GMO’s in the news
Genetically modified food introduces host of dangers
Sen. Richard Lugar’s (R-Ind.) bill touting genetically modified (GM) foods is emblematic of well-meaning leaders who have been duped by the biotech industry about safety – yet again. The Lugar-Casey Food Security Bill states foreign aid shall be used to conduct research on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) without offering other options. It is time that Congress holds hearings to learn what lobbyist won’t tell them about what’s in their children’s diet.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) cites horrific results of GMO animal feeding studies, including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, organ damage and gastrointestinal disorders. AAEM called for an immediate moratorium and asks physicians to prescribe non-GMO diets to all patients.
How did these high-risk products get in our food? Under the false impression that GMOs would increase U.S. exports, the Bush Administration instructed the FDA to fast-track approvals. The agency dutifully allowed GMOs onto our plates without a single required safety study or label. They justified their position claiming GM foods were not significantly different, but a 1998 lawsuit exposed this ruse. Subpoenaed FDA documents revealed the actual consensus among their scientists was that GMOs could lead to allergies, toxins, diseases and nutritional problems.
It’s time for our leaders, and the public, to know the whole story.
Jeffrey M. Smith, Executive Director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, Fairfield, Iowa
Experts Debunk Calls to Allow GMOs in Organics
* By Ken Roseboro, ed.
The Organic and Non-GMO Report, May 2010
Straight to the Source
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Supporters of biotechnology have proposed integrating genetically modified organisms into organic agriculture. Spearheading this concept are Pamela Ronald, a professor of plant pathology at the University of California- Davis, and her husband Raoul Adamchak, an organic farmer at the UC-Davis’s certified organic farm. The two co-authored a book, Tomorrow’s Table: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food, which argues that combining both systems of agriculture-genetic engineering and organic techniques-offers the best solution to feeding the world in a sustainable way.
Tomorrow’s Table has been praised by GM crop supporters such as Bill Gates, and even by Stewart Brand, creator of the Whole Earth Catalog.
Working with vs. controlling nature
But several noted experts in organic agriculture dismiss the idea, saying the two approaches are fundamentally at odds. They say that genetically modified foods raise health and environmental concerns, narrow genetic diversity, reduce consumer choice, and don’t offer proven solutions to organic agriculture.
Dag Falck, organic program manager at Nature’s Path Foods, calls the proposed marriage of GMOs and organics a “non-starter for a conversation.”
“Organic is always looking to nature for answers; it is a very thought out and studied high-input agricultural system.”
Jim Riddle, organic outreach coordinator at the University of Minnesota and past chairman of the National Organic Standards Board, says “Organic agriculture is based on the establishment of a harmonious relationship with the agricultural ecosystem by farming in harmony with nature. Genetic engineering is based on the exact opposite-an attempt to control nature at its most intimate level-the genetic code.”
Most organic experts point to health risks surrounding GM foods as a major reason why GMOs could never be integrated into organic agriculture.
Pamela Ronald has written that “there has not been a single case of illness associated with these (GM) crops.” This claim is often repeated by proponents of biotechnology but the reality is that no one knows if anyone has gotten sick eating GM foods because there is no monitoring to see if illnesses are linked to GM foods. “There is no data from independent, long-term studies on the human health impacts from eating GM crops,” says Tim LaSalle, chief executive officer of the Rodale Institute.
Others agree. “Right now, we clearly don’t know enough about GMOs to integrate them into anything,” says David Vetter, president of Grain Place Foods and organic farmer of 35 years.
“GM crops are comprised of novel genetic constructs which have never been part of the human diet and may not be recognized by the intestinal system as digestible food, leading to the possible relationship between genetic engineering and a dramatic increase in food allergies, obesity, diabetes, and other food-related diseases,” Riddle says.
Organic experts see opposite impacts on the environment with the two approaches. “Organic agriculture is based on the fundamental principle of building and maintaining healthy soil, aquatic, and terrestrial ecosystems,” Riddle says. “To date, GM has led to an increase in the application of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, with associated increases in soil erosion and water contamination, while producing foods with lower nutritional content.”
“Organic farming is about concerns for environment and stewardship, and I don’t think that GM crops fit in that context of stewardship and concern for the land,” says Maury Johnson, president, Blue River Hybrids, an organic seed company.
While organic farming aims to enhance genetic and biological diversity, GM crops are seen as reducing genetic diversity. “GM crops narrow and restrict our genetic base, which narrows and reduces options for our nutritional needs,” Vetter says.
Ronald and Adamchak point to the success of Bt cotton in reducing pesticide use as an example of how genetic engineering could benefit organic farmers. Kirschenmann says this “single tactic therapeutic intervention” creates unintended consequences. Pests eventually develop resistance as they’ve done to Bt cotton in India or other pests become a problem. The solution, says Kirschenmann, is an approach that encompasses the entire farming system, not just focusing on one pest.
“Pipe dream, not based on reality”
Organic experts say GMOs offer no benefits to organic agriculture. The two main genetically modified traits are a built-in pesticide, Bt, and herbicide tolerance. Dag Falck says neither application could benefit organic agriculture. “There is no GM application we could even remotely imagine being beneficial in organic. It’s a pipe dream and not based on reality.”
“To this point, biotech crops have not produced the yield advantages or biological resilience to multiple stressors. If we’re looking for reliable, multi-benefit, future-oriented farming options in an inputlimited world, biotech is not a player,” LaSalle says.
Eliminate consumer choice
Allowing GMOs into organic foods would also reduce consumer choice. “If genetic engineering became part of organic it would deprive people who want non-GMO foods,” says Margaret Mellon, senior scientist at Union of Concerned Scientists.
Organic consumers have already said they don’t want GMOs. A 1997 draft proposal to allow GMOs in the National Organic Program rules was removed after the US Department of Agriculture received more than 275,000 comments from people outraged by the possibility.
While there is strong consumer demand for organic foods, Riddle points out there is zero demand for GM foods. “Consumers aren’t demanding that foods be genetically engineered.”
“I’d rather rely on mother nature’s wisdom than man’s cleverness.” -Wendell Berry
David Vetter says this quote best captures his response to the idea of allowing GMOs in organics.
Any decision to allow GMOs in organics would not be decided by Pamela Ronald, Raoul Adamchak, Bill Gates, or the Biotechnology Industry Organization. “It resides with people in the organic community,” said Mellon, speaking to an audience of organic farmers at the Organic Farming Conference this past February. “It is your question to answer and not anyone else’s.”
Today, the answer remains-as it did in 1997 when 275,000 people told the USDA-a resounding “no.”
U.S. attempting global censorship of GMO food labeling
(NaturalNews) I received an urgent alert from Jeffrey Smith today about a dangerous situation taking place right now at the international CODEX conference. The U.S. is attempting to push its agenda to censor all GMO labeling of foods everywhere around the world. This would result in a global GMO cover-up as consumers are left in the dark about whether their foods and grocery products are genetically modified or not.
Your help is urgently needed to send a message to the Secretaries of State (Clinton), Agriculture (Vilsack), and Health and Human Services (Sebelius) to urge them to halt the USA’s nefarious attempts to install a global GMO deception.
Take part in this online petition, go here:
Please understand that the U.S. is attempting to outlaw non-GMO labeling of foods, thereby making it illegal for a non-GMO food product to even claim “non-GMO” on the label. If the U.S. succeeds in this global GMO cover-up, the FDA could seize any products in the USA that make “non-GMO” claims. Additionally, the USA could file lawsuits through the World Trade Organization against any country that allows non-GMO labeling or claims on its products.
Why is the U.S. pursuing such a devious and sinister course of action? Because, as you well know, virtually the entire federal government caters to the financial interests of powerful corporations — and these include the “Big Ag” giants like Monsanto that want to patent all seeds while destroying the no-GMOs movement. They want to turn non-GMO foods into violations of the law and thereby strip all such products from store shelves.
They want to keep American consumers left in the dark, ignorant of the real dangers posed by GMOs. And of course, they want to dominate the entire U.S. food supply with their toxic GMO crops.
These powerful, dangerous corporations are willing to do anything to achieve their global agenda, including forcing GMO censorship on the entire world.
They might just get away with it, too, unless you join us in speaking up right now to oppose this devious and dangerous action.
Add your voice to the online petition right here:
Health Ranger interviews Jeffrey Smith
Watch my recent interview with Jeffrey Smith at the Health Freedom Expo in California.
Here, Jeffrey reveals the astounding truth about how dangerous GMOs really are for your health: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBPY6rcgoTs
Check out the Non-GMO shopping guide
The non-profit Center for Food Safety offers a fantastic free Non-GMO Shopping Guide available at http://www.nongmoshoppingguide.com/SG/Home/index.cfm
Check it out. There, you can learn which products are truly non-GMO, and you can learn how to avoid products that are most likely made with GMOs.
It teaches you to avoid corn, soybeans, canola and cottonseed ingredients, among other things. It’s sponsored by some of the most responsible natural products companies in the business: Nutiva, Nature’s Path, Straus, Woodstock Farms and others.
NaturalNews plans to expand its coverage of GMOs in the weeks ahead. Watch for more updates as this saga on GMOs is unveiled.
Read more great, Fight Back Friday posts here: http://www.foodrenegade.com/fight-back-friday-may-14th/
Read more great, Real Food Wednesday posts here: http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2010/05/real-food-wednesday-51210.html