Global Food Movement Rejects 'Gene drive' Technology

World Food Day (Oct/18) ...

Over 200 global food movement leaders and organisations representing hundreds of millions of farmers and food workers set out their clear opposition to “gene drives” – a controversial new genetic forcing technology.

Their call for a stop to this technology accompanies a new report, Forcing the Farm: How Gene Drive Organisms Could Entrench Industrial Agriculture and Threaten Food Sovereignty, that lifts the lid on how gene drives may harm food and farming systems.

Unlike previous genetically modified organisms (GMOs) these gene drive organisms (GDOs) are deliberately designed to spread genetic pollution as an agricultural strategy – for example, spreading "auto-extinction" genes to wipe out agricultural pests. Agri-research bodies now developing these extinction-organisms include the California Cherry Board, the US Citrus Research Board and the private California company Agragene Inc. Next month, the United Nations Biodiversity Convention will meet to discuss measures to control this technology, including a possible moratorium.

Those launching the call for a moratorium on gene drives in food and agriculture include all past and present UN Special Rapporteurs on the Right to Food; the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements; IUF (the International Union representing Food and Farmworkers); La Via Campesina, the largest network of peasant movements representing 200 million peasants in 81 countries; and GMWatch. Signatories also include well-known commentators on food matters including seed activist Vandana Shiva, World Food Prize winner Dr Hans Herren, International President of Friends of the Earth International Karin Nansen, activist and food entrepreneur Nell Newman, and environmentalist and geneticist David Suzuki.

Applying gene drives to food systems threatens to harm farmers’ rights and the rights of peasants as enshrined in international treaties,” said Dr Olivier De Schutter, who served as the UN Rapporteur on the Right to Food from 2008-2014. “Gene drives would undermine the realisation of human rights including the right to healthy, ecologically-produced and culturally appropriate food and nutrition

The much-touted Bt-cotton leaves the party

India's 2018 cotton harvest was devastated by swarming armies of bollworms

In India, 90 per cent of the land under cotton uses a GM Bt-seed variety cotton supplied by Monsanto. But the main pest it was meant to safeguard against is back, as a virulent pesticide-resistant species.

The bollworm lays thousands of eggs and multiplies into millions of worms within days. Estimates based on surveys by the state revenue and the Maharashtra agriculture departments around November and then again in February-March indicate that the pink-worm infestation affected over 80 per cent of the 4.2 million hectares under cotton in the state. Each farmer reportedly lost 33 per cent to over 50 per cent of their standing crop.

Bt-cotton gets its name from bacillus thuringiensis, a soil-dwelling bacterium. The Bt seed contains cry (crystal) genes derived from the bacterium and inserted into the cotton plant genome (the genetic material of the cell) to provide protection against the bollworm.

Bt-cotton was meant to control the bollworm. But farmers will now find the worms surviving in Bt-cotton fields, Kranthi wrote in a series of essays in industry magazines and on his own CICR blog. Neither the ICAR nor the Union Agriculture Ministry seemed alert to the potential devastation at the time. The state and central government have since been aware of the extent of pink-worm devastation, but have not come up with a solution.

In 2006-7, Monsanto released BG-II hybrids, saying the new technology was more potent, more durable. These slowly replaced BG-I. And by now, BG-II hybrids occupy over 90 per cent of the around 130 million hectares under cotton across India, according to government estimates.

Where to now?

There is no new GM technology in sight now or in the near future that promises to replace BG-II. Neither is any technology available for more effective insecticides. India is in deep trouble on its fields of cotton, a crop that occupies vast stretches of land and creates millions of workdays in rural India.


The Ministry of Agriculture of the government of India acknowledges the problem, but has rejected the demand from Maharashtra and other states to de-notify Bt-cotton – a move that will change its status to regular cotton since Bt’s efficacy has gone.

Anti-GMO Media in Russia

Spreading Fears of the US Attempting a Global GMO Dictatorship

Researchers at Iowa State University expressed concerns that the activity of Russian media could harm the American GMO industry, by speculating upon how it intends to dominate the global food market.

"Russia is funding articles shared online that question the safety of GMOs in an effort hurt U.S. agriculture interests and bolster its position as the "ecologically clean alternative" to genetically engineered food, said Shawn Dorius, an Iowa State University assistant sociology professor. (Source - Feb. 2018)

The accusations are against Russian journalists trying to increase consumer interest in malicious technology take place against a backdrop of two trends. Firstly, the anti-Russian campaign launched by the Democratic Party in the US after the victory of Donald Trump in the presidential elections, and the US attempts to establish a GMO dictatorship across the world, which Russia is opposed to.

Seeds of Destruction (2007, F. William Engdahl)
This skillfully researched book focuses on how a small socio-political American elite seeks to establish control over the very basis of human survival: the provision of our daily bread. “Control the food and you control the people.”
This is no ordinary book about the perils of GMO. Engdahl takes the reader inside the corridors of power, into the backrooms of the science labs, behind closed doors in the corporate boardrooms.
The author cogently reveals a diabolical world of profit-driven political intrigue, government corruption and coercion, where genetic manipulation and the patenting of life forms are used to gain worldwide control over food production. If the book often reads as a crime story, that should come as no surprise. For that is what it is.
Engdahl’s carefully argued critique goes far beyond the familiar controversies surrounding the practice of genetic modification as a scientific technique. The book is an eye-opener, a must-read for all those committed to the causes of social justice and world peace.

[fsbProduct asin=’0973714727′ size=’480′ align=’center’]


Author’s presentation (2014) —
GMO – Seeds of Destruction

Roundup Whitewash

Monsanto Now Wants to Defund the WHO

Monsanto anticipated that the World Health Organization scientists would find glyphosate to be a probable human carcinogen.

They knew that this would happen and have been preparing to discredit them since March of 2015.

The UN for decades has been telling us what will cause cancer and what won’t cause cancer. In 2016 they came out and they say, “Roundup is a probable cause of cancer.” So rather than Monsanto saying, “Well, maybe we ought to warn people about that” instead they’re now trying to de-fund the World Health Organization because it said something that’s going to hurt their profits.

Apparently Monsanto have some friendly Republicans in Washington D.C. to push the message. They’re looking trying to de-fund IARC. A hearing was scheduled for 06/02/18 to take a look at some of these matters. It’s a really powerful move by a powerful company to try to take on these international cancer scientists.

In February 2018 Monsanto hit Avaaz, the international petition site, with a 168-page court subpoena about a petition they had just launched.


An interview with Carey Gillam, author of – Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science

Genetically engineered apples get the nod from US FDA

All ready for 2016-2017

In March 2015, two varieties of genetically-engineered apples and six types of genetically-altered potatoes claim to offer just as much nutrition and as little safety risk as their conventional relatives, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has ruled.

The Arctic Granny Apple

The agency officials announced that the “Arctic Apples” by Okanagan Specialty Fruits and the “Innate” potatoes from J. R. Simplot Company passed the voluntary safety tests on Friday after the two products picked up approvals from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

What’s next?

Cancer-fighting pink pineapples from Del Monte, heart-healthy purple tomatoes and less fatty vegetable oils from Monsanto?

Such GE foods could receive U.S. government approval in the coming years. The companies and scientists which have created these foods hope that customers will be attracted to the health benefits and convenience and overlook any concerns about genetic engineering.

Questionable Developments

At least they have started to consider what’s in it for the eater-consumer. But the big question which arises is; if better health can already be gained by ordinary and obviously cheaper means then these products are marginal at best. So why should consumers trust this direction, especially with companies with a track record like Monsanto ?

 

Source: | New York Daily News