All posts by Tami Canal

Victory!! Monsanto’s DARK Act (Barely) Blocked By Senate

The efforts of millions of concerned citizens, numerous phone and email campaigns, dozens of online petitions, and trips to D.C. to lobby for our right to know were not in vain.

Leading the charge today, Senator Jeff Merkely demolished the pro-industry talking points that many of our senators lean on in order to further their agenda. The Senate blocked Senator Pat Robert’s cloture, 48-49, that would have allowed for the advancement of a bill to deny Americans the right to know what is in the food that lines our store shelves.


“Do not crush state’s rights, do not steal consumer’s right to know, and try to do it in the dark of night while the nation is distracted by major primaries. It is wrong on policy, it’s wrong on process, and it’s an injustice to every citizen in our nation,” proclaimed Senator Merkley.


While today is a huge victory for the safe food movement and consumers everywhere, a dark cloud does hang over the vote as nearly half of our senators voted in favor of the bill rather than against it. The required 60 votes needs to move the cloture forward did not happen, so despite a corrupt attempt by nearly half of the Senate body, the bill was blocked.

Nearly 100% of Americans are in favor of a mandatory, on-package labeling standard, yet our elected officials are far more concerned with campaign finance money they are receiving from biotech and big food corporations. According to the FEC website, this week alone hundreds of thousands of dollars have been pumped into senate re-election campaigns. GMO labeling is a right afforded to citizens in over 60 countries, including Russia and China. In fact, numerous countries are making moves to ban GMOs, while our government officials are making every nefarious stride to ban GMO labeling.

I must commend Sen. Jeff Merkley’s courageous speech on the Senate floor today. He is a beacon of hope in a cesspool of biotech-loving scum. Senator Merkley called out the sham proposals offered by his associates which include a 1-800 number, QR codes, and social media investigating in order to obtain information on the food that lines our shelves. Calling it a “house of mirrors”, Merkley implored his fellow senators to honor the ‘one second test’ demanded by 9 out of 10 Americans. This ‘test’ would simply require a symbol or a few words to be mandated on food packaging so the average consumer can quickly determine if an item contains GM ingredients.

Senator Merkley went on to question his fellow senators, “Why is this bill before us? I ask you, why a bill that say the interests of a few titans in crushing a state laboratory are more important than the views of 90% of Americans?”

We must flex our muscle and show our politicians, as well as unethical corporations, that we the people have the power. Remember how your senator voted in November. It is time to clean house and get rid of career politicians who cashed in their morals long ago. Continue to vote with your wallets. Clearly, this is where our strength lies. They can take away our rights, but they cannot force us to buy toxic, chemical-laden products. Vote wisely with your dollars. Do not support companies who pump millions into denying our right to know.

Pledge to join March Against Monsanto’s global action on May 21, 2016. Hundreds of cities all across the globe will march in solidarity in an effort to raise community awareness about Monsanto, their atrocious crimes against humanity, and the complicity of our elected officials. Find your local event here. For questions or to register a city not on our list, please email

This fight is far from over.

Monsanto: Preventing GMO Labeling At Any Cost

Today, Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) is set to introduce a bill that would preempt state mandatory GMO labeling efforts. The bill, strongly backed by The Grocery Manufacturer’s Association (GMA), Monsanto and the Koch brothers, would give ultimate authority of the issue over to the FDA. This is concerning because the FDA favors a voluntary approach to the extremely controversial issue. The FDA also tends to side with biotech on the GMO issue. If this bill comes to pass, where does that leave the public’s demand for the right to know what is in their food?

Thankfully, pro-GMO labeling groups are determined to keep lawmakers from backing the Pompeo bill. Groups including Just Label It stormed over a hundred offices on Capitol Hill earlier this week and campaigned for two other initiatives that would instead demand mandatory food labeling. The bills, HR 1699 and S 809, were introduced last April by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) respectively.

Monsanto and other biotech corporations have vehemently fought labeling efforts in many states including 2012′s Prop 37 in California and last year’s I-522 in Washington.

In biotech’s latest efforts to stifle the peoples’s right to know, Monsanto has threatened to sue the entire state of Vermont over a proposed GMO labeling bill. The popular legislative bill requiring mandatory labels on genetically engineered food (H-722) is stalling in the Vermont House Agriculture Committee, with only four weeks left until the legislature adjourns for the year. Despite thousands of emails and calls from constituents who overwhelmingly support mandatory labeling, despite the fact that a majority (6 to 5) of Agriculture Committee members support passage of the measure, Vermont legislators are holding up the labeling bill and refusing to take a vote for fear of Monsanto’s threats.

In Oregon, two separate county measures will have to battle biotech bank accounts to have a fighting chance at passing. Syngenta, Monsanto, and Dow, among others, have formed an alliance waging a multimillion-dollar campaign to defeat the Oregon ballot measures. St. Louis-based Monsanto Co. and its allies in the biotech and food industries have set a spending target of $6 million for the campaign against the labeling initiative, according to industry sources. That’s 40 times the $150,000 the pro-labeling forces say they will spend.

Monsanto and other biotech corporations have spent millions fighting GMO initiatives in addition to the over $260,000 they openly pumped into the House, and $122,000 pumped into the Senate. Please keep in mind these are just known numbers. Speculation and common sense would lead one to believe the numbers are in fact much higher.

The labeling of food with genetically modified ingredients has been a contentious issue around the world, with several countries mandating labels at the insistence of environmental and consumer advocates. That hasn’t happened in the United States, where the Food and Drug Administration says engineered food is no different than conventional food and so needs no labels that reveal details of production.

Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe, however. In more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. In the U.S., the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profit from their sale.
Increasingly, Americans are taking matters into their own hands and choosing to opt out of the GMO experiment which is a good thing given the mighty biotech titans, their big bank accounts and the twisted determination to impede labeling at any cost.
To fight back, please vote with your dollars. Every dollar spent on organic food or food stamped with the non-GMO verified food project seal is a dollar kept out of Monsanto’s bank account. Shop at a local farmer’s market and support the efforts of our farmers who still care to provide people with real, poison-free food. Consider planting a garden. Even the smallest patios or balconies can be maximized to grow enough food to sustain a small family. Join the global protest against Monsanto to stop the destruction of the food supply and the hostile take over of the global seed supply. Whatever you do, do something!! The only way to stop this is to be proactive and make a stand for future generations.

Image courtesy

Monsanto Squares Off With Farmers Over Agent Orange Herbicide

American farmers are among the biggest supporters of genetically modified crops on the planet, saying you can’t argue with the results of higher yields for less work, in spite of concerns — especially in Europe — about Frankenfoods.

But even U.S. farmers have their limits.

They’re going public in what to date has been a back-room battle with two big agricultural giants over the kinds of herbicides that can be sprayed on certain crops. The details might sound like a chemistry lesson to some, but the farmers believe what’s at stake is not only their livelihoods but possibly the social fabric of America’s farming communities.

The problem: One agricultural company has agreed with the farmers’ concerns and changed its plans. Another, though, is resisting, and the farmers are not happy.

This group of Midwest vegetable farmers has failed to convince Monsanto to reformulate an herbicide that could become one of the most widely used in the nation. But they were able to get another company, Dow AgroSciences, to agree to changes to an herbicide it has on the market. Those changes will protect their fields, the farmers say.

Monsanto officials “have just dug their feet in,” said Steve Smith, chairman of the Save Our Crops group.

“I’m not here to be a salesman for Dow, but I’m here to stand up when people do the right thing,” he said. “Dow did.”

The trouble concerns two herbicides, 2,4-D and dicamba. Both have been used for more than 40 years in small amounts, but are about to get a lot more popular.

New corn and soybean varieties genetically modified to withstand these herbicides are expected to be approved in the next few years. The federal comment period for one, 2, 4-D, ended on March 11.
These vegetable farmers have no problems with GM crops. Rather, the veggie farmers are concerned about a much older problem with the herbicides — something called drift.

Drift occurs when pesticides sprayed to kill weeds in one field waft into neighboring fields, damaging and killing nearby crops. In California in 2012, herbicide sprayed in the San Joaquin Valley drifted and damaged cotton fields 100 miles away.

The new corn and soybean varieties are the latest versions of seed technology that have become hugely popular with U.S. farmers.

These latest seed varieties are resistant to stronger herbicides to which the weeds haven’t yet built up resistance.

If the regulatory process continues without hiccups, Dow is about a year away from the first sales of its Enlist corn and soybeans, resistant to the herbicide 2,4-D.

Monsanto is estimated to be about two years away from selling Roundup Ready 2 Extend corn and soy. These are resistant to the herbicide dicamba.

Both herbicides mimic a naturally occurring plant growth hormone. “The plant literally grows itself to death,” said Franklin Egan a research ecologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service.

The new seeds will be a boon to conventional soybean and corn farmers. Environmental and organic groups decry a potential increase in the use of herbicides overall. But farmers who trade in broadleaf vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes, squash, beans and peas are especially worried.

When the farmers first started hearing about the new GM crops, and the herbicides they would be used with, “it was a huge red flag,” said Save Our Crops’ Smith.

Both 2,4-D and dicamba are known to drift. While today they’re used in relatively small amounts, Dow’s Enlist and Monsanto’s Roundup Ready 2 Extend products could easily mean tens of thousands of farmers switching to the new seed to deal with glyphosate-resistant weeds.

The herbicides are applied to fields as a liquid, from rigs pulled by tractors, said USDA’s Egan. “The vast majority falls straight to the ground but a small fraction can move as water droplets carried by the wind. An even smaller fraction can evaporate and move as a gas,” he said.

“It’s like the blob that ate Tokyo,” said Smith. It just oozes along and when it touches down it kills the plants it touches.

Farmers feared with millions more acres being sprayed with these drift-prone chemicals, their vegetable fields will be in danger. While the new genetically modified varieties of corn and soybean will resist the herbicides, their vegetables won’t.

“You have a lot of crops that are sensitive to these herbicides,” said Neil Rhodes, director of the herbicide stewardship program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. With vegetable farmers facing the prospect of a much larger area being sprayed with them in coming years, “I’m not surprised they’re concerned.”

Egan agrees. Vegetable farmers in the Midwest, where large amounts of corn and soybeans are grown, will be at “high risk” because they’ll be in close proximity to fields being sprayed with 2,4-D and dicamba, he said.

Source: Natural Cures Not Medicine

Organic Farmers Demand USDA Intervention Over GMO Contamination

(Reuters) - Growing crops free from contamination by genetically modified crops and the pesticides used on those biotech versions is getting more difficult and more costly for U.S. farmers, and new government rules to control contamination are needed, according to report issued on Monday by an environmental organization and an organic food group.

Based on information from 268 farmers from 17 U.S. states, the report said more than 30 percent of farmers seeking to grow organic crops reported that unintended GMO presence has been found or suspected on their farms, according to the report by Food & Water Watch and the Organic Farmers' Agency for Relationship Marketing (OFARM).

The report comes as the U.S. Department of Agriculture is taking public comments on a plan for "enhancing co-existence" of non-GMO and GMO crops. The public comment period ends March 4.
Farmers trying to grow non-GMO crops have to take many steps and spend sometimes several thousands of dollars to try to protect their crops from the GMO crops that have become pervasive across the United States, the groups said.

"The risks and the effects of GMO contamination have unfairly burdened organic and non-GMO farmers with extra work, longer hours and financial insecurity," the report states.

Industry proponents of biotech crops had no immediate comment on the report, but have stated in the past that they are supportive of efforts to try to maintain separation of non-GMO and GMO crops, but they see economic losses as individual private risks.

The level of contamination of non-GMO crops by GMO crops is an area of concern because some foreign buyers of U.S. crops will not accept genetically modified versions. Some domestic buyers also want only non-GMO. Contamination can cause financial loss when buyers reject loads that test positive for GMO presence.

Last summer, an Oregon wheat farmer found an unapproved type of biotech wheat developed by Monsanto Co growing in his field. Some foreign wheat buyers temporarily suspended purchases of U.S. wheat because of fears of contamination of their shipments.

Separately, a Washington state alfalfa farmer had a load of his alfalfa rejected for export after it became contaminated with a commercially approved type of biotech alfalfa also developed in part by Monsanto.

The USDA has said it is investigating the wheat contamination but not the alfalfa case. The agency does not track reports of contamination of non-GMO crops by GMO crops approved for commercial use, according to USDA spokesman Richard Bell. The agency only tracks that information when the contamination is connected to a biotech crop not yet approved for commercial release, he told Reuters.

Food & Water Watch is calling for USDA to start tracking and analyzing incidences of contamination and associated economic losses at all levels of the supply chain. And the group also is asking for USDA to require GMO crop growers to create buffer zones between their fields and non-GMO farm fields, and hold biotech seed companies financially accountable for losses associated with GMO contamination.

Monsanto introduced genetically modified crops in 1996 and since then many companies have been selling a range of genetically engineered crops that resist Roundup herbicide and fight off harmful pests.

Global Twitter Storm To Support Professor Seralini’s Unethically Retracted Rat Study On GMO Danger

On March 2nd at 5 pm PST, please join a global show of unity for Professor Giles Seralini and the infamous rat study that proved the detrimental harm that GMOs cause and  help the #SupportSeralini twitter storm. We will be tweeting the #SupportSeralini hashtag alongside the #Oscars hashtag to raise as much awareness for the unethical and unwarranted retraction perpetrated by a former Monsanto executive. Join the event here:

The March Against Monsanto and The Anti Media facebook pages will have tons of memes to be shared in addition to the following list of sample tweets and links to research and articles that support Professor Seralini's work:

How to silence independent scientists? Ask Monsanto. #SupportSeralini

Genetic Fallacy: How Monsanto Silences Scientific Dissent #SupportSeralini

2 year GMO Study battles to exist. #SupportSeralini

GMO Rat Study pushed in reverse. #SupportSeralini

Dr. OZ Speaks about about Seralini Rat Study. #SupportSeralini

Seralini fights back! Say NO to the retraction of the 2 year GMO Study! #SupportSeralini

Video en Français Seralini au sein du Parlement Européen

Séralini au Parlement Européen (28/11/2013) - Elsevier retire l'étude sur les OGM #SupportSeralini

‪#‎mustRead‬ How EFSA dealt with French GM study: what lessons ? #SupportSeralini

Industry’s bullying finally worked: Séralini study on GM maize and Roundup retracted #SupportSeralini

How the Food Lobby killed long-term studies effect about ‪#‎GMO‬ #SupportSeralini

Scientific studies are broken, censorship on what can be published and what cannot be published, Seralini paid the high price #SupportSeralini

EFSA's final report on Seralini fans flames of controversy #SupportSeralini

Pesticide evaluations dishonest and misleading, new study shows - GMO Seralini: #SupportSeralini ‪#‎GMOs‬ ‪#‎pesticides‬

Breaking News!: Global scientists condemn retraction of Séralini study - #GMO #SupportSeralini ‪#‎FCT‬ ‪#‎RoundUp‬

Séralini study retraction intended to shut down possibility of long-term GMO tests forever : #SupportSeralini #GMO

GMO food safety – Seralini and Zhu: Double standards? - GMO Seralini: #SupportSeralini #FCT #GMO

‪#‎Seralini‬ Study retracted by FCT Journal - ‪#‎Monsanto‬ Associate Editor pulls the strings!: #SupportSeralini #GMO

Unethical Journal Retraction Fuels Mistrust in GMO Science! #SupportSeralini #GMO

Glyphosate. The Cause Of Celiac Epidemic?

by Tami Canal

Celiac disease and gluten intolerance are a rising problem with an estimated 350 million suffering from symptoms including nausea, diarrhea, skin rashes and depression. It is a multifactorial disease associated with numerous nutritional deficiencies and reproductive issues as well as an increased risk of kidney failure, thyroid disease and cancer.

New studies are pointing to glyphosate, the main component in Monsanto's best selling herbicide Round Up, as the culprit. In the Journal of Interdisciplinary Toxicology (Vol. 6(4): 159-184) Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff point to the pervasive use of glyphosate as a crop desiccant which is infiltrating the food supply and making people sick. Glyphosate is used on all grain crops, rice, seeds, dried beans and peas, sugar cane, sweet potatoes and sugar cane.

Samsel and Seneff have conducted extensive research on the known effects of glyphosate as well as the known pathologies of Celiac disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and gluten intolerance. Chemical and biological pathways have been discovered that point to glyphosate as the cause including the breakdown in junctions of the intestinal wall, depletion of vital nutrients and minerals, and disruption of the gut bacteria.

Despite a dramatic outcry from the public, this past July the EPA raised the maximum allowable residues of glyphosate allowed in food. It has been speculated this was done to accommodate levels already present. The rise in tolerance levels for glyphosate residue came as a result of a petition prepared by Monsanto in early 2012.

While the FDA did not perform independent tests on whether higher residue levels of glyphosate were dangerous to humans or the environment, it relied on tests and data provided by Monsanto.

Dr. Samsel and Dr. Seneff have concluded their research with a plea for government to reconsider policies surrounding the safety of glyphosate and human consumption.

March Against Monsanto: It’s More Than Just GMO

by Tami Canal

Many presume the March Against Monsanto is a protest about GMO. While food plays a very big role in the global protest, there are many insidious tentacles to the biotech giant. MAM strives to expose the deep corruption and connect the dots. From Blackwater to Agent Orange, to protest GMO as the only wrong of Monsanto is to shake the leaves of the tree. MAM seeks to destroy the root.

Blackwater and Monsanto

Blackwater became notorious during the Iraq war for its mercenaries' violence against Iraqi civilians and their unaccountability to local or military law. Blackwater's most notorious incident took place on Sept. 16, 2007 in Baghdad's Nisour Square, which was bustling with pedestrians and motorists, when Blackwater personnel escorting a supply convoy opened fire and fatally shot at least 17 civilians and wounded at least 20 others. The company claims its employees did nothing wrong.

Why would Monsanto purchase an entity that trains mercenaries?

Cofer Black, known for his brutality as one of the directors of the CIA, was the one who made contact with Monsanto in 2008 as director of Total Intelligence, entering into the contract with the company to spy on and infiltrate organizations of animal rights activists, anti-GM and other dirty activities of the biotech giant. Contacted by Scahill, the Monsanto executive Kevin Wilson declined to comment, but later confirmed to The Nation that they had hired Total Intelligence in 2008 and 2009, according to Monsanto only to keep track of “public disclosure” of its opponents. He also said that Total Intelligence was a “totally separate entity from Blackwater.” However, Scahill has copies of emails from Cofer Black after the meeting with Wilson for Monsanto, where he explains to other former CIA agents, using their Blackwater e-mails, that the discussion with Wilson was that Total Intelligence had become “Monsanto’s intelligence arm,” spying on activists and other actions, including “our people to legally integrate these groups.” Total Intelligence Monsanto paid $ 127,000 in 2008 and $ 105,000 in 2009.

To silence those who speak in opposition of the biotech corporation is not enough for Monsanto. Sounding like a plot to a science fiction movie, Monsanto truly seems hell bent on world domination.

Climate Corp. and Monsanto

In 2013, Monsanto purchased Climate Corporation for $1.1 billion.  Monsanto is positioning this acquisition as part of a longer-term recovery plan, hoping that Climate Corporation’s climate change monitoring technology will help Monsanto manage future risk better.  It is noteworthy that there are currently more than 500 ‘climate ready’ genetically modified plant gene patents awaiting licensing approvals in Washington and Brussels. ‘Climate Ready’ GM seeds and plants are promised by their creators to be capable of producing a crop under both flood and drought conditions.

It is absolutely fascinating how many people do not know about HAARP and weather modification. HAARP is a large 180 antennae grid across the world that projects powerful electromagnetic pulses to heat a specific point in the earth’s ionosphere. This has the effect of creating electromagnetic frequencies that can be bounced back to earth at desired locations, causing major disruption to weather and geophysical elements, even deep underground. Up to 3.6 billion watts can be generated by HAARP, heating the ionosphere to over 50,000 degrees and “lifting a 30 square kilometre area of the ionosphere, thereby changing localised pressure systems or even altering the route of jet streams.”
It can create any weather phenomena in almost any part of the world when desired. That includes long periods of drought, torrential rains, flooding, snow storms, ice storms, prolonged warming, prolonged cooling, tornadoes, and many other types of weather patterns.

Agent Orange

One of Monsanto's more sinister 'gifts' to the world is Agent Orange, a toxic herbicide sprayed by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War to defoliate jungle areas and expose enemy forces. Millions of gallons of the poison were dumped on U.S. troops as well as the Vietnam countryside leaving a legacy of birth defects and severe health issues that continue today through the offspring of those exposed. Although cancers, birth deformities, and other long-lingering ailments have plagued thousands of Americans and Vietnamese for FIVE decades, the U.S. government challenges any detrimental health effects associated with AO.

Although Monsanto is clearly the culprit of horrific war crimes, the biotech giant goes unpunished. While there are those dying from a war they weren't alive to serve in, Monsanto does not even acknowledge accountability.

Big Pharma and Pfizer

The rabbit hole really takes an interesting turn when the link between Big Pharma, Pfizer and Monsanto is explored. Did you know Pfizer owns Monsanto?

Studies have linked GMO and glyphosate to an array of diseases and afflictions including sterility, infertility, Parkinson's Disease, autism, and many others. GMO fed pigs are born with horrible deformities. Hamsters fed a GMO diet are sterile by the third generation. GMO and glyphosate have been linked to leaky gut syndrome and the shocking rise of food allergies

.Although studies proving the link to GMO, glyphosate and serious adverse health affects are overturned- whether by Monsanto placing a former employee in a position to do so, i.e. Richard Goodman, or the firing of scientists who speak out against what can only be described as the largest science experiment conducted on mankind- the question for those capable of seeing beyond media propaganda has to be: Is Monsanto using GMO to make us sick so Pfizer can sell the anecdote to make us better?

Government Corruption

In 2007, then Senator Barack Obama ran on a platform that promised "immediate" GMO labeling so families could know what they were eating. In the 7 years since this fabrication, Obama has created a position of power for Michael Taylor, former Monsanto VP, annointing him as the person ultimately responsible for food safety as FDA Deputy Commissioner.

In 2013, Obama also signed The Monsanto Protection Act. The population was expected to believe this was for the good of the country as it was deceptively attached to a bill that prevented the federal government shutdown in March of last year. Obama promised GMO labeling to get into office and then gave judicial immunity to the largest biotech corporation in the world.

At least Congress is there to look out for the good of the people, right? Wrong. A whole slew of the people's representation are notorious for voting in favor of Monsanto as well as accepting campaign contributions from the biotech bully. How did your representatives vote?

It is very unsettling to realize that those elected and put into power to abide by the will of the people are routinely selling out to Monsanto and their big checks.

To say March Against Monsanto is a GMO driven movement is not accurate. While GMO plays a role, Monsanto is a sinister company that has far reaching tentacles into every aspect of existence. MAM's goal is to shed light on the deep corruption and unite the world with the common ground that Monsanto is not good for the environment, the food supply, government, or the future sustainability of the planet. Please join the global protest and help rid the world of this malevolent corporation.  Find an event near you:


New York State Likely To Be Next In Quest For GMO Food Labeling

By Dan Flynn
Via Food Safety News

Labeling food containing genetically modified ingredients might be a federal issue at some point, but the states are not done with it yet. Next month, two state capitals within easy earshot of the major media outlets – Albany, NY, and Annapolis, MD – are going to be holding public hearings on serious GMO labeling bills.

Until those states and others make their own decisions, it’s unlikely that labeling advocates are going to want to turn decisions on the matter over to the much-maligned U.S. Congress.
Moving the GMO battle to Washington, D.C., is the idea of the powerful Grocery Manufacturers Association. It has enlisted  28 food and agricultural organizations to help persuade Congress to preempt the states with federal legislation making GMO labeling a more prescribed, but largely voluntary, pursuit.

The GMA coalition won expensive initiative battles over GMO labeling in 2012 and 2013 in California and Washington state, respectively. The cost of those victories, however, has the food and agricultural interests looking for a federal solution.

The GMA-led formation of the “Coalition for Safe Affordable Food” to try and keep the issue in D.C. was met with disdain by many labeling advocates. Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety, said the new coalition was organized to “steal away consumer choice in Congress.”
But Leah Wilkinson, director of ingredients, pet food, and state affairs for the American Feed Industry Association, and a member of the coalition, says there needs to be a “federal GMO labeling solution.”

“If a labeling solution is not agreed upon and even a few of the pending state initiatives are successful, the feed industry’s costs of doing business goes up, on-farm production costs go up, and ultimately the consumer pays the price, with no important information in hand,” Wilkinson says.
In reality, both sides have looked to Washington, D.C., for a solution for some time. The pro-labeling side got there first with federal legislation sponsored by U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and U.S. Rep Peter DeFazio (D-OR) to mandate national labeling of GMO foods.

At this point, the GMA-led group does not have specific legislation, but there is a list of elements that members want to see in their “solution.” These include:
  • No “patchwork” of 50 state GMO safety and labeling laws, meaning that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will continue as the nation’s authority.
  • Labeling should advance food safety and require safety, health and nutritional reasons for any mandated GMO labeling.
  • Standards should exist for voluntary labeling to inform consumers whether GE processing was or was not used.
  • FDA will define “natural” so that the term is used consistently.
“Foods made with genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) are safe and have a number of important benefits for people and our planet, said GMA President Pamela G. Bailey. “Our nation’s food safety and labeling laws should not be set by political campaigns or state and local legislatures, but by the FDA, the nation’s foremost food safety agency.”

Campaigning is expensive. GMA and its allies spent more than $70 million to defeat the initiatives in California and Washington state. A mix of organic, supplement and alternative medicine interests spent about one-third of that pushing their ill-fated ballot measures.

While the sides circle each other in Washington, D.C., play continues in the states. Both Maryland and New York are girding for debates that will get underway in earnest in March.

Last year, a GMO bill died late in the session in Albany. GMO bills are back in both the Empire State Senate and the Assembly. Bipartisan sponsorship by Democrat Linda Rosenthal in the Assembly and Republican Ken LaValle in the Senate on a bill that requires all GMO food sold in the state to be labeled will get hearings in both chambers, probably in late March.

Meanwhile, Maryland’s House Bill 1191, which is cross-filed as Senate Bill 0776, has been scheduled for a hearing before the Health and Government Operations Committee on March 11 at 1 p.m. The House/Senate measures require specified raw foods and packaged foods that are entirely or partially produced with GMO ingredients to be labeled.

© Food Safety News

Syngenta Develops Biotech Bandaid To Combat Escalating Rootworm Problem

by Tami Canal

As rootworm infestations scourge the Midwest, farmers are becoming desperate. Syngenta AG, looking to capitalize on the crisis, is pushing for sales of a new corn trait China won't even approve. Agrisure Duracade will be available for the first time this year in "limited qualities" after the USDA cleared it for sale and cultivation late last year. Syngenta, the world's largest crop chemicals company, fiercely defends the commercialization noting that there is a strong demand for a solution to an escalating rootworm problem.

Over the last few years, rootworms appear to be developing more and more of a resistance to the very pesticide designed to combat them. Bt Corn, introduced by Monsanto in 2003, is a specific type of corn bioengineered with pesticides directly into the gene. When ingested, it causes the intestines to rupture. Scientists have sounded an alarms throughout the biotech industry when published findings concluded that rootworms have evolved an ability to survive the corn's formidable defenses.

Syngenta claims Agrisure Duracade contains a unique protein to control corn rootworm. It has a different mode of action to the company’s existing pesticides. When combined these traits provide unmatched insect control, "USDA data show a tenfold reduction in Western corn rootworm beetle emergence and superior performance against all comparable traits'.

The question is raised how long can science trump nature? Bt Corn was once hailed as a "farmer's dream", and has proven ineffective as Mother Nature finds a way. Crops are being ravaged all over the Midwest and farmers are looking for the next fix. However, the planting of Duracade threatens new disruptions and millions of dollars in loss for global grain traders if the strain becomes mixed with the mainstream supply trade. Contamination of corn is the very reason China has rejected a total of 600,000 tons of corn and corn products from the U.S, hurting prices and providing the most recent example of GMO use disrupting agriculture trade.

The FDA has assured the safety of Duracade after consultations in February stating that the trait "is as safe as conventional corn". Given the profit to be made, one can surmise that it won't be long before Duracade corn is in every grocery store in the country.