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Monthly Archives: December 2014

Help from China to stop new GE traits in corn and soybean

When the Giant put his foot down, the world wakes up !! China has a moratorium on imports of GE crops for human consumption since 2012. It is now stricter with imports on feed for animals , which is what this article is about.

In wake of China rejections, GMO seed makers limit U.S. launches
Reuters
By Tom Polansek
November 25, 2014 5:03 AM
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(Reuters) – China’s barriers to imports of some U.S. genetically modified crops are disrupting seed companies’ plans for new product launches and keeping at least one variety out of the U.S. market altogether.

Two of the world’s biggest seed makers, Syngenta AG and Dow AgroSciences, are responding with tightly controlled U.S. launches of new GMO seeds, telling farmers where they can plant new corn and soybean varieties and how can the use them. Bayer CropScience told Reuters it has decided to keep a new soybean variety on hold until it receives Chinese import approval.

Beijing is taking longer than in the past to approve new GMO crops, and Chinese ports in November 2013 began rejecting U.S. imports saying they were tainted with a GMO Syngenta corn variety, called Agrisure Viptera, approved in the United States, but not in China.

The developments constrain launches of new GMO seeds by raising concerns that harvests of unapproved varieties could be accidentally shipped to the world’s fastest-growing corn market and denied entry there. It also casts doubt over the future of companies’ heavy investments in research of crop technology.

The stakes are high. Grain traders Cargill Inc [CARG.UL] and Archer Daniels Midland Co, along with dozens of farmers, sued Syngenta for damages after Beijing rejected Viptera shipments, saying the seed maker misrepresented how long it would take to win Chinese approval.

In the weeks since Cargill first sued on Sept. 12, Syngenta’s stock has touched a three-year low. ADM in its lawsuit last week alleged the company did not follow through on plans for a controlled launch of Viptera corn.

Syngenta says the complaints are unfounded.

Bayer, told by Beijing in September that the new soybean seed, LL55, had not been approved for imports, says it will keep on trying, seven years after the company first filed its request. In the meantime, it will withhold the new seed. China granted its last import approval for any GMO grain in June 2013.

TEN YEAR EFFORT

“Our objective is to get the approval and the clearance from the Chinese authorities so that we can go into a full commercial launch as soon as possible,” said Frank Terhorst, global head of seeds for the company.

It can take up to 10 years and $150 million to develop new GMO seeds and further delays in Chinese approvals will raise concerns about Bayer’s future investment in new GMO products, Terhorst said.

The slowdown in Beijing’s regulatory process comes amidst growing consumer sentiment against GMO food in China and concerns amongst some government officials about excessive dependence on U.S. food supplies.

China is a key market for the $12 billion U.S. agricultural seeds business and for global grain traders and accounted for nearly 60 percent of U.S. soybean exports and 12 percent of corn exports two years ago. Nearly 90 percent of corn in the United States is genetically engineered, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as farmers embrace technology that helps kill weeds and fight pests.

It is a common practice to mix different corn varieties in storage and during transportation, so a lack of approval for one GMO variety can put at risk of rejection large shipments that include approved GMO grains.

The controlled releases by Dow and Syngenta aim to bring new GMO seeds to the U.S. market while assuring U.S. farmers and exporters that the harvests will not be rejected by countries that have not approved the GMO grain.

Dow AgroSciences this month said it will limit sales of its new genetically modified corn and soybeans next year while it waits for China’s approval. Farmers who grow the new Enlist corn must maintain isolation areas around their fields, use the corn only as livestock feed, and submit to audits of their compliance.

When Syngenta released its Agrisure Duracade corn this year, which is approved in the United States but not by China, it contracted grain handler Gavilon, owned by Japanese trading house Marubeni Corp, to oversee the launch. Gavilon assigned as many as six workers at its Omaha headquarters to keep Duracade out of markets where it had not been cleared, said Greg Konsor, general manager for grain operations.

At harvest, growers have to fill out canary-yellow tracking agreements where they identify themselves, their trucking firms and the destinations for their Duracade corn. The bright color is meant to tell buyers the shipments require special attention.

Iowa farmer Gary Vetter said that after he planted 240 acres of Duracade last spring, he received calls and certified mail from Gavilon checking on his compliance with restrictions aimed to keep the grain out of unapproved markets.

“No matter what, they want to know where the corn goes,” he said.

Controlled launches, however, are at best a temporary fix because they are costly, complicated and risk accidental contamination of other export grains, said Jim Sutter, chief executive of the U.S. Soybean Export Council.

“The long-term solution is to work with our partners in China and build confidence in the process in the way we want it to work,” he said. “Easier said than done.”

(Additional reporting by Niu Shuping in Beijing; Editing by David Greising and Tomasz Janowski)

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US Human Trial of GM Banana for Africa funded by Gates Foundation

Dear Members, Allies and Friends of AFSA,

We have released an Open Letter and an accompanying press release opposing the GM banana trials in Iowa State University. We need your help to circulate and send it to your media contacts.

Subject: US Human Trials of GM banana for Africa Widely Condemned

Press Release issued by Alliance For Food Sovereignty In Africa and US Food Sovereignty Alliance

Kampala, Uganda and Seattle, Washington- 10th December 2014
The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) is a Pan African platform comprising civil society networks and farmer organisations working towards food sovereignty in Africa has submitted an Open Letter to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Wendy White from Iowa State University and the Human Institutional Review Board of Iowa State University expressing fierce opposition to the human feeding trials taking place at Iowa State University involving genetically modified (GM) bananas.

The Open Letter is supported by more than 120 organizations from around the world. Farmers, advocates, consumers and other communities from the United States are represented, including the US Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA), FoodFirst, AGRA Watch/Community Alliance for Global Justice and La Via Campesina North America, as well as many from Africa, Europe, Latin America, the United Kingdom, Asia and Australia. Dr. Vandana Shiva, Dr. Jeanne Koopman, Dr. Eva Navotny and Professor Joseph Cummins are among the prominent scientists and academics also supporting the Open Letter.

The GM banana human trials are funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and carried out by Iowa State University under the leadership of Dr. Wendy White. The human subjects of these trials are young female students from Iowa State University. Scientists at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia developed the GM banana, also with funds provided by the Gates Foundation. Touted as a ‘Super Banana’ the GM banana in question, has been genetically modified to contain extra beta-carotene, a nutrient the body uses to produce Vitamin A. The results of the human trials are designed to support the release the GM bananas into Ugandan farming and food systems. According to Iowa State University, “Vitamin A deficiency is a major public health problem in Uganda and other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and leads to decreased survival in children, impaired immune function and blindness.”

An outraged Bridget Mugambe, a Ugandan and AFSA Policy Advocate, says “Just because the GM banana has been developed in Australia and is being tested in the US, does not make it super! Ugandans know what is super because we have been eating homegrown GM-free bananas for centuries. This GM Banana is an insult to our food, to our culture, to us a nation, and we strongly condemn it.“

Iowa farmer George Naylor noted, “We’re told that GMOs are safe but we don’t even know if these genetically modified bananas should be tested on humans. People who are malnourished need good food, not another public relations stint that clears the way for more corporate, patented, high-profit technologies.”

“As AFSA, we are vehemently opposed to GM crops. Africa and Africans should not be used as justification for promoting the interest of companies and their cohorts. We do not need GM crops in this changing climate. What we need is the diversity in our crops and the knowledge associated with them,” commented Dr. Million Belay, AFSA Coordinator.

AFSA, USFSA and others supporting the Open Letter have demanded that it be shared with the human subjects of the trials in the US.

Contacts:

Africa:
Bridget Mugambe
Email: b_mugambe@yahoo.com
Tel: + 256 775 692499

Dr Million Belay
Email: millionbelay@gmail.com
Tel: Office: +251-115-507172
+ 251-115-504979

United States:
Lisa Griffith, US Food Sovereignty Alliance
Email: lisa@nffc.net
Tel: 773-319-5838

Notes to Editors:

AFSA members include the African Biodiversity network (ABN), the Coalition for the Protection of African Genetic Heritage (COPAGEN), Comparing and Supporting Endogenous Development (COMPAS) Africa, Friends of the Earth–Africa, Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee (IPACC), Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM) Association, Eastern and Southern African Small Scale Farmers’ Forum (ESAFF), La Via Campesina Africa, FAHAMU, World Neighbours, Network of Farmers’ and Agricultural Producers’ Organizations of West Africa (ROPPA), Community Knowledge Systems (CKS) and Plate forme Sous Régionale des Organisations Paysannes d’Afrique Centrale (PROPAC).
The Open Letter can be viewed here: http://afsafrica.org/afsa-open-letter-opposing-human-feeding-trials-involving-gm-banana/
Documents accessed from Iowa State University can be viewed here: http://afsafrica.org/iowa-state-university-feed-trials/

New Law Blocks Anti-GMO Scientists From Advising US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) | Global Research

A new law will place restrictions on scientists with clear knowledge on GMO dangers, and create room for experts with overt financial ties to the biotech and pharmaceutical industries affected by EPA regulations. H.R. 1422, which passed 229-191, is an earthquake rumbling through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Scientific Advisory Board.

This means that the EPA can no longer be advised on their own research regarding GMOs or pharmaceutical drugs like antibiotics or vaccines. Can you say circular reasoning, or insular logic? This ‘reform’ means industry-appointed experts will determine what is ‘safe’ and what is not safe for the public, and that the scientists with the most knowledge about the risks pertaining to GMOs and pharmaceuticals will be gagged.

via New Law Blocks Anti-GMO Scientists From Advising US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) | Global Research.

Hi-lights & Reflections on W to E coast Tour of ‘ GE Food and Your Health’ by Theirry Vrain. (Courtenay to PEI 2014)

Friends,

A few words to ramble about the self imposed cross Canada Tour. It started as the GE Food and your Health tour on November 14 last year. Right here in Courtenay. I shared the podium with a rancher from Alberta, Jan Marian Slomp, who promptly became the President of the National Farmers Union. Our paths would cross again when I later received his letter of support.

Hi Dr. Vrain,

The NFU had an executive meeting before last week and we discussed the support for your tour. I brought up NFU policy, which clearly asks for Health Canada to be doing thorough independent research in the public interest before anything can be approved. Also NFU demands labeling of GMO’s and precautionary approach in the approval process are in line with both of your presentations. So in principle we support your presentations. Let us know how we can help?

Jan Slomp
National Farmers Union

But back to my story. It starts really in the spring of last year when I received an invitation to give my views on GMOs in Surrey on June 3rd. There I met again Tony Mitra, who had come to spend much of a full day filming and interviewing me on my farm a month before. But I also met a group of dedicated people who made it clear that they were available and energized. And when I offered to go on a cross canada conference tour, they said they would organize it all across BC and Alberta, and shortly after that they decided I would need a driver, and Tony volunteered. Then I had the idea of inviting Shiv Chopra, who was more experienced at this sort of thing, having spent many years holding his ground against a corrupt administration.

I would join Shiv and start the Tour with him in Vancouver. From Courtenay, I went to Campbell River the next evening, then Nanaimo in the afternoon and Duncan in the evening with the first full hall of the Tour. Next, Sooke and the University of Victoria, with a big crowd. But I especially remember dining with Gurdeep Stephens, and Carolyn Heriot. Then the next day in Vancouver where I met Tony again, and Shiv.

Much of it has become blurred for me. Of course I have plenty of images of people mostly, and settings and vistas. We covered amazing distances, thanks to Gloria who is so experienced in the business and made it always a smooth experience to travel under her wings. And thanks to Tony, who always insisted that he is a better driver or that he might get bored if I did not let him drive. Tony handled it all, he was pilot and copilot, thanks to his GPS telephone that spoke constantly to give directions. I quite enjoyed being chauffeured around.

We had almost one event every evening, except for a few days of rest. I presented my lecture the Gene Revolution with a Power Point presentation and Shiv would speak after me and give his Five Pillars of Health lecture, laced with personal history remarks about the growth hormone milk saga in Ottawa. Tony drove us across British Columbia and Alberta. At each place, there was a local coordinator that had been supported and helped by this group of women who organized it all. Teresa, Laura, Bobbie, Vanessa, Alexandra, Brandie, I am probably forgetting more than one. At each place there was somebody attentive to our needs and comfort. Bravo for the attention to details. We seemed to get along well together Shiv and I, and I looked forward to more of the same across the rest of Canada the following year. It was not meant to happen. Shiv decided to leave the Tour at the end of December. I asked Tony to prepare a short presentation on his activism – citizen journalism as he calls it. He accepted instantly and we went to the Maritime Provinces to spend one whole week with another mother, Lil McPherson. She coordinated several events in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. A wonderful time with a beautiful soul. And we went around New Brunswick too. Yes the Bay of Fundy was spectacular. Tony and I got along just fine, I let him talk some of the time and he let me be quiet the rest of the time. We quickly found that our styles and material covered complimented each other. Tony’s ten minute presentation has grown to a half hour with Power Point slides. Very effective. And he has already a booking at the No GMO Conference in Vancouver in January.

In July and August we spent 2 weeks in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In Manitoba we spent a most delightful week in the home of Rose Stevens and doing several evenings in Winnipeg and surrounding towns. In SK, all the way up to North Battleford, at the edge of the nordic forest, meaning dwarf trees. This is where I met Lisa who supplies most of the seeds that Carmen at Eat More Sprouts in Courtenay uses. I had come full circle.

In August I went to a conference in Brisbane Australia where I met Judy Carman and verbally battled some old engineered icon named von Montagu from Belgium. I spent more time in planes and airports than on the ground. But I was happy for doing it, this was a very large international conference and my presentation will be part of a scientific volume. In October I went to the American College of Nutrition conference in San Antonio Texas. The organizers had asked me to help them locate someone who would debate me – apparently several people had turned them down. So I gave them the name of Dr Channa Prakash who is big in the business of supporting GMOs (he does AgbioView). I was advised that he accepted gracefully. So when the day came he delivered a Robert Wager kind of presentation about how we have been modifying DNA for thousands of years, and we need GMOs to feed the planet, and Golden rice, and he was very polished and very scientific and important. I delivered my address – all about glyphosate, and I knew I was convincing. Then we had a debate and he had to admit that he knew very little about glyphosate but surely it was safe, and billions of people have eaten trillions of meals, the usual, etc … The American College of Nutrition was not impressed and I was pleased with myself and heard a lot of congratulatory comments afterward. I have since given this lecture on the Tour in Ontario and Quebec – Engineered food and your health. It is an hour long and a lot more appropriate to an urban audience. Even the farmers are interested.

I flew to Montreal to spend a couple of days with my daughter and grand children before the tour in Ontario. Flew to Toronto, met Tony, drove to Owen Sound, back to Toronto, flew to Thunder Bay. Back to Toronto, and fly up north again to Timmins. Then off to the most southern point in Windsor, Guelph, London, Toronto, Ottawa, Alexandria, Quebec City, Montreal. I probably forget more than one. And I finished in Montreal after Tony left where I spent another week with my grandkids – I so enjoyed being called “grand pere”.

It was a huge adventure, many were involved and we reached out to many thousands of people, Tony and I became good friends. What did we accomplish ? That is difficult to establish. The media completely ignored us, except for the very occasional interview for a marginal magazine or newspaper. Tony has become a hub for this movement (his blog is at tonu.org) and relishing the relationships he has built along the way. I believe that I have given a very convincing presentation to each audience every night, and giving out a copy of my letter to the Minister to each participant, reaching out to large numbers directly and indirectly. I am writing a chapter for a CRC volume on Food Toxicology. A direct invitation from the past president of the American College of Nutrition after my October presentation. I invited Don Huber of Purdue University to contribute his work with glyphosate over the years.

Am I discouraged, yes, often. I find the level of apathy everywhere really disheartening. And the levels of corruption I heard of were amazing. I was told by a high level civil servant in Quebec City that his Minister had verbally told them to shut up and follow orders about GMOs many years ago. I assume it is the same policy for the media. I don’t know how you manage to keep your spirits up. But I’ll tell you, I have my moments. We had 50 or 60 people in Toronto, we had 14 people in Montreal. Lots of places had 100 or more, but on the whole the numbers were small. I was telling a friend at breakfast today that at the end of each night of the Tour a small number of people came to shake my hand and say a few words of respect and gratitude for speaking aloud their concern or dissipating the confusion about GMOs and making the whole topic so clear. That kept me going.

To all of you who have participated in a small or big way, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart and big hug. Keep the flame going, keep in touch, and push back. With my immense gratitude and respect for what we have done together.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx________________________________________________________________xxxxxxxxxxxx

GE Free Comox Valley group would like to send
A huge THANK YOU to Thierry for his unfailing energy and enthusiasm to talk about this subject.Under the glamour of this letter is hours of preparation, lots of time and money, lots of uncomfortable travelling situations, lots of speaking fatigue,and many other things which a tour like this exacts. We are so lucky to have Thierry and Tony, who left their comfortable homes to spend 2014 on this Herculean task.
This tour map shows us the enormous amount of grass root support and interest across this country.

Glyphosate ( RoundUp): its nature and its danger. Oct 2014

Short Letter to Minister of Health by Dr. Thiery Vrain
Why Glyphosate is hurting us. A must read concise document. This explains why our FOOD is at risk.

October 27, 2014

To the Honorable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health
Re: herbicide pollution and GMO labeling

Minister,

The confusion about the safety of GMOs is quite simple to address. The only GMOs in our agriculture are Glyphosate Modified Organisms also known as RoundUp Ready crops and the only GMOs in our food supply are from those crops. RoundUp Ready crops are engineered to be sprayed with the herbicide RoundUp and this technology has become so successful that RoundUp has become a major pollutant (1). This chemical pollution is antibiotic, it impacts the microbiome, impairs CYP enzymes, and depletes food of essential mineral micronutrients. As a background paper for the impact of this pollution I offer my speaking notes to the American College of Nutrition conference last week in San Antonio (Texas). Most of the studies I cite were published in the last five years.

Glyphosate is the active ingredient of the herbicide RoundUp, a new molecule created in 1960 by Stauffer Chemicals – a US company with a business of cleaning industrial pipes and boilers of mineral scales. The mineral deposits (same as in electric kettles) are called scales, and the pipe cleaning chemicals are called descaling agents. Glyphosate was patented in 1964 in the US as a powerful and very broad spectrum descaling agent (2). Meaning, it binds to metals indiscriminately and does a great job at “dissolving and preventing minerals from being reactive or bioavailable in solution”. When the descaling solution was disposed of in nature, it was obvious that it killed plants. The chemical company Monsanto promptly bought the molecule, patented it as a herbicide in 1969, and got it commercialized in 1974 (3). This molecule is making history because glyphosate has become the most successful agricultural chemical in North and South America wherever RR seeds are used. The farmers using this technology get simpler and cheaper weed management and despite higher input bills and sometimes disappointing yields, and with weed resistance spreading fast, they adopted it in troves (4).

The herbicide RoundUp had a completely novel chemistry for a herbicide in 1969. It was deemed to kill plants by bonding to only one protein enzyme in the chloroplasts. Enzymes are metalloproteins with a metal atom as a cofactor at the active site of the molecule. Bacteria and plants and fungi share a metalloprotein called EPSPS for short and 5-Enol Pyruvyl Shikimate-3 Phosphate Synthase if you want to know what it does. It works with other metalloproteins to “make” building blocks of proteins, the aromatic amino acids. These molecules are also building blocks for a large number of aromatic molecules we call secondary compounds. Glyphosate binds tightly to the manganese atom at the centre of the EPSPS metalloprotein, so tightly that the protein cannot move and do its work making aromatic amino acids. No protein synthesis means there is no metabolic work possible, a quick death for the plant, or the fungi or the bacteria.

Because animals lack the shikimate pathway and because of its presumed mode of killing plants, glyphosate was pronounced innocuous to humans and registered as such in 1974 in the USA. Glyphosate has no acute toxicity, and at the time of registration in the US and Canada, nobody bothered to check for chronic effects. Considering the chemical properties of this pollution, one would expect long term chronic effects, equivalent to rickets, scurvy, or beriberi, for progressive lack of micronutrients. The animal feeding studies proving the safety of GMOs do not include testing for the safety of glyphosate. None of them mentions the residue levels of glyphosate in the feed. Meanwhile, a fast growing series of independent studies in various countries published in the last 5 years have ascertained the impact of glyphosate on various cellular enzymes and organs of animals and of human cells.
The first RoundUp Ready crops to be commercialized were soy and corn, released in 1996. Since then, a handful of RR crops have been adopted enthusiastically by farmers, particularly in North and South America. Today close to 500 million acres of soya and corn, and cotton, canola, and sugar beet, are engineered to be sprayed with RoundUp. About 40% of all RR crops are grown in the USA, most of the rest are grown in Brazil, Argentina, Canada, and a few other countries. RR crops are now sprayed with close to two billion lbs of glyphosate every year, and so much of that finds its way into animal feed and processed food, that the EPA had to raise the legal residue limits last year to accommodate a new reality (5).
Glyphosate is antibiotic, a powerful and broad spectrum antibiotic (6). The mode of kill is again alleged to be very selective. The glyphosate molecule impairs the functioning of the shikimate pathway in bacteria in the same manner that it does in plants. Only one enzyme is affected in a pathway that animals do not possess. The antibiotic patent describes its effectiveness to kill bacteria at 1 ppm and this was confirmed last year in Germany (7). At this point I usually spend a minute or two explaining why a low level antibiotic diet is not a good idea. I describe the recent interest of the medical field in a large joint research project involving many Universities to decipher the huge community of thousands of species of bacteria that call us home. The Human Microbiome project is the equivalent of the Human Genome project in its scope. We are vastly outnumbered, roughly ten to one – one hundred trillion bacterial cells call our lower intestine home. They are forever sending signaling molecules to each other and to all human organs, particularly the brain. All animals depend on their symbiosis with these bacteria, and humans are no exception. They are the teachers of our immune system, they make the neurotransmitters for our brain, and have a strong connection to the heart and the whole digestive tract. They literally feed us all kinds of molecules that we require – we call them essential, like vitamins and such. They digest and recycle most of our food. Human organs rely on molecular signals from the microbiome for normal functioning, and as goes the microbiome so does its human shell. A recent review of the medical literature on celiac and other diseases shows the link to imbalances of the microbiome that are fully explained by the antibiotic properties of glyphosate (8).

We lack official data on residues of glyphosate in food or in water in Canada – no epidemiological studies of any kind have ever been done. All we have are the legal maximum residue limits now allowed by the EPA in RoundUp Ready foods, cereals 30 ppm, animal feed 100 ppm, soybean 120 ppm, and everything else in between (5). Here an inquisitive mind will ask why such a high residue limit for cereals when none of them are engineered to be sprayed with RoundUp. This is when you learn that RoundUp is sprayed on many non-engineered crops with the intent to kill them right before harvest. This is done to mature and dry the crops quickly to make them easier and cheaper to harvest. The RoundUp herbicide has been used as a desiccant for the last 10 years.

There is direct toxicity to animal cells because glyphosate binds to metals indiscriminately, and not just in plant cells. It binds to metals in solution and to metal co-factors at the centre of metalloproteins anywhere. For example glyphosate binds to the iron atom at the centre of a large family of protein enzymes called CYP. There are 57 different CYP enzymes in the human body, and approximately 20,000 in animals, plants, bacteria and fungi. The CYP enzymes are oxidizers, the first line of digestion and detoxification of most substrates. David Nelson writes in a review of the CYP enzymes: “The CYP enzymes of humans are essential for our normal physiology and failure of some of these enzymes results in serious illnesses (9). Samsel and Seneff have published a review of the impact of glyphosate on the CYP enzymes and the microbiome. They suggest that glyphosate’s suppression of CYP enzymes and its antibiotic effect on the human microbiome are involved in the etiology of the many chronic degenerative and inflammatory diseases that have grown to epidemic levels since the advent of the RoundUp Ready technology (10). Nancy Swanson has made public her statistical analyses of the US Centre for Disease Control’s statistics about the health status of America when placed next to the statistics of the US Department of Agriculture about the spread of RoundUp Ready soy and corn. Her correlation analyses show very high coefficient values suggesting strong links between glyphosate residues in RoundUp Ready food and chronic illnesses (11).

Medical and chemical reviews and peer reviewed studies have explained the mode of action of glyphosate and its impact on many metalloproteins. Human cell studies have shown acute toxicity (12-15) and animal studies have shown chronic toxicity (16-21). Glyphosate bio-accumulates in the plants and in animals that eat the plants. It accumulates in the lungs, the heart, kidneys, intestine, liver, spleen, muscles, and bones … and chronically ill people have higher residues in their urine than healthy people”(22). To conclude this presentation of the nutritional status of GMOs, I would say that crops sprayed with RoundUp, whether they are RoundUp Ready or not, contain residues of glyphosate, and that foods made from these crops are depleted of the minerals that are bound to the glyphosate molecules, and chronically toxic (23).

Minister, your reassuring words have been quoted widely. “Currently, there is no… scientific evidence, that says genetically modified foods are unhealthy. It is impossible for us to mandate a label, because our labels have to be based on evidence that it is an unhealthy product for Canadians.” I hope you have found here the scientific evidence you require to act and that you join over 60 governments in the world who have found this evidence compelling enough in the past few years, to legislate some form of labeling or ban RoundUp Ready crops and the herbicide RoundUp.

Respectfully,

Dr. Thierry Vrain
thierryv@telus.net

Literature cited

1 Battaglin W.A., Meyer M.T., Kuivila K.M., Dietze J.E. 2014. Glyphosate and its degradation product AMPA occur frequently and widely in US soils, surface water, groundwater, and precipitation. J. Amer. Water Res. Assoc. 50, 275-290.

2 U.S. Patent 3,160,632 Stauffer Chemicals 1964

3 US Patent 3,455,675 Monsanto Chemicals 1969

4 Fernandez-Cornejo J., Wechsler S.J., Livingston M. and Mitchell L. 2014. Genetically Engineered crops in the United States. USDA Economic Research Report No. (ERR-162) 60 pp. http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/1282246/err162.pdf

5 EPA 2013 MCL (US Environment Protection Agency legal Maximum Contaminant Levels). http://www.epa.gov/ogwdw/pdfs/factsheets/soc/glyphosa.pdf

6 U.S. Patent Number 7,771,736 Monsanto Chemicals 2010.

7 Shehata, A.A., Schrödl, W., Aldin, A.A., Hafez, H.M. and Krüger, M. 2013. The effect of Glyphosate on potential pathogens and beneficial members of poultry microbiota. Curr. Microbiol. 66:350-358.

8 Samsel, A. and Seneff, S. 2013. Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II. Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance. Interdiscip. Toxicol. 6: 159-184

9 Nelson, D. 2013. A world of cytochrome P450s. Philo. Transac. Royal Soc. London B 368 No 1612.

10 Samsel, A. and Seneff, S. 2013. Glyphosate’s suppression of cytochrome P450 enzymes and amino acid biosynthesis by the gut microbiome: pathways to modern diseases. Entropy 15: 1416-1463.

11 http://www.examiner.com/gmo-in-seattle/nancy-swanson

12 Gasnier, C., Dumont, C., Benachour, N., Clair, E., Chagnon, M.C. and Séralini, G.E. 2009. Glyphosate-based herbicides are toxic and endocrine disruptors in human cell lines. Toxicology 262: 184-191.

13 Benachour N. and Seralini, G.E. 2009. Glyphosate induces apoptosis in human umbilical, embryonic, and placental cells. Chem. Res. Toxicol. 22: 97-105.

14 Koller, V.G., Fürhacker, M., Nersesyan, A., Mišík, M., Eisenbauer, M. and Knasmueller, S. 2012. Cytotoxic and DNA-damaging properties of glyphosate and Roundup in human-derived buccal epithelial cells. Arch. Toxicol. 86: 805-813.

15 Thongprakaisang, S., Thiantanawat, A., Rangkadilok, N., Suriyo, T. and Satayavivad, J. 2013. Glyphosate induces human breast cancer cell growth via estrogen receptors. Food Chem. Toxicol. 59: 129-136.

16 Senapati ,T., Mukerjee, A.K. and Ghosh, A.R. 2009. Observations on the effect of glyphosate based herbicide on ultrastructure (SEM) and enzymatic activity in different regions of alimentary canal and gill of Channa punctatus (Bloch). J. Crop Weed 5: 236-245.

17 Paganelli, A., Gnazzo, V., Acosta, H., López, S.L. and Carrasco, A.E. 2010. Glyphosate herbicides produce teratogenic effects on vertebrates by impairing retinoic acid signaling. Chem. Res. Toxicol. 23: 1586-1595.

18 Vecchio, L., Cisterna, B., Malatesta, M., Martin, T.E. and Biggiogera, M. 2004. Ultrastructural analysis of testes from mice fed on genetically modified soybean. Eur. J. Histochem. 48:448-454.

19 El-Shamei, Z.S.; Gab-Alla, A.A.; Shatta, A.A.; Moussa, E.A.; Rayan, A.M. 2012. Histopathological changes in some organs of male rats fed on genetically modified corn. J. Am. Sci. 8: 684-696.

20 Séralini, G.E., Clair, E., Mesnage, R., Gress, S., Defarge, N., Malatesta, M., Hennequin, D. and de Vendômois, J.S. 2014. Republished study: Long-term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Environ. Sci. Eur. 26:14

21 Clair. E, Mesnage, R., Travert, C. and Séralini, G.É. 2012. A glyphosate-based herbicide induces necrosis and apoptosis in mature rat testicular cells in vitro, and testosterone decrease at lower levels. Toxicol. in Vitro 26: 269-279.
22 Kruger, M., Schledorn, P., Schrodl, W., Hoppe, H.W., Lutz, W. and Shehata, A.A. 2014. Detection of glyphosate residues in animals and humans. Environ. & Anal. Toxicol. 4:2
23 Zobiole, L.H., Kremer, R.J., de Oliveira, R.S. and Constantin, J. 2012. Glyphosate effects on photosynthesis, nutrient accumulation, and nodulation in glyphosate-resistant soybean. J. Plant Nutri. Soil Sci. 175: 319

GMO ban allowed in EU States; Norwegians ban GM fish feed; Ontario Neonicotinoid Ban

Pages tagged “GMO ban” in Nation of Change Magazine ( read more at their site)

1) EU Reaches Deal Allowing States to Ban GMO, So Why Aren’t GMO Critics Cheering?
POSTED ON BLOG BY ANDREA GERMANOS · DECEMBER 07, 2014 6:00 AM
The European Union reached a provisional deal on Thursday that would allow member states to ban cultivation of genetically modified (GMO) crops within their territory, even if they’ve been given EU OK, but critics say the agreement fails to provide certainty that the bans won’t be met by legal challenges.

2) Norwegian Authorities Ban GM Fish Feed Over Antibiotic Resistance Fears
POSTED ON BLOG BY SUSTAINABLE PULSE · DECEMBER 03, 2014 6:00 AM
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According to the Norwegian Biotechnology Advisory Board, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority has stopped approving (on a yearly basis) GMOs for use in fish feed that contain genes coding for antibiotic resistance. According to the Advisory Board, this applies to 8 out of 19 GMOs which the fish feed industry had previously been given permission to use since 2008.

3) Proposed Neonicotinoid Rules Creating a Buzz Across Province
POSTED ON BLOG BY MEAGAN LEONARD · DECEMBER 02, 2014 6:15 AM · 2 REACTIONS
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WELLINGTON CTY. – Ontario’s agriculture sector remains divided in response to a government proposal to curb the use of neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seeds in the province after studies showed their detrimental effects on pollinators—specifically honeybees.

Understanding GMO | Food | What you can do | David Suzuki Foundation

GMO Corn can sneak up in processed foods. (Credit: agrilifetoday via Flickr)

GMO’s — or genetically modified organisms — refer to the plants or animals created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology. In conversation, GMO’s and GE foods refer to the same thing. They are foods created by merging DNA from different species.

The first GMO crop (the Flavr Savr tomato) was approved by the FDA in 1994. Since then, GE varieties of corn, soya, sugar beets and canola have become common local crops in Canada. In addition to locally produced crops, GE varieties of cottonseed oil, papaya, squash and milk products are imported from the USA into Canada. In a mere 20 years, GMO ingredients have made their way into most of the processed foods available on Canadian grocery shelves. Apples, potatoes and wheat are all in the lineup for approval.

via Understanding GMO | Food | What you can do | David Suzuki Foundation.