lunes, septiembre 29, 2014

GM Watch on Entine's new nonsense

Entine’s new “big list of studies” tells us very little about GMO safety, writes Claire Robinson

Jon Entine, PR man for pesticides and GMOs, has come out with another GMO promotional in Forbes, called “The debate about GMO safety is over, thanks to a new trillion-meal study”.[1]

Entine is referring to a new study on the impacts of GMOs on livestock by a former Monsanto employee,[2] Alison Van Eenennaam (Van Eenennaam and Young, 2014[3]). The study, Entine writes, “reviewed 29 years of livestock productivity and health data from both before and after the introduction” of GMOs. These data, Entine adds, represent “more than 100 billion animals covering a period before 1996 when animal feed was 100% non-GMO, and after its introduction when it jumped to 90% and more.”

The findings, according to Entine, show that GM feed is safe and nutritionally equivalent to non-GMO feed, on the grounds that “There was no indication of any unusual trends in the health of animals since 1996 when GMO crops were first harvested. Considering the size of the dataset, it can reasonably be said that the debate over the impact of GE feed on animal health is closed: there is zero extraordinary impact.”

The truth is, however, that the new study tells us almost nothing about GMO safety. Entine’s claim that it shows GMOs are safe is false. The new study should be treated with the same sceptical scrutiny that we should apply to all “big lists of studies” claimed to show GMO safety: the Snell review,[4] the Nicolia review,[5] and the GENERA database.[6] 

Generalized claims about what these lists and reviews of studies show are not accompanied by analysis of the individual studies that make up the “big lists”. Such claims rely on readers not examining the studies and seeing for themselves what they contain. If they did, they would see that the studies, taken as a whole, do not support a “one size fits all” conclusion that GMOs are safe. 

Here’s why.

GO TO http://gmwatch.org/index.php/news/archive/2014/15669-why-jon-
entine-s-trillion-meal-study-won-t-save-us-from-gmo-dangers


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Prof Jack Heinemann on vaccines, climate, power, and GMOs

http://www.gmwatch.org/index.php/news/archive/2014/15651-prof-jack-
heinemann-on-vaccines-climate-power-and-gmos



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The latest tactics of the GMO lobby are designed to mislead
In two articles below, Prof Jack Heinemann challenges popular GMO lobby memes and dishonest PR tactics.
In the first article, Prof Heinemann takes on Monsanto PR woman Janice Person over her suggestion that opposition to GMOs is comparable to opposition to vaccines. He also explains why opposition to GMOs is not equivalent to "climate denial".
In the second article, Prof Heinemann asks whether attacks on Reuters journalist Carey Gillam by the blogger Keith Kloor and the former Vice President for Food & Agriculture of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), Val Giddings, have any credibility. Gillam has fallen foul of these people because she presents both sides of the GMO issue.
1. Vaccine and climate as sophistry on GMOs
2. If it weren’t for false balance there’d be no balance at all

1. Vaccine and climate as sophistry on GMOs

by Jack Heinemann


2. If it weren’t for false balance there’d be no balance at all

by Jack Heinemann
Academic Freedom Aotearoa
18 September, 2014
http://academicfreedom.kiwi.nz/2014/09/werent-balance-thered/#
A recent exchange over at Twitter illustrates what can happen when expression of controversial opinions causes conflict in the media. In this episode, those serving as critic and conscience of society are not the direct targets. Instead, the journalist becomes the target for having mentioned that these other opinions exist.

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sábado, septiembre 27, 2014

Toward the agro-police state

http://foodfirst.org/toward-the-agro-police-state/

monsanto_by_jackcomstock

Toward the Agro-Police State

Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero | 09.20.2014
Welcome to the brave new world of precision farming, in which every farmer will need a wifi connection and an iPad. 

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viernes, septiembre 26, 2014

Argentina: Monsanto y los modelos de vivir, según la academia

http://www.biodiversidadla.org/Principal/Secciones/Documentos/Argentina_
Monsanto_y_los_modelos_de_vivir_segun_la_academia

Artículo por Leonardo Rossi



"En horas en las que se celebra un año de bloqueo a la multinacional de agronegocios más grande del mundo, vale poner en foco las fisuras del sistema académico que exhibió la lucha de Malvinas Argentinas. Frente a quienes dan argumentos técnicos para avalar a una empresa referente del modelo extractivo, irrumpen otras voces de la academia que eligen pintarse de pueblo."
Por Leonardo Rossi / Septiembre de 2014
Marcelo Conrero se puso en el centro de la escena. Tras firmar un acuerdo con Monsanto, el decano de Ciencias Agropecuarias de la Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (UNC) se ubicó como un emblema de la academia que bajo argumentos técnicos cuestiona la lucha ambiental. Más allá de que el acuerdo entre la unidad académica y la multinacional está suspendido, frente a las críticas que recibió por ejemplo del Concejo Superior de la UNC, el debate de fondo pasa por la mirada de las entidades educativas públicas frente a la cuestión socio-ambiental. El decano decidió acordar con la empresa que busca instalar 219 silos para acopiar maíz transgénico en la localidad de Malvinas Argentinas, y que es resistida desde hace dos años por la ciudadanía; que tiene frenado el emprendimiento por el Poder Judicial; y rechazado su estudio de impacto ambiental por la Provincia. Pese a diversos informes presentados por biólogos y médicos, también de la UNC, que advierten sobre los riesgos del plan de trabajo de Monsanto en Malvinas, Conrero sostiene que “se habla de cualquier otra cosa menos de qué se va a hacer en esa planta”. Y vas más allá: “La planta no libera cascarilla, no se manipula agroquímicos, lo único que se hace es el curado de la semilla”. El curado al que hace referencia corresponde al uso de 350.000 litros de agroquímicos al año, con la planta funcionando a un 20 por ciento de su capacidad, según informa la empresa. El uso de químicos alcanzaría 1.750.000 litros por año, en la máxima capacidad operativa.


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jueves, septiembre 25, 2014

Debunking Popular Myths about GE Crops

http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/blog/3468/debunking-popular-
myths-about-ge-crops-portrayed-in-the-media

Debunking Popular Myths about GE Crops Portrayed in the Media:
By Debbie Barker, International Programs Director, Center for Food Safety
September 19th, 2014
Response to The New Yorker “Seeds of Doubt” Article, August 25, 2014
Scientific Review & Contributions: Bill Freese; Doug Gurian-Sherman, Ph.D; Martha Crouch, Ph.D

The recent article, “Seeds of Doubt,” in the August 25, 2014 issue of The New Yorker by Michael Specter echoes common myths about genetically engineered (GE) crops and omits legitimate scientific critiques of the technology. The resulting article fails to deliver the high level of integrity and journalism that is expected of The New Yorker.

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NO hay coexistencia posible



http://alainet.org/active/74983

Artículo por Carmelo Ruiz Marrero, publicado en ALAI el 30 de junio 2014


EXTRACTOS:

Ante el reto de la agroecología, los defensores de la obsoleta agricultura industrial tóxica se quedan sin argumentos. En lugar de recapacitar, algunos toman refugio en el cómodo argumento de que se puede combinar ambas, tomando lo mejor de una y la otra para así llegar a una síntesis armoniosa. Con ese hábil discurso, que nos dice “podemos tener ambas agriculturas, dejen de pelear”, los proponentes de la producción agroecológica somos presentados como intolerantes que nos queremos imponer.

Vemos esta argumentación en el trabajo de la organización internacional Ecoagriculture Partners (1), y más recientemente en un artículo de Jonathan Foley en la revista National Geographic (2). La secretaria de agricultura de Puerto Rico, Myrna Comas, ha adoptado esta línea tras ser confrontada por oponentes de los transgénicos y agrotóxicos. En su ponencia al Senado el pasado 6 de junio, dijo que “aspiramos a una agricultura de coexistencia donde las estrategias utilizadas para la producción agrícola sean promovidas sin excluir la libertad de nuestros agricultores.”

Pero los datos científicos muestran claramente que no hay coexistencia posible. Los pesticidas agrotóxicos empleados en la agricultura industrial eventualmente acaban contaminándolo todo.

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miércoles, septiembre 24, 2014

Herbicide and insecticide use on GMO crops skyrocket while pro-GMO media mislead

http://gmwatch.org/index.php/news/archive/2014/15657-herbicide-and_
insecticide-use-on-gmo-crops-skyrocket-while-pro-gmo-media-mislead

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Just as overuse of antibiotics in factory farms has created resistant "supergerms", we now have huge swathes of farmland infested with "superweeds" and "superbugs" resistant to glyphosate and Bt, meaning more pesticides are being applied, writes David Bronner
Michael Specter's recent articles in the New Yorker bashing Vandana Shiva and GMO labelling fail to engage with the skyrocketing pesticide use on GM crops, writes David Bronner, president of Dr Bronner's Magic Soaps, in an article for the Huffington Post (below).
The article refers to a report by former EPA scientist Dr Ramon J. Seidler, "Pesticide Use on Genetically Engineered Crops".
http://static.ewg.org/agmag/pdfs/pesticide_use_on_genetically_engineered_crops.pdf
We highly recommend this report, which is easy to read, well referenced, and contains some interesting insights into the way articles promoting GMOs massage the facts about pesticide use. Dr Seidler points out that these articles rely on old data gathered before weeds got resistant to Roundup herbicide and pests got resistant to Bt toxin.

Herbicide and insecticide use on GMO crops skyrocketing while pro-GMO media run interference

David Bronner
* Former EPA Senior Scientist's New Article Sets Record Straight
Michael Specter's recent articles bashing Vandana Shiva and the labeling of genetically engineered foods (Seeds of Doubt and The Problem with G.M.O. Labels, 8/25/14) in the New Yorker are the latest high-profile pro-GMO articles that fail to engage with the fundamental critique of genetically engineered food crops in US soil today: rather than reduce pesticide inputs GMOs are causing them to skyrocket in amount and toxicity.

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martes, septiembre 23, 2014

Herbicide-Resistant Palmer Amaranth a Growing Threat to U.S. Farms

http://www.biosafety-info.net/article.php?aid=1086

Publication date: September 11, 2014 


THIRD WORLD NETWORK BIOSAFETY INFORMATION SERVICE 
Dear Friends and Colleagues 
Herbicide-resistant Palmer amaranth a growing threat to U.S. farms 
Researchers from the University of Illinois report that an invasive weed called Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri), which is showing growing resistance to common herbicides, including the widely used glyphosate, has “devastated cotton production” in the southern USA and is spreading at an alarming rate now across the Midwest. Already, it is found in 23 states.
Palmer amaranth is a prolific seed producer which can tolerate heat extremes, grow up to 2.5 metres tall and is challenging to remove. For instance, it cost the state of Georgia at least USD 11 million in 2009 to manually remove it from one million acres of cotton fields. The weed can decrease soybean yields by 78% and corn yields by 91%.
An article in Nature states that the spread of resistant weeds like Palmer amaranth can be traced to the widespread cultivation of crops genetically engineered (GE) to be resistant to glyphosate, citing that glyphosate-resistant weeds had infested 25 million hectares of US cropland by 2012. The article questions the proposal to develop GE crops made resistant to multiple herbicides as this is likely to be a flawed solution which will instead fuel the spread of more herbicide-resistant weeds. It calls on the Environmental Protection Agency to do more by way of integrated pest management. The article is available at http://www.nature.com/news/a-growing-problem-1.15382.

With best wishes
Third World Network
131 Jalan Macalister
10400 Penang
Malaysia
Website: http://www.biosafety-info.net/ and http://www.twn.my/
To unsubscribe: reply ‘unsubscribe’ to news@biosafety-info.net
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PALMER AMARANTH THREATENS MIDWEST FARM ECONOMY, RESEARCHERS REPORT
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-06/uoia-pat060314.php 

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lunes, septiembre 22, 2014

Troubling inspection reports reveal vast outdoor experimentation in the US with GMO crops

http://www.gmwatch.org/index.php/news/archive/2014/15633-troubling-inspection-
reports-reveal-vast-outdoor-experimentation-in-the-us-with-gmo-crops

 06 September 2014.

Investigative reporter Bill Lambrecht uncovers a trail of mistakes and violations in GMO field trials


EXCERPT: Companies and universities conducting field trials usually are eager to remedy problems and avoid further scrutiny. That apparently wasn't the case last year at the University of Florida, which received a formal letter from APHIS about its failings after a tomato researcher told an inspector that he didn't plan to monitor adjacent land for unwanted volunteer plants and intended to lie about it if asked.



Gene-altered apple tested in Washington state


By BILL LAMBRECHT, HEARST NEWSPAPERS


seattlepi.com, September 5, 2014

http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Gene-altered-apple-tested-in-Washington-state-5736742.php

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