Author Topic: Genetically Modified Food Products in America  (Read 38105 times)

Yowbarb

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Re: Genetically Modified Food Products in America
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2013, 08:37:18 AM »
Col, thanks vary much and I really appreciate that! I shared it with a lot of people on Facebook yesterday and most of them signed already.  :)
I do understand how you do not like to use Facebook and your security concerns. Twitter might be more secure and people could send out the link or name or group which has petition.
Anyway you have done your part on it...
All The Best,
Barb T.

Endtimesgal_2012

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Re: Genetically Modified Food Products in America
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2013, 10:28:15 AM »
I also do not like facebook, although I do have an account with them.  I am able to keep track of my grandkids and family through their posts.  I myself rarely post anything. I tend to keep my life pretty private.  I have frequently been tempted to cancel my account.  I have changed my profile a great deal and removed a lot of stuff I had originally posted.  Of course I realize FB still has it all in their archives.  Just another way for the PTB to keep track of us all.

collie

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Re: Genetically Modified Food Products in America
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2013, 05:23:02 PM »
Col, thanks vary much and I really appreciate that! I shared it with a lot of people on Facebook yesterday and most of them signed already.  :)
I do understand how you do not like to use Facebook and your security concerns. Twitter might be more secure and people could send out the link or name or group which has petition.
Anyway you have done your part on it...
All The Best,
Barb T.

I don't have anything to do with Twitter Barb.  Never even looked at it.   I guess I'm just a social-media-phob    :o

Yowbarb

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Re: Genetically Modified Food Products in America
« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2013, 05:34:14 PM »
http://www.realfarmacy.com/hungary-destroys-all-monsanto-gmo-corn-fields/

Hungary Destroys All Monsanto GMO Corn Fields

May 19 • A Paradigm Shift, Articles, GMOs • 12384 Views • 153 Comments

Hungary has taken a bold stand against biotech giant Monsanto and genetic modification by destroying 1000 acres of maize found to have been grown with genetically modified seeds, according to Hungary deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development Lajos Bognar. Unlike many European Union countries, Hungary is a nation where genetically modified (GM) seeds are banned. In a similar stance against GM ingredients, Peru has also passed a 10 year ban on GM foods.

Almost 1000 acres of maize found to have been ground with genetically modified seeds have been destroyed throughout Hungary, deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development Lajos Bognar said. The GMO maize has been ploughed under, said Lajos Bognar, but pollen has not spread from the maize, he added.

Unlike several EU members, GMO seeds are banned in Hungary. The checks will continue despite the fact that seek traders are obliged to make sure that their products are GMO free, Bognar said.

During the invesigation, controllers have found Pioneer Monsanto products among the seeds planted
[ CONTINUES ]
Read more at http://www.realfarmacy.com/hungary-destroys-all-monsanto-gmo-corn-fields/#rPteH1ewR1wEVYHX.99

.......................

Read more at http://www.realfarmacy.com/hungary-destroys-all-monsanto-gmo-corn-fields/#rPteH1ewR1wEVYHX.99

Endtimesgal_2012

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Re: Genetically Modified Food Products in America
« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2013, 07:30:31 PM »
Good post.  I do not understand why the US does not take a firmer stand on GMO's like some of the other countries have done.  Just another indication of how greedy and self serving so many in power are in this country.  It's all about the money and the power.

Yowbarb

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Re: Genetically Modified Food Products in America
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2013, 09:53:35 PM »
Endtimesgal, awesome news!

http://www.seeddaily.com/reports/Monsanto_gives_up_on_new_GM_crops_in_EU_999.html

Monsanto gives up on new GM crops in EU
 by Staff Writers
 Brussels (AFP) July 18, 2013

Faced with widespread concerns in Europe over its genetically modified foods, US agro-chemicals giant Monsanto said Thursday it was giving up on plans to grow new GM crops in the EU, which has held up approval for years.

"We will no longer be pursuing approvals for cultivation of new biotech crops in Europe," Monsanto said, adding that it would now focus on its conventional seeds business.

The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, said it "took note of the decision" by Monsanto which produces a whole stable of GM crops and in wide use in the United States and elsewhere.

In Europe, however, suspicion about the use of GM food products is widespread, with many fearing their use is a health hazard.

Monsanto insists such fears are groundless and that GM products are essential if growing global demand for food is to be met.

The EU currently allows only two GM products to be grown in the 28-member bloc -- Monsanto's MON 810 maize and German conglomerate BASF's Amflora potato.

Brussels cleared MON 810 in 1998 for 10 years and Monsanto submitted a request in 2007 for it to be extended but the process has been effectively frozen since then.

In the absence of a formal decision on the renewal request, MON 810 is still grown on a small scale, notably in Spain and Portugal whose governments have been more welcoming than other member states.

Environmental groups welcomed Monsanto's announcement.

"This is great news for science and research in Europe," said Mark Breddy, Greenpeace EU spokesman.

"Over the last couple of decades, GM crops have proven themselves to be an ineffective and unpopular technology, with unacceptable risks for our environment and health," Breddy said.

"Monsanto's retreat could finally create the space for European farming to focus on modern practices and technologies that offer real advances for food production and rural communities."

Earlier this year, Monsanto said it saw little interest in pursuing new EU approvals in the absence of clear support from governments and farmers, and a strong regulatory framework.

Such conditions were found in only a few EU countries such as Spain and Portugal, the company said, adding that it also sold MON 810 on a limited scale in Romania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

At the same time, the company said it would continue to seek EU import clearance for other GM products, including maize, cotton, rape seed, beetroot and sugar.

Monsanto stopped selling MON 810 in France in 2008 and in Germany in 2009 in the face of popular opposition.

At the start of this year, Brussels called a halt to all GM approval applications, saying it needed to look at the issue again given the deep divisions in the 28-member EU.

Monsanto's decision Thursday follows an outcry in May over the discovery of GM wheat in the US state of Oregon which led some Asian importers to halt or suspend trade with US growers as an investigation was launched.

While some corn and soybeans have been genetically engineered to be resistant to herbicides or insecticides, GM wheat has not been approved anywhere as yet.

Shortly afterwards, Monsanto announced it was developing a new form of wheat modified to be impervious to its Roundup herbicide in a bid to improve yields.

Yowbarb

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Re: Genetically Modified Food Products in America
« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2013, 03:46:10 AM »
Moms across America has posted an article about widespread glyphosate contamination in our food by Roundup, a Monsanto pesticide. Glyphosate is connected with breast cancer, extreme malnutrition and who knows what else. Eat organic food! - Yowbarb
...
VIDEO on page 

Scientist Samsel on Unsafe Meat and Potatoes     11:01    301 + Views

Link:  http://youtu.be/GLyp4-Ob3Eo

Zen Honeycutt·49 videos
Subscribed Published on Jul 24, 2013 
Independent Scientist Anthony Samsel discusses the glyphosate contamination of 160 of our foods, especially our meat and potatoes.

http://www.momsacrossamerica.com/widespread_glyphosate_contamination  Complete article

Widespread Glyphosate Contamination
Posted by Zen Honeycutt 583.60GS on July 24, 2013

...Excerpt:

"We know glyphosate kills plants. It does this by chelating or "holding " the vital nutrients in any living thing. It holds onto iron, zinc, magnesioum, cobalt, manganese, calcium, potassium etc. and makes them unavailable to the plant. The plant then dies from a bacteria in the soil that normally wouldn't have killed it, because it essentially is weakened. As one scientist said "It basically gives the plant AIDS, weakens it's immune system".

We are now learning that glyphosate can do the same thing to us. By ingesting some 160 foods repeatedly that are contaminated with glyphosate, we have glyphosate in our bodies. I believe it was Jeffrey M. Smith that reported  that 70% passes through our bodies but 30% stays in our bone marrow where it draws out the vital nutrients. There we can only imagine the havoc it is causing...until now.

Now we know. The Samsel and Seneff study on Glyphosate and Modern Diseases, a 43 page peer reviewed scientific study shows that glyphosate has "insidious" effects on the American population. Especially our children.

Here is Anothny Samsel in his own words in an interview with Zen Honeycutt, Moms Across America."
VIDEO and article

http://www.momsacrossamerica.com/widespread_glyphosate_contamination
« Last Edit: July 25, 2013, 04:51:24 AM by Yowbarb »

Yowbarb

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Re: Genetically Modified Food Products in America
« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2013, 08:32:18 AM »
I saw this in my Facebook News Feed...
Going to find the petition link and post it soon... - Yowbarb



enlightenme

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Re: Genetically Modified Food Products in America
« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2013, 03:28:50 PM »
LOL, Great minds do think alike!  I posted about it from the Suspicious0bservers video this morning.  Here is the link for anyone who needs it. 
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/ban-monsantos-genetically-modified-food-products-united-states/yrdxqMQT
 ;) ;D

Yowbarb

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Re: Genetically Modified Food Products in America
« Reply #24 on: August 05, 2013, 07:21:40 PM »
LOL, Great minds do think alike!  I posted about it from the Suspicious0bservers video this morning.  Here is the link for anyone who needs it. 
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/ban-monsantos-genetically-modified-food-products-united-states/yrdxqMQT
 ;) ;D

Enlightenme, that's great!  8)
I need to finish registering on there in order to do the petition something got messed up but I will try again... Real important petition!
- yowbarb

enlightenme

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Re: Genetically Modified Food Products in America
« Reply #25 on: August 06, 2013, 05:23:57 AM »
 ;D

Yowbarb

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Yowbarb

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Re: Genetically Modified Food Products in America
« Reply #27 on: August 07, 2013, 09:17:12 PM »
http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/08/what-are-gmos-and-why-should-i-care

5 Surprising Genetically Modified Foods

Leaving aside the question of whether they're good or bad for a moment, what exactly are GMOs, and which foods are they in?

—By Maggie Caldwell

Mon Aug. 5, 2013 3:00 AM PDT
By now, you've likely heard about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the controversy over whether they're the answer to world hunger or the devil incarnate. But for right now, let's leave aside that debate and turn to a more basic question: When you go to the supermarket, do you know which foods are most likely to be—or contain ingredients that are—genetically engineered? A handy FAQ:

So what exactly are genetically modified organisms?
 GMOs are plants or animals that have undergone a process wherein scientists alter their genes with DNA from different species of living organisms, bacteria, or viruses to get desired traits such as resistance to disease or tolerance of pesticides.

But haven't farmers been selectively breeding crops to get larger harvests for centuries? How is this any different?
 Over at Grist, Nathanael Johnson has a great answer to this question—but in a nutshell: Yes, farmers throughout history have been raising their plants to achieve certain desired traits such as improved taste, yield, or disease resistance. But this kind of breeding still relies on the natural reproductive processes of the organisms, where as genetic engineering involves the addition of foreign genes that would not occur in nature.
Am I eating GMOs?
 Probably.
Since several common ingredients like corn starch and soy protein are predominantly derived from genetically modified crops, it's pretty hard to avoid GM foods altogether. In fact, GMOs are present in 60 to 70 percent of foods on US supermarket shelves, according to Bill Freese at the Center for Food Safety; the vast majority of processed foods contain GMOs. One major exception is fresh fruits and veggies. The only GM produce you're likely to find is the Hawaiian papaya, a small amount of zucchini and squash, and some sweet corn. No meat, fish, and poultry products approved for direct human consumption are bioengineered at this point, though most of the feed for livestock and fish is derived from GM corn, alfalfa, and other biotech grains. Only organic varieties of these animal products are guaranteed GMO-free feed.

So what are some examples of food that are genetically modified?
1. Papayas: In the 1990s, Hawaiian papaya trees were plagued by the ringspot virus which decimated nearly half the crop in the state. In 1998, scientists developed a transgenic fruit called Rainbow papaya, which is resistant to the virus. Now 77 percent of the crop grown in Hawaii is genetically engineered (GE).

2. Milk: RGBH, or recombinant bovine growth hormone, is a GE variation on a naturally occurring hormone injected into dairy cows to increase milk production. It is banned for milk destined for human consumption in the European Union, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. Many milk brands that are rGBH-free label their milk as such, but as much as 40 percent of our dairy products, including ice cream and cheese, contains the hormone.

3. Corn on the cob: While 90 percent of corn grown in the United States is genetically modified, most of that crop is used for animal feed or ethanol and much of the rest ends up in processed foods. Sweet corn—the stuff that you steam or grill on the barbecue and eat on the cob—was GMO-free until last year when Monsanto rolled out its first GE harvest of sweet corn. While consumers successfully petitioned Whole Foods and Trader Joe's to not carry the variety, Walmart has begun stocking the shelves with it without any label.
4. Squash and zucchini: While the majority of squashes on the market are not GE, approximately 25,000 acres of crookneck, straightneck, and zucchinis have been bioengineered to be virus resistant.

5. "All natural" foods: Be wary of this label if you're trying to avoid GE foods. Right now there is no strict definition of what constitutes a natural food. This could be changing soon as federal court judges recently requested the Food and Drug Administration to determine whether the term can be used to describe foods containing GMOs to help resolve pending class action suits against General Mills, Campbell Soup Co., and the tortilla manufacturer Gruma Corp.

Are there any foods I've heard might be genetically modified—but actually aren't?
1. Potatoes: In 1995, Monsanto introduced genetically modified potatoes for human consumption, but after pressure from consumers, McDonald's and several other major fast food chains told their French fry suppliers to stop growing GE potatoes. The crop has since been removed from the market.

2. Seedless watermelon: While it would seem plausible that a fruit that produces no seeds has been bioengineered, the seedless watermelon is a hybrid of two separate breeds. It has been nicknamed the "mule of the watermelon world."

3. Salmon: Currently no meat, fish, or egg products are genetically engineered, though a company called Aqua Bounty has an application in with the FDA to approve its GE salmon.

4. Soy milk: While 93 percent of soy grown in the United States is genetically engineered, most major brands of soy milk are GMO-free. Silk, the best-selling soy milk brand in the country, joined the Non-GMO Project in 2010. Many popular tofu brands in the United States also sell GMO-free tofu products.*

5. Rice: A staple food for nearly half the world's population, there are currently no varieties of GM rice approved for human consumption. However, that could soon change. A genetically modified variety called golden rice being developed in the Philippines has been altered to include beta-carotene, a source of vitamin A. Backers are lauding it as a way to alleviate nutrient deficiency for the populations in developing countries.

How about organic foods?
 Since the late '90s, USDA organic standards have prohibited any genetically modified ingredients. Originally, the agency tried to include GE foods under the organic umbrella, but it backed down in 2002 after a massive public outcry to save organic standards.

How long have I been eating GE food?
 Scientists conducted the first GE food trials the late 1980s, and in 1994, a biotech company called Calgene released the first GMO approved for human consumption: the "Flavr Savr tomato," designed to stay ripe on the vine longer without getting squishy. The product, which Monsanto eventually picked up, flopped, but it paved the way for others: Biotech companies have made billions since with GE corn, soy bean, cotton, and canola.

Aren't food companies required to let me know whether their products contain GMOs?
 Not in the United States. Sixty-four developing and developed countries require GMO food labeling, according to Freese at the Center for Food Safety. You may have heard about the recent string of "Right to Know" bills in state assemblies across the country. The bills are aimed to require food companies to label any products that contain genetically modified organisms. Connecticut and Maine recently passed laws that would require food manufacturers to reveal GE ingredients on product packaging, but those laws won't go into effect until other states adopt similar measures. Americans overwhelmingly support such laws, with poll after poll showing that over 90 percent of respondents support mandatory labeling. Biotech companies and the food industry say that such labeling would be expensive and pointless since genetically engineered foods have been declared safe for human consumption.

So if the food is safe, what's all the fuss about them?
 First off, not everyone agrees that GMOs are safe to eat, especially over the long term. The European Union remains decidedly skeptical, with very few approved GE crops grown on the continent and mandatory labeling in place for products that contain GMOs. Some scientists fear that GMOs could cause allergies in humans. Others point to the environmental consequences of the farming of GE crops.

How do GMOs affect the environment?
 One word: Pesticides. Hundreds of millions of extra pounds of pesticides. The six biggest producers of GE seeds—Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow Agrosciences, BASF, Bayer, and Pioneer (DuPont)—are also the biggest producers of chemical herbicides and insecticides. Monsanto's Roundup Ready crops, for example, are genetically engineered to be immune to herbicide so that farmers can destroy weeds without killing their cash crops. But the process has spawned Roundup resistant weeds, leading farmers to apply greater and greater doses of the chemical or even resort to more toxic methods to battle back the superweeds.

Where can I learn more about GMOs?
Mother Jones' Tom Philpott writes critically about GMOs often. In this 2011 Scientific American piece, Brendan Borrell lays out the pro-GMO case very well. Grist's Nathanael Johnson has written several posts that clarify the basic science behind GE crops, and a New York Times Room for Debate from 2009 offers a pretty good synopsis of the controversy. Food policy wonks might enjoy perusing the Food and Agriculture Organization's page on biotechnology in agriculture; if you're looking for a more entertaining way to educate yourself, a documentary called GMO OMG opens in select theaters this fall.

Clarification: Previously this story stated most tofu sold in the United States is GMO-free. While the top-selling US tofu brand Nasoya and many other major manufacturers in the US have items verified by the Non-GMO Project, this doesn't necessarily encompass all tofu products.

Maggie Caldwell
Senior Editorial Fellow
Maggie Caldwell is a senior editorial fellow at Mother Jones. For more of her stories, click here. RSS | Twitter

Yowbarb

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Re: Genetically Modified Food Products in America
« Reply #28 on: August 12, 2013, 05:09:17 PM »
http://www.undergroundhealth.com/orange-juice-may-soon-contain-pig-genes/

Orange juice may soon contain pig genes


August 11, 2013 at 8:43 am
by Eric Zielinksi – Naturalhealth365.com

 The future of orange crops are at risk and pig genes may be considered part of the solution. (I’m not kidding)

 On July 27, the New York Times (NYT) officially staked its flag into Big Ag’s garden and into the soil of the GMO camp with its wildly controversial piece, “A Race to Save the Orange by Altering Its DNA.”

The feature highlights the story of a highly influential orange grower and his undying quest to stave off Asian jumping lice and the bacteria that they carry, which has been devastating Florida’s orange crop since 2005.

 Committed to engineering the world’s first genetically modified orange tree, the article centers on Ricke Kress, the president of Southern Gardens Citrus who is in charge of two and a half million orange trees and a factory that squeezes juice for Tropicana and Florida’s Best. According to NYT, Kress’s GMO savior would fight C. liberibacter and citrus psyllids through whatever means science determines necessary. As for public acceptance, Kress told his industry colleagues, “We can’t think about that right now.”

Rick Kress’ mission to save oranges by whatever means necessary

 Kress’ crusade has led him along a path, the past several years, widely out of public view. His work has tested potential DNA donors from two vegetables, a virus, a pig, and a synthetic gene manufactured in a laboratory. Unbeknownst to the world, the NYT reports that later this summer Kress “will plant several hundred more young trees with the spinach gene, in a new house.

 In two years, if he wins regulatory approval, they will be ready to go into the ground. The trees could be the first to produce juice for sale in five years or so.”

According to the NYT, whether it is his transgenic tree or someone else’s, Kress insists, “Florida growers will soon have trees that could produce juice without fear of its being sour, or in short supply.”

What is the danger of the “Greening” disease?

 C. liberibacter, the bacterium that has all but annihilated Florida’s citrus crop, chokes off the flow of nutrients and are spread by Asian citrus psyllids that can carry the germ a mile without stopping, and the females can lay up to 800 eggs in their one-month life. It was first detected more than a century ago in China and has earned a place, along with anthrax and the Ebola virus, on the Agriculture Department’s list of potential agents of bioterrorism.

 When it first hit, Florida growers attempted to subdue the contagion known as “Greening” by chopping down hundreds of thousands of infected trees and by spraying a broad spectrum of pesticides on the lice that carries it. However, the disease could not be contained. It has thus been determined by University of Florida agricultural analysts that the Asian bug and bacteria has cost Florida $4.5 billion and 8,000 jobs between 2006 and 2012.

 Presently, there is no known cure for Greening disease. “In all of cultivated citrus, there is no evidence of immunity,” the plant pathologist heading a National Research Council task force on the disease said.

Does the New York Times really care about the health of its readers?

 Although our hearts break for the thousands of people who have lost their jobs and for the unknown impact this orange crop devastation will have on the world as it continues to spread, our tempers boil against the New York Times for their highly biased representation of GMOs to their readers, of whom many are ignorant to the harmful realities related to GMOs.

 Astoundingly, the NYT attempts to compare genetically modifying oranges to ancient breeding practices, something that they call “genetic merging.”

Because oranges themselves are hybrids and most seeds are clones of the mother, new varieties cannot easily be produced by crossbreeding – unlike, say, apples, which breeders have remixed into favorites like Fuji and Gala. But the vast majority of oranges in commercial groves are the product of a type of genetic merging that predates the Romans, in which a slender shoot of a favored fruit variety is grafted onto the sturdier roots of other species: lemon, for instance, or sour orange. And a seedless midseason orange recently adopted by Florida growers emerged after breeders bombarded a seedy variety with radiation to disrupt its DNA, a technique for accelerating evolution that has yielded new varieties in dozens of crops, including barley and rice.

Completely ignoring the inherent dangers of GMOs and confusing the process with conventional crossbreeding, the NYT states,

 "Even in the heyday of frozen concentrate, the popularity of orange juice rested largely on its image as the ultimate natural beverage, fresh-squeezed from a primordial fruit. But the reality is that human intervention has modified the orange for millenniums, as it has almost everything people eat.

 In addition, the NYT times argues that, “Even conventional crossbreeding has occasionally produced toxic varieties of some vegetables.” The famed news source even insists that,

 Oranges are not the only crop that might benefit from genetically engineered resistance to diseases for which standard treatments have proven elusive. And advocates of the technology say it could also help provide food for a fast-growing population on a warming planet by endowing crops with more nutrients, or the ability to thrive in drought, or to resist pests. Leading scientific organizations have concluded that shuttling DNA between species carries no intrinsic risk to human health or the environment, and that such alterations can be reliably tested."

A nation divided

 Supposedly, the scientific consensus holds that genetic engineering is the only solution to defeating Greening. “People are either going to drink transgenic orange juice or they’re going to drink apple juice,” one University of Florida scientist told Kress.

“And,” according to the NYT, “If the presence of a new gene in citrus trees prevented juice from becoming scarcer and more expensive, Kress believed, the American public would embrace it. ‘The consumer will support us if it’s the only way,’ Kress assured his boss.”

However is this true? Will the American consumer embrace the GM orange and feed GM juice to their children in the quantities that they are now?

According to the NYT,

If various polls were to be believed, a third to half of Americans would refuse to eat any transgenic crop. One study’s respondents would accept only certain types: two-thirds said they would eat a fruit modified with another plant gene, but few would accept one with DNA from an animal. Fewer still would knowingly eat produce that contained a gene from a virus. 

Orange growers are still divided

 Kress’s boss worried about damaging the image of juice long promoted as “100 percent natural.” “Do we really want to do this?” he demanded in a 2008 meeting at the company’s headquarters on the northern rim of the Everglades.

“The public will never drink G.M.O. orange juice,” one grower said at a contentious 2008 meeting. “It’s a waste of our money.”

 “The public is already eating tons of G.M.O.’s,” countered Peter McClure, a big grower.

“This isn’t like a bag of Doritos,” snapped another. “We’re talking about a raw product, the essence of orange.”

Yowbarb

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Re: Genetically Modified Food Products in America
« Reply #29 on: August 15, 2013, 05:13:30 PM »
Help support True Activist by liking them on Facebook

http://www.trueactivist.com/italy-becomes-the-9th-eu-nation-to-ban-monsantos-gmo-corn/

Italy Becomes the 9th EU Nation To Ban Monsanto’s GMO Corn

August 14, 2013 |  Filed under: Environment, Health, News, Politics |  Posted by: True Activist

 
By: Natasha Longo,
Prevent Disease.

The Italians are on to something big that could cause a ripple effect throughout the EU. Three Italian ministries have signed a decree banning the cultivation of Monsanto’s genetically modified corn, citing environmental concerns, the agriculture ministry said last week.

Earlier this year, Poland had become the eighth EU member state to ban the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops. Seven other EU member states have already imposed bans on the cultivation of GM crops approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) as safe: Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Greece and Bulgaria. Now Italy has joined the ranks.

Nation ministries continue to express concerns that GM crops may cross-pollinate with non-GM crops and Monsanto’s MON810 maize pollen may find its way into honey. There exists no scientific assessments confirming that GM crops are safe for the environment and people.

The decree, which still needs to be published in the official gazette to become binding, targets Monsanto’s MON810 maize, one of two genetically modified organisms (GMO) allowed in Europe and the only one currently grown commercially.

The ban was also signed off by the health and environment ministries, with the agriculture ministry citing the crop’s “negative impact on biodiversity”.

“Our agriculture is based on biodiversity, on quality, and those we must continue to aim for, without games that even from an economic point of view would not make us competitive,” the ministry said.

The ministry said it had already notified the European Commission and other states in the European Union of the move.

“The Commission will look into the Italian safeguard measure in more detail, and we have already asked the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to assess the scientific basis for the decision,” said Frederic Vincent, the Commission’s health spokesman. EFSA is the EU’s food safety watchdog.

While GMO cultivation approvals are agreed jointly at the EU level, individual governments can introduce safeguards if they believe that cultivation could present a health or environmental risk. Those moves, however, are always verified by the Commission.

France put in place a similar temporary ban on GMO crops last year.

It was just two years ago that French police stood helpless as sixty people, locked inside an open-air field of genetically modified grapevines, uprooted all the plants. In Spain, dozens of people have destroyed GMO fields. In an anonymous press release that year, they wrote, “This kind of direct action is the best way to respond to the fait accompli policy through which the Generalitat, the State and the biotech multinationals have been unilaterally imposing genetically modified organisms.”

Europe is quickly becoming the most progressive continent in the world to oppose GM foods. France, Italy, Switzerland, Hungary, Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia, Latvia and Albania have all declared many regions to be GMO-free. France made an important step in the no-GMO movement by specifically defining exactly what “GMO-free” means when it comes to food labeling. Spain and Portugal are slowing advancing but they have a long way to go before declaring most of their regions GMO-free. Britain officially supports GM crops and has trials of GMOs like potatoes planted. Austria, Greece and Poland are now completely GMO-free zones thanks to public and government support.

According to official data from last year, there was no GMO cultivation in Italy, a country fiercely protective of its agriculture, although some pro-biotech farmers have planted individual crops in recent months despite the widespread opposition.

Nearly 80 percent of Italians are in support of a ban, according to Italy’s biggest farmers group Coldiretti, citing the results of a recent survey.

“The protection of Italian distinctiveness must be a policy priority since it determines the existence of ‘Made in Italy’, which is our engine, our future, our leverage to return to growth in the food industry,” Coldiretti’s president, Sergio Marini, said in a statement.

The Italian ban will be valid for a period of up to 18 months, the ministry added.

Five EU member states grew MON810 maize on 129,000 hectares in 2012, data from the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications showed.

Spain was the top producer, followed by Portugal, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania.

Sources:
scientificamerican.com
foodfreedom.wordpress.com
preventdisease.com

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