December, 2011 | VIEW IN BROWSER

Jeffrey Smith


Avoid GMOs in Restaurants

Listen to Jeffrey's recent interview, where he elaborates on how to avoid GMOs at restaurants. [Listen Now]

Roundup Ready alfalfa has damaged the US seed industry

The introduction of GM Roundup Ready alfalfa has been a disaster for the US seed industry, writes farmer Phillip Geertson, as it has lost overseas markets. The US alfalfa seed industry was the world's major producer of alfalfa seed and historically has exported more than half of the alfalfa seed produced.

Geertson points out, "Export data would be very useful in determining the amount of damage that was done to the US alfalfa seed industry by the release of RR alfalfa into US agriculture." But such data is not available. 2007 was the last time the USDA reported the size of the US alfalfa seed exports. Perhaps not coincidentally, this was also the year that seed producers found that seed lots produced in Montana and Washington had been contaminated with the Roundup Ready gene.

The only winners in this farming catastrophe are Forage Genetics and Monsanto, who own the patent on the gene that is now contaminating non-GM alfalfa. [Read the Article]

Farmer suicides rising in India as GM Bt cotton crops fail

The record suicide rate among farmers in India continues to rise, with one farmer now committing suicide every 30 minutes. Many media reports blame failed GM Bt cotton crops for the crisis.

More than a quarter of a million farmers have killed themselves in the last 16 years in what is the largest recorded wave of suicides in history. An article for Sky News reports that one farmer who committed suicide "had been persuaded to use genetically modified seeds by the possibility of a better harvest. What he wasn't told was that they needed more rain than the region provided."

Farmers who grow GM crops also have to borrow money for expensive pesticides and fertilizers. When the crop fails, they cannot repay their debts. The article comments, "Across rural India there is now widespread despair. The fields are also filling up with widows." [Read the Article]

Bt cotton was first released for commercial growing in India in 2002, and the data on farm suicides show clearly that the last eight years were much worse than the preceding eight - which is alarming since the total number of farmers is declining. [Read the Article]

India's Bt cotton "revolution" has lost its sheen over the past five years, with government data showing a consistent decline in cotton yield. Even as the area under Bt has grown to 93 per cent of the total area under the cash crop, the overall yield is estimated to decline to a five-year low this year. [Read the Article]

Farmers and activists who oppose GM crops argue that none of the promises made during the introduction of GM seeds have come true. In certain cases, the opposite has happened. Some farmers report that crops failed to flower, producing no yield at all. Others report low yields and high cost of GM seed and chemical insecticides, which farmers still have to spray in spite of marketing claims that Bt cotton reduces or eliminates the need for them.

As for GM proponents' claims that if GM seeds were so bad, farmers wouldn't buy them, it's clear that the consolidation in the seed market means that GM seeds are all that's available. [Read the Article]

Argentine doctors report major medical problems with GM soy

An important report by Argentine physicians documents a big rise in birth defects, up in parallel with expansion of GM Roundup Ready (RR) soy and the spraying of the Roundup herbicide it is engineered to tolerate. It also notes a high incidence of DNA damage, confirming laboratory research on Roundup - and neurological development problems. The report was originally published in Spanish in 2010 but has just been translated into English. The report arose from the 1st National Meeting of Physicians in the Crop-Sprayed Towns, at the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the National University of Cordoba. [Read the Article] [Download the Report]

Action Alerts

Free Webinar with Jeffrey Smith next Tuesday 12/6, at 8:30 pm EST

For those wishing to participate in our 2012 campaign to Protect Children from GM Foods

In 2012, IRT and a coalition of groups will seek to protect infants and babies from GM baby food and infant formula, and raise awareness of parents nationwide about the importance of raising children on non-GMO food. If you wish to be involved with this outreach effort, join Jeffrey this Tuesday. He will share our ideas and key talking points, solicit feedback, answer questions, and discuss ways you can get involved.

To register for this free webinar, please sign up at:

Tell the FDA to Label GMOs

A legal petition has been filed with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) calling on the FDA to label genetically engineered (GE) foods. This is the first time a LEGAL petition has been filed. Join with us and over 350 other organizations and businesses in the Just Label It! Campaign, to direct one million comments to the FDA in support of the petition.[Sign the petition]

Attention Californians!

The 2012 California Ballot Initiative for mandatory GMO labeling papers are being filed the third week of October with the California Attorney General's office and the official petition gathering of 550-700,000 registered voters will begin at the first of December. This initiative has the potential to kick GMOs out of the US food supply, since manufacturers know that most Americans would refuse GM products if labeled. Join this important campaign by pledging to gather signatures, and spreading the word!



Sequim and the northern Olympic Peninsula in Washington State

In Sequim, WA, they rallied on World Food Day, got newspaper coverage, and are getting organized. [Read More]

Bowerville (St. Cloud), Minnesota

In Bowerville, MN they're meeting over non-GMO dinners, developing educational materials, planning meetings with hospitals and schools, and contacting food companies. [Read more]

In The News

US sued over GM crops in wildlife refuges
 Center for Food Safety

US State Dept pimping for Monsanto - why?

Biotech bullies out in force at GM sugar beet deregulation talks
 Salem News

Civil society groups ask US retailers to ban Monsanto's new GM sweet corn

Peru's Congress approves 10-year GM ban
 GM Watch

Mexican honey tainted by GMOs
 CIP Americas

Hungary joins GMO-free region

Pesticide use rises as insects develop resistance to GM Bt crops worldwide
 GM Freeze

GM lobby group sought to fake support for GM crops with high-profile "ambassadors"
 The Guardian

Investment advisers call for transparency on GM risks
 Food Whistleblower

Scientist rebuts criticism of "Bt toxin in human blood" study
 GM Watch

The Institute for Responsible Technology is working to end the genetic engineering of our food supply and the outdoor release of GM crops.

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