March 14, 2012
By Rady Ananda
As courts and bureaucrats continue to assert that citizens have no fundamental right to produce and consume the foods of their choice, we find Monsanto lurking nearby. The Wisconsin judge who recently ruled that we have no right to own a cow or drink its milk resigned to join one of Monsanto’s law firms.
Former judge Patrick J. Fiedler now works for Axley Brynelson, LLP, which defended Monsanto against a patent infringement case filed by Australian firm, Genetic Technologies, Ltd. (GTL) in early 2010.
GTL had sued several biotechnology firms, a medical lab and a crime lab that had used its patented methods for analyzing DNA sequences. Though a federal case, the district court which heard the matter sits in Dane County, Wisconsin, where Fiedler coincidentally served as a state judge.
In that case, the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) “upheld Genetic Technologies Ltd.’s patent for noncoding DNA technologies, giving more firepower to the Australian company’s patent infringement suit against Monsanto Inc., Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. and a slew of rival laboratories,” reports Law360.
In another link, Myriad Genetics, which holds the exclusive U.S. patent on human genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, granted the license to GTL in 2002. These human genes are associated with breast and ovarian cancer.
In 2009, the ACLU and the Public Patent Foundation (PubPat) sued the PTO, Myriad Genetics, and principals at the University of Utah Research Foundation, charging that patents on genes are unconstitutional and invalid. The suit also charges that such patents stifle diagnostic testing and research that could lead to cures and that they limit women’s options regarding their medical care.
In an absurd ruling this year, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the patent on these human genes, even though the DNA sequence occurs in nature. The court decided that simply because researchers had been able to extract it, the firm owns it. Of course, under this thinking, all of nature can be patented if human technology allows extraction.
“The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted thousands of patents on human genes – in fact, about 20 percent of our genes are patented,” said the ACLU. “A gene patent holder has the right to prevent anyone from studying, testing or even looking at a gene. As a result, scientific research and genetic testing has been delayed, limited or even shut down due to concerns about gene patents.”
The US ruling gives Myriad monopolistic control over these human genes, and over diagnostic testing for that DNA sequence. The case is now headed to the US Supreme Court.
The Myriad patent was also challenged in Australia and at the European Patent Office. In 2009, the EPO granted a highly restricted BRCA1 patent.
Australia’s case will be heard in February 2012. Dr Luigi Palombi, who supports the pending Patent Amendment Bill, believes the US decision “is irrational, contrary to scientific fact and little more than a knee-jerk reaction to the fear mongering of the American biotechnology industry. It claims that without gene patents it will not have any incentive to undertake necessary research. Of course, this is a lie.”
March 7, 2012
By Mike Adams
“Mike Adams from Natural News, once again, brings up a great point. Think about this for a minute – if the makers of GMO foods are behind their ‘inventions’ wouldn’t they want you to know about it? Instead, they are against the labeling of GMO foods. They obviously know something is wrong with this picture.” –KTRN
Genetically engineered foods will “feed the world,” say Bill Gates and all the rest of the GMO pushers. GM crops are the result of “high-tech agriculture” and “advanced technology” created by super-smart agricultural geniuses who only enhance the properties of food crops. GMOs are better than God, better than Mother Nature, and one of the great gifts of science to humankind — sort of like electricity, only more edible.
If this is all true, then why doesn’t the GMO industry want credit for all this effort on food labels? Shouldn’t the industry leap at the opportunity to have foods labeled with things like:
• Fortified with extra GMOs!
• Genetically Modified to grow strong bones!
• Now with GMO technology in every delicious bite!
If GMOs are so wonderful, in other words, then why wouldn’t the industry tout all its amazing technology right on the labels of the foods containing GMOs?
The reality? GMOs are poison
But no, instead of the industry begging for regulatory permission to place GMO bragging rights on food labels, the industry has done exactly the opposite: It has demanded that consumers be kept in the dark about GMOs!
• They don’t want consumers to even know they’re eating GMOs!
• They believe consumer ignorance is preferable to consumer choice.
• They want consumers kept in the dark, uninformed and unable to avoid GMOs.
The GMO industry, in fact, is already viciously fighting a proposed GMO labeling mandate in California — a law that would merely require foods to be truthfully labeled when they contain genetically modified ingredients. What could be wrong with that? But in an age when consumers want to know more information about what they’re buying, not less, the GMO industry somehow believes consumer ignorance is victory!
So when GMO pushers like Bill Gates say they want to “feed the world,” what they really mean is they want to secretly force-feed the world mystery ingredients that are not listed on the labels so that consumers won’t even be aware of what they’re eating. (Such as the deadly insecticide found in every kernel of GM corn…)
March 5th, 2012
By: Mike Adams
The hacker community has risen to the challenge of targeting the single most evil corporation in the world — a corporation responsible for countless crimes against humanity and the attempted overthrow of global agriculture. That firm, of course, is Monsanto, which was voted the “Most Evil Corporation in the World” by NaturalNews readers in January of 2011 (http://www.naturalnews.com/030967_Monsanto_evil.html).
AntiSec, which is reportedly affiliated with Anonymous, hacked into Monsanto’s servers, acquired an outdated database of user comments and emails, then dumped it on the web (see link below). While the acquired material was not itself meaningful (and it didn’t reveal any smoking guns), the real news here is that AntiSec has turned its attention on Monsanto and recognizes how incredibly evil that corporation really is.
Hackers have more ethics than government operatives
What’s apparent in all this is that the AntiSec hacker group has ethics. Yes, you heard that right: This group has ethics in the sense that they pick targets who are damaging life on our planet (and driving countless farmers out of business) rather than merely picking targets for their own gain.
Hacking in and of itself, you see, is neither good nor bad. Technology is morally neutral until someone decides to use it for something. From that point, it is the morals and ethics of the user (or group of users) who determines the ethical implications from its use. Government uses technology to secretly surveil all your emails, for example. That’s evil. The military industrial complex uses technology to fire depleted uranium shells at civilian buildings and structures in Afghanistan. That’s evil too (it’s also a violation of UN conventions, but that’s another story).
So what do you call the use of technology to destroy evil? That’s called “good.” Any use of technology to disrupt the operations of evil institutions, or to halt the expansion of an institution that is causing widespread death and destruction, is by definition GOOD.
Monsanto targeted for crimes against humanity
You can’t find a more evil example of a corporation than Monsanto, in my opinion: This company sues farmers whose fields have been contaminated by Monsanto’s GM seeds; it fights against the full transparency labeling of GMOs in order to keep consumers in the dark; it conspires with the USDA behind closed doors to legalize experimental GM crops; it unleashes untold destruction on the global environment through genetic pollution; and it has been involved with everything from Agent Orange to aspartame. This is a company with a reputation of death, destruction and irreversible global damage.
“Your continued attack on the worlds food supply, as well as the health of those who eat it, has earned you our full attention,” AntiSec wrote about the firm. “Your crimes against humanity are too many to name on one page.”
That’s true. Even NaturalNews can’t keep up with all the crimes of Monsanto.
“You have put over 9000 small-time farmers out of business by using your enormous legal team to bury them with your malicious patent lawsuits,” AntiSec wrote in its statement. “You have continually introduced harmful, even deadly products into our food supply without warning, without care, all for your own profit.”
See the full AntiSec statement at:
Edible vaccines and more
The data dump acquired by AntiSec reveals what appear to be user-posted comments for an article posted by Monsanto. Some of these comments involve edible vaccines, and they appear to have once been fully public comments.
In one comment with the subject line “Edible HIV Vaccine based on Scrub Typhus”, a Cornell Ag Graduate student named Henry Brown drools over the possibility of feeding the world HIV vaccines by engineering their local food crops to contain the vaccine.
He gives a contact at Cornell who specializes in plant vaccines: Boyce Thompson (email@example.com). He then goes on to brag about his own gene mapping thesis which he conducted as “Los Alamos”, saying: “I did thesis on Computer Assisted Genetic Mapping at Los Alamos, HIV, Genome, Human Genome, Genbank. I am former Peace Corps Volunteer/Cornell Ag. Grad.” – Henry Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In another comment, someone named Michael Katz talks about how Monsanto needs to indoctrinate children with pro-GMO attitudes by influencing the schools. All the typos are his, by the way, not mine:
“It is amazing to me that so many apparantly intelligent people, including close friends of mine, harbor superstitious views of bio-tech and genetically altered foods and plants. They fail to understand that water and arable land supplies are finite and that world population is not. I would also foward these articles to high schoolers and their teachers. The arguement for bio-tech is going to be a long one and we must include bright youngsters and their teachers in our fight.” – Michael E. Katz
The dump of information also includes a comment from a woman named Heather Stouder who admonishes Monsanto people for their blind ignorance and arrogance about GMOs:
“Why do scientists feel that they can solve the world hunger problem with a simple turn of the corner once again, after so many of those turns (deemed miracles of life science at the time) have failed within the last 50 years… It is completely ridiculous to me that “well-educated” (educated and funded by whom, i wonder…) people cannot see the obvious cultural and environmental disasters waiting to happen with these technologies… Obviously, this message won’t reach many of you in agreement, but I encourage you to take a closer look at the reality of the situation, which is completely masked within this web-site filled with propaganda and half-truths…”
One especially lucid commenter posted on the Monsanto website this powerful explanation:
“The notion that technology itself will save humanity is a dubious assertion, but it is a very modern one. Indeed there is a compelling argument to be made that technology is actually paving the way for humanity’s possible demise. Technology without wisdom leads only to opportunists who seek to use their “ownership” of powerful technologies to control the direction, form and destiny of human civilization for the benefit of their self-interests, neglecting the interests of the world’s population. The common people under democracy were supposed to have been promoted to citizens, instead they have been rendered into consumers: faceless and passive receptacles of mass consumption and production. The key to understanding this is by examining how the mass media operates. The mass media is designed to propagandize the common people in emerging and established democracies who constitute the majority of the burgeoning modern human population, into accepting the status quo as the most viable and practical interpretation of reality.”
Ethical hacking targets destructive institutions
Personally, I enjoy seeing the hacker community go after the bad guys like Monsanto. If government regulators won’t hold these groups accountable, and the mainstream (sellout) media won’t ask the tough questions, who is supposed to keep these institutions honest? There is a great sense of social justice in seeing this take place.
Some people counter and ask, “But isn’t hacking illegal?”
Well yeah, technically, but so is half of what the federal government does every single day. Unleashing genetically modified crops upon the landscape is blatantly illegal and violates numerous provisions of federal law, yet the USDA does that every single week, it seems. Reaching down your pants at the airport and fondling your nut sack is illegal, but the TSA does that countless times each day (and that doesn’t even count the number of children they molest or the number of women they strip search, too).
Former MF Global head Jon Corzine, who has powerful connections to the White House, stole a billion dollars (or more) from investors and hasn’t even been arrested. Countless “green energy” companies with ties to the White House blew through billions of dollars of taxpayer money, creating no products whatsoever, went bankrupt, and then nobody gets in trouble for that either. The banks steal your mortgages, the government steals your retirement, the Fed keeps devaluing your dollar, and the government regulators like FDA, USDA, DEA and DHS are operates entirely as criminal gangs, with absolutely no respect for federal law, the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. Heck, the ATF runs guns into Mexico! (http://www.naturalnews.com/032934_ATF_illegal_firearms.html)
So who’s the real criminal in all this? Government, of course. And the corporations they selectively allow to operate.
A revolution may be brewing…
It is a well-known fact of history that the People will only remain oppressed for a short while, after which they will take matters into their own hands. This targeting of Monsanto by AntiSec is just one sign of many more to come — signs that the People are tired of being poisoned, lied to, exploited and fed an endless stream of corporate B.S. and government lies.
Personally, I think AntiSec is just the beginning of Monsanto’s troubles. I had a weird dream just the other night involving thousands of farmers from across the country physically marching upon Monsanto’s headquarters, conducting citizens’ arrests of all Monsanto employees, then torching the entire complex and watching it burn it to the ground. I didn’t know what to make of it — was this a vision of things to come? Or just my subconscious mind playing out its own creative vision of social justice? My position has always been to avoid violence, of course, so I hope that if such an event does occur, nobody gets hurt.
What I do know is that Monsanto is engaged in the ultimate violence against humankind — the kind of “violence” that is insidious because it happens invisibly, at the microscopic level. Yet it wreaks death and destruction everywhere; not just in the farmer suicides across India (http://www.naturalnews.com/030913_Monsanto_suicides.html), but also in the frustration and despair that inevitably follows a farmer’s decision to plant GM seeds and spray his fields with Roundup. Little does he know that he is destroying his own future and poisoning the land for at least a generation.
AntiSec may very well turn out to be the champion of the People that exposes the lies of biotech and helps end this technological insanity that threatens the future of viable life on our planet. It is my secret hope that they uncover yet more information that may help protect the People and our natural world from exploitation by destructive corporations like Monsanto.
If anyone from AntiSec is reading this, please note that we have a public tip submit system, whereby anyone can send us documents or text that needs to be made public. That URL is: http://www.naturalnews.com/newstips/NewsTips.asp
And for the FBI agents reading this, no I do not know any AntiSec operatives. Their identities are a total mystery to me. But I do believe they are for the most part people of conscience who only resort to hacking as a tool for social justice. And my guess is that they are growing stronger with each insult to freedom and justice that is committed by the federal government working in conspiracy with evil, destructive corporations.
My deepest wish is that we could all coexist in a world of true justice, where even those who claim to be authorities of the law are, themselves, subjected to those same laws. Much of what takes place in government today is outright runaway criminality. I ask: How do We the People stand a chance against runaway tyranny if not for the help of the faceless, nameless, anonymous defenders of justice who put their own freedom at risk to expose the truth that no one else will?
Funding the revolution against genetically engineered poison
By the way, when it comes to social justice, I’m also taking decisive action to expose the truth about Monsanto and its destructive technologies.
Jeffrey Smith of the Institute for Responsible Technology needs additional funding to finish the editing of a powerful film about GMOs. This film, once completed, will blow the lid off the GMO cover-up and may in fact finally turn the tides against GMOs once and for all.
The IRT needs funding to finish this film, so on behalf of NaturalNews, I have pledged $10,000 in matching donations to be used in the editing and finalization of this film. Your support is needed! Please consider donating any amount — $10 or more — at this article page:
With NaturalNews readers donating a cumulative total of at least $10,000, plus another $10,000 from NaturalNews, we can raise the $20K necessary to get this film completed! This is a hugely important film, and NaturalNews plans to help release the film and bring it millions of additional viewers.
So please consider supporting this with whatever donation you can. Thank you for your support, and remember that NaturalNews is working hard right alongside you to help Jeffrey get this film completed and released. There is no commercial gain for any of us in doing this. We do this out of a sense of social justice, not personal gain or profit.
For The Full Report Go To Natural News
February 6, 2012
By S.D. Wells
The one man who may be responsible for more food related illnesses and deaths than anyone in history, Michael R. Taylor, has just been promoted from US Food Safety Czar to Senior Advisor to the Commissioner of the FDA, a position which would enable the giant biotech company Monsanto to silently and legally feed cancer causing vegetables to every living person who is not 100% strictly organic.
President Obama has appointed the former Monsanto Vice President and lobbyist Michael R. Taylor to the throne. This is the same man who was Food Safety Czar for the FDA when Genetically Modified Organisms were allowed into the US food supply without undergoing a single test to determine their safety or risks. This is like putting a terrorist in charge of the world’s food supply. What will the cancer numbers look like in 2016?
The GMO nightmare all started with the Dan Quayle led FDA/GMO marriage. Under George Bush Senior’s Administration from 1989 to 1993, Dan Quayle single-handedly catapulted GMO’s into existence through FDA’s anti-consumer right-to-know policy, which stated that GMO foods did not have to be labeled or safety tested. Yes, you read that correctly: There is no safety testing required whatsoever to take some Agent Orange pesticide and genetically mutate the seeds of vegetables in a chemical laboratory so that nothing on planet earth will eat the plant that grows from the ground except for all the humans who have no idea what happened.
Michael Taylor is part of a revolving door at the FDA, where Monsanto Execs just come and go as they please. First, Michael R. Taylor was an assistant to the FDA commissioner. Then he left to work for a law firm in the 1980′s to help gain FDA approval of Monsanto’s artificial growth hormone (rGBH), which is directly linked to cancer. Then he became deputy commissioner of the FDA in 1991, and was later re-appointed to the FDA in 2009 by Obama. He is the food villain who tried his best to keep this “malignant milk of the turn of the century” from being labeled.
Michael Taylor is the epitome of everything Monsanto represents. Taylor is like a vehicle for Monsanto’s patenting of seeds and global domination of farming. He implements the government’s “favorable” agricultural biotech policies because it’s much more of a financially sure shot to use RoundUp in food than to farm organically and ethically. If the investments aren’t paying enough at the corporation, Execs just switch over to Federal Regulations and write some new Legislation based on “tainted research”, which allows them to pile more toxins on the American public and bankroll off it when they flip back to the corporate side.
January 11, 2012
By Anthony Gucciardi
Biotech giant Monsanto has been genetically modifying the world’s food supply and subsequently breeding environmental devastation for years, but leaked documents now reveal that Monsanto has also deeply infiltrated the United States government. With leaked reports revealing how U.S. diplomats are actually working for Monsanto to push their agenda along with other key government officials, Monsanto’s grasp on international politics has never been clearer.
Amazingly, the information reveals that the massive corporation is also intensely involved in the passing and regulations concerning the very GM ingredients they are responsible for. In fact, the information released by WikiLeaks reveals just how much power Monsanto has thanks to key positions within the United States government and elsewhere. Not only was it exposed that the U.S. is threatening nations who oppose Monsanto with military-style trade wars, but that many U.S. diplomats actually work directly for Monsanto.
In 2007 it was requested that specific nations inside the European Union be punished for not supporting the expansion of Monsanto’s GMO crops. The request for such measures to be taken was made by Craig Stapleton, the United States ambassador to France and partner to George W. Bush. Despite mounting evidence linking Monsanto’s GM corn to organ damage and environmental devastation, the ambassador plainly calls for ‘target retaliation’ against those not supporting the GM crop. In the leaked documents, Stapleton states:
“Country team Paris recommends that we calibrate a target retaliation list that causes some pain across the EU since this is a collective responsibility, but that also focuses in part on the worst culprits. The list should be measured rather than vicious and must be sustainable over the long term, since we should not expect an early victory. Moving to retaliation will make clear that the current path has real costs to EU interests and could help strengthen European pro-biotech voices.”
The undying support of key players within the U.S. towards Monsanto is undeniably made clear not only in this release, but in the legislative decisions taken by organizations such as the FDA and USDA. Legislative decisions such as allowing Monsanto’s synthetic hormone Posilac (rBGH) to be injected into U.S. cows despite being banned in 27 countries. How did Monsanto pull this off?
June 28th, 2011
By: Ethan A. Huff
Those still in denial about the connection between the so-called “humanitarian” efforts of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the bigger agenda to thrust genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) on the populations of the world (among other things), need look no further than the Golden Rice Project (GRP) for proof that things are not as they seem. Hailed as the solution to “micronutrient deficiencies in developing countries,” GRP is actually nothing more than an attempted Trojan horse to usher GMOs into countries that have thus far rejected them.
According to a recent story published by Food Consumer, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has donated $20 million to develop “golden rice,” a type of GM rice that allegedly contains higher than normal levels of vitamin A. Monsanto, creator of this “Frankenrice,” claims the crop will help end the epidemic of vitamin A deficiency (VAD) that afflicts many living in poor Asian countries. Sounds great, right? Except for the fact that introducing the rice threatens to actually worsen the VAD crisis, and promote economic and ecological debacles of epic proportions.
“Golden rice is a Trojan horse for pushing through GE-friendly biosafety regulations under the guise of humanitarian aid,” reports Food Freedom. “Once in place, these regulations open the door for the biotech industry to bring in commercial, patented GE crops; USAID and Monsanto accomplished exactly this in Kenya with their sweet potato project.”
Monsanto repeatedly uses the same strategy to sneak its Frankencrops into poor countries. It grabs hold of a food or agriculture crisis, and claims it has the solution. Its solution, of course, is always the same — persuade farmers to adopt its patented crops, and lock them into a system where they must rely on Monsanto for expensive pesticides and the yearly purchase of new, self-destructing GM seeds.
The real solution for poor countries — including those in Asia that are stricken by high rates of VAD — is to increase their agricultural biodiversity, and cultivate an enhanced system of small-scale, family-owned farms that produce a variety of nutrient-rich, natural foods.
“In a biodiverse farm, a family would have easy access to all these [beta carotene and vitamin A-rich foods]. But the mono-cropping agricultural technology (promoted by Monsanto) … has to a large extent, destroyed dietary biodiversity in rural Asia, which is the main cause of malnutrition,” wrote the Pesticides Action Network Asia & the Pacific (PANAP) in a press release, emphasizing that Monsanto and the Gates Foundation’s “solution” of golden rice will only exacerbate the problem of nutrient deficiency.
“[Monoculture] has seriously aggravated VAD. In fact, the Green Revolution has caused the loss of thousands of diverse local rice varieties … [m]any of these local varieties had special nutritional value. Golden rice perpetuates the industrial model of agriculture and so instead of reducing VAD, it will actually contribute to worsening its rate of occurrence.”
June 27th, 2011
He who controls the seed controls the food supply; and he who controls the food supply controls the world. There is no question that Monsanto is on a mission to monopolize the conventional seed market. In fact, they are steadfastly working towards the goal of creating a world where 100% of all commercial seeds are genetically modified and patented- basically a world where natural seeds are extinct.
Unfortunately for the global community Monsanto is accomplishing their purpose. They currently own 90% of the world’s patents for GMO seed including cotton, soybeans, corn, sugar beets and canola.
Yep, the creators of chemicals that will go down in history for their toxicity and horrific side effects, is attempting to take over the world’s seed supply. Ask yourself- do you really want companies such as BASF, Bayer, DuPont, Syngenta, and Dow involved with your food? Sadly, to a large extent they already are. These Monsanto chemical and GMO cronies all share genetically engineered traits and create the patented herbicides and pesticides that GMO crops require to thrive.
Monsanto is infamous for taking advantage of small farmers, and with the advent of MoU’s they are doing so with governmental license. Countries like India, Pakistan, Australia, and New Zealand have all executed MoU’s with Monsanto. MoU’s or memorandum’s of understanding permit Monsanto to use publicly owned lands to create so called demonstration farms (GMO breeding camps) which in turn -at least in the case of Rajasthan – are subsidized by the government.
Monsanto literally takes farmer seeds, creates genetically engineered copycat versions, and then retains all intellectual property rights. Dr. Vandana Shiva, Executive Director of the Navdanya Trust, an Indian organization committed to organic biodiversity, states that “the MoU’s will in effect, facilitate bio-piracy of Rajasthan’s rich biodiversity of draught -resilient crops …. by failing to have any clauses that respect the Biodiversity Act and the Farmers’ Rights Act, the MoU’s promote bio-piracy and legalize the great seed robbery.”
It is common knowledge that GMO seeds are much worse than conventional ones. As with all of their agreements, Monsanto shields itself from any liability- so when the Monsanto’s promises of higher yields with less work ring hollow, when farmers crops fail, or when mass suicides are committed because of crop failure and spirit crushing debt- Monsanto presses on with no worries.
Farmers that sign up for Monsanto’s seeds of destruction find themselves hooked. Year after year, no matter what prices are being charged, they are dependent on GMO seeds for new crops because GMO seeds – the bastardized versions they are – don’t regenerate.
Monsanto has no qualms about robbing farmers that don’t play poker with them. As a mater of fact; it makes a business of it. Conventional and organic farmers in both Canada and the U.S., who have the misfortune of having lands that border GMO farms, often end up with trace contamination in their crops, making them (if organic), unsuitable for sale. Monsanto actually uses this situation against farmers and files patent infringement claims that they often win.
The result farm owners are left with exorbitant legal bills and fines often forcing them to shut down: clearing away Monsanto competition. In a savvy move for survival, a preemptive suit on behalf of almost 300,000 plaintiffs seeking legal safe harbor, has been filed in New York.
Monsanto’s product has changed from poison to food, but it has held true to its history of violating the rights and health of people around the globe. Monsanto is a 100% committed to the sale of their seeds of destruction no matter what it takes: bullying, infiltration of high government offices with company friendly individuals, or intimidation. The organic movement has taken up the standard against Monsanto’s machinations in court as well as through grassroots education and activist efforts. The organic revolution is Monsanto’s Achilles heel, and its goal is a world without Monsanto.
June 10th, 2011
Scientists say they’re close to producing new “super varieties” of wheat that will resist a virulent fungus while boosting yields up to 15 percent, potentially easing a deadly threat to the world’s food supply.
The research is part of a global drive to protect wheat crops from the Ug99 strain of stem rust. It will be presented next week at a conference in St. Paul that’s part of the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative, based at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., organizers said Thursday.
Scientists will also report that Ug99 variants are becoming increasingly virulent and are being carried by the winds beyond Uganda and other East African countries where they were first identified in 1999. Once infected with the deadly fungus, wheat plants become covered in reddish-brown blisters.
According to a news release issued by the initiative ahead of the symposium, the fungus has now spread across all of eastern and southern Africa, and it might just be a matter of time before it reaches India or Pakistan, and even Australia and the Americas.
“We are facing the prospect of a biological firestorm, but it’s also clear that the research community has responded to the threat at top speed, and we are getting results in the form of new varieties that are resistant to rust and appealing to farmers,” Ronnie Coffman, who heads the Durable Rust Resistance in Wheat project at Cornell, said in the release.
Researchers will report at the conference that new varieties of wheat under development at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico show resistance to all three kinds of wheat rust — stem rust including Ug99, yellow rust and leaf rust — the release said. Some of those varieties also boost yields 10 to 15 percent, it said.
But significant obstacles must be overcome before the resistant new varieties of wheat can replace the susceptible varieties that make up as much as 90 percent of the wheat now in production, the researchers acknowledged. They called for more investments by wealthy countries and international institutions to continue developing the varieties, to help them keep them effective against diseases that continue to evolve, and to develop the seed production and distribution infrastructure needed to put the new varieties in the hands of poor farmers in developing countries.
The new strains mark a huge advance, said Marty Carson, research director at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Cereal Research Laboratory at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul.
“Anytime you can talk about a 15 percent boost in yields from existing varieties, I mean that’s phenomenal. And to get combined resistance to all three rusts, that’s also a very big deal,” said Carson, who wasn’t directly involved in that research. His lab, which is heavily involved in the fight against Ug99, is hosting the conference along with the University of Minnesota.
Carson pointed out in an interview that wheat farmers in the developing world that the Mexican institute known by its Spanish acronym CIMMYT is targeting with these new varieties don’t have many other options, such as fungicides, for dealing with threats such as rust. And while he was skeptical about the 15 percent claim, he said even a lower yield increase would be a major accomplishment.
The Borlaug Global Rust Initiative was launched five years ago by the late Nobel Peace Prize winner Norman Borlaug in response to the Ug99 threat. Borlaug, an alumnus of the University of Minnesota, was a leader of CIMMYT. His research sparked the “Green Revolution” of the 1960s that transformed agriculture through high-yield, disease-resistant crops and other innovations, helping to more than double world food production by 1990. He’s credited with saving perhaps 1 billion people from starvation.
Ravi Singh, a wheat breeder at CIMMYT, helped lead the research on the new strains, which he’ll present at the conference and publish later this year in the Annual Review of Phytopathology. He said in an interview that the new varieties were developed through conventional crossbreeding, not genetic engineering. They have been tested successfully for disease resistance in Kenya and Ethiopia, where Ug99 is endemic, as well as at the USDA lab in St. Paul.
Donor-funded CIMMYT distributes its seed for free to keep it affordable, Singh said, and the new varieties will be planted in several countries for yield trials in the coming growing season in hopes they can enter widespread use in a few years.
June 7th, 2011
By: Tara Green
Genetically modified foods have become so ubiquitous in the US that even the grocery store ‘Whole Foods’ now admits it cannot keep biotech foods off its shelves. A representative for the corporation acknowledged in May of 2011 that the realities of the marketplace have forced a shift in the company’s previous no-GMO’s policy.
Joe Dickson, quality standards coordinator for Whole Foods Markets, notes that GMO’s dominate the market, especially for corn, soy and canola crops from which ingredients in most processed foods are derived. “Until there’s federal government mandated labeling of GMO ingredients, there’s no way to tell if packaged products contain GMO ingredients,” Dickson said. “Our approach is to work in the spirit of partnership with our suppliers … to encourage them to take active steps to avoid GMO ingredients.”
In spite of public skepticism about GMO foods, the FDA has backed Monsanto and other corporations, declaring that modified foods do not require special labeling letting consumers know they are eating Frankenfoods. This is in contract to the European Union, where public concern over health issues resulted in a moratorium on GMO’s. Many European countries, including France, Germany, Greece, Austria and Luxembourg have banned genetically modified foods, while other countries in the EU permit their sale only when products include clear labels of GMO ingredients.
Whole Foods’ recent admission proves how successful the biotech companies have been in their efforts to replace foods unadulterated by hormones with Frankenfoods. The fact that one of the best-known purveyors of natural foods has decided to throw in the towel rather than holding the line against biotech foods means consumers will have fewer places to go in their quest to buy non-genetically engineered foods.
Jeffrey Smith points out in his book Seeds of Deception, the biotech industry has co-opted the watchdog agencies of the federal government and sought to silence critics in the media and the scientific community who question sloppy science which they use to “prove” the safety of Frankenfoods. Natural News readers should read Smith’s book to understand the efforts Monsanto and others have gone to — including smear campaigns and threats against those who seek to present other points of views and the theft of research materials contradicting their biotech claims that Frankenfoods are completely safe.
Even the long-standing EU “zero-tolerance” policy on biotech foods has shown signs of cracking in the past few months, as the Union considers lifting import restrictions which formerly kept US-grown GMO’s from being sold in Europe. As reported on Natural News late last year, the forbidden information which surfaced through Wikileaks included documents revealing that the US government has conspired with the biotech companies to pressure European countries on the issue of genetically engineered foods.
Move past the propaganda put forth by Monsanto and their government lapdog agencies by educating yourself on the dangers of GMO’s both on this website and in Jeffrey Smith’s books and website. Try to keep your diet Frankenfood-free by finding a local food coop whose “quality standards” do not involve caving in to the biotech companies.
May 25th, 2011
By: Ethan A. Huff
For years, biotechnology companies have been making lofty, unsubstantiated claims that genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) are the cure for world hunger, and that without them, people will starve to death. But according to many agricultural scientists and researchers, such claims have absolutely no basis in reality, and are nothing more than deceitful marketing. One researcher from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) recently compared the nonsensical industry rhetoric in favor of GMOs to giving cigarettes away free to children — in other words, claims that GMOs are the answer to world hunger are nothing but a ploy to hook farmers and consumers into taking the deadly bait.
Biotech mouthpieces and their media lackeys routinely hail GMOs as superior to conventional and organic crops because they say yields are better, less pesticides are needed to grow GM crops, and GM crops can be grown more densely in a given area than alternatives can. But is any of this actually true? To date, GMOs have not surpassed conventional or organic crops in terms of yields. And since 1996, which is right around the time GMOs were first introduced, pesticide use in the US has increased by nearly 400 million pounds.
On the other hand, a recent United Nations (UN) report explains that eco-farming, which uses natural growing methods rather than chemical- and GM-based methods, has actually boosted food production much more significantly than any GM methods have.
“Today’s scientific evidence demonstrates that agro ecological methods outperform the use of chemical fertilizers in boosting food production where the hungry live — especially in unfavorable environments,” said Olivier De Schutter, a UN Special Rapporteur, at a recent presentation. “To date, agro ecological projects have shown an average crop yield increase of 80 percent in 57 developing countries, with an average increase of 116 percent for all African projects. Recent projects conducted in 20 African countries demonstrated a doubling of crop yields over a period of three to ten years.”
In truth, GMOs have failed in virtually every category of supposed benefit — they simply do not live up to the industry hype. And besides offering no benefit or improvement upon natural growing methods, GMOs are also a significant threat to both environmental and human health. There are no credible safety studies that have ever been conducted proving that “Frankencrops” are safe or beneficial.