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Monthly Archives: January 2015

No Scientific Consensus on GMO Safety by European Network of Scientists

No scientific consensus on GMO safety” statement published in peer-reviewed journal

Press release, European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER), 29 Jan 2015

http://www.ensser.org/media/

A statement signed by over 300 scientists and legal experts to the effect that there is “No consensus” on the safety of genetically modified (GM) crops and foods has been published in a peer-reviewed open access journal, Environmental Sciences Europe.[i] It now belongs to the body of open peer-reviewed scientific literature and stands as a citable publication.

Dr Angelika Hilbeck, one of the authors of the published statement and chair of ENSSER, said, “As well as receiving the endorsement of the peer reviewers at the journal, the statement has also been peer-reviewed and transparently endorsed by more than 300 scientists and experts from relevant fields of inquiry, including molecular biologists and biotechnologists.”[ii]

The statement was first published in late 2013 in response to claims from the GM industry and some scientists and commentators that there is a “scientific consensus” that GM foods and crops are safe for human and animal health and the environment. The statement calls these claims “misleading”, adding, “The claimed consensus on GMO safety does not exist.”

Nicolas Defarge, also a co-author of the statement and a member of the ENSSER board, said: “Progress in science occurs through controversial debate involving scientific arguments. Our statement, peer-reviewed and published in the open access literature, is now one of them. The debate about the health effects of the long-term consumption of GMOs and of the residues of pesticides they contain is ongoing. It can only be solved by further studies using accurate protocols enabling the investigation of long-term effects. These must be published in open access journals with the raw data being made available and not kept secret.  We  should bear in mind that the studies performed by industry to support the release of GMOs on the market are usually not  peer-reviewed at the time the GMO is commercialized.”

A signatory of the statement, Dr Belinda Martineau, former member of the Michelmore Lab at the UC Davis Genome Center, University of California, who helped commercialize the world’s first GM whole food, the Flavr Savr tomato, said:

“I wholeheartedly support this thorough, thoughtful and professional statement describing the lack of scientific consensus on the safety of genetically engineered crops and organisms. Society’s debate over how best to utilize the powerful technology of genetic engineering is clearly not over. For its supporters to assume it is, is little more than wishful thinking.”

Another co-author to the statement, Jack Heinemann, Professor of Genetics and Molecular Biology at the Centre for Integrated Research in Biosafety, University of Canterbury, New Zealand, said: “Public confidence in GMOs will not increase as long as some scientists try to keep the public and other scientists from asking legitimate questions about their safety, efficacy and value. Even if all questions about existing GM plants were answered tomorrow, that would not mean that future products should be exempt from questioning and thorough testing. Instead of shouting, ‘Don’t look here, we have a consensus already’, we should address the cause of public mistrust. This is best done by embracing open discussions of GMOs informed from a variety of points of view, acknowledging and including the true diversity of scientific opinions.”

The statement is open for further signatories at http://www.ensser.org.

ENDS

Further quotes from signatories to the statement

Co-author to the statement, E. Ann Clark, retired associate professor at the University of Guelph, Canada, stated: “Groupthink is perhaps the best way to characterize claims of scientific consensus on the safety of GM crops. This phenomenon, explored by the research psychologist Irving Janis, refers to the irrational outcomes that result when pressures to conform within a like-minded group degrade mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment. Consensus claimers manifest striking consistency with Janis’s symptoms of groupthink, including illusions of invulnerability, collective rationalization, and suppression of dissent. The reality is that there is no consensus on GMO safety. Strident and incessant claims of such a consensus must not override the urgent necessity for well reasoned and conducted research into the safety of GM crops.”

Another signatory to the statement, Elena Alvarez-Buylla, Professor of Molecular Genetics at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), stated: “The fully referenced statement demonstrates that scientific evidence is substantiating the environmental and health risks related to the release and consumption of GM crops, rather than indicating that there is a scientific consensus on GMO safety. Some of the risks imply worrying consequences involving irreversible dynamics. For example, the spread of GMOs could cancel options for an agroecological, healthy and sustainable food production system and jeopardise centres of crop origin and diversification, thus putting at risk food security. Corporate agribusiness, with its reliance on GM crops and agrotoxic substances such as glyphosate, threaten food sovereignty and public health. There is an urgent need for a precautionary stance. We should avoid further releases of GM crops and their associated pesticides into the environment and food supply.”

The statement is open for further signatories at http://www.ensser.org.

ENDS

Dr. Don Huber interviewed by Dr. Mercola on GMO Oct 2013

lindacheu5428@gmail.com has shared a video with you on YouTube
 Dr. Huber  was one of the first to sound the alarm of the chelating nature of Glyphosate( the key chemical in Round -Up ). By bonding to the minerals it comes into contact, Gyphosate prevents  the maganese, iron, zinc, magnesium etc from being active. But these minerals are necessary building blocks for cell function.

THe soil which was heavily sprayed with Round Up will have less mineral content year after year. The plants that grow in those soil will have less mineral to draw on and therefore  have less nutrient content. This phrase is often glossed over but the background  comes with a lot of  official data which Dr Huber examined. . This is an unintended feature of Glyphosate  which  is coming to light and which affects our health and safety.

Dr. Mercola Interviews Dr. Huber about GMOs
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/10/06/dr-huber-gmo-foods.aspxNatural health physician and Mercola.com founder Dr. Joseph Mercola interviews Dr. Don Huber about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and roundup.

GM Trees or Wood Products Lab at UBC

Editorial: Forestry sets example for the future
Vancouver Sun January 2, 2015

Given all the talk about LNG, Site C, pipelines and tankers, public attention has largely been diverted from developments in British Columbia’s historic forest industry.
But with major projects in the energy sector temporarily in abeyance — awaiting the outcome of lawsuits, regulatory processes and capital investment decisions — forestry is where the action is. Or rather the wood-products laboratory is where the action is.
Scientists have been working for years on genetically modified trees that grow faster, resist insect pests and disease and break down more easily to make wood pulp and other products. Their research is yielding remarkable results. In one study, GMO trees grew 13 to 23 times larger than ordinary trees after two growing seasons. Being able to grow plantation trees, such as poplar, faster should reduce the need for logging the natural forest.
Transgenic trees can be produced with less lignin, a substance that makes trees stiff, so they deconstruct using fewer environmentally hazardous chemicals. A bonus for industry is that using these trees would reduce pulping costs. That would lower the cost of producing paper and biofuels.
Research is well advanced in engineering trees that have been genetically modified to be sterile so they would pose no risk of passing their altered characteristics to other trees.
Meanwhile, work has begun at places such as the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing at the University of
British Columbia to expand the market for wood in commercial and industrial construction. Researchers are adapting cross-laminated timber — multiple layers of wood bonded together — for the North American and export markets. First developed in Europe where it has been in use for decades, CLT offers the potential to replace steel and concrete in multiple-storey buildings. UBC issued a request recently for proposals to build a 16- to 18-storey student residence using advanced wood-based building systems to demonstrate the applicability of wood in the tall building market.
Advocates claim an engineered wood beam could withstand fire better than a steel girder. While the girder would melt and collapse, the wood beam would char on the outside but wouldn’t burn through. It also offers improved seismic performance and better environmental credentials (it stores carbon).
As Forest Products Association of Canada CEO David Lindsay wrote recently in these pages 10 days ago, innovation has become the engine of growth in the forest products industry as new opportunities for forest fibre are being explored.
While oilsands, fracking, pipelines and tankers are all loudly condemned (mostly unjustly) by environmentalists, Canada is home to 40 per cent of the world’s independently assessed certified forests following sustainable forest practices and retains 90 per cent of its original forest cover. It is a respected global leader in forest management.
B.C.’s forest industry accounts for about three per cent of provincial GDP, employs 58,000 workers (up from 51,000 in 2009) and is responsible for an additional 116,000 indirect jobs.
It deserves our attention. It is our past and our future.

http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Editorial+Forestry+sets+example+future/10697218/story.html
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BIll Moyers Dec 2014 Right of Public Trusts in Law

This is not directly a GMO article but Public Trust is the concept David Suzuki is using for the Blue Dot campaign. The excerpt on how a group of youth went to city council month after month is most compelling

PS.  The Bill MOyers series is terminated we can only see him on the internet: Billmoyers. com. This was his last interview. Another open dialogue venue closed with 2014.!!

http://www.alternet.org/environment/bill-moyers-ingenious-project-save-our-climate-using-ancient-legal-theory?akhttpid=12659.39626.EVwLaK&rd=1&src=newsletter1029889&t=5http://www.alternet.org/environment/bill-moyers-ingenious-project-save-our-climate-using-ancient-legal-theory?

January 2, 2015 Moyers & Company broadcast: The very agencies created to protect our environment have been hijacked by the polluting industries they were meant to regulate. It may just turn out that the judicial system, our children and their children will save us from ourselves.

The new legal framework for this crusade against global warming is called atmospheric trust litigation. It takes the fate of the Earth into the courts, arguing that the planet’s atmosphere – its air, water, land, plants and animals — are the responsibility of government, held in its trust to insure the survival of all generations to come. It’s the strategy being used by Bill Moyers’ recent guest, Kelsey Juliana, a co-plaintiff in a major lawsuit spearheaded by Our Children’s Trust, that could force the state of Oregon to take a more aggressive stance against the carbon emissions.

It’s the brainchild of Mary Christina Wood, a legal scholar who wrote the book, Nature’s Trust, tracing this public trust doctrine all the way back to ancient Rome.n .

An interesting excerpt of the conversation:

“(The Federal Congress)has been purchased through millions and millions of dollars of campaign contributions. The whole purpose of the public trust is to prevent one branch of government from precisely that type of corruption.

It holds that these legislators are trustees with constitutional obligations to the citizens. So …., the public trust is designed for precisely the situation we have today. Now, whether or not political reinforcement, I would say absolutely at the local level. These cases are finding reinforcement at the local level. In fact, in Eugene, Oregon, Our Children’s Trust organized a group of youth and they went before city council, month after month after month, and testified, asking the city council to really take action on climate and to make Eugene, Oregon a carbon-neutral place.

And after month after month after month, when the city councilors looked those children in the eyes and saw what I describe as just the moral authority of these youth, they passed the most aggressive climate ordinance in the country. And I think that is the power of the youth. The youth have to now step up, come before their legislators, pack the courtrooms in these atmospheric trust cases, meet with the agency people.
The youth have to come forward because they have no money. They have no voting rights. But they have got something that no one else has, and that is the moral authority. That is the future. And the obligations we naturally feel towards our own children, towards children we love, they all come to the surface when we can– when we actually speak to youth about the future they face.

BILL MOYERS: Excuse me for being tedious on this, but as you probably know, there is so much pressure now on many state Supreme Courts from judicial elections that are deeply influenced, since Citizens United in particular, with huge rivers of money overflowing in every election.

MARY CHRISTINA WOOD: Well, so what you’re doing is presenting a political reality. And you’re absolutely right. There’s no arguing with th…….

Russian President Putin Signs GMO Labeling Liability Law – Sustainable Pulse

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed the Russian Federation Code of Administrative Offences into law, including a new article establishing liability for the violation of mandatory requirements for the labeling of food products that contain GMOs.

Putin signed the new bill on the last day of 2014 TASS news agency reported.

The bill which was submitted by the Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Protection and Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor) imposes fines for vague or unclear labeling on food products containing genetically modified ingredients.

via Russian President Putin Signs GMO Labeling Liability Law – Sustainable Pulse.

The Netherlands Says “No” to Monsanto, Bans RoundUp Herbicide | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

The Netherlands is the latest country—after Russia, and Mexico—to say no to Monsanto. The Dutch Parliament recently decided that the sale of glyphosate-based herbicides to private parties will be prohibited as of late 2015. This means that people who spray RoundUp on their gardens and lawns will have to find another form of pest control: glyphosate is the main ingredient in RoundUp, and it has been directly linked to all manner of severe health issues, from bird defects and nervous system damage to kidney failure and various forms of cancer.

via The Netherlands Says “No” to Monsanto, Bans RoundUp Herbicide | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building.

Why the Use of Glyphosate in Wheat Has Increased Celiac Disease

The use of glyphosate, the active ingredient in the broad-spectrum herbicide Roundup, has dramatically risen over the past 15 years, right in step with the use of GE crops.

According to Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a senior research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), glyphosate appears to be strongly correlated with the rise in celiac disease.

Dr. Anthony Samsel and Dr. Seneff produced some phenomenal research1 on this connection, which was published in December last year. Previously, she has investigated the relationship between glyphosate and the development of a wide array of modern diseases, including autism.

She believes that glyphosate may in fact act as a transporter for aluminum (a common vaccine adjuvant) into the brain. It also appears to transport arsenic into the kidneys. For more in-depth information on this glyphosate-autism link, please listen to the full version of Dr. Seneff’s interview.

Use of Roundup Matches Increased Use of GE Crops, and Rise in Chronic Diseases

via Why the Use of Glyphosate in Wheat Has Increased Celiac Disease.