Monsanto at Work on GMO Wheat – Again

Claire CaJacob, Global Wheat Technology Lead for Monsanto, stands in the growth chamber at Monsanto’s Chesterfield Village Research Center.  Photo by Laurie Skrivan, lskrivan@post-dispatch.com.  01-08-14.

Claire CaJacob, Global Wheat Technology Lead for Monsanto, stands in the growth chamber at Monsanto’s Chesterfield Village Research Center. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, lskrivan@post-dispatch.com. 01-08-14.

Oh No, No, NO!!!  No GMO WHEAT.

GMO wheat is not yet on the market, but Monsanto has been hard at work in their Chesterfield Village facility, where one particular 10-foot-by-20-foot growth chamber on the fourth floor of Building GG is filled with young wheat plants. The plants are part of the experiment to create a new strain of GMO wheat that will be resistant to three kinds of herbicides–glyphosate, glufosinate, and dicamba. It began, according to Tim Barker in his January 11, 2015 article published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, in the summer of 2009 when Monsanto “grabbed the raw seed materials needed by its scientists, spending $45 million on WestBred, a Montana wheat breeding company.”

Monsanto’s first stab at introducing Roundup Ready wheat ended in 2004 when the company decided not to seek approval because the market wasn’t ready for it, but in 2013 rogue GMO wheat was found in Oregon, news of which immediately rippled to overseas buyers and caused importing countries including Japan and South Korea to suspend purchases over fears of contamination. The USDA investigation called the Oregon case an isolated incident, however the subsequent discovery of a genetically modified strain in the field of a Montana wheat farmer more or less put the lie to that story. In November of 2014, Monsanto settled the lawsuit brought by farmers in the Pacific Northwest for $2.4 million to cover damages due to the loss of export markets.

The failure of the USDA to recognize the “pervasive and persistent nature” of contamination from outdoor field trials, is a travesty of long term planning for food security, as is the bald one-sided support of corporate agribusiness over the interests of small farmers and environmentalists.

What to do? Contact your elected representatives at both the federal and state levels. Let them know how you feel. Even more importantly, switch brands to avoid GMOs already in your food. And let companies know why you’re switching!

Join us on Facebook and Twitter for answers to GMO questions, tips on choosing healthier non-GMO foods, and more.

About IRT. The Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT) is a non-profit organization that researches and reports news and information about the health risks of genetically engineered food. GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are present in processed foods and many food products.

Major commodity crops raised from GMO seed include: corn (90%), soybeans (93%), canola (93%), cotton (90%), and sugar beets (98%).* GMO sweet corn, papaya, zucchini, and yellow summer squash are also for sale in grocery stores, but in lesser amounts. Genetically modified alfalfa is grown for use as hay and forage for animals.   For more information about avoiding GMOs in food, go to NonGMOShoppingGuide.com.

*percentages are based on U.S. acreage as of 2013 (USDA)

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Sources.

Beyond Pesticides

GMO-Free Europe

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

WestBred

 

 

USDA Gives Monsanto the Green Light

USDA+MonsantoOnce again, the USDA gives the nod to the biotech seed and agrochemical industry over protests from organic farmers and other specialty crop growers.  This latest “technology” from Monsanto—that’s what they call their patented seeds—is genetically engineered to survive new and more potent weed killer combinations.

January 15.  The USDA has given final approval for the commercial release of two new herbicide tolerant varieties of soybeans and cotton from Monsanto.  Non-regulated status was granted for Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans, the industry’s first biotech-stacked trait with both dicamba and glyphosate herbicide tolerance, and Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton which will allow farmers to apply multiple combinations of three herbicides:  dicamba, glyphosate, and glufosinate.  Dicamba is noted for a tendency to drift.

Food & Water Watch Executive Director, Wenonah Hauter, calls this “simply the latest example of USDA’s allegiance to the biotechnology industry and dependence upon chemical solutions.”

Biotech seed and agrochemical companies like Monsanto and Dow, who received approval for its new Enlist Duo 2,4-D+glyphosate resistant corn and soy last fall, have developed these new generations of GMO seeds and their companion herbicides to “combat” the spread of the glyphosate-resistant Superweeds that are now estimated to infest over 70 million acres of American farm land.

“Monsanto’s dicamba-resistant crops are the latest fruits of a pesticide industry strategy to increase sales of their toxic herbicides,” said Bill Freese, Center for Food Safety science policy analyst. “Genetic engineering is making American agriculture more chemical-dependent and less sustainable than ever before.”

This escalation of the chemical war on weeds cannot end well.  By definition, sustainable agriculture incorporates practices that will protect biodiversity and remain productive in the long term.  Despite industry claims, their products do not contribute to development of sustainable food systems recommended by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

About IRT.  The Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT) is a non-profit organization that researches and reports news and information about the health risks of genetically engineered food.  GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are present in processed foods and many food products.

Major commodity crops raised from GMO seed include:  corn (90%), soybeans (93%), canola (93%), cotton (90%), and sugar beets (98%).*  GMO sweet corn, papaya, zucchini, and yellow summer squash are also for sale in grocery stores, but in lesser amounts.  Genetically modified alfalfa is grown for use as hay and forage for animals.   For more information about avoiding GMOs in food, go to NonGMOShoppingGuide.com.

*percentages are based on U.S. acreage as of 2013 (USDA)

Sources.

www.aphis.usda.gov/biotechnology/news

www.centerforfoodsafety.org

www.foodandwaterwatch.org

www.roundupreadyplus.com/xtendcropsystem

ResponsibleTechnology.org

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Tell FDA: Do Not Approve Genetically Engineered Salmon!

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California Senator, Dianne Feinstein cosponsored S. 229 and S. 230, introduced by Senator Mark Begich [D-AK] on January 31, 2011.  These bills would have required the labeling of genetically modified salmon and banned the approval of genetically modified salmon by the FDA, respectively. Both these bills have been referred to Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.  Unfortunately, the 112th Congress did not take action on either of these bills before adjourning. In order for these bills to be considered again, they would have to be reintroduced in the 113th Congress.

 Senator Feinstein continues:  Continue reading