Tag Archives: GMO seeds

Venezuela goes for law against transgenic seeds

Prensa Latina, 1 June 2013

Venezuela is going forward in the defintive elaboration and approval for a law guaranteeing security and sovereignty against the threat of transgenic seeds, said Socialist Party deputy Alfredo Urena.

Urena said in an interview to Venezolana Television how important this is for preserving the biological diversity of the nation and food sovereignty, since the transgenic seed market is under the monopoly of a few transationals, such as renowned enterprise Monsanto.

The new legislation would protect small and medium producers, favour the use of seeds for the environment and human health, and the creation of an institution working on the topic, he said.   Continue reading

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Filed under Biodiversity, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, Food Sovereignty, Genetic Engineering, Industrial agriculture, Latin America-Caribbean

Move over God, the biotech companies are here

Note: “God move over,” indeed.  Proselytizing abounds at the Tree Biotech 2013 conference here in Asheville.  Due to massive protests throughout the week, the conference has been dominated by discussion on how to convert the GMO-skeptical public to “believe” in the mythical miracles of the bioengineered forest.  So far, it looks like the gospel of truth is winning against the rhetoric of power.

-The GJEP Team

By Vandana Shiva, May 29, 2013. Source: Common Dreams

corn_gmTechnologies are tools for doing or making things. They are a means to transform what nature has given into food, clothing, shelter, means of mobility, means of communication. Technology is a means to an end; it is not an end in itself.

But when we stop perceiving technology as a means mediating between nature and human needs and elevate it to an end in itself, we falsely give it the status of a religion. The Green Revolution bred seeds to respond to chemical fertilizers — they were called “miracle seeds”. The father of the Green Revolution, Norman Borlaug, called the 12 people he sent across the world to spread chemicals by introducing new seeds his “wheat apostles”. This is the discourse of religion, not of science and technology.

When the Green Revolution was introduced in India in 1965-66, no assessment was made of the impact chemical fertilizer will have on soil organisms, soil structure and the soil’s water-holding capacity. No attempt was made to compare the yields of Green Revolution varieties and the outputs of indigenous varieties and mixed farming system. When we started to conserve native seeds through the Navdanya movement in 1987, we found many of the indigenous varieties outperformed the Green Revolution varieties in grain yield. They also outperformed them in total biomass yield — this really matters because while the grain is eaten by humans, straw is food for soil organisms and farm animals. Our work on mixtures and biodiverse systems of farming shows that as a system, indigenous biodiversity produces more food and nutrition per acre.

If we had a scientific approach to making choices about the technologies we use to produce our food, agroecology would win hands down. But the Green Revolution is promoted blindly as a religion, and not on the basis of science. Why else would finance minister P. Chidambaram announce in his Budget speech that the Green Revolution, which has destroyed the soil, water, biodiversity of Punjab, would now be expanded to eastern India?
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Filed under Food Sovereignty, GE Trees, Genetic Engineering

Look out Monsanto: The global food movement is rising

By Daniel Moss, April 12, 2013. Source: Truthout

041213-5The book “Harvesting Justice” isn’t just a look at the world’s most exciting food justice groups – it’s also a knockout organizing tool.

Chewing on a mouthful of locally grown lettuce, I wondered if the claims I’d heard about the global food-justice movement were true. Was there a line to follow, however crooked, between my purchase of these greens, land reform in Brazil andopposition to genetically modified seeds in California. Or was it all just empty calories?

As a somewhat conscientious consumer and occasional Taco Bell boycotter, I’ve hoped that the movement was real. But it hasn’t always been easy to perceive the connection between marching for improved farmworker rights, signing a petition against factory feedlots, and cooking up beets from a CSA (that is, community supported agriculture, which usually comes in the form a box of assorted veggies delivered to people who contribute to a local farm’s financial well-being).

Those connections form a tight weave in the new book, Harvesting Justice: Transforming Food, Land, and Agriculture in the Americas. Using “food sovereignty” as the secret sauce, the book sautés the individual ingredients of sister movements into a coherent, flavorful whole.
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Filed under Food Sovereignty, Genetic Engineering, Industrial agriculture

Study reveals GMO corn to be highly toxic

April 15, 2013. Source: RT

corn.si

Photo: AFP/Paul J. Richards

A leaked study examining genetically-modified corn reveals that the lab-made alternative to organic crops contains a startling level of toxic chemicals.

An anti-GMO website has posted the results of an education-based consulting company’s comparison of corn types, and the results reveal that genetically modified foods may be more hazardous than once thought.

The study, the 2012 Corn Comparison Report by Profit Pro, was published recently on the website for Moms Across America March to Label GMOs, a group that says they wish to “raise awareness and support Moms with solutions to eat GMO Free as we demand GMO labeling locally and nationally simultaneously.” They are plotting nationwide protests scheduled for later this year.

The report, writes the website’s Zen Honeycutt, was provided by a representative for De Dell Seed Company, an Ontario-based farm that’s touted as being Canadian only non-GMO corn seed company.
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Filed under Genetic Engineering, Industrial agriculture

How Monsanto outfoxed the Obama administration

By Lina Kahn, March 15, 2013. Source: Salon

Photo: AP/Seth Perlman

Photo: AP/Seth Perlman

Last November, the U.S. Department of Justice quietly closed a three-year antitrust investigation into Monsanto, the biotech giant whose genetic traits are embedded in over 90 percent of America’s soybean crop and more than 80 percent of corn. Despite a splash of press coverage when the investigation was initially announced, its termination went mostly unreported. The DOJ released no written public statement. Only a brief press release from Monsanto conveyed the news.

The lack of attention belies the significance of the decision, both for food consumers around the world and for U.S. businesses. Experts who have examined Monsanto’s conduct say the Justice Department’s decision not to act all but officially establishes the firm’s sovereignty over the U.S. seed industry. Many of them also say the decision ratifies aggressive practices Monsanto used to entrench its dominance and deter competition. This includes highly restrictive contractual agreements that excluded rivals, alongside a multibillion-dollar spree to buy up seed companies.

When the administration first launched its investigation, many antitrust and agriculture experts believed it was still possible to imagine an industry characterized by greater competition in the marketplace and greater diversity in seeds. That future may now be foreclosed.
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Filed under Biodiversity, Food Sovereignty, Genetic Engineering, Industrial agriculture

Seed giants vs. US farmers

February 12, 2013.  Source: Center for Food Safety

seeds_iStock_sm-150x150Today, one week before the Supreme Court hears arguments in Bowman v. Monsanto Co., the Center for Food Safety (CFS) and Save our Seeds (SOS) – two legal and policy organizations dedicated to promoting safe, sustainable food and farming systems – will launch their new report, Seed Giants vs. U.S. Farmers.

The new report investigates how the current seed patent regime has led to a radical shift to consolidation and control of global seed supply and how these patents have abetted corporations, such as Monsanto, to sue U.S. farmers for alleged seed patent infringement.

Seed Giants vs. U.S. Farmers also examines broader socio-economic consequences of the present patent system including links to loss of seed innovation, rising seed prices, reduction of independent scientific inquiry, and environmental issues.

Debbie Barker, Program Director for Save Our Seeds and Senior Writer for the Report, said today:  “Corporations did not create seeds and many are challenging the existing patent system that allows private companies to assert ownership over a resource that is vital to survival, and that, historically, has been in the public domain.”
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Filed under Biodiversity, Corporate Globalization, Food Sovereignty, Genetic Engineering, Industrial agriculture

Action Alert! Stop Monsanto and Co’s new GE seeds, USDA’s GE ‘pipeline’

Note:  Along with herbicide resistant corn and soy seeds, ArborGen’s cold-tolerant GE eucalyptus trees are also in the fast- track for approval, although no decision has been made yet.   GE eucalyptus are highly flammable and invasive.  Please sign GJEP’s petition to the USDA demanding a ban on the planting of genetically engineered trees here.  With your help, we WILL stop GE trees from becoming a reality.

-The GJEP Team

November 13, 2012.  Source: Pesticide Action Network

The “Big 6” pesticide corporations are moving quickly to push for USDA approval of their new wave of seeds genetically engineered to be used with older, more dangerous and drift-prone herbicides. Herbicide-resistant seeds now in the pipeline — including Dow’s 2,4-D corn and Monsanto’s dicamba soy — will drive up the use of these hazardous chemicals, destroying neighbors’ crops and creating unnecessary health risks to farmers, workers and rural communities.

Urge USDA to stop the GE pipeline; Dow’s application for 2,4-D-resistant corn is first in the queue, and 2,4-D soy andMonsanto’s dicamba-resistant soy are not far behind.

With a decision on the first application due any day, we need to speak up now. And loudly.
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Filed under Actions / Protest, False Solutions to Climate Change, Food Sovereignty, GE Trees, Genetic Engineering

Breaking News: Farmers demand end to commercialization of biodiversity, GM seeds, synthetic biology at Convention on Biological Diversity

October 11, 2012.  Source: La Via Campesina

Note: As GJEP has observed and exposed at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD Rio+20) and the Convention on Biological Diversity, the UN Environment Programme and its affiliated conventions are merely facades for increased corporate control over all forms of life and the commons.  The corporate-take over of the UN and the resulting focus on neoliberal, market-based solutions is undermining the ability of the UNFCCC, CBD and UNCSD to solve the crises they were intended to solve.

-The GJEP Team

As the worlds leaders gather in Hyderabad, India to discuss how to stop rapidly depleting biodiversity at the 11th Conference of Parties of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity(CBD), La Via Campesina (LVC), the global peasants movement, asserts that instead of protecting biodiversity, the CBD discussions are progressively degenerating to allow rapid privatization and commercialization of biodiversity. The attempt is to take biodiverisity out of the hands of the farmers, fishers, indigenous people who nurture and protect it, and let it go into the hands of profiteering corporations who seek to control it for commercial ends.

CBD is also discussing risky, untested and undebated technologies such as new kinds of synthetic biology, GM crops and geoengineering. “They attempt to create life that does not exist in nature, or promote very large projects like ocean fertilization to sequester carbon in the oceans having a impact marine life. There is no institution to oversee such bizarre developments and we cant predict the risks. These techno fixes will not solve our environmental problems. They will only make it worse”, said Marciano Toledo, La Via Campesina member from Brazil.

La Via Campesina promotes a strong monitoring of the industry which has been engaging in bio-piracy. “they steal our local biodiversity in order to patent it and commercialize it for profit. This patenting of nature needs to be stopped. In India Monsanto’s subsidiary Mahyco has stolen our indigenous brinjal varieties to produce its Bt brinjal. The Indian biodiversity authority is now doing the right thing by taking legal action against them,” said KV Basavraj of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha(KRRS), Karnataka Farmers movement.

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