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GMO

Bt Toxins

Bt toxin is produced by Bacillus thuringiensis in an inactive form (protoxin), which is transformed to its active form (delta-endotoxin) in the guts of certain insects. The active toxin binds to receptors in the gut, killing the insect. There are different forms of Bt toxin that are specifically active against certain groups of insects.

Transgenics or Genetic Engineering

Transgenics is all about genetic engineering. It refers to a collection of techniques used to isolate genes from one species and transfer them to another. The result is a new life form whose altered genetic material expresses a particular characteristic that originated from the 'donor' species. Often referred to as recombinant DNA technology, the resulting organism is said to be "genetically modified,"(GM) "genetically engineered,"(GE) or "transgenic." GM products include medicines and vaccines, foods and food ingredients, feeds, and fibers.

The Gene Gamble

"In the first time in our history we have created a self-reproducing biological system that we cannot control and whose consequences are uncertain, unpredictable and potentially dangerous."
Arpad Pusztai, Ph.D., FRSE, Biochemist and Nutritionist

Questions Raised About EPA-Monsanto Collusion

Recent evidence reveals Monsanto's hand may indeed have been in the EPA's regulatory cookie jar. The revelations are contained in a court filing brought by more than 50 people suing Monsanto claiming the company's glyphosate based herbicide branded Roundup gave them or their loved ones non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) after exposure to the herbicide. The filing includes information about alleged efforts within the Environmental Protection Agency to protect Monsanto’s interests and unfairly aid the agrochemical industry and that Monsanto has spent decades covering up cancer risks linked to the chemical. The EPA’s stamp of approval for the safety of glyphosate over the last few decades has been key to the success of Monsanto’s genetically engineered, glyphosate-tolerant crops.

California Court Supports New Labelling Requirements for Roundup

California is fighting in the courts to be the first state to require Monsanto to label its popular weed-killer Roundup as a possible cancer hazard.

Monsanto said California officials illegally based their decision for carrying the warnings on an international health organization based in France. The corporation's attorney Trenton Norris argued in court that the labels would have immediate financial consequences for the company stating many consumers would see the labels and stop buying Roundup. But the judge ruled against Monsanto's claim in January 2017.

In-Hive Pesticides Contamination

From the University of Maryland, a 2016 study focussing on the honeybee colonies’ exposome, a term traditionally used in cancer research. It's defined as the measure of all exposures over an individual’s lifetime and how those exposures relate to health. In their investigation, researchers did not look at individual honeybees but instead treated the colony as a single super-organism basing its results on lifetime exposure to agricultural chemicals. Simply put, these models attempted to summarize potential risk from multiple contaminations in real-world contexts.

Researchers gauged the effect of pesticide exposure not only by looking at the number of pesticides in colonies, but also their toxicological relevance over a specific threshold, as well as through the calculation of a hazard quotient (HQ), which evaluates the cumulative toxicity of various pesticide residues.

Farmers Losing the Superweed Battle

A 2016 University of Illinois Plant Clinic herbicide resistance report shows that glyphosate herbicide resistance and PPO Inhibitor herbicide resistance have both reached epic proportions across the Midwest of the United States.

Herbicide-resistant weeds are symptomatic of a bigger problem: an outdated system of farming that relies on planting huge acreages of the same crop year after year. Farming practices such as monoculture, promotes excellent habitats for the accelerated development of weed and pest pesticide resistance. In response to the crisis, Monsanto and its competitors suggest using more of their herbicides to cover the resistant weeds. This approach ignores the underlying biology of agricultural systems and inevitably leads to more resistance. Great for chemical sales; not so great for land stewartship or honeybees.

Say NO to GMO Salmon

The line between genetically engineered fodder and natural food is once again being blurred thanks to the Canadian government. Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency rammed through approval of genetically modified salmon without public consultation or assessment of the potential effects of GM fish escaping into the wild. And, once the transgenic fish are in our grocery stores, no labelling will be required. Why? Advocates of GMO fodder know consumers won’t buy it.

Monstano's Playing the Shell Game - Again

The monolithic chemical company, Monsanto, is at it yet again. This time, they are trying to convince the world that glyphosate, their number one selling herbicide, is not a probable carcinogen as defined by World Health Organization report published earlier this year.

Why Was Dr Oz Is Such A Threat

For the one or two people on the continent who don’t know Dr. Mehmet Oz, he is a respected cardiothoracic surgeon with his own TV show. With almost 1000 shows under his belt, Dr Oz has been dubbed ‘America’s doctor’ . He's known for his belief that western medicine can be reductive focussing on illness instead of health; he supports the need for a deeper connection with patients; he has given considered opinions on alternative approaches to cure and prevent illness; and yes, sometimes he's gone afield of what many professionals in his field would consider sound medical advice. But then again he would be the first to say his show is not about medicine per se, it's about self empowerment. He is also a vocal advocate for labelling GMO foods and believes glyphosate, an agrochemical used in the biofood industry, is a serious threat to public health. That philosophy, perhaps more than any other, has placed him in the crosshairs of some very powerful people.

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