Today I received this excellent Monsanto History infographic. It is jam packed with the history of one of the most evil corporations on the face of the planet. I was asked to share it with my readers, and I am quite happy to do so! Here is the link for the full view. Thanks, Elly!
24 Jun 2015 Leave a comment
This is a guest post from Maria Ramos about some films that are important for fully understanding some pretty unpleasant issues with the food supply.
The opinions expressed are not necessarily in line with my thinking on all things, but I do think that it is important for people to understand that a lot of heinous things go into cheap food production. I do not support animal rights groups, but I also do not support inhumane treatment of animals. Generally, those who own and raise their own meat, eggs and dairy products, and then sell the excess to others, treat their stock with decency and dignity as the well being of the livestock is paramount to their own well being.
I must extend my sincere apologies to Maria as after a rewrite or two this fell through the cracks in my life and I failed to post it. While it is no excuse, I have been largely consumed with a spiraling vortex of equipment failures and my seriously ailing father.
Without further adieu:
Factory Farming Documentaries You Should Watch
To the average consumer, factory farms are not really even on the radar. To some, they are merely places in where food is made. Too often, not much thought is given to the processes used to produce our food. However, in recent years, a number of documentaries have shined a light on the appalling state of these factory farms, from the impact they have on the environment and consumers to the cruelty often inflicted on these food animals. The following five films are a must-watch for those who are concerned about factory farming and the methods often used to provide us with food.
Although this documentary has its comedic moments, Vegucated takes a serious look at the factory farming industry. In this film, three meat-eating New Yorkers agree to eat a vegan diet for six weeks. While the allure of better health and a smaller waistline is enticing to the trio, they soon discover the horrifying conditions under which food animals are raised, and learn it’s possible to make change in the world through the foods we choose.
Indigestible: The Film (2014)
This documentary showcases the cruel conditions under which animals are too often being raised. As is explained in this short film, many people don’t even realize what happens to animals at factory farms — if they did, it would be difficult to continue eating meat. Thanks to hard-hitting footage and informative interviews with a variety of animal rights, environmental and agricultural experts, Indigestible exposes the truth. In order to have cheap meat, we all pay a much higher price in health, the environment and the devaluation of life.
Cock Fight (2015)
Cock Fight from the Fusion Network (check here for listings) is the story of small-time farmer Craig Watts, a man who decided to blow the whistle on the poultry industry. In this documentary, Watts takes a reporter inside the secret world of today’s corporate chicken farms and exposes horrifying conditions. In recent months, Watts filed a complaint against Perdue Farms — accusing them of intimidation. Apparently, the film hit a nerve with “Big Chicken,” perhaps due to its shocking expose of inhumane confinement techniques and rampant animal abuse, despite Perdue’s claims that their chickens are humanely raised (something that’s been challenged in the past).
Following along the same lines of Cock Fight (and also featuring farmer Craig Watts), Dirty Birds is a PBS documentary about the poultry farming industry in the United States. This film exposes the suffering chickens undergo when raised in factories for the poultry industry. Chickens are shown limping, nearly devoid of all their feathers, packed into crowded confinement — far from the image most people have of most chicken farms.
From Farm to Fridge (2011)
Although this Mercy for Animals short film is only twelve minutes long, that’s all it takes to expose the horrifying conditions of industrial livestock production. The chickens, pigs, and cows used for food are subjected to a multitude of atrocities at the hands of workers, which is what this documentary aims to stop.
All of the documentaries on this list should be viewed by those who care how food is created. While the images you’ll see are not pleasant or easy to watch, they are often the reality under which factory farms are producing food.
If you are interested in getting quality meat, milk, and quality eggs, you must support your local farmers. If you aren’t already in touch with local farmers, go to http://www.eatwild.org or http://www.farmmatch.com and take control of your food, and therefore your health and the ability for more people to get and produce real food, with real integrity.
28 Apr 2015 Leave a comment
So 30,000 Argentinian doctors have shown they have much greater powers of observation than all the doctors at the FDA, USDA, AMA, CDC, and NIH combined. I don’t know, but I wonder if Argentina doctors have the same kind of nefarious relationship with big pharma as the doctors in the US do. Let’s not forget that Monsanto is 85% owned by Pfizer.
Here’s the article on the Argentinian doctors asking that glyphosate be banned:
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If the millions of regular people who have asked Monsanto to stop selling their toxic chemicals is not enough, more than 30,000 doctors and health professionals are asking that glyphosate be banned.
The doctors are part of FESPROSA, Argentina’s Union of medical professionals. Citing the World Health Organization’s recent declaration that the glyphosate chemicals used in Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide Round Up (formulated to use on Round Up Ready crops) are “likely carcinogenic,” they add an additional disclaimer:
Glyphosate is also associated with:
- Spontaneous abortions
- Birth defects
- Skin disease
- Respiratory illness
- Neurological disease
Where are the American doctors who can tell the WHO, and Monsanto the same thing? Instead of forcing Monsanto’s hand, other doctors have been retaliating against Dr. Oz who recently said that glyphosate was dangerous on world-wide television.
FESPROSA also explained:
“In our country glyphosate is applied on more than 28 million hectares. Each year, the soil is sprayed with more than 320 million litres, which means that 13 million people are at risk of being affected, according to the Physicians Network of Sprayed Peoples (RMPF). Soy is not the only crop addicted to glyphosate: the herbicide is also used for transgenic maize and other crops. Where glyphosate falls, only GMOs can grow. Everything else dies.”
The doctors also talk about vindicating one of their own:
“Our trade union, the Federation of Health Professionals of Argentina (FESPROSA), which represents more than 30,000 doctors and health professionals in our country, includes the Social Health Collective of Andrés Carrasco. Andrés Carrasco was a researcher at [Argentine government research institute] CONICET, who died a year ago, and showed the damage caused by glyphosate to embryos. For disseminating his research, he was attacked by the industry and the authorities at CONICET. Today, WHO vindicates him.”
With evidence like this – how can any biotech shill talk about genetically modified food being ‘safe’ when the primary chemicals sold to grow them are killing the people of entire countries?
02 Dec 2014 Leave a comment
Like a snake eating it’s own tail…so are the manipulations of the consolidated control aspects of USDA Approved agribusiness. China is rejecting GMO corn, so is Russia and about 60 other countries. Here in the US, we can’t get it labeled and if you eat prepared box foods or meat from the store, you are getting it whether you like it or not. What you don’t know can indeed harm you! But ADM, one of the largest ag market controlling entities, is actually suing Syngenta because China keeps refusing shipments of GMO contaminated corn. China (and ALL countries, but particularly those who are categorized as lesser developed countries by the WTO) have the right to exercise the Sanitary Phyto Sanitary clause of the WTO agreements and refuse this based on their own science based principles. I just find it really amusing that biotech is being sued by one of the biggest distributors in the world. And we can’t even get a label on food in stores….
(Two articles below, both linked to GM Watch in the title)
China has rejected the “vast majority of US corn shipments” because of the presence of Syngenta’s GMO MIR162
China’s barriers to imports of some US GM crops are disrupting seed companies’ plans for new product launches and keeping at least one variety out of the US market altogether.
1. In wake of China rejections, GMO seed makers limit U.S. launches
2. Archer Daniels Midland says GMO corn is killing U.S. exports to China
1. In wake of China rejections, GMO seed makers limit U.S. launches
By Tom Polansek
Reuters, 25 Nov 2014
China’s barriers to imports of some U.S. genetically modified crops are disrupting seed companies’ plans for new product launches and keeping at least one variety out of the U.S. market altogether.
Two of the world’s biggest seed makers, Syngenta AG and Dow AgroSciences, are responding with tightly controlled U.S. launches of new GMO seeds, telling farmers where they can plant new corn and soybean varieties and how can the use them. Bayer CropScience told Reuters it has decided to keep a new soybean variety on hold until it receives Chinese import approval.
Beijing is taking longer than in the past to approve new GMO crops, and Chinese ports in November 2013 began rejecting U.S. imports saying they were tainted with a GMO Syngenta corn variety, called Agrisure Viptera, approved in the United States, but not in China.
The developments constrain launches of new GMO seeds by raising concerns that harvests of unapproved varieties could be accidentally shipped to the world’s fastest-growing corn market and denied entry there. It also casts doubt over the future of companies’ heavy investments in research of crop technology.
The stakes are high. Grain traders Cargill Inc [CARG.UL] and Archer Daniels Midland Co, along with dozens of farmers, sued Syngenta for damages after Beijing rejected Viptera shipments, saying the seed maker misrepresented how long it would take to win Chinese approval.
In the weeks since Cargill first sued on Sept. 12, Syngenta’s stock has touched a three-year low. ADM in its lawsuit last week alleged the company did not follow through on plans for a controlled launch of Viptera corn.
Syngenta says the complaints are unfounded.
Bayer, told by Beijing in September that the new soybean seed, LL55, had not been approved for imports, says it will keep on trying, seven years after the company first filed its request. In the meantime, it will withhold the new seed. China granted its last import approval for any GMO grain in June 2013.
TEN YEAR EFFORT
“Our objective is to get the approval and the clearance from the Chinese authorities so that we can go into a full commercial launch as soon as possible,” said Frank Terhorst, global head of seeds for the company.
It can take up to 10 years and $150 million to develop new GMO seeds and further delays in Chinese approvals will raise concerns about Bayer’s future investment in new GMO products, Terhorst said.
The slowdown in Beijing’s regulatory process comes amidst growing consumer sentiment against GMO food in China and concerns amongst some government officials about excessive dependence on U.S. food supplies.
China is a key market for the $12 billion U.S. agricultural seeds business and for global grain traders and accounted for nearly 60 percent of U.S. soybean exports and 12 percent of corn exports two years ago. Nearly 90 percent of corn in the United States is genetically engineered, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as farmers embrace technology that helps kill weeds and fight pests.
It is a common practice to mix different corn varieties in storage and during transportation, so a lack of approval for one GMO variety can put at risk of rejection large shipments that include approved GMO grains.
The controlled releases by Dow and Syngenta aim to bring new GMO seeds to the U.S. market while assuring U.S. farmers and exporters that the harvests will not be rejected by countries that have not approved the GMO grain.
Dow AgroSciences this month said it will limit sales of its new genetically modified corn and soybeans next year while it waits for China’s approval. Farmers who grow the new Enlist corn must maintain isolation areas around their fields, use the corn only as livestock feed, and submit to audits of their compliance.
When Syngenta released its Agrisure Duracade corn this year, which is approved in the United States but not by China, it contracted grain handler Gavilon, owned by Japanese trading house Marubeni Corp, to oversee the launch. Gavilon assigned as many as six workers at its Omaha headquarters to keep Duracade out of markets where it had not been cleared, said Greg Konsor, general manager for grain operations.
At harvest, growers have to fill out canary-yellow tracking agreements where they identify themselves, their trucking firms and the destinations for their Duracade corn. The bright color is meant to tell buyers the shipments require special attention.
Iowa farmer Gary Vetter said that after he planted 240 acres of Duracade last spring, he received calls and certified mail from Gavilon checking on his compliance with restrictions aimed to keep the grain out of unapproved markets.
“No matter what, they want to know where the corn goes,” he said.
Controlled launches, however, are at best a temporary fix because they are costly, complicated and risk accidental contamination of other export grains, said Jim Sutter, chief executive of the U.S. Soybean Export Council.
“The long-term solution is to work with our partners in China and build confidence in the process in the way we want it to work,” he said. “Easier said than done.”
(Additional reporting by Niu Shuping in Beijing; Editing by David Greising and Tomasz Janowski)
2. Archer Daniels Midland says GMO corn is killing U.S. exports to China
By SABRINA CANFIELD
Courthouse News Service, 24 Nov 2014
The Archer Daniels Midland Company sued the developer of a genetically modified corn, accusing the company of intentionally stymieing United States exports to China.
In a lawsuit filed in the St. Charles Parish District Court in Louisiana, ADM says Syngenta Corporation sold GMO corn seed to farmers across the U.S. without undertaking reasonable “stewardship” practices designed to ensure genetically-modified seeds do not taint or become intermixed with the regular corn seed supply.
As a result, China has rejected the “vast majority of U.S. corn shipments” because of the presence of Syngenta’s GMO MIR162, which has become intermixed with regular corn seed.
Those safeguards are critical because China, a major importer of corn from the U.S., has not approved genetically-modified corn containing Syngenta’s MIR162 genetic trait, and won’t accept shipments containing so much as a trace of GMO corn.
Syngenta’s seed is sold under the brand names Viptera and Duracade.
According to ADM, which owns 200 grain elevators across the United States, Syngenta’s actions have cost corn exporters tens of millions of dollars in lost profits.
Until recently China had been a significant purchaser of U.S. grown corn, and Archer Daniels Midland Company sold and exported substantial volumes of corn to China. China is the second-largest corn consumer in the world.
The regular corn crop has been tainted as a result of cross-pollination, where the wind has blown pollen containing MIR162 onto fields where regular corn is planted, and also by channeling, where the modified corn is combined with regular corn at processing facilities.
Once it became apparent that MIR162 corn was tainting the regular corn supply, Syngenta was warned but took no measures to quarantine its crop which made $875 million in 2013 alone, the lawsuit says.
Archer Daniels Midland Company filed the lawsuit in St. Charles Parish because that where its two largest export grain terminals and elevators are located.
The U.S. is one of the world’s top corn exporters. In 2013, the U.S. exported 18.3 million metric tons of corn. That same year, China consumed roughly 24.5 percent of the world’s corn, making it the second largest corn consumer in the world and the third largest purchaser of U.S. exported corn.
When Syngenta’s GMO corn was approved by the USDA, Syngenta had promised to follow strict guidelines, and to force farmers to also follow guidelines, to ensure the MIR162 crop did not comingle with other crops.
But forcing farmers to participate in a stewardship process when using its corn seed would have made the seed less desirable, so Syngenta didn’t require it, the lawsuit says.
Additionally, Syngenta could have asked grain elevator operators to keep its corn separate so it wouldn’t intermingle with and taint regular corn, but Syngenta didn’t. Instead, Syngenta actually encouraged the cross-pollination of its GMO corn with regular crops by telling farmers to grow GMO and regular corn side by side, according to the lawsuit.
Until recently, Syngenta had a document on its website that purported to be an approval from the Chinese government of MIR126 to encourage corn seed buyers to believe China had finally approved the GMO when actually it has not.
As a result of Syngenta’s failure to implement reasonable stewardship actions, its genetically modified corn brands, Viptera and Duracade, have cross-pollinated with neighboring corn fields, including corn fields owned by farmers who did not purchase the GMO brands of seed. When the unknowing farmers sell their tainted corn at a grain elevator, MIR162 inadvertently enters the grain supply system.
After Archer Daniels Midland Company unknowingly purchased and comingled GMO corn with its grain supply, Archer Daniels Midland Company’s supply became tainted. This happened at all of Archer Daniels Midland Company’s 200 U.S. grain elevators, the company says.
As a result, corn Archer Daniels Midland Company has attempted to export to China has been refused by the Chinese government.
The parties did not reply to emailed requests for comment.
Archer Daniels Midland Company seeks damages for negligence and violations of the unfair trade practices and consumer protection acts.
Named defendants are Syngenta Corporation, Syngenta Seeds Inc. and Syngenta Crop Protection LLC.
The lawsuit was filed by Glenn Goodier of Jones Walker LLP in New Orleans.
12 Nov 2014 1 Comment
(This article is linked through the title at the top of the picture. This is not surprising news at all, but I contend that if there is a wholesale repudiation of GMO corn, where farmer’s refuse to grow it, that we could breed it out of existence over time. That is likely the only way to purify corn left to us. Soy is even worse than corn, although it isn’t quite as prolific in it’s cross pollination capacities. Planting real food in revolt is our best and most important effort. It won’t restore balance quickly, but we can’t stop the wind, so we have to do what we can or give up…Now, here’s the article.)
With each passing year, an increasing number of states are attempting to adopt GMO labeling laws amid the federal government’s resistance to allow you to know what’s in your food. With each victory, or even loss, we get stronger — and closer to making GMO labeling a reality. The sad reality, however, is that many experts say GMO labeling will not suffice in the overall fight against biotech due to the fact that GMO crops can easily contaminate nearby farms.
A new report finds that the GMO contamination issue is much more serious than previously thought, and the concerned experts couldn’t be more correct.
There have been numerous real-life cases of GMO contamination thus far, though most aren’t well known. One key example rests with Australian farmer Steve Marsh, an organic farmer who sued a neighboring farmer for compensation after his field of non-GMO wheat was contaminated by Michael Baxter’s RoundUp Ready canola seeds. He took his case to the Supreme Court of Western Australia and lost.
Another example of GMO contamination can be seen with an unapproved strain of genetically modified wheat discovered in Oregon. The Roundup Ready strain was nixed in 2005 when global resistance to Monsanto forced the company to stop working on it. It was never approved for use, let along growing and exporting.
The claim by the biotech industry that GMO crops can be contained and kept away from organic farmers who have chosen not to use genetically modified ‘suicide’ seeds has steadily been proven false. A third of organic growers are now reporting problems with cross contamination, according to one survey. More than 80% of farmers who participated in the survey are ‘concerned’ about the impact of genetic seeds. About 60% are ‘very concerned.’
One organic farmer, Oren Holle, blames the USDA’s loving relationship with Monsanto:
“…the USDA has been extremely lax and, in our opinion, that’s due to the excessive influence of the biotech industry in political circles.”
The newly released report outlining the prevalence of GMO contamination, which can be found in the International Journal of Food Contamination, reports that by the end of 2013 and since 1997, 396 incidents of GMO cross-contamination across 63 countries had been recorded. Many of which had involved GM rice.
The Paper Makes the Following Main Points:
- 1. GMO contamination is unavoidable and will happen no matter what through nature.
- 2. Contamination will even occur via field trials or illegal plantings. The report references 9 cases of contamination of unauthorized GMO crops which have bypassed environmental and food safety testing.
- 3. Genetically modified rice made up about 33% of the contamination cases by crop. This is despite the fact that as of December 2012, GM rice hasn’t even become widely available for production or consumption. There is a global absence of any commercial cultivation of GM rice. The authors suggest this figure might be related to the routine testing of imports of GM rice at national borders.
- 4. It is difficult to contain and halt contamination after it has already happened.
- 5. “From these data, it’s not clear what the main factors affecting contamination rates are. It’s not only the GM contamination itself (cross-pollination, mix-ups etc.) that contributes to the number of cases, but also the the testing regime (both routine and targeted). The highest rates of contamination are in imported foodstuffs to Germany but this is probably because they do a lot of testing. All EU countries have high rates because they report their findings of the RASFF database. The data for contamination exists – but not the factors to analyse what influences contamination.”
- 6. The researchers conclude that for most experimental GMOs, there is no protocol for testing, which makes detection for contamination extremely difficult.
The report concluded:
“The detection of GMO contamination is dependent on both routine and targeted monitoring regimes, which appears to be inconsistent from country to country, even within the EU. The lack of an analytical methodology for the detection of GM crops at the field trial stage (i.e. pre-commercialisation) can hamper efforts to detect any contamination arising from such GM lines.”
07 Nov 2014 2 Comments
Whether they claim it is because the food isn’t from a “certified” kitchen, or that feeding homeless people keeps them from getting into the social services programs that “help” them, the bottom line is that governments want people to look to government for all provision. I applaud this man for standing up for right and decency in the face of governmental stupidity and overreach. It still comes down to the consent of the governed. We outnumber them, and their control is exactly as strong as we allow it to be. Share this article, please. It is linked in the title to the original page:
Arnold Abbott cited for 2nd time
Arnold Abbott and his team of chefs set up shop Wednesday night on Fort Lauderdale Beach and dished out free food to the homeless. Uniformed police were also there recording the event.
“They didn’t have the gumption to move in on us. They were afraid, afraid of public opinion,” said Abbott.
But Abbott was ultimately confronted by cops in the middle of an interview with Local 6 sister station WPLG-TV. Abbott was escorted away in front of a large crowd of his supporters. Instead of whisking the 90-year old to jail, police decided to just fingerprint Abbott and issue him a citation on the spot.
“It’s our right to feed people, it’s our First Amendment right and I believe in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, and we should be allowed to feed our fellow man,” Abbott said.
After news broke of the first incident, Abbot said he’s received support from across the world.
“We’ve heard from every continent,” said Abbott. “The last I heard was from Kenya and Moscow. I’ve heard from South America, any number of people from Canada, three newspapers from the United Kingdom.”
Abbott was the first to be charged with a new ordinance that makes it a crime punishable by up to 60 days in jail to feed the homeless in public.
“I am both enthused and humbled,” Abbot said. “The good news is that there is pressure being put on the city of Fort Lauderdale to do something about a law that is not only unfair, it’s repressive.”
Mayor Jack Seiler, who supports the ordinance, said he’s gotten massive feedback as well. He said the law is meant to help the homeless, not to keep them from eating.
“Mr. Abbott has decided that he doesn’t think these individuals should have to have any interaction with government, that they should be fed in the parks. We disagree,” Seiler said.
Abbott said there aren’t adequate government services or food to deal with the homeless.
“What the city is doing by cutting out feeding is very simple — they are forcing homeless people to go Dumpster-diving all over again,” Abbott said. “They will steal. That’s what the mayor is forcing the homeless to do.”
And while Abbott said he wants to compromise with the city, he expects to be charged again.
“I love the city. I live here, it’s a beautiful place and I’d like to keep it beautiful, but you cannot sweep the homeless under a rug,” he said. “There is no rug large enough for that.”
“It’s a pubic safety issue. It’s a public health issue,” said Seiler. “The experts have all said that if you’re going to feed them to get them from breakfast to lunch to dinner, all you’re doing is enabling that cycle of homelessness. They don’t interact with anyone, they don’t receive the aid that they need.”
Abbott was asked if he would return to the beach.
“You bet your life,” Abbott replied. “I’ll fight for the beach as long as there’s breath in my body.”
15 Oct 2014 Leave a comment
They claim it’s going to be too troublesome to follow the labeling law passed in Vermont. I say they should have thought about that before they started ok’ing pesticides and herbicides for human consumption. What a load. They can label for dairy, nuts, etc., but those who are so proud of GMO don’t want to put on the label that it “MAY CONTAIN GMO Ingredients!” It looks like the Grocery Manufacturers Association thinks it is better to conduct experiments on mankind with no oversight and without people’s knowledge or consent.
Yeah…it makes me kind of angry.
MONTPELIER, Vermont—A legal challenge hasn’t deterred Vermont authorities from moving forward to implement the nation’s first law requiring labeling of genetically modified organisms in food.
The Office of Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell has scheduled three public meetings for next week to introduce draft rules to implement Act 120, the GMO labeling law that is the subject of litigation in federal court. The meetings will be held Oct. 21 in Burlington, Oct. 22 in Montpelier and Oct. 24 in Brattleboro.
Sorrell anticipates making the draft rules public in advance of the meetings, according to an Oct. 10 press release.
Last month, the Grocery Manufacturers Association and other organizations that filed a lawsuit to invalidate Act 120 moved to enjoin Vermont authorities from implementing the law until the litigation has run its course. Other plaintiffs in the lawsuit include the Snack Food Association, International Dairy Foods Association and National Association of Manufacturers.
Among other arguments, the food groups contend the law fails to serve a legitimate government purpose, violates federal labeling requirements and is preempted by the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Act 120 doesn’t take effect until July 1, 2016, but the food groups argue the industry will suffer irreparable harm without a preliminary injunction due in part to costs they must incur to comply with the law.
“Manufacturers have no way to reliably distinguish ingredients derived from genetically engineered plant varieties from those that are not,” plaintiffs stated in their request for a preliminary injunction filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont. “The changes manufacturers would need to demand from their suppliers and initiate in their own facilities to segregate ingredients require money and time—much more time than the Act’s July 1, 2016 effective date allows.”
A federal judge, Christina Reiss, may hear oral arguments in December on the motion for the injunction and a separate request by the defendants to dismiss the lawsuit. Plaintiffs also have moved to amend their complaint.
In a motion filed in August to dismiss the lawsuit, Sorrell’s legal team argued the labeling law advances a number of legitimate state interests, including preventing confusion about whether consumers are purchasing genetically modified foods. Food manufacturers are free to express their view about genetically modified foods, and nothing in Act 120 prohibits manufacturers from noting FDA’s viewpoint that such foods are not materially different from natural ones, the state lawyers said.
Last week, Reiss denied a request by two organizations—the Center for Food Safety and Vermont Public Interest Research Group—to intervene in the case.
The lawsuit in Vermont is being closely watched across the United States because it could have ramifications for labeling initiatives in other states. Lawyers for the State of Vermont said roughly 80 percent of processed food sold in the United States is produced with genetic engineering