Everything you need to know about the wonderful world of genetically modified organisms…
Everything you need to know about the wonderful world of genetically modified organisms…
Hope you’re hungry, America: Another GMO mutant has been cleared for human consumption. The AquaAdvantage salmon grows twice as fast as other fish, and is deemed perfectly safe by your friends at the FDA. Who’s up for croquettes?
Critics call the modified salmon a “frankenfish.” They worry that it could cause human allergies and the eventual decimation of the natural salmon population if it escapes and breeds in the wild. Others believe breeding engineered animals is an ethical issue.
AquaBounty has maintained that the fish is safe and that there are several safeguards against environmental problems. The fish would be bred female and sterile, though a very small percentage might still be able to breed. The company said the potential for escape is low. The FDA backed these assertions in documents released in 2010.
Since its founding in 1991, Aquabounty has burned through more than $67 million developing the fast-growing fish.
Reports Tom Philpott on Mother Jones:
In November, California voters will decide on a ballot initiative that would require labeling of all foods containing ingredients from genetically modified crops. The initiative made it to the ballot after almost 1 million Californians signed a petition in favor of it—nearly double the 504,760 signatures needed under the state’s proposition rules. The campaign that organized the push to get the measure on the ballot focused on possible health effects of GMO foods.
This news will not likely be applauded by my friends over at Croplife America, the main trade group of the GM seed/agrichemical industry. The big GMO crops—corn, soy, sugar beets, and cotton—are processed into sweeteners, fats, and additives used widely by the food industry. Everything from high fructose corn syrup-sweetened Coke to soybean oil-containing Hellman’s mayo would have to bear a label reading something like “Contains GMO ingredients.”…
Dr. 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.
When your government is so beholden to agribusiness that it won’t listen to overwhelming consumer demand for foods to be labeled if they contain genetically modified organisms, what do you do? Create your own labels and hit the supermarket! Amy Harmon and Andrew Pollack report for the New York Times:
Great Barrington, Mass. — On a recent sunny morning at the Big Y grocery here, Cynthia LaPier parked her cart in the cereal aisle. With a glance over her shoulder and a quick check of the ingredients, she plastered several boxes with hand-designed stickers from a roll in her purse. “Warning,” they read. “May Contain GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms).”
For more than a decade, almost all processed foods in the United States — cereals, snack foods, salad dressings — have contained ingredients from plants whose DNA was manipulated in a laboratory. Regulators and many scientists say these pose no danger.
Will Allen and Ronnie Cummins write on AlterNet:
The world’s most hated corporation is at it again, this time in Vermont.
Despite overwhelming public support and support from a clear majority of Vermont’s Agriculture Committee, Vermont legislators are dragging their feet on a proposed GMO labeling bill. Why? Because Monsanto has threatened to sue the state if the bill passes.
The popular legislative bill requiring mandatory labels on genetically engineered food (H-722) is languishing in the Vermont House Agriculture Committee, with only four weeks left until the legislature adjourns for the year. Despite thousands of emails and calls from constituents who overwhelmingly support mandatory labeling, despite the fact that a majority (6 to 5) of Agriculture Committee members support passage of the measure, Vermont legislators are holding up the labeling bill and refusing to take a vote.
Instead, they’re calling for more public hearings on April 12, in the apparent hope that they can run out the clock until the legislative session ends in early May.
Every year, billions of animals suffer in the name of cultivating food for humanity. But, suppose none of them had minds? A nightmare or a solution? Via We Make Money Not Art:
Each year, the UK raises and kills 800 million chickens for their meat. Rearing [is] unethical and unsustainable… chickens spend their 6-7 week lives in windowless sheds, each containing around 40,000 birds. André Ford proposes to adopt a ‘headless chicken solution’:
By removing the cerebral cortex of the chicken, its sensory perceptions are removed. It can be produced in a denser condition while remaining alive, and oblivious. The feet will also be removed so the body of the chicken can be packed together in a dense volume. Food, water and air are delivered via an arterial network and excreta is removed in the same manner. Around 1000 chickens will be packed into each ‘leaf’, which forms part of a moving, productive system.
I know — yuk! — but chances are airlines and other purveyors of gross burgers like the one at right won’t have any qualms about using synthetic meat if the price is lower than real meat. Pallab Ghosh reports for BBC News:
Dutch scientists have used stem cells to create strips of muscle tissue with the aim of producing the first lab-grown hamburger later this year.
The aim of the research is to develop a more efficient way of producing meat than rearing animals.
At a major science meeting in Canada, Prof Mark Post said synthetic meat could reduce the environmental footprint of meat by up to 60%.
“We would gain a tremendous amount in terms of resources,” he said.
Professor Post’s group at Maastricht University in the Netherlands has grown small pieces of muscle about 2cm long, 1cm wide and about a mm thick.
They are off-white and resemble strips of calamari in appearance.
UPDATE from Natural News:
We regret to inform our readers that this story is based on a Daily Mail article that we have now been informed is from 2003, not 2012. In their own search engine, Daily Mail mistakenly listed their own story as being published on February 3, 2012…
Oh well – let’s pressure Monsanto to get out of the UK anyway!
Mike Adams reports for Natural News:
A massive victory against Monsanto and genetically engineered seeds has been achieved in the United Kingdom today. Monsanto has announced a total withdrawal from the UK, shuttering its Cambridge-based wheat production operation. UK newspaper Daily Mail was instrumental in promoting opposition against Monsanto through its “Frankenstein Foods” educational campaign.
The paper is now reporting that Monsanto plans to sell off GMO crop-breeding centers in France, Germany and the Czech Republic. Daily Mail reported, “…the company has given up hopes of introducing GM crops to Europe.” (Are you grinning as wide as I am right now?)
The UK government, it turns out, was on the verge of announcing a finding that genetically engineered crops would “pollute the countryside for generations.” Gee, ya think?
Make 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.