Argentinian Town Ravaged by Cancer Stands Up to Mass Pesticide Sprayings

The nation of Argentina has been a magnet for new genetically modified soy, corn and other monoculture farming practices, and it hasn’t been easy on many of the local people.

One town in particular that has been suffering is Monte Maiz in Cordoba, Argentina, where the director of the local hospital, Hugo Betiol, announced in 2005 that he had noticed a dramatic spike in cancer cases locally which may in fact be linked to heavy sprayings of crops in the region.

Cases of lupus and malformations in children have also been on the rise according to this article on GMWatch.org. A large number of spontaneous abortions in the area were also documented as well.

maizz

The town of Monte Maz, Argentina. PHOTO: Trip-Suggest.com

New Ordinances Passed 

According to the GMWatch article, the town has unanimously adopted a new ordinance that sets the limit on pesticide sprayings and also bans the storage of these dangerous agrochemicals within its borders.

As noted by those in the town, however, working to make sure the restrictions are actually followed is going to be “much harder” than simply passing the law.

That being said, the ordinance is a victory for the people of the town, who have already suffered greatly under the system of GMO crops and chemicals that has been foisted upon them.

As noted in this article, a five-fold increase of cancer has been found.

Citizens have come together in an attempt to raise awareness about these problems, however, and created advocacy and action groups with the hopes of curtailing or even stopping the sprayings. The hope now is that this ordinance can at least curb some of the out-of-control harm that is being done to the town’s citizens while also shedding light on the dangers of these chemicals on a wider scale.

What has happened to the citizens of Monte Maiz has led to some journalists to call the town a “poster child” for the dangers of GMO crops and the large amounts of agrochemicals that come with them, agrochemicals that the crops are designed to withstand.

For more on the ordinance and what led to its passing, check out the original article here.

Nick Meyer writes for March Against Monsanto and the website AltHealthWORKS.com

Taxpayer Funded GM Cereal Crop Successfully Produces Fish Oil In Its Seeds

Fish oil supplements are some of the most popular on the market, especially since they’re a source of Omega 3s that many people aren’t getting enough of each day.

But now a British company is taking fish oil where it’s never been before: inside the seeds of a plant.

According to this article in The Independent, the crop was funded by the government and took place at Rothamsted Research in Hertfordshire next to a failed GM wheat trial conducted last month.

greener pro

Camelina. PHOTO/Greenerpro.com

Extra Genes Added to New GM Crop

The crop was genetically engineered with up to seven extra genes involved in the manufacturing of Omega 3 oils in water-based algaes, which are often eaten in wild fish.

The goal of the trial is to find alternative ways to feed farmed fish so that they end up with more of the Omega 3s in their diet, which usually come from anchovies, sand eels or other natural sources. But will these farmed fish actually be healthy when it’s all said and done? Currently large numbers of farmed fish are fed an unnatural diet of genetically modified corn and soy pellets, and live in unsanitary and unnatural conditions that can cause them to become extraordinarily unhealthy by the time they reach your plate. The new GM crop is an attempt to allow the fish farming system to stay on its current path. 

Up to 15 percent of the oil in the GM crops turned out to be of the Omega 3 variety according to researchers.

Researchers said that it was one of the most complex trials ever carried out; the question is whether consumers actually want it and what the unintended health effects may be down the line.

The crop grown was camelina, also known as “false flax.” For more on the trial check out the original article here.

For more on bizarre GMO experiments that were never authorized by the public including human genes in rice and much more, check out this article as well.

New GMO Wheat Trial in the UK a Colossal Failure; Taxpayers Foot the Bill

 

What benefits do genetically modified crops give to the consumer?

That’s still a question that hasn’t been answered, or proven for that matter.

And yet the GMO experiment has continued on the taxpayers’ dime, both in the United States and recently in the United Kingdom where an experimental GMO wheat trail has been described as a disappointment by researchers.

The trial, conducted by the Rothamsted Research organization in the UK, wasted £1 million of taxpayers’ money on a type of GM wheat that was engineered with synthetic genes designed to mimic a distress signal from aphids.

The hope was that the aphids would be repelled from the wheat, with the goal of reducing insecticide use on the crops according to the website GMWatch.org.

gmo aphid

Aphid control solutions exist without expensive, untested GMOs.

Insects Adapt; Is Anyone Surprised?

According to the GMWatch article the insects adapted quickly and were not bothered by the distress signal after time. One type of aphid even adapted before the experiment ever left the lab.

GMWatch also noted that there has been an agroecological, non-GMO solution to the aphid problem shown to work since the mid-90s. The approach simply utilized native predators by supporting their habitats with flower strips around the field; aphid-repelling pheromone strips were also utilized. 

As for this type of GMO wheat it’s worth noting that no safety studies have been done, and that there is no market currently for GM wheat despite companies including Monsanto continuing to push for it.

But when there’s money to be made as Biotech companies often do by pushing these crops on unsuspecting folks who don’t want them, these types of risky, unnecessary experiments tend to continue.

The full results of the Rothamsted researchers about the GMO wheat failure can be read hereNick Meyer writes for MAM and the website AltHealthWORKS. Find them on Facebook by clicking here

How Africa Can Solve Malnutrition Without Any “Help” From Monsanto

For countless decades the powers of the world have looked at Africa with hungry eyes, seeking to tap into and exploit the continent’s vast resources.

In years past it was the conversion of staple food craps to cash crops (such as cocoa) but in the 21st century things have become a bit more coded.

The Monsanto Company and its GM seeds with restrictive contracts, as well as chemicals, have become a new form of imperialism disguised as providing help to indigenous populations around the world.

Lately, the powers-that-be have been focused on Africa as their new target, with hopes of introducing more and more GM seeds (through “charity” outfits like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) and eventually foisting them on unwilling and unsuspecting farmers and peasants.

The constant refrain is that Africa needs GMOs to feed their starving population, but this new paradigm has been met with stiff opposition in countries across the continent.

The prevailing thought among those in the know is that Africa has more than enough resources and manpower to feed its population in time, provided that the right resources go to the right people, of course.

africa farming

Africa’s farming could benefit greatly from increased leafy green production to combat malnutrition.

Feeding Africa Without Monsanto’s Help

According to recent research, there are plenty of untapped superfoods growing across Africa that can help combat malnutrition in ways GMOs could never dream of touching.

For example the superfood moringa, from the moringa tree, has “more vitamin A than carrots, seven times more vitamin C than oranges, and twice the protein of cow’s milk, per 100 grams” according to Kenyan horticulturalistMary Abukutsa-Onyango.

Moringa is just one example of a bursting ecosystem of highly nutritious greens that are capable of growing well in Africa. 

According to Abukutsa-Onyango, Kenyan farmers planted 25% more of these types of foods to meet demand from 2011-2013, and awareness is increasing among Africans who seek these types of highly nutritious native “superfoods.”

For more info on feeding Africa without Monsanto’s help and what the real challenges are, check out this excellent article in Mother Jones from Tom Philpott by clicking here.

Can the American Farming System Handle the Skyrocketing Demand for Non-GMO Foods?

As evidenced by May’s March Against Monsanto and the protest movement against GMOs at the grocery store and farmer’s markets, demand for non-GMO and organic food is skyrocketing.

But as more and more companies and products go non-GMO, will the American farming system be able to handle all of these requests?

Or will companies resort to bending the rules and passing off the same “conventional” ingredients as something they’re not?

Recent reports have suggested that America has been forced to import everything from Romanian corn to grass-fed Australian beef in order to keep up with demand.

While challenges do exist, consumers should be delighted to know that the supply is finally catching up to the demand.

Suppliers have been stocking up on Non-GMO grains to meet demand.

Suppliers have been stocking up on Non-GMO grains to meet demand.

American Non-GMO Supply Catching Up

According to this article from the Iowa-based Organic & Non-GMO Report website and newsletter, the non-GMO grain supply is now up 25 percent, while demand is up 15-20 percent.

“I don’t think there is a danger of non-GMO supplies running out,” says Lynn Clarkson in the article, the president of Clarkson Grain.

Further into the article it is revealed that there has been an astounding 80 percent growth in the demand for non-GMO and organic food recently, according to Kara VanKleek, marketing director at CHS, Inc. which supplies Non-GMO Project Verified soy flours, flakes and oils.

Soy flour in particular has been in high demand because of its status as a well known GMO-tainted food product.

While much progress has been made there is still work to do, especially in terms of helping cities and towns that still have virtually no non-GMO options available, including restaurants and sellers of packaged foods. 

For more information on the continuing rise of non-GMO foodstuffs in the United States and the incredible demand being generated, check out the full article here from the Non-GMO & Organic Report.

Nick Meyer writes for the website AltHealthWORKS.com and March Against Monsanto, check out his Facebook page here

Neil Young Monsanto Protest Album Now Streaming Live- Listen Here

Whether it’s been the rise of corporate influence in music and entertainment or racism and everything in between, rock legend Neil Young has always been on the cutting edge of musical protest.

Young has a long history of music with a purpose, and his latest album with the band Promise of the Real titled ‘The Monsanto Years’ continues that lineage, with songs taking on the highly controversial GMO crop giant Monsanto as well as Wal-Mart wages and other key issues of our time.

Young’s album will be officially released on June 29, 2015, but he has recently decided to make it available online via live stream.

Click here for a live stream preview of Young’s album, which features songs such as ‘A Rock Star Bucks a Coffee Shop (sample lyrics below)':

monsanto years album

“If you don’t like to rock Starbucks a coffee shop
Well you better change your station ’cause that ain’t all that we got
Yeah, I want a cup of coffee but I don’t want a GMO
I like to start my day off without helping Monsanto”

“Monnnnnn-sannnnnn-toooooooo
Let our farmers grow what they want to grow”

Young is also currently touring across the country; dates can be found by clicking on his website here.

You can also order his CD on his website or by clicking on this link.

Considering his support for our cause, supporting his new CD and tour are the least we can do. Enjoy!

Pope Francis Speaks Out on Environmental, Other Damages Caused by GMOs

For years many people have wondered about the stances of religious organizations on genetically modified organisms, which are lab-created foods by Monsanto and other companies that would not occur in nature.

Recently, Pope Francis of the Catholic Church let the world know where he stands in an Italian interview.

“It is difficult to give an overall judgment on the development of genetically modified organisms (GMO), plant or animal, for medical purposes or in agriculture, since they can be very different and require different considerations,” he said.

Of course it’s interesting to note that the FDA originally said that GMOs, while unique enough to be awarded a patent, are “substantially equivalent” to regular crops, a lie that allowed a swift deregulation of them in America.

The Pope continued, casting doubt on the impacts of the crops and a call to attention as to how they’re being used by large corporations according to this article by the website Sustainable Pulse.

pope francis gmo

“The spread of these (GM) crops destroys the complex web of ecosystems, decreases diversity in production and affects the present and the future of regional economies,” he said. 

“In several countries there is a trend in the development of oligopolies in the production of seeds and other products needed for cultivation, and the dependence deepens when you consider the production of sterile seeds, which end up forcing farmers to buy (seeds) from producers.”

For more on Pope Francis’ comments including what he says about man meddling too much with nature and the vicious cycle it creates, check out the Sustainable Pulse article here.

 

 

Remember the Monsanto Protection Act? It’s Back, and Worse Than Ever Before

The Monsanto Protection Act became one of the most infamous pieces of legislation in recent U.S. history, prompting a massive backlash in 2014.

But now a new bill disguised as a “GMO labeling” act has been introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo, causing one major consumer group to label it perhaps even worse than the Monsanto Protection Act.

According to the Center for Food Safety, Rep. Pompeo’s bill has been greatly expanded to actually prohibit all labeling of GMO foods, while making it unlawful for states of local governments to restrict GM crops in any way.

The bill, H.R. 1599, will be discussed at a House hearing on Thursday.

“The Monsanto Protection Act is back, and it’s even worse than before. This bill would strip away a state or local government’s basic rights of local control, and hands the biotech industry everything it wants on a silver platter. No Member of Congress that cares about the rights and concerns of his or her constituents should support this bill,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director at Center for Food Safety in this press release from the CFS.

PHOTO: Common Dreams/OCA

PHOTO: Common Dreams/OCA

 

State, Local Laws Undermined

The center also said that the bill would further weaken the federal regulation of GM crops while also forbidding local communities to create laws against them, such as the recent ban in Jackson County, Oregon.

Other similar ordinances have passed in Hawaii, California and Washington State, but would be voided under the bill, which has been dubbed the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act.

The bill would “undemocratically nullify” GM crop regulations that have been on the books in across the country for years.

For more on the “New Monsanto Protection Act” check out the press release here.

Vitamin Water – Not What You Think

The advertising claims it is healthy, the ingredients speak otherwise. Here are some of the facts coming from around the internet. Please click through the links and like the posts on the source blogs.

First, let me point out that this product contains NO juice. None. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s factor in that one bottle of Vitamin Water is 2.5 servings, therefore, nutrional information should be adjusted accordingly (unless you’re really only going to drink less than half of the bottle at at time). That makes one bottle of Vitamin Water contain 125 calories and 33 grams of sugar. (Remind me again why they try to call this a form of “water”?) That’s more calories and sugar than a 12 ounce serving of Coke (12 oz of coke equates 110 calories and 30 grams of sugar). Now, Coke contains high fructose corn syrup and is not fortified, but nutritionally, you’re still getting sugar and calories from both drinks.

Because vitamins are added to a beverage, does that make it healthy? Vitamins can’t undo the sugars and additives in a beverage, and you are much better off gaining these nutrients from your diet (or a multi vitamin if necessary). Of course adding vitamins to a drink doesn’t do any actual harm, but it confuses consumers into thinking that the beverage is a healthy choice.[1]The Truth About Vitamin Water, Healthy Eating, Naturally

A correction on the sugar content for Coke. A 12 ounce can contains 39 grams of sugar. 12 ounces of Vitamin Water is going to be 20 grams of sugar.


But the thing that mad me maddest about the Vitamin Water was not that it’s bad for you (most bottled drinks are) but that its advertising is so dishonest and devious. The drink isn’t “vitamins + water,” it’s a few vitamins + processed sugar + distilled water. And if ballerinas ran around drinking this stuff as if it were water, they’d have trouble fitting into their tutus.

It seems like people are buying this stuff because of the idea: a wonderful tasting drink that makes me think I’m hydrating and fueling my body! And the label tells me I’m smart and uses a really cute sans-serif font! At least Coke sells its soda on the idea that it’s fun to drink, not on false premises.[2]Vitamin Water: Just Plain Bad For You, Brood

Considered a “Toxic Drink”

The article at Living Traditionally [3]Vitamin Water: Perhaps One of the Most Toxic “Health” Drinks of the Century, Living Traditionally brings a critical eye to what the sugars and vitamins are:

Crystalline Fructose

Crystalline fructose is produced by allowing the fructose to crystallize from a fructose-enriched corn syrup. So basically, it is made from corn syrup, and not only corn syrup, but “fructose enriched” corn syrup. Crystalline Fructose contains 99.5% minimum of fructose assay, which is a greater higher percentage of fructose than what makes up high fructose corn syrup. Crystalline fructose may be contaminated with arsenic, lead, chloride and heavy metals. This type of fructose leads to increased belly fat, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome. Large amount of fructose can create a fatty liver and cirrhosis as it can not be processed completely in the liver. The fructose interferes and alters the metabolic process in our cells, which causes oxidative damage.

Synthetic Vitamins

Synthetic vitamins are useless in our bodies as they are often synthetic derivatives that aren’t readily broken down, absorbed and utilized by the body. Synthetic vitamins are super-processed. They are usually manufactured at high temperatures and contain artificial or toxic ingredients, such as dyes, preservatives, coal tars, sugars, starch, and other additives.

Organic Consumers warns people against these chemically produces vitamins as they can consist of petrochemical derivatives, nicotine and coal tars (by-products of coal). Additionally, some Vitamins such as A and E are not water soluble (that means that your body cannot flush out the excess). Thus, taking more than needed is very dangerous for your health. It leads to toxic built up and consequently to health problems. Synthetic Vitamins havebeen shown to leach nutrients like calcium and magnesium out of the bones.

Artificial Colors

Artificial food coloring is a serious problem both for children and adults. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, all of these contain potential cancer-causing chemicals and most of them can potentially cause severe allergic reactions.

Shocking Charts Reveal Who Really Owns Monsanto Company

You can find out a lot of shocking things when you follow the money, as any good journalist would do.

Recently, the health website Natural Society did just that in regards to Monsanto and found some pretty shocking information on who really owns the company.

While CEO Hugh Grant and major shareholder Bill Gates get most of the scrutiny and negative attention, Natural Society found that the real owners of Monsanto stock are large institutions, with five of them holding the top spots.

 

monsanto shareholders

The top one is the Vanguard Group, Inc., with over $3 billion worth of stock, as shown in the chart below. 

ns mon

Among individuals, the top shareholder is actually William U. Parfet, a Michigan-based chairman of the board, CEO and president of MPI Research, Inc. which is an early stage drug development contract research laboratory, believe it or not.

He’s also on the board for a large medical services company called the Stryker Corporation, which raises the question: why is such a highly influential man within the drug and medical services industries the top shareholder for Monsanto?

For more on what all this could mean and to see the list of top individual shareholders, check out the original Natural Society article here.

Did you know that Monsanto is also considering a name change to escape the white hot spotlight cast on them by activists and movements like MAM? Read more in this article

 

Infest The Festival with Anti-GMO information

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