Saturday, July 4, 2015

15 MILL LBS/YEAR FOOD COLORING MADE FROM PETROLEUM WILL BE ELIMINATED FROM GM CEREALS

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General Mills To Eliminate Artificial Colors and Flavors From All Cereals

June 23, 2015 | Posted in Rundown, Writers | 0 Comments

ABC Action News has just reported General Mills’ groundbreaking announcement that they are voluntarily removing harmful food dyes and artificial flavors from their entire cereal line – even Trix and Lucky Charms.
This is not to say that the brightly colored breakfast grains will become lackluster – it’s always been possible to naturally color food. There was never any need to subject consumers to 15 million pounds of carcinogenic petroleum byproducts (coal tar derivatives) per year.
The company is the first major cereal company to replace those artificial ingredients with fruits, vegetables and spices.
“We wanted to make sure they were still fun vibrant colors that we are providing and the fruity flavor that kids expect,” Kate Gallager, General Mills cereal developer, told Good Morning America.
Gallager provided an exclusive look at General Mills’ top secret cereal lab where they tried hundreds of natural ingredients like tomatoes, purple carrots and spices like turmeric for colors.
By this coming January, the company said 75 percent of its cereals will be without those artificial ingredients, likely including Trix and Reese’s Puffs; and by the end of 2016, the company hopes to cover 90 percent of the cereal brands.
General Mills says Lucky Charms’ marshmallows will prove to be the most difficult and might not become naturally colored until 2017. GM said they were making changes for health reasons and that over 60 percent of their cereals either were already free of dyes or have made the transition.
The FDA still holds that artificial colors are not harmful to the nervous system of children and do not lead to hyperactivity. The European Union disagrees – prior to banning them, they made sure ingredients displayed warnings to parents. Even if the FDA will stalwartly defend the unnecessary ingredients, there is ample proof of artificial colors linked to ADHD, allergies and cancer. The FDA should recall (no pun intended) that the artificial colors approved as safe in previous decades had to be pulled from the market for the dangerous harmful health effects.
Artificial flavors are synthetic, mainly chemically derived additives that fall under a broad spectrum of ingredients. Some individuals are sensitive to certain artificial ingredients but may have to avoid all products that contain artificial flavorings since the labels are non-specific. If the body does not recognize the components, such chemical flavorings can take up receptor sites and place heavier burdens on the liver and pancreas which need to need to exhaust more enzymes to break them down.
In recent years, GM eliminated most GMOs from most of their Cheerios line because of consumer demand. Whenever a giant food company makes great strides to please consumers, it never hurts to thank them.

Heather Callaghan is a natural health blogger and food freedom activist. You can see her work at NaturalBlaze.com and ActivistPost.com. Like at Facebook.

This article can be republished from this site in part or in full, leaving all links intact, giving full attribution including bio, under Creative Commons license.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=uUdmM4A4emQ

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

BIG AG LOBBYISTS ARE 92% OF TTIP "NEGOTIATING" MONEY AND PRESSURE

Agribusiness is the biggest lobbyist on the EU-US trade deal, new research reveals

No sector has lobbied the European Commission more during the preparation phase for the negotiations on the proposed EU-US trade deal (TTIP) than the agribusiness sector, according to data published today by Corporate Europe Observatory in a series of research-based infographics. Food multinationals, agri-traders and seed producers have had more contacts with the Commission’s trade department (DG Trade) than lobbyists from the pharmaceutical, chemical, financial and car industry put together.
The infographics reveal a dramatic business-bias in the Commission’s consultation policy around this giant trade deal. Of the 560 lobby encounters that DG Trade held to prepare the negotiations, 520 (92 per cent) were with business lobbyists, while only 26 (four per cent) were with public interest groups. So, for every encounter with a trade union or consumer group, there were 20 with companies and industry federations. The data covers contributions to the Commission’s public consultations, public stakeholder meetings and lobby meetings behind closed doors.

Pia Eberhardt, trade campaigner with Corporate Europe Observatory said: “DG Trade actively involved business lobbyists in drawing up the EU position for TTIP while keeping 'pesky' trade unionists and other public interest groups at bay. The result is a big-business-first agenda for the negotiations which endangers many achievements that people in Europe have long struggled for, from food safety rules to environmental protection.”

While the European Commission has claimed publicly that the trade deal will not threaten European rules on food and environmental safety, an analysis of the key tools and principles in the negotiations, also published today, shows that TTIP could lead to precisely that.
Nina Holland, agribusiness campaigner with Corporate Europe Observatory said: “Agribusiness lobbies such as the pesticide industry have strongly pushed their agenda via the TTIP negotiations with the aim of undermining current EU food regulations. Trade tools such as “mutual recognition” and “regulatory co-operation” are likely to lead to an erosion of food safety standards in the long run. The industry is also trying to use TTIP to derail important EU initiatives such as the one to deal with endocrine disrupting chemicals.”
The infographics also shine a light on other economic sectors that were lobbying actively in the preparatory phase of the TTIP negotiations, including telecommunications and IT, auto industry, engineering, as well as the chemical sector.
Overall, the data suggest that the agenda-setting for TTIP has been largely driven by businesses with headquarters in the US, Germany and the UK and by industry lobby groups organised on the EU level such as the European employers’ federation BusinessEurope and the European Services Forum, a lobby outfit of large services companies such as Deutsche Bank and TheCity UK. Companies from Greece and large parts of Eastern Europe were entirely absent from the corporate lobby push for TTIP, suggesting that businesses in the poorer EU countries have little to gain from this trade deal.
The data also reveals that more than 30 per cent (94 out of 269) of the private sector interest groups that have lobbied DG Trade on TTIP are absent from the EU’s Transparency Register, among them large companies such as Walmart, Walt Disney, General Motors, France Telecom and Maersk. Some of the industry associations lobbying hardest for TTIP such as the US Chamber of Commerce and the Transatlantic Business Council are also lobbying under the radar of the lobby register.
Link to infographics: "Who lobbies most on TTIP?"
Link to "TTIP: A lose-lose deal for food and farming"
Source:  http://corporateeurope.org/pressreleases/2014/07/agribusiness-biggest-lobbyist-eu-us-trade-deal-new-research-reveals

Monday, June 29, 2015

CALIFORNIA SEED FREEDOM DAY STATEWIDE PROTEST


EARTH IS NOT A MACHINE: GMO SEED PATENTS ARE REDUCTIONIST ANTI-SCIENCE FRAGMENTATION

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Stupidity and Intelligence: Science, GMOs and Our Food

How industrial-scale farming is actually becoming anti-science.
The intelligence of both human farmers and the natural world itself, writes Dr. Shiva, "is being thwarted by the false construction of the living Earth as dead matter, to be exploited limitlessly for human control, domination and greed." (Photo: fossen_42/flickr/cc)
"Science" is derived from the scire – "to know".
Each of us should know what we are eating, how it was produced, what impact it has on our health.
"Agroecology, not the mechanistic and blind paradigm of industrial agriculture, is the truly scientific approach to food production."
The knowledge we need for growing food is knowledge of biodiversity and living seed, of living soil and the soil food web, of interaction between different species in the agroecosystem and of different seasons. Farmers have been the experts in these fields, as have ecological scientists who study the evolution of microorganisms, plants and animals, the ecological web and the soil food web.
In industrial agriculture the knowledge of living systems is totally missing since industrial agriculture was externally driven by using war chemicals as inputs for agriculture. Soil was defined as an empty container for holding synthetic fertilizers, plants were defined as machines running on external inputs. This meant substituting the ecological functions and services that nature and farmers can provide through renewal of soil fertility, pest and weed control, and seed improvement. But it also implied ignorance of the destruction of the functions by the toxic chemicals applied to agriculture.
This complex knowledge of interacting, self-organizing, self-maintaining, self-renewing and self-evolving systems that farmers have had is now being confirmed through the latest in ecology. At the agricultural systems level, agroecology, not the mechanistic and blind paradigm of industrial agriculture, is the truly scientific approach to food production.
At the level of organisms, epigenetics and the new knowledge that cells are in constant communication with each other is leading to the emergence of a new paradigm of life as communication and intelligence. Living systems are not dead matter, assembled like a machine. 

Yet in recent times only one kind of knowledge, the Mechanistic Reductionist paradigm based on seeing the world as a machine, and reduction of a system its parts, has been elevated to the status of science.
The emerging sciences of complexity and connectedness expose the oceans of ignorance in which the mechanistic fundamentalism is steeped. Because living systems are self-organized complexity—and not machines— knowledge of a small fragmented part in isolation of its relationships with the rest of the system, translates into not-knowing.
This epistemic violence is now being combined with the violence of corporate interests to viciously attack all scientific traditions, including those that have evolved from within Western Science and transcended the mechanistic world view.
Industrial-scale farming, in this way, is actually becoming anti-science.
No where is this more evident than in how reductionism has  been used to colonise the seed. Seed is self organized intelligence – it reproduces, it multiplies, and it constantly evolves. Farmers, specially women, have combined their intelligence with the intelligence of the seed, and through breeding as co-creation, they have domesticated wild plants, increased diversity to adapt to diverse climates and cultures. Additionally, they have improved both nutrition and taste as well as increased resilience, which is the evolutionary potential of the seed. Seeds have been improved on the basis of ecological and social criteria.
The rhetoric for taking over food systems and seed supply is always based on "Improved Seed." But what is not mentioned is that industrial seeds are only "improved" in the context of higher dependence on chemicals, and more control by corporations.
The latest in the anti-scientific discourse of industrial agriculture is by reducing everything to "GMOs."
Genetic Engineering is used to redefine seed as a corporate "invention" to claim patents and collect royalties. Farmers suicides in the cotton belt of India are directly related to the extraction of super-profits from farmers as royalty. And this is illegal since Monsanto never had a patent on Bt cotton.
It is claimed the GMOs will increase food production but the technology does not increase yields.
It is claimed that genetic engineering is a precise technology. This is false for four primary reasons. First, genetic engineering is based on the false assumption that one gene gives rise to one trait. Second, it is so imprecise that antibiotic resistance marker genes have to be added to even know if the gene was actually introduced in the cell of the plant and genes from virulent viruses have to be added to promote the trait being introduced. Third, because the genes come from unrelated organisms, and include bacterial and viral genes, there are unknown impacts on the organism and the ecosystem in which it is introduced. This is why there are multidisciplinary sciences involved in Biosafety, and an international UN law to regulate GMOs for their Biosafety impact called the Cartagena Protocol to the Convention on the Conservation of Biodiversity.
"It is precisely on the denial of intelligence of humans and other species that the edifice of mechanistic reductionism is based."
Fourth, the anti-scientific claim that GMOs are accurate and selection and conventional breeding are inaccurate ignores the intelligence of plants and of farmers which is at play in evolution. In fact, the emergence of antibiotic resistance indicates the intelligence of bacteria to evolve under the pressure  of antibiotics. Bacteria, as intelligent beings, are remaking themselves in response to antibiotics. The emergence of superpests resistant to Bt toxin in plants, and superweeds resistant to Roundup with the spread of Roundup Ready GMOs indicates the intelligence of insects and plants to remake themselves under the pressure of toxins associated with GMOs which are designed to kill them. But it is precisely on the denial of intelligence of humans and other species that the edifice of mechanistic reductionism is based.
"Intelligence" is based on the Latin inter legere – "to choose". From the slime mold and bacteria, to plants and animals, including humans, intelligence is the choice we make to evolve in order to respond to changing contexts. Life is a cognitive system, with communication constantly taking place in a network on non-separable patterns of relationship. Living beings innovate all the time to deal with environmental challenges that face them. As evolutionary biologist Richard Lewontin says, "The characteristic of a living object is that it reacts to external stimuli rather than being passively propelled by them. An organisms life is constant mid-course corrections."
As a species, we as humans are falling behind the slime mold and bacteria to make an intelligent response to the environmental threats we face. And our intelligence is being thwarted by the false construction of the living Earth as dead matter, to be exploited limitlessly for human control, domination and greed.
The mid-course correction we need is to move beyond the mechanistic paradigm, and beyond exploitation which is manipulating not just living organisms, but knowledge itself.
It is claimed that the Bt toxin in GMOs degrades, but it has been found to survive in the blood of pregnant women and fetuses. It is claimed that Roundup and Roundup Ready crops are safe for humans because humans do not have the shikimate pathway. This is outright violence against science. Ninety percent of the genetic information in our body is not human but bacterial.

Out of the 600 trillion cells in our body only 6 trillion are human, the rest are bacterial. And bacteria have the shikimate pathway. The bacteria in our gut are being killed by Roundup leading to serious disease epidemics, from increasing intestinal disorders to neurological problems such as the increase in occurrence of autism and Alzheimers. The soil, the gut and our brain are one interconnected biome – violence to one part triggers violence in the entire inter-related system. The US Centers for Disease Control data shows that on current trends one in two children in the US could be autistic in a few decades. It is not an intelligent species that destroys its own future because of a distorted and manipulated definition of science.
As Einstein had observed: "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe."
Dr. Vandana Shiva is a philosopher, environmental activist and eco feminist. She is the founder/director of Navdanya Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Ecology. She is author of numerous books including, Soil Not Oil: Environmental Justice in an Age of Climate Crisis; Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply; Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace; and Staying Alive: Women, Ecology, and Development. Shiva has also served as an adviser to governments in India and abroad as well as NGOs, including the International Forum on Globalization, the Women’s Environment and Development Organization and the Third World Network. She has received numerous awards, including 1993 Right Livelihood Award (Alternative Nobel Prize) and the 2010 Sydney Peace Prize.
Source:  http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/06/29/stupidity-and-intelligence-science-gmos-and-our-food

Friday, June 26, 2015

GMO ROUNDUP NEWS JUNE 26, 2015





Center for Research on Globalization - ‎3 hours ago‎




Russian President, Vladimir Putin has led a strong stance against biotech and their cultivation of GM crops in his country. Now, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Arkady Dvorkovich, has announced at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum that ...
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Axis of Logic - ‎Jun 24, 2015‎




Bill Freese, science policy analyst at the Center for Food Safety, told Common Dreams that it was important to note that France only banned the use of Roundup for homeowners, rather than the agricultural sector.
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EcoWatch - ‎1 hour ago‎




Pope Francis Slams GMOs and Pesticides for Destroying the Earth's 'Complex Web of Ecosystems'. Lori Ann Burd, Center for Biological Diversity | June 26, 2015 11:04 am | Comments.
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International Business Times - ‎6 hours ago‎




The head of a leading U.S. consumer group has called for mandatory labeling of food with genetically modified ingredients. In this photo, employees stock shelves near a sign supporting non genetically modified organisms (GMO) at the Central Co-op in ...
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Tech Times - ‎19 hours ago‎




The wheat strain had been genetically engineered to give off pheromones mimicking insect alarms to scare away pests such as aphids while attracting their natural predators, and while successfully tested in the laboratory it failed to repel the damaging ...

teleSUR English - ‎7 hours ago‎




The World Health Organization ruled this week that a chemical in an herbicide used on genetically engineered corn and soy crops is “possibly” cancer-causing for humans.
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EcoWatch - ‎21 hours ago‎




“More than 300,000 people from across the country are asking Costco not to sell genetically modified salmon. Costco, a seemingly progressive company, is located in our backyard.

CSRwire.com (press release) - ‎Jun 25, 2015‎




UNIONVILLE, C.T., Jun. 25 /CSRwire/ - GMO Free USA will be joining Neil Young + Promise of the Real during their upcoming tour to promote their new studio album, The Monsanto Years.

eco-business.com - ‎8 hours ago‎




Backers of GMO corn are pushing for security certification from Chinese government authorities. If approved, GMO corn could be industrially planted in as little as three years, according to the financial and business website caijing.

CJAD - ‎Jun 25, 2015‎




A recent article in Forbes magazine examined the use of pesticides in connection with genetically modified crops and concluded that the introduction such crops has not reduced overall pesticide use.

Pioneer News - ‎9 hours ago‎




One major purpose of genetically modified crops is to make our grains and fruits and vegetables more resistant to disease and pests.
Manufacturing Business Technology - ‎2 hours ago‎




A recent study of genetically modified salmon led scientists to conclude that commercializing the altered fish would inherently pose some risk to the environment.

SCIENTIST PONTIFF: GMOs DESTROY ECONOMIES, ECOSYSTEMS AND DIVERSITY

Pope Francis Slams GMOs and Pesticides for Destroying the Earth’s ‘Complex Web of Ecosystems’

| June 26, 2015 11:04 am
popfmo650Pope Francis’s encyclical didn’t just cover climate change, he also denounced pesticides and genetically engineered (GE) crops, declaring “the spread of these crops destroys the complex web of ecosystems, decreases diversity in production and affects the present and the future of regional economies.”
Biotech companies claim their products are key to solving hunger, but the Pope knows this isn’t true. No commercial GE crops are engineered for increased yield. Five of every six acres of GE crops are engineered for herbicide-tolerance, i.e. to survive being drenched with what would normally be a toxic dose of herbicide, usually Round-up, or glyphosate.
The Pope’s message couldn’t come at a better time. Pesticide use is at an all-time high. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says glyphosate use on corn and soy increased from 10 million pounds in 1995, the year Roundup Ready crops were introduced, to 204 million in 2013. The U.S. Geological Survey routinely finds glyphosate in our water. The Word Health Organization just declared glyphosate a probable carcinogen.
The Pope observed that pesticide use “creates a vicious circle in which the intervention of the human being to solve a problem often worsens the situation further.” He said, “many birds and insects die out as a result of toxic pesticides created by technology … [and this] actually causes the Earth we live in to become less rich and beautiful, more and more limited and gray …”
Pesticides have already made our Earth less rich and more gray by nearly wiping out monarch butterflies, which have declined by 90 percent, largely because increased glyphosate use has wiped out the monarch’s sole host plant, milkweed. Pesticides are a leading cause of our current pollinator collapse. With one-third of the bites we eat requiring bee-pollination, many world leaders, including President Obama, are waking up to the need for action.
Like Pope Francis, I believe protecting the Earth is our moral imperative. With this encyclical, the Pope reminds us that our fates are intertwined with all species, and calls us to action.
Source:
 
http://ecowatch.com/2015/06/26/pope-francis-pesticides-gmos/

Thursday, June 18, 2015

ANOTHER CALL FOR GMO CROP BAN: GERMANY


100,000 German beekeepers call for GMO cultivation ban

Beekeepers on collision course with GMO cultivation opt-out law

German beekeepers have called for a nationwide ban on cultivating GM plants, reports the German NGO keine-gentechnik.de.

The call by the German Beekeepers Association (DIB), which represents almost 100,000 beekeepers, comes after Europe adopted controversial legislation enabling member states to opt-out of the cultivation of GMOs that have been approved at the EU level.

Under the law, a member state can ban a GMO in part or all of its territory. But the law has come under heavy criticism for failing to provide a solid basis for such bans.

The beekeepers are urging Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt (CSU) to implement a Germany-wide ban on cultivation. The Minister pleads, however, for letting each state decide individually.

The beekeepers counter that a piecemeal approach will not work. Bees fly up to eight kilometres in search of food, the DIB said, so a juxtaposition of GM crop cultivation zones and GMO-free zones within Germany would be "environmentally and agriculturally unacceptable".

“Bees know no borders," the DIB added.

The beekeepers’ demand for a nationwide ban could bring them into direct conflict with the new opt-out law, as experts warn that such bans may not be legally solid.

National GMO cultivation bans will be tough to uphold

At a conference on the new European legislation hosted by the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture in Budapest, Hungary, in April 2015, Dr H.-Christoph von Heydebrand of the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture warned that a nationwide ban on GMO cultivation would be much harder to justify under the new law than a regional or local ban.

A lawyer from the EU Council, Matthew Moore, speaking at the same conference in a personal capacity, agreed that it would be far easier under the law to defend national measures that “do not extend to the whole territory”.

Mr Moore gave an example of the type of challenge that would-be opting-out countries will be faced with. If they argue that GMOs threaten small-scale and agroecological farmers in their nation, they could be asked: “Is the entirety of your agricultural sector really composed of small farmers whose domination by a large agro-industrial company and its single pesticide motivated you to act?”

Mr Moore explained that the principle of proportionality is written into the new law, as well as being a general principle of EU law.

This means that the ECJ will be more inclined to accept GMO cultivation opt-outs “in relation to a defined region than in relation to the entirety of the territory of a country the size of Hungary”. Any measure taken by an opting-out country to ban or restrict the cultivation of GMOs must not go beyond what is necessary to achieve the stated aim.

Mr Moore made clear that if opt-outs were challenged, for example, by the GMO industry, the case would end up in the European Court of Justice. And the ECJ has a presumption in favour of the EU single market.

In simple terms, that means the ECJ could take a lot of convincing to allow a country or even a region to opt out of cultivating a GMO that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) asserts is safe. Such an opt-out, if allowed to stand, could create divisions in the European single market and might bring the member state into conflict with the ECJ.

The current situation in Germany, with beekeepers ranged against government officials and pro-GMO farmers, also suggests that the new opt-out law will create internal divisions within a country.

The GMO industry may go down in history as having broken apart the European Union and set one sector of the food and agriculture industry against another.

Report: Claire Robinson

Read this article online here:

http://gmwatch.org/news/latest-news/16240