#GMO Round-Up or Gluten in Wheat Products”


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#SAYNO2GMO : ” Farming & Bio-Technology Groups are Banding Together to Push Federal Labelling”


#AceFoodNews says `Food, Biotech Groups’ banding together to influence GMO labelling efforts’ 

Published time: February 06, 2014 23:16

 

Reuters / Albert Gea

Reuters / Albert Gea

Powerful farming and biotechnology interest groups announced Thursday they are banding together to push a federal voluntary labelling standard for genetically engineered food in an effort to stem the tide of state legislation seeking to mandate labelling.

The Coalition for Safe Affordable Food consists of 29 formidable trade groups that say they plan to lobby on Capitol Hill for a national standard that would allow manufacturers to voluntarily label food and beverage products made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In recent years, voters in states such as California and Washington have narrowly defeated ballot initiatives proposing mandatory GMO labeling, though not without dragging members of the new Coalition into expensive campaigns to defeat the measures.

English: Logo of the U.S. Food and Drug Admini...

English: Logo of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (2006) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The group says it will seek to empower the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “to establish federal standards for companies that want to voluntarily label their product for the absence-of or presence-of GMO food ingredients.” In addition, the Coalition proposes the FDA mandate labels for GMO food or ingredients that the agency deems a “health, safety or nutrition issue,” though no consumables currently fall in such a category.

The Coalition is also advocating the FDA define “natural” foods to include those consisting of GMOs.

Supporters of labeling said the Coalition has seen the growing demand for GMO labeling across the country and is now admittedly trying to pre-empt state attempts to inform consumers of scientifically dubious genetically engineered food.

“These companies spent nearly $70 million in California and Washington State to defeat GE labelling initiatives. They know that the food movement’s power is growing and that labeling is not a matter of if but when,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety“These companies have failed to win over consumers who overwhelmingly support the mandatory labeling of GMOs and now they’re trying to steal away consumer choice in Congress.”

States like Connecticut and Maine have recently passed legislation on labelling. Alaska’s legislature has passed a measure requiring the labeling of GMO fish and fish products. In Connecticut, critics say its new labeling law was gutted by lobbying pressure which requires four other northeastern states to pass their own GMO-labeling laws before the state’s takes effect. Those four states must collectively represent a population of 20 million people or more.

The Centre for Food Safety says over 30 states are expected to introduce GMO labeling laws during the 2014 legislative session. In Oregon, a labelling ballot initiative is already being planned.

On the federal level, legislation requiring mandatory labeling of all GMO foods has been introduced in the Senate and House, though it is not supported by the Coalition.

English: Author: Food and Drug Administration ...

English: Author: Food and Drug Administration website U.S. Government documents are, by law, not subject to copyright (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A top member of the Coalition – the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), a major food industry lobbying group – raised and spent the bulk of the overall $22 million that opponents of labeling sank into defeating Washington State’sballot initiative on GMO labeling last year. That total number was three times the amount that proponents of labeling spent in the state. GMA was joined in its effort by allies such as biotech giants Monsanto, Bayer, and DuPont.

“The legislation we’re proposing would prevent state legislation that conflicts with the federal standards,” GMA president Pamela Bailey said of the Coalition’s aim with the new proposals, The Hill reported.

Food industry trade groups, alarmed by the growing animosity against GMOs, began circulating plans for the voluntary labeling push in November – just days after Washington’s measure was defeated.

Federal standards like the ones the Coalition has now called for are necessary to “guard against a costly, unnecessary and inefficient state-by-state system,” a November memo among the GMA-led industry groups said. The Coalition wants an FDA-controlled system to maintain cheaper operations and avoid “the creation of a complicated patchwork of state-based labeling rules that would increase, rather than reduce, consumer confusion,” said Kraig R. Naasz, president of the American Frozen Food Institute, according to The Hill.

Critics of the Coalition’s approach point out that a “voluntary” law means nothing, as labeling GMOs is already legal and only done by choice.

“Voluntary labeling of GE foods is already permitted under the law, but no company has ever chosen to do so because GE foods offer consumers no benefits and only potential risk,” said the Center for Food Safety’s Kimbrell.“Instead of working together to meet consumer demand, GMA is using its deep pockets to ensure that congress and consumers are misled about their food supply.”

Supporters of GMOs say adverse effects of food that come from the manipulation of an organism’s genetic material are unproven at this point.

“If there was any indication GM ingredients were not safe, we would not be using them,” said Martin Barbre, president of the National Corn Growers Association.

T-shirt against GMO food. The logo is not copy...

T-shirt against GMO food. The logo is not copyrighted. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The US Department of Agriculture says over 80 percent of corn and over 90 percent of soy in the US are GMOs.

Yet science is also inconclusive on whether genetically engineered products can cause long-term harm to human health. At least, that is the consensus held by the several dozen countries which have banned or severely restricted their use worldwide.

“While risk assessments are conducted as part of GE product approval, the data are generally supplied by the company seeking approval, and GE companies use their patent rights to exercise tight control over research on their products,” the Union of Concerned Scientists said of GMOs. “In short, there is a lot we don’t know about the risks of GE – which is no reason for panic, but a good reason for caution.”

The organization – a broad coalition of scientists and citizens dedicated to“rigorous, independent science” without “political calculations or corporate hype” – says there are concerns about GMOs beyond the basic health problems that have been linked to their consumption.

“Rather than supporting a more sustainable agriculture and food system with broad societal benefits, the technology has been employed in ways that reinforce problematic industrial approaches to agriculture,” the Union stated.“Policy decisions about the use of GE have too often been driven by biotech industry PR campaigns, rather than by what science tells us about the most cost-effective ways to produce abundant food and preserve the health of our farmland.”

 

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US Manufacturers Hires A Lobbying Group to Violate State Campaign Finance Law


GMA Network, Inc.

GMA Network, Inc. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to the RT a lobbying group for major US manufacturers has  violated Washington state campaign finance law while opposing a ballot initiative that would require labelling genetically modified foods, according to a lawsuit filed by the state attorney general Wednesday.

The Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) ran afoul of state law in collecting and spending $7.2 million against ballot initiative 522 – which voters will consider in November – while not disclosing the individual donors funneling contributions to the organization, alleged State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

“Truly fair elections demand all sides follow the rules by disclosing who their donors are and how much they are spending to advocate their views,” Ferguson said in a statement.

The measure would require the proper labelling of goods which contain ingredients with genetically modified organisms (GMOs), as well as the labelling of seeds and seed products containing GMOs sold in the state.

With over $7 million spent, GMA is the largest donor to the “No on I-522” campaign. GMA and other opponents have raised over $17 million, spending $13 million thus far, in the effort to block labeling.

GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISM

GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISM (Photo credit: live w mcs)

The Yes on I-522” campaign has raised around $5.5 million in support of the labeling. They believe it is crucial for the public’s right to know what is in their food and say the labeling is a positive move considering the numerous questions surrounding the safety of GMOs to human health.

Ferguson’s office alleges GMA set up a “Defense of Brands Strategic Account” and asked its numerous high-powered members to contribute money in an effort to oppose the ballot initiative.

In the process of spending the money, GMA shielded contributors’ identification from public disclosures, the lawsuit alleges.

GMA has a total of 300 member organizations in its ranks and rising!

The attorney general is seeking a temporary restraining order to force GMA to comply with disclosure laws. In addition, civil penalties are included in the suit.

Read More at:http://rt.com/usa/washington-lawsuit-gmo-label-288/

 

GM Foods: Don’t Believe The Hype


Roundup (herbicide)

Roundup (herbicide) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Monsanto pesticide to be sprayed on f...

English: Monsanto pesticide to be sprayed on food crops. Français : Remplissage d’un épandeur (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This post was extracted from one of the 1000’s of emails l receive everyday into our news room and thought it would say how l feel about GM and how we are being slowly convinced to switch allegiance to people like Monsanto!

It’s not easy being green. And it’s especially hard if you’re not even green to begin with.
An editorial in 
New Scientist tries to make the case that genetically modified (GM) crops provide hidden environmental benefits.
Right – you know… The way fizzy drinks have hidden health benefits. And skydiving has hidden anti-gravity benefits.
Seriously. This might be the worst sales pitch I’ve ever heard.

Down on the green farm

According to New Scientist, “GM has the potential to do enormous good, if used in the right way.”

Enormous good? Okay, New Scientist. Bring on the enormity.

Here are the two examples the article offers…

1) GM reduces the need for tilling (ploughing using a tractor). That enables farmers to cut greenhouse emissions. 

And how much does tilling add to total greenhouse emissions? I’m going to guess it’s around 1/10th of one per cent. I have no idea if that’s correct, but I’m pretty sure I’m on the high side.

2) GM scientists are devising drought-resistant crops that will thrive in warmer climates.

Unfortunately, insects that thrive in warm weather might devour those crops. But these aren’t just any insects.

Monsanto — the largest US manufacturer of GM foods and pesticides — created a GM corn that contains an insecticide called Bt. Every cell of the plant — from roots to kernels — contains Bt.
Guess what happened?
A Bt-resistant root-worm has evolved. This past summer, farmers discovered that this lowly pest seems to do its worst damage when temperatures are scorching.

One scientist summed up the disaster… “Instead of making things easier, we’ve just made corn root-worm management harder and a heck of a lot more expensive.”

Meanwhile, GM has created another kind of environmental nightmare. Super-weeds. Monsanto’s Roundup Ready (weed killer) crops have produced Roundup-resistant weeds so sturdy and fast growing that many farmers can’t control them. Some farmers actually abandon their fields to these crop-killers.More than 20 weed species have developed resistance to Roundup. 

There’s only one part of the GM plan that’s working out beautifully. Monsanto and other agribusiness giants are getting very rich off GM “innovations.”

Maybe that’s the “green” New Scientist is talking about? Fortunately, in the UK and Europe (EU) legislation about the production of GM foods is much more stringent.

Currently, a type of maize called MON 810 is the only GM food cultivated commercially in the EU.However, it is banned in six EU states: Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary and Luxembourg. 

Only the other day, French researchers insisted that the EU reviews the long-term risks of GM foods. A controversial study, at the University of Caen, showed that rats that were fed Monsanto’s NK603 GM maize and exposed to the company’s top-selling Roundup weed killer were at higher risk of suffering tumour’s,multiple organ damage and premature death.

Despite widespread opposition to GM crops in the EU, GM food production in Europe is growing. The difference in Europe, compared to many other parts of the world, including the US, is that there is compulsory labeling for GM foods (at least those that contain more than 0.9% GM).

However, labeling GM foods does not help much because European consumers do not study labels that carefully, according to a recent study involving five EU countries. In addition, products such as meat, milk and eggs from animals fed GM animal feed do not require any labelling in the EU.

This just about sums up my feelings on GM and l say to everyone        ” Say NO to GMO ” and any ingredients in my kitchen get short shift if they are ordered by my staff!

If we allow this to get a hold then sooner rather than later we will develop foods that not just harm our bodies, but harm our future generations bodies. We all know how many drugs produced are no longer effective on certain diseases, well we could spur a new range of diseases and then not have a clue how to stop them spreading!

So share this article on every site you can and leave any comments l will reply, l promise!

Thanks for caring and of course carry on the sharing.

Regards CJ