USDA Approves World’s First GMO Apples

USDA Approves World’s First GMO Apples

USDA Approves World’s First GMO Apples

By The Ecologist

USDA Approves World's First GMO Apples

After eight hours, Arctic Granny apples, right, do not brown like unmodified Granny apples. Image credit: Okanagan Specialty Fruits

Scientists, environmental and consumer groups have decried USDA’s approval of two ‘Arctic’ apple varieties, while major food companies and apple growers have no plans to source or grow them – despite their potential to ‘generate consumer excitement in the apple category.’

Arctic apples offer lower shrinkage and the related savings, while a whole new line of improved apple products will generate consumer excitement in the apple category.

The US Department of Agriculture has ‘deregulated’ two varieties of Arctic® apple, the world’s first genetically engineered apple produced by Canadian corporation Okanagan Specialty Fruits.

The USDA’s deregulation technically allows ‘Arctic Granny’ and ‘Arctic Golden’ apples to be planted and sold without specific oversight, although the FDA may engage Okanagan in a voluntary safety consultation process prior to the GMO apple being available in the US.

According to Okanagan, the apples will be labeled as ‘Arctic’, but will not be labeled as genetically engineered.

Despite this approval, a number of major food companies including McDonald’s and Gerber, Nestle’s baby food brand, have already stated that they have no plans to source or sell this genetically engineered apple.

The same goes for major apple growing associations, including USApple and the Northwest Horticultural Council – which represents Washington state apple growers who grow more than 60% of the US apple crop – that have stated opposition to this GMO apple.

Lisa Archer, Food and Technology program director at Friends of the Earth, was among those who decried USDA’s “flawed approval” of the GMO apple. “There is no place in the US or global market for genetically engineered apples”, she said.

“Farmers don’t want to grow it, food companies don’t want to sell it and consumers don’t want to eat it.”

Watch whose RNA you’re interfering with!

The purported advantage of the Arctic apple is that it does not ‘brown’ when exposed to air, because the enymes that catalyse the natural browning process have been diasabled.

To achieve this the apple is genetically engineered via a new, virtually untested experimental technique called RNA interference (RNAi), to ‘silence’ the genes that express the enzymes.

But many scientists fear that the lack of these enzymes may have negative, unintended impacts on human health and the environment, in a number of ways. Without natural browning, apples may look fresh when they are actually decaying.

“We are concerned that USDA’s safety evaluation of this apple was inadequate, particularly with regard to the health and environmental implications of this particular RNAi technology”, says Dr. Michael Hansen, senior scientist at Consumers Union.

The natural browning enzyme in apples may also help to fight diseases and pests, meaning that famers may have to increase their pesticide use on these new GMO apples. Conventional, non-GMO apples already carry some of the highest levels of toxic pesticide residues, many of them linked to hormone disruption, reproductive harm and ADHD.

Another scientific concern, adds Archer, is that while Okanagan’s RNAi process aims to silence four of the apple’s genes, the process “may be dangerously imprecise.” Targeted gene sequences are similar to other closely related genes, so the silencing process “could unintentionally impact genes that affect other functions in the plant.”

“Okanagan’s petition for deregulation also does not adequately analyze the other potential functions that the targeted gene sequence could have, other than browning in apples, nor does it address the risk of unintentionally silencing the non-targeted genes. It is unclear how the USDA evaluates the risks from gene silencing and other powerful new biotechnologies.”

GMO pollen could contaminate apple crops, and seeds

If grown commercially, organic and conventional farms also face risks of contamination from neighboring GMO apple groves.

Read more

Posted by Red Pill Reports in Science & Technology
New Law Blocks Anti-GMO Scientists from Advising EPA

New Law Blocks Anti-GMO Scientists from Advising EPA

New Law Blocks Anti-GMO Scientists from Advising EPA

By Christina Sarich | Natural Society

New Law Blocks Anti-GMO Scientists from Advising EPA

Another Layer of Bureaucracy to Protect Big Biotech

A new law will place restrictions on scientists with clear knowledge on GMO dangers, and create room for experts with overt financial ties to the biotech and pharmaceutical industries affected by EPA regulations. H.R. 1422, which passed 229-191, is an earthquake rumbling through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Scientific Advisory Board.

This means that the EPA can no longer be advised on their own research regarding GMOs or pharmaceutical drugs like antibiotics or vaccines. Can you say circular reasoning, or insular logic? This ‘reform’ means industry-appointed experts will determine what is ‘safe’ and what is not safe for the public, and that the scientists with the most knowledge about the risks pertaining to GMOs and pharmaceuticals will be gagged.

As usual, is the classic political bait and switch, being touted as a means for ‘more transparency.’ But the White House, which threatened to veto the bill, said it would “negatively affect the appointment of experts and would weaken the scientific independence and integrity of the SAB.”

As the Lindsay Abrams points out:

“. . . the bill forbids scientific experts from participating in “advisory activities” that either directly or indirectly involve their own work. In case that wasn’t clear: experts would be forbidden from sharing their expertise in their own research.”

This also means that while Monsanto hides the toxicity results on RoundUp Ready GMO crops and experts call GMO testing woefully inadequate, we now have yet another layer of bureaucracy to protect Big Biotech. With all the anti-science claims made by biotech toward individuals and non-profits who claim GMOs are not safe, this is the exact pot calling the kettle black.

“In other words,” says Union of Concerned Scientists director Andrew A. Rosenberg in an editorial for RollCall, “academic scientists who know the most about a subject can’t weigh in, but experts paid by corporations who want to block regulations can.”

If there was ever a question that our government has been completely infiltrated by extremely questionable interests, let it be known that the stakes have just been raised.


Posted by Red Pill Reports in Health News
Study Links GMOs to Over 22 Different Diseases

Study Links GMOs to Over 22 Different Diseases

Study Links GMOs to Over 22 Different Diseases

By Christina Sarich | Natural Society

A new study released in September of this year gives even more evidence that GMOs should have been banned before they were ever allowed on the market. Read on to find out how “Genetically Engineered Crops, Glyphosate and the Deterioration of Health in the United States of America” pinpoints a significant correlation between GMOs and 22 diseases.

Why does the biotech industry keep hiding the toxicity of their products? Well, there are numerous reasons – the corruption of the American and international governments, the fact that the USDA’s main man appointed by Obama was a former Monsanto executive, and the tremendously deep pockets of mega-corporations to launch propaganda campaigns – are just a few.

 Study Links GMOs to Over 22 Different Diseases

The aforementioned title was published in The Journal of Organic Systems. It is full of very detailed evidence of the link between genetically modified ingredients and diseases such as liver failure, urinary and bladder cancers, hypertension, thyroid disease, stroke, obesity, and more. It is replete with telling charts and graphs that describe visually the mayhem that GMOs have unleashed on society.

Much of the study focuses on the introduction of glyphosate and its subsequent ramifications on human health. The herbicide was introduced in 1974, but the research conducted within this study relied on data since the 1990s, since that is all that was available. Since the early 90s, glyphosate use has grown astronomically.

As the study details:

“. . .glyphosate disrupts the ability of animals, including humans, to detoxify xenobiotics. This means that exposures to the numerous chemicals in food and the environment, such as endocrine disrupting chemicals and carcinogens, could be causing levels of damage that would not occur if the body were able to detoxify them.”

Though the authors admit that correlation is not proof of causation, they state that:

“. . .we have data for 22 diseases, all with a high degree of correlation and very high significance. It seems highly unlikely that all of these can be random coincidence.”

They also bring attention to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine’s position paper on genetically modified (GM) foods:

“[S]everal animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food consumption including infertility, immune dysregulation, accelerated aging, dysregulation of genes associated with cholesterol synthesis, insulin regulation, cell signaling, and protein formation, and changes in the liver, kidney, spleen and gastrointestinal system.”

So what did the authors of this study conclude?

There is an obvious and significant correlation between the increased use of glyphosate and genetically engineered crops grown specifically to withstand its use, and a growing multitude of diseases and their frequency. Many of the graphs show a marked increase right around the 1990s when the makers of glyphosate enjoyed a boost in their profits and an enormous swell of herbicide use from products like RoundUp and others containing the same chemicals.

There is no mistaking the data – the large increase in glyphosate use in the US is mostly due to the increase in glyphosate-resistant GE crops – and this has led to more disease.

The researchers state:

“The probabilities in the graphs and tables show that it is highly unlikely that the correlations are a coincidence. The strength of the correlations shows that there is a very strong probability that they are linked somehow. The number of graphs with similar data trends also indicates a strong probability that there is a link. Although correlation does not necessarily mean causation, when correlation coefficients of over 0.95 (with p-value significance levels less than 0.00001) are calculated for a list of diseases that can be directly linked to glyphosate, via its known biological effects, it would be imprudent not to consider causation as a plausible explanation.”

Sure there are many reasons for chronic disease – diet, lack of exercise, exposure to other environmental toxins, and even genetic predisposition among them, but when your body can’t rid itself of a known carcinogen because it is added straight to the food supply in copious amounts – of course you are going to get sick. It doesn’t take 22 charts to figure that out. After all, glyphosate is appearing in people’s urine, blood, and breast milk.

Since glyphosate is also an endocrine disruptor, this would imply that the current permitted residue levels in food could be causing multiple health problems that have been documented in the scientific literature.

The endocrine system is essential to human health. Since it is being attacked by biotech chemicals on a daily basis, the glands in our bodies like the pituitary, thymus, and pineal can’t secrete hormones that keep us fit, healthy, and disease-free.

All of these functions are carried out by the endocrine system:

  • Growth and development
  • Homeostasis (the internal balance of body systems)
  • Metabolism (body energy levels)
  • Reproduction
  • Response to stimuli (stress and/or injury)

Of course, the body will start to respond with disease-like symptoms when the metabolism, reproductive system, and nervous system are constantly trying to right themselves due to glyphosate exposure.

Read more


Posted by Red Pill Reports in Health News
GMO Crops Are Destroying Farmland, And Monsanto Doesn’t Want You to Know

GMO Crops Are Destroying Farmland, And Monsanto Doesn’t Want You to Know

GMO Crops Are Destroying Farmland, And Monsanto Doesn’t Want You to Know

by Christina Sarich

The European Association for bio-industries, EuropaBio, wants you to believe that “GM crops can protect soils from erosion through less ploughing, conserving soil moisture, too. GM herbicide tolerant crops reduce the need to plough fields in preparation for planting crops. This saves fuel because less tilling is necessary. GM insect resistant crops require less treatments with insecticides, which also decreases the need for tractor use.” But these statements are completely false.
GMO Crops Are Destroying Farmland

Image credit: Pixabay

This is essentially the requisite lie told by all of biotech – including:

  • Monsanto –Known for creating orhelping to create 13 highly carcinogenic and toxic products includingsaccharin,PCBs, Polystyrene, DDT, the atom bomb, nuclear weapons, dioxin, Agent Orange, Petroleum based fertilizers, Round Up, rGBH, aspartame, GMOs, and terminator seeds. Monsanto sues everyone to keep dealing their dirty products, but the most recent suit, involving Dustin Barca, a surfer-turned mixed martial arts fighter in Hawaii is of special note. He is taking it personally that Monsanto poisons him, andbringing activism to a new level.
  • Dow Chemical Company (also Union Carbide) –This wonderful companyhelped toreleased methyl isocyanate and other chemicals in 1984 by their pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, causing one of the worst industrial disasters in history. They are also one of thefive corporationscompletely dominating the seed market, making food sovereignty precarious for farmers and families around the world. Along with three other companies they also helped to create Dibromochloropropane (DBCP), a known carcinogen, reproductive toxin, and endocrine disruptor that contaminates ground water.They continued to produce and sell DBCP even after it was banned due to strong evidence linking the chemical to sterility.
  • Syngenta –Known forsuing Kaui’i Countywhen they wanted to keep herbicide and pesticide spraying away from their school children, homes and hospitals, and also for covering up thetrue toxicity of Atrazine. This company has also been implicated with colony collapse disorder, killing off our bees, and other important pollinators.

These defenders of genetically modified crops regularly claim that GM varieties of soy, corn, and other pestilence-inducing crops actually conserve soil because farmers don’t have to practice tilling in a way that causes erosion. They also lie that GMOs ‘conserve water.’ Well now, let’s look at those claims a little more closely, shall we?

The fact remains that GE varieties of seed have done absolutely nothing to minimize soil erosion or conserve water. Even major media publications are now coming back and apologizing about their original support of companies like Monsanto. Monsanto’s unsavory behavior even resulted in Forbes Magazine’s retraction of naming Monsanto “Company of the Year” in 2009, admitting they were “wrong on Monsanto… really wrong.”

GE scientists paid by Monsanto were also found to have committed fraud in India. ‘Experts’ from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) have been found guilty of infecting and subsequently hiding the fact that indigenously created Bt cotton contained a Monsanto gene.

These GE companies have secretly and stealthily planted poison crops all across our world, and our soil and water are being affected. Most alarming is the fact that GE crops affect soil fertility. In one gram of productive soil there is a complex web that can exceed over 100 million microorganisms that may represent over 1000 species. Monsanto and the biotech bullies are messing with those numbers.

GE crops DO NOT conserve water. In fact, as super weeds develop, GE crops inspire farmers to try to irrigate their desirable crops, as any grower would – only they end up watering the super weeds. Water – from ground water to well water to lakes, rivers, streams, and even oceans – is contaminated with copious amounts of pesticides and herbicides that are used to grow GE crops as well. This practice ruins the water that we do have on this planet, making it nearly impossible for farmers in water-poor countries to grow anything. GE crops are in fact one of the biggest sources of water pollution in the U.S. and elsewhere.

No matter how you slice it, the agricultural cake reeks of GM corruption and overt propaganda. GMO crops don’t save our water – they contaminate it. They don’t protect our soil – they kill off the millions of tiny organisms that account for soil health. GMOs are not necessary to feed the world, and they have no place in our food supply. No more GMO!


Posted by Red Pill Reports in Home, Farm & Garden