• Learn to Keep Insects Out of your Crops
  • Learn About Colony Collapse Disorder and How to Protect Bees
  • Weeds Can Be Managed Without Chemical Pesticides
  • LIving Near Fields Increases Pesticide Exposure
  • Driving Near Recently Sprayed Fields Exposes People to Pesticides
  • Link to SK Organic Resources
  • SNAP Tour of Organic Vegetable Garden
  • SNAP Display at Event
  • Learn to Manage Pests Naturally
  • Learn To Manage Weeds Without Chemical Pesticides

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

Dr Perlmutter's interview with Jeffrey Smith on gmos  (March 2016) Jeffrey Smith has written several bools on health effects of gmos, and founded the Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT), "the Most Comprehensive Source of GMO Health Information on the Web."The interview reviews health effects of RoundUp-Ready and Bt crops but also deals with potential health effects of the new apples and potatoes that do not brown, approved for sale in USA and Canada in 2015.

I did not know much about this new type of genetic engineering and figured that most people don't either. Although it does not seem to imply pesticides, I choose to add this reference because this new technology has potentially ​severe human health effects. 

Quotes from the interview:

“This form of genetic engineering may be worse than the Round-Up Ready kind because it uses a different process called 'double-stranded RNA”a little piece of RNA created that silences the browning gene in apples and potatoes. “Many scientists are concerned that this little RNA snipit that we eat might silence ro reprogram our (human) DNA.”

Example 1 :” honeybees were fed a single meal with double-stranded DNA and, over the next several weeks, over 1400 genes changed their level of expression compared to those who had not had that meal. That's 10% of the genome.”

Example 2: “Certain mice also change gene expression when eating double-stranded RNA”

“So we now have potatoes and apples that can change our gene expression. I think that is extremely dangerous, but so too do scientists at the USDA and EPA who published studies to the effect that our regulatory agencies are not prepared to regulate and test for effects of double-stranded RNA. And in spite of these studies, double-stranded RNA was allowed on the market."  

more on health effects of GMO crops on this page under Safety/Health Effects.

link to Seralini's web site. Seralini studied health effect of Roundup-tolerant NK603 genetically modified (GM) maize(from 11% in the diet), cultivated with or without Roundup application and Roundup alone. Major negative health effects were found in all cases. 

Weed Resistance - see GMO crops require more pesticide use on this page.

Muzzled by Monsanto New gmo research on the topic of gene silencing, the main function of so-called RNAi technology and how Monsanto is interfering with research that indicates what they don't want to hear. (April 3, 2014)

The World According to Monsanto documentary. As 90% of gmos grown on earth are Monsanto's seeds, this documentary is important to understand the extent of their control and bad citizenship. Monsanto was one of largest chemical companies or 20th century. They were responsible for Agent Orange, aspartame, bovine growth hormone and PCBs. Monsanto has a history of dis-information, falsifying scientific studies, bribes and destroying the reputation of their opponents.

More in http://www.snapinfo.ca/info/health/digestive-tract and pesticide fact sheet/glyphosate

General (includes Contamination)

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GMO-ethanol corn contamination raises concerns about another “StarLink” disaster  (By Ken Roseboro,The Organic and Non-GMO Report, February 22, 2017)  Food corn buyers say Syngenta’s Enogen GMO corn is contaminating non-GMO white corn fields, creating a potential “trainwreck;” may be linked to bad masa flour in California.Enogen, a genetically modified corn for ethanol production, has contaminated non-GMO white corn grown in Nebraska that is used to make flour for tortillas and other products...Enogen’s GMO trait was detected in the white corn using GMO strip tests, says Rovey...Enogen GMO corn can contaminate food corn through cross pollination in the field or improper segregation during grain handling...Enogen is genetically engineered with an enzyme that converts starches in corn to sugars, the first step in the process of making corn ethanol. The problem is that Enogen could mix with corn grown for food and break down its starches and ruin the corn for processing, which would lead to crumbly corn chips and soggy cereals.It would only take one kernel of Enogen corn mixed with 10,000 kernels of food corn to ruin the food processing abilities of food corn, according to the North American Millers Association.

What to Do About GMOS in the Trump Era (the Food Revolution Network - a special guest post from Institute for Responsible Technology founder Jeffrey Smith) states current state, reviews the history of gmos, FDA scientists were in favour of more health tests for gmos before approval, and the best current strategy. lots of links.

Pope Francis Slams GMOs and Pesticides for Environmental and Social Damage  Posted on Jun 16 2015 - 2:06am by Sustainable Pulse  "... looking at the world we see that this level of human intervention, often in the service of finance and consumerism, actually causes the earth we live in to become less rich and beautiful, more and more limited and gray, while at the same time the development of technology and consumerism continues to advance without limits.”

GMO Myths and Truths  New Report by Earth Open Source, 2nd Ed, 2014 

Who Benefits from GM Crops? an Industry Built on Myths  A new Friends of the Earth International report. April 2014.
6 countries grow most of the gmo crops including Canada but we keep no statistics.... Analyses claims, reality, and the state of knowledge

Survey Finds GE Contamination of Organic Farms (Beyond Pesticides, March 10, 2014) Over half of growers have had loads of grain rejected because of unwitting GE contamination. These rejections can lead to big income losses for farmers, with a median cost of approximately $2,500 per year, according to the survey.

Genetic roulette. Awarded Solari Best Film of the Year, 2012. Documentary about genetically modified foods. If you eat food, you should watch this documentary. What are gmos, how they were approved in spite of all government scientists objections, how detrimental they are to health and environment and why.
For more information on GMO, visit: http://www.ResponsibleTechnology.org

The ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ and Other Dangerous Riders (Organic Bytes, Issue #358 12/6/12, scroll down) in the US  "Monsanto could get everything it wants for Christmas, unless we convince legislators this week to strip both the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill (H.R. 5973) and the Farm Bill of dangerous riders that would give the biotech industry unprecedented power and immunity from not only an already-weakened review process, but also from federal law."

'The World According to Monsanto.' The documentary exposes Monsanto's controversial practices, which range from concealing knowledge of toxicity of PCBs to producing genetically modified seeds and related herbicides. (2008)

Bribes  Monsanto Cash Incentives Under Federal Investigation (16 July 2011. By Kathryn Gilje, Pesticide Action Network.) In some circles, it would be called a bribe, at best. Evidence shows that Monsanto's former Chief Financial Officer admitted that the agrichemical corporation planned to spend $150 million in cash and trade incentives in Latin America, North America and Europe to spur the uptake of the pesticide glyphosate, better known as RoundUp.

The USDA's Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21) released its report on coexistence with GE crops, suggesting that organic and non-GE conventional farmers should pay for crop insurance or self-insure themselves against unwanted GE contamination. Read the National Organic Coalition's (NOC) criticism of the report. (Beyond Pesticides, November 19, 2012) Keep updated on gmos from Beyond Pesticides.

GMOs & organics can't coexist (PanUpsJuly 17, 2008)      "Since GM cultivation was introduced in Spain in 1998," EurekAlert reports, a controversy has stirred "over the concept of coexistence between transgenic and conventional organic agriculture." "Coexistence" was introduced by the EU in 2002 to deal with concerns about GMO strains contaminating organic produce. "Coexistence" would make it easier to lift existing de facto moratoriums against GMOs in Europe and allow introduction of new transgenic crops. Now a Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics article reports the coexistence concept has "generated new problems instead of solving existing conflicts." The report's author, Rosa Binimelis, studied Spain's Catalonia and Aragon regions, where Bt corn was introduced in 1998. Binimelis found that the "difficulties organic farmers would face in order to claim compensations" for contaminated crops had discouraged organic investments. After GMO corn was introduced in Aragon, the area devoted to organic maize fell by 75% between 2004-2007. The study predicts contamination fears will promote the spread of "genetically modified farming over any other alternative." The European Commission is planning to evaluate the coexistence policy later this year. (PANNA - June 30,2008- no longer on line)

For up to date information, search PANNA  for  Genetic Engineering or GMO and 

Wood Prairie Farm:  Lawsuit Against Monsanto Updates (Maine, USA)

Crops

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Canadian Food Inspection Agency regulatory decisions on 'plant with novel traits' including gmo crops (CFIA)

Potatoes

GM potatoes are going in the ground
Genetically engineered potatoes could claim acreage in Canada in 2017 (Grainews. March 14, 2017. The four potato varieties — Russet Burbank, Ranger Russet, Atlantic and Snowden—are intended for the fresh and chipping sectors. Advantages: less bruising and lower acrylamide.

The same four commercial varieties were deregulated by the United States Department of Agriculture in in 2014, with FDA approval in 2015. Second generation Innate potatoes, which contain a late blight resistance trait, received FDA approval in the U.S. in January 2016. Simplot has also submitted generation 2 potatoes for review in Canada, with approval expected in 2017. SNAP Comment: worth having a look at Kim's web page compiling research on negative health effects of gmo foods.She has done a lot more work than I have on the issue. Organic seed potatoes are available from West Coast Seeds. Some potato varieties are already resistant to late blight. The results may depend on the strain present, which brings up nother issue wit inserting late blight resistance. it may be like the flu virus. Gat the wrong strain and it won't have much effect. My personal experience has been good resistance some years in Kennebec potatoes, and all years in Sieglinde from West coat Seeds. 

Grass

Genetically Engineered Bentgrass Approved Despite Failure to Stop Spreading From Old Experiment Plots  (Global Justice Ecology Project,  December 8, 2016) The Environmental Protection Agency released a final environmental impact statement today giving the green light to genetically engineered creeping bentgrass, a highly invasive grass genetically engineered by Monsanto and Scotts to withstand what would normally be a fatal dose of the herbicide glyphosate. Decades-old outdoor experiments have proven the novel grass impossible to control, as it escaped from “controlled” plots and invaded irrigation ditches, river banks and the Crooked River National Grassland, crowding out native plants and the wildlife that depends on them. see also USDA: Escaped, Highly Invasive GE Grass Poses No Environmental Harm (Center for Biological Diversity media release, 7 December 2016): "The GE bentgrass has already illegally contaminated at least three counties, and the ultralight grass seeds and pollen have proven impossible to eradicate. Farmers and noxious weed experts in eastern Oregon have been outspoken critics of the proposal to approve the grass. In response to widespread contamination, GE creeping bentgrass was declared a noxious weed in Malheur County in 2016. With this approval responsibility for controlling the contamination now shifts from USDA, Scotts and Monsanto to become solely the problem of individual farmers and landowners."

Alfalfa

USDA Deregulates Genetically Engineered Alfalfa and Groups Pledge To Sue, While Interior Pulls GE Crops from Northeast Refuges

Environmental and public interest groups are extremely disappointed with the announcement late Thursday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plans to fully deregulate genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa seed, despite the risks it poses to both organic and conventional farmers. (Beyond Pesticides, January 28, 2011)

GM Alfalfa Ruling by U.S. Supreme Court has Sweeping Implications (June 22, 2010) National Farmers Union MR, Canada). the US Supreme Court ruled that genetically-modified (GM) alfalfa cannot be planted or sold in that country.

Federal Judge Orders Injunction, Complete Review of GE Alfalfa (U.S.) (Beyond Pesticides, May 09, 2007) In a precedent-setting decision last week, Judge Charles Breyer ordered a complete environmental review of Monsanto’s genetically-altered alfalfa, making a final ruling that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) 2005 approval of Monsanto’s genetically engineered (GE) “Roundup Ready” alfalfa was illegal. The judge called on USDA to ban any further …

Apple

Three New “Non-Browning” GMO Apples To Hit Store Shelves! Here Is How To Avoid Them In February 2015, just two weeks after the approval of the world’s first genetically engineered apple, the company responsible for its creation cashed in — to the tune of $41 million dollars, ($10 million upfront), all for a highly controversial product that most people clearly didn’t want. 1  In total, three new genetically engineered, non-browning apples have been approved: Arctic Golden, Arctic Granny Smith, and now the Arctic Fuji apple. Gala apples could be the next in line as well. The first two were expected to hit store shelves this fall, and now the Fuji apple could join them soon. Fuji apples are the latest variety that have been genetically engineered. Starting this fall, buying organic is the best way to avoid GMO Fuji apples.

B.C. fruit growers say no to genetically modified apples (InfoNews.ca, Penticton,BC) Fruit growers in B.C. are planning to ask the government to de-register the genetically modified Arctic Apple until further studies are done. My Comments: There have been no previous gmos like the Arctic Apple,genetically engineered not to brown.It is unknown how to compare the potential effects of this trait with the effects of previous gmos like herbicide-resistance or the inclusion of insecticide in a crop. As for other gmos, there likely have not been enough studies, as the technology was generally shoved down out throats with an unsubstantiated consideration of the crops being equivalent to regular non-gmo crops.

Beets

Order to Destroy GE Sugar Beet Plants Overturned (Beyond Pesticides, March 3, 2011) In a federal appeals court decision last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Monsanto won the reversal of the federal judge’s order to destroy genetically engineered (GE) sugar beet seedlings planted last year.

Rogers Sugar/Lantic Inc. has chosen to accept genetically modified (GM) sugar beet in their sugar products

Corn

Buffer crop keeps GMOs out of organic corn. Feb. 13th, 2013. Robert Arnason. The Western Producer. The hybrid corn, known as PuraMaize, features a gene blocking system that solves the problem of GM corn pollen drifting onto corn plants in adjacent organic fields.To a suggestion that the Canadian government intervene to get GMO crop growers to establish buffers to prevent pollen drift, it was pointed out that if the government says GMOs aren’t a contaminant and aren’t a threat to the public, then the organic sector can’t be asking for a policy to prevent GMO contamination.

Urgent Consumer Advisory: Genetically Modified Sweet Corn in Canada (July 29, 2011. This advisory is posted at http://www.cban.ca/corn) The GM sweet corn is being grown by farmers in Ontario who are selling at roadside stands, at Farmers’ Markets, and through some local grocery stores. It is sold under the brand name “Attribute” from Rogers which is owned by the biotech company Syngenta. GM sweet corn is available to buy from US seed companies, including Seedway, selling “Genetically Enhanced” hybrid sweet corn seed. The sweet corn varieties are also called “insect protected hybrids”.

Tips for asking your grocery store, produce manager or farm stand manager: Questionnaire for grocery store, produce or farm stand manager. Ask them to fill it out and get back to you.

You can also print “CBAN’s Quick Guide to GM Foods” to hand to them. 

Potatoes

USDA Approves 2 New Varieties of GMO Potatoes (EcoWatch, Nov. 02, 2016) Now, pending what amounts to a fairly cursory review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the company expects all three GMO strains to be available to farmers for planting next spring...(one was approved last year)..The three new varieties—Ranger Russet, Atlantic and Russet Burbank—all follow that first generation in that they are designed to minimize bruising and black spots, as well as reduce the amount of a chemical that is potentially carcinogenic that develops when potatoes are cooked at high temperatures. The trio of 2.0 cultivars have also been engineered to resist the pathogen that causes late blight, the disease that led to the great Irish potato famine in the mid-19th century and for "enhanced cold storage," a trait that may be of particular interest to potato chip makers, according to The Associated Press.SNAP comment: I have no idea what to think of this. The worrying part is the apparent lack of testing for unintended consequences. Please refer to the Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT) for more on gmo technology and health.

Turf

Roundup Ready GMO Grass Coming to a Lawn Near You?  Scotts Miracle-Gro Company is developing another variety of GMO grass that's engineered to withstand applications of glyphosate (by Lorraine Chow, Ecowatch, 11 Juy 2016)  This latest effort follows Scotts's first fiasco with GMO turf. In 1997, the lawn care company teamed up with Monsanto to create GMO grass for golf courses. Unfortunately, their bio-enhanced creeping bentgrass escaped from field trials into the Oregon wild in 2003...Scotts was fined $500,000 for the incident but their lab-grown grass is still found in parts of Oregon, and has sparked concerns from local residents and organic livestock farmers who are worried that the hard-to-eradicate grass could invade pastures or contaminate non-GMO hay or grain fields. According to Forbes, trials are already underway for Scotts's latest Roundup Ready grass that grows at half the speed of conventional grass. The company hopes the novel grass will enter the market in three years.

Food (GMOs)

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Eat the Peach,Not the Pesticide (Consumer Reports Special Report Pesticides in Produce)  New produce guidelines show you how to make the best choices for your health and for the environment. If you want to minimize your pesticide exposure, see our risk guide. (Download our full scientific report, "From Crop to Table.") We’ve placed fruits and vegetables into five risk categories—from very low to very high. In many cases there’s a conventional item with a pesticide risk as low as organic. Below, you’ll find our experts’ answers to the most pressing questions about how pesticides affect health and the environment. Together, this information will help you make the best choices for you and your family. SNAP NOTE: Use the arrows to the left and right of the 'Apple' diagram to navigate to other fruit and veggies. Consumer Reports is concerned about cost to consumers. Conventionally grown produce is generally cheaper than organic. I personally disagree with the recommendation to keep using some regular produce because it does not mean that pesticides have not been used on therm with all their associated environmental contamination. I suspect that produce is not tested for every pesticide on the market. For instance glyphosate was not in the regular testing panel for a long time. In addition, batches may vary in pesticide load. Organic simply does not use any. 

Widespread Contamination of Glyphosate Weedkiller in California Wine Mar 24, 2016

GOING GMO-FREE  Grocer's Toolkit   Many Canadian stores were submitted to the contest including Dad's organic in Regina and Saskatoon. Make your grocery store aware of this and tell them you don't want gmos in your food, cosmetics and other products. 

Hidden GMOs Identified in Popular Beers (By Jonathan Benson, Natural News, June 21, 2014)

 A closer look at GMO ingredients in store-bought food Sandra Finley compiled and updated this info. It states how much of various crops grown are gmos and some of the products containing them. It is easy to see why it is so hard to avoid them, and why the frocery manufacturers ( of wich Monsanto is a menber) are fighting so hard to prevent labeling.

'Extreme levels' of Roundup are the norm in GMO soya ( Ecologist,1 April, 2014) Residue levels increased 200 times in response to increased residue levels in food, not safety concerns. Organic and converntional soy OK.

Organics Are Still the Best Choice. Because some organic crops are grown on a landscape saturated with GM plants that can interbreed, there might be sligh GM contamination of certain organic foods. However, the levels would be much lower than on conventional foods, and organics are the best we can do at this time. Time to ’fess up: organics have GMOs. Posted Feb. 8th, 2013 by Robert Arnason. The Western Producer. Organic label based on method, not purity. Posted Feb. 8th, 2013by Robert Arnason. The Western Producer.

Genetically Engineered Food Failed promises and hazardous outcomes (By George Kimbrell, Pesticides and You, summer 2011) ... "This is an epidemic. Agronomic scientists have referred to the superweeds epidemic as the worst thing to happen to U.S. agriculture since the boll weevil."

GMO crops require more pesticide use.

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also see gmosSafety/Health

Genetically Engineered Crops Fail to Increase Yields and Reduce Pesticide Use, Exposé Reveals (Beyond Pesticides, November 1, 2016)A Times report. A comparison between rapeseed yields in Canada and Western Europe shows increases in both regions, with Europe’s yields consistently higher, independent of the use of GE crops. For corn, gains in food per acre were found to be roughly equal between the U.S. and Western Europe...As crop yields in Europe increased, pesticide use (fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides) decreased dramatically. As yields in the U.S. remained flat, insecticide use has remained the same, while the spread of herbicide-tolerant weeds has caused use of these chemicals to skyrocket. Much of this can be attributed specifically to traits within GE crops that allow plants to tolerate repeated spraying of the herbicide glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup.

GE Crops Lead to Increase in Toxic Herbicide Use (Beyond Pesticides, September 8, 2016) The research... found “clear evidence of increasing herbicide use by GE variety adopters over time for both soybeans and maize,” a finding that they credited partly to the emergence of weed resistance...The farm-level dataset that the researchers used was collected over the years 1998-2011 and includes a yearly average of 5,424 corn farmers and 5,029 soybean farmers. One striking trend that was noted since 1998 was the increase in the use of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup. As of 2011, glyphosate was the primary herbicide used on soybeans, with just over 80% of total herbicide applied, and in corn it made up 40% of herbicide use, representing close to a 20-fold increase since 1998.

USDA Allows Introduction of 2,4-D-Tolerant GE Cotton in Response to Roundup Resistance (Beyond Pesticides, July 30, 2015) Despite concerns for human and environmental contamination, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) adds 2,4-D-tolerant cotton, a genetically engineered (GE) crop, to the list of unregulated GE crops, joining 2,4-D resistant corn and soybeans...The new wave of GE crops on the market are now stacked to include the 2,4-D toxicant, something that elevates human health risks like soft tissue sarcoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), neurotoxicity, kidney/liver damage, and harm to the reproductive system. That is 2,4-Dand  RoundUp ready in the same crops.

Treatment approved for glyphosate-resistant giant ragweed in Ontario for soybean growers.The treatment consists of a preplant application of 2,4-D Ester 700 (pcp #27820, NuFarm). It was recently granted a user-requested minor use label expansion, in light of the growing glyphosate-resistance problem in the province...Officials have been concerned about all herbicide-resistant weed development in the province, but glyphosate-resistant giant ragweed was the most alarming, given it can reduce yields by more than 50 per cent.

Report Finds GM Crops Increase Pesticide Use and Resistant Weeds (Beyond Pesticides, November 18, 2009) A report authored by Charles Benbrook, PhD, chief scientist at The Organic Center (TOC), finds that the rapid adoption by U.S. farmers of genetically modified corn, soybeans and cotton has promoted increased use of pesticides, an epidemic of herbicide-resistant weeds, and more chemical residues in foods.

The Organic Center's latest report on pesticides shows that "farmers applied 318 million more pounds of pesticides over the last 13 years as a result of planting GE seeds." (Nov. 2009)

Study Shows Increased Pesticide Use with GE Crops (Beyond Pesticides, February 15, 2008)

Scientists Confirm Failures of Bt-Crops (Sept. 2005) Ineffective against insect pests, harmful to health and biodiversity, yield drag, pest resistance. Dr. Mae-Wan Ho.

 

Labeling

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Vermont Wins Legal Challenge to Its GE Labeling Law (Beyond Pesticides, April 30, 2015) . The legal challenge was brought by the same industrial food companies  –Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA), Snack Food Association, International Dairy Foods Association, and National Association of Manufacturers – that had poured money into defeating the measure, before it overwhelmingly passed in the state legislature. The judge also dismissed a number of the plaintiffs’ claims, including assertions that the law violates the commerce clause and was expressly preempted by federal law. Read the full text of the decision hereFurthermore, genetically engineered foods are already required to be labeled in 64 foreign countries, including many where American food producers sell their wares.

Why Labels on Genetically Engineered Foods Won’t Cost Consumers a Dime By Zack Kaldveer and Ronnie Cummins. Organic Consumers Association, April 9, 2013 

Monsanto's Next Target: Democracy The battle for food sovereignty is a battle we cannot afford to lose.

On November 6, 2012, California voted on Prop 37 to make mandatory the labeling of foods containing gmos. Industry spent 46 million dollars to kill the proposal, which was very narrowly defeated:  51.6% to 48.4% (as of December 4). The Organic Consumers Association was one of the leaders on the issue. Follow the action through their newsletter Organic Bytes (right-hand side).

 Now the fight moves to Washington State where activists have been hard at work on I-522, a November 2013 ballot and legislative initiative to require mandatory labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Unmasking the No on Prop 37 Lies and Dirty Tricks (Organic Consumers Association)   The Monsanto-Pepsi gang can't change the fact that 9 out of 10 people want to know if they're eating genetically modified organisms (GMOs). What they can do is try to trick California voters into believing that a simple label on their food is actually a nefarious plot to make consumers pay more for their food and make trial lawyers rich. MOre information in Organic Bytes, issues 354-358 (right-hand side).

Malaria

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Transgenic Fungi Being Developed to Fight Malaria  (Beyond Pesticides, March 1, 2011) As insect resistance to pesticides steadily increases, and the underlying conditions of poverty, poor water management, and indecent living conditions contribute to the spread of malaria, the search for silver bullet solutions escalates.

Persistence

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Swedish Study Finds GMO Seeds Persist 10 Years After Planting  (Beyond Pesticides, April 4, 2008) A study called “Long-term persistence of GM oilseed rape in the seedbank,” recently published in the journal Biology Letters, has found a genetically modified (GM) crop to persist in spite of a decade of efforts to remove it from a field. Researchers from Sweden’s Lund University and the Danish Technical …

 

Safety/Health Effects

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Included in this section are the negative health effects of gmo corn MON810 and NK603.

Is Cornell University misleading us on GMO food safety? by Claire Robinson (GMWatch.org)  Interesting 1 hour video explaining what GMOs are, the links of large organizations to the GMO industry, and their health effects according to independent research. There is no consensus of safety. Refers to the report GMO Myths and Truths (2nd edition)

Altered Genes, Twisted Truth   Steven Druker talked about his book Altered Genes, Twisted TruthHow the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public, in which he discusses the science and regulations behind genetically engineered food. His organization, Alliance for Bio-Integrity, filed a lawsuit that uncovered concerns that some FDA scientists had about risks related to genetically engineered food. SNAP Comment: interesting 1 1/2 hour video of the author's talk. Worth listening to.

DDT Resistant Fruit Flies Show Reproductive Difficulties  (Beyond Pesticides, June 7, 2017) Fruit flies that developed a genetic resistance to the insecticide DDT have lower success at mating than those without similar changes, according to a study published last month in the journal Behavior Genetics. The results were surprising to researchers, given that the resistance developed through changes to a single allele (a variation of a single gene). “It is amazing that even if all the genes are exactly the same, having this one gene expressed at a higher level has all these effects,” said Professor Nina Wedell, PhD, of the Centre for Ecology and Conservation on Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall, UK to Phys.org. The study raises possible concerns about the effect of pesticide exposure to non-target (not the focus of pesticide use) insects that are integral to a healthy ecology and food web...However, it should be noted that the documented effects in this study are only seen in the absence of insecticide exposure.  SNAP Comment: These types of effects are not mandated studies prior to pesticide registration. I also think the study raises possible concerns about genetic engineering (GE). If the change in one naturally occurring allele can cause problems, what can the insertion of a new gene do?...

God’s Red Pencil? CRISPR and The Three Myths of Precise Genome Editing  (Independent Science News, April 25, 2016, Jonathan Latham, PhD)    Why is this discussion of precision important? Because for the last seventy years all chemical and biological technologies, from genetic engineering to pesticides, have been built on a myth of precision and specificity. They have all been adopted under the pretense that they would function without side effects or unexpected complications. Yet the extraordinary disasters and repercussions of DDT, leaded paint, agent orange, atrazine, C8, asbestos, chlordane, PCBs, and so on, when all is said and done, have been stories of the steady unraveling of a founding myth of precision and specificity. Nevertheless, with the help of industry propagandists, their friends in the media, even the United Nations, we are once again being preached the gospel of precision. But no matter how you look at it, precision is a fable and should be treated as such.

Scientist’s ground-breaking research uncovers new risks of GMOs, glyphosate  (By Ken Roseboro, The Organic and Non-GMO Report, January 26, 2017) Interview of the author of the study Dr. Michael Antoniou presenting the results. The study was based on cutting-edge molecular profiling methods that provides a spectrum of different types of proteins and small molecule metabolites. It’s a very in-depth analysis."Our analysis found over 150 different proteins whose levels were different between the GMO NK603 and its non-GMO counterpart. More than 50 small molecule metabolites were also significantly different in their amounts. They indicate that there were changes in the protein profile that were reflective of an imbalance in energy metabolism and oxidative stress... the rats consumed a glyphosate-equivalent level of Roundup that is 75,000 times lower than what is permitted in Europe and 437,500 times lower than that allowed in the U.S... For the very first time we have established a causative link between an environmentally relevant level of daily ingestion of Roundup and a serious disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease."

New study: Monsanto GM corn damaged intestines of rats (The Organic and NOn-GMO Report, December 27, 2016) (Source: GM Watch)  Rats fed GM Bt corn MON810 for only 90 days suffered serious damage to the surface mucous membranes of the jejunum (part of the small intestine), according to a new study. An Egyptian study, on a variety developed and sold in Egypt by Monsanto. The GM-fed rats ate a diet containing 30 percent MON810: Ajeeb YG corn. Control rats were fed the same amount of non-GM corn. The study was published in the journal Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology.The researchers concluded that “consumption of GM-corn profoundly alters the jejunal histological microscopic structure.” They added, “Results from the current study could show that in spite of the assuring reports on GM products, GM corn has profoundly altered the histological structure of the jejunal mucosa at many levels and revealed several alarming signs, as the proliferative and eroded hemorrhagic lesions in addition to several ultrastructural alterations described here for the first time for jejunum under GM corn influence.” Signs of inflammation—white blood cell infiltration—were seen around areas of damage. In addition, the cells of the intestinal lining were abnormal in structure. SNAP Comment:  The corn variety studied here is a Bt corn and different from previous varieties shown to cause health damage.

An integrated multi-omics analysis of the NK603 Roundup-tolerant GM maize reveals metabolism disturbances caused by the transformation process  (Robin Mesnage, Sarah Z. Agapito-Tenfen, Vinicius Vilperte, George Renney, Malcolm Ward, Gilles-Eric Séralini, Rubens O. Nodari & Michael N. Antoniou. Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 37855 (2016)) SNAP NOTE: the GM Maize used in the Seralini study. This article seems to be by the same research group... The set of parameters and analyses necessary to declare a GMO as substantially equivalent to its conventional counterpart is still vague and focuses on a restricted set of compositional variables, such as the amounts of protein, carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals... Currently, no regulatory authority requires mandatory untargeted molecular profiling omics analysis to be performed but some acknowledge their potential relevance for food and feed derived from GM plants with specific metabolic pathways modified, or in situations where a suitable comparator is not available4,21... While only one protein is newly produced as a result of the transgene insertion, a total of 117 proteins and 91 metabolites have been altered in maize by the genetic transformation process and insertion of the EPSPS-CP4 cassette (Isogenic vs NK603 panel, Fig. 3). One protein (B4G0K5) and 31 metabolites had their expression significantly altered by the spraying of the Roundup pesticide (NK603 vs NK603+Roundup (R) panel, Fig. 3)...Although a clear mechanistic link between alterations in the GM feed and the possible health effects following long-term consumption of this product remains to be established, the evidence we present clearly shows that NK603 and non-GM isogenic maize are not substantially equivalent and the nutritional quality of GM feed might be hampered by metabolic imbalances related to plant energy and stress metabolism... In addition, differences due to the pesticide spray were subtle: phenylpropanoid such as 4-hydroxycinnamate (0.63-fold), ferulate (0.59-fold) and sinapate (2.9-fold) were significantly changed.

Crime In The Fields: How Monsanto And Scofflaw Farmers Hurt Soybeans In Arkansas (NPR, 1st Aug 2016) Tens of thousands of acres of soybean (in the US) are showing Dicamba herbicide damage. Monsanto launched, this year, an updated version of its herbicide-tolerant soybean seeds. 'This new version, which Monsanto calls "Xtend, isn't just engineered to tolerate sprays of glyphosate, aka RoundupIt's also immune to dicamba", as well as higher yielding...However, 'the Environmental Protection Agency has not yet approved the new dicamba weedkiller that Monsanto created for farmers to spray on its new dicamba-resistant crops. That new formulation of dicamba, according to Monsanto, has been formulated so that it won't vaporize as easily, and won't be as likely to harm neighboring crops.'..and they apparenty 'made it clear to farmers that they were not allowed to spray dicamba on these dicamba-resistant beans.' 'Whatever the original motivation for buying Xtend seed, some scofflaw farmers did try to take advantage of it by spraying dicamba on their soybean fields. Swaths of vulnerable soybeans on neighboring fields are showing the damage. "There's a tremendous amount of injury on soybean fields," says Barber. There also are reports of damage to vegetable crops.' 'Barber says farmers whose fields are damaged are especially angry, because they're already under economic stress because of low crop prices.' NOTE: I believe this was a very predictable outcome, and it shows a lack of common sense and concern by Monsanto. It also illustrates the extent of disregard for regulations with piddly fines. 

Toxicity of Bt toxin inserted in corn and cotton to humans Dr Perlmutter's interview with Jeffrey Smith on gmos  (March 2016) Jeffrey Smith has written several bools on health effects of gmos, and founded the Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT), "the Most Comprehensive Source of GMO Health Information on the Web."The interview reviews health effects of RoundUp-Ready and Bt crops but also deals with potential health effects of the new apples and potatoes that do not brown, aproved for sale in USA and Canada in 2015. Inserted Bt toxin was supposed to only affect insects. In a 2012 study published in the journal Applied Toxicology, it also pokes holes in human cells.” The Bt toxin also increased immune response in mice. If we are eating Bt toxin in corn chips, etc it may increase our immune load which happens in mice, who became sensitive to foods they could previously tolerate. It may also start poking holes in our intestinal cells. Normally leaky gut is holes between the cells. but poking holes in the cells is another form of leaky gut.

There are charts indicationg over 30 charts showing the rise of various diseases and disorders in parallel with the amount of gmos and Round-Up used. Inflammatory bowel disease is one of them. (also celiac disease, thyroid cancer) Some people would say that a correlation is not a causation but When you understand how a toxin works, it makes a more compelling story.

Evidence that gmo crops are causing human health issues. 

- the toxins cause these types of disease in animal studies.
 - Livestock and pets taken off gmo foods find relief from the same kind of diseases they had developed, and so do humans.
-  For the 2 main toxins (Round-UP and Bt) in gmos, the mechanisms by which they affect physiology could predict the same type of diseases

so this is all part of the data points we can use to evaluate effects. 

Unprecedented Safety Study Finds Harm from GM Corn (CBAN,September 20, 2012) Republication of the Séralini Study: Science Speaks for Itself (June 2014) The study found severe liver and kidney damage and hormonal disturbances in rats fed the GM maize and low levels of Roundup that are below those permitted in drinking water in the EU. The republished study is accompanied by a separate commentary by Prof Séralini's team describing the lobbying efforts of GMO crop supporters to force the editor of FCT to retract the original publication.

Doctors Warn: Avoid Genetically Modified Foods (May 20, 2009) excellent article reviewing harm caused by GMOs to animal and human health.

Monsanto forced to withdraw GMO food safety claim (June 2007)

New Report Finds Flaws in Biotech Crop Safety Tests (Beyond Pesticides, November 18, 2004)

Study Shows Monsanto's GE Cotton is Killing the Soil (Organic Bytes, 3/6/2009)

 

Yield

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GMO Insects

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Now we are seeing new applications of genetic modification whch, again, get released without appropriate evaluation. also see gmo/safety  

FDA Deliberating Release of GE Mosquitoes in Florida Keys  (Beyond Pesticides, May 27, 2016)  However, internal Oxitec documents discuss an experiment where 15% of insects in the lab survived because mosquitoes were fed off of chicken-based cat food that contained low levels of tetracycline even after it was heat-treated in attempts to remove traces of the antibiotic. t. Studies show that most wastewater treatment plants are unable to effectively remove tetracycline antibiotics, and the compound is frequently detected in surface water, ground water, drinking water, wastewater, soils and sediment. Thus, low levels of tetracycline in the environment may result in only a temporary reduction in the numbers of disease carrying mosquitoes. And there are further questions regarding the impacts of how tetracycline-exposed survivor GE mosquitoes may impact human health or wildlife. Speaking to USA Today, Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said questions remain about the altered bugs. Oxitec has not yet shown that the mosquitoes reduce rates of diseases such as Zika. And, tests of insects were relatively small, meaning there’s no way to know whether the technology will be effective on a large scale, he added.

Here’s What You Need To Know About ‘GMO Mosquitos’ And Zika Virus
They could save many lives. (Huffington Post, 14 March, 2016 Erin Schumaker , Anna Almendrala)  Despite the fact that genetically modified insects haven’t been proven safe, Akbari is on board with experimentation in the field. “I think the future is leaning toward genetic control,” he said. SNAP Comment: The only place where mosquito eradication  vy insecticide was ever successful in the world was on a small island in the Mediterranean, which has since been recolonized by mosquitoes.

Cornell University Releases GE Moths without Thorough Evaluation of Risks.(Beyond Pesticides, June 12, 2015) They plan on controlling the population growth of these GE moths through their genetic design that kills the moth in the larval stage on plants. Normally, diamond back moth larvae feed on cole crops such as canola,broccoli and cabbage during development, but through this trial, Cornell hopes to quell this problem.