Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Roundup?


A recent study by eminent oncologists Dr. Lennart Hardell and Dr. Mikael Eriksson of Sweden, has revealed clear links between one of the world's biggest selling herbicide, glyphosate, to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer.

 In the study published in the 15 March 1999 Journal of American Cancer Society, the researchers also maintain that exposure to glyphosate 'yielded increased risks for NHL.' They stress that with the rapidly increasing use of glyphosate since the time the study was carried out, 'glyphosate deserves further epidemiologic studies.'

 Glyphosate, commonly known as Roundup, is the world's most widely used herbicide. It is estimated that for 1998, over a 112,000 ton of glyphosate was used world-wide. It indiscriminately kills off a wide variety of weeds after application and is primarily used to control annual and perennial plants.

 71% of genetically engineered crops planted in 1998 are designed to be resistant to herbicides such as glyphosate, marketed by Monsanto as Roundup. Companies developing herbicide resistant crops are also increasing their production capacity for the herbicides such as glyphosate, and also requesting permits for higher residues of these chemicals in genetically engineered food. For example, Monsanto have already received permits for a threefold increase in herbicide residues on genetically engineered soybeans in Europe and the U.S., up from 6 parts per million (PPM) to 20 PPM.

 According to Sadhbh O' Neill of Genetic Concern, 'this study reinforces concerns by environmentalists and health professionals that far from reducing herbicide use, glyphosate resistant crops may result in increased residues to which we as consumers will be exposed in our food.

 'Increased residues of glyphosate and its metabolites are already on sale via genetically engineered soya, common in processed foods. However no studies of the effects of GE soya sprayed with Roundup on health have been carried out either on animals or humans to date,' she continued.

 The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistics from 1997 show that expanded plantings of Roundup Ready soybeans (i.e. soybeans genetically engineered to be tolerant to the herbicide) resulted in a 72% increase in the use of glyphosate. According to the Pesticides Action

 Network, scientists estimate that plants genetically engineered to be herbicide resistant will actually triple the amount of herbicides used. Farmers, knowing that their crop can tolerate or resist being killed off  by the herbicides, will tend to use them more liberally.

 O' Neill concluded: 'The EPA when authorising Monsanto's field trials for Roundup-ready sugar beet did not consider the issue of glyphosate. They considered this to be the remit of the Pesticides Control Service of the Department of Agriculture. Thus nobody has included the effects of increasing the use of glyphosate in the risk/benefit analysis carried out.

 It is yet another example of how regulatory authorities supposedly protecting public health have failed to implement the 'precautionary principle' with respect to GMOs.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Monsanto Bill?

I responded to a link on facebook about calling your state Representative and the President to put a stop to this protection of a most evil company from getting to do whatever they want.  They will have free will to grow any plant any way they want by any means and nothing can be done.  This is a negative turn for people's health and well being.  Farmers will suffer because Monsanto owns and controls much of the seeds for industrial farming.  This is just a mess.  It shows how money will let you do anything you want as long as you are paying the right person.
This article was written by Jill Ettinger.
Monsanto and the biotech industry received good news this week when Congress approved a resolution bill, which included a provision nicknamed the “Monsanto Protection Act.”
The six-month resolution grants manufacturers of genetically modified seeds the approval to plant genetically modified seeds if they haven’t been approved by a court of law. NPR reports the provision “was slipped into the legislation anonymously.”
According to Sustainable Food News, the Senate was not allowed to consider two amendments offered by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana), an organic farmer, that would have “removed policy riders that favored the largest seed companies and the largest meatpackers. Tester observed that these policy riders were worth millions of dollars to these companies.”

 Food Democracy Now! said on its website that the decision “strips judges of their constitutional mandate to protect consumer and farmer rights and the environment, while opening up the floodgates for the planting of new untested genetically engineered crops, endangering farmers, citizens and the environment.”
“On the face of it, that sounds pretty bad,” reports NPR. “And when environmental and organic farming groups got wind of it earlier this month, they mounted a campaign urging voters to call and email their senators and voice their outrage over the provision, which they denounced as a “giveaway to genetically engineered seed companies” and even an act of “fascism.”"
But, exceptions have been made for the biotech industry in the past as was the case with Monsanto’s GMO sugar beets, which did not receive official deregulation until last year, but were allowed to be planted in mass scale anyway. By the time official deregulation occurred, more than 95 percent of the sugar beets grown in the U.S. were already genetically modified.