(Reuters) – Two days after news that genetically modified wheat had been found growing in Oregon, U.S. officials said they were no closer to knowing how it appeared, while South Korea joined Japan in suspending some U.S. wheat purchases.
A top official with the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday that investigators were “pursuing many avenues” to determine how the wheat – which carries a gene making it resistant to herbicide – popped up in late April.
Although the United States has embraced genetically modified crops such as soybeans and cotton, genetically modified wheat has never been approved in the United States, or anywhere else in the world.
“We have not … eliminated any” potential causes, said Bernadette Juarez, deputy director of the investigative unit with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
There isn’t much local Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino won’t eat. His highly accliamed Amaz restaurant is devoted to finding and using Amazonian food native to the country, like a 600-pound freshwater fish or a little-known fruit nicknamed “cannonball” that tastes like a cross between a guava, coconut, and melon.
But a year ago Mr. Schiaffino stopped eating supermarket tomatoes.
Even though Peru is the birthplace of the crop, it’s difficult to find anything other than hard, pale Roma tomatoes in supermarkets, and Schiaffino says that worried him.
“They’re a big monoculture, which is why people usually end up using [genetically modified organisms] GMOs. Because when you have monocultures, the crops end up getting diseases, and you have to look for these extreme ways to fix them,” he says.
Peru was the cradle of the Inca Empire, and today it’s home to many crops indigenous to the Americas. It has 400 varieties of potato alone, and a geography that allows farmers to grow almost anything.
It’s also the only country in the Americas to put a 10-year ban on genetically modified food, with a law that was first introduced in 2011, and went into effect at the end of last year. Its basic intention, say Schiaffino and others, is to protect Peru’s biodiversity, as well as the practices that have kept it intact for so long.
This is just in…the opposition group to the passage of Proposition 37 in California may have crossed the line from lies to criminal behavior. They, Monsanto, Dupont et al, that sponsor the ‘No to Proposition 37’ coalition sent out a letter that utilizes the FDAs logo, a criminal offense according to the law. We will see if the authorities do anything about this. My bet is we will not. Big government and big business walk hand in hand!
I am absolutely for Proposition 37 as is Dr Oz, among other mainstream celebrities. I feel that that there are many dangers associated with GMOs (genetically modified ingredients). First, these abominations are created using unproven technology..the scientists are never really sure what has happened after the ‘blast’ in the ‘new’ genes into the existing genetic structure of the plant, or animal, they wish to ‘modify’. This procedure gives us an organism that may or may not be beneficial to the human condition nor the worlds food supply at large. There has been little long term research on these organisms except perhaps the latest University of Caens report of the effects of these things on mice and that should be enough to scare the pants off just about anyone. These organisms are not safe and could in fact be killers!
Second, once these things have been created in plants the ‘creating’ company, such as Monsanto, then OWNS the seeds. The ramifications of this is indeed dangerous. Having a multinational, or any corporation, own…literally own the very seed from which we get our nourishment is to me so very threatening. They could in fact control our food supply, even if you wanted to grown food in your garden at home!!!
Given the lack of humanity of these corporations I would bet that they want to maximize their profits and increase their power even if it causes great misery to the masses! This is a scenario of horror that I for one would not like to contemplate. What this means for you as an individual and our country must be contemplated!
Just released, the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) has said that the study done at the University of Caens in France on the effects of GMO corn on mice is ‘flawed’. However, they won’t release any details on their findings other than the type of mouse used is ‘prone to tumors’. A statement which I find hard to believe.
Many academics have expressed their ‘dismay’ at the findings and don’t agree with them. I am betting that many of these academics are somehow on the Monsanto payroll. This is tantamount to bribery of experts to support the corporate cause!
I find it curious that the EFSA came out with a ‘finding’ so quickly. We worked for almost 2 years to get a product approved in the EU jumping hurdle after hurdle, yet on this issue the verdict was delivered in less than a couple of weeks, just in time to hopefully counter the momentum that study has given to Proposition 37.
Stay tuned as the battle for our future and that of our children rages on! We must eradicate these abominations from our food chain.
Now the mainstream media is paying a bit more attention to the drought and resulting price increases in the price of grains and corn in particular. Projected for next year are price hikes up to 5% across the board for products requiring any of the affected crops, which is almost everything these days.
Think about it, if it doesn’t have corn or wheat or any of the 1000’s of by products of each one of just these grains, it probably isn’t on the shelf at your local grocery store. Sure this is an an exaggeration but not by much!
And I don’t know where the individuals in the article by the Wall Street Journal shop, but my food costs have certainly gone up more than 1% this year. My wife complains about the amount of groceries she can buy compared to just last year. Yes, folks it has gotten so bad that everyone is noticing just how bad it really is.
We are starting to hit on the stored food supplies now just to offset some of those higher prices now. We are eating healthier too. The cost and nutritional value of the prepared foods are just not in alignment, at least in my opinion.
If everyone were to do this, the food companies would have no choice but to offer healthier prepared foods just to get people to buy their products. Imagine if everyone all of the sudden just stopped buying anything with GMO ingredients! We would very shortly see some major changes in the way our land is farmed and the products we would see on the shelf!
I am off the subject a bit, not much though. Perhaps mother nature is getting rid of the abominable crops all on her own! Of course the humans will suffer, but it will be over rather quickly as opposed to the slow suffering that is indicated by continual use of GMOs.
Back to the inflationary pressure that the drought is placing on us. Remember that it can take up to 6 months to see this price pressure on the foods in the store. So my advice is to buy as much as you can now and store it up. Cook more of your own food instead of buying prepared foods.
And remember you can always start to grown your own!
I can’t say that Monsanto losing a 2 billion dollar lawsuit in this case is good news. The Brazilian farmers claim was that they didn’t need to pay any royalties to Monsanto after the 1st generation crop but could use the tainted seed harvested from that crop to replant the following year.Unfortunately the soy crops in Brazil are now 85% GMO, just behind the 90% here in the U.S.
I just don’t agree with the FDA or Monsanto saying that GMO crops are no danger to humans. The scientific research points in a complete opposite direction. Not only does that research point to damage but the fact of the matter is that after 20 years of these deadly crops and the cross pollenization, we don’t have any heirloom or untainted seed left in the world.
Even Mexican corn, considered to be the original corn strains, show contamination from GMO! If I were a conscientious farmer and wanted only ‘original’ seed and pure corn but couldn’t due to the contamination that Monsanto has foisted upon the world I would be incensed, as we should all be. No longer can we eat pure, untainted foods due to the greed and avarice of literally one single company.
We live in a very strange world where bad food is called ‘good’ and ‘healthy’. World agencies that are supposed to protect the peace actually wage war and kill innocents….well that is an entirely different subject for another day….
While the FDA maintains that GMO ingredients are no more harmful than other ingredients CA residents have amassed enough signatures to get the ‘labeling’ law on their Nov. ballot…three cheers for them.
The FDA maintains that GMOs are innocent so to speak while there is a plethora of scientific evidence that condems them to the sewer, which in my opinion is where they figuratively belong. I simply can’t say enough, nor can anyone else, about the dangers these nasties impose on our health and environment.
When will we learn that you can’t have government agencies/politicians and the like funded by the very companies that need regulation in the worst kind of ways. One in particular comes to mind, Monsanto! Yes, I am one of the millions against Monsanto!
Let’s stay tuned to the vote in CA. The reasons being brought forth for not requiring labeling, beyond the stance that GMOs are safe, are the liklihood of frivolous lawsuits etc. I would ask you to define frivolous. While I am sure there could be some stupid lawsuits filed, I would also warrant that the majority would be bona fide!
These GMOs have been around far too long and have not only contaminated our ‘heirloom’ crops but have contaminated our entire political/judicial system! We can theoretically recover from the latter but no one can see a full recovery of the integrity of our crops!
Sad this is I say!
Mostly a PR stunt, although with good intentions, the push to reduce child obesity has very few teeth. I feel that the institutions that are responsible (yes large corporations vie daily to influence the RDA of foods etc that are introduced into our schools) for the foods in our schools are interested mostly in profits and have little regard for the health of our children.
In my opinion we need to focus more on nutrition and less on profitability. Source more fresh produce for local schools from local growers when possible. Take out the vending machines, do away with canned and processed foods offering ONLY ORGANIC FOODS AND NO GMOs!
Junk food widely available at U.S. elementary schools despite anti-obesity push
By Dina ElBoghdady, Published: February 6
Nearly half of elementary school children can buy junk food at school, a trend that contributes to the childhood obesity epidemic and underscores the need for federal regulation of school snacks, according to a study published Monday in a pediatric journal.
The study, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, comes as federal regulators are crafting a proposal that would set new nutrition standards for foods and beverages sold in vending machines, snack bars and elsewhere in schools.
The proposal will not cover foods that are part of the federally subsidized school meal program. That program was revamped recently by the Obama administration and requires participating school cafeterias to start serving twice as many fruits and vegetables, more whole grains and less sodium and fat when the next school year begins.
Consumer advocates are hoping for an equally dramatic change in so-called “competitive foods” that are sold outside the school meal program. They say these foods, including potato chips and cookies, are widely available but barely regulated in schools.
Federal law bans only a small subset of competitive foods, such as sodas and certain types of candy, from being sold in cafeterias during mealtime. But those products are available to kids in other venues at school, even during lunch, according to the study, which was published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Such foods also include sandwiches, pizza and other a la carte items that are not federally reimbursed.
“Really, it’s a very weak regulation at this point,” said Lindsey Turner, lead author of the study and a health psychologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “We’re at a time of transition and opportunity for these competitive foods.”
The study, based on mail-back surveys from about 3,900 public and private elementary schools nationwide, found that about half of the students could buy foods in one or more competitive venues during the 2009-10 school year. Access to these foods did not change significantly during the 2006-07 through 2009-10 school years.
The study highlighted “striking” regional differences. About 60 percent of public elementary school kids had access to sugary snacks in the South, where childhood obesity rates are the highest. This compares with 24 percent in the West and 30 percent in the Midwest. But fruits and vegetables also were more available in the South.
The study assessed only access to snacks, not consumption or the link to obesity. It cited a separate 2009 study, however, in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association showing that 29 percent of elementary school students consumed competitive foods, usually unhealthy ones. A separate study strongly linked the availability of unhealthy foods and drinks in competitive venues with greater calorie intake.
In early 2010, the American Beverage Association said that its members had voluntarily reduced the calories in drinks shipped to schools by 88 percent. Its members also stopped offering full-calorie soft drinks in elementary school vending machines.
Jim McCarthy, president of the Snack Food Association, said he had not seen this week’s study. But the group’s members, including Frito-Lay and Kraft, have been voluntarily reducing fats, sodium and sugars in their products for at least six years, he said. Last week, the chairman and highest-ranking Democrat on the House agriculture committee wrote a letter urging Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to make sure that the final proposal is consistent with the standards set for the federally funded school meal program.
If you haven’t taken a look at the school menu lately you might want to have a look. Then ask yourself, honestly, is that a healthy way to eat…for anyone?
On January 31, 2012, a hearing on GMO’s was held in United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. On the evening news you often times see convicted former Wall Street financiers walking out of the doors of this courthouse in New York City. This court is the setting for a major legal battle which will impact all grain farmers in the United States.
The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association squared off against Monsanto.
The case, at the moment, goes off on a legal issue of whether the organic farmers have standing to bring a declaratory judgment action against Monsanto. Simply, the question is whether the organic farmers have suffered harm which allows them to get their case before a court for a possible trial.
The case involves 96 plaintiffs claiming that “Society stands on the precipice of forever being bound to transgenic agriculture and transgenic food. Coexistence between transgenic seed and organic seed is impossible because transgenic seed contaminates and eventually overcomes organic seed.”
Though we protest and complain we will have to do it harder. In this article below Mike Barrett reports on further skullduggery from Monsanto and their tactics that lead to the approval of another variety of GMO corn.
As previously reported, while people were de-stressing and enjoying their much needed time off during the holidays, the United States Department of Agriculture announced its approval of Monsanto’s ‘drought tolerant’ genetically engineered corn.
The decision to give the green light to Monsanto regarding their GE corn didn’t seem too difficult for the Obama Administration, despite receiving nearly 45,000 public comments voicing opposition and only 23 comments in favor since comments opened.
Prepare to see this new GE corn unleashed into the environment as well as the American food supply.
Monsanto Continues Expansion Despite Massive Public Opposition
The news comes after experiments with the seeds were conducted in five African nations, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Monsanto’s drought-resistant corn seeds were given to African farmers facing drought conditions, replacing traditional and sustainable farming with Monsanto’s GMO crops.
Bill Gates himself has purchased 500,000 shares of Monsanto as of August 2010, and has heavy ties with Monsanto, as well as genetically modified mosquitoes which could be released in Florida early next year.
‘President Obama and Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack just sent a clear message to the American public that they do not care about our concerns with genetically engineered food and their questionable safety, adverse environmental impacts, and detrimental effects on farmers, especially organic farmers,’ says Mark A. Kastel, Senior Farm Policy Analyst with The Cornucopia Institute.
How could Monsanto successfully obtain more power, and release new genetically modified seeds, when opposition so clearly rises above GE support?
Monsanto is not simply a company who sells genetically modified products to those seeking them. This massive corporation is actually very much involved with the passing and proposals of regulations concerning the very GM ingredients they are responsible for.
You may think those helping to pass the GMO bills truly believe that genetically engineering the food supply is beneficial to public health, but the scary truth is that many of said individuals couldn’t care less about humankind or the future of the planet. As far as many government regulators are concerned, Monsanto can expand to the high heavens as long as financial interests are being properly taken care of.