Keeping up & in the know…
Earth Open Source: GM Foods Neither Safe Nor Needed, Say Genetic Engineers
“An increasing number of studies are showing problems with GMOs and their associated pesticides, such as Roundup. There is evidence that Roundup, even at the low levels permitted in food and drinking water, could lead to serious effects on health over time, such as liver and kidney toxicity. Based on this evidence, it appears that the levels of exposure currently held as safe by regulators around the world are questionable.”
Center for Food Safety: Choose Organic Apples
“Antibiotics have never been permitted in organic agriculture with the singular exception of apple and pear production. Since the inception of OFPA, meat and dairy producers have been forbidden to use any antibiotics of any kind. Yet, early in the development of organic regulations, policy makers temporarily allowed both streptomycin and tetracycline as the exception to the organic rule to combat fire blight, a destructive bacteria that attacks tree blossoms, limbs, and shoots. Last year, tetracycline was banned and now, with the NOSB’s latest vote to rid organic of streptomycin, all uses of antibiotics in organic have been completely eliminated.”
-Lisa J. Bunin
GE Free BC: Comprehensive Fact Sheet on GE Rice
“Golden Rice has not yet been tested for safety, and has not been adequately tested for its ability to make vitamin A available to the human body. For example, vitamin A can only be absorbed by the body when eaten with fat, but fat is often not present in the diets of people who suffer from malnutrition. Golden Rice is still being field-tested and despite several years and millions of dollars, it is still not ready for commercial release anywhere in the world. The resources spent to develop Golden Rice could have been used to expand existing, proven approaches to addressing VAD – such as supplementation, food fortification, breastfeeding programs and diet diversification—and implementing them for communities around the world that urgently need them.”
“Owing to the fact that glyphosate has now been identified as a ubiquitous environmental exposure, found in the majority of air and rain samples recently tested, groundwater, seawater and any glyphosate tolerant GM food, simply choosing to refrain from eating GM foods (which is exceedingly difficult owing to the lack of labeling) is not going to solve the problem of the incessant environmental fallout from the glyphosate-dependent GM agricultural system itself. Pleading to regulatory agencies or lawmakers to provide us a right to choose to avoid GM ingredients is a worthwhile cause, but GM labeling is only a part of a larger battle, which includes refusing to buy foods that are made with GM ingredients or may be suspected to be, and moving towards an outright ban of agrochemicals and GM plants whose biopollution represents an irreversible threat to the biosphere, of which the human body forms an inextricable part.”
“Rootworms in some areas are now resistant to two of the three available Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins that previously controlled them. And because only one or two of these toxins are used per corn variety, a number of fields in the corn belt are now sustaining severe damage.
Bt was hailed early on for reducing the need for chemical insecticides. But resistant rootworms may be starting a reversal of this trend, noted by University of Illinois Entomologist Michael Gray last spring. Some farmers are reverting to the use of harmful soil-applied insecticides to kill the beetles’ larvae.”
Chilliwack Times: Genetically Engineered Apple Doesn’t Go Brown
“Okanagan Specialty Fruits is a Summerland-based agriculture biotech company, which has genetically engineered Golden Delicious and Granny Smith apples that do not go brown for weeks after being cut.
The gene that make the apple go brown is silenced, and the apple is inserted with ‘nonbrowning apple genes,’ according to the company.
And while on the surface, this may sound a little like the solution to a problem that doesn’t exist, Okanagan Specialty Fruit says not only does the Arctic(R) apple help consumers (i.e. kids) get over the ‘yuck’ factor of apple discolouration, enzymatic browning is a significant cost to the entire supply chain.
The Arctic apple is currently not available anywhere in North America, but the company has trees in orchards in the U.S. and is seeking regulatory approval both there and in Canada.”
-Paul J. Henderson