Wednesday 1st of December 2021

crops of ill-grains...


Genetically modified crops will be allowed to enter the UK food chain without the need for regulatory clearance for the first time under controversial plans expected to be approved this week.

The Observer understands that the UK intends to back EU plans permitting the importing of animal feed containing traces of unauthorised GM crops in a move that has alarmed environmental groups.

Importing animal feed containing GM feed must at present be authorised by European regulators. But a vote on Tuesday in favour of the scheme put forward by the EU's standing committee on the food chain and animal health would overturn the EU's "zero tolerance" policy towards the import of unauthorised GM crops.

The move would mark a significant victory for the GM lobby, which has pushed for a relaxation of the blanket ban for years.Environmental groups claim the GM industry wants to use the presence of unauthorised organisms in animal feed as part of a wider strategy to promote its technology.

the cultivation of peace...

Helping Veterans Trade Their Swords for Plows


VALLEY CENTER, Calif. — On an organic farm here in avocado country, a group of young Marines, veterans and Army reservists listened intently to an old hand from the front lines.

“Think of it in military terms,” he told the young recruits, some just back from Iraq or Afghanistan. “It’s a matter of survival, an uphill battle. You have to think everything is against you and hope to stay alive.”

The battle in question was not the typical ground assault, but organic farming — how to identify beneficial insects, for instance, or to prevent stray frogs from clogging an irrigation system. It was Day 2 of a novel boot camp for veterans and active-duty military personnel, including Marines from nearby Camp Pendleton, who might be interested in new careers as farmers.

“In the military, grunts are the guys who get dirty, do the work and are generally underappreciated,” said Colin Archipley, a decorated Marine Corps infantry sergeant turned organic farmer, who developed the program with his wife, Karen, after his three tours in Iraq. “I think farmers are the same.”

At their farm, called Archi’s Acres, the sound of crickets and croaking frogs communes with the drone of choppers. The syllabus, approved by Camp Pendleton’s transition assistance program, includes hands-on planting and irrigating, lectures about “high-value niche markets” and production of a business plan that is assessed by food professionals and business professors.

Along with Combat Boots to Cowboy Boots, a new program for veterans at the University of Nebraska’s College of Technical Agriculture, and farming fellowships for wounded soldiers, the six-week course offered here is part of a nascent “veteran-centric” farming movement. Its goal is to bring the energy of young soldiers re-entering civilian life to the aging farm population of rural America. Half of all farmers are likely to retire in the next decade, according to the Agriculture Department.

pope and GM condone...

(NaturalNews) Yet another leaked report reveals the truth about the Vatican's real stance on genetically-modified organisms (GMO). For years, the "Holy See" has held a dubious stance on the issue, with its Pontifical Academy of Sciences having given GMOs preliminary approval in 2000 while its public communiques expressed opposition. But a new cable exposes the Vatican's secret approval of "Frankenfoods," dismantling the Vatican-promoted illusion of neutrality on the issue.

"Recent conversations between the Holy See officials and USAID ... confirmed the cautious acceptance of biotechGMOs, and its only concern is that "these technologies are going to make developing world farmers more dependent on others, and simply serve to enrich multinational corporations."

Again in 2009, another leaked cable states that "Vatican officials remain largely supportive of genetically-modified crops," referring to Pope Benedict's November 16, 2009, speech at the World Food Security Summit. At this event, Benedict expressed support for global "development," which Monsignor James Reinert from the Vatican Council for Justice and Peace said was "a small but significant step towards more vocal Vatican support of biotechnologies."
food by the Holy See," wrote Christopher Sandrolini, a U.S. diplomat to the Holy See, in an August 26, 2005, cable. The same cable explains that the Vatican has never really been concerned about the safety of

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the hidden GMs...

Please tell us what we're eating

Neal Blewett misses the point about labelling genetically modified food (Letters, February 5-6).

A food can be derived 100 per cent from GM crops but the manufacturer does not have to reveal this important fact on the label. The Food Standards Code only requires a declaration on the label if the food contains modified protein or DNA. But foods such as canola oil, and many food ingredients, do not contain protein or DNA. As a result, there are now hundreds of GM foods on the supermarket shelves that consumers don't know about.

In failing to recommend that this huge loophole be closed, the authors of the Review of Food Labelling Law and Policy have espoused the food industry's position while ignoring submissions made by organisations such as Choice on behalf of consumers.

While there is no scientific evidence that GM foods are directly harmful to consumers, there is plenty of evidence that GM crops are harmful to the environment. GM crop genes can move across to weed plants which become resistant to herbicides, and there is growing evidence that introduction of some GM varieties has increased the use of pesticides. Furthermore, patent laws give the developers of GM crops a dangerous degree of control over the food supply.

Important agricultural markets are increasingly dominated by a few multinational corporations and there has been a convergence of ownership between agricultural chemicals and GM seeds.

Increased control of the seed supply by a handful of agricultural biotechnology giants is raising seed prices and reducing seed choices.

Many consumers care about these issues; we should have the freedom to choose whether or not to buy foods derived from GM crops or animals.

David Oakenfull Asquith

it's cotton...

A steep rise in the price of cotton has caused panic buying in mills across the US. The devastating effect of floods on cotton farmlands in Pakistan and Australia, combined with an increased demand for the fibre in China, have caused the value of cotton to jump to $1.8122 a pound – its highest level since the American Civil War.

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) has put measures in place to prevent speculators from buying up large quantities of cotton in order to profit from the price increase.

ICE proposed that any company dealing in more than 300 contracts of Ice Cotton No2 would have to prove that their trading was "economically appropriate to the reduction of risks arising from the potential change in the value of the assets".

The cost of cotton has risen by 30 per cent since mid-January, but analysts believe that prices will now ease. "The cotton price rally looks like it contains elements of panic now," said Carsten Fritsch, a commodities analyst at Commerzbank. "We believe the price of cotton is already in a phase of exaggeration and expect a sharp fall in price in the coming months."

Read more:,business,cotton-price-rise-causes-panic-buying-in-us#ixzz1DGEWnoka

Meanwhile in Aussieland...
In a non-drought year, Australia’s cotton industry is
worth approximately $1.5 billion annually, and there
are around 800 growers in the cotton growing areas
of NSW and Queensland.
Cotton has many uses, the most common being the
production of clothing. It is also used for familiar
products such as cotton buds, and less known
products like bank notes, x-rays and upholstery.
Cotton seed is pressed to extract the oil from it, and
this oil is used in the food industry, particularly by
fast food and take-away outlets. The hull of the seed
is also used as stock feed.
Genetically modified insect resistant cotton varieties
were introduced to the Australian cotton industry in
1996. After more than a decade of use, GM varieties
now represent more than 90 per cent of cotton
grown across the country.

Gus: GM cotton seed oil is used the fast food industry... ALL GM crops are created with PATENTS, the goal of which is to control and own food and crop sources for the entire world...

dumb & getting dumber .....

The West Australian Minister for Agriculture, Terry Redman, wants to redefine "organic" to accommodate genetic engineering. Well he might wish it, since the legal battle brewing there over contamination of organic crops by genetically modified ones could easily blow right back onto his turf. Far scarier, though, is the environmental blowback, which could knock all these little old floods and cyclones into a cocked hat.

Steve Marsh is an organic farmer in Kojonup, four hours south-east of Perth. Or that's what he thought he was. So did the certifiers. Then, last December, the nightmare came true. Marsh's wheat and oats began testing 70 per cent positive for novel DNA and he was stripped of certification. A year earlier, following approval by the Gene Technology Regulator, the WA government approved commercialisation of GM, or ''Roundup Ready'', canola - although their own fact sheet at the time cited a United Nations report that "since the advent of GM canola in Canada farmers can no longer grow organic canola in western Canada."

They also admitted that GM canola can cross-pollinate with a number of other species, and eating such resulting crops would decertify organic livestock as well. Yet they broke their promise to publish a list of GM farmers so that non-GM growers could take evasive action. Their official advice? That "farmers discuss . . . this remote possibility [of contamination] with their neighbours".

Organic farming, produce | Danger on the GM food road

only green in GM is in the US dollar notes for Monsanto...

From the SMH letters

Most farmers say no to GM crops


Most Aussie farmers are free to grow GM canola, despite what CropLife says (Letters, February 11); they just choose not to. This is despite the GM patent-holders and their lobbyists, including CropLife, spending millions pushing the technology.

Less than 10 per cent of the Australian canola crop is GM. Australians don't want it. So why should non-GM growers have to modify their systems to accommodate the new guys?

Of course GM seed is the problem. In India, almost all cotton farmers live below the poverty line. GM farmers there incur massive debt and vastly higher input costs for little or no yield gain. For example, in 2009 - a dry year - GM cotton farmers suffered 90 per cent lower profitability and 65 per cent higher accumulated debt than organic growers. And financial hardship is the single greatest obstacle to the well-being of farmers and their communities.

It is true that pesticide spraying has been reduced for Australian cotton, because the pesticide is built into the plant, but the effects on soil biodiversity are concerning even to the CSIRO.

Throw in the increased herbicide use associated with GM and the greater demand for petroleum-based fertilisers that degraded soil creates and it's clear that the only green in GM is in the US dollar notes lining Monsanto's pockets.

Nathaniel Pelle Greenpeace Australia Pacific, Ultimo

poisoning nature...

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - US agrochemical corporation Monsanto, owned by Germany's Bayer pharmaceuticals, had a comprehensive strategy in place to target journalists and activists investigating instances where the company's products were found to cause cancer, The Guardian reported, citing internal documents.

The Guardian discovered that Monsanto operated a "fusion center" to monitor and discredit the activities of critical journalists, including Carey Gillam, a former Reuters reporter who investigated allegations that the company’s weed killer product Roundup was a substantial factor in causing cancer.

According to the media outlet, Monsanto made deliberate efforts to discredit Gillam's book about the company, titled "Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science," including by way of inspiring third parties and industry customers to post negative reviews. The company then paid Google to ensure that these very reviews showed up first in search results, the newspaper learned.

"I’ve always known that Monsanto didn’t like my work … and worked to pressure editors and silence me. But I never imagined a multi-billion dollar company would actually spend so much time and energy and personnel on me. It’s astonishing," Gillam told the media outlet.

US food research non-profit Right to Know (USRTK) and Neil Young, the renowned singer and songwriter who released an album in 2015 called the Monsanto Years, were also targeted by the company's corporate intelligence.

These documents were disclosed as part of ongoing court proceedings over the allegations surrounding the company’s weed killer. Monsanto has already been ordered by the court to pay billions in compensation to those who developed cancer after using the product.


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cyanide bombs...

The Trump administration has reauthorized government officials to use controversial poison devices – dubbed “cyanide bombs” by critics – to kill coyotes, foxes and other animals across the US.

The spring-loaded traps, called M-44s, are filled with sodium cyanide and are most frequently deployed by Wildlife Services, a federal agency in the US Department of Agriculture that kills vast numbers of wild animals each year, primarily for the benefit of private farmers and ranchers.

In 2018, Wildlife Services reported that its agents had dispatched more than 1.5 million native animals, from beavers to black bears, wolves, ducks and owls. Roughly 6,500 of them were killed by M-44s.

On Tuesday, after completing the first phase of a routine review, the US Environmental Protection Agency announced that it would allow sodium cyanide’s continued use in M-44s across the country on an interim basis.


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