Genetically Modified Organisms Updates: Monsanto Guilty… Farmers Sue Over Patents. Label GMOs Campaign Begins
Monsanto Guilty Of Poisoning French Farmer
France Bids Monsanto A Hearty Au Revoir
By Nate Holl, greenchipstocks.com - Natural Society named Monsanto the World’s Worst Company last year, and this peddler of pesticides might defend its title in 2012.
On Monday a French court declared the U.S based company guilty of the chemical poisoning of a French farmer.
Grain grower, Paul Francois, claims he suffered severe neurological problems after inhaling Monsanto’s Lasso Weedkiller in 2004. He asserts Monsanto knew of these risks but did not provide adequate warnings on the product label.
Jean-Philippe Delsart, the company’s lawyer disagreed with the court’s decision stating that not enough evidence was presented during trial to substantiate claims of a causal relationship between Mr. Francois’ symptoms and Monsanto’s Lasso weed killer. Backing up Mr. Delsart, Monsanto’s managing directer Jean-Charles Bocquet stated that:
“I think if we had a major health problem with pesticides, we would have already known about it.”
Despite these claims, it appears French politicians are poised to use the court ruling to expedite the systematic phasing out of pesticide use in the country. As it stands, France is seeking to reduce its percentage of pesticide use by 50 percent by 2018. Certainly, this represents a devastating blow to Monsanto, as France is currently the EU’s top agricultural exporter.
But France is just the most recent European nation to reject Monsanto’s madness.
Recently, Monsanto was forced to liquidate its entire UK operations after protesters, with a fervor equal to that of the occupy movement, hit the streets calling for an end to the growing of the company’s genetically modified seed and returning to more organic methods of farming. Read more…
A genetically modified organism (GMO) or genetically engineered organism (GEO) is an organismwhose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. These techniques, generally known as recombinant DNA technology, use DNA molecules from different sources, which are combined into one molecule to create a new set of genes. This DNA is then transferred into an organism, giving it modified or novel genes. Transgenic organisms, a subset of GMOs, are organisms that have inserted DNA from a different species. GMOs are the constituents of genetically modified foods.
Farmers Sue Monsanto Over GMO Patents
By RP Siegel, triplepundit.com - Biotech giant Monsanto has been in the news quite a bit lately, though probably not in ways it would like to be. First, they received a lot of flack (including from yours truly) over their application to USDA for permission to sell a new seed that is resistant to the herbicide 2,4-D, a key ingredient in Agent Orange, in response to the appearance of weeds that are resistant to their best-selling weedkiller Roundup.
Then the Union of Concerned Scientists took them to task for being unsustainable, despite their claims to the contrary. Their report lists eight ways that the company fails to meet their criteria of sustainable agriculture.
This week, the company is in the news again. This time, the news is not about what they are doing (i.e. proliferating genetically modified organisms), but rather about how they are doing it, using aggressive legal tactics in their attempt to monopolize the world’s food supply. Specifically, a group of 83 farmers, representing, non-GMO seed producers are suing the company in an effort to get them to stop suing farmers.
The plaintiffs in the suit are led by the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) and their complaint is aimed at Monsanto’s so-called “seed police,” whose strong-arm tactics include suing farmers for patent infringement any time pollen or seeds from a farm growing GMO plants nearby drifted onto their land, as was featured in the film Food Inc.
Humboldt Label GMOs Campaign begins signature gathering Feb. 21
By Redwood Times- This month, the California 2012 Campaign to Label Genetically Modified Organisms is officially swinging into action. A fleet of devoted volunteers will begin gathering the 800,000 signatures needed to get the initiative on the 2012 ballot soon after Valentine’s Day. You can join them.
To get involved
If you live in the Southern Humboldt area, come to Calico’s in Garberville on Feb. 21. You will find them upstairs, training signature gatherers and passing out the petitions to the volunteers.
No matter where you are in California, if you are inspired to help make labeling GMOs a reality, please visit them online at http://labelgmos.org/. This is a central place where you can contact your local group and get trained to gather signatures.
Why should you care about labeling GMOs?
GMO foods are the result of an entirely new technology that forces genes from one species into a plant or animal from another species. A more recent version of genetic engineering involves insertion of genes from the same species into host cells.
Though biotechnology companies tout their products as the answer to everything from malnutrition, to global warming, to famine the reality is that the products they rush onto the market are an answer to none of these things. Primarily, they are engineered to withstand heavy doses of pesticides and herbicides manufactured by these same companies and sold as a bundled product: buy the seed, buy the herbicide. Repeat next year. No seed saving allowed.