Monsanto and ArborGen set their sights on GM trees and grasses


Monsanto and ArborGen set their sights on GM trees and grasses
By: Tony Isaacs

Naturalnews

Franken trees and Franken grasses

In recent years, Monsanto and ArborGen have been developing GM trees including trees modified to withstand Monsanto’s Roundup, trees designed with a reduced lignin content to appeal to paper making and construction industries (lignin gives trees their strength and rigidity) and “terminator trees” which don’t produce seeds. In Hawaii, there has already been a contamination issue with GM papaya – the world’s first commercially planted genetically engineered tree.

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One of the GM trees currently being readied planting is GM Eucalyptus, despite numerous unresolved and unstudied concerns such as:

*Cryptococcus neoformans gattii, a yeast pathogen hosted by a variety of Eucalyptus species. It causes systemic fungal infections in humans, leading to fungal meningitis and death.

*Cold tolerance C-Repeat Binding Factor (CBF) genes such as those found in transgenic Eucalyptus trees that have been associated with stunted growth and production in potatoes. CBF gene modification produces highly pleiotropic effects but there does not appear to have been any investigation on the production of unintended metabolites, proteins, or nuclei acids in the modified trees.

*Transgenes, such as the ones involved in the Agrobacterium vector used in creating the transgenic trees, which can enlarge their host range to infect other species and exchange genes with them through hormones produced at the site of plant wounds.

*As reported by MSNBC and PLoS Pathogens, a new strain of a deadly fungus, Cryptococcus gattii, that has been causing fatal human illnesses throughout the Pacific Northwest. The fungus, which is known to grow on eucalyptus trees, has killed 40 out of 220 people infected throughout the region. The reduced lignin in GM eucalyptus has raised concerns that the trees could be more susceptible to infection.

*Pollen from GM Eucalyptus trees can travel almost twice as far as the ArboGen application stated. Pollen from other GM trees can travel for over 40 kilometers.

One way Monsanto has used to escape scrutiny of their GM Eucalyptus is by declaring most, if not all of the genetically modified components to be ‘Confidential Business information’ (CBI). The CBI designation prevents independent evaluation of the full impact of GM eucalyptus on the environment and on human and animal health.

The USDA recently handed Monsanto and their client lawn seed company Scotts a huge victory by deciding to not regulate Roundup Ready Scotts Kentucky Bluegrass. The USDA had previously echoed warnings by the Center for Technology Assessment that GM bluegrass could become an “environmental nightmare”.

Grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass have light and easily dispersed pollen. Thus, the likelihood of polluting existing strains is virtually certain as has happened in Oregon where Roundup Ready bentgrass has become a scourge.

So, get ready for even more toxic poisons in the coming plague of glyphosate-resistant plants gone wild. Also expect Monsanto to demand that payment for infringing on their patents, as they have with farmers whose crops have been adulterated by Monsanto’s seed pollen.

A sure formula for disaster

Easy approval of GM grasses and trees combined with insufficient testing and lack of oversight is an almost certain formula for future disaster. As we have seen with other Monsanto GM plants, once the GM genie is out of the bottle it is pretty much impossible to put it back in.

Sources for this article included:

http://globaljusticeecology.org/connections.php?ID=607
http://www.sourcewatch.org
http://www.allthingsnow.com
http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2010/05/04-0

Image taken from

organicconnectmag.com 

portland.indymedia.org

 

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Pharmaceutical Crops


SOURCE :http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/issues/311/ge-foods/pharmaceutical-crops

About Pharmaceutical Crops

Image taken from http://www.ehow.com

Quietly, biotechnology corporations are creating crops to produce proteins that are pharmaceuticals, vaccines, industrial enzymes or reagents for biochemical laboratories. Genetically engineered (GE) “pharm” crops are mostly grown in open fields, then after harvest the novel protein is purified for use. Most pharm crops are in pre-commercial field trials, but at least two proteins used in biochemical and diagnostic procedures are already being grown in corn for commercial use – avidin and beta-glucuronidase. Other proteins from pharm crops are already in clinical trials. Open field trials of pharmaceutical crops have been taking place every growing season in the US since 1992.

Corn is by far the most popular biopharm crop. Other crops engineered for pharmaceutical production include soy beans, rice, barley, wheat, canola and tobacco. Biopharm field trials have been conducted on at least 900 acres, probably closer to 1600. The exact figure is not known because the USDA classifies these field trials as “confidential business information.”

None of the companies have a commercial permit for the cultivation of these crops. In the case of avidin and beta-glucuronidase, the companies are selling the chemical in commercial channels, but hiding their actions behind a “research” permit provided by the USDA. With this type of permit, the chemicals and field locations can be kept secret.

About 20 companies worldwide are developing plants for the production of pharmaceutical or industrial proteins. Companies have already conducted open field trials of plants that produce Hepatitis B vaccine, human antibodies against herpes and other diseases, and human blood proteins. One company is developing an animal drug in corn, and suggests that the corn would be grown only for feed. Field trials have taken place at least in the US, France, and Canada.

 

GMO leads to livestock deaths


SOURCE : http://www.seattleorganicrestaurants.com/vegan-whole-food/GMO-toxicity-bt-corn-Syngenta.php

GMO toxicity and the Giant Biotech SYNGENTA was Charged for Covering up Livestock Deaths

The giant biotech company Syngenta has been charged for covering up the death of livestock because of itsgenetically modified Bt corn.

Image taken from beforeitsnews.com

The story started back in Germany when the cows of a farmer suffered and suddenly died from a mysterious disease after they were exclusively fed on Syngenta’s GM Bt 176.

The farmer took Syngenta to court and Syngenta had to pay the farmer 40,000 Euros but the giant biotechcompletely denied that its GM corn caused the death of the livestock.

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Image taken from marchagainstmonsanto.com

However, few years later, the farmer found out that in a feeding study, Syngenta’s GM corn killed four cows in just two days. Now, few German farmers have come together and have taken Syngenta to the court for the death of famer’s cattle and covering up the deaths of livestock in the study.

Most importantly, Hans-Theo Jahmann, the head of Syngenta is charged for not sharing his prior knowledge about the feeding study that resulted in the death of livestock in the first civil court.

However, the German farmer isn’t the only case that shows the toxicity of Bt corn. According to Institute of Science and Society, more than 1,800 sheep were reported dead after grazing on Bt cotton crops from severe toxicity in four villages in Andhra Pradesh India. Also in the last three years ill workers and dead villagers have been reported in the same village.

Mass Deaths in Sheep Grazing on Bt Cotton

Also in 2003, in Philippines there have been several reports of death of livestock and fever, chest pain, respiratory, intestinal and skin ailments of villagers who lived close by Bt maize fields.

Dozens Ill & Five Deaths in the Philippines and GM Ban Long Overdue

What’s amazing is that in all the cases, Bt toxin has led to sudden death and mysterious illnesses in humans and livestock.

In fact, in 2012 the Canadian study showed large percentages of both glyphosate and gluphosinate (glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup used as herbicide for GM crops) in the blood of non-pregnant women. Also Bt toxin was found in the blood of 95% of pregnant women and 83% of their unborn fetuses.

Recently, another long-term French study by Gilles-Eric Séralini also linked Bt corn to severe kidney and liver toxicity and giant tumors in rats.

Read more : http://www.seattleorganicrestaurants.com/vegan-whole-food/GMO-toxicity-bt-corn-Syngenta.php

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