Non-GMO Shopping Guide >>> http://responsibletechnology.org/Shopping-Guide-Spring-2013-web.pdf
Our revised Non-GMO Shopping Guide has features over 150 brands currently enrolled in the Non-GMO Project. This purse/pocket-sized guide will help you identify and avoid foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) foods while you shop.
Non-GMO Shopping Tips >>> http://responsibletechnology.org/media/docs/irtst.pdf
Excerpts of the Non-GMO Shopping Guide are also found in IRT’s new two sided “Tips” brochure, which does notcontain a listing of non-GMO brands. It does include generic tips designed to help consumers identify and avoid genetically modified (GM) foods, including the hidden GM ingredients (labeled ingredients on foods that read more like a chemical periodic table) on grocers shelves.
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The discovery of a Monsanto-created, genetically modified strain of wheat in the US that was never approved by the United States Department of Agriculture has imperiled US exports of a staple world food commodity.
Japanese authorities have already opted to cancel part of a tender offer to buy US western white wheat and have suspended imports of both that variety and feed wheat, Reuters reported on Thursday.
“We will refrain from buying western white and feed wheat effective today,” Toru Hisadome, a Japanese farm ministry official in charge of wheat trading, told the agency.
Japan, the biggest buyer of US wheat behind Mexico, will continue buying hard red winter and spring wheat from the US as well as grains from Canada, which are used for the production of bread and noodles.
However, Hisadome said the government has asked US authorities to provide more details of their ongoing investigation and Japan will stop buying the suspended species of wheat until a test kit is developed to identify genetically modified produce.
There is currently no US approved test kit to identify genetically engineered wheat. The USDA has said it is developing a “rapid test” kit.
Other major Asian importers like Korea, China and the Philippines said they were closely monitoring the situation, while the European Union is set to test any incoming shipments, saying it will block any containing GM wheat. Following the announcement, wheat for July delivery fell 8.25 cents to $6.945 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade.
The wheat, created by Monsanto Co., appeared on an 80-acre farm in Oregon in April. On Wednesday, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said it had conducted a genetic test on the wheat and found that it was an experimental type created by the US agribusiness giant which had never been approved for sale.
Following the discovery of the GMO wheat, USDA Acting Deputy Secretary Michael Scuse said that state agriculture directors in Oregon, Washington and Idaho are now coordinating a multi-state investigation, and foreign trade representatives in Canada, Mexico and Asia have been contacted.
The USDA has never approved any GMO strain of wheat to be grown in the US, but Monsanto field tested a genetically engineered variety from 1998 through 2005. It was never put into use however, due to global opposition to genetically engineered cereal grains. Wheat remains an exception however, as more than 60 genetically modified crops have been approved for US food and feed supplies.
The top three GMO crops grown in the US are soy, corn and cotton, according to the USDA. Some Eighty-eight perc ent of corn and 93 pe rcent of soybeans grown in the US are genetically modified.
Although the United States produces only 10 percent of world wheat it is consistently the world’s biggest wheat exporter. With world trade in wheat greater than for all other crops combined, Wednesday’s findings could dent US export prospects at a time when the USDA is expecting record global production, boosted by a 48 percent hike in Russian output and a 40 percent gain from Ukraine.
However, the USDA says US exports will likely fall 9.8 percent to 25.2 million tons in the year that starts on June 1, Bloomberg reports.
“This is not something we need to see when exports are suffering anyway,” Darrell Holaday, the president of Advanced Market Concepts in Wamego, Kansas, told the New York based agency in a telephone interview. “It’s a negative story during a negative export time, and if the Black Sea keeps getting rain it’s going to be a tough, competitive wheat market.”
Official website: www.march-against-monsanto.com .
Major changes could be coming to American food labeling rules if a new federal bill mandating that genetically modified ingredients be disclosed is signed into law.
The new bill, known as the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, was introduced on Wednesday by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), and resembles previous legislation that failed to garner sufficient support in Congress.
However, the bill can already count on nine bipartisan Senate co-sponsors, along with 22 cosponsors in the House. That wide base of support may give the new legislation a better shot – not to mention the fact that over 90 per cent of Americans already support compulsory labeling of genetically modified foods.
In the US, however, the biotechnology sector has spent a significant amount of money in hopes of defeating GMO labeling efforts. California’s Proposition 37, for example, was defeated in November 2012 after companies such as Monsanto and The Hershey Co. outspent supporters of such labeling $44 million to $7.3 million.
Nationwide, food labeling can vary by US state, the best example of which might be the use of bovine growth hormone (also known as rBGH or rBST). That genetically modified ingredient, which is banned in many countries, is widely used in American dairy production, and states such as Pennsylvania currently prohibit “rBST-free” milk labeling in favor of disclaimers such as: “No significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rbST-treated and non-rbST-treated cows.”
Senator DeFazio, one of the co-sponsors of the new bill, has been growing organic produce for 40 years. In comments made to The Huffington Post, he stated that consumers had the right to decide for themselves whether to purchase and consume organisms that were created only in recent decades.
“Even the most ardent free market advocate, someone who’s a devout follower of Adam Smith, would have to admit that consumers aren’t being given full information right now,” he said.”Depriving them of the knowledge of whether or not this food has GMOs does not support a free market.”
“Unfortunately, advocates of mandatory ‘GMO labeling’ are working an agenda to vilify biotechnology and scare consumers away from safe and healthful food products,” BIO spokeswoman Karen Badt wrote to The Huffington Post.
United States President Barack Obama has signed a bill into law that was written in part by the very billion-dollar corporation that will benefit directly from the legislation.
On Tuesday, Pres. Obama inked his name to H.R. 933, a continuing resolution spending bill approved in Congress days earlier. Buried 78 pages within the bill exists a provision that grossly protects biotech corporations such as the Missouri-based Monsanto Company from litigation.
With the president’s signature, agriculture giants that deal with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and genetically engineered (GE) seeds are given the go-ahead to continue to plant and sell man-made crops, even as questions remain largely unanswered about the health risks these types of products pose to consumers.
In light of approval from the House and Senate, more than 250,000 people signed a petition asking the president to veto the spending bill over the biotech rider tacked on, an item that has since been widely referred to as the “Monsanto Protection Act.”
“But Obama ignored [the petition],” IB Times’ Connor Sheets writes, “instead choosing to sign a bill that effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of GMO or GE crops and seeds, no matter what health consequences from the consumption of these products may come to light in the future.”
James Brumley, a reporter for Investor Place, explains a little more thoroughly just how dangerous the rider is now that biotech companies are allowed to bypass judicial scrutiny. Up until it was signed, he writes, “the USDA [US Department of Agriculture] oversaw and approved (or denied) the testing of genetically modified seeds, while the federal courts retained the authority to halt the testing or sale of these plants if it felt that public health was being jeopardized. With HR 933 now a law, however, the court system no longer has the right to step in and protect the consumer.”
If the president’s signature isn’t all that surprising, though, consider the genesis of the bill itself. According to an article published Monday in the New York Daily News, US Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) “worked with Monsanto to craft the language in the bill.”
Sen. Blunt defended his bill to the News, shrugging off suggestions that it set a startling precedent that will affect all US agriculture by firing back, “What it says is if you plant a crop that is legal to plant when you plant it, you get to harvest it. But it is only a one-year protection in that bill.”
One year could be all it takes to cause catastrophic damage to the environment by allowing laboratory-produced organisms to be planted into the earth without oversight. Under the Monsanto Protection Act, health concerns that arise in the immediate future involving the planting of GMO crops won’t be able to be heard by a judge. Blunt, a junior senator that has held elected office since the late ‘90s, has good reason to whitewash the very bill he helped craft. The Center for Responsive Politics notes that Sen. Blunt received $64,250 from Monsanto to go towards his campaign committee between 2008 and 2012. The Money Monocle website adds that Blunt has been the largest Republican Party recipient of Monsanto funding as of late.
On the lawmaker’s official website, a statement explains a little more as to why he favored HR 933 and the rider within it.
“As the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, Senator Blunt played a vital role in writing the fiscal year 2013 Agriculture Appropriations bill. This legislation maintained vital support for research and extension at land grant universities, capacity building grants for non-land grant colleges of agriculture, and competitive funding under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). The bill also included funding for conservation activities, housing and business loan programs for rural communities, domestic and international nutrition programs.”
Nowhere does the senator’s site mention the Monsanto Protection Act by name, although it claims Blunt “supports continued investments in agricultural research and engineering.”
“Did Blunt not realize that Monsanto would stand to gain significantly if section 735 survived and HR 933 was signed into law?” asks Brumley. “Not likely,”
“There’s no way of getting around the fact this is an abusive conflict of interest,” he says.
Clearly isn’t Brumley the only one that feels that way either: Blunt’s Wikipedia page was vandalized this week to read in the first paragraph, “His Senate seat was previously held by Republican Kit Bond, until Bond’s retirement, and will be sold by Blunt to Monsanto Corporation upon his retirement.”
Published on Mar 28, 2013
On Tuesday, President Barack Obama signed the Agriculture Appropriations Bill into law. Within the legislation exists a provision, “The Monsanto Protection Act,” that has many speculating the future of food in American because it protects genetically modified seeds patents from litigation over health risks. Since Obama signed the bill, nearly 250,000 have signed a petition to President Obama. RT’s Margaret Howell has more on the bill and how “frankenfish” could be making their way into supermarkets across the nation.
New ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ Gives Monsanto Power Over US Government — Sign the Petition to stop the Bill pass in Senate
There truly is no rest for the wicked, and Monsanto is at war once again against health conscious consumers with the latest ‘Monsanto Protection Act‘, managing to sneak wording into the latest Senate legislation that would give them blanket immunity from any USDA action regarding the potential dangers of their genetically modified creations while under review. The USDA would be unable to act against any and all new GMO crops that were suspected to be wreaking havoc on either human health or the environment.
It’s a legislative weapon that could be passed as early as next week if we don’t gather enough support to force our Senators to eliminate the section. It all started in the late hours of Monday night, when lobbyists working for the Monsanto-fronted biotechnology industry managed to slide a ‘rider’ (through the deceptively worded Farmer Assurance Provision, Sec. 735) into the Senate Continuing Resolution spending bill that is currently on the table of the Senate.
A massive petition to stop what has been labeled as the ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ has been launched by Food Democracy Now, detailing what could come if the legislation is signed into law within the coming days or weeks:
If approved, the Monsanto Protection Act would force the USDA to allow continued planting of any GMO crop under court review, essentially giving backdoor approval for any new genetically engineered crops that could be potentially harmful to human health or the environment.
Monsanto Protection Act Trumps US Government
Federal courts would be powerless to regulate the sale and even cultivation of illegal and dangerous GMO crops, succumbing instead to the power of the biotech industry and Monsanto. The same threat we faced last summer during the initial emergence of this act. During that time, we saw major groups assemble against the act, from national farm institutions to food safety titans. The Center for Food Safety, the National Family Farm Coalition, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Sierra Club, and the Union of Concerned Scientists all came together to speak out against the incognito bombshell slipped into the 2012 Farm Bill and the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill.
And now Monsanto is back at it.
Thus, it is imperative that we peacefully kick Monsanto out of the Senate and back into the alleyways of Washington D.C., and let it be known that any politician who sides with Big Biotech will not be staying in the Senate for much longer.
Hungary has taken a bold stand against biotech giant Monsanto and genetic modification by destroying 1000 acres of maize found to have been grown with genetically modified seeds, according to Hungary deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development Lajos Bognar.
Unlike many European Union countries, Hungary is a nation where genetically modified (GM) seeds are banned. In a similar stance against GM ingredients, Peru has also passed a 10 year ban on GM foods.
Almost 1000 acres of maize found to have been ground with genetically modified seeds have been destroyed throughout Hungary, deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development Lajos Bognar said. The GMO maize has been ploughed under, said Lajos Bognar, but pollen has not spread from the maize, he added.
Unlike several EU members, GMO seeds are banned in Hungary. The checks will continue despite the fact that seek traders are obliged to make sure that their products are GMO free, Bognar said.
During the invesigation, controllers have found Pioneer Monsanto products among the seeds planted.
The free movement of goods within the EU means that authorities will not investigate how the seeds arrived in Hungary, but they will check where the goods can be found, Bognar said. Regional public radio reported that the two biggest international seed producing companies are affected in the matter and GMO seeds could have been sown on up to the thousands of hectares in the country. Most of the local farmers have complained since they just discovered they were using GMO seeds.
With season already under way, it is too late to sow new seeds, so this year’s harvest has been lost.
And to make things even worse for the farmers, the company that distributed the seeds in Baranya county is under liquidation. Therefore, if any compensation is paid by the international seed producers, the money will be paid primarily to that company’s creditors, rather than the farmers.
by Anthony Gucciardi
If there was ever a nation that could see the purpose behind organic, sustainable farming, it would be a nation that is composed mostly of farmers. Such a place does exist, and it soon may be the first nation to go 100% organic, paving the way for others to do the same on a global scale.
The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is known for a high level of citizen happiness, but it is doing something even more noteworthy in the near future. With Prime Minister Jigmi Thinley making a major announcement regarding the organic farming project at the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development which took place last month, the move has made national headlines. It’s called the National Organic Policy, and it is fueled by the simple concept that working ‘in harmony with nature’ will yield the most powerful results — all without sacrificing human health or the environment.
What this comes down to is no GMO, no pesticides, no herbicides, no fluoride-based spray products, no Monsanto intrusion at all, and a whole lot of high quality food available for the 700,000 citizens of Bhutan. Food that, at one time, was simply called ‘food’. In the statement to other policy makers, Prime Minister Jigmi Thinley explained the move:
“By working in harmony with nature, they can help sustain the flow of nature’s bounties.”
Bhutan’s land currently supplys most corn, rice, fruits, and some vegetables, and it is perfectly positioned to begin developing 100% organic farming. In addition to containing a population that is mostly farmers, it also has extremely rich lands that are truly beyond what many consider organic.
Some lands in Bhutan have not even been touched with harsh chemicals of any kind, and traditional techniques are utilized to produce high yields without Monsanto dipping into the pockets of family farmers. This is in sharp contrast to India’s farming community, which has been shafted by Monsanto and subsequently nicknamed the ‘suicide belt‘ due to the rampant suicides that can be blamed in part by Monsanto-induced financial ruin.
Australian adviser to Bhutan, Andre Leu, explains:
“I don’t think it’s going to be that difficult given that the majority of the agricultural land is already organic by default.”
The shift is certainly inspiring, but it also reminds us about the true lunacy of designating foods as ‘organic’ and ‘traditional’ in modern society. These Bhutan farmers are not growing magic beans or enchanted corn, they are growing real food. Actual food as it was grown for thousands of years. It’s only now, with the advent of ways in which we can toxify our crops, do we value organic as if it were some privilege or act of class. When it comes down to it, we just want real food.
by Anthony Gucciardi
February 7th, 2013 | Updated 02/07/2013 at 2:17 am
Yet another disturbing reason has emerged as to why you should be avoiding health-devastating genetically modified organisms, and it may be one of the most concerning yet. We know that GMO consumption has been linked to a host of serious conditions, but one thing we are not so sure about is the recent discovery of a hidden viral gene deep within genetically modified crops.
For years, GMOs have been consumed knowingly and unknowingly around the globe, with Monsanto and the United States government claiming that the altered franken crops are perfectly safe despite very limited (or virtually none in some cases) initial testing and scientists speaking out against the dangers. One such danger that has actually not been spoken about has been revealed in a recent report by a safety watchdog group known as the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Another Dirty Secret of Monsanto.
In the EFSA report, which can be read online, you can find (within the scientific wording) that researchers discovered a previously unknown viral gene that is known as ‘Gene VI’. What’s concerning is that not only is the rogue gene found in the most prominent GMO crops and about 63% of GMO traits approved for use (54 out of 86 to be precise), but it can actually disrupt the very biological functions within living organisms. Popular GMO crops such as Roundup-Ready soybeans, NK603, and MON810 corn were found to contain the gene that induces physical mutations.
NK603 maize, of course, was also recently linked to the development of mass tumors in rats.
According to Independent Science News, Gene VI also inhibits RNA silencing. As you may know, RNA silencing has been pinpointed as vital for the proper functioning of gene expression when it comes to RNA. Perhaps more topically, it is a defense mechanism against viruses in plants and animals alike. On the contrary, many viruses have developed genes that disable this protective process. Independent Science News reports that the Gene VI is one such gene.
Overall, there is a degree of knowledge on Gene VI. What we do know going by information within the report is that the gene:
· Helps to assemble virus particles
· Inhibits the natural defense of the cellular system
· Produces proteins that are potentially problematic
· Makes plants susceptible to bacterial pathogens
All of which are very significant effects that should be studied in depth by an independent team of scientists after GMO products are taken off the market pending further research on the entire array of associated diseases. And that does not even include the effects we are unaware of.
This is yet another incident in which Monsanto and other biotech companies are getting away with an offense against the citizens of the world with (most likely) no action taken by the United States government. What we have seen, however, is nations like Russia, Poland, Hungary, and Peru taking a stand against Monsanto in direct opposition to their disregard for public safety. Russia, in fact, banned Monsanto’s GMO corn variety after it was linked to mass tumors in rats.
As more and more dirty secrets come out from the GMO industry at large, it gives further reason and more support to remove GMOs as a whole from the food supply.
Alex Pietrowski, Staff Writer
The North-Eastern European country, Poland, has become the latest EU nation to ban the production of genetically modified (GM) crops, although, the European Food Safety Authority has approved GM crops as being safe for cultivation. Poland’s Ministry of Agriculture has opted to take advantage of a special ‘safeguard clause’ which allowed them to reject these GM crops, allowing Poland to protect their agricultural base from contamination.
Recently, the European Union approved two GM crops for Europe, Monsanto’s MON810 Maize, and BASF’s Amflora Potato, however, Poland’s ban will take effect on January 28th.
“To justify the enactment of these regulations, the Ministry of Agriculture pointed out to the impossibility of the coexistence of GM crops and the natural varieties, without the risk of contamination of the latter. The Ministry also draws attention to the threat of contamination of honey by pollen of maize MON 810 and the lack of research supporting the safety of GM crops on the environment and human health. From now on, a farmer who illegally sows MON 810 maize or Amflora potato may be levied with severe financial penalties and even with the destruction of his crop.” (GMWatch)
This is good news for opponents of genetically modified foods as their consumption has been linked to cancers and other health problems in labratory animals and in humans. Last year, Russia temporarily banned the production of several GM crops, but in the last week “Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare conducted its own safety assessment of NK603 and concluded that there were no adverse effects on humans.” (AGProfessional)
This is a small and perhaps temporary victory in the fight against franken-foods, but activists must remain steadfast and dedicated to stop the tidal wave of genetically modified crops, which rely much more heavily on boutique pesticides and herbicides than traditionally cultivated crops. And organizations working toward this goal, like GreenPeace, are quick to point out that we must remain vigilant so that the EU is not able to overturn this ban, and also that proper oversight is implemented to ensure that GM crops will be controlled effectively and that the ban is actually observed by local farmers.
India Signs Mandatory GMO Labeling into Law January 10, 2013 Print Version Source: Anthony Gucciardi, NaturalSociety Paving the way for other nations to introduce similar legislation and inform consumers what they’re really putting into their mouths, the labeling of products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) within the nation of India is now mandated by law. The country’s Ministry of Consumer Affairsmakes declared in aJune 5, 2012 notice that all GMO-containing packaged foods must be labeled by January 1, 2013 or face legal repercussions.
Each package containing GM ingredients will clearly be labeled directly on the prime real estate of the package as ‘GM’. A warning that many heads of organizations and even bodies within the Indian government are praising for its ability to inform individuals as to what they are really feeding their family.
“The labelling will basically help inform the consumer about the presence of GM content in packaged food products,” said B.N.Dixit, Director, Legal Metrology, Department of Consumer Affairs. In the wake of crippled labeling attempts inside the United States thanks to Monsanto-backed corporate deception, such as phony campaign materials designed to deceive California’s Prop 37 GMO labeling campaign, this is an extremely bold message by India. A message that will likely be picked up by neighboring countries where citizens have been demanding GMO labeling — or even an outright ban. The move also comes after other countries like Poland already took moves to ban Monsanto’s genetically modified maize.
Even states like New Mexico and Washington are now pushing forward with legislation that would make labeling mandatory.
While the labeling declaration is certainly a victory, some Indian experts are saying that it would be much more of a victory for somewhere like the US, where around 90% of food products are pre-packaged or processed. The opposite is true in India, where much of the food available in local markets is whole food items and raw materials. In other words, the Indian citizens still prepare meals by hand in many cases. This means that they are using non-packaged food items like produce that may not be labeled.
Nonetheless, the law allows for an advancement in the lengthy fight against GMOs, which have been linked to a host of serious illnesses ranging from tumor development to infertility.