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
Note: While some biotech firms are scrambling for control over the world’s food supply, others have their greedy eyes on the world’s forestlands. ArborGen, with its revolving doors between Monsanto and the US government, has plans to plant billions of highly flammable and invasive Genetically Engineered eucalyptus trees across the US South in monoculture plantations – with other native species like poplar and pine close behind in the regulatory pipeline. Along with industry rival FuturaGene, these GE tree companies intend to move forward across the global south; from Brazil to South Africa, China, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Australia.
But we can stop them in their tracks here in the US. From May 26th to June 1st, activists are descending upon Asheville, NC for a week of action to confront a major Tree Biotechnology conference sponsored by ArborGen and other firms. Join the protests or donate to support an activist here: www.treebiotech2013.org
-The GJEP Team
May 14 2013. Source: Food and Water Watch
Today Food & Water Watch and its European project Food & Water Europe released the first comprehensive analysis of the U.S. government’s strategy, tactics and foreign policy objectives to promote pro-agricultural biotechnology policies worldwide. Biotech Ambassadors: How the U.S. State Department Promotes the Seed Industry’s Global Agenda examines more than 900 State Department diplomatic cables from 2005 to 2009 and details how the U.S. State Department lobbies foreign governments to adopt pro-agricultural biotechnology policies and laws, operates a rigorous public relations campaign to improve the image of biotechnology and challenges commonsense biotechnology safeguards and rules — including opposing genetically engineered (GE) food labeling laws.
“The U.S. Department of State is selling seeds instead of democracy,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch and author of the book Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America, which looks at corporations’ growing influence over food policy, launching in Europe this week. “This report provides a chilling snapshot of how a handful of giant biotechnology companies are unduly influencing U.S. foreign policy and undermining our diplomatic efforts to promote security, international development and transparency worldwide. This report is a call to action for Americans because public policy should not be for sale to the highest bidder.” Continue reading
By John Miller, May 14, 2013. Source: Chicago Sun-Times
A genetically engineered potato pokes through the soil of a planting pot inside J.R. Simplot’s lab in southwestern Idaho. Photo: AP
A dozen years after a customer revolt forced Monsanto to ditch its genetically engineered potato, an Idaho company aims to resurrect high-tech spuds.
This month, tuber processing giant J.R. Simplot Co. asked the U.S. government to approve five varieties of biotech potatoes. They’re engineered not to develop ugly black bruises — McDonald’s, which gets many of its fries from Simplot, rejects those. They’re also designed to have less of a natural but potentially cancer-causing neurotoxin, acrylamide.
Much has changed in 12 years, according to the Boise-based company.
Unlike transgenic varieties Monsanto commercialized in the 1990s using genes from synthetic bacteria to kill insect pests, Simplot’s new “Innate”-brand potatoes use only potato genes.
By Suzanne Goldenberg, May 13 2013. Source: The Guardian
Indiana soybean farmer Vernon Bowman speaks to the media outside the supreme court in February. Photo: Jason Reed/Reuters
The US supreme court came down solidly on the side of the agricultural giant Monsanto on Monday, ruling unanimously that an Indiana farmer could not use patented genetically modified soybeans to create new seeds without paying the company.
The case – which was cast by the farmer’s supporters as a classic tale of David vs Goliath – could well dictate the future of modern farming.
In an unanimous ruling written by Justice Elena Kagan, the court ruled that the farmer, Vernon Bowman, had infringed on Monsanto’s patent for its GM soybeans when he bought some of those seeds from a local grain elevator and planted them for a second, late-season crop. Monsanto sued, arguing that Bowman had signed a contract when he initially bought the Roundup Ready soybeans in the spring, agreeing not to save any of the harvest for replanting. The seeds are genetically modified to be resistant to Roundup Ready weedkiller.
On Monday, the nine justices agreed. Kagan rejected the farmer’s main argument, that Monsanto’s patent was exhausted, because he had bought the seeds from a grain elevator. “Patent exhaustion does not permit a farmer to reproduce patented seeds through planting and harvesting without the patent holder’s permission,” she wrote. Continue reading
Note: More stringent environmental review is no funeral pyre for genetically engineered (GE) crops. However, this news – in addition to another recent USDA decision delaying the deregulation process of ArborGen’s GE eucalyptus – suggests some promise for the efforts of the anti-biotech movement. Global Justice Ecology Project wouldn’t bet our horses on the USDA making the right decision, but for now, we can take it as a victory in the movement to end genetic engineering.
-The GJEP Team
By Andrew Pollack, May 10, 2013. Source: NY Times
Glyphosate, a herbicide, being sprayed on a field. Some weeds are now glyphosate-resistant. Photo: H. Rick Bamman/Northwest Herald, via AP
Genetically engineered crops that could sharply increase the use of two powerful herbicides are now unlikely to reach the market until at least 2015 because the Department of Agriculture has decided to subject the crops to more stringent environmental reviews than it had originally intended.
The department said on Friday that it had made the decision after determining that approval of the crops “may significantly affect the quality of the human environment.”
The crops in question are Dow Chemical’s corn and soybeans that would be resistant to the herbicide 2,4-D and Monsanto’s dicamba-resistant cotton and soybeans.
Many farmers say they would welcome the new crops because it would give them a way to kill the rapidly growing number of weeds that have become resistant to their main herbicide — Roundup, known generically as glyphosate. Most of the corn, soybeans and cotton grown in the United States are genetically engineered to tolerate glyphosate, allowing farmers to spray the chemical to kill weeds without hurting the crops.
Note: Bt, or Bacillus thuringiensis is also being engineered into some trees (especially pines) to make them insect resistant. This means the Bt toxin–which has been found to be toxic not only to insects, but also to everything from soil microorganisms to mammals–is expressed in every cell of the tree. The pollen from these trees will also contain the toxin. What will be the impact of inhaling this toxic pollen, especially for people who are already pollen allergic? Yet another reason why genetically engineered trees must be banned.
-The GJEP Team
By Henry, May 2, 2013. Source: Sustainable Pulse
The last year has seen a number of new scientific studies showing the dangers to animals and the environment of GM Crops, in this latest stunning study from Brazil, Bt toxins are shown to be toxic to the blood of mice.
The study (abstract below) explores the toxicity of Bt proteins in mammals. It shows that the Bt toxins Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac or Cry2A have toxic effects in the blood of mice. The methodology is not clearly described but what is clear is that the presumed nontoxicity of Bt toxin to mammals, on which all regulatory approvals of Bt crops are based, is false.
Source: GM Watch
In insects, Bt toxins exercise their toxic effects by breaking holes in the gut and rupturing the cells. In the mice in this experiment, Bt toxins caused red blood cells to rupture.
Read The Full Study Here
Note: Orin Langelle is co-founder and Board Chair of Global Justice Ecology Project. Please visit his new project, Langelle Photography.
-The GJEP Team
By Orin Langelle. Source: Langelle Photography
Photo: Orin Langelle
Big River Earth First! and “mud people” demonstrate against Monsanto’s corporate sponsorship of Earth Day 1990. The person standing behind the over-sized check was questioned by a reporter from a NBC TV affiliate in St. Louis. The mud person interviewed replied in “mud language” which was translated into English by one of the protesters. The segment aired that evening as the lead story on the local NBC TV news. Monsanto did not comment.
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