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Genetic Modification News Stories
Excerpts of Key Genetic Modification News Stories in Major Media


Below are highly revealing excerpts of important genetically modified organisms news stories reported in the media that suggest a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full stories on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These genetically modified organisms news stories are listed by date posted to this webpage. You can explore the same articles listed by order of importance or by article date. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

Note: This comprehensive list of genetically modified organisms news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


Pesticides Make a Comeback
2013-05-21, Wall Street Journal
Posted: 2013-09-24 10:08:35
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323463704578496923254944066.html

Insecticide sales are surging after years of decline, as American farmers plant more corn and a genetic modification designed to protect the crop from pests has started to lose its effectiveness. It has sparked fresh concerns among environmental groups and some scientists that one of the most widely touted benefits of genetically modified crops—that they reduce the need for chemical pest control—is unraveling. At the same time, the resurgence of insecticides could expose both farmers and beneficial insects to potential harm. Until recently, corn farmers in the U.S. had largely abandoned soil insecticides, thanks mostly to a widely adopted genetic trait developed by Monsanto Co. that causes corn seeds to generate their own pest-killing toxins. Today, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, two-thirds of all corn grown in the U.S. includes a rootworm-targeting gene known as Bt. In 2011, however, entomologists at Iowa State University and the University of Illinois started to document rootworms that were immune to the Monsanto gene, and have found these resistant pests scattered across the Midwest. Now, many farmers have decided they need to spray their soil to kill any rootworms that have developed Bt resistance, as well as growing populations of other pests. Scott Greenlee, who farms 1,700 acres in Sac City, Iowa, said he planned to start using a soil insecticide this year after part of his crop succumbed to rootworms in 2012. The 53-year-old Mr. Greenlee, who had planted Monsanto's Bt corn, said the affected fields produced just 50 or 60 bushels per acre, about a third of his normal yield. "It was a train wreck," he added.

Note: For more on the destructive impacts of GMO crop technology, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


Insects Find Crack In Biotech Corn's Armor
2011-12-05, NPR
Posted: 2013-09-24 10:07:02
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2011/12/05/143141300/insects-find-crack-in-b...

Hidden in the soil of Illinois and Iowa, a new generation of insect larvae appears to be munching happily on the roots of genetically engineered corn, according to scientists. It's bad news for corn farmers, who paid extra money for this line of corn, counting on the power of its inserted genes to kill those pests. It's also bad news for the biotech company Monsanto, which inserted the larvae-killing gene in the first place. In fact, the gene's apparent failure ... may be the most serious threat to a genetically modified crop in the U.S. since farmers first started growing them 15 years ago. The economic impact could be "huge," says the University of Arizona's Bruce Tabashnik, one of the country's top experts on the adaptation of insects to genetically engineered crops. Billions of dollars are at stake. The scientists who called for caution now are saying "I told you so," because there are signs that a new strain of resistant rootworms is emerging. In eastern Iowa, northwestern Illinois, and parts of Minnesota and Nebraska, rows of Bt corn have toppled over, their roots eaten by rootworms. Entomologist Aaron Gassmann at Iowa State University, who authored the [new] paper, collected insects from some of these fields and found many with a greater-than-expected ability to tolerate Bt. The EPA is now recommending that ... farmers in areas where such damage has been observed to stop planting this kind of Bt corn altogether. Instead, those farmers will have to use other methods, such as spraying chemical insecticides, to control the rootworm.

Note: For more on the destructive impacts of GMO crop technology, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


FSA 'endangering public health' by ignoring concerns over GM food
2013-09-05, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-09-10 08:34:34
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/sep/05/gm-food-cancers-fsa

The French researcher who caused a scientific storm when he claimed to show that some GM food led to tumours and cancers in rats has accused the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) of "recklessly endangering public health" by not demanding long-term testing of the foods. In a series of parliamentary and public meetings held this week in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff, Prof Gilles-Eric Séralini has challenged UK politicians and safety authorities to review the way safety is assessed. Séralini, a molecular biologist at Caen University, said: "Our research found severe toxicity from GM maize and [Monsanto pesticide] Roundup. The British Food Standards Agency has uncritically accepted the European Food Safety Authority's dismissal of the study, even though many of EFSA's experts have been exposed as having conflicts of interest with the GM industry. At the very least, the British government should demand long-term mandatory safety testing on all GM foods before they are released onto the market," he said. "The British scientific authorities are deliberately misleading their government and are recklessly endangering public health in ignoring the findings of our research." Séralini's study found that rats developed much higher levels of cancers and died earlier than controls when fed a diet of Monsanto's Roundup-tolerant GM maize NK603 for two years, or were exposed to Roundup over the same period. The usual industry tests last for 90 days.

Note: For more on the risks from GMO foods, see the highly informative summary available here.


Just Because Science Can Genetically Engineer Foods, Doesn't Mean We Should
2013-08-26, Forbes
Posted: 2013-09-03 09:45:49
http://www.forbes.com/sites/bethhoffman/2013/08/26/why-genetically-modifying-...

Recently the debate over genetically modified (GMO) foods has heated up again. Over the weekend New York Times writer Amy Harmon wrote again of the saving graces of genetically engineered foods, this time citing “Golden Rice” as a clear example of the life-saving abilities of GMOs. Yet ... there are other highly effective tools out there to solve hunger and malnutrition besides genetic engineering. Why am I against the creation of Golden Rice, even if it may stop millions of children from going blind? The basic answer is simple: trust. Science has a credibility problem. Today it is not “false fears” that has bred skeptical consumers, it is experience. The most audacious claim made by those who believe genetic engineering is the way to go [is] that genetic engineering is somehow better, and in the long run, cheaper than other more natural ways of eating and that the logistical complexities of getting fruits and veggies to malnourished human beings are too large to overcome. Baloney. The amount of money it has cost to concoct a product like Golden Rice is enormous. Scientists first got initial funding for Golden Rice from the Rockefeller Foundation in 1984 and have now been supported (with monies to cover lab expenses, legal fees, teaching assistants, salaries, long patent processes, etc) for more than 30 years. Meanwhile, again and again, simple low-cost, low-tech solutions like “kitchen gardening,” improved agricultural methods, and cover cropping have been found to give outstanding nutritional and economic results quickly to farmers.

Note: For more on the risks from GMOs, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


Chipotle labels all GM items on menu
2013-06-20, Chicago Tribune
Posted: 2013-07-01 12:40:04
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-06-20/features/chi-gmo-news-chipotle-...

As part of its "Food With Integrity" program, Chipotle this week posted information on its website identifying which items on its menu contain genetically modified ingredients. The chain posted a chart noting that 12 out of 25 ingredients, including its rice, barbacoa, chips, chicken, vegetable fajitas, steak and flour tortillas (except in certain restaurants) use either genetically modified corn or soybean oil, the vast majority of which is derived from GM soybeans. The chain said that those ingredients are "currently unavoidable" but that it is "working hard" to eliminate them. This move comes on the heels of Ben & Jerry's announcement that all of its flavors will be GM ingredient free by the end of the year and Whole Foods pledge to phase out all foods with GM ingredients by 2018. Although GM crops ... are considered safe by federal authorities and are legal to plant and sell, some independent studies have linked them to health and environmental problems. The announcements happen amid a flurry of state bills to require mandatory labeling of food with GM ingredients. In more GM news, this afternoon the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan amendment to require labeling of GM salmon as part of a 2014 Agriculture Appropriations bill. Overseas, where the labeling question is largely over, the GM debate rages over expanding GM crop planting approvals in the European Union. Asked [whether UK Prime Minister David] Cameron would eat GM foods or allow his children to eat them, the spokesman steadfastly declined to answer.

Note: Much of Europe labels their food for GMOs, which are even banned in many areas. Read an MSN article on the banning of GM foods from all restaurants and food in the UK's parliament at this link. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.


Connecticut Approves Labeling Genetically Modified Foods
2013-06-04, New York Times
Posted: 2013-06-11 07:14:23
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/04/business/connecticut-approves-qualified-gen...

Connecticut on [June 3] became the first state to pass a bill that would require food manufacturers to label products that contain genetically modified ingredients. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has said he would sign the bill into law, after reaching an agreement with the legislature to include a provision that the law would not take effect unless four other states, at least one of which shares a border with Connecticut, passed similar regulations. “This bill strikes an important balance by ensuring the consumers’ right to know what is in their food while shielding our small businesses from liability that could leave them at a competitive disadvantage,” Mr. Malloy said in a statement issued over the weekend after negotiations on the necessary provisions. The legislature passed the bill on Monday, 134 to 3. More than 20 other states are considering labeling laws, including New York, Maine and Vermont. Early polling suggests widespread support for a ballot initiative that would require labeling in Washington, as concern spread about the impact of genetically engineered salmon and apples on two of the state’s marquee businesses. In 2005, Alaska passed a law requiring the labeling of all genetically engineered fish and shellfish, but Connecticut would become the first state to adopt labeling broadly. Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety, called Connecticut’s move an “important first step,” and “a reminder of where the tide is going on this issue.” Big food and seed companies like Monsanto and Dow spent tens of millions of dollars last fall to help defeat a ballot measure in California that would have required labeling.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.


Protesters around the world march against Monsanto
2013-05-26, USA Today/Associated Press
Posted: 2013-06-04 09:21:18
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/05/25/global-protests-monsanto/...

Protesters rallied in dozens of cities [on May 26] as part of a global protest against seed giant Monsanto and the genetically modified food it produces. Organizers said "March Against Monsanto" protests were held in 52 countries and 436 cities, including Los Angeles where demonstrators waved signs that read "Real Food 4 Real People" and "Label GMOs, It's Our Right to Know." The 'March Against Monsanto' movement began just a few months ago, when founder and organizer Tami Canal created a Facebook page on Feb. 28 calling for a rally against the company's practices. "If I had gotten 3,000 people to join me, I would have considered that a success," she said Saturday. Instead, she said an "incredible" number of people responded to her message and turned out to rally. "It was empowering and inspiring to see so many people, from different walks of life, put aside their differences and come together today," Canal said. The group plans to harness the success of the event to continue its anti-GMO cause. "We will continue until Monsanto complies with consumer demand. They are poisoning our children, poisoning our planet," she said. Protesters in Buenos Aires and other cities in Argentina, where Monsanto's genetically modified soy and grains now command nearly 100% of the market, ... carried signs saying "Monsanto-Get out of Latin America." In Portland, thousands of protesters took to Oregon streets. Police estimate about 6,000 protesters took part in Portland's peaceful march.

Note: For a powerful summary of the dangers to health and the environment from genetically modified foods, click here. For major media news articles revealing the risks and dangers of GMOs, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.


GM wheat find threatens exports, stokes consumer fears
2013-05-30, NBC News/Reuters
Posted: 2013-06-04 09:19:30
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/52045235#.UaoRJtjfKSo

Unapproved genetically modified wheat found growing in the United States is threatening the outlook for U.S. exports of the world's biggest traded food commodity, with importers keenly aware of consumer sensitivity to gene-altered food. Major importer Japan has canceled a tender offer to buy U.S. western white wheat, while other top Asian wheat importers South Korea, China and the Philippines said they were closely monitoring the situation. The European Union is preparing to test incoming shipments, and will block any containing GM wheat. GM wheat was discovered this spring on a farm [in] Oregon, in a field that grew winter wheat in 2012. Scientists found the wheat was a strain field-tested from 1998 to 2005 and deemed safe before St. Louis-based biotech giant Monsanto withdrew it from the regulatory approval process on worldwide opposition to genetically engineered wheat. No GM wheat varieties are approved for general planting in the U.S. or elsewhere, the USDA said. The EU has asked Monsanto for a detection method to allow its controls to be carried out. With high consumer wariness to genetically-modified food, few countries allow imports of such cereals for direct human consumption. However, the bulk of U.S. corn and soybean crops are genetically modified.

Note: For a powerful summary of the dangers to health and the environment from genetically modified foods, click here. For major media news articles revealing the risks and dangers of GMOs, click here.


U.S. races to reassure buyers
2013-05-30, NBC News/Reuters
Posted: 2013-06-04 09:18:09
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/52051021#.UaoR09jfKSo

U.S. officials raced to quell global alarm on [May 30] over the first-ever discovery of an unapproved strain of genetically modified wheat, working to figure out how the rogue grain escaped from a field trial a decade ago. In the wake of news that a strain developed by biotech giant Monsanto Co had been found in an Oregon field late last month, major buyer Japan cancelled plans to buy U.S. wheat while the Europe Union said it would step up testing. Worried U.S. farmers wondered if their own fields had been contaminated. Even after weeks of investigation, experts are baffled as to how the seed survived for years after Monsanto had ceased all field tests of the product. It was found in a field growing a different type of wheat than Monsanto's strain, far from areas used for field tests, according to an Oregon State University wheat researcher who tested the strain. The discovery threatens to stoke consumer outcry over the possible risk of cross-contaminating natural products with genetically altered foods, and may embolden critics who say U.S. regulation of GMO products is lax. It is all the more alarming because the wheat strain was thought to have been eliminated after test trials ended in 2005, as Monsanto abandoned efforts to secure regulatory approval due to worldwide opposition. While there have been more than 20 major violations of U.S. regulations on handling or co-mingling biotechnology crops, none have ever involved wheat before. Some analysts feared a potentially damaging blow to the $8 billion wheat export business, recalling the more than yearlong disruption to corn sales following a similar discovery in 2000.

Note: For a powerful summary of the dangers to health and the environment from genetically modified foods, click here. For major media news articles revealing the risks and dangers of GMOs, click here.


Monsanto backing away from GMO crops in Europe
2013-05-31, MSN/Reuters
Posted: 2013-06-04 09:16:42
http://money.msn.com/business-news/article.aspx?feed=OBR&date=20130531&id=165...

Monsanto Co is not pushing for expansion of genetically modified crops in most of Europe as opposition to its biotech seeds in many countries remains high, company officials said on [May 31]. European [spokespersons for] Monsanto told the German daily [Die Tagezeitung] that they were no longer doing any lobby work for cultivation in Europe and [were] not seeking any new approvals for genetically modified plants. Monsanto corporate spokesman Thomas Helscher said ... that the company is making it clear that it will only pursue market penetration of biotech crops in areas that provide broad support. "As far as we're convinced this only applies to a few countries in Europe today, primarily Spain and Portugal." The company has been focusing lately on gaining market share in the conventional corn market in Ukraine, and Monsanto Vice President Jesus Madrazo, who oversees international corporate affairs, said Eastern Europe and South America are key growth areas for the company now. Unlike Europe, South America has largely been welcoming of Monsanto's crop biotechnology, but the company is also facing hurdles there as it is awaiting approvals by China, which is a large buyer of soybeans from Brazil.

Note: For a powerful summary of the dangers to health and the environment from genetically modified foods, click here. For major media news articles revealing the risks and dangers of GMOs, click here.


7 Dodgy Food Practices Banned in Europe But Just Fine Here
2013-05-08, Mother Jones Magazine
Posted: 2013-06-04 09:14:57
http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2013/05/7-dodgy-foodag-practices-bann...

Last week, the European Commission voted to place a two-year moratorium on most uses of neonicotinoid pesticides, on the suspicion that they're contributing to the global crisis in honeybee health. Might [that] inspire the US Environmental Protection Agency to make a similar move? The answer is no. The EU move will have no bearing on the EPA's own reviews of the pesticides, which aren't scheduled for release until 2016 at the earliest. Other food-related substances and practices that are banned in Europe [are] green-lighted [in the US]. 1. Atrazine: A "potent endocrine disruptor," Syngenta's popular corn herbicide has been linked to a range of reproductive problems at extremely low doses in both amphibians and humans, and it commonly leaches out of farm fields and into people's drinking water. What Europe did: Banned it in 2003. US status: EPA: "Atrazine will begin registration review, EPA's periodic reevaluation program for existing pesticides, in mid-2013." 2. Arsenic in chicken, turkey, and pig feed. 3. "Poultry litter" in cow feed. 4. Chlorine washes for poultry carcasses. 5. Antibiotics as growth promoters on livestock farms. 6. Ractopomine and other pharmaceutical growth enhancers in animal feed. 7. Gestation crates.

Note: For each numbered substance or practice, this article indicates the action taken by the EU and the inaction by the US government. For an article that gives more information on all of this and two additional banned practices, click here.


U.S. tax dollars promote Monsanto's GMO crops overseas: report
2013-05-14, Chicago Tribune/Reuters
Posted: 2013-05-21 08:14:03
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-rt-us-usa-gmo-reportbre94d0il-2013...

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)
Posted: 2013-05-21 08:12:23
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/14/monsanto-gm-crops-worldwide

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.


Supreme Court sides with Monsanto in major patent case
2013-04-26, USA Today
Posted: 2013-05-21 08:10:49
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/05/13/monsanto-patent-grain-bi...

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.


Historic vote to ban neonicotinoid pesticides blamed for huge decline in bees
2013-04-28, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-05-07 07:57:57
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/historic-vote-to-ban-neonicotin...

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.


GMO foods subject of bill in U.S. Senate
2013-04-24, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2013-04-30 08:20:58
http://www.sfgate.com/food/article/Boxer-offers-new-bill-on-GMO-labeling-4460...

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.


Pesticide makes bees forget the scent for food, new study finds
2013-03-27, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-04-16 08:42:49
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/mar/27/pesticide-bees-scent-food-n...

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.


Monsanto Protection Act put GM companies above the federal courts
2013-04-04, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-04-09 15:12:08
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2013/apr/04/monsanto-protection-ac...

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
Posted: 2013-04-02 09:13:23
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/29/science/earth/soaring-bee-deaths-in-2012-so...

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.


Major US supermarkets to boycott GM salmon
2013-03-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-03-25 16:06:37
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/mar/20/major-us-supermarkets-boyco...

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.


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