“Our Farmers’ Pledge: No Artificial Growth Hormones.”

People around the world depend on agriculture and the hard work of farmers for their most basic needs. With global population expected to grow by 40 percent in the next few decades, agriculture will need to become more productive and more sustainable in order to keep pace with rapidly increasing demands. Many experts agree we will need to grow as much food in the next 50 years as we did in the past 10,000 years combined if we are to sustain our planet.

Compounding this challenge is the fact farmers will need to keep up with demand while dealing with limited resources like water, land and energy. Population is growing but supplies of these basic inputs are not. Farmers will need to get more from every acre of land, every drop of water and energy. Agricultural innovations can help them do it.

The Following is from Monsanto’s website:

What is Monsanto’s Role?

Sustainable agriculture is at the core of Monsanto. We are committed to developing the technologies that enable farmers to produce more crops while conserving more of the natural resources that are essential to their success. By 2030, we will do our part by:

Producing More.

There will be more than nine billion people living on our planet by 2050. That’s roughly a 40 percent increase from today and is equivalent to adding three more Chinas to our current population. In 2050, just like now, people will look to agriculture to provide their most basic needs – food, clothing and energy. Combine this with the mounting pressure on food supplies and increasing demands for protein in many regions of the world. Taken together, population growth and dietary shifts will double food demand by 2050. This means farmers must produce more in the next few decades than they have in the past 10,000 years combined.

Monsanto works with farmers around the world to help make agriculture more productive and more sustainable. We believe through the hard work and dedication of farmers, agriculture can help meet global needs. We are committed to doing our part by developing technologies that enable farmers to get more from every acre of farmland. Specifically, we are working to double yields in our core crops of corn, soybeans, cotton and spring-planted canola by 2030, compared to a base year of 2000. These yield gains will come from a combination ofadvanced plant breeding, biotechnology and improved farm-management practices.


Genetically Modified Organism (A “No GMO” plate sign sticks out of a 5 ton pile of corn, dumped by Greenpeace activists in front of the Quebec Liberal Party’s headquarters in Montreal, demanding labeling of GM foods. © Greenpeace / Genevieve Goyette)

Greenpeace opposes the release of genetically engineered (GE) crops and animals into the environment based on the precautionary principle. We also oppose patents on plants, animals, humans and genes. Life is not a commodity.

Genetic engineering is the manipulation of genes to create new plants, animals and microorganisms. Multinational corporations have GE crops planted on millions of hectares of land — a giant genetic experiment with unpredictable and possibly irreversible risks.

GE food has been in grocery stores since 1996, but no long-term tests have been done on the impacts on human health. Potential health risks include the development of antibiotic resistance, allergic reactions, nutritional changes and the creation of toxins. GE crops also threaten plant diversity, essential for food security.

What is so bad about Monsanto?

“There are a variety of complaints against them, mainly in the areas of  Genetically Modified Foods, Growth Hormones, Pesticides, and Herbicides.

The two biggest objections, based on what is known of their practices, are:

  • They’ve designed and sell seeds that bear sterile fruit so that farmers will have to buy more seeds for subsequent crops.
  • They have a VERY litigious track record around patent enforcement claims. They’ve been known to sue (or merely threaten to sue) farmers who are adjacent to other farms that have used Monsanto products and seeds on the grounds that the adjacent farms may be infringing on Monsanto’s patents. (Referring back to point #1, if a farmer uses Monsanto products and then tries to plant non-Monsanto in following seasons, attorneys will again show up demanding evidence that the fields are completely free of patented Monsanto seeds).


End quote: Ian McCullough

“The term GM foods or GMOs (genetically-modified organisms) is most commonly used to refer to crop plants created for human or animal consumption using the latest molecular biology techniques. These plants have been modified in the laboratory to enhance desired traits such as increased resistance to herbicides or improved nutritional content. The enhancement of desired traits has traditionally been undertaken through breeding, but conventional plant breeding methods can be very time consuming and are often not very accurate.

Genetic engineering, on the other hand, can create plants with the exact desired trait very rapidly and with great accuracy. For example, plant geneticists can isolate a gene responsible for drought tolerance and insert that gene into a different plant. The new genetically modified plant will gain drought tolerance as well. Not only can genes be transferred from one plant to another, but genes from non-plant organisms also can be used. The best-known example of this is the use of B.t. genes in corn and other crops. B.t., or Bacillus thuringiensis, is a naturally occurring bacterium that produces crystal proteins that are lethal to insect larvae. B.t. crystal protein genes have been transferred into corn, enabling the corn to produce its own pesticides against insects such as the European corn borer. For two informative overviews of some of the techniques involved in creating GM foods, visit Biotech Basics (sponsored by Monsanto)”  Said: www.csa.com

Monsanto has filed papers in federal court, arguing that Milk from cows treated with their genetically engineered Bovine growth hormone is no different from untreated Milk.

There is evidence that Monsanto’s own scientist (Margaret Miller) confirmed the validity of an assay that can determine the difference between genetically engineered milk and normal milk. Scientist Margaret Miller left Monsanto in the middle of the FDA approval process and went to work at FDA where she analyzed her own research, which led to approval.

In approving Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine Growth hormone, the Food & Drug Administration determined that there were no differences between “wholesome” milk and the new genetically modified version.

The FDA relieved Monsanto from the obligation of developing a test for the new milk, stating that there could be no test because the milks were identical. Since Miller now worked for FDA and she once worked for Monsanto, it is clear that the pharmaceutical giant knew. Freedom of Information Act request for Miller’s FDA job application was filled. On that document, she boasts of having performed that very test.

Monsanto hired ex-Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, who stated that the two milks were indistinguishable. After such confirmation from the esteemed Dr. Koop, who needed a second opinion?


The milks are different, Monsanto claims?

Cornell University dairy scientist, Vitaly Spitsberg, owns a patent for a method to detect hormonal treatment in animals (US Patent #5,635,401).

This patent confirms that Cornell University was given grant money by the United States Department of Agriculture in 1992; two years Before Monsanto received official approval for the use of Recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST) in dairy cows.

(Grant #92-27206-779).

One feature of milk is that it is loaded with saturated fat. These fat molecules are not entirely fat. They are actually composed of many different layers. The thin outermost layer is made of protein, and that is the key. While one would assume that genetically engineered milk could be tested by measuring the levels of bovine growth hormone or insulin-like growth factor-I, the new patented test measures an unusual protein in the membrane named” milk fat globule membrane” or MFGM. Keeping this simple, the MFGM contains an unusual protein named mammary derived growth inhibitor, which is a fatty acid-binding protein (MDGI or FABP). The new-patented method measures the amounts of these new proteins so that an easy test of milk can determine whether it has been genetically engineered.

300,000 Organic Farmers Sue Monsanto in Federal Court

Hundreds of citizens, (even including NYC chefs in their white chef hats) joined Occupy the Food System groups, ie Food Democracy Now, gathered outside the Federal Courts in Manhattan on January 31st to support organic family farmers in their landmark lawsuit against Big Agribusiness giant Monsanto. (Organic Seed Growers & Trade Association v. Monsanto) Oral arguments were heard that day concerning the lawsuit by 83 plaintiffs representing over 300,000 organic farmers, organic seed growers, and organic seed businesses.

The lawsuit addresses the bizarre and shocking issue of Monsanto harassing and threatening organic farmers with lawsuits of “patent infringement” if any organic farmer ends up with any trace amount of GM seeds on their organic farmland. http://www.readersupportednews.o…

Americans are mostly clueless about whether the food they buy has been genetically altered. But in a nation increasingly concerned about food ingredients, there’s a new push for that to change.

A coalition of 300 companies, organizations and doctors will announce that it has filed a petition with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to require that all genetically engineered foods include a label that advises consumers they’re eating food that has been altered. Food makers in the U.S. currently don’t have to say boo about selling food whose molecules have been changed.

The actions come at a time when American consumers are more closely reading product labels and are showing greater concern about the ingredients in the foods they buy. According to USA Today.

It’s hard to keep some foods completely GMO-free, which leads to the question: what should the label say?

“May contain genetically modified products”

According to a 1999 Environics poll, 80 per cent of Canadians want GM foods to be labeled. Greenpeace Canada says that number is closer to 95 per cent.

Consumer groups say people just want to know what they are putting in their mouths. Any labeling would at least provide them with information so they can make their own decisions about what they are eating.

Sources of the blog content:
Mosanto: www.gmwatch.org


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