A landless Chilean farmer who grew GM maize has successfully sued Monsanto for breach of contract. After growing Monsanto´s GMO maize on the basis of poor instructions, Pizarro found production was very low. As a result he lost his house, his crop spraying machine, a tractor, and his pick-up truck, and was in massive debt to his local bank. His wife left him and he had nothing to restart with. The judge ruled against Monsanto and in the farmer's favour. Read more
A group of Russian MPs have prepared a bill severely restricting imports of GMOs and banning their domestic production. The bill will first be submitted to the lower house and its authors claim that its chances of passing are high. Read more
Pesticide formulations as sold and used are up to 1000 times more toxic than the isolated substance that is tested and evaluated for safety, and Roundup is the most toxic of herbicides and insecticides tested, shows a new study led by Prof GE Seralini. Prof Séralini said, “The real toxicity of pesticides used in intensive agriculture has been hidden from farmers, policy-makers and citizens. Scientific experts in health agencies have a clear responsibility to overhaul the regulatory system in order to assess pesticides more realistically. To do nothing is at best a denial of knowledge and at worst could endanger people’s lives.” Unsurprisingly, the European Commission agrees with the pesticide industry that no action needs to be taken.
Another round of hype about Prof Cathie Martin's GM purple tomato, engineered to contain more of an antioxidant believed to have health benefits, has hit the headlines. Martin, who is based at the John Innes Centre, said she chose to grow the tomatoes in Canada because the regulatory system there is "enlightened", in comparison to the European system. Press stories claimed that juice from the GM tomatoes would be trialled on heart patients. But as GMWatch pointed out, to feed a GMO to humans before animal toxicity testing has been carried out would violate European law as well as medical ethics. When challenged on Facebook about the legality of human trials, the John Innes Centre quickly dismissedthe heart patients story as a "mistake" and said they have no plans for human trials yet.
Rothamsted Research in the UK wants to carry out a field trial of GM false flax (Camelina sativa), engineered to produce omega 3 oils. The hype around this GM crop focuses on the supposed health benefits of omega 3 oils. The genes introduced into this GM crop are entirely synthetic (laboratory-made) and are based on gene sequences found in algae. Omega 3 oils are abundantly present in natural foods, including walnuts, flaxseeds, beans, fish, and olive oil. And the shelves of our health food stores are groaning with omega 3 supplements, many of them naturally derived from algae. In fact this GM crop is destined NOT for health-conscious consumers but for feeding fish in industrial fish farms! Read more
The US Supreme Court has denied organic and GMO-free farmers their day in Court against Monsanto - - leaving them unable to challenge the company's patents or seek redress for GMO seed contamination. Read more
Advocates for GMO labelling are turning their sights on the federal government after spending the last couple of years waging their campaign largely in the states. More than 200 organizations and businesses wrote to President Obama urging him to require GMO labelling.
he Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), an industry-funded group, has renewed its efforts to block states from mandating GMO labelling by lobbying the federal government to introduce a voluntary labelling standard. This is an extremely concerning development. If the voluntary standard became law, it would prevent the establishment of mandatory and/or stricter labelling standards by the states.
The number of Monarch butterflies wintering in Mexico plunged this year to its lowest level since studies began in 1993. The drop is mostly due to GMO herbicide-resistant crops wiping out milkweed, the butterflies' main food, according to experts. Read more
The grass seed company Scotts Miracle-Gro has announced that it will get employees to test GM Kentucky bluegrass seed in their yards. The GM grass will not be regulated as it slips through the US's inadequate regulatory system.
Environmental groups want a court to decide if the federal government violated its own law by permitting the manufacture of GM salmon in Canada. The groups say the approval fails to consider the threat of invasiveness, risking wild salmon and the environment. Read more
A Brazilian study has found unintended differences in proteins between a GM maize and the non-GM parent variety. Comparison of the GM maize MON810 and non-GM plants revealed a total of 32 different proteins that were differentially expressed. The proteins were either present, absent, up- or down-regulated in one of the hybrids, at a statistically significant level. The study joins others that show that the basis for all GMO approvals worldwide - the assumption that the GMO is "equivalent" to its non-GM parent apart from the intended genetic tweak - is false. Read more
115 scientists from around the world have united to condemn (www.endsciencecensorship.org) the retraction by the editor of the Elsevier journal Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT) of the pioneering study on GM maize and Roundup herbicide, conducted by Prof Gilles-Eric Séralini. The scientists called the retraction "an act of scientific censorship" and demanded that the journal reinstate the study, which they say contains findings of potentially critical importance to public health. Scientists are invited to sign on to the statement. Read more
French MEP Corinne Lepage said that the purpose of the retraction of the Séralini study was to shut down forever the possibility of long-term tests on GMOs. Lepage said, "What they want is to close a door that we had opened slightly, allowing for long-term studies on the impact of pesticides and GMOs on human health. The study by Gilles-Eric Séralini should not have happened. But it did happen. Now it must be as if it had never happened!" Lepage also challenged EU science adviser and GMO promoter Anne Glover over her conflicts of interest with industry. Read more
The editor of Food and Chemical Toxicology, A. Wallace Hayes, has confirmed he will not retract a Chinese study that found GMO safe, even though it is inconclusive. He previously retracted the Seralini study, which found a GMO maize toxic, on the claimed basis that it was "inconclusive". Read more
Scientist Tyrone Hayes has devoted the past fifteen years to studying atrazine, a widely used herbicide made by Syngenta. The company’s notes reveal that it plotted ways to discredit him. These include bullying journal editors to retract his studies; having ostensibly independent scientists criticise his work; and writing editorials defending atrazine that were bylined by "third party allies". The dirty tricks used by Syngenta and its allies against Hayes are exposed in a superb article in The New Yorker. Many of the tactics are mirrored in the persecution of Prof Gilles-Eric Seralini.
Germany's Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has completed its draft review report for glyphosate, which is expected to lead to the herbicide's re-approval in Europe. In line with our predictions, BfR claims there is no problem with glyphosate and blames any toxicity problems on an adjuvant (added ingredient) present in some formulations, the surfactant (wetting agent) POEA, which Germany has already restricted. BfR claims glyphosate is not carcinogenic or mutagenic, and that the substance is not toxic to fertility, reproduction, or embryonic/foetal development. Read more
In a preliminary vote about the authorisation for cultivation of Pioneer's GM maize (1507), 16 countries voted against. Only 5 countries (Sweden, Spain, the UK, Estonia, and Finland) supported the Commission's plans to get the GM maize authorised. On 11 February the final vote will take place. Thanks for taking action and keep sending those letters! Go to: www.stopthecrop.org
The unfolding human and ecological disaster of GM agriculture in the Americas must send the EU a powerful message, writes Helena Paul of GM Freeze. We don't want it in Europe, and Europeans should stop buying the products of GM-driven genocide and ecocide abroad. Read more
Analysis reveals huge variations in the amounts of Bt toxin in GM maize 1507, and shows that 1507 maize plants are neither uniform nor stable. Read more
France has launched a move to restore a ban on GM maize annulled by its top court to prevent sowings this spring that could raise public outcry in a country strongly opposed to GM crops. Read more
GMO lobby group Europabio kept quiet about an event that promised to demonstrate once and for all the benefits GMOs had brought humanity. Corporate Europe Observatory wasn't allowed in! Read more
Farmer Steve Marsh is suing former friend Michael Baxter after seed from Baxter's GM canola crop blew onto Marsh's farm in Western Australia, contaminating land used for his organic oat and wheat crops. Read more
Millions of GM mosquitoes created in British laboratories are about to be released into the jungles of Panama. GeneWatch said changes could be introduced into the wild population which means the Dengue Fever they spread becomes more dangerous to humans. Read more
You've probably seen a GMO propaganda graphic that claims "an overwhelming majority of experts" agree that GMOs are safe. Well, here's the counter-propaganda document from GMO Free USA. It cites 40 scientific and health organisations as saying GMOs have NOT been proven safe.
GMO enthusiast David Tribe has compiled a much-cited list of 600+ studies which he says "document the general safety and nutritional wholesomeness" of GM foods. GMO Free USA has complied a list of over 1200 studies which indicate adverse and potentially adverse impacts of GMOs and their associated pesticides.
Prof Dave Schubert, Salk Institute, USA: "In reality, there is no evidence that GM food is safe for human consumption, nor is there any consensus on this topic within the scientific community. It is critical for the public to educate itself about the realities of GMOs and not be fooled by the rhetoric from companies that sell it. Most of the world has studied this issue and concluded that GMOs are not worth the risk. Passing GM labelling initiatives in states will be the initial demonstration that the public understands what is at stake. At the very least, labelling may help reverse the unsustainable trend in this country towards ever increasing industrial GMO farming." Read more.
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