A new report published last Friday in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Sciences Europe is raising significant concern that weeds are evolving to become resistant to GMO crop technology, causing a significant increase in the use of toxic pesticides. Super weeds are cropping up in a similar fashion to the superbugs that have plagued our hospitals. Read more here.
Below is a news release from Food Democracy Now! that reveals a concerning provision to be considered by the House of Representatives THIS WEEK that takes away the federal court’s ability (and constitutional mandate) to stop the planting and sale of genetically modified crops (GMO crops) during a legal process of appeals when the safety of these foods, our rights as consumers, and the health of the environment are in question. Please take action today to protect your rights to healthy food before corporate profits.
Stop the Monsanto Protection Act!
This week the House of Representatives will consider a provision to House Agricultural Appropriations Bill that will fundamentally undermine the concept of judicial review. Hidden under the guise of a “Farmer Assurance Provision” (Section 733), the provision strips the rights of federal courts to halt the sale and planting of genetically engineered crops during the legal appeals process. In the past, legal advocates have successfully won in court the right to halt the sale and planting of unapproved GMO crops while the approval of those crops is under review by a federal judge. This dangerous new House provision, which were calling the Monsanto Protection Act, would strip judges of their constitutional mandate to protect consumer rights and the environment, while opening up a floodgate of planting of new untested genetically engineered crops, endangering farmers, consumers and the environment.
Once again, Monsanto and the biotech industry are working behind closed doors to undermine your basic rights.
This time they’ve gone too far! Join us in putting a stop to the Monsanto Protection Act!
Below is a call to action by Food Democracy Now! regarding the approval of another Monsanto GMO product. More research is pointing to the fact that GMO products do impact our health, can affect fertility, and cause pesticide residue to linger in the blood. Until the due diligence is done on the long term health consequences of GMO products, let’s hold off on introducing more GMO products into the environment.
Monsanto pushes USDA to approve GMO drought corn – Tell the USDA what you think!
As if genetically engineered alfalfa, corn for ethanol, sugar beets, and most recently Kentucky bluegrass for lawns weren’t enough, the Obama USDA is now poised to approve another unnecessary GMO crop, in lieu of independent scientific data and practice of precautionary principles.
Currently, Monsanto is seeking approval from the USDA of a drought resistant corn known as MON 87460, which Monsanto claims achieves better results under low-water conditions compared to other varieties. Even the USDA’s own assessment shows that MON 87460 is no more “drought-tolerant” than current corn varieties nor does it have the true long-term potential benefits to meet drought conditions that farming with organic corn can bring to farmers.
Unfortunately, like all GMO approval processes in the U.S., the USDA has relied heavily on Monsanto’s own corporate science and failed to get adequate independent, peer reviewed data regarding the safety of this new GMO drought corn or of Monsanto’s claims.
It would appear that the “science” used to rationalize the approval for yet another GMO crop is biased to the benefit of Monsanto, ignoring the needs of farmers, the environment and the health of the population. The USDA public comment for approval of MON ends tomorrow
British Scientists Find GMO Horizontal Gene Transfer
In what can only be a glaring scientific oversight, the USDA assessment readily admits that “horizontal gene transfer” of DNA is a common event in nature, but somehow diminishes the potential for the novel genetic components found in Monsanto’s GMO drought corn to be capable of such leaps. Current ag biotechnology relies on a crude insertion of GMO genes done in scattershot fashion, which are by their very creation designed to cross previously untraversable genetic barriers imposed by nature.
More alarming is the fact that scientists in England have found that “horizontal gene transfer” of one of the main GMO genetic components found in MON 87460 has already occurred. Just last year scientists at University of Bristol “identified a natural process they say that would allow synthetic genes to move across GM organisms and out into the wild.”
According to the USDA’s own assessment, Monsanto’s GMO drought corn “was developed through a plant pathogenic bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens mediated transformation”. It is the same Agrobacterium tumefaciens that British researchers found that “‘transforms’ plant tissue at ‘plant wound’ sites and ‘clearly demonstrates that when placed together on damaged plant tissue, Agrobacterium readily transforms associated fungi’”.
It is hard to understand how scientists at the main U.S. government oversight agency could miss these facts in their own assessment of a new GMO crop, but like previous administrations, officials in the Obama administration appear more interested in fast-tracking Monsanto’s GMO technology.
Tell the USDA that they need to reject Monsanto’s studies of their own products and demand more independent peer reviewed data before it can approve any more GMO crops.
Monsanto’s Missing GMO Genes: Where did they GO?
On top of this, the current USDA assessment for Monsanto’s GMO drought corn readily admits that multiple GMO genetic components “did not get incorporated into the transformed plant”. Even as Monsanto attempts to diminish this alarming finding, the USDA also admits “a 22 base pair length of genomic DNA got deleted at the insert-to-plant DNA junction in MON 87460.”
Despite these disturbing scientific anomalies, which the USDA calls “minor genetic sequence modifications” the agency concludes there is no “biologically meaningful difference between MON 87460 and conventional corn.”
Do you believe them?
Bt toxin from GMO Corn Found in Pregnant Mothers
This past spring, further punctuating the point of gene trasference from plants to humans, Canadian scientists alarmingly discovered traces of the Bt toxin from GMO corn – engineered to release an insecticide – in 93% of blood samples taken from pregnant women and 80% umbilical cords tested.
This discovery comes in spite of promises by ag biotech companies such as Monsanto that this was not possible.
For any mother or parent such findings should bring about a sobering awakening that U.S. governmental regulatory agencies are not adequately doing their jobs and that more independent peer reviewed studies must be conducted before any more GMO crops are approved by the USDA or the Obama administration.
Click here to send in your public comment to tell the USDA that they need to reject Monsanto’s studies of their own products and demand more independent peer reviewed data before they can approve any more GMO crops.
Thanks for participating in food democracy,
Dave, Lisa and the Food Democracy Now! Team
1. “PLANT PEST RISK ASSESSMENT FOR MON 87460 CORN” U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
2. “Scientists Discover New Route for GM Contamination”, November 4, 2010 Farmers Guardian. http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/go/401?akid=362.169161.6a0G4f&t=16
3. “GM food toxins found in the blood of 93% of unborn babies”, May 20, 2011, UK Daily Mail.
For more details click here:
In health and healing,
Farmers and Seed Producers Launch Preemptive Strike against Monsanto
“Lawsuit Filed To Protect Themselves from Unfair Patent Enforcement on Genetically Modified Seed
Action Would Prohibit Biotechnology Giant from Suing Organic Farmers and Seed Growers If Innocently Contaminated by Roundup Ready Genes
NEW York: On behalf of 60 family farmers, seed businesses and organic agricultural organizations, the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) filed suit today against Monsanto Company challenging the chemical giant’s patents on genetically modified seed. The organic plaintiffs were forced to sue preemptively to protect themselves from being accused of patent infringement should their crops ever become contaminated by Monsanto’s genetically modified seed.
Monsanto has sued farmers in the United States and Canada, in the past, when there are patented genetic material has inadvertently contaminated their crops.”
Please send a letter to President Obama and Secretary Vilsack today requesting their immediate revocation of the decision to fully deregulate Monsanto’s GMO crops and to democratically investigate the impact of this unproven technology on human health, the environment and farmers’ long-term ability to meet the challenges of 21st century agriculture.
From Food Democracy Now!…
Over the past 12 days, the Obama administration has unbelievably chosen to approve two biotech crops, Roundup Ready genetically modified (GMO) alfalfa and Roundup Ready genetically modified (GMO) sugar beets. Obama’s recent approval of them will allow them to be planted as early as this spring, despite widespread acknowledgement that these crops are certain to contaminate both conventional and organic farmers non-GMO crops. Their approval only benefits one company — Monsanto.
These decisions are a devastating blow to our democracy and the basic rights of farmers to choose how they want to grow food on their land and the rights of consumers who increasingly choose organic and sustainably grown food for its positive health and environmental impacts. Please join us in telling President Obama that it’s time to stand up to Monsanto and reject these GMO crops today!
Please support Food Democracy Now! in their grassroots efforts to educate the public on genetically modified foods and the risks to your health. Below is a plea from them to sign a petition to stop GMO salmon from landing on your plate. A worthy effort!!!
Massive mutant GMO salmon, genetically engineered to grow twice as fast as wild salmon, are coming to a table near you if you don’t act today.
On September 3rd, a panel of three Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials declared that genetically modified salmon were “safe” for human consumption.  Somehow, the elite FDA panel arrived at this “decision” based on “scientific research” provided by AquaBounty Technologies, the same company that stands to profit from introducing its patented genes onto our plates.
With the potential approval of GMO salmon, Americans are now entering an alarming new era of genetic experimentation with food animals, nature and the human population. Already the scientific community is warning against the real risk that these unnaturally engineered fish pose to wild species, the environment and human health.
Act today to stop the FDA from allowing this disaster to happen! Click here to automatically sign your name to the petition demanding that the FDA halt approval of GMO salmon.
Known as “macro-mutants”, AquaBounty’s GMO salmon are designed to ignore natural cycles of food sources and wild fish mating patterns that have existed for eons. 
While AquaBounty’s GMO salmon are only days away from being approved, the FDA has only seen scientific studies provided by the company that stands to profit from these patented genes. Since AquaBounty’s GMO salmon are being regulated under the FDA’s new animal drug provision, real independent scientific studies were not required. 
If history and the law of unintended consequences has taught us anything, the FDA’s approval of transgenic GMO mutant fish will be a disaster. For years independent scientists have been warning us about the dangers posed by these GMO salmon.
Once again, corporations and our government are trying to place profits over people. Act today to stop the FDA from allowing this disaster to happen!
Click here to automatically sign your name to the petition demanding that the FDA halt approval of GMO salmon.
What will these GMO salmon do to the environment?
One key problem with AquaBounty’s current business model is that they intend to sell the patented GMO salmon eggs to giant aquatic fish “farms” and not raise the fish themselves.  By becoming the Monsanto of aquaculture in simply selling the seed stock, AquaBounty solves a key infrastructure problem, but opens the door to mismanagement of its product and potential extinction of wild species. While the FDA states that the patented GMO salmon will be raised on inland fish farm facilities, there is no guarantee that the sold eggs might not accidentally end up in open-water ocean net pens or accidentally be spilled during transport.
If this happens, it could spell disaster. Even more alarming is the fact that, according to the Environmental Assessment that AquaBounty submitted to the FDA, these GMO salmon eggs are to be hatched in a facility on Prince Edward Island in Canada and raised at an inland facility in Panama!  That’s right, designed in Canada, raised in Panama, and ready for your plate here in America. Something smells fishy about this arrangement.
If GMO salmon escape into the wild, scientists warn that just 60 GMO salmon released into a population of 60,000 could lead to the extinction of the wild population in just 40 fish generations.  With wild Atlantic salmon already on the list of endangered species, the approval of AquaBounty’s patented GMO mutant fish may very well be a death sentence for wild salmon. One has to ask, what profit could possibly be worth such an outcome?
How will GMO salmon impact human health?
Because independent scientific studies of AquaBounty’s patented salmon have not been allowed, the human health impacts of GMO salmon are not currently known. Shockingly, the FDA is relying on scant scientific documents provided by AquaBounty itself. In fact, the FDA’s own assessment AquaBounty’s studies to determine whether GMO salmon are safe for human consumption states that the studies contain “technical flaws” and provide “insufficient data”.
For two of the studies submitted, AquaBounty used sample sizes so small that they have no scientific credibility, with only 12 fish tested for one study, while the study on possible allergic reactions in humans involved only “6 fertile fish and 6 infertile fish.”  Despite this scant evidence, the FDA is currently on the verge of approving the companies GMO salmon.
Serious questions remain about eating fish engineered to grow faster and how that genetically manipulated trait can impact human health, especially that of our most vulnerable populations such as pregnant mothers and children.
Act today to stand up for human health, food safety and the environment. Click here to automatically sign your name to a letter that tells the FDA that there are consequences to meddling with nature.
Thank you for participating in food democracy!
– Dave, Lisa and The Food Democracy Now Team
Please consider donating to Food Democracy Now! today – whether it’s $10, $25 or $50. http://fdn.actionkit.com/go/donate/133?akid=202.63486.cnGt_Y&t=18
We rely on folks like you to keep us going and couldn’t do it without you! Thanks again for your support.
1. “Aqua Bounty Biotech Salmon OK to Eat-FDA Staff,” Lisa Richwine, Reuters, September 3, 2010.
2. “Methods to Assess Ecological Risks of Transgenic Fish Releases”, William M Muir and Richard D Howard, Genetically Engineered Organisms, Chapter 13, CRC Press 2002.
3. “GE Animals Regulated Under New Animal Drug Provisions”, FDA.gov website, FDA Releases Final Guidance on Genetically Engineered Animals, January 15, 2009.
4. “Modified Salmon is Safe, FDA Says”, Andrew Pollack, The New York Times, September 3, 2010
5. “Enviornmental Assessment for AquAdvantage Salmon”, provided to FDA by Aqua Bounty Technologies Inc., FDA.gov website
6. “Mutant Salmon Coming to a Kitchen Table Near You”, Ariel Schwartz, Fast Company, July 12, 2010
7. “Would You Eat Genetically Altered Salmon?”, Deniza Gertsberg, AlterNet.com, September 11, 2010 http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/go/246?akid=202.63486.cnGt_Y&t=32