Saturday 23rd of March 2019

is genetic engineering democratic?...


is genetic manipulation democratic?...

Well this where there is confusion; The answer to genetic engineering is quite clear: NO... Not at this point in time... Though it depends on who and what we include in our "democracy"... Has nature got a vote?...

So far not a single country has had the courage to get their voters to adjudicate on the "genetic engineering" vexing issue...

I believe that should the question be put to the Americans: "should GMO food and stuff be allowed on your table?" the democratic answer would be presently a resounding "NO"...

For starters most of the religious nuts should be horrified that life is being manipulated "in vitro" by little gods in white coats...

Second, the conservationists should be horrified that nature is being "denatured" by scientists and polluting the natural gene pool...

Third scientists should be horrified that other scientists are crossing the strong line of species by unnatural gene splicing...

Fourth, you, the consumer should be horrified that the food you eat today isn't that of your ancestors and NO-ONE knows the effect of this transformation on the future of humankind in generations to come....

Thus presently, GMOs are not democratic. They are enforced in a despotic way by corporations who have bamboozled your governments — especially that of America into not allowing proper labelling of food with a loud warming and not having had the guts to put a vote on the creation and usage of GMOs... But have not humans done genetic manipulation for yonks without knowing it?

What is the beef...?
GMO companies like Monsanto are about profits. They claim that food shortage demands new ways to grow things. But the way to grow things intensively and mono-culturally leads to invasion of pests and weeds that have been the scourge of farmers for years... Stronger weed-killers and stronger insecticides have been "invented" but these eventually enter the food chain... In order to "minimise" these, the idea is to create a patent seed for crop resistant to insects and resistant to powerful weed-killers such as Round-Up... All you need to do is do a bit of genetic "engineering" and bob is your uncle... 

Over the last 10 millennium, humans have "modified" some grasses into wheat, rye and corn... by "selection" of seeds. There were wild wheat, wild rye, spelt... But humans by favouring which grasses had the plumpest of seeds did some nifty gene-"manipulation"... This gene manipulation is obviously seen in breeds of dogs, roses, cats, and a million other stuff that humans use for food, decoration or companions. So what's the problemo? 

The major difference here between seed "selection" manipulation and GMO "engineering" is huge... Genetic engineering is performed in the most "unnatural" way by crossing the essential non-crossable species boundaries... In nature, although there is evolution and devolution, at no point is there a cross-over between say "a fish gene-segment and a cactus gene-segment"... This cross-over is not possible in nature. 

What are the genes?
The genes are the memory of life since the beginning of life... They are complex molecules that contain the memory of duplication and reproduction of life which over more than three billion years have diversified into the life-force of all species....

Each species have evolved "separately" from the same stock (or similar various stocks of amino-acids?) — but the diversity of species are such that no species can "remix" with other species readily — apart from very closely related species such as horses and donkeys of which the offsprings are mostly sterile, or the "possible" remix of homo sapiens with homo neanderthalis...
If species were not so strongly defined by the separation of genes, there would be an enormous array of man-fish, dog-turtle or horse-cow on this planet (imagine in antiquity by the man-goats) — and a lot of confused individuals...

Even within species such as humans, the individual gene-pool is controlled by strong mechanisms that disallow the "in-breeding" by making related parents' offsprings of poor quality — or impossible...
Where our medical teams have achieved "miracles" in organ transplants, one has to realise there are strong parameters for success, such as compatibility of donor and management of rejection of tissues, using strong drugs that reduce individuals natural defense mechanism against "alien" invasion. In order to "protect" their body against diseases, transplant repients have to take other medicines such as anti-biotics as well...
We know that blood transfusion of the wrong blood type can lead to death very quickly...

The GMOs
GMOs are a misnomer designed to confuse the issue... They are Engineered... GMOs (GEOs) are not about finding the best seed stock resistant to this or that by selection, but to "create" the seed stock by gene splicing of "alien" gene segments into an existing gene stock.

So how do they do it?
There is a lot of trial and error using various "spicing" chemicals, until "a satisfactory" new seed stock is generated upon which futher selection of seed stock by intense breeding. A "terminator" gene ican also created so that after a "healthy plant" has gone to maturity, it is "infertile" in most instance, so that the farmer has to go back to the Darth Vader laboratories to get the next PATENTED seeds for the new crop... Some GEOs seeds are not "infertile and their pollen will pollute non-GEOs crops suchas organically grown crops. There are presently court cases in which the farmer of the "polluted" crop will sue the GEOs companies who in return will sue the farmer for stealing their PATENTED "pollens".
All this allows the Darth Vader laboratories to control the next crops, protect their patents and become the ruler of the universe — as far as farming is concerned, so far...

What are the advantages of GEOs/GMOs?
The major claims made by the "laboratories" are about the need to "increase the production of food"... But do these stack up?
No... My own calculation tells me that a continent like Africa can feed itself, without GEOs/GMOs nor large monoculture. These are only introduced there for profit of multimnationals — and nothing else.
But in a country like the USA, the present food wastage — should it be reduced to half of what it is — could actually feed another 150 million Americans on top of the "450" million people already living there... I say 450 million because, yes, I know, the population is barely above 300 millions but most Americans over-consume food to such extend that every American on average is worth about 1.5 normal person, in weight, eating and a bit less in dunnydoos (that's why they grow fat)...
So what about the food "waste"? It has been calculated that the US wastes about US$165 billion in food each year, at various levels of "wastage"... From over-production to packing and in your kitchen, the amount of waste is about 40 per cent of the production.

Time to do some major rethink and ban GMOs (GEOs) crops as soon as possible.
They are unnecessary, potentially dangerous as demonstrated by many independent scientific research and intrusive on natural crops and other species. I a sentence: we don't need GEOs for whatever clever reasons their makers peddles them with...
Demand labelling of GMO food crops and the vote on this issue. In the meantime, do your research and vote with your buying: reject these UNNATURAL products by buying as much as possible organic food...


food waste...

How the U.S. manages to waste $165 billion in food each year

By Brad Plumer , Updated: August 22, 2012

Each year, about 40 percent of all food in the United States goes uneaten. It’s just tossed out or left to rot. And that’s a fairly large waste of resources. All that freshwater and land, all that fertilizer and energy — for nothing. By one recent estimate, Americans are squandering the equivalent of $165 billion each year by rubbishing so much food.

evil in your refrigerator...

When we consider the rogue's gallery of devilish, over-sized, greedy and disproportionately powerful corporations, we generally come up with outfits like Microsoft, Bechtel, AIG, Halliburton, Goldman-Sachs, Exxon-Mobil and the United States Senate. Yet somehow, Monsanto, arguably the most devilish, over-sized, greedy and disproportionately powerful corporation in the world has been able to more or less skulk between the raindrops -- only a household name in households where documentaries like Food Inc. are regarded as light Friday evening entertainment. My house, for example. But for the most part, if you were to ask an average American for their list of sinister corporations, Monsanto probably wouldn't make the cut.

It should.

Founded by Missouri pharmacist John Francis Queeny in 1901, Monsanto is literally everywhere. Just about every non-organic food product available to consumers has some sort of connection with Monsanto.

Anyone who can read a label knows that corn, soy and cotton can be found in just about every American food product. Upwards of 90% of all corn, soybeans and cotton are grown from genetically engineered seeds, also known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs). These genetically enhanced products appear in around 70% of all American processed food products. And Monsanto controls 90% of all genetically engineered seeds. In other words, Monsanto controls -- and owns patents on -- most of the American food supply.

enemies of the natural...


As the battle to get genetically engineered foods (or GMOs) labeled in California — a battle that could very well have an impact on labeling nationwide — heats up, Big Food and Big Ag are working in concert to push back to the tune of $25 million. The fight centers around Proposition 37, the ballot initiative from the Right to Know Campaign that will go to vote in November.

If it passes, the result would be no small change. As Mother Jones’ Tom Philpott wrote recently:

Since GM corn, soy, sugar beets, and cotton (the oil part) are processed into sweeteners, fats, and other additives that suffuse the US food system, the initiative would require the labeling of something like 80 percent of all non-organic processed food sold in supermarkets.

As you can see in the chart below, The “Big 6” pesticide makers (BASF, Bayer, Dow, Dupont, Monsanto, and Syngenta) are putting up big money — especially Monsanto and Dupont (full name E. I. Dupont de Nemours). That’s because all of the Big 6 either produce GMO seeds themselves, or pesticides that work in concert with the seeds, so they have the biggest vested interest in seeing GMO proliferation fly under the radar of most Americans.

The names behind processed foods are also getting in on the fight — like PepsiCo, whose many sub-brands sell many foods and beverages that contain GMO high-fructose corn syrup, soy lecithin, etc. So are the companies behind quite a few “health food brands” — from Kashi to Gardenburger to Silk. In fact, the Cornucopia Institute just released a handy shopping guide to help eaters keep their dollars from going to help oppose Prop 37.

Where is the money going, exactly? Many of these companies are paying the same consultants who worked for the tobacco industry to create “astroturf,” or fake grassroots groups that will do their best to make it look like there’s a big crowd of citizens who think labeling is a bad idea. And they’ll undoubtedly convince many voters. This Reuters article that ran yesterday predicts a close battle.

Here’s a breakdown of the 20 largest donors as of Wednesday, Aug. 15:



the chicken and the egg versus the shock jocks...

A year five student who made a discovery about a new kind of link between protein and eggs was among those honoured at last night's Eureka Prize ceremony for excellence in science.

Inspiration can come from unexpected places, and for Ignatius Fox it came when his chickens suddenly laid bigger eggs after breaking into the worm farm.

"So we thought that the worms would give protein to them so we tried giving protein to give the big eggs and it worked," Ignatius said.

The student, from Oyster Bay Public School in Sydney's south, received the top honour at the awards in Sydney for a short science film made by a primary school student.

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, who presented the award, thinks the student's insight puts him ahead of many adults.

"So we've got an 11-year-old person who's made an observation, accidental observation, then formed a hypothesis and then tested it out as opposed to certain radio jocks who'll say, gee, it was warm now and it's colder tonight, therefore there's no such thing as global warming," he said.

Global warming did not play much of a role in the awards but another, lesser-known global issue was front and centre.

Dr Dana Cordell was part of a team that won an award for research into sustaining the dwindling global supply of phosphorus, which is an essential ingredient in fertiliser.

"The good news is we can avert a crisis," Dr Cordell said.

"We will need to recover phosphorus from all organic waste and that includes food waste, human excreta, manure, crop waste.

"At the same time we'll also need to dramatically increase the efficiency of our current food systems."

the antibiotics versus organics...

HEALTHBEAT: Is organic healthier? Study says not so much, but it’s key reason consumers buyBy Associated Press, Published: September 4

WASHINGTON — Patient after patient asked: Is eating organic food, which costs more, really better for me?

Unsure, Stanford University doctors dug through reams of research to find out — and concluded there’s little evidence that going organic is much healthier, citing only a few differences involving pesticides and antibiotics.

Eating organic fruits and vegetables can lower exposure to pesticides, including for children — but the amount measured from conventionally grown produce was within safety limits, the researchers reported Monday.

Nor did the organic foods prove more nutritious.

“I was absolutely surprised,” said Dr. Dena Bravata, a senior research affiliate at Stanford and long-time internist who began the analysis because so many of her patients asked if they should switch.

“There are many reasons why someone might choose organic foods over conventional foods,” from environmental concerns to taste preferences, Bravata stressed. But when it comes to individual health, “there isn’t much difference.”

Her team did find a notable difference with antibiotic-resistant germs, a public health concern because they are harder to treat if they cause food poisoning.

Specialists long have said that organic or not, the chances of bacterial contamination of food are the same, and Monday’s analysis agreed. But when bacteria did lurk in chicken or pork, germs in the non-organic meats had a 33 percent higher risk of being resistant to multiple antibiotics, the researchers reported Monday in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

That finding comes amid debate over feeding animals antibiotics, not because they’re sick but to fatten them up. Farmers say it’s necessary to meet demand for cheap meat. Public health advocates say it’s one contributor to the nation’s growing problem with increasingly hard-to-treat germs. Caroline Smith DeWaal, food safety director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, counted 24 outbreaks linked to multidrug-resistant germs in food between 2000 and 2010.

The government has begun steps to curb the nonmedical use of antibiotics on the farm.


The difference between organic and non organic is far more than the "nutritional value" which can appear to be the same... For example there is also "taste" and what I call "elegance"... Elegance is devised as an organically grown produce is often less "gross"  than the intensely grown farm produce — which often is tougher and tasteless, through force feeding and liberal usage of pesticides and herbicides. As well the organic food produce does not kill insects and as such respects the natural processes in which bees act as a pollinator for example.  The problem posed by the antibiotics are numerous and we've only seen the tip of the iceberg so to speak... In "organically" grown food, there is no boosters, nor is there antibiotics that can throw the future of medicine at risk...

some mixed sanity at last...

The US supreme court has ruled unanimously that natural human genes cannot be patented, a decision that scientists and civil rights campaigners said removed a major barrier to patient care and medical innovation.

The court on Thursday held that human DNA was a "product of nature", a basic tool of scientific and technological work, thereby placing it beyond the domain of patent protection. It struck down patents held by Myriad Genetics Inc, a Utah company, on two genes linked to a higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

But it also said that synthetic genetic material could be patented, in a mixed ruling for the biotechnology industry, which has argued that patents are necessary to recoup the billions of dollars it spends on research.

Myriad carries out tests for BRCA genes, recently brought into the public eye when actor Angelina Jolie revealed she had a double mastectomy after learning she tested positive for one of the genes.

The ruling represents a major shift in the law, overturning three decades of patent awards by the US government and could have a profound effect on the biotechnology and drug industry.

Justice Clarence Thomas ruled that Myriad's assertion that the DNA it isolated from the human body for its tests were patentable had to be dismissed because it violated patent rules. The court said that laws of nature, natural phenomena and abstract ideas lay outside patent protection.

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agent monsanto...


The Undercurrent delves into the world of mass agriculture to ask how one company has such huge control over the world's food supply. The name Monsanto was once synonymous with Agent Orange, but in today's world it's the dominance of the widespread pesticide Roundup which helps keep the company on top of the pile. But is the World Health Organisation's claim that Roundup 'probably' causes cancer, cause for concern? And what about the company's stance on patenting which sees farmers in developing countries unable to hold on to their seeds for the next season? Guardian Australia has joined forces with The Undercurrent – an online news show billing itself as an antidote to the five-second soundbite – for a four-part series over June and July. Brisbane creators Jen Dainer and Dan Graetz say it is the show they wish existed – so they created it themselves

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  1. monsanto | Your By Gus Leonisky at 25 Aug 2012 - 3:06pm; Login or register to post comments; Thumbnail. The opinions expressed in this site are those of ...
  2. deadly concoctions ..... | Your Democracy
  4. 22 Feb 2012 ... The monumental case paves the way for legal action against Monsanto'sRoundup and other harmful herbicides and pesticides made by other ...
  5. beware corporations bearing gifts ..... | Your Jan 2011 ... "A fabulous Easter gift," commented Monsanto Director of Development Initiatives Elizabeth Vancil. Nearly 60,000 seed sacks of hybrid corn ...
  6. genetically modified lies... | Your‎5 Jul 2011 ... [1] The world's top four seed companies - Monsanto, Dupont, Syngenta andBayer - now control over half of the world's seed sales. These are ...
  7. of silent killers... | Your‎13 Jun 2012 ... Monsanto, the massive biotechnology company being blamed for contributing to the dwindling bee population, has bought up one of the ...


the project would be handled discreetly...

For a blockbuster recent piece, the New York Times' Eric Lipton got a first look a massive cache of private emails between prominent public university scientists and GMO industry executives and flacks. The emails came to light through a barrage ofcontroversial Freedom of Information Act requests by U.S. Right to Know, which is funded by the scrappy, anti-corporate Organic Consumers Association.

In addition to the correspondence uncovered by USRTK, Lipton used the FOIA to uncover emails showing close ties between former University of Washington researcher Charles Benbrook and organic food companies like farmer-owned dairy company Organic Valley. Lipton paints a fascinating picture of the the place occupied by public universities in the PR and lobbying war between the agrichemical/GM seed and organic food industries.

"I understand and appreciate that you need me to be completely transparent and I am keenly aware that your independence and reputations must be protected," a Monsanto rep wrote to professors.

But his piece, excellent as it is, may actually underplay the extent to which Monsanto, other ag-biotech companies, and their trade groups and hired PR gunsrely on friendly professors as foot soldiers in the industry's battle against regulators and critics.

Here are some highlights that didn't make it into theTimes. Although there is no specific evidence to suggest that Monsanto paid professors for these activities, and many of the professors have said they reached their conclusions independently, the correspondence is nonetheless interesting: 

• In an August 2013 email to nine prominent academics, Monsanto's strategic engagement lead Eric Sachs broached a plan: that the group would pen "short policy briefs on important topics in the agricultural biotechnology arena," chosen "because of their influence on public policy, GM crop regulation, and consumer acceptance."

Sachs assured the professors that the project would be handled discreetly. "I understand and appreciate that you need me to be completely transparent and I am keenly aware that your independence and reputations must be protected," he wrote. Two outside entities—an industry-funded group called the American Council on Science and Health and a PR outfit called CMA—would "manage the process of producing the policy briefs," "coordinate website posting and promotion," and "merchandize" the briefs by helping turn them into "op-eds, blog postings, speaking engagements, events, webinars, etc." This third-party management is "an important element," the Monsanto exec added, "because Monsanto wants the authors to communicate freely without involvement by Monsanto."

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the news you won't get about monsanto...


Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to join a worldwide protest against the multinational biotech and agribusiness corporation Monsanto with rallies to be held in as many as 46 countries in various parts of the world.

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Your Western press paper today will mention a lot about such footballer's chunder of boozy carrots, but nothing about the fact the carrots are sprayed with Roundup to kill the leaves and make it easier for carrots to be uprooted. But with Baron Rupert of Mediocrity controlling much of what the English media will choose as news, we can't be surprised.

the only option left: buy certified organic...

Update (7/8/2016): The full Senate approved the labeling-preemption bill by a vote of 63-30 Thursday evening. The measure now goes to the House of Representatives, "where it is expected to pass," Reuters reports.

Update (7/7/2016): The labeling-preemption compromise bill cobbled together in the Senate Ag committee moved forward Wednesday, winning a procedural vote 65-32, meaning it will be voted on—and likely approved—by the full Senate as early as Thursday night. Drama accompanied the vote. Pro-labeling activists dumped $2,000 in cash on the Senate floor, shouting "Monsanto Money" and "Sen. Stabenow, listen to the people, not Monsanto," reports The Hill. And Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), an opponent of the bill, executed an epic Twitter troll of Senate Ag Committee Democrats, as Quartzexplains. Assuming the bill passes the full Senate, it will still need to be approved by the House and signed by the president.

As recently as two weeks ago, the food industry was preparing to place labels on food products that contain genetically modified ingredients. But if a bipartisan deal cobbled together last Thursday in the Senate Agriculture Committee gets signed into law, widespread labeling likely won't come to pass. Instead, food companies will have the option of disclosing GM ingredients on their products with QR codes that can be read by smartphones, accompanied by only the words "scan here for more food information"—without direct on-package mention of GMOs.

The fight centers on a Vermont law, due to go into effect on July 1, that would require labeling in that state. Rather than go through the trouble of segregating out and labeling products destined for a state with a population 626,000, many huge food companies had instead resigned themselves to labeling nationwide. In recent months, Mars, General Mills, Kellogg, ConAgra and Campbell Soup all announced plans for labeling.

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crap from monsanto and other crap...

Farmers in Arkansas, Tennessee and southern Missouri are angry at their neighbors – and agrochemical giant Monsanto – over a new weed-killer that has ravaged 200,000 acres of soybean fields. The herbicide is used to treat Monsanto’s new strand of soy.

As controversies mount over its glyphosate-based herbicide, also known as Roundup, the Missouri-based Monsanto has rolled out a new soybean seed intended to be resistant to another weed-killer, known as dicamba. While the "Roundup Ready 2 Xtend" soy has been approved for planting in 2016, US federal regulators have yet to approve the use of dicamba.

Farmers who bought Monsanto’s seeds have taken to spraying their crops with dicamba obtained from other vendors – which is prone to drifting into neighboring fields, severely damaging the non-Xtend crops. Officials across the three states cite a “rough figure” of 200,000 acres affected by the drift, Delta Farm Press reported.

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a blessing in disguise for India...


As India tightens regulatory norms, Monsanto has withdrawn its proposal to introduce next generation genetically modified cotton seeds into the country.

Seed giant Monsanto has decided to suspend the introduction of next generation genetically modified (GM) cotton seeds in India. Monsanto, in a statement acknowledged that the decision was prompted by differences with the Indian government over royalty fees and price caps.

"Our decision to suspend this introduction in India is an outcome of the uncertainty in the business and regulatory environment, which includes the regulation of trait fees and introduction of the draft compulsory licensing guidelines," a Monsanto spokesperson said in a statement to the Press Trust of India.

Monsanto planned to sell Bollgard II Roundup Ready Flex cotton seeds to India.


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insecticides for profits...

The idea that pesticides are essential to feed a fast-growing global population is a myth, according to UN food and pollution experts.

new report, being presented to the UN human rights council on Wednesday, is severely critical of the global corporations that manufacture pesticides, accusing them of the “systematic denial of harms”, “aggressive, unethical marketing tactics” and heavy lobbying of governments which has “obstructed reforms and paralysed global pesticide restrictions”.

The report says pesticides have “catastrophic impacts on the environment, human health and society as a whole”, including an estimated 200,000 deaths a year from acute poisoning. Its authors said: “It is time to create a global process to transition toward safer and healthier food and agricultural production.” 

The world’s population is set to grow from 7 billion today to 9 billion in 2050. The pesticide industry argue that their products – a market worth about $50bn (£41bn) a year and growing – are vital in protecting crops and ensuring sufficient food supplies. 

“It is a myth,” said Hilal Elver, the UN’s special rapporteur on the right to food. “Using more pesticides is nothing to do with getting rid of hunger. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), we are able to feed 9 billion people today. Production is definitely increasing, but the problem is poverty, inequality and distribution.”

Elver said many of the pesticides are used on commodity crops, such as palm oil and soy, not the food needed by the world’s hungry people: “The corporations are not dealing with world hunger, they are dealing with more agricultural activity on large scales.”


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round up...

Agrichemical giant Monsanto is currently facing lawsuits from people who claim that exposure to the company’s blockbuster product Roundup has caused cancer, specifically non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancers of the blood. The active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, is the suspected culprit. Roundup is the most widely used herbicide on the planet right now.

As part of this ongoing litigation, Judge Vince Chhabria has unsealed some of the documents that have been filed with the court. These documents appear to show that Monsanto had numerous contacts with regulators at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during the time that the agency was supposed to be investigating the link between Roundup and certain cancers.

The New York Times provides the following summary of the exchanges revealed in the unsealed documents:

“The court documents included Monsanto’s internal emails and email traffic between the company and federal regulators. The records suggested that Monsanto had ghostwritten research that was later attributed to academics and indicated that a senior official at the Environmental Protection Agency had worked to quash a review of Roundup’s main ingredient, glyphosate, that was to have been conducted by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

The documents also revealed that there was some disagreement within the E.P.A. over its own safety assessment …

In one email unsealed Tuesday, William F. Heydens, a Monsanto executive, told other company officials that they could ghostwrite research on glyphosate by hiring academics to put their names on papers that were actually written by Monsanto. 'We would be keeping the cost down by us doing the writing and they would just edit & sign their names so to speak,' Mr. Heydens wrote, citing a previous instance in which he said the company had done this.”

These documents could help shine some light on issues that had remained a relative mystery up to this point.

For example, why did the EPA determine in 1985 that glyphosate should be classified as a group C carcinogen — possibly cancer-causing in humans but lacking sufficient studies of humans and animals — only to reverse that decision six years later? Did it have anything to do with Monsanto’s influence over the agency, or did new studies emerge that cast doubt on previous conclusions? The latter seems less likely considering the fact that the bulk of independent research has reached the same conclusions about the existence of a probable link between Roundup’s glyphosate and cancers.

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the colour orange...

Regulators in Europe and the United States are asking flower breeders to destroy vast numbers of petunias after a chance discovery by a Finnish plant biologist revealed that several varieties are genetically engineered (GE). Officials say the petunias pose no threat to human health or the environment—and likely were unknowingly sold for years—but it’s illegal to sell them without a permit. The varieties may be descendants of a 30-year-old biotechnology breakthrough that researchers in the field assumed were never commercialized. The petunia carnage highlights the growing complexity of regulating GE plants, which have a history of showing up where they aren’t allowed and can be hard to track.

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According to the article, these orange petunias were the result of some early genetic engineering in Germany, when they used a maize (corn) gene in 1987 to produce a pigment in the petunia, pelargonidin, the colour orange. At the time "transgenic" was used synonymously with "toxic".

Hopefully, the orange petunias is only an isolated case of GM product entering the cycle of nature, without being regulated, but according to some other sources, this is only the tip of an iceberg of corruption of natural genes... as new GM techniques don't leave any definitive evidence of tinkering. 

You are allowed to panic.

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toxic purchase...


Monsanto Merger Migraine

Safe Or Not, Roundup Is Toxic for Bayer

German multinational Bayer underestimated the risks of acquiring Monsanto. Now, the company is desperately seeking to contain the damage by selling business divisions and cutting jobs. So far, though, none of these moves have helped.

By Frank Dohmen, Martin Hesse and Armin Mahler

In Werner Baumann's world, the truth is one-dimensional, as he likes to put it, based on facts and scientific findings, studies and expert opinions. That's why the head of Germany's Bayer Group has no doubts about the safety of glyphosate. He says he would acquire Monsanto, the American manufacturer of the controversial crop herbicide at any time, "without any ifs, ands or buts."

But the world outside Bayer Group views things differently. A large segment of the public considers glyphosate to be toxic and Monsanto itself to be the epitome of evil. Thousands of farmers with cancer have filed lawsuits against Monsanto's new owner, and investors now view Bayer shares as high-risk stocks they don't want to include in their portfolios. This has made the past year one of the most difficult in Bayer Group's 155-year history. The new year could prove to be even more turbulent, and it's possible the situation could grow even more perilous for the company. 

"Life is always life-threatening," says Baumann. "In both the corporate and private spheres, we make decisions that entail risks every day." But of course, "all reputation issues and risks were actively identified and assessed" in the course of the Monsanto acquisition. 

It is now clear, however, that the company clearly underestimated them. Bayer's supervisory board unanimously approved the $63 billion acquisition, the most expensive in German business history. 

Shedding Market Capitalization

Bayer has shed more than 30 billion euros from its market capitalization since the acquisition in the summer of 2018, largely because Monsanto lost one of the first lawsuits against it relating to glyphosate. Bayer executives have been almost desperate in their attempts to reassure shareholders: The company is cutting huge numbers of jobs, selling off parts of the company and has even announced the repurchase of its own shares -- a step usually taken by companies swimming in money that are unsure how to invest it. So far, though, none of these measures have had the desired effect.

And what happens if other plaintiffs prevail and the company is not able to appeal those decisions, as it can still do in the first lawsuit? Will the stock then become a pawn for speculators and the corporation the target of an attack by activists who plan to break Bayer up because the individual parts could be worth more than the whole? 

It would spell the end of a company that is an intrinsic part of Germany and its business history.


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Obviously Bayer did not look at the concequences or were pushed by the USA to buy Monsanto. Profits were reasonable but the reputation of RoundUp and other Monsanto insecticides would have had to be considered. Meanwhile the Chinese bought the other killing chemical company — possibly to reduce competition. 


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