Genetic Modification Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Genetic Modification Media Articles from Major Media
Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important genetically modified organisms articles reported in the mainstream media suggesting a cover-up.
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For an index to revealing excerpts of media articles on several dozen engaging topics, click here
U.S. tax dollars promote Monsanto's GMO crops overseas: report
2013-05-14, Chicago Tribune/Reuters
U.S. taxpayers are footing the bill for overseas lobbying that promotes controversial biotech crops developed by U.S.-based Monsanto Co and other seed makers, a report issued on [May 14] said. A review of 926 diplomatic cables of correspondence to and from the U.S. State Department and embassies in more than 100 countries found that State Department officials actively promoted the commercialization of specific biotech seeds, according to the report issued by Food & Water Watch, a nonprofit consumer protection group. The officials tried to quash public criticism of particular companies and facilitated negotiations between foreign governments and seed companies such as Monsanto over issues like patents and intellectual property, the report said. The cables show U.S. diplomats supporting Monsanto, the world's largest seed company, in foreign countries even after it paid $1.5 million in fines after being charged with bribing an Indonesian official and violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 2005. One 2009 cable shows the embassy in Spain seeking "high-level U.S. government intervention" at the "urgent request" of Monsanto to combat biotech crop opponents there. The report covered cables from 2005-2009 that were released by Wikileaks in 2010. "It really goes beyond promoting the U.S.'s biotech industry and agriculture," said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. "It really gets down to twisting the arms of countries and working to undermine local democratic movements that may be opposed to biotech crops."
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government corruption, click here.
Monsanto and other GM firms are winning in the US – and globally
2013-05-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Food & Water Watch ... spent months looking at the extent to which the US State Department is working on behalf of the GM seed industry to make sure that biotech crops are served up abroad whether the world wants them or not. Between 2007 and 2009, annual cables were distributed to "encourage the use of agricultural biotechnology", directing US embassies to "pursue an active biotech agenda". There was a comprehensive communications campaign aimed to "promote understanding and acceptance of the technology" ... in light of the worldwide backlash against GM crops. The State Department worked to diminish trade barriers to the benefit of seed companies, and encouraged the embassies to "publicize the benefits of agbiotech as a development tool". Monsanto was a great beneficiary of the State Department's taxpayer-funded diplomacy: the company appeared in 6.1% of the biotech cables analyzed between 2005 and 2009 from 21 countries. The cables also show extensive lobbying against in-country efforts to require labeling of GM foods. The US government is now quietly negotiating major trade deals with Europe and the countries of the Pacific Rim that would force countries to accept biotech imports, commercialize biotech crops and prevent the labeling of GM foods. The vast influence that Monsanto and the biotech seed industry have on our foreign affairs is just one tentacle of a beast comprised by a handful of huge corporations who wield enormous power over most food policy in the United States.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government corruption, click here.
Historic vote to ban neonicotinoid pesticides blamed for huge decline in bees
2013-04-28, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
A landmark step in the campaign to ban a nerve-agent pesticide blamed for causing mass die-offs in bees could be reached on [April 29] following one of the most intensive environmental lobbying battles of recent years. Months of furious argument which has pitched green groups, the chemical industry, farmers, scientists and politicians at bitter odds with each other will be decided in a crucial EU vote in Brussels. Britain’s Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, has been criticised for failing to support a ban on three types of neonicotinoid pesticides which have been linked to a dramatic decline in the bee population. Last week, designers Katharine Hamnett and Vivienne Westwood handed a petition with 300,000 signatures to Downing Street demanding the Government support the initiative. They are backed by Friends of the Earth and the campaign group Avaaz, which has 2.6 million signatories on its online petition calling for the ban. But Mr Paterson [has] claimed he is the victim of a “cyber-attack” from opponents. Opponents of the moratorium reject the evidence of more than 30 scientific studies in the last three years showing the harmful impact of neonicotinoids on bees. The chemicals attack insects’ nervous systems and are active in all aspects of a plant, meaning they are present in the pollen and nectar gathered by bees.
Note: As mentioned in this article, the excellent activist organization Avaaz.org played a key role in this. Check out their great website which has many millions of members at this link.
Supreme Court sides with Monsanto in major patent case
2013-04-26, USA Today
The Supreme Court usually isn't friendly toward questionable patents, but it came down overwhelmingly on the side of agribusiness giant Monsanto [on April 22] in a case that's bound to resonate throughout the biotechnology industry. The court ruled unanimously that an Indiana farmer violated Monsanto's patent on genetically modified soybeans when he culled some from a grain elevator and used them to replant his own crop in future years. "If simple copying were a protected use, a patent would plummet in value after the first sale of the first item containing the invention," Justice Elena Kagan ruled in a short 10-page opinion. Who it helps: Inventors and entrepreneurs who have patents on products that can be self-replicated, from computer software to cell lines. Who it hurts: Consumers paying high prices. The Center for Food Safety released a report in February that showed three corporations control much of the global commercial seed market. It found that from 1995-2011, the average cost to plant 1 acre of soybeans rose 325%. Center for Food Safety executive director Andrew Kimbrell called the ruling a setback for farmers. "The court chose to protect Monsanto over farmers," he said. "The court's ruling is contrary to logic and to agronomics, because it improperly attributes seeds' reproduction to farmers, rather than nature."
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government corruption, click here.
GMO foods subject of bill in U.S. Senate
2013-04-24, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
On the heels of last year's defeat on the issue in California, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., have introduced a bill to order the Food and Drug Administration to mandate the labeling of genetically engineered foods.
The legislation, which would require food manufacturers and stores to tag items made with genetically modified ingredients or grown from genetically engineered seeds, has ... more than 20 co-sponsors. It has been hailed by food labeling advocates as a boon for consumers who have repeatedly tried to get such laws passed [and] shows that demand for a genetically engineered labeling law has reached critical mass. "This is big because for the first time in 13 years the U.S. Senate has recognized consumers' right to know," said Colin O'Neil, director of government affairs for the Center for Food Safety, of the federal proposal. Unlike Prop. 37, criticized for giving exemptions to products such as beef and most dairy, the federal bill would include all food items under the FDA's purview. Foods such as beef and poultry, which are overseen by the Department of Agriculture, would also follow the labeling law, O'Neil said. Surveys show that more than 90 percent of Americans support the labeling of genetically modified foods. Genetically engineered foods require labeling in 64 countries, including Russia and China.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on risks from GMO foods, click here. For an excellent summary of scientific research showing the major risks and dangers of these foods, click here.
Monsanto Protection Act put GM companies above the federal courts
2013-04-04, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Even people used to the closeness of the US administration and food giants like Monsanto have been shocked by the latest demonstration of the GM industry's political muscle. Little-noticed in Europe or outside the US, President Barack Obama last week signed off what has become widely known as "the Monsanto Protection Act", technically the Farmer Assurance Provision rider in HR 933: Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act 2013. According to an array of food and consumer groups, organic farmers, civil liberty and trade unions and others, this hijacks the constitution, sets a legal precedent and puts Monsanto and other biotech companies above the federal courts. It means, they say, that not even the US government can now stop the sale, planting, harvest or distribution of any GM seed, even if it is linked to illness or environmental problems. The backlash has been furious. A Food Democracy Now petition has attracted 250,000 names. The only good news, say the opponents, is that because the "Monsanto Protection Act" was part of the much wider spending bill, it will formally expire in September. The bad news however is that the precedent has been set and it is unlikely that the world's largest seed company and the main driver of the divisive GM technology will ever agree to give up its new legal protection. The company, in effect, now rules.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the harm caused by GMOs, click here.
Mystery Malady Kills More Bees, Heightening Worry on Farms
2013-03-29, New York Times
A mysterious malady that has been killing honeybees en masse for several years appears to have expanded drastically in the last year, commercial beekeepers say, wiping out 40 percent or even 50 percent of the hives needed to pollinate many of the nation’s fruits and vegetables. Many beekeepers suspect the biggest culprit is the growing soup of pesticides, fungicides and herbicides that are used to control pests. Beekeepers and some researchers say there is growing evidence that a powerful new class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, incorporated into the plants themselves, could be an important factor. The explosive growth of neonicotinoids since 2005 has roughly tracked rising bee deaths. Neonics, as farmers call them, are ... systemic pesticides, often embedded in seeds so that the plant itself carries the chemical that kills insects that feed on it. Neonicotinoids persist for weeks and even months. A coalition of beekeepers and environmental and consumer groups sued the E.P.A. last week, saying it exceeded its authority by conditionally approving some neonicotinoids. The European Union has proposed to ban their use on crops frequented by bees. Some researchers have concluded that neonicotinoids caused extensive die-offs in Germany and France. Neonicotinoids are hardly the beekeepers’ only concern. Herbicide use has grown as farmers have adopted crop varieties, from corn to sunflowers, that are genetically modified to survive spraying with weedkillers.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the harmful effects of GMOs, click here.
Pesticide makes bees forget the scent for food, new study finds
2013-03-27, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Widely used pesticides have been found in new research to block a part of the brain that bees use for learning, rendering some of them unable to perform the essential task of associating scents with food. Bees exposed to two kinds of pesticide were slower to learn or completely forgot links between floral scents and nectar. These effects could make it harder for bees to forage among flowers for food, thereby threatening their survival and reducing the pollination of crops and wild plants. The findings add to existing research that neonicotinoid pesticides are contributing to the decline in bee populations. The new findings on the effect of pesticides on bee brains showed that within 20 minutes of exposure to neonicotinoids the neurons in the major learning centre of the brain stopped firing. Christopher Connolly at the University of Dundee, who led the peer-reviewed work published in the online journal Nature Communications, said it was the first to show the pesticides had a direct impact on pollinator brain physiology. A parallel peer-reviewed study on the behaviour of bees subjected to the same insecticides found the bees were slower to learn or completely forgot important associations between floral scent and food rewards. "Disruption in this important function has profound implications for honeybee colony survival, because bees that cannot learn will not be able to find food," said Dr Geraldine Wright, at Newcastle University, who led the work.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on GMOs, click here.
Major US supermarkets to boycott GM salmon
2013-03-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
A number of US supermarket chains pledged on [March 20] not to sell genetically modified salmon, in a sign of growing public concern about engineered foods on the dinner table. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is in the final stages of deciding whether to allow GM salmon on to the market. If approved, AquaBounty Technology's salmon would be the first genetically engineered animal to enter the food supply. The GM salmon is the first [of some 30 species] of genetically engineered fish under development, including tilapia. Researchers are also working to bring GM cows, chickens and pigs to market. However, those plans could be blocked by Wednesday's commitment not to sell genetically engineered seafood from national grocery chains including Trader Joe's, Aldi and Whole Foods, as well as regional retailers. Between them, the chains control about 2,000 outlets. Campaigners said they represent a growing segment of the population that is concerned about GM food, and willing to pay higher prices for healthier foods. Critics of GM salmon say the FDA has not conducted proper oversight of the fish, which are raised from eggs hatched in a facility in Prince Edward Island, Canada, and grown to maturity in tanks in a remote area of Panama. They say there is insufficient data to back up AquaBounty's claims its salmon can grow to maturity twice as fast as wild salmon. They also dispute the company's claims that there is no increased risk to people with allergies.
Note: For an excellent summary of the dangers posed by genetically-engineered organisms in the food supply, click here. To sign a petition against GM salmon, click here. For information on a recently passed law which grants Monsanto immunity from prosecution for planting dangerous GM crops, click here.
Major Grocer to Label Foods With Gene-Modified Content
2013-03-09, New York Times
Whole Foods Market, the grocery chain, on [March 8] became the first retailer in the United States to require labeling [by 2018] of all genetically modified foods sold in its stores, a move that some experts said could radically alter the food industry. The announcement ricocheted around the food industry and excited proponents of labeling. “Fantastic,” said Mark Kastel, co-director of the Cornucopia Institute, an organic advocacy group that favors labeling. The Grocery Manufacturers Association, the trade group that represents major food companies and retailers, issued a statement opposing the move. The labeling requirements announced by Whole Foods will include its 339 stores in the United States and Canada. Since labeling is already required in the European Union, products in its seven stores in Britain are already marked if they contain genetically modified ingredients. The labels currently used show that a product has been verified as free of genetically engineered ingredients by the Non GMO Project, a nonprofit certification organization. Gary Hirshberg, chairman of Just Label It, a campaign for a federal requirement to label foods containing genetically modified ingredients, called the Whole Foods decision a “game changer.” He compared the potential impact of the Whole Foods announcement to Wal-Mart’s decision several years ago to stop selling milk from cows treated with growth hormone. Today, only a small number of milk cows are injected with the hormone.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on GMO labeling and the dangers posed by GMO foods, click here.
Monsanto, the court and the seeds of dissent
2013-02-19, Los Angeles Times
Should anyone, or any corporation, control a product of life? The journey of a 75-year-old Indiana farmer to the [Supreme Court] began rather uneventfully. Vernon Hugh Bowman purchased an undifferentiated mix of soybean seeds from a grain elevator, planted the seeds and then saved seed from the resulting harvest to replant another crop. Finding that Bowman's crops were largely the progeny of its genetically engineered proprietary soybean seed, Monsanto sued the farmer for patent infringement. The case [Bowman vs. Monsanto Co.] is a remarkable reflection on recent fundamental changes in farming. In the 200-plus years since the founding of this country, and for millenniums before that, seeds have been part of the public domain — available for farmers to exchange, save, modify through plant breeding and replant. Through this process, farmers developed a diverse array of plants that could thrive in various geographies, soils, climates and ecosystems. But today this history of seeds is seemingly forgotten in light of a patent system that, since the mid-1980s, has allowed corporations to own products of life. Although Monsanto and other agrochemical companies assert that they need the current patent system to invent better seeds, the counterargument is that splicing an already existing gene or other DNA into a plant and thereby transferring a new trait to that plant is not a novel invention. A soybean, for example, has more than 46,000 genes. Properties of these genes are the product of centuries of plant breeding and should not, many argue, become the product of a corporation. Instead, these genes should remain in the public domain.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the destructive impacts of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), click here.
Court case draws Monsanto protesters to White House
2013-01-10, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
An appeal by organic farmers [of] a court ruling last year turned into a wide-ranging protest this morning with speakers skewering Monsanto Co. for its policies and demanding labeling of genetically modified food. About 200 people, many from organic seed companies, rallied in a park directly across from the White House. The protest suggested an uptick in efforts to demand labeling, which was defeated in a California ballot initiative in November. Monsanto spent at least $8 million in an industry-wide effort to sink the California proposition. Organic farmers, who are pressing a lawsuit against Monsanto, often complain that their products are threatened by wind-blown pollen from genetically altered crops. "We want and demand the right of clean seed not contaminated by a massive biotech company that's in it for the profit," Carol Koury, who operates Sow True Seeds in Asheville, N.C., said at the rally. The gathering was held in conjunction with an appeal heard today before a three-judge U.S. Court of Appeals panel in Washington. The suit questions the legality of Monsanto's seed patents and seeks protection from patent-infringement suits against farmers in the event their fields are found to contain genetically modified seed.
Last February, U.S. District Judge Naomi Buchwald in the Southern District of New York dismissed the suit.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the risks from genetically modified organisms, click here.
Full Speed Ahead for Food Movement, Despite GMO-Labeling Loss
2012-11-08, Yes! Magazine
Although a ballot initiative to label foods containing genetically modified organisms failed in California, the organizers behind the measure say their movement is better organized and larger than ever before. Supporters of California’s Proposition 37 are not giving up the fight after Tuesday’s rejection. In fact, they’re saying that the organizing around the initiative helped forge a diffuse group of individuals interested in healthy food into a powerful, organized movement. “The Organic Consumers Association is a million strong," said Ronnie Cummins, the founder and director of that group said. "We have 5 million people on our email list and we’re looking forward to continuing this battle.” While the initiative won urban coastal counties such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, it lost in the state’s central valleys. “We just didn't have the funds to compete on the air” in those regions, said Stacy Malkan, media director at California Right to Know. “Many of those voters were getting their news from TV and we couldn't compete with them.” Companies like Monsanto, DuPont, and Pepsi poured nearly $50 million dollars into opposing the measure—about seven times what its supporters were able to raise—and spent most of the money on television and radio ads. Throughout the campaign, the truthfulness of advertisements opposing the measure came into question. At one point, the No on 37 campaign ran an ad that identified Henry I. Miller, an opponent of the measure, as a professor at Stanford University. The campaign was forced to pull the ad after Stanford announced that Dr. Miller was not a professor there.
Note: Though polls have shown 90% of Americans want their food labeled if it contains GMOs, huge spending by big industry managed to defeat this California proposition by a narrow margin. Sometimes money does have a hugely disproportionate role in politics. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on elections corruption, click here.
A Simple Fix for Farming
2012-10-19, New York Times blog
It's becoming clear that we can grow all the food we need, and profitably, with far fewer chemicals. Conventional agriculture can shed much of its chemical use - if it wants to. What may be the most important agricultural study this year ... was done on land owned by Iowa State University called the Marsden Farm. On 22 acres of it, beginning in 2003, researchers set up three plots: one replicated the typical Midwestern cycle of planting corn one year and then soybeans the next, along with its routine mix of chemicals. On another, they planted a three-year cycle that included oats; the third plot added a four-year cycle and alfalfa. The longer rotations also integrated the raising of livestock, whose manure was used as fertilizer. The results were stunning: The longer rotations produced better yields of both corn and soy, reduced the need for nitrogen fertilizer and herbicides by up to 88 percent, reduced the amounts of toxins in groundwater 200-fold and didn't reduce profits by a single cent. In short, there was only upside - and no downside at all - associated with the longer rotations. There was an increase in labor costs, but remember that profits were stable. So this is a matter of paying people for their knowledge and smart work instead of paying chemical companies for poisons. And it's a high-stakes game; according to the Environmental Protection Agency, about five billion pounds of pesticides are used each year in the United States.
Yamanaka invented cell time machine
2012-10-16, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Dr. Shinya Yamanaka invented a time machine. That's how he and his colleagues sometimes describe their work. They take full-grown cells from humans and they regress them - they send them back in time, to their earliest, embryonic state - and then they coax them into the future, into totally new types of cells. Last week, Yamanaka was awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for his work creating induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cells - cells that are genetically engineered into blank slates, allowing them to be transformed into any type of cell in the body. His technique could allow scientists to explore human diseases like they never have before, or help doctors regenerate tissue lost to injury or illness. Using his technology, scientists can now take a skin cell and transform it into a heart cell that will actually beat in a lab dish. Yamanaka's IPS cells, developed just six years ago, have the potential to revolutionize medical research, his peers say. Labs that never were able to access stem cells before can now make them, and the cells themselves could be used to treat patients someday. They are already helping scientists study complex human diseases like Alzheimer's and autism. "Everything was turned upside down with Shinya Yamanaka's work," said Dr. Arnold Kriegstein, director of stem cell research at UCSF. "It really has transformed the field. It made it possible for laboratories all over the world, with very little investment, to start making stem cells."
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on genetic engineering, click here.
The case for Prop. 37
2012-10-11, Los Angeles Times
Proposition 37 ... is rooted in a simple premise: Consumers have the right to know if their food is produced using genetic engineering. It's been standard practice in all member countries of the European Union for years. The latest published research shows that 61 countries have some form of mandatory labeling for foods containing genetically modified crop ingredients. The companies that sell genetically modified seeds and manufactured foods argue that American consumers don't need such detailed labels. They say, "Just trust us." That is a lot to ask. Product labels are the front line of consumer protection. Research and development on genetically engineered products ... are largely done by private sector, not public sector, scientists because companies very aggressively protect their patents. The level of secrecy and the combative nature of the industry fuel public distrust. Unfortunately, consumers cannot look to the federal government to increase their trust. Some government officials in positions that make policy on genetically engineered products may hold biases born of their previous jobs with GMO seed companies. Distrust is amplified by questions over who really benefits from GMO foods. As we saw in the multibillion-dollar tobacco case settlement in 1998, companies cannot always be trusted to put health before profit. Another concern is the skyrocketing price of seed for farmers. Finally, GMO products on the market offer American consumers no clear benefits. Proposition 37 simply requires basic transparency and truthful packaging, and companies would have 18 months to implement it. And it would protect consumers' right to know in a product category central to health.
Note: For a powerful essay showing the harmful effects of genetically modified foods, click here.
Is this the year that the food movement finally enters politics?
2012-10-10, New York Times
California’s Proposition 37, which would require that genetically modified (G.M.) foods carry a label, has the potential ... to change the politics of food not just in California but nationally too. Genetically modified foods don’t offer the eater any benefits whatsoever — only a potential, as yet undetermined risk. Monsanto and its allies have fought the labeling of genetically modified food ... vigorously since 1992, when the industry managed to persuade the [F.D.A.] — over the objection of its own scientists — that the new crops were “substantially equivalent” to the old and so did not need to be labeled, much less regulated. The F.D.A. policy was co-written by a lawyer whose former firm worked for Monsanto. More than 60 other countries have seen fit to label genetically modified food, including those in the European Union, Japan, Russia and China. Monsanto and DuPont, the two leading merchants of genetically modified seed, have invested more than $12 million to defeat Prop 37. Americans have been eating genetically engineered food for 18 years, and as supporters of the technology are quick to point out, we don’t seem to be dropping like flies. But they miss the point. The fight over labeling G.M. food is not foremost about food safety or environmental harm, legitimate though these questions are. The fight is about the power of Big Food. Monsanto has become the symbol of everything people dislike about industrial agriculture: corporate control of the regulatory process; lack of transparency (for consumers) and lack of choice (for farmers); an intensifying rain of pesticides; and the monopolization of seeds, which is to say, of the genetic resources on which all of humanity depends.
Note: To learn more about the revolving door between Monsanto and the FDA, click here. To read about many suppressed scientific studies which showed the GM foods were often harmful and sometimes even lethal to a variety of lab animals, click here. To watch a powerful video showing clearly how Monsanto has attacked those who will not use their GM seeds, click here.
TV ad against food labeling initiative Proposition 37 is pulled
2012-10-04, Los Angeles Times
A television spot opposing Proposition 37, the genetically engineered food labeling initiative, was pulled briefly this week to better identify a think-tank researcher attacking the ballot issue. The controversy came as the opponents of the ballot measure, with $35 million in contributions from the food industry and biochemical firms, expanded a week-old television advertising blitz. [The] No on 37 spot ... featured an academic, identified on screen as “Dr. Henry I. Miller M.D., Stanford University, founding dir. FDA Office of Technology.” He is standing in an ornately vaulted campus walkway. Lawyers for the Proposition 37 campaign complained to Stanford’s general counsel, noting that the Stanford ID on the screen appeared to violate the university’s policy against use of the Stanford name by consultants. What’s more, Miller is not a Stanford professor but, rather, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, a conservative think tank housed on the Stanford campus, the letter said. Stanford agreed. The university, spokeswoman Lisa Lapin said, “doesn’t take any positions on candidates or ballot measures, and we do not allow political filming on campus.” The filmmakers also are removing “the campus from the background of the video," she said. Stanford’s request to edit the Miller video "is proof positive of the lack of credibility and lack of integrity of the No on 37 campaign,” said Yes on 37 spokeswoman Stacy Malkan.
Note: This Henry Miller is the same scientist who, according to Forbes, stated that some people could benefit from the low levels of radiation released by the Fukushima meltdowns, and has argued strongly for the reintroduction of DDT. Do you think he might be a little biased towards big business? For lots more questionable behavior by this supposed expert, click here.
Pesticide use ramping up as GMO crop technology backfires: study
2012-10-01, NBC News/Reuters
U.S. farmers are using more hazardous pesticides to fight weeds and insects due largely to heavy adoption of genetically modified crop technologies that are sparking a rise of "superweeds" and hard-to-kill insects, according to a newly released study. Genetically engineered crops have led to an increase in overall pesticide use, by 404 million pounds from the time they were introduced in 1996 through 2011, according to the report by Charles Benbrook, a research professor at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at Washington State University. Of that total, herbicide use increased over the 16-year period by 527 million pounds while insecticide use decreased by 123 million pounds. Herbicide-tolerant crops were the first genetically modified crops introduced to world, rolled out by Monsanto Co. in 1996, first in "Roundup Ready" soybeans and then in corn, cotton and other crops. Roundup Ready crops are engineered through transgenic modification to tolerate dousings of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide. In recent years, more than two dozen weed species have become resistant to Roundup's chief ingredient glyphosate, causing farmers to use increasing amounts both of glyphosate and other weedkilling chemicals to try to control the so-called "superweeds." Resistant weeds have become a major problem for many farmers reliant on GE crops, and are now driving up the volume of herbicide needed each year by about 25 percent.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the environmental and health risks posed by GMO foods, click here.
GM cow designed to produce milk without an allergy-causing protein
2012-10-01, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
A genetically modified cow whose milk lacks a substance that causes allergic reactions in people has been created by scientists in New Zealand. In their first year of life, two or three in every hundred infants are allergic to a whey protein in milk called BLG. The researchers engineered the cow, called Daisy, to produce milk that doesn't contain the protein. While the genetic alteration slashed levels of BLG protein in the cow's milk to undetectable levels, it more than doubled the concentrations of other milk proteins called caseins. The cow was created with the same cloning procedure that led to Dolly the sheep in 1996. Most of the differences between cow and human milk do not cause problems for people who consume it, but BLG or beta-lactoglobulin protein, which is found in milk from cows and other ruminants, is a major cause of allergic reactions. To make Daisy, scientists took a cow skin cell and genetically modified it to produce molecules that block the manufacture of BLG protein. The nucleus of this cell was then transferred into a cow egg that had its own nucleus removed. The reconstituted egg was grown in the lab until it formed what is called a blastocyst, a ball of around 100 cells, and then transplanted into the womb of a foster cow. The cloning technique is not efficient. Of around 100 blastocysts the scientists implanted into cows, more than half of the pregnancies failed early on, and only one live calf, Daisy, was born. One question the New Zealand team is working on now is why Daisy was born without a tail. The cloning process is most likely to blame for the birth defect.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), click here.