GMO’s in the News
Lots going on this month, including the news that Zika is caused by a Monsanto larvicide. Very sad, but not surprising… We are gaining ground though – Hershey’s is getting rid of GMO sugar beets and the more we boycott GM foods, the manufacturers will listen. Vote with your food dollars!
Argentine and Brazilian doctors name larvicide as potential cause of microcephaly
Are the Zika virus – and GM mosquitoes – being wrongly blamed? Report by Claire Robinson
A report from the Argentine doctors’ organisation, Physicians in the Crop-Sprayed Towns, challenges the theory that the Zika virus epidemic in Brazil is the cause of the increase in the birth defect microcephaly among newborns.
The increase in this birth defect, in which the baby is born with an abnormally small head and often has brain damage, was quickly linked to the Zika virus by the Brazilian Ministry of Health. However, according to the Physicians in the Crop-Sprayed Towns, the Ministry failed to recognise that in the area where most sick people live, a chemical larvicide that produces malformations in mosquitoes was introduced into the drinking water supply in 2014. This poison, Pyriproxyfen, is used in a State-controlled programme aimed at eradicating disease-carrying mosquitoes.
The Physicians added that the Pyriproxyfen is manufactured by Sumitomo Chemical, a Japanese “strategic partner” of Monsanto. Pyriproxyfen is a growth inhibitor of mosquito larvae, which alters the development process from larva to pupa to adult, thus generating malformations in developing mosquitoes and killing or disabling them. It acts as an insect juvenile hormone or juvenoid, and has the effect of inhibiting the development of adult insect characteristics (for example, wings and mature external genitalia) and reproductive development. It is an endocrine disruptor and is teratogenic (causes birth defects), according to the Physicians.
The Physicians commented: “Malformations detected in thousands of children from pregnant women living in areas where the Brazilian state added Pyriproxyfen to drinking water are not a coincidence, even though the Ministry of Health places a direct blame on the Zika virus for this damage.”
They also noted that Zika has traditionally been held to be a relatively benign disease that has never before been associated with birth defects, even in areas where it infects 75% of the population.
Read the rest here:
New Study Shows Organic Farming To Best Feed An Overpopulated Planet
It turns out that these crops hold up better during harsh growing conditions such as droughts, which are predicted to increase in the changing face of climate change.
By Diana Erney February 10, 2016
With the world’s population predicted to peak around 9.6 billion people by the year 2050, one of the big unknowns about our collective future is how we can possibly feed all of those people. A new study from Washington State University predicts that organic farming will lead the way.
Looking at studies from the past 40 years, researchers compared conventional agriculture with organic systems relative to production, economics, the environment, and social wellbeing. Although organic farms were found to be less productive than conventional overall, with yields averaging 8 to 25 percent lower depending upon the crop, the study found that organic crops hold up better during harsh growing conditions such as droughts, which are predicted to increase in the changing face of climate change. (Not to mention The Effects Climate Change Can Have On Our Health.) Enhancements in management methods and improved plant varieties may also help to close the production gap.
And I don’t usually post political posts, but we have ONE candidate for President who supports GMO labeling. He’s a long time Independent, although he is running on the Democratic side. Time to vote out the corporate hacks and bring back politicians that will represent us!
Bernie Sanders: The Only US Presidential Candidate Supporting GMO Labeling
Bernie Sanders is the only U.S. Presidential candidate who has come out strongly in support of GMO labeling. For this reason Sustainable Pulse has collected a few of his quotes:
Bernie Sanders Quotes on GMO Labeling
“Unlike people in the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Australia, South Korea, Japan, Brazil, China, Russia, New Zealand and other countries where labels are required, Americans don’t know if the food they eat has been genetically modified. People have a right to know what they are eating…”
“I think all over this country, people want to know the quality of the food they’re eating and what they’re giving to their kids is good quality. We just don’t know all that much about genetically modified food. . .”
“Monsanto and other companies are saying states can’t do it [label GMOs]. It is a federal prerogative. My amendment said if California, Vermont, Connecticut, other states want to go forward, they should have that right.”
“An overwhelming majority of Americans favor GMO labeling but virtually all of the major biotech and food corporations in the country oppose it…The people of Vermont and the people of America have a right to know what’s in the food that they eat.”
Bernie Sanders on Agriculture:
As someone who has represented a rural state for more than 24 years, improving the lives of rural Americans is a top priority for Senator Sanders.
Family farms and ranches are the backbone of rural America and the U.S. economy. Farmers are also among our nation’s foremost stewards of our lands and water.
Throughout his career, Senator Sanders has successfully fought for innovative rural economic development initiatives, including investments in farm-to-school and farm-to-table initiatives; agri-tourism programs; school gardens; large scale bio-mass fired electric plants; shared agricultural processing and storage facilities; and anaerobic digesters to process cow manure into methane gas.
Senator Sanders understands that agriculture programs need to be counter-cyclical to assure market-derived commodity income at levels that advance and sustain family-scale farming.
Senator Sanders will fight for farm policies that will foster the entry of a new generation of owner-operators. He will not back away from land stewardship standards that include the commonwealth of clean water for all.
As president, Senator Sanders will adopt policies that will:
- Make sure that family farmers and rural economies thrive;
- Expand support for young and beginning farmers;
- Produce an abundant and nutritious food supply;
- Establish an on-going regeneration of our soils; and
- Enlist farmers as partners in promoting conservation and stewardship to keep our air and water clean and to combat climate change.
FAMILY FARMS INSTEAD OF FACTORY FARMS
Senator Sanders believes that we need more family farms, not more factory farms.
It is unacceptable that just four corporations control 82% of the nation’s beef cattle market, 85% of soybean processing, and 63% of pork processing. It is unacceptable that there are over 300,000 fewer farmers than there were 20 years ago.
It is unacceptable that the top 10% of farms collect 75% of farm subsidies, while the bottom 62% do not receive any subsidies. We have to adopt policies that will turn this around.
In 1966, farmers received 40 cents for every dollar Americans spent on food. Today, they only receive 16 cents on the dollar.
As President, Senator Sanders will reverse this trend by:
- Fighting for America’s small and mid-sized farms. Abraham Lincoln called the United States Department of Agriculture the “People’s Department” and Senator Sanders will ensure that the agency lives up to this name by expanding its services for new and underserved farmers.
- Encouraging the growth of regional food systems. Farmers throughout the country are boosting their bottom line and reinvigorating their communities by selling directly to local consumers, institutions, and restaurants. Senator Sanders will invest in this movement, helping Americans support local farms.
- Reversing trade policies like NAFTA that have flooded the American market with agricultural goods produced in countries with less stringent environmental, labor, and safety regulations.
- Enforcing our country’s antitrust laws against large agribusiness and food corporations. A few large companies dominate many agricultural industries, allowing them to force unfair prices on farmers. Senator Sanders will stand up to these corporations and fight to ensure that farmers receive fair prices.