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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there!!

I have been pretty active (tho not as much lately) in fighting the inclusion of GMOs in our food. It's an uphill battle but we make small gains (Trader Joes is almost GMO free!!!).

I was just wondering if anyone else out there was also doing work to fight GMOs and wanted to share experiences and thoughts etc... we did a "FrankenWedding" which was a blast - we married an ear of GE corn (played by *moi*) and the CEO of Safeway. The FDA presided over the wedding while Monsanto told the FDA what to say.

We all had a great time and really got our name out... I don't mean to advertise but our group is at www.nwrage.org. you can find out more about GEs at www.truefoodnow.org (Greenpeace).

amy
 

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I'm not that active I'm afraid.

But on GMO:

* gets wooden nail and hammer, cross and his garlic string *

out, out!

I think it's the biggest mistake "science" has made so far.

When this flips the wrong side, even humans could extinct.
 

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I know what you mean. I try and buy all organic, but when organic is not available, I wonder what I'm actually eating. I have a screensaver from Greenpeace with cartoons about GMO's.
 

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GMO does not get enough attention.

Now they are even forcing it upon third world country's.

When such a country refusses the GMO corn, they are threatend that they will not recieve any help at all.

I think these country's are right, and have the right to refuse GMO's.

I could go on about this, but then I would get really P****, and I can not express my thoughts and feelings about this in a way that is allowed on VB.
 

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Capitalism doesn't like taking no for an answer. I can't believe we've let 75% of our soybean crops go GMO.

I really need to pay closer attention to organic food labels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
4 responses - it's a start!


It is amazing to me how many people don't even realize what GMOs are, much less that they're even eating them. Some people don't care, others are shocked & appalled (or shocked & awed?). It is depressing that the food industry & gov't have kept GMOs secret. In the meantime, Europe has taken the cross & garlic approach (LOL 1vegan). Except it appears Tony Blair's been bought out & keeps trying to get GMOs in his country despite avid protests by the people (people shmeeple). sigh.

Maybe they won't end up being such a big deal. Maybe the health costs will be negligible, monoculture crops will be a good thing, heavy pesticide use due to increasing weed & pest resistance will turn out to be healthy for soil, and we'll all realize that it's actually a good thing to have Monsanto employees working as heads of the FDA. repeat after me: special interests goooood...

pfff..

amy
 

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i have recently started doing more resaerch into this matter and have signed a few online petitions and stuff in protest. other reasonable ways to get involved--please suggest. i feel very strongly about this issue and it disgusts me what those bog corps can get away with--WTF!! it feel so hard sometimes to think a single person can do something but i believe that you are never so insignificant that you cannot affect a change. i cannot live believing otherwise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm not sure what you have looked into, smedley, but have you been to Greenpeace's website? www.truefoodnow.org.

Trader Joe's has committed to going GMO-free in all it's TJ-name-brand foods. It was supposed to be GMO free by 1/1/03 but ran into some sourcing problems. However, I think it's pretty darn close now. So even if you buy their non-organic food, it should be GMO-free. Shop there (if you can) and write to them to tell them that you applaud their move to be GMO-free.

Organic Consumers has a ton of resources on their site:

www.organicconsumers.org - check into both their GMO page and the rBGH page (rBGH is genetically engineered). I will actually just leave you to these two links right now, because there is so much information on them, they will give you hours of reading!

You might also find out if your state is doing anything to promote or prevent GMOs. Here in oregon, we had a ballot measure last year to label all foods containing GMOs. Due to almost $6 million pumped into the state by biotech companies, the measure failed miserably. The companies ran a fear campaign that grocery costs would skyrocket due to costs in label changes. How many times do products change labels? I mean, come on - they change all the time, and we're not spending $500/year more on groceries like the anti-labeling campaign suggested. Ridiculous. The GMO-labeling campaigners are still around but are working at a county level now. And in the state house, there is a bill being pushed through to stop any labeling that has not been mandated by the federal government. This is an attempt to stop any labeling of GE ingredients unless the US government has told companies to do so. And with so many biotech people in the FDA and USDA, I doubt this will happen soon. Their mentality is that the less people know, the better!

Good luck!! This issue is so important to me and it's so encouraging to see others interested in it as well. I understand why some people support GMOs, and that's their business. But I am so happy and encouraged when I "meet" others who want to fight against this "progress." I am for progress, but only when it benefits the whole of mankind, not just a small set of corporations. Good luck! I'm happy to answer any questions about GMOs too - or point you in the right direction.

amy
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by epski

Capitalism doesn't like taking no for an answer. I can't believe we've let 75% of our soybean crops go GMO.

75%?!?!? I knew it was bad, but...

Okay, now I need to be a little better about my organic buying habits.

Mskedi
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Mskedi

75%?!?!? I knew it was bad, but...

Okay, now I need to be a little better about my organic buying habits.

Mskedi
That's pretty much what I said when I found out!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by OregonAmy

Here in oregon, we had a ballot measure last year to label all foods containing GMOs. Due to almost $6 million pumped into the state by biotech companies, the measure failed miserably. The companies ran a fear campaign that grocery costs would skyrocket due to costs in label changes. How many times do products change labels? I mean, come on - they change all the time, and we're not spending $500/year more on groceries like the anti-labeling campaign suggested. Ridiculous.

...

And in the state house, there is a bill being pushed through to stop any labeling that has not been mandated by the federal government. This is an attempt to stop any labeling of GE ingredients unless the US government has told companies to do so. And with so many biotech people in the FDA and USDA, I doubt this will happen soon. Their mentality is that the less people know, the better!

amy
In the European Union, the green parties of the respective countries are pretty strong, so they often represent consumers' interests rather than the industries'. I think it is for that reason that all products (food AND non-food) containing "genetically manipulated"(*) ingredients have to be specifically labeled.

No one here had pity with the companies; it was never an issue. But because it has to be specified on the label, you won't find much genetically modified stuff on our markets. Why? Because people would not buy it!

(*)that is the official German term for it, which definitely shows a different point of view!

I am just sharing this piece of info with you because you might find it interesting. I am not actively fighting GMO because thank God, there seems to be no need for it over here.
 

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What is the difference between the current GMO's and the plant breeding programs that have been going on for hundreds of years? Should we quit eating corn and go back to maize? What about the the varieties of canola that were developed before Monsanto came up with their RoundUp resistant variety? Do we have to get rid of our different kinds of pet dogs and go back to having wolves as pets? How about the dozens of disease resistant varieties of wheat, do we go back to what we were growing in 1902?

http://www.canterra.com/products/det...P?id=804646741
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by bubba

What is the difference between the current GMO's and the plant breeding programs that have been going on for hundreds of years? Should we quit eating corn and go back to maize? What about the the varieties of canola that were developed before Monsanto came up with their RoundUp resistant variety? Do we have to get rid of our different kinds of pet dogs and go back to having wolves as pets? How about the dozens of disease resistant varieties of wheat, do we go back to what we were growing in 1902?

http://www.canterra.com/products/det...P?id=804646741
You're being absurd. There's a huge difference between breeding and genetic engineering. Vast.

GMOs are an even scarier Pandora's Box than nuclear power, because we're talking about living organisms now. It's preposterous to think we can control a living organism once released into the environment.

Differences: While it is true that conventional breeding methods have yielded a wide variety of plants and animals that did not exist previously, the genes that produce those traits have come from within their own or closely-related species. Crossbreeding cannot transfer genes across species barriers. Genetic engineering transfers genes between species that could never be crossbred. There is no natural mechanism for getting insect DNA into potatoes or flounder DNA into tomatoes. Genetically engineered foods are engineered to be different from natural foods. Why else all the patents? This gives humans--actually, corporations--radical new powers, with unpredictable consequences.

Turning living crops into "intellectual property" increases corporate control over food resources and production. Rather than alleviate world hunger, biotechnology is likely to exacerbate it by increasing everybody's dependence on the corporate sector for seeds and the materials. These crops would not ever occur naturally and may create new toxins, diseases, and weaknesses. In this risky experiment, the general public is the guinea-pig.

Biotechnology companies also claim their methods are precise and sophisticated.

In fact, the process of inserting genes is quite random and can damage normal genes. Genetic research shows that many weaknesses in plants, animals, and humans have their origin in tiny imperfections in the genetic code. Therefore, the random damage resulting from gene insertion will inevitably result in side-effects and accidents. Scientists have assessed these risks to be substantial. (Refs: Palmiter, R.D. et al (1986) ANNUAL REVIEW OF GENETICS 20: 465; Inose, T. et al (1995) INT. JOUR. FOOD SCIENCE TECH. 30:141.)

When genetic engineers insert a new gene into any organism there are "position effects" which can lead to unpredictable changes in the pattern of gene expression and genetic function. The protein product of the inserted gene may carry out unexpected reactions and produce potentially toxic products. There is also serious concern about the dangers of using genetically engineered viruses as delivery vehicles (vectors) in the generation of transgenic plants and animals. This could destabilise the genome, and also possibly create new viruses, and thus dangerous new diseases. (Refs: Green, A.E. et al (1994) SCIENCE 263:1423; Osbourn, J.K. et al (1990) VIROLOGY 179:921.)

The process of genetic engineering can introduce dangerous new allergens and toxins into foods that were previously naturally safe. Already, one genetically engineered soybean was found to cause serious allergic reactions, and bacteria genetically engineered to produce large amounts of the food supplement, tryptophan, have produced toxic contaminants that killed 37 people and permanently disabled 1,500 more. (Refs: Nordlee, J.A. et al (1996) THE NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE 688; Mayeno, A.N. et al (1994) TIBTECH 12:364.)

More than 50% of the crops developed by biotechnology companies have been engineered to be resistant to herbicides. Use of herbicide-resistant crops will lead to a threefold increase in the use of herbicides, resulting in even greater pollution of our food and water with toxic agrochemicals. (Ref: Goldberg, R.J. (1994) WEED TECHNOLOGY 6:647.)

Biotech companies claim that government regulatory bodies will protect consumers. However DDT, Thalidomide, L-tryptophan, etc. were approved by U.S. regulators with tragic results. Recently it was found that 80% of supermarket milk contained traces of either medicines, illegal antibiotics used on farms, or hormones, including genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rbGH). The facts show that regulators are not protecting the public adequately. (Ref: Epstein, S.S. (1996) INT. JOUR. HEALTH SERVICES, 26:173.)

When new genetic information is introduced into plants, bacteria, insects or other animals, it can easily be passed into related organisms, through processes such as cross pollination. This process has already created "super weeds". Existing species can also be displaced from the ecosystem with disastrous effects, as happened with genetically modified Klebsiella soil bacteria. (Ref: Holms, M.T. and Ingam, E.R. (1994) Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America (Supplement), 75:97)

Crops are now being engineered to produce their own pesticides.

This will promote the more rapid appearance of resistant insects and lead to excessive destruction of useful insects and soil organisms, thus seriously perturbing the ecosystem. In addition, the pesticide produced by the plant may be harmful to the health of consumers. (Refs: Union of Concerned Scientists (1994) GENE EXCHANGE, 5:68; Mikkelsen, T.R. et al (1996) Nature 380:31; Skogsmyr, I. (1994) THEORETICAL AND APPLIED GENETICS 88:770; Hama, H. et al (1992) APPLIED ENTYMOLOGY AND ZOOLOGY 27:355.)

Particularly applicable to many of us veg*ns, transferring animal genes into plants raises important ethical issues for vegetarians and religious groups. It may also involve animal experiments which are unacceptable to many people.

Unlike chemical or nuclear contamination, genetic pollution is self-perpetuating. It can never be reversed or cleaned up; genetic mistakes will be passed on to all future generations of a species. GMOs are already growing quickly out of our control. We have changed our world more in the last 150 years than in the first 40,000 of our existence, but the next 10 or so will change it even further, as Monsanto and Novartis attempt to unnaturally destroy biodiversity in an a monopolistic bid to control the patents on all crops on the planet (homogenity is not natural, thank you). We will never be able to turn back the clock.

I once again fall back to my unassailable stance: "Just because we can do something, doesn't mean we should."
 

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i'm all anti-GMO, but what's most dangerous about GMOs is the risk to the environment once the organisms are released (they can wipe out native populations, like any introduced organism), and the political implications that the industry [monsanto] brings (i.e. complete domination of poor countries).

healthwise, it's really not my biggest concern. if the organism survives, that's a pretty good indication that it's edible. if there are any mistakes or incompatibilities with the dna, the organism will die as it' developing.
 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JUNE 13, 2003, 2:04 PM

CONTACT: Friends of the Earth International

Larry Bohlen 202-783-7400 ext. 251

E-mail: [email protected]

U.N. Treaty Regulating Biotech Crops To Become Law

WASHINGTON - June 13 - An international treaty that seeks to protect the environment from the potential risks of Genetically Modified (GM) organisms will officially become law in 90 days from today.

The United Nations treaty, known as 'Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety', or Biosafety Protocol, had to be ratified by fifty countries before entering into force. [1]

The 50th ratification, by the Pacific Island State of Palau, was announced today. The Protocol will enter into force in 90 days, on September 11, 2003. First discussed in 1992, it took more than ten years for the Protocol to become law.

Friends of the Earth International welcomed the start of the countdown to the entry into force of the Protocol. It is the first treaty that officially seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by genetically modified organisms.

It constitutes the first global environmental agreement of the new millenium. It is also the first international agreement which clearly says that Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) "are different and therefore require a different treatment".

The Protocol will require all exporters of GMOs to be released into the environment to take measures to prevent contamination of GM seed products by implementing an identity preservation system.

But many issues are still pending. One key issue is liability. Friends of the Earth International today repeated its call for the immediate establishment of an effective environment, for instance through contamination by GM crops, pay for the pollution they create.

At the same time the international notification system under the Protocol does not replace national biosafety legislation, so Friends of the Earth warned that enacting stricter national legislation on biosafety is still needed.

The Biosafety Protocol backs the approach of the European Union, asserting that GMOs need different treatment from non-GMOs. Therefore the Protocol stands in contradiction to policies held by some countries, such as the U.S., which affirm that GMOs are not different from the conventional plants and animals they derive from.

"The times of uncontrolled trade of GMOs are over. The Biosafety Protocol sets a new era for global regulation of GMOs. Exporters from all over the world should take adequate measures to prevent contamination of GM seed products," said Ricardo Navarro, Salvadorean Chairman of Friends of the Earth International.

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http://www.ofrf.org/press/Releases/P...GMOSurvey.html

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 14, 2003

CONTACT: Bob Scowcroft, 831-426-6606

Erica Walz, 435-826-4565

OFRF releases partial results of 4th National Organic Farmers Survey:

First impacts of GMOs on organic farmers are now documented

SANTA CRUZ, CALIF. In a nationwide survey conducted by the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), certified organic farmers have reported the first direct financial and related operational impacts associated with the threat of contamination by genetically modified organisms (GMOs). National standards for organic products, recently implemented by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture exclude recombinant-DNA technologies from use in organic farming. In addition, there are a variety of strict tolerances for GMO contamination imposed on organic growers by foreign and domestic buyers.

Coping with the threat and consequences of GMO contamination is a recent development for organic farmers. In 1998, when OFRF conducted our previous survey, GMO contamination was not yet a national issue, said OFRF Executive Director Bob Scowcroft. These new survey results based on the 2001 crop year document that significant impacts have begun to occur within a very short time frame. If this trend continues, what were seeing now will prove to be just the tip of the iceberg.

According to OFRF President Ron Rosmann, a diversified organic farmer from Harlan, Iowa, This new data supports OFRFs call for a moratorium on the release of GMOs until there is a solid regulatory framework that prevents genetic pollution and assigns liability for the damages imposed by GMO contamination. (OFRFs Organizational Policy Statement on Genetic Engineering in Agriculture is available at <http://ofrf.org/policy/gmopolicy.html>.)

The OFRF survey, Sustaining Organic Farms in a Changing Organic Marketplace, included nine questions related to GMOs and organic farming. Highlights of the survey results are as follows:

* 17% of survey respondents indicated that they have had GMO testing conducted on some portion of their organic farm seed, inputs or farm products. 11% of those that had GMO testing conducted indicated that they received positive test results for GMO contamination on some portion of their organic seed, inputs or farm products.

* 8% of the respondents indicated that their organic farm operation has borne some direct costs or damages related to the presence of GMOs in agriculture. These costs include: payment for testing seed, inputs, or organic farm products for GMO contamination; loss of organic sales/markets due to actual contamination or perceived contamination risk; loss of sales due to presence of GMOS in organic product; or loss of organic certification due to presence of GMOs in organic products.

* 48% of the survey respondents indicated that they have taken some measures to protect their organic farms from GMO contamination. The greatest percentage, 24%, indicated that they have communicated with neighboring farmers about GMO risks to their farm.

* 19% indicated that they have increased the size of buffer zones to neighboring farms, 18% have

discontinued use of certain inputs at risk for GMO contamination, 15% have adjusted timing of crop planting, 13% have altered cropping patterns or crops produced, and 9% have changed cropping locations.

* 46% of the survey respondents rated the risk of exposure and possible contamination of their organic farm products by GMOs as moderate or greater, with 30% characterizing their farms risk as high or very high.

Survey respondents identified contaminated seed stock as their primary concern as a possible source of GMO contamination of their organic farm products (identified as a moderate to high risk by 48% of respondents). This was followed by GMO pollen drift in the field (identified as a moderate to high risk by 42% of respondents) and contaminated farm inputs, other than seed, (identified by 30% of respondents as a moderate to high risk). Such inputs might include seed inoculants or manures and composts from materials obtained from off the farm.

Only 10% of survey respondents feel that a regulatory framework is in place to adequately protect their organic farm products from damages due to contamination from GMOs.

In spring 2002, OFRF mailed a 22-page survey to certified organic farmers throughout the U.S, with 1,034 farmers responding. The 4th National Organic Farmers Survey, Sustaining Organic Farms in a Changing Organic Marketplace, is OFRFs first survey to focus specifically on organic farmers experiences in the organic market. The survey was conducted with support from True North Foundation, Wallace Genetic Foundation, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, and contributors to OFRFs general program fund.

The OFRF survey included 8 sections: Farm profile; Production and product detail; Marketing your organic products; Organic market conditions, 2001; Information and services; Marketing orders and organic; GMOs and organic; and More about you and your farm (demographics).

OFRF surveys collect and disseminate information on the demographics, production, marketing and research priorities of organic farmers in the U.S. The survey population is developed from producer certification lists voluntarily provided by organic certification agencies.

OFRF survey results relevant to GMOs and organic farms will be released this week at the Organic Trade Associations All Things Organic Conference and Trade Show in Austin, Texas. The complete results of OFRFs 4th National Organic Farmers Survey: Sustaining Organic Farms in a Changing Organic Marketplace will be published in fall 2003.
 

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This place is better than a weblog!

Quote:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JUNE 16, 2003 -- 6:32 PM

CONTACT: Food First, Nick Parker (510) 654-4400, ext. 229

Independent Science Panel Releases Scathing Report on Genetically Modified Food and Crops

OAKLAND, CA - June 16 - The Independent Science Panel (ISP) yesterday released a report critical of genetically modified (GM) food and crops because of potential risks to human health and the environment, while making the case that better ways are readily available to produce food sustainably.

Based on more than 200 references to primary and secondary sources, the ISP report, The Case for a GM-Free Sustainable World, is a complete dossier of evidence on the known problems and hazards of GM crops as well as the manifold benefits of sustainable agriculture. This report comes at a time when governments have failed to conduct adequate health and safety tests.

"Many scientists are concerned over the safety of GM. We believe people should have all the evidence in front of them, so they can make the right choice for the future of agriculture and food security," said Dr. Mae-Wan Ho, director of the Institute of Science in Society in the United Kingdom, and lead author of the report. "We set up the Independent Science Panel because we have lost confidence in the official process."

"For better of for worse, this report will lay to rest the belief that GM food and crops pose no danger to health and the environment," said Dr. Peter Rosset, co-director of the Institute for Food and Development Policy (Food First) in Oakland, CA, USA, and a contributor to the report. "There is no pressing need for GM crops to be in our food supply today," he said. "World agriculture is characterized by massive overproduction, and people go hungry because of poverty, not because of lack of GM seeds, when they are too poor to buy from the plenty around them. Thus we can afford the time for a moratorium on GM food and crops until such time -- if ever -- they are proven safe," he concluded.

The Independent Science Panel (ISP), consists of prominent scientists from seven countries, spanning the disciplines of agroecology, agronomy, biomathematics, botany, chemical medicine, ecology, histopathology, microbial ecology, molecular biology, molecular genetics, nutritional biochemistry, physiology, toxicology and virology.

For more information, please contact Dr. Mae-Wan Ho, director of the Institute of Science in Society in the United Kingdom; tel: 44-(0)20-7272-5636 or Dr. Peter Rosset, (510) 654-4400, ext. 224.

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Hate to be Devil's advocate, but I still don't see what's so evil about these GMOs. Although I looked at some of the sites posted (and although I can't say I checked them thoroughly) I still haven't seen any solid proof that GMOs are substantially worse than just unhealthy. And, if it is only a personal issue, then I care more about making my life easier than my health. I mean, I know that GMOs have pesticides and all but then again so does everything except for those organic farms covered in mosquito netting.

Epski, your post about the dangers of GMOs is really good but it all seems questionable, with lots of 'may's and 'could's.

Quote:
there are "position effects" which can lead to unpredictable changes
Quote:
This could destabilise the genome,
So, if you could give me better proof and convert me I'd be really thankful


-Eric, the Questioner
 

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You newbies. So time intensive.


Same as utilitarianism. I'm tight on time for the next week. Take that time to Google GMOs and see what you can come up with. I'm sure you'll see plenty of arguments supporting both sides.

And if you can use utilitarian philosophy to determine why it's wrong to steal, I'm sure you can determine for yourself why GMOs are wrong, starting with monoculture crops and the destruction of biodiversity. And it probably won't even take two months!

Best,

epski (the other Eric)
 
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