Monsanto Emails Show They Knowingly Colluded to Hide Glyphosate Causes Cancer

Should anyone still think that GMO’s and Round Up aren’t seriously harmful, they need to read this article and go through all the links showing the intentional obscuring and falsification of studies on this disgusting chemical.

Below is an excerpt from the article, and the link is the heading.

Emails between the EPA & Monsanto now revealed (The contents are sickening!)

We should be able to trust that the food we buy is safe, but when the people in charge of that are working to keep unsafe chemicals on the market – we have a huge problem!

Along with so many of you and fellow activists, we have been spreading the truth about GMOs and hazardous chemicals used in conjunction with them like Roundup (glyphosate). This weedkiller isn’t just used on GMOs but on 70 different food crops in the U.S. – it’s in practically everything Americans eat. So, if glyphosate is causing cancer and other diseases, I want to know about it and get it out of our food – don’t you?

Stating the obvious: Monsanto makes billions off of Roundup sales, so they don’t want anyone to question its safety. Some never-before-seen confidential documents just released in a court case against Monsanto give us a glimpse into how they are working to influence the EPA (who is in charge of determining whether they are allowed to sell Roundup anymore) and undermine any efforts to ban its use. These documents show what many of us have known and suspected for quite some time… Monsanto is manipulating scientific research and has gotten some EPA officials on their side who seem to be helping them cover-up the health dangers of Roundup so they can keep it on the market.

Keep in mind… Monsanto and the EPA both do NOT want the public to see these internal emails! Why do you think that is?

While Monsanto is being sued in California by dozens of people who claim Roundup caused their non-hodgkin’s lymphoma, Monsanto had to provide over 6 million pages of internal emails and documents to the court and attorneys, and marked the majority of them as “confidential” so they’d be hidden from the public. When the plaintiffs asked the court to make the records public, both Monsanto and the EPA objected. The judge didn’t agree with their objections and threatened to sanction Monsanto if they continued trying to seal documents and found it in the best interest of the public to release them for all of us to see,“even if Monsanto doesn’t like what they say”.

The public interest group U.S. Right To Know is publishing these documents in their entirety on their website here. This is just the beginning and more are coming out. 

Here’s what we have uncovered in these documents so far…

  • Monsanto was in private talks with a top official at the EPA, Jess Rowland, who was in charge of evaluating the cancer risk of glyphosate for the EPA. Rowland was allegedly helping them stop another federal agency from investigating whether glyphosate causes cancer and told a Monsanto employee, “If I can kill this I should get a medal”. Rowland also signed off on the mysteriously leaked and deleted EPA memo which found glyphosate “not likely to be carcinogenic to humans”, which Monsanto touted as proof the EPA finds it safe.

  • Long-term EPA toxicologist Marion Copley accused EPA’s Rowland of playing “political conniving games with the science” and making decisions based on his “bonus” in favoring pesticide makers (such as Monsanto). Dr. Copley went on to allude that other EPA staff have conflicts of interest and may be taking bribes. She asserts that Anna Lowit (still at the EPA) intimidated staff to change their findings to favor the industry. Dr. Copley also stated, “It is essentially certain that glyphosate causes cancer.” 

  • A Monsanto employee proposed they could “ghost-write” portions of a scientific report and then just have hired scientists “sign their names so to speak”. The EPA would later use this report evaluate the safety of glyphosate. The reason they would do this is highly unethical – to make the report appear to have been prepared by independent scientists, when in reality Monsanto wrote it! This begs the question, how often do they do this? An email suggests they ghostwrote this report presented to EPA regulators in 2000, although no Monsanto employees are listed as authors.

  • Way back in 1999, Monsanto buried the findings of their own scientist (Dr. James Parry) who found glyphosate is genotoxic and recommended further testing. Internal emails show that Monsanto employees questioned whether Parry had “ever worked with industry before”, “hoped that it didn’t cost too much” and that they should hire a different expert who would be “influential with regulators” and help them with “outreach” efforts. Ha! They only want to hire scientists who will make findings in their favor to deceive our regulators.

  • Monsanto knows other compounds in Roundup such as NNG and 1, 4 Dioxane are toxic and can cause cancer as they acknowledged this with each other in emails mentioned in court docs: “If you talk to Kerry [Liefer, an EPA employee], I wouldn’t push the NNG issue too hard — don’t want to draw attention to the toxicity of our product”.

  • In another 2015 email, a toxicologist at Monsanto hinted that Rowland would be retiring from the EPA and that he’d be useful for their “ongoing glyphosate defense”. This just further shows that Rowland was in Monsanto’s back pocket all along and is a key player in helping them achieve their mission.

They are feeding us lies and these secrets are poisoning us!

Most Americans are eating glyphosate every day… No matter how healthy we eat or how much we try to protect ourselves from it, this weedkiller is being used on most major conventional food crops and is so rampant in our environment that it is contaminating virtually all of our food. It’s been found in honey, cereals, meat, drinking water, breast milk, infant formula, chips, cookies… the list goes on. Our government agencies (FDA and EPA) know this and are allowing corporations to poison Americans for profit. It’s truly disgusting!

Monsanto is stooping to corruption to continue selling their poisons. Everything from seeking to keep their correspondence with the EPA secret, to intimidating scientists at the WHO International Agency on Cancer (IARC) who found Roundup’s active ingredient glyphosate “probably carcinogenic”. A large body of peer reviewed research links glyphosate to cancer, reproductive problems, liver, kidney and skin cell damage, antibiotic-resistance, and more – but Monsanto doesn’t want the public to know the truth!

Glyphosate should be banned worldwide and consumers have the power to make this a reality. Here’s our ACTION PLAN:

  1. Choose to buy only certified organic food and products. This will hit Monsanto where it really hurts, their bottom line! Their best-selling products like Roundup and GMO seeds are banned on organic farms. If all farms were organic these products would bite the dust! This is voting with your dollars and is the most effective way to force change.
  2. Share this post with everyone you know! Expose their corruption. They should be shamed for this! Especially if you know anyone who is still eating non-organic food or using Roundup around their homes, make sure you get this information in their hands.
  3. Ask your favorite companies to test for glyphosate and get certified. Wouldn’t it be nice to know if the food you buy contains glyphosate? I have an exciting announcement! The Detox Project just launched a new “Glyphosate Residue Free Certification” program and will begin labeling products that have been tested and are free of glyphosate. I’ve partnered up with them to help spread the word – They are working with food manufacturers and grocery chains, so that soon we will see labels like this on some products – send this link to your favorite companies and ask them to go glyphosate free.

Everyone deserves to know exactly what they are eating and have access to safe, affordable food. My job will not be done until this is a reality. I’m so happy to have so many of you by my side and I know we can make this happen!

 


GMO Apples to Hit Shelves in Midwest Soon

So the Arctic apple will soon be on the shelves. This is the apple that won’t brown when you’ve sliced it. Potential effects on consumers? Who knows! Maybe it will even out tan lines, or cause dark skin to lighten, or just give you cancer or tumors or mess with your hormone levels. No one knows…and the “food police” do not care. They do however care if you want to buy raw milk across state lines. Then you’re engaged a criminal activity.

I don’t know if Trump will be helpful in the fight against GMO’s. He may be helpful on general food freedom issues, but my sense is that we are going to need to really work on his administration for right action on GMO’s.

Here is an article on this apple. Let people know it will be out there, please:

First GMO apple slices to go on sale in Midwest

A small amount of genetically modified sliced apples will go on sale in 10 Midwest stores this February and March.

 

Courtesy of Okanagan Specialty Fruits
An Arctic brand Golden Delicious apple genetically modified to not brown when sliced. Packaged slices will be sold for the first time in the U.S. this February and March.

Courtesy of Okanagan Specialty Fruits An Arctic brand Golden Delicious apple genetically modified to not brown when sliced. Packaged slices will be sold for the first time in the U.S. this February and March.

Courtesy of Okanagan Specialty Fruits
The Arctic apple brand and a QR code will be the identifiers of genetically modified sliced apples when they go on sale next month in 10 Midwest stores.

Courtesy of Okanagan Specialty Fruits The Arctic apple brand and a QR code will be the identifiers of genetically modified sliced apples when they go on sale next month in 10 Midwest stores.

SUMMERLAND, B.C. — The first genetically modified apples to be sold in the U.S. will debut in select Midwestern stores next month.

A small amount of Arctic brand sliced and packaged Golden Delicious, produced by Okanagan Specialty Fruits of Summerland, B.C., will be in 10 stores this February and March, said Neal Carter, the company’s founder and president. He would not identify the retailers, saying that’s up to them.

“We’re very optimistic with respect to this product because people love it at trade shows,” Carter said. “It’s a great product and the eating quality is excellent.”

Carter reduced the enzyme polyphenol oxidase to prevent browning when apples are sliced, bitten or bruised. The apples match the industry norm of not browning for three weeks after slicing but without using flavor-altering, chemical additives that the rest of the fresh-sliced apple industry uses.

Golden Delicious, Granny Smith and Fuji varieties have been approved by the USDA and Canada. An Arctic Gala could be approved in 2018. Only Goldens and Granny Smiths have been planted long enough to produce fruit in commercial quantities by next fall.

Midwestern retailers were chosen for the first sales this winter because they seemed like a good fit demographically and in presence and size, Carter said.

Asked if Midwest consumers may be more accepting of genetically modified apples than those on the East or West coasts, Carter said consumer research didn’t indicate that and that it wasn’t a consideration.

“We don’t want to skew our test marketing results by choosing stores that may be more friendly to genetic engineering,” he said.

About 500, 40-pound boxes of sliced apples will be sold in grab-and-go pouch bags, he said. The company expects to offer 6,000 boxes of apple slices from the 2017 fall crop.

A QR computer scan code on the packaging enables consumers to get information, including that the apple slices are genetically modified, but nothing directly on the packing identifies it. Okanagan Specialty Fruits will adhere to the new genetically engineered foods labeling act but it’s not clear what that requires, Carter said.

“We are selling it under the Arctic brand and we’ve had a lot of press and attention, so I assume most people will know what it is,” he said.

The company has reworked its logo, making a snowflake inside an apple outline more visible.

The first commercial test marketing will provide the company with consumer preferences on packaging and price and other information including purchase motivations. Survey data will be used to help the company decide its fall 2017 commercial launch strategy.

The company has orchards in British Columbia and 85,000 trees at an undisclosed location in Washington state. More than 300,000 trees will be planted this spring and 500,000 are being budded for planting in 2018. Those numbers may increase, as the company wants enough volume to compete nationally in the sliced apple business, Carter said.

The goal is 800 to 1,000 acres planted in the Northwest and nearly the same acreage in the eastern U.S. in addition to 600 to 800 acres in Canada by 2021, he has said. It will be a mix of company orchards and contract growers.

While supportive of the science, the Washington apple industry opposed approval of GMO apples because it believes negative public perception could damage apple sales. While expressing concerns about market disruption before USDA approval, the U.S. Apple Association is now neutral and stresses that all apples are safe, healthy and nutritious.

Senate Agrees on Dark Act

I thought this was a very good article. It seems a completely futile course of action to continue to talk to the furniture in DC, and because of that, I have not been encouraging people to continue to engage in unprofitable action. Does anyone remember that Obama promised to label GMO’s? I know some voted for the cretin on that promise. 8 years after the fact, and the only meaningful things that have happened are at the state level and in public awareness. Neither of which has had any effect on the District of Criminals regulatory or legislative actions.

Due to my desire to not send people on fruitless expeditions, one positive thing you can do is  use this Non GMO shopping guide. Other positive actions on this front include growing your own, buying from farmers that don’t use man-made chemicals and can tell you the breed of the product, and, if you live in a city or town, work to get urban farming and gardening ordinances in place. Or go guerilla grower. 🙂

Here is the best article I could find on the fed level GMO actions:

Senate Agrees on “DARK Act” GMO Labeling Bill

apples-GMO-DARK-Act-620x360-1By Derrick Broze

The U.S. Senate has announced a bipartisan deal which will prevent states from labeling genetically modified foods in favor of a federal labeling system. Here’s what you need to know…

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry agreed on a new bill aimed at labeling foods with genetically modified ingredients. The committee has been trying for several months to get a bill passed before Vermont’s labeling law goes into effect on July 1.

U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow released a statement, calling the bill “an important path forward that represents a true compromise. Since time is of the essence, we urge our colleagues to move swiftly to support this bill.” Roberts said if his colleagues do not act on the bill now Vermont’s law will cause confusion in the marketplace. The bill would give the U.S. Department of Agriculture two years to write the labeling rules.

The bipartisan proposal would immediately prohibit states and cities from passing labeling laws for genetically modified or engineered ingredients. Genetically modified or engineered seeds are engineered to have certain traits, such as resistance to herbicides. The majority of the United States’ corn and soybean crops are now GE, including a large portion that is used for animal feed.

The bill would also put the USDA in charge of establishing “a uniform national disclosure standard for human food that is or may be bioengineered.” Critics of a federal standard worry about the USDA being pressured by biotechnology companies that have a close relationship to U.S. regulatory agencies. The proposal would also require companies producing foods with GE ingredients to post a label, including text on package, a symbol, or a link to a website (QR code or similar technology). Smaller food manufacturers can use websites or telephone numbers to disclose ingredients.

In late February, Roberts introduced another bill which attempted to create a federal voluntary standard for labeling GE food. Roberts’ Senate Bill 2609, or the Biotech Labeling Solutions Act, would have blocked mandatory labeling efforts by states. In March, the bill failed to reach the 60 votes needed during a procedural vote, with 49 votes in favor and 48 votes against.

Roberts’ bill was similar to the controversial Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, which passed the House in June 2015 but ultimately failed amid heavy opposition. To critics, the bill was known as the “DARK” (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act because the law was also aimed at nullifying GMO labeling measures, such as the bill passed in Vermont.

The latest bipartisan effort contains language that is identical to both of the previous bills. The bill would “amend the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 to require the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a national voluntary labeling standard for bioengineered foods.” It’s safe to say that this new bipartisan compromise is simply the latest version of the DARK Act and will likely live up to it’s name by keeping Americans in the dark regarding what is in their food.

The bipartisan proposal is supported by certain food industry groups that believe state bills like the one in Vermont will lead to increased costs for agriculture, food companies and consumers. “This bipartisan agreement ensures consumers across the nation can get clear, consistent information about their food and beverage ingredients and prevents a patchwork of confusing and costly state labeling laws,” Pamela Bailey, president of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the largest food industry lobby group, told the Associated Press.

Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch, said the new bill deserves the name DARK Act because it will prevent consumers from have “clear, on-package labels” as required by the Vermont law.  “But this deal from Senators Stabenow and Roberts doesn’t even come close, and would instead require consumers to have smartphones and a cellphone signal to know what they are buying,” Hauter said in a statement. “This deal seems to be designed to ensure that big food processing companies and the biotechnology industry continue to profit by misleading consumers.”

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and Senator Bernie Sanders both spoke against the new measure. Shumlin criticized the two-year delay, while Sanders said he would do “everything I can” to stop the bill. Meanwhile, the Huffington Post reports that the bill “also allows companies to avoid the main thing consumers have demanded – a fast and easy way to determine if a food product they are purchasing was made using genetically engineered crops.”

The key argument seems to be that the new bill would not have as clear labels as Vermont’s law. Senator Stabenow, however, believes the opposite, claiming that the Vermont law would require GMO labeling of a cheese pizza but not a pepperoni pizza. “Throughout this process I worked to ensure that any agreement would recognize the scientific consensus that biotechnology is safe, while also making sure consumers have the right to know what is in their food,” the senator wrote.

The scientific consensus does lean towards the safety of GE foods, but that has not swayed critics and supporters of labeling. A recent report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine concluded GE foods do not pose a health or environmental risk. Critics of the report point to conflicts of interests between researchers with the National Academy of Sciences and biotechnology companies involved in the creation of GE crops.

The environmental watchdog organization Food and Water Watch released their own report, pointing to possible influence from the same organizations that stand to benefit from the growth of genetic engineering of foods. The report, Under the Influence: The National Research Council and GMOs, looks at “far-reaching ties” between the National Research Council, its parent organization the NAS, and biotechnology companies and agricultural corporations.

Americans who want to know what is in their food need to take control of their own food production and stop relying on large-scale, factory farming which increasingly relies on genetically engineered seeds. Only by taking back the power when it comes to our diets can we stop supporting the systems that are working against our health and freedom. It’s time to grow food, not lawns. It’s time to throw seed bombs everywhere. The revolution is growing and resistance is fertile.

Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist and liberty activist. He is the Lead Investigative Reporter for ActivistPost.com and the founder of the TheConsciousResistance.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Monsanto Scrambling A Bit

Some more seemingly positive news about Monsanto slowly falling down financially. Despite the idiotic, evil, twisted and fraudulent US government’s tacit approval of biotech foods, the public is learning….and ultimately, it all comes down to the consent of the governed. Except for chemtrails. But we could argue about that, too!

Monsanto Seeks Alternatives to Bayer Deal as Profit Drops

June 29, 2016 12:30 PM
board-room-1223326-640x480

Monsanto Co., the world’s largest seed company, said it’s been in talks over the last several weeks with Bayer AG and others on possible alternatives to the German company’s initial $53.7 billion takeover bid.

Monsanto Chief Executive Officer Hugh Grant has been in discussions about “alternative strategic options,” he said Wednesday as the St. Louis-based company reported worse-than-expected fiscal third-quarter earnings and sales.

Profit excluding one-time items was $2.17 a share, lower than the $2.42 average of 17 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The disappointing earnings undercut the company’s argument that Bayer’s proposed bid is less than adequate. Monsanto has been facing aggressive cutting of seed prices by competitors and falling prices for the herbicide glyphosate amid overproduction by Chinese generic producers.

“We remain open and will continue to actively engage in constructive dialogue to pursue value enhancing strategic options,” Grant said in the earnings statement. “Our industry is running at a low point in the overall agriculture cycle and we’ve experienced an unforeseen level of challenges affecting our business in fiscal year 2016.”

Talks Impasse

Monsanto was 0.2 percent lower at $100.88 at 10:11 a.m. in New York after earlier climbing as high as $104.21. The company declined to comment on which companies it has been talking to apart from Bayer.

Bayer made an offer in May to acquire Monsanto for $122 in cash, which the U.S. company rejected as too low. Discussions between Bayer and Monsanto are at an impasse at the moment, with the German company seeking to do due diligence on Monsanto’s books, while Monsanto is holding out for a higher bid first, people familiar with the matter said earlier this month.

In April, Grant said the company no longer saw “large-scale” mergers and acquisitions as a strategy, signaling the end of any lingering ambition to bid for another major crop-chemicals or seeds business.

Net income was $717 million, or $1.63 a share, in the three months ended May 31, compared with $1.14 billion, or $2.39, a year earlier, Monsanto said. Sales fell to $4.19 billion from $4.58 billion, trailing the $4.49 billion average estimate.

The company cited negative impacts from pricing declines from glyphosate, the generic version of its weedkiller brand, Roundup lower soybean sales and regulatory hurdles in India.

Full-Year Guidance

Monsanto said it expects to be at the low end of its full-year earnings guidance of $4.40 to $5.10 amid “several global and industry headwinds.” For 2017, the company sees a return to growth, assuming stable currencies, driven by adoption of its new soybean technologies and improving prices for corn and soybeans. That will be partially offset by more declines in weedkiller prices.

“The outlook now is firmly on 2017 after cutting guidance to the low end of the range, so I would think the poor result this quarter steps up pressure for them to seriously engage with Bayer, all while setting themselves up to hopefully get up on the right track for 2017,” Chris Perrella, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, said by phone.

Bayer’s proposed bid adds to the wave of consolidation in the agricultural chemicals sector. Aside from Bayer’s bid for Monsanto, China National Chemical Corp. said in February that it reached a deal to buy Syngenta AG, and Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co. announced in December they would merge before breaking into three separate entities.

CRISPR- Genetically Editing Food, Animals and People-

Below is a fairly in depth article regarding this new technology that the USDA and certainly, the FDA will (and have) done nothing about in the regulatory arena. The USDA recently approved CRISPR edited mushrooms that are genetically altered to reduce browning. They don’t require any special studies or limitations because they are just doing in a few days what, according to other sources, might take a thousand years in nature.

CRISPR Is Going To Revolutionize Our Food System—And Start A New War Over GMOs

The gene-editing tool could create drought-resistant grain or allergy-free peanuts. Will a society on edge about genetically modified food embrace this newest innovation?

Adele Peters 03.15.16 6:00 AM

In five years, there might be a little CRISPR-edited corn in your breakfast cereal or CRISPR-edited wheat in your pasta. CRISPR’d tomatoes and CRISPR’d pork might follow. There’s already a little CRISPR in your yogurt.

It’s not hyperbolic to say that CRISPR-Cas9—new technology that makes it possible to quickly and easily edit DNA—is changing the future of food. The method could eventually be used to tweak almost anything we eat, selecting traits that can make agriculture more environmentally sustainable and productive, or the resulting food healthier.

A Molecular Scalpel

The technology is based on a natural process. Many bacteria have a hidden talent: In order to protect themselves from viruses, they cut the virus’s DNA. First, they save a fragment of an invading virus’s DNA in a pattern known as CRISPR (short for “clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats,” which describes how the segment looks). If the virus comes back, the bacteria can recognize and hone in on it. Then it uses an enzyme called Cas9 to make a cut in the DNA, disabling the virus.

A few years ago, researchers figured out how to use the same method to edit any kind of DNA. By using guide RNA—the same type of molecule that bacteria use to find and fight a virus, but that can also easily be made in the lab from DNA in a few steps—scientists realized that they could target any spot in the genome of a plant or animal and make a deletion or paste something else in.

“I think a good analogy is a molecular scalpel,” says Jennifer Doudna, the University of California-Berkeley professor who was first to publish a paper about using CRISPR for gene editing in 2012 (Doudna and her colleagues are currently embroiled in a bitter legal battle with MIT researchers over the patent for the technology). “It’s a way that scientists can make very precise changes in the DNA and cells of organisms—down to the level of a single letter in the DNA code out of 3 billion base pairs in the human genome.”
“If editing a single gene might have taken years with older techniques, now it can happen in a matter of days with a single grad student.”

If editing a single gene might have taken weeks, months, or even years with older techniques, now it can happen in a matter of days with a single grad student. Old techniques—such as using a “gene gun” to shoot DNA into plant cells to make something like the earliest GMO soybeans—took far longer to reach a desired result; researchers would have to grow plants to see which ones happened to end up with the traits they wanted. More recent gene-editing tools, such as TALENs and zinc fingers, made it possible to directly target a particular gene for the first time but are more time-consuming than CRISPR in their design and construction.

CRISPR is comparatively easy, because all it requires is ordering some products that are widely available and synthesizing RNA, a simple process in a lab. “This is what I call the democratization of gene editing,” says Rodolphe Barrangou, one of the first researchers to realize how bacteria were naturally using CRISPR. “There were gene-editing technologies that existed before . . . but it was difficult, it was expensive, it was time-consuming, it wasn’t trivial. What CRISPR really has done is enable that gene-editing revolution that we’re witnessing.”

Since the beginning of last year, researchers have published more than 16,000 studies using CRISPR: editing mouse genes to repair genetic disease, designing better biofuels, figuring out which genes are responsible for certain traits and illnesses, and even—controversially—genetically editing human embryos.

But put the deep moral quandaries about human gene editing aside for a minute. In the world of farming, researchers are using CRISPR to work on some foods that might have been too complicated or expensive to genetically engineer in the past, along with the bigger crops that already have GMO versions.
A New Solution For Our Food Supply

At DuPont, researchers are working on CRISPR/Cas9-edited versions of commodity crops such as corn, soybeans, canola, rice, and wheat, which they expect to have on the market in 5 to 10 years. The plants have new traits like drought resistance and higher yields—both critical features for farmers trying to deal with a changing climate and the fact that the world population is growing faster than our food supply.
“The plants have new traits like drought resistance and higher yields—both critical features for farmers trying to deal with a changing climate.”

“When you think about the fact that your average biotech crop takes 10 to 17 years, that’s a really remarkable speed compared to where the market is today,” says Rachel Haurwitz, cofounder of Berkeley-based Caribou Biosciences, which partnered with DuPont to provide Caribou’s version of CRISPR. “I find that really, really exciting.”

The technique can also be used to remove allergens in peanuts, or make food more nutritious, all while using genes that naturally occur in the plant.

It might also save the modern banana. The Cavendish banana, the only type of banana sold in most grocery stores—because it is grown around the world as a monoculture crop—is on the verge of extinction because of a fungal disease. While some researchers are racing to test less-common varieties of bananas to try to find an alternative, a Korean researcher hopes to use CRISPR to snip out the receptor that the fungus uses, so it would no longer have an effect.

CRISPR may also keep livestock healthier without relying on antibiotics, which are overused in animals and leading to antibiotic resistance that is killing humans. “You can actually harness CRISPR systems as antimicrobials, and they provide a great alternative to classic antibiotics,” says Barrangou. “You can program them to selectively target one or more organisms of interest. Whereas most classical antibiotics are very broad-spectrum—when you consume them they wipe out the good guys and the bad guys indiscriminately—CRISPR is opening new doors for programmable antibiotics whereby you could selectively eradicate a pathogenic species.”

Some researchers are also experimenting with directly editing livestock genes to help protect animals from disease. One pig disease costs farmers $600 million a year; in 2015, researchers created a gene-edited version of pigs that couldn’t catch the illness. Twenty percent of all animals raised for food are lost to disease, which is a massive sustainability problem as well as a cause of animal suffering. Gene editing could potentially help change that in a way that traditional breeding hasn’t been able to.

Other meat might be gene edited to be healthier. The same Korean researchers working on the Cavendish banana have also created a variety of pig that is extra-muscly, so it can produce leaner cuts of pork. “We could do this through breeding,” lead researcher Jin-Soo Kim, of Seoul National University, told Nature. “But then it would take decades.”

CRISPR can also be used in its natural form—and it already is. When Barrangou first began studying CRISPR in bacteria, he realized that it could be harnessed to help prevent food waste in dairy products such as cheese and yogurt. It’s not uncommon in the dairy industry for viruses to attack the cultures that are used for fermentation, and that can lead to the loss of thousands or even millions of gallons of milk in a single instance. By selecting variants of the cultures that naturally get vaccinated against viruses, the industry can prevent that from happening.

“If people eat yogurt and people eat cheese, there’s a 50% chance, give or take, that people have been consuming dairy products that were manufactured using CRISPR-enhanced bacteria,” he says. The industry has used the natural form of CRISPR for more than a decade. It can also be used in other fermentation processes, such as pickling or making kimchi, soy sauce, or wine.

There’s potential for CRISPR to be used much more widely. But it isn’t clear yet if the technology can avoid the Monsanto problem—the public distaste for eating anything genetically edited. Public support for GMO food is still very low, despite the fact that the majority of scientists believe it’s safe. In a 2015 survey, most Americans said that genetically engineered food should be labeled—and that they probably wouldn’t buy it. More than half of those surveyed said they think it’s unsafe.

It’s possible CRISPR-edited food might not be seen the same way. In some cases—when the technology is simply used to delete a gene in a plant, rather than adding in anything from another species—the USDA doesn’t consider CRISPR’d food a GMO. The plant looks genetically identical to something that could have been created through cross-breeding or evolution.

Even adding a gene could sometimes end up being the same as a traditionally bred crop. “I think it’s exciting to think, for example, about some of the gene variants that are known to exist in wild strains of particular crops of interest, and the ability to use CRISPR to insert those naturally occurring wild variants into elite crops in a very rapid way, in a very precise way,” says Haurwitz. “It gets you the same product as if you had spent years and years breeding the wild strain with your commercial strain. At the end of the day, it’s the very same product, but it could get to consumers substantially faster by using CRISPR.”

Cibus, a San Diego-based startup making CRISPR-edited flax, position their products as a non-GMO food. “DNA ‘spelling changes’ occur naturally in all plants and are the basis behind the diversity we see in plants as we walk in our local parks or in the forest,” says Greg Gocal, senior vice president of research and development at Cibus. “During domestication events that selected the world’s crop plants, genetic diversity was lost. Breeders have been working for decades to augment crop diversity using mutation breeding. However, this is random. . . . Non-transgenic breeding, which includes technologies such as precision gene editing, can also restore lost genetic diversity.”

Even in Europe, where regulation has been stricter, there are early indications that CRISPR’d foods may not be regulated. In Sweden, authorities recently said that CRISPR-edited plants (as long as they don’t contain foreign DNA) shouldn’t be defined as GMOs under EU legislation.

EU law says that it must be possible to detect a GMO food—and because CRISPR-edited foods are identical to those that are not GMOs, they can’t be detected. It also says that the changes that occur must not be more “uncertain” than something that could occur with techniques like breeding. “The changes are identical to those that could occur with techniques that are not considered to produce GMOs,” says Stefan Jansson, head of the department of plant physiology at Umeå University.
“”Since most politicians consider it to be political suicide to express their opinions about GMOs, maybe they now dare to stand up.””

While the Swedish ruling could be overturned by the EU Commission, Jansson believes there’s increasing support for biotech food. “It is clear that there are very many, in addition to us in the scientific community, who are deeply concerned that the lack of access to efficient plant breeding is a serious threat to the possibilities to make food production sustainable,” he says. “Since most politicians consider it to be political suicide to express their opinions about GMOs, maybe they now dare to stand up.”

In an analysis of the psychology behind why people dislike GMOs, researchers pointed to transgenesis—the mixing of species—as one problem. People tend to see inserting a fish gene into a tomato as fundamentally unnatural. But if CRISPR is used to insert genes from the same plant (or just to take a gene away), it’s possible that might shift attitudes.

It’s also possible that it won’t. “Given the fact that CRISPR can be viewed as tampering with a organism’s essence, I’m afraid that biotechnologists might face an opposition similar to the GMO case,” says Stefaan Blancke, co-author of the paper on the psychology of GMO opposition.

“There probably are some critics who are going to be more accepting because of CRISPR,” says Paul Thompson, a bioethicist and professor at Michigan State University. “But the vast majority are focused on broader philosophical issues. . . . You’ve got this community of critics who in some respects don’t really care that much about what the details are. There’s been this kind of creation of a lot of—I don’t want to be dismissive, but I’ll use the word mythology—about GMOs. And I’m constantly talking to people that I like and respect in the sustainable agriculture community who are just quite, at least from my perspective, misinformed about what GMOs actually are and what they actually do.”

One of the few scientists to speak out about GMOs argues that CRISPR is fundamentally no different than earlier technology, and that CRISPR-edited foods should be regulated before they go on the market. “Is it more exact than the use of a gene gun, where it’s literally scattershot? Sure,” says Michael Hansen, senior staff scientist at Consumers Union, the organization that publishes Consumer Reports. “It’s more exact, but there can still be off-target effects.”
“”We’ve never been against the use of any technology. We just think that before these technologies come out on the market—whether it’s CRISPR or anything else—there should be required safety assessments.””

Hansen points to the fact that Doudna and other researchers have called for caution in the use of CRISPR in humans—because of potential unknowns—and thinks that the same caution should be applied to food. “We’ve never been against the use of any technology,” he says. “We just think that before these technologies come out on the market—whether it’s CRISPR or anything else—there should be required safety assessments, and those crops should be labeled.”

For now, however, the technology is moving ahead, and most researchers think that’s a good thing. “I think there’s real potential from a technology perspective,” says Haurwitz. “But I think that potential can only be realized if we the industry do a good job of communicating to the rest of the world how beneficial it will be for growers, for consumers . . . for everyone involved in the food value chain.”

The FDA To Test for Round Up Residue

As most people who pay any attention to our food supply issues know, glyphosate is in pretty much everything. It’s in urine, breast milk and umbilical cord blood in over 90% of urban dwellers tested for presence. Over 90% of the corn and soy in this country are GMO variants…What could go wrong?

Additionally, a very likely cause of the increase in gluten intolerance is that some wheat farmers are flooding the wheat fields with glyphosate prior to harvest to cause the wheat to know it’s dying and push it’s energy into the seed quickly (increasing the weight of the yield) and to make it easier to harvest because the dead, dry plants are less likely to tangle and slow the equipment down. Not all are doing this, but some are…and it’s no good.

The article below details a recent announcement that the FDA (Food Destruction Agency) is going to test four foods for the presence of glyphosate. If history is an indicator, as it usually is, the FDA results will probably be “negligible presence found”, and they will pat themselves on the back for being good controllers of the food supply. But maybe, just maybe, a few honest people will be involved and real results might be put out-officially, or unofficially.

Link to the article is in the headline below:

 

FDA to test food for Monsanto weedkiller

© Vincent Kessler

Info on Proposed Additional Beef Check Off for Missouri

If you’ve been raising cattle for any length of time, you know how the Check Off issue is loaded with corruption and seeming misappropriation of funds. Everyone gets to pay the Check Off and very few benefit from the additional collection of funds. Well Missouri wants to add an increased check off tax for just Missouri. Please read the following from Missouri Rural Crisis Center and then download this pdf form and register so your voice is counted in the discussion.
STOP the New Missouri Beef Checkoff Tax
In order to Vote NO on this corporate money grab—
Cattle Producers Must Register before March 4th
Thank you for signing the petition opposing a new state beef checkoff tax. Now is the time to register with the Missouri Department of Agriculture to be eligible to vote—see registration forms enclosed.
The Missouri Department of Agriculture is holding a referendum to add a new beef checkoff tax. If passed, all cattle sold in Missouri will be assessed an additional $1 a head checkoff with the proceeds going to the Missouri Beef Industry Council (MBIC). And, the only way to stop it is for Missouri cattle producers to register to vote before March 4th (registration forms are enclosed). If you have registered by March 4th, the Missouri Department of Agriculture will send you a ballot on April 4th.
We are in a cattle market crisis right now with feeder calves having lost up to 45% of their value between September and December (according to the Livestock Marketing Association) with no foreseeable end in sight. What is the response by the MBIC? They want us to give them $2 million more every year. They want a 200% raise? We should say no to this money grab.
Please fill out the enclosed registration form and reach out to other producers in your area that oppose the checkoff. Note: you will be asked to provide three years of cattle sales on this form—We must not let this rule deter us from registering and voting to stop this checkoff.
According to the Missouri Department of Agriculture, anyone who has a shared interest in your cattle sales—including your spouse, son, daughter or business partner—can register to vote in this referendum. Each person can fill out separate registration forms and list the number of cattle sales that represent each person’s share in the business. For example, a husband and wife who marketed 50 head of cattle could each register and report 25 head of cattle marketed.
Here are ways you can register:
 We’ve included registration forms—fill them out and send them to the Missouri Department of Agriculture c/o Missouri Beef Referendum, P.O. Box 630, Jefferson City, MO 65102; or
 Go to agriculture.mo.gov and register online or print a form; or
 Call the Missouri Department of Ag at (573) 751-5633 and ask to have a registration form mailed to you; or
 Pick up a registration form at your county FSA office.
If you need additional registration forms or have any questions:
 Call the Missouri Rural Crisis Center at (573) 449-1336.
 We can email, mail or fax you a registration form(s).
All Registration Forms Must Be Postmarked by March 4th.
Paid for by the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, Roger Allison, Executive Director, 1108 Rangeline Street, Columbia, MO 65201
Here are some key facts about why we oppose the state beef checkoff:
 There are no rules that this checkoff slush fund will be used to promote Missouri beef. The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association successfully lobbied to remove the “promote Missouri beef” language from the bill. And, our federal checkoff dollars are already being used to promote foreign beef in U.S. markets.
 There is no sunset clause on this beef checkoff. Once these programs are put into place, they are virtually impossible to get rid of. So, as cattle prices continue to decline, producers will still be paying the extra $2 million+ every year.
 The vast majority of current federal checkoff dollars end up in the coffers of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) that consistently supports policies favoring corporate meatpackers (even foreign-owned meatpackers) at the expense of Missouri’s independent cattle producers. The NCBA successfully lobbied to end Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) and supports corporate packer ownership of livestock which drives down producer farm-gate prices.
 The Missouri Beef Industry Council ignored its own hand-picked “Missouri Beef Checkoff Taskforce” that voted to request a $.50 per head state checkoff instead of $1 on August 26th. Instead, the MBIC requested $1/head anyway—another clear example of the no accountability attitude of the Missouri Beef Industry Council.
 Supporters claim that there will be some way to get a refund after the fact, so they try to call this a “voluntary” program. In reality, cattle producers are forced to pay into this program by having the money taken out of their cattle sales checks before they even get them. If the fee is not paid when due, a penalty shall apply and the attorney general can sue cattle producers for the collection of checkoff fees and penalties. It doesn’t get any more mandatory than that. A complicated, time-consuming refund process does not eliminate this mandate to pay.
 This new checkoff would mean the state government would be collecting another $2.2 million from Missouri beef producers every year and giving our money to the Missouri Beef Industry Council (MBIC), an unaccountable private entity that says it has “no obligation to disclose documents” about how our money is spent.
 The only way to stop this new checkoff tax is for independent cattle producers to say “NO”, otherwise starting in July, we will be paying over $4 million every year in beef checkoff fees.
Please register to vote today—
your vote could make the difference.

Previous Older Entries