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A September 11th deadline is around the corner for a new round of herbicide resistant genetically modified (GM) crops that are coincidentally on the table for fast-tracked approval.
Since the introduction of GM crops, the US has seen herbicide use increase by over 300 million pounds
. Big Biotech originally claimed that weeds would not develop resistance to glyphosate (RoundUp), but they have and these new "superweeds" have become the driving force
behind new crops engineered for stacked, or multiple, herbicide tolerances. Adoption of these new crops will lead to dramatic increases in the use of higher risk herbicides perpetuating the herbicide treadmill that is already in place.
1. Glyphosate (herbicide) Tolerant Soybeans
- Bayer's petition
to force its new controversial herbicide (isoxaflutole) tolerant soy on the market conceals crucial information on potential allergenicity and toxicity that came to light when EU experts examined the GMO soybean.
- BASF's petition
- Dow AgroSciences' petition
2. Glyphosate (herbicide) Tolerant Canola
- Monsanto's petition
- Pioneer's petition
3. Glyphosate (herbicide) Tolerant Corn
- Genective's petition
4. Hybrid Corn
- Monsanto's petition
- Four of the nine are genetically engineered with a soil bacteria that keeps them alive even when they're sprayed with massive doses of the herbicide glyphosate (Monsanto's RoundUp). More of these so-called "RoundUp Ready" crops mean more RoundUp sprayed on our food. This is horrible because Monsanto's RoundUp causes birth defects. Instead of "RoundUp Ready" we should call these GMOs "Birth-Defect Ready"!
According to a report published by Earth Open Source
, industry's own studies -- including one commissioned by Monsanto -- showed as long ago as the 1980's that RoundUp's active ingredient, glyphosate, causes birth defects in laboratory animals.
5. High Yield Soybean
- Monsanto's petition
6. Non-Browning Apple
- Okanagan Speciality Fruits petition
- Okanagan's "Arctic" apple would be the first genetically engineered version of a food that people directly bite into. According to the latest study by the Environmental Working Group
, conventionally grown apples are the most pesticide contaminated fruit or vegetable on the market. Conventional apples are dangerous, and GMO apples are just a dumb idea - one not even supported by many in the apple industry itself!
7. Rootworm Resistant Corn
- Syngenta's petition
- Syngenta's genetically engineered Bt crops have been banned in many countries because of the documented harm they cause to people, animals and insects. Bt corn produces its own insecticide that kills bad bugs and good bugs alike, Bt corn pollen has reportedly killed peasants in the Philippines, Bt livestock feed harms animals, and the Bt toxin is now found in the blood of over 80% of women and their unborn children.
Despite massive public opposition, last year the USDA announced plans
to streamline its genetically engineered petition process under the Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Earlier this year these controversial changes were implemented, speeding up the approval process for new genetically engineered seeds and crops. The new process will cut in half the time it takes for new GE seeds and crops to enter the market.
Last year, the USDA deregulated a GM product made by Monsanto giving the agricultural giant's Vistive Gold soybeans the green light for production within the United States and Canada.
Monsanto already has low-linolenic soybean oils on the market under its Vistive brand -- KFC and Kellogg's have both used Vistive to slash trans fats from their products -- but the company claims that its new generation traits confer "significantly extended fry life" and are more stable at high temperatures than either existing Vistive oils or conventional soybean oils. After all, this what a unhealthy populations striving for fresher and wholesome foods need...longer fry life?
Most soy products block the production of thyroid hormone and reduce energy in the body by inhibiting tyrosine kinases, enzymes involved in the transfer of energy from one molecule to another. These enzymes drive cell division, memory consolidation, tissue repair, and blood vessel maintenance and regeneration.
USDA claims that the new fast-track process allows for earlier input from the public to improve the quality of its environmental analyses. But according to a USDA press release,
the new process is a part of efforts by the Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, to "transform USDA into a high-performing organization that focuses on its customers." The customers that USDA is so keen on assisting are none other than Monsanto, Dow, Dupont, BASF, Syngenta, and the rest of the Biotech bullies!
In addition to the serious health risks
associated with consuming genetically modified foods, soy poses another risk: hexane. Used in processing soy ingredients to make isolates and concentrates, whole soybeans are bathed in synthetic petroleum-based solvents including the neurotoxin and pollutant, hexane.
Monsanto tried for years to gain approval for its genetically modified Roundup-Ready alfalfa seed. On January 27, 2011, it finally got the green light in the form of "deregulation." This means that farmers are free to plant GE alfalfa, and the USDA does not keep track of who plants it where.
Natasha Longo has a master's degree in nutrition and is a certified fitness and nutritional counselor. She has consulted on public health policy and procurement in Canada, Australia, Spain, Ireland, England and Germany.