Tag Archives | Corn

Chinese Spy Busted Stealing Iowa Corn Seeds

roflbot(5)A couple of weeks ago we a had a virtual currency heist, now we’ve got Chinese biotech espionage in the middle of Iowa. Man, this world gets a little more cyberpunk with every passing day. I wonder if Google Glass comes in a mirrorshade edition?

Newser:

Federal agents caught an alleged Chinese spy last week trying to smuggle highly valuable “inbred” cord seeds out of the country, prosecutors say. Mo Hailong is accused of stealing the seeds from fields in Illinois and Iowa and trying to evade FBI agents after dropping off seeds at a rented storage facility, reports the Des Moines Register. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $5 million fine for stealing trade secrets worth up to $40 million. What’s the big deal? Inbred seeds possess certain special qualities, like resistance to droughts or pests, reports the Smithsonian.

“It’s really the foundation for Iowa agriculture, so it’s really something that we need to protect,” says an Iowa professor.

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Monsanto’s High Fructose Corn Patch

Monsanto’s High Fructose Corn Patch

Take a corn ride. Kick the canned corn. Slide down corn mountain. These are just some of the fun things you can do at Monsanto’s High Fructose Corn Patch. So come on down and bring your friends too… There’s plenty of corn for everyone!

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What Is Monsanto Doing In Mexico?

We just received an email from – maybe – Monsanto. Is it for real? Or are the Yes Men up to no good again?

Monsanto Denounces “Activists” For Hoax Release

Aug 14, 2013

Earlier today a fraudulent press release was issued alleging that Monsanto had received a permit to plant 250,000 hectares of GM corn in Northern Mexico. While Monsanto does expect to receive such a permit in the near future, as the first step in more extensive plans, one has not yet been issued.

The release was the work of a group of international students and activists calling themselves “Sin Maíz No Hay Vida” (“Without Corn There Is No Life”). Besides spreading misinformation about the permit, the group’s release falsely announced a digital repository of Mexican customs allegedly endangered by GM corn. They also announced a fictitious Monsanto “vault” to store all the native varieties of corn that GM varieties would supposedly render unviable.

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Russia Blocks Monsanto’s GMO Corn

Corn 01It might be grandstanding by the Russians, but the issue of Roundup being carcinogenic is nonetheless alarming. From The Register:

Monsanto’s GM corn, the centre of a storm inspired by the now-notorious French “rat tumours” study, has been banned from Russia following a decision by consumer rights regulator Rospotrebnadzor.

The ban is more symbolic than anything else: Russia doesn’t allow its farmers to plant GM corn, and is a net exporter of grains.

According to TV-Novosti site RT, Rospotrebnadzor has asked Russia’s Institute of Nutrition to review the French study, which claimed that rats developed large tumours either when exposed to the “Roundup-resistant” crop or to concentrations of Roundup in their water as low as .1 parts per billion.

According to Bloomberg, Russia had already asked the European Commission to comment on the study.

The European Food Safety Authority expects to have a preliminary review of the study completed by next week…

[continues at The Register]… Read the rest

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Walmart To Sell Unlabeled GMO Corn From Monsanto

At prices this low, how could you expect the food not to be laced with insecticide? Russia Today reports:

America’s largest bio-agriculture company and the biggest retailer in the country are joining forces. Walmart will soon be stocking their shelves with GMO corn made by Monsanto.

The retail giant says they won’t advertise which of their products are made with genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, which could become a big problem very soon. Zack Kaldveer explains in an editorial published by the California Progress Report this month that Walmart will soon sell a special factory-made corn manufactured by Monsanto, which while it will allow most of Americans more easy access to affordable food, will also fill them with unknown insecticides: the very GMO crop Walmart will be selling has been genetically engineered to include chemicals right inside the corn.

Voters in California will decide later this year if retailers on the West Coast will be legally bound to correctly label all foodstuffs sold in shopping centers that are made from genetically modified foods.

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Eating This Could Turn Your Gut into a Living Pesticide Factory

Corn_borerDr. Mercola sounds the alarm on the latest unintended consequence of permitting genetically-modified organisms into the food supply:

A new generation of insect larvae is eating the roots of genetically engineered corn intended to be resistant to such pests. The failure of Monsanto’s genetically modified Bt corn could be the most serious threat ever to a genetically modified crop in the U.S.

And the economic impact could be huge. Billions of dollars are at stake, as Bt corn accounts for 65 percent of all corn grown in the US.

The strain of corn, engineered to kill the larvae of beetles, such as the corn rootworm, contains a gene copied from an insect-killing bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt.

But even though a scientific advisory panel warned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that the threat of insects developing resistance was high, Monsanto argued that the steps necessary to prevent such an occurrence — which would have entailed less of the corn being planted — were an unnecessary precaution, and the EPA naively agreed.

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The Mother Of All Herbicide Marketing Plans

Roundup_herbicide_logoDow Agrosciences plans to double the trouble caused by Monsanto’s Roundup with a compelling marketing pitch to farmers. Tom Philpott reports for Mother Jones:

During the late December media lull, the USDA didn’t satisfy itself with green-lighting Monsanto’s useless, PR-centric “drought-tolerant” corn. It also prepped the way for approving a product from Monsanto’s rival Dow Agrosciences—one that industrial-scale corn farmers will likely find all too useful.

Dow has engineered a corn strain that withstands lashings of its herbicide, 2,4-D. The company’s pitch to farmers is simple: Your fields are becoming choked with weeds that have developed resistance to Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. As soon as the USDA okays our product, all your problems will be solved.

At risk of sounding overly dramatic, the product seems to me to bring mainstream US agriculture to a crossroads. If Dow’s new corn makes it past the USDA and into farm fields, it will mark the beginning of at least another decade of ramped-up chemical-intensive farming of a few chosen crops (corn, soy, cotton), beholden to a handful of large agrichemical firms working in cahoots to sell ever larger quantities of poisons, environment be damned.

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France Defeats Monsanto

Gordon Davidson writes in the Scottish Farmer:

France has held firm in its opposition to Monsanto’s genetically modified MON 810 maize [trade name: YieldGard] – and the agri-chemical multinational has admitted defeat.

Monsanto had been putting legal pressure on the French government to lift its 2008 cultivation ban on MON 810, firstly with a successful appeal to the European Court of Justice, then with a follow-up case heard in France’s own highest court, the Council of State.But despite both these institutions ruling that the ban was “insufficiently justified in law”, the French Government, backed by President Sarkozy, has insisted that it will still not allow cultivation of the biotech maize.

yieldgard

Now Monsanto has announced that it would not be selling seeds for MON810 in France this year.

France’s stand – and Monsanto’s capitulation – has been warmly welcomed by anti-GM lobbyists GM Freeze, whose campaign director Pete Riley said: “The decision by Monsanto not to market MON810 seeds in France in 2012 is yet another sign that Monsanto has failed to convince the public or policy makers that there is any benefit to growing to growing GM crops…

[continues in the Scottish Farmer]… Read the rest

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Monsanto’s GM Corn Linked To Organ Failure

cornMake sure you have a GMO-free Christmas y’all! Katherine Goldstein and Gazelle Emami report on the consequences of genetic engineering of seeds by Monsanto, for Huffington Post:

In a study released by the International Journal of Biological Sciences, analyzing the effects of genetically modified foods on mammalian health, researchers found that agricultural giant Monsanto’s GM corn is linked to organ damage in rats.

According to the study, which was summarized by Rady Ananda at Food Freedom, “Three varieties of Monsanto’s GM corn – Mon 863, insecticide-producing Mon 810, and Roundup® herbicide-absorbing NK 603 – were approved for consumption by US, European and several other national food safety authorities.”

Monsanto gathered its own crude statistical data after conducting a 90-day study, even though chronic problems can rarely be found after 90 days, and concluded that the corn was safe for consumption. The stamp of approval may have been premature, however.

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Monsanto Corn Falls to Illinois Bugs

Tom Philpott writes in Mother Jones:

As the summer growing season draws to a close, 2011 is emerging as the year of the super-insect — the year pests officially developed resistance to Monsanto’s genetically engineered (ostensibly) bug-killing corn.

While the revelation has given rise to alarming headlines, neither Monsanto nor the EPA, which regulates pesticides and pesticide-infused crops, can credibly claim surprise. Scientists have been warning that the EPA’s rules for planting the crop were too lax to prevent resistance since before the agency approved the crop in 2003. And in 2008, research funded by Monsanto itself showed that resistance was an obvious danger.

And now those unheeded warnings are proving prescient. In late July, as I reported recently, scientists in Iowa documented the existence of corn rootworms (a ravenous pest that attacks the roots of corn plants) that can happily devour corn plants that were genetically tweaked specifically to kill them.

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