monsanto

Obama’s secret TPP scheme will criminalize saving seeds, push biotech patent monopolies

June 23, 2015

The hidden details of a treasonous new “trade” agreement currently being negotiated between the U.S. and 11 other countries in secret continue to be leaked, with new evidence pointing to the further erosion of national food sovereignty under the sinister plan. The so-called “Trans-Pacific Partnership,” or TPP, threatens to eliminate the freedom of farmers to save seeds while forcing signatory nations to allow multinational biotechnology companies to patent whole plants as intellectual property. Despite continued efforts by the Obama administration to conceal this stealth agricultural takeover, the provisions of TPP continue to make headlines, at least across the alternative media spectrum. As part of the infamous Codex Alimentarius scam to “harmonize” international trade laws to accommodate corporate interests, TPP’s implementation will lead to the further unraveling of national sovereignty, forcing member nations into an international tribunal setup where corporations essentially call all the shots. “As America races toward her date with destiny, there is yet another ‘fundamentally transforming’ event coming her way and that event is known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP),” writes Dave Hodges for The Common Sense Show. “The TPP is a plot designed to hand over control of the world’s governments to private corporate interests and it is

The Pro-GMO Lobby’s Latest Scapegoat: “Organic Farming is Starving The Poor”. Monsanto Can Save the World from Hunger By Colin Todhunter

June 18, 2015

Not since the original Luddites smashed cotton mill machinery in early 19th century England, have we seen such an organised, fanatical antagonism to progress and science. These enemies of the Green Revolution call themselves ‘progressive’, but their agenda could hardly be more backward-looking and regressive… their policies would condemn billions to hunger, poverty and underdevelopment. Owen Paterson stated the above earlier this year during a speech he gave in South Africa. Paterson is the former Environment Minister for the UK. Now, a few months on, writing in the New York Post (‘How Neil Young, Greenpeace work to starve the world’s poor‘) he is mouthing similar claims and accusations, this time focusing on Neil Young’s recent anti-GMO/ Monsanto album. Paterson writes: “In reality, GMOs can save millions of lives. It’s the environmentalists who are doing real harm.” He continues: The best example of this is Golden Rice, a miracle grain enhanced with Vitamin A-producing beta-carotene. Developed 15 years ago, it was considered a breakthrough in bio-fortified technology… Each year, 500,000 people, mostly children, lose their sight; half of them will die within a year of becoming blind… Many of those lives could be saved if Golden Rice were in their diets. But the ongoing opposition of

Endgame for glyphosate? The global fallout of WHO’s ‘probable carcinogen’ classification Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji

June 17, 2015

WHO’s official recognition of the health damage caused by glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide, is having ramifications around the world, writes Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji. National governments are moving to restrict the chemical, campaigns to ban it are intensifying, and now ‘Roundup Ready’ GMO crops are coming under the regulatory spotlight. Could it be that the World Health Organisation’s classification of glyphosate as a ‘probable carcinogen’ (see [1] Glyphosate ‘Probably Carcinogenic to Humans’ Latest WHO Assessment, SiS 66) will be the final nail in the coffin for the world’s most popular herbicide and Monsanto’s flagship product. Recent weeks have seen the intensification of campaigns to ban or remove the product as well as lawsuits being filed against Monsanto; in the US for false safety claims of glyphosate, and in China, for hiding toxicity studies from the public. El Salvador has already banned the chemical though yet to be signed into law [2], while the Netherlands last year banned private sales [3]. Sri Lanka had a partial ban in place in regions most afflicted by chronic kidney disease that has been linked to glyphosate use (see later). People have known the truth for years. Industry and government regulators have conspired to bury copious evidence

The Monsanto Protection Act is back, and worse than ever

June 16, 2015

Center for Food Safety (CFS) today expressed strong opposition to Representative Pompeo’s newly revised genetically engineered (GE) food labeling preemption bill (H.R. 1599), which now has been greatly expanded to not only prohibit all labeling of GE foods, but also to make it unlawful for states or local governments to restrict GE crops in any way. These new provisions would not only prohibit any future state and local laws, but also undemocratically nullify GE crop regulations that have existed in numerous counties across the country for over a decade. The bill would also further weaken already weak federal regulation of GE crops, while at the same time forbidding local communities from opting to protect their citizens, their farmers, and their environments. The bill draft will be discussed at a House hearing on Thursday. “The Monsanto Protection Act is back, and it’s even worse than before. This bill would strip away a state or local government’s basic rights of local control, and hands the biotech industry everything it wants on a silver platter. No Member of Congress that cares about the rights and concerns of his or her constituents should support this bill,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director at Center for

‘On the Offensive’ Against Monsanto, France Removes Roundup from Store Shelves by Nadia Prupis

June 16, 2015

France will cease over-the-counter sales of agrochemical giant Monsanto’s weedkiller brand Roundup, following a recent United Nations report that found the active ingredient, glyphosate, was “probably carcinogenic to humans.” It’s the newest development in the growing international movement against Monsanto in general and Roundup in particular. French Ecology Minister Segolene Royal announced on Sunday that she had instructed garden centers to stop putting the herbicide on the shelves of their self-service aisles, stating, “France must be on the offensive with regards to the banning of pesticides.” Colombian officials made similar statements in May, when they put a halt to U.S.-backed toxic fumigation of coca fields in the country, noting that a previous ruling by the Colombian Supreme Court called for an end to the aerial spraying program if health concerns over glyphosate were discovered. They were. As Common Dreams reported in March, the UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is based in France, found in its study that: “[L]imited evidence” exists to show the herbicide can cause non-Hodgkins lymphoma in humans and additional “convincing evidence” that it can cause other forms of cancer in both rats and mice. Researchers noted that glyphosate has been found in the blood and urine of agricultural workers, showing the chemical

Ignoring Reality, Subverting Morality: GMOs and the Neoliberal Apologists By Colin Todhunter

June 15, 2015

Monsanto is often called one of the most ‘evil’ companies on the planet. It has a history of knowingly contaminating the environment and food with various poisons, cover ups and criminality (see this, outlining the company’s appalling history). In recent times, there has been much focus on its promotion and patenting of GMOs, the deleterious impacts of its glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup and how GMOs pose a threat to human and animal health, ecology and the environment (see this, for example). Campaigners and activists have described how global agribusiness players like Monsanto are threatening food security and food democracy. Monsanto and others have been able to capture or unduly influence government regulatory/policy agendas, important trade deals and global trade policies via the WTO. Monsanto is a major player and wields enormous political influence and receives significant political support. Little wonder then that we now have campaigns specifically targeting Monsanto. While it is laudable and correct to highlight the actions of Monsanto and indeed its partners like The Gates Foundation, we should not be side tracked from developing a wider analysis to understand the underlying forces that drive companies like Monsanto.A recent piece by Christina Sarich shows that any shares held by Gates or the individuals at the top of the Monsanto corporate structure like CEO High Grant

Monsanto Now Billing Itself as a “Sustainable Agriculture Company” BY CHRISTINA SARICH

June 12, 2015

When you read headlines like these, you may be confused. Should you get angry, or laugh? Monsanto as a sustainable agriculture company? Monsanto truly has decided to market itself as a ‘sustainable agriculture’ company despite spending billions to provide the world with destructive, carcinogenic chemicals. You can see Monsanto’s propaganda piece here. The biotech giant also says that it aims to “empower” farmers around the world, while arguably leading to mass farmer suicides taking place all throughout India. What’s more, Monsanto is completely wreckinging the organic farmer’s industry in the US. As far as ‘empowering’ farmers, nearly 300,000 have sued Monsanto for contaminating their seed. And the resistance against Monsanto doesn’t stop (nor even start) at the organic farmer. Even top scientists are speaking out against GMOs at large. A recent example can be seen with former senior scientist from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He has studied the impacts of altered crops on the environment for years, and exposes the genetically modified world and the ‘pesticide treadmill’ that biotech has us all running on. The former professor states that GE crops provide no significant increase in crop yields, but do pose several other major concerns: namely cross-pollination of non-GM species, and negative impacts to the environment. He calls these ‘side effects’ of broken biotech promises. And lest

Seeds of doubt: Monsanto never had Bt cotton patent – Shishir Arya & Snehlata Shrivastav

June 12, 2015

Fourteen years after US multinational Monsanto brought the genetically modified (GM) Bt Cotton (Bollgard) to India, there is no clarity on the discovery having ever been patented in the country. Clueless Indian farmers and seed manufacturers have paid crores as royalty to the company from 2002 until 2006, when the company came out with Bollgard 2, which was, incidentally, patented. Two arms of the central government differ on the patent issue. The Central Institute of Cotton Research (CICR), in an RTI reply to farm activist Vijay Jawandhia, emphatically stated that Monsanto’s ‘cry1ac Mon 531′ gene was never patented in India. However, the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) wrote to him that the Bt seed developed by University of Agriculture Sciences (Dharwad), which was found to contain the Mon 531 strain, “cannot be launched in the market” due to a “patent violation”. It did not specify who held the patent. Queries to Monsanto specifically on the patent issue were avoided. “Monsanto has proprietary rights in its regulatory data as well as its biological materials, trade secrets and know-how, which are also protected under Indian law. The Mon 531 is subject to such rights,” said a company spokesperson and never got

Roundup Ready, Bt-Toxin and GMOs — A Dangerous Trinity That Encourages Gluten Intolerance and Celiac Disease By Carolanne Wright

June 12, 2015

In 2012, at least 283.5 million pounds of glyphosate (the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup Ready) was used in U.S. alone. For those who are unconcerned about the environmental or human impacts, this number may not be cause for alarm. But for the millions of people who have developed an array of health issues linked to gluten sensitivity, the assault of foods laden with glyphosate and Bt-toxin is a critical issue.  The rise of gluten intolerance It’s estimated that some 20 million people in the United States are classified as non-celiac gluten-sensitive, which is approximately 6-7% of the general population. However, Dr. Ford, a pediatrician in New Zealand and author of The Gluten Syndrome, and Dr. Fine, a gastroenterologist, both believe the rate of gluten intolerance could be closer to 50% of the population. There are so many people who are sick,” Dr. Ford says. “At least 10% are gluten-sensitive, and it’s probably more like 30%. I was sticking my neck out years ago when I said at least 10% of the population is gluten-sensitive. My medical colleagues were saying gluten sensitivity didn’t exist. We’ll probably find it’s more than 50% when we finally settle on a number. Moreover, a 2009 study Increased Prevalence and Mortality in Undiagnosed Celiac Disease was

The Truth Behind The USDA’s ‘Non-GMO Label’ Revealed – Christine Sarich

June 10, 2015

US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, also known as Monsanto’s errand boy, sent a letter to media outlets on May 1st of this year stating that the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has, for a long time now, offered a Process Verified non-GMO label to food manufacturers. In the least, the claim has kicked up some dust to make understanding the USDA non-GM label claims a little difficult to see through. Vilsack points to the USDA’s website, stating it “provides companies that supply agricultural products or services the opportunity to assure customers of their ability to provide consistent quality products or services,” with a Process Verified Seal. But this only requires companies to submit internal documentation on their goods or services – there is no outside inquiry into any claims they make. So, essentially, the USDA certifies a company’s own internal practices based on their paper trail. For the first time, a company has sought the USDA’s Process Verified Label in connection for a product it sells, with a desire to claim non-GMO status. There is no USDA non-GMO status that is externally vetted. A company could claim that the sky is made of Oreos and cottage cheese if they wanted to –
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