastructure

Theo Colburn has died. Thank you for helping us to recover our futures!

When Dr. Theo Colburn published “Our Stolen Future” in 1996 it was a Rachel Carson level revelation.  The book, co-authored by Dianne Dumanoski and John Myers, exposed the devastating depth to which our economic system promotes the creation and distribution of human-made deadly chemicals – for profit.  The poisons exist in virtually all products. This book changed my life.

Yesterday, 15 December 2014, Dr. Colburn passed away at the age of 87. You may remember her for this pivotal book, or her excellent project TEDX- The Endocrine Disruption Exchange, which for many of us has been an essential resource. She may be best remembered for her work on banning BPA from plastic bottles, including baby bottles and toys. She is one of our great heroes. Simply put Theodora Colburn saved a lot of lives. Her substantial legacy will always help us and future generations to recover our stolen future.

Dr. Colburn courtesy Julie Dermansky/Earthworks  2014

Dr. Theo Colburn, courtesy Julie Dermansky/Earthworks 2014

Her friends at TEDX released the following message this morning:

Theo Colburn, 1927-2014

If you ever had the chance to meet her, even once, you knew Theo Colborn. She didn’t have a single hidden agenda. Her commitment to uncovering the truth was out there for the world to see.

For nearly 30 years she dedicated herself to revealing the dangers of endocrine disrupting chemicals to wildlife and humans. More recently she alerted us all to the threats posed by chemicals associated with oil and gas development. She wove the two together beautifully in her statement The Fossil Fuel Connection, which she worked on until the day she died.

Theo’s visionary leadership and passion shone most brilliantly when she made direct connections between new ideas, scientists whose work confirmed them, impacted individuals, and people in positions to change what needed changing. She will be remembered for many generations to come, generations that she worked tirelessly to protect.

Theo often feared that we had already passed the tipping point — that our intelligence and compassion had been so compromised by endocrine disruptors that we could no longer think our way out of the crises we had created.

As the living embodiment of her legacy, we at TEDX say, “No. It is not too late. There are people out there who ‘get it’ and who care — a lot of people — and we won’t let you down Theo.”

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Filed under Commodification of Life, Confronting Government Agencies, Corporate Globalization, EPA, Monsanto, Oceans, Pesticides, Politics, Solutions, Women

Trees won’t be our carbon sink saviors after all (good for them!)

shutterstock via grist article linked below

Shutterstock via Grist article linked below

So, shockingly, nature again won’t do what we want.

A new study challenges hopes that tropical rainforest trees will grow faster with rising CO2 and mitigate climate change.

The study concludes that the “widespread assumption of a Co2-induced stimulation of tropical tree growth may not be valid.” The authors focused on tree rings, and it’s possible that added growth might be in new trees or in other parts besides the trunk, making for increased density, but it still puts the brakes on one line of wishful thinking.

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Filed under Climate Justice, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Forests, Forests and Climate Change