lunes, mayo 25, 2015

Congreso de agroecología

National Geographic gets it spectacularly wrong on GM

Reporter Jeremy Berlin and pro-GMO scientist Pam Ronald used the example of a non-GM rice variety to argue that GM is necessary to feed the world. Claire Robinson reports

On 4 May National Geographic published an article by Jeremy Berlin that featured pro-GMO scientist Pam Ronald talking about submergence-tolerant (flood-tolerant) rice. Ronald and her team have developed a variety of such rice called Sub1.

The article eulogized both Ronald and GM, using Ronald’s marriage to an organic farmer to suggest that only a combination of GM and organic farming will feed the world: “Only by combining elements of each, she contends, will we have a chance of feeding the world’s swelling population (expected to reach 9.2 billion by 2050) while also protecting the planet’s natural resources and countenancing the effects of climate change.”

The article was enthusiastically subtitled, “Pamela Ronald isolates genes in rice that feeds millions. Her integrative approach to agriculture could be an even bigger game-changer.” 

The reader would have come away with the message that while organic farming has worthwhile contributions to make, it can only succeed in feeding the world if GM is also used.

One big problem with this message is that the example promoted in the article, of submergence-tolerant rice, is not GM but the product of conventional breeding.

domingo, mayo 24, 2015

Government witch hunt to eliminate Monsanto critics, by Jon Rappoport

“Anybody can fake scientific results. But to be believed, you want a prestigious organization behind you with a billion-dollar budget and access to compliant reporters. You want to manipulate technical language. You want to keep saying how much you care about people. And then you also want to get down and dirty when you have to, and threaten and coerce your in-house scientific dissenters who won’t go along with the fakery. Cut their pay, demote them, fire them, ruin their careers and lives. This is all standard procedure in the major leagues of science. I’ve watched it happen.” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)
Wonder how a federal agency as large as the USDA can keep claiming pesticides like Roundup are safe?
Wonder how the truth can be kept from leaking out?
Wonder how this agency, tasked with protecting the public from unsafe food, can turn fake science into “real science” like clockwork?

Monsanto/Syngenta: From Gene Giants to Agribehemoths

A proposed merger of seed and pesticide conglomerates portends a new level of monopoly over the first link in the global food chain

sábado, mayo 23, 2015

Lawyer challenges Monsanto to find inaccuracies in his book exposing GMO risks

An American public interest attorney has challenged Monsanto to find any inaccurate statements of fact in the new book he has written exposing the risks of GM foods and the multiple misrepresentations that have enabled them to permeate world markets. He asserts that if the company cannot prove that his book is essentially erroneous, it will entail that these controversial products are unacceptably risky and should be promptly banned.

The attorney is Steven Druker, who came to prominence for initiating a lawsuit against the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that forced it to divulge its files on GM foods – which revealed that the agency had covered up the extensive warnings of its own scientists about their abnormal risks and then repeatedly lied to the public.

The book is titled: “Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public”.

It features a foreword by the renowned primatologist Jane Goodall hailing it as “without doubt one of the most important books of the last 50 years”. It has been praised by several other eminent scientists as well, including David Schubert, a Professor and Head of Cellular Neurobiology at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, who has called it “incisive, insightful, and truly outstanding” – and also commended it as “well-reasoned and scientifically solid.”

The book and the challenge were sent to Robb Fraley, Monsanto’s Chief Technology Officer, and delivered on May 20 to the company’s St. Louis headquarters. Fraley previously sent Dr Goodall an email attempting to sooth her concerns about GM foods – and declaring that he would be “very pleased” to provide additional information. She passed that email on to Druker so that he could respond as he saw fit, resulting in the challenge – which stipulates that the additional information comprise a list of every inaccurate assertion of fact that Fraley and his colleagues can find in the book, along with a citation to evidence that conclusively confirms its erroneousness.

Other GMO proponents invited to assist Monsanto

Druker has also invited the other proponents of GM foods in industry and academia to assist Monsanto so that the response it submits will represent the best collective effort of the products’ supporters. He has allotted them two months and set a deadline of July 20. He asserts: “If by that date Monsanto and its allies have not been able to refute the essential factual accuracy of Altered Genes, Twisted Truth, the world will have a right to assume that it is as sound as the experts who reviewed it have affirmed – and to conclude that the GE food venture is a reckless gamble that must be quickly brought to an end.”

In his challenge, Druker pledges to publicly acknowledge any genuine errors that Monsanto can demonstrate and to correct them in the book’s next printing. Moreover, he demands that Monsanto display reciprocal responsibility. The challenge notes that a Monsanto brochure sent by Fraley to Dr. Goodall contains several misleading statements, and it decisively demonstrates the falsity of two of the biggest deceptions: the claims (a) that “every respected organization that has examined the evidence” has concluded that GE foods are safe and (b) that “there have been no documented safety issues.” Further, it insists that Monsanto promptly acknowledge the misrepresentations and set the record straight.

Druker asserts: “The proponents of GE foods have been passing off disinformation as scientific fact, and my challenge can restore the truth.” As the challenge declares: “Monsanto and its allies have been propagating a distinctly different set of facts than are delineated in Altered Genes, Twisted Truth. Both versions of reality cannot be correct, and people have a right to know which one is valid and which is fictitious.”

The challenge is posted at:

It is also available at:

Previously Druker issued a similar challenge to the UK Royal Society, which failed to respond and justify its support for GM crops and foods.

About the book:
Altered Genes, Twisted Truth – How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public
By Steven M. Druker
Foreword by Jane Goodall
Published March 2015    ISBN: 978-0-9856169-1-5 (Hardcover)
For More Information:
Adrienne Fontaine;
Emily Labes;
Andrew Blum:

Carmelo Ruiz Marrero: Etiquetado de transgénicos, Vermont a la vanguardia

19 de mayo 2015
En Estados Unidos se ha desatado una gran lucha en torno al etiquetado de alimentos transgénicos. Esta lucha se ha dado a nivel estatal y nacional, en referendos al igual que en los ámbitos legislativo y judicial. De los 50 estados del país el que más se ha distinguido en afirmar el derecho del consumidor a estar informado es seguramente Vermont. En abril de 2014 el senado de Vermont aprobó- por un abrumador margen de 28 a 2- la ley 112, la primera legislación a nivel nacional que requiere del etiquetado de todo alimento con contenido transgénico- la cámara baja había aprobado legislación de etiquetado el año anterior. El gobernador del estado, Peter Shumlin, firmó la ley el 8 de mayo de 2014.

Los estados de Connecticut y Maine ya han aprobado legislación en pro del etiquetado, pero con cláusulas al efecto de que el etiquetado entraría en efecto sólo cuando otros estados hayan aprobado legislación similar. La ley 112 de Vermont no contiene tal condicionalidad.
Es necesario subrayar que esta victoria fue posible gracias al trabajo de base de Vermont Right to Know GMO, coalición multisectorial dirigida por la finca orgánica Cedar Circle, la asociación de productores orgánicos NOFA-VT, y las organizaciones Rural Vermont y Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG). (1)
 La industria alimentaria, representada por el poderoso gremio detallista Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), demandó a Vermont, alegando que la ley 112 viola la constitución nacional, particularmente la primera enmienda y la cláusula de comercio interestatal. (2) La GMA, que representa a más de 300 corporaciones que venden productos de supermercado, ha movilizado millones de dólares para financiar campañas de cabildeo y publicidad en contra del etiquetado de transgénicos, y en 2014 demandó a la isla hawaiana de Maui después que sus ciudadanos votaran en un referendo a favor de prohibir el cultivo de transgénicos. (3)
Pero la industria sufrió un duro revés en abril de 2015 cuando la juez Christina Reiss desestimó el caso presentado por la GMA contra Vermont, y en su decisión de 84 páginas despachó como inválidos sus argumentos legales y constitucionales.
“Los gigantes de los alimentos transgénicos no están acostumbrados a perder, pero acaban de recibir una patada en el trasero de parte del estado de Vermont,” comentó Paul Burns, de VPIRG. “Esta decisión judicial aporta un apoyo poderoso a la idea de que los ciudadanos de Vermont tienen un interés legítimo y sustantivo en saber si su comida ha sido genéticamente alterada.” (4)
La defensa en este caso fue asumida por la Clínica de Derecho Ambiental de la Escuela de Derecho de Vermont, con la asistencia de VPIRG y el Center for Food Safety (CFS) como amigos de la corte.
“Esta importante decisión afirma la constitucionalidad del etiquetado de alimentos genéticamente alterados, al igual que los derechos de los ciudadanos de Vermont y Estados Unidos”, declaró el abogado George Kimbrell, del CFS. “Los estadounidenses exigen saber si su comida es producida mediante ingeniería genética por razones de salud, ambientales y muchas otras. Esta decisión es crucial para proteger esos derechos.” (5)
La ley entrará en efecto el 1 de julio de 2016.

Ruiz Marrero es periodista puertorriqueño residente en Ecuador. Es director del Blog de Bioseguridad y autor de El Gran Juego de Ajedrez Botánico: Escritos sobre Biotecnología y Agroecología (Editorial Tiempo Nuevo, 2015).

viernes, mayo 22, 2015

GM Watch: “Climate of fear” keeps numbers low at protest against muzzling of federal scientists

Claire Robinson reports on the Canadian government’s ongoing war against “inconvenient” science
The union that organised a protest against the muzzling of federal scientists in Canada says few federal employees participated because they were scared of the consequences (see articles below).

The Canadian government has a long history of government suppression of its scientists’ concerns. Starting in 1998, three government scientists, Dr Shiv Chopra, Dr Margaret Haydon, and Dr Gerard Lambert, were reprimanded, muzzled and eventually dismissed in 2004 for insubordination for voicingtheir concerns about the potential health effects of Monsanto’s GM bovine growth hormone cattle drug.

Foro Alimentos Modificados Geneticamente, Part 1

Foro sobre transgénicos y glifosato en el Colegio de Abogados de Puerto Rico, 21 de mayo 2015.

Recortes a agricultores y el mantengo ilegal a Monsanto, por Jessica Rodríguez Martín

"El Estado tiene la obligación de detener de inmediato este esquema ilegal y exigir la devolución de los millones pagados ilícitamente. Estos, al ser recobrados, tienen que ser destinados al Departamento de Agricultura y para el estímulo de agricultores puertorriqueños bona fide. De ello no ocurrir de manera inmediata, solo queda una interpretación posible. La misma que dio origen a que estas empresas llegaran a Puerto Rico en violación de todas las leyes ambientales y a nuestra Constitución."

miércoles, mayo 20, 2015

Puerto Rico: Senadora del PIP legisla contra el glifo

Senadora PIP radica proyecto para prohibir el uso del glifosato para desyerbar en propiedad pública
El Capitolio. 18 de mayo de 2015.- Ante la denuncia de expertos y científicos del efecto adverso del glifosato  (mercadeado como “Roundup”)  en la salud de las personas y la abundante evidencia que lo vincula con enfermedades como el cáncer, y de la constancia sobre el uso indiscriminado de este potente y dañino químico en el país, la senadora del Partido Independentista Puertorriqueño (PIP), María de Lourdes Santiago Negrón, radicó el Proyecto del Senado 1339 para prohibir su uso por parte de entidades gubernamentales, de tal forma que el Estado no continúe actuando, a conciencia,  como un agente que contribuye  a la exposición de la ciudadanía a un probado elemento tóxico.
“Es inconcebible que el Estado permita y sea uno de los principales promotores del uso de un herbicida -tan potente, que originalmente fue patentado como descalcificador para limpiar depósitos minerales en tuberías- al que se ha vinculado a problemas de salud como el cáncer, infertilidad, neurotoxicidad, problemas reproductivos, defectos de nacimiento, inflamación del cerebro asociada con el autismo y la enfermedad de Alzheimer, entre muchos otros”, declaró la Portavoz del PIP en el Senado.

Nuevo libro de Carmelo Ruiz Marrero

El gran juego de ajedrez botánico: Escritos sobre biotecnología y agroecología es una compilación de 15 años de trabajo investigativo y educativo del periodista Carmelo Ruiz Marrero en torno a los temas de la agricultura, ecología, biotecnología y soberanía alimentaria. Es un esfuerzo por documentar y analizar el modelo de agricultura industrial capitalista, el cual está exacerbando el problema del hambre y la crisis ambiental, y servir de guía a los nuevos movimientos sociales, pensamientos ecológicos y paradigmas científicos que están surgiendo y planteando alternativas.

Para comprarlo: