GMO News & Information: May 28, 2016

Ban GMOs Now: information including the DARK Act (again), corporate control of food, media suppression & spin, Stop Monsanto and more

GMO News & Information May 28, 2016 (Quote - Colin Todhunter on pro-GMO activism)Jeff Kirkpatrick – Ban GMOs Now

Let’s start with some music today – a quick song about how great Monsanto is:

The song can also be accessed here: “Stop Monsanto,” by Kelly Newton-Wordsworth

Kelly Newton-Wordsworth is a biodynamic farmer and an award winning singer/songwriter, activist and recording artist from Australia

GMWatch reports that BBC actually reported something unfavorable about a GMO related issue:

BBC World Service covers Detox Project glyphosate results,” by GMWatch; May 28, 2016

Rachel Carson’s birthday was May 27, 2016. Andrew Kimbrell wrote an article about the person attributed to creating the environmentalist movement with her book Poison Spring:

Remembering Rachel Carson: A Fight against a New ‘Silent Spring,’” by Andrew Kimbrell, Center for Food Safety; May 27, 2016

Rachel Carson quote effort should be made to eliminate those carcinogens; minute exposures over and over through the years

The Story of Silent Spring,” by NRDC; August 13, 2015

This article links to a petition about the latest version of the DARK Act:

GMOs as a Corporate Control Tactic,” by Kiley Fisher, Food & Water Watch; May 27, 2016

Excerpt:  When biotech companies like Monsanto, Dow, DuPont and Syngenta create GMO seeds, they’re also creating entire systems of food production. By creating a suite of products designed to work together – seeds for crops engineered to withstand Roundup, a [probable] human carcinogen, for example – they’re able to control the entire farming cycle and block out competition. Not only that, but the explosion of herbicide-resistant seeds has given way to herbicide-resistant weeds, fueling the growth of “superweeds” and ensuring that farmers must continue to buy increasingly harsh chemicals, often from the same company, to compensate.

Beyond this, seed options are slim. In 2009 in the United States, 93 percent of soybeans and 80 percent of corn were grown with seeds containing Monsanto-patented genetics.

… Agrichemical heavyweights are spending millions to make it hard for us to know if GMOs are in our food. And if we don’t know where our food is coming from, we don’t know how little choice we have about what we eat – or what chemicals are being used to grow it.

Right now, a bill in the Senate would outlaw state GMO labeling laws. It’s up to us to make sure our elected officials don’t support this Monsanto giveaway.

From earlier this month – in case you missed it

A new report by the Oakland Institute about who is shaping agriculture in Africa – it’s bad

The Unholy Alliance, Five Western Donors Shape a Pro-Corporate Agenda for African Agriculture,” by Alice Martin-Prével with Frédéric Mousseau, Oakland Institute, May 2016 (28 pages)

Description: The Unholy Alliance, Five Western Donors Shape a Pro-Corporate Agenda for African Agriculture, exposes how a coalition of four donor countries and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is shaping a pro-business environment in the agricultural sector of developing countries, especially in Africa.

These five donors are rapidly expanding bilateral and multilateral ‘aid’ programs to support corporate agriculture. Through aid-funded grants, loans, or insurance mechanisms, taxpayers’ money is increasingly subsidizing agribusinesses’ activities. Promotion of hybrid and GMO seeds, pesticides, and synthetic fertilizers by such aid programs is turning Africa into a new market for agrichemical corporations.

The Unholy Alliance, 5 Western Donors Shape a Pro-Corporate Agenda for African Agriculture, by Alice Martin-Prével, Oakland Institute, 2016

To read more about this report, click HERE.

Mighty Monsanto: Veteran cartoonist fired for pro-farmer, anti-Big Ag piece,” by RT America; May 4, 2016

Excerpt: A veteran newspaper cartoonist was fired from a local newspaper in the cornbelt state of Iowa, for a piece criticizing Monsanto and other Big Agriculture companies.

Rick Friday had been working for Farm News for more than 20 years before Big Ag stepped in to suppress freedom of the press.

The cartoon in question was published on April 29 and shows one farmer saying, “I wish there was more profit in farming,” while the other one says, “There is. In year 2015 the CEOs of Monsanto, DuPont, Pioneer and John Deere combined made more money than 2129 Iowa farmers.”

It’s not the first time that the media has been influenced by Monsanto and the biotech industry:

Steven Druker dedicates a chapter to media coverage on GMOs – or more accurately, the lack of media coverage in his book (best of the year) Altered Genes, Twisted Truth – How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public, Chelsea Green Publishing, (2015)

book altered genes twisted truth chelsea green publishing

You can read more about his book here:

Jane Goodall and Steven Druker Expose US Government Fraud over GMOs,” by Sustainable Pulse; March 4, 2015

And here:

Not Science, Just Lies and Propaganda: The Massive Fraud behind GMOs Exposed,” by Colin Todhunter, RINF; March 5, 2015

It’s fairly well-known by now that Monsanto stopped two television reports from reporting about rBGH. The reporters found that the approval for this product was not copacetic, to say the least. The two reporters were actually fired for their efforts.

This article goes into some detail about that story (note: the video embedded in the article is poor quality, a better link is listed below)

Monsanto and Fox: Partners in Censorship – SourceWatch

The following YouTube video is an excerpt from a much longer movie called ‘The Corporation.’

MONSANTO / FOX NEWS – KILL INVESTIGATIVE STORY – YouTube (11:29) published by evelkidnievel on December 15, 2012

More articles on how the media covers GMOs (or doesn’t):

Mainstream Media Blackout: Maine Second State to Pass GMO Labeling Law,” by Melissa Melton, Activist Post; January 11, 2014

Media Blackout on GMOs” by Roxanne Darrow, Food Integrity Campaign Blog; August 6, 2015

Fakethrough! GMOs and the Capitulation of Science Journalism,” by Jonathan R. Latham, PhD, Independent Science News; January 7, 2014

This is not quite media spin and disinformation, but rather a comment on how Monsanto spins its message (which influences how the media responds). The assertion is that if we label GMOs, then we will condemn billions of people to death by starvation. This is an audio excerpt from the 2002 documentary ‘Toxic Sludge is good for You.’ John Stauber says that the biotech propaganda techniques include emotional blackmail and cites an ad with the biotech industry saying that not only are these products safe, but that they will save the family farm, and will also feed the billions of people.

From Earlier this Year

Twisted Science, Altered Truth: Inside the Church of Pro-GMO Activism,” by Colin Todhunter, RINF; February 28, 2016

Excerpt: Last year on Twitter, Monsanto Vice President Robert Fraley provided a link to an article that implied those who are suspicious of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), among other things, are confused, motivated by ideology or misinformed as a result of access to the ‘university of Google’, or they are simply conspiracy theorists. Fraley asked why people doubted science and seemed to be taking a swipe at critics of GMOs, who the GM sector and its mouthpieces like to depict as dealing in fear mongering and relying on ‘pseudo-science’.

The industry and its assortment of pro-GM activists in science and the media have a view of the world that requires the public to bow to some kind of scientific priesthood whose knowledge and opinions should never be questioned (listen to this recent presentation from the Oxford Real Farming Conference – from 17:00). They require us to have unquestioned belief in science’s ability to solve humanity’s problems. Deference and faith are key to the creed.

The problem is that rich corporations and individuals have manipulated the idea of science and have been able to distort scientific research. They have translated their vast financial influence into political clout and the control of science and scientific institutions. The result is that science institutes, research programs and practitioners now too often willingly serve the interests of powerful corporations. Far from liberating humankind, science and scientific research have become tools of deception.

An interesting YouTube video on GMOs, glyphosate and the EU

Poisoned Fields – Glyphosate, the underrated risk? (HD 1080p) – YouTube (52:15) published by wocomoDOCS on January 25, 2016

Description: Glyphosate is the world’s most widely used weed killer in farms and gardens. German soil was treated with six million kilograms in 2012 alone. Glyphosate is cheap and readily available at all wholesale garden stores. Some claim it is completely harmless, while others say it is a serious health hazard for man and animals. Large-scale studies of the herbicide have only been carried out by the industry itself. Such studies would be far too expensive for individual authorities. But glyphosate so far only has a limited license in Europe, and this year, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment in Germany is responsible for extending it. Now, the WHO has suddenly announced it is calling for an all-out ban on glyphosate, right in the middle of the decision-making procedure. A WHO cancer research team considers the herbicide produced by Monsanto, Syngenta and BASF to be absolutely toxic and probably carcinogenic. More and more people and animals that are exposed to the substance become ill – and there are a large number of unexplained miscarriages and deformities in humans in South America, especially in areas where glyphosate is used on large monocultures. Critical scientists have been warning of the long-term damage for years. But their studies have not been recognized by the authorities. We ask how a substance without a tested license in Germany has been extended for test operation since 1974, even though there has been evidence of its toxicity for the past 10 years. The film sets out in search of sick animals and humans and asks how the WHO has reached these new conclusions and what action the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment is taking.

From the Archives

A report from Friends of the Earth International about the corporate takeover of nature

Financialization of Nature: Creating a new definition of nature,” by Jutta Kill, Friends of the Earth Intl.; November 2015 (16 pages)

Summary: Nature and communities all over the world are facing multiple crises. Capitalism is also experiencing grave problems. Nature and the communities who directly depend on it are threatened by climate change, water shortages, biodiversity depletion, deforestation and acidification of oceans. Capitalism’s crises are caused in part by the demand for new attractive investment opportunities outpacing the supply. Meanwhile nation states are struggling to protect the planet’s living conditions with global environmental legislation, without increasing the cost of industrial production. The UNEP, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the World Bank and others promoting a Green Economy say that ‘green growth’ will address these multiple crises in one sweep. Green growth, they claim, will relieve states of the growing financial burden of environmental protection while fixing the environmental damage corporate destruction of nature has already caused. ‘Green growth’, however, redefines ‘green’ not ‘growth’: Nature is described in the language of financial capital to better suit the new Green Economy. This Green Economy needs a flexible idea of nature. A nature divided into different “ecosystem services” that can be quantified, measured and above all, broken up into individual units, so profit can be made from selling rights to these individual units of nature. We call this financialization of nature.

Financialization of Nature - Creating a new definition of nature, by Jutta Kill, Friends of the Earth Intl.; November 2015

Beware of the Corporate GMO Spin Doctors,” by Wenonah Hauter, Food & Water Watch; March 18, 2015

Excerpt: You may have heard that popular scientist Bill Nye has mysteriously revised his outlook on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Several years ago, the children’s show host advocated for the labeling of genetically modified foods, citing concerns about what GMOs could do to ecosystems. But now his position on the controversial technology has flipped. This development is the latest in a trend spearheaded by agribusiness giants to discredit the GMO labeling movement, and it’s especially hard to disassociate his reversal from this PR blitz since it coincided with Nye’s recent trip to Monsanto’s headquarters.

…Just because the industry has launched a charm offensive in the media when it comes to GMOs doesn’t change the basic facts: GMOs are largely untested, and their long-term effects on our health and our planet are still unknown; they promote the use of dangerous chemicals, and they pose a significant threat to organic agriculture. What’s more, consumers should absolutely get to decide whether the food they are buying carries these unknown risks or supports this system; GMO foods must be labeled.

Corporations and their hired guns love confusing people about the science behind their questionable products to help shape favorable public opinion (in the case of GMOs, asserting there is scientific consensus where none actually exists). But we aren’t buying their spin, nor should you.

Bill Nye quote, ‘GM food has no effect on us; there is no difference between it and organically raised food’-StarTalk Radio Show 2015

Five Things Monsanto Doesn’t Want You to Know About GMOs,” by Food & Water Watch; May 7, 2015

Excerpt: You’ve heard the controversy about genetically engineered foods (GMOs) and whether they’re safe to eat (and the question of safety is nowhere near settled, despite what the companies that create GMOs would like you to think). But the rest of the story about GMOs is far more complex: for biotech companies, the real purpose of GMOs is power and control over the food supply, and ultimately it’s about profits. The undeniable fact is that GMOs are bad for our environment, our food system, and the people in it.

GMOs are about control and profit not feeding the world Food & Water Watch (5 things Monsanto Doesn't Want You to Know About GMOs) F&WW

And last, a YouTube video: Why Are We Being Fed By A Poison Expert – YouTube (5:18) published by The Undercurrent on June 5, 2015

That’s it for today. The GMO advocates, shills and trolls are ubiquitous lately, fighting against GMO labels, spreading disinformation and lies. Many of them are quite ignorant, (and of the ones who know better, what does that tell you about their motivation?$$$$?). So continue to learn and do whatever research on GMOs that you can and take whatever action you can: future generations will be grateful.

We need to Ban GMOs Now.

सत्यमेव जयते – Satyameva Jayate

(Truth Ultimately Triumphs)

 

Re-posting is encouraged, provided the URL of the original is posted with attribution to the original author and all links are preserved to the referenced articles, reports, etc. on their respective websites.

Copyright © Jeff Kirkpatrick 2016 Ban GMOs Now All rights reserved.

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