Note: Stand up for Native Forests! Stop Genetically Engineered Trees!
In addition to controlling the world’s food supply, the evildoers in the biotech industry intend on planting billions of Genetically Engineered trees across the US South and internationally in toxic monoculture plantations. And they’re meeting this month in Asheville, NC.
Join Global Justice Ecology Project, the Campaign to STOP GE Trees, Earth First!, and others in Asheville from May 26-June 1, for a week of action to confront ArborGen, FuturaGene and other tree biotech evildoers. Join the protests or donate to support an activist here:www.treebiotech2013.org
-The GJEP Team
May 15 2013. Source: GRAIN
Defending seeds and biodiversity. No to GMOs. Photo: GRAIN
Myths and outright lies about the alleged benefits of genetically engineered crops (GE crops or GMOs) persist only because the multinationals that profit from them have put so much effort into spreading them around.
They want you to believe that GMOs will feed the world; that they are more productive; that they will eliminate the use of agrichemicals; that they can coexist with other crops, and that they are perfectly safe for humans and the environment.
False in every case, and in this article we’ll show how easy it is to debunk these myths. All it takes is a dispassionate, objective look at twenty years of commercial GE planting and the research that supposedly backs it up. The conclusion is clear: GMOs are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
An article by GRAIN, published in Soberania Alimentaria, numero 13.
MYTH: GE crops will end world hunger. Continue reading
By Daniel Moss, April 12, 2013. Source: Truthout
The 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.
April 15, 2013. Source: RT
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.
By Imani Altemus-Williams, April 10 2013. Source: Waging Nonviolence
Young residents of Molokai, Hawaii, protest GMOs as part of a month-long series of actions against biotech chemical companies. Photo: WNV/Imani Altemus-Williams
At 9 am on an overcast morning in paradise, hundreds of protesters gathered in traditional Hawaiian chant and prayer. Upon hearing the sound of the conch shell, known here as Pū, the protesters followed a group of women towards Monsanto’s grounds.
“A’ole GMO,” cried the mothers as they marched alongside Monsanto’s cornfields, located only feet from their homes on Molokai, one of the smallest of Hawaii’s main islands. In a tiny, tropical corner of the Pacific that has warded off tourism and development, Monsanto’s fields are one of only a few corporate entities that separates the bare terrain of the mountains and oceans.
This spirited march was the last of a series of protests on the five Hawaiian islands that Monsanto and other biotech companies have turned into the world’s ground zero for chemical testing and food engineering. Hawaii is currently at the epicenter of the debate over genetically modified organisms, generally shortened to GMOs. Because Hawaii is geographically isolated from the broader public, it is an ideal location for conducting chemical experiments. The island chain’s climate and abundant natural resources have lured five of the world’s largest biotech chemical corporations: Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont Pioneer and BASF. In the past 20 years, these chemical companies have performed over 5,000 open-field-test experiments of pesticide-resistant crops on an estimated 40,000 to 60,000 acres of Hawaiian land without any disclosure, making the place and its people a guinea pig for biotech engineering.
The presence of these corporations has propelled one of the largest movement mobilizations in Hawaii in decades. Similar to the environmental and land sovereignty protests in Canada and the continental United States, the movement is influenced by indigenous culture. Continue reading
Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Commodification of Life, Food Sovereignty, Genetic Engineering, Indigenous Peoples, Industrial agriculture, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, Women
By Tory Field and Beverly Bell, April 8 2013. Source: Toward Freedom
Photo: Toward Freedom
Bordering an interstate highway in Arkansas, a giant billboard with a photo of a stoic-looking farmer watches over the speeding traffic. He’s staring into the distance against the backdrop of a glowing wheat field, with the caption “America’s Farmers Grow America.” It’s an image to melt all our pastoral hearts.
Until we read the small print in the corner: “Monsanto.”
The maker of Agent Orange, Monsanto’s former motto used to be, “Without chemicals, life itself would be impossible.” Today its tag line is “Committed to Sustainable Agriculture, Committed to Farmers.” Its website claims the company helps farmers “be successful [and] produce healthier foods… while also reducing agriculture’s impact on our environment.” It even boasts of the corporation’s dedication to human rights. Continue reading
By Doug Gurian-Sherman, March 25, 2013. Source: Union of Concerned Scientists
Photo: USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
A short addition to the legislation passed last week to continue the funding of the U.S. government contained a gift for the biotech industry that could hurt the very farmers that the transnational seed companies love to cozy up to. It could also hurt the environment.
The so-called biotech rider (S. 735), attached to the continuing resolution in the U.S. Senate, was designed to override successful lawsuits. It would overturn rulings by the courts that have protected citizens from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) actions that subvert the legal obligations of the agency to protect farmers and the environment.
These federal court decisions have recognized that the industry-friendly USDA has often improperly interpreted its responsibilities as a regulator under federal law. For example, it has failed to adequately protect non-GE farmers, including organic growers, from contamination that can seriously hurt their sales.
The courts have also recognized that the USDA has not adequately taken into account the predictable development of herbicide resistant weeds, which lead farmers back to tillage that causes soil erosion, have reduced profits in some cases, and probably will lead to a new generation of GE herbicide-resistant crops that depend on more and more harmful herbicides like 2,4-D. The infestation of tens of millions of acres of farmland by resistant weeds, and the dramatic increases in herbicide use that have accompanied them, is vindication of the courts’ decisions.
Note: In the US, tree biotech corporation ArborGen- which describes itself as “the next Monsanto”- is looking to plant billions of genetically engineered (GE) freeze tolerant eucalyptus trees across the US Southeast for pulp and bioenergy production. The US Department of Agriculture is currently taking public comment on ArborGen’s petition- click here to submit public comment to the USDA.
Global Justice Ecology Project and the STOP GE Trees Campaign are mobilizing to stop this threat, and demanding a ban on the release of genetically engineered trees into the environment. We can stop this disaster before it occurs- sign the petition for a ban on GE trees now! http://globaljusticeecology.org/petition.php
–The GJEP Team
By Andrew Curry, March 13 2013. Source: Discover Magazine
Belgian police subdue protesters in a field of genetically modified crops near Ghent, 2011. Photo: Gianni Barbieux/Reporters/Redux
Not long after midnight on July 9, 2011, six men descended on a fenced-in field at biovativ, a research facility in the northern German town of Gross Lusewitz. It was a clear, warm Saturday night, and the 115-acre farm was lit by a half moon.
Moving quickly, the men surrounded the night watchman. Shining their flashlights in his face and threatening him with pepper spray and clubs, they frisked him, took his flashlight and keys, and smashed his cell phone. Then they headed directly for their target, a potato patch the size of a tennis court. Within minutes, the potatoes—part of a research project run by the nearby University of Rostock to see if rabbit vaccines and plastic polymers could be grown in plants—had been ripped out of the ground or trampled.
Two nights later, at a farm 100 miles to the south, the scene repeated itself almost exactly. This time, a dozen masked men overpowered two guards at the Üplingen Plant Science Garden, hopped a waist-high wire fence and trashed a plot of genetically modified potatoes, along with part of a nearby stand of transgenic wheat. As police cars sped toward the farm, the raiders melted into the night. Continue reading
Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, GE Trees, Biodiversity, Genetic Engineering, Food Sovereignty, Corporate Globalization, Green Economy, Industrial agriculture, Commodification of Life, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests
By Lina Kahn, March 15, 2013. Source: Salon
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.
February 13, 2013. Source: Institute of Science in Society
A new study conducted in China finds 6 out of 6 major rivers tested positive for ampicillin antibiotic resistant bacteria . Sequencing of the gene responsible, the blá gene, shows it is a synthetic version derived from a lab and different from the wild type. This suggests to the researchers that synthetic plasmid vectors from genetic engineering applications may be the source of the ampicillin resistance, which is affecting the human population. The blá gene confers resistance to a wide range of therapeutic antibiotics and the widespread environment pollution with blá resistant bacteria is a major public health concern.
The development of antibiotic resistant pathogens, commonly dubbed “superbugs”, are increasingly common due to the overuse of antibiotics in medical and veterinary practices, and the ever-increasing application of genetic engineering to industrial processes including agriculture, biofuel fermentation and environmental remediation on top of laboratory research. Previously, genetic engineering experiments were confined to the laboratory, but with industrial and agricultural applications becoming more common over the last decade, the chances of uncontrolled discharge as well as deliberate release into the environment has widened. One prime example is the planting of genetically modified (GM) crops, many of which carry antibiotic resistant genes.
Genetic engineering uses plasmids – extra-chromosomal DNA molecules that naturally exist in bacteria and other unicellular species – for propagating and manipulating DNA sequences in research and in genetic modification of plants and animals. Plasmids often carry antibiotic resistance marker genes to allow selection with antibiotics for the modified DNA or cells carrying the gene of interest (see  (FAQ on Genetic Engineering, ISIS Tutorial). The presence of these antibiotic resistance genes and plasmids in the environment leaves open the possibility of the genes being taken up and transferred into the genetic material of unrelated species of bacteria, some of which may well be serious pathogens.
Note: As we enter the thirtieth year of genetic engineering of plants, the threat of GE trees is growing. While GE food crops (commonly called GMOs) are ubiquitous, the large-scale, commercial use of GE trees can still be prevented. To learn more about the STOP Genetically Engineered Trees Campaign, and to join Global Justice Ecology Project in the fight to ban GE trees, visit http://nogetrees.org
-The GJEP Team
February 2, 2013. Source: Test Biotech
Mapuche woman protests outside of the Belgian Mission in Manhattan. Photo: Langelle
Today in Berlin a new report was published presenting a critical assessment of the consequences of the commercial cultivation of genetically engineered plants in the US. The first genetically engineered plants were created 30 years ago in Europe and the US. Commercial growing in the USA began almost 20 years ago, but in the EU, acceptance of these crops is much lower. Nevertheless, companies are asking for further authorisations for cultivation, including in the EU. In the light of this development, past experience in the USA was assessed and recommendations made for the future handling of this technology in the EU. Some of the principal findings are:
- Consequences for farmersBecause the weeds have adapted to the cultivation of the genetically engineered plants, farmers are experiencing a substantial increase in both working hours and the amounts of herbicide they require. Cultivation of insecticide-producing plants have led to “an arms race in the field” against the pest insects, which have adapted quickly. Genetically engineered plants have been created to produce up to six different toxins. Costs for seeds have increased dramatically, without there being a substantial increase in yields or significant savings in the amounts of spray required.
- Impact on the seed marketThe seed industry in the USA is largely dominated by agrochemical industries such as Monsanto, Dupont and Syngenta. In future, it has to be expected that developments in the USA will be strongly influenced by the interests of agro-chemical companies pushing for the cultivation of genetically engineered plants.
- Consequences for producers who avoid genetically engineered cropsContamination with non-authorised genetically engineered plants has already caused billions of dollars worth of damage in the USA.
- Consequences for consumersConsumers are exposed to a whole range of risks regarding unintended substances from plant metabolism, from residues from complementary herbicides and from the properties of additional proteins produced in the plants. As yet, there is no way of monitoring the actual effects that consumption of these products might have.
- Effects on the environmentThe cultivation of genetically engineered plants is closely associated with a substantial increase in the amounts of herbicide required. In addition, there is also an increase in environmental exposure to certain insecticides. In particular, the cultivation of herbicide-resistant plants leads to a reduction in biodiversity. Genetically engineered rapeseed has already managed to escape from the fields into the environment from where it cannot be withdrawn, and from where it evades any adequate control.
The study was commissioned by Martin Häusling, Member of the Green Group in the European Parliament. The English version of the study is published by Testbiotech.