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Video: Pro GMO Journalist Julie Kelly Debates Richie On Monsanto, Food Safety, Labeling &...

Please Support The Show – http://paypal.me/richieallen https://www.facebook.com/therichieallenshow http://www.youtube.com/RichieAllenShowMedia Tune in ... Via Youtube

The Biotech Industry Is Taking Over the Regulation of GMOs From the Inside

The British non-profit GMWatch recently revealed the agribusiness takeover of Conabia, the National Advisory Committee on Agricultural Biotechnology of Argentina. Conabia is the GMO...

Swiss company ordered to pay billions in reparations to Kansas farmers over GMO corn

A US district court has ordered Swiss agrochemical company, Syngenta, to pay out US$217.7 million to Kansas farmers who say the company commercialized...

Concerned Americans Say New GMO Regs Would Make Oversight Worse, Not Better

WASHINGTON - Today marks the close of three U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) public comment periods on...

Enemy of Reason: Behind the Mask of Pro-GMO Neoliberal Ideology

Professor Shanthu Shantharam recently wrote a response to Viva Kermani’s well thought out article about injecting some honesty into the debate about genetically modified (GM) food and...

Sweat Shops, GMOs and Neoliberal Fundamentalism: The Agroecological Alternative to Global Capitalism

Much of the argument in favour of GM agriculture involves little more than misrepresentations and unscrupulous attacks on those who express concerns about the technology and its impacts....

Pro-GMO Scientists Blinded by Technology and Wedded to Ideology

The Oxford Martin School is based at Oxford University in the UK and has set up the ‘Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations’ (OMC). Bringing together...

Pro-GMO Scientists Blinded by Technology and Wedded to Ideology

The Oxford Martin School is based at Oxford University in the UK and has set up the ‘Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations’ (OMC). Bringing together...

Monsanto and GMO Propagandists Softening-up UK Public for GM After Brexit

On the back of Brexit, the UK government is planning what could be a disastrous trade deal with the Trump administration. It would likely...

GM Mustard Case Returns to Court in India: Bt Cotton Failure and Economic Distress...

This week, India's Supreme Court will hear the next instalment of the case brought by Aruna Rodrigues to stop the commercial release of genetically...

Potayto, potahto: Controversial new ‘anti-famine’ GMO potato strains approved

The US Department of Agriculture has given its seal of approval to two new strains of...

Chinese man sentenced to 3 yrs in Iowa for stealing GMO trade secrets

A Chinese man will spend three years in prison for conspiracy to steal trade secrets from...

The apple doesn’t fall far from the genetically modified tree: USDA approves GMO fruit

The national nightmare of apples turning slightly brown is coming to an end: The US Department...
video

Video: ‘Entirely new name’ for ‘Monsanto’: Bayer buys leading GMO maker for $66bn

The deal is the largest corporate takeover in almost two decades for a German company. German pharmaceuticals giant Bayer has agreed to buy American...

‘If You’re So Proud of This Technology, Put It on the Label’ – CounterSpin...

Janine Jackson interviewed Patty Lovera about GMO labeling for the August 12, 2016, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript. Patty Lovera: “If...

Donna Murch on For-Profit Punishment, Patty Lovera on GMO Labeling

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GMO labeling law is ‘fake’, would not ‘truly’ expose engineered food – experts to...

A new controversial GMO labeling law signed by President Barack Obama would strip US consumers of their right to learn about genetically engineered products...

How One GMO Nearly Took Down the Planet

The story of Klebsiella planticola is a cautionary tale of the impact of genetically modified organisms. (Image: Pixabay) On Friday, President Obama signed...

Unauthorized GMO wheat plants found growing in Washington state

Genetically modified wheat was found growing in a Washington state field, according to agricultural officials. Regulatory...

In the Shadow of Monsanto: GMO Regulation and the Right to Know

Colin Todhunter The GMO agritech sector and food companies have spent tens of millions of dollars in the US to prevent the labelling of foods containing genetically...

Senate Advances GMO Food Labeling Bill That Would Actually Weaken State Rules

Activists display a sign in the March Against Monsanto that took place on May 25, 2013 in San Francisco, California. (Photo: Steve...

Money tossed on Senate floor as Vermont’s Sanders and Leahy protest federal GMO bill

A federal bill to label GMO foods garnered protests not only from Vermont senators Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy, but also members of the...

Back to the Future with Laverne and Shirley: The Trivialisation of the GMO Debate

Colin Todhunter When people don’t possess sufficient expertise on matters, they require simplicity. They desire easily manageable packages of knowledge, and these packages become taken...

Bernie Sanders stages brief protest over GMO labeling in Senate

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders vowed to defeat a bipartisan compromise version of a bill to standardize GMO labeling, as the debate over regulating genetically...

Pro-GMO Spin Masquerading as Science Courtesy of “Shameful White Men of Privilege”

Colin Todhunter Unlike their predecessors, early 21st century missionaries do not come armed with bibles. They come as members of a scientific priesthood, spouting slick...

GMOs, “Biggest Fraud in the History of Science” – Some ‘Questions and Answers’

Colin Todhunter The decision on whether to renew EU approval for the herbicide glyphosate is to go to an appeals panel on 23 June after...

Matt Ridley’s Pro-GMO Blunders and Ignorance in the British Press

In his recent piece for The Times newspaper in the UK, Viscount Matt Ridley argues that a new report from the American National Academies of Sciences (NAS) leaves...

‘GMO Crops Are Tools of a Chemical Agriculture System’

Janine Jackson interviewed Patty Lovera about Monsanto protests for the May 27, 2016, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript. Patty Lovera: “People’s growing...

From the Green Revolution to GMOs: Living in the Shadow of Global Agribusiness

What can we do about the powerful transnational agribusiness companies that have captured or at the very least heavily influence regulatory bodies, research institutes, trade...

GMO crops not harming human health, but not boosting yields – report

Consumption of genetically modified food has not harmed human health, according to a new report by...

Pesticides, GMOs and Corporate Control: The Poster Child is Monsanto but Neil Young is...

Neil Young has a long history of activism. He is a co-founder of Farm Aid, which works to support small and family farmers in North...

Which cereal brands are whitewashing their GMO-ridden, pesticide-laden products as ‘natural’?

It is becoming increasingly difficult to navigate grocery store aisles and identify products that are truly natural and organic. Even at many popular health...

TTIP – current EU GMO rules to be ‘disregarded’ as EU Commission caves in...

A joint report conducted by Greenpeace, Corporate Europe Observatory and Gene Watch UK issued a briefing paper last week entitled “Commission fails to regulate...

Journalism, Pro-GMO Triumphalism And Neoliberal Dogma In India

Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar is a senior Indian journalist. He is also a Research Fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington. The Cato Institute has a...

Quaker instant oatmeal and Silk non-GMO soy creamer found contaminated with alarming levels of...

According to glyphosate laboratory testing conducted at Microbe Inotech Laboratories, Inc., in St. Louis, the Quaker Instant Oatmeal (Strawberries and Cream) sample tested at...

Unregulated shrooms: GMO mushroom gets clearance from USDA

The US Department of Agriculture has said that it will not regulate a genetically modified mushroom...

Here Come the Unregulated GMOs

People are arguing about whether genetically modified foods should carry labels. But the next generation of GMOs might not only be unlabeled—they might be...

The Crusade in Favour of GMO: Falsehoods and Vilification will not Fool the Public

Pro-GMO campaigners often attack critics of the technology by claiming their negative views of it emanate from well-funded environmentalist groups or commercial interests in...

Cereal giant General Mills to start using GMO labeling nationwide

Food processor General Mills, maker of famous brands Cheerios, Pillsbury and Betty Crocker, will start labeling...

America’s mass apathy and self-destructive fatigue brought on by chemically-laced, nutrient-depleted junk foods and...

There are a lot of folks walking around in a bleary-eyed state of perpetual fatigue and an I-don't-care-what-happens mentality. Chances are, you've witnessed these...

GMO and the Right to Know: But What’s Hidden Beneath the Label?

Rachel Parent’s campaign (Kids Right To Know) on GMO labelling has been the subject of a GM industry strategy aimed at countering her message. Despite this,...

GMA, GMOs and the letter of the law: Lobbying in food-labeling initiative goes to...

If “you are what you eat,” you may unknowingly be a genetically modified organism, thanks in...

Feeding the Bank Balance or Feeding the World: GMOs, Development and the Politics of...

Modern state-corporate capitalism is stripping the environment bare through unsustainable levels of consumption. It is legitimised by a deceitful ideology that attempts to justify and...

Labeling GMO: Dems put forward new bill as ‘Dark Act’ pushed on the hill

US Senate Democrats have offered an alternative GMO labeling bill that would require manufacturers to disclose the presence of GMOs to consumers, while still...

Twisted Science, Altered Truth: Inside the Church of Pro-GMO Activism

Last year on Twitter, Monsanto Vice President Robert Fraley provided a link to an article that implied those who are suspicious of genetically modified...

Pro-GMO Activism in India: Journalism gives way to Spin, Smears and Falsehoods 

In a recent piece for the magazine Swarajya (an online and print publication based in India​), its national affairs editor, Surajit Dasgupta, makes it clear that he has...

Hershey introduces GMO-free chocolate after dropping transgenic sugar beets from ingredients

Citing consumer discomfort with genetically modified organisms (GMOs), Hershey has begun to transition its sugar sourcing away from GMO sugar beets, and toward non-GMO...

Trojan Horse Arguments and the GMO Issue: Indian Food and Agriculture Under Attack

In 2013, India’s former Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar accused US companies of derailing the nation’s oilseeds production programme. Similar claims had been made before....

Organic Agriculture, Capitalism and the Parallel World of the Pro-GMO Evangelist

Consider that India had for generations sustained one of the highest densities of population on earth, without any chemical fertilisers, pesticides, exotic dwarf strains...

“Lies, Lies and More Lies” – GMOs, Poisoned Agriculture and Toxic Rants

Have you ever read all of those pro-GMO scientists-cum-lobbyists professing their love of science? They are always talking about how science must prevail over...

Politics on the Plate: Mob Wives, GMOs and Salt

How can we broaden our movement to appeal to and involve the majority of people out there who do not seem to be aware,...

The Seeds Of Spin: Decoding Pro-GMO Lies And Falsehoods

If you are in some way critical of genetically modified food and agriculture or have some concerns that remain unaddressed, here is a brief...

Campbell’s will label GMOs – but still claims they’re safe

Katherine Paul Monsanto and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) have long defended their die-hard positions against mandatory GMO labeling laws, often by feigning concern about the...

TTIP, GMOs & Pesticides Could Destroy EU Farmers

TTIP trade agreement will be boon to Big Ag, study finds by Lauren McCauley Europe's farmers should be forewarned. According to a new study, if the pending...

Saving the world? GMO’s only boost corporate profit while destroying health

Right now, all the focus for increasing crop yields is centered on one method: Genetically modifying crops to make them resistant to pesticides and...

We Applaud Campbell Soup for GMO Labeling Decision

Campbell Soup should be applauded for its leadership and support of mandatory GMO labeling, according to Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president of government...

Taiwan bans GMOs from school lunches… mandates GMO labeling nationwide… throws down gauntlet on...

Even as the fascist, corrupt U.S. government and its regulators (FDA and USDA) actively conspire with the biotech industry to poison Americans with genetically...

GMOs used as gene-altering superweapons could make humanity extinct

The future of weaponry won't necessarily involve higher capacity firearms, more advanced bombs or better fighter jets. It will encompass an entirely new realm...

Venezuela passes new law rejecting GMOs and seed patents nationwide

In 2004, President Hugo Chavez prevented the planting of 500,000 acres of Monsanto's genetically modified (GM) corn. Since then the Venezuelan farmers have been...

Organic Farmers Score New Victory in ‘David and Goliath’ GMO Fight

Jackson County, Oregon wins new protections against cultivation of genetically engineered crops by Nadia Prupis Organic farmers are racking up new victories in the fight against 'franken-food',...

Yurok Tribe Adopts Ordinance Banning Frankenfish and GMOs

In this photo, the Yurok Tribe wraps up commercial fishing for 2014. The tribe has banned genetically engineered salmon on their reservation on the...

The GMO Issue: False Claims, Pseudo-Analysis And A Politically Motivated Agenda

Critics of GM promote pseudo-science, make false claims based on ignorance and are driven by politically motivated ideology. The actions of these affluent elitists...

GMOs and “Unremitting Fraud” in India: Petition Filed for Contempt of Court Against Members...

  A petition has been filed by activist and campaigner Aruna Rodrigues against three persons of the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC). The GEAC is...
video

Video: Prove GMOs have safety standards will pay $10mn – Scientist to Monsanto

One of the world's largest GMO producers has been challenged by an MIT graduate who claims there are absolutely no GMO safety assessment standards. Via...

Eco Groups Take Canadian Government to Court in GMO Salmon Fight

Genetically modified fish pose too high of a risk to surrounding ecosystems, lawsuit states by Nadia Prupis Green groups on Tuesday launched a legal challenge against the...

$10mn dare: MIT grad challenges Monsanto over ‘nonexistent GMO safety standards’

One of the world’s largest GMO producers has been challenged by an MIT graduate who claims there are absolutely no GMO safety assessment standards....

Rice, wheat, mustard … India drives forward first GMO crops under veil of secrecy

A secret application has been made to India's GEAC (Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee) for a new variety of GMO mustard to be released for...

Protect your body and family from the allopathic assault of cigarettes, pharmaceuticals, vaccines and...

Who do you know that smokes, takes medications and could care less about buying organic food? Who do you know that wears too much...
video

Video: GMO Anti-Labeling Law Heads to Senate After House Approval

Tuft University's Tim Wise says in the face of uncertain science what's needed is more science not deregulation. Via Youtube

Opt-Outs Abound as Majority of EU Says No to GMOs

15 out of 28 European Union member states declare their intention to send territorial exclusionary requests to agrochem companies by Nadia Prupis On the eve of the...

With New Ban on Cultivation, Northern Ireland Joins EU’s Anti-GMO Ranks

Environment minister expresses "concern" that growing GMOs would tarnish nation's "clean and green image" by Deirdre Fulton Yet another European nation has banned genetically modified (GM or...
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Video: Rand Paul Campaign Head On Secret Bill Gates Meeting/ Promoting GMO’s

In this video Luke Rudkowski talks to Chip Englander, Campaign Manager for Rand Paul's 2016 Presidential run. Luke asks the important question of a...

Watch Neil Young’s ‘Seeding Fear’ documentary exposing Monsanto’s attacks on family farmers who refuse...

Following the release of his latest album The Monsanto Years, Neil Young has released a short film documentary entitled Seeding Fear that tells one...

Chipotle sued over GMO-free claims

Alleging false advertising, a California woman has sued Chipotle Mexican Grill over the popular chain restaurant's insistence that its products do not include genetically...

NYT calls out Coca-Cola’s harmful junk food science while ignoring Monsanto’s fraudulent GMO science

The New York Times recently published an in-depth article on one of its blogs exposing the Coca-Cola Company's efforts to promote flawed science downplaying...

Monsanto secretly gave legal defense money to GMO farmer who contaminated neighbor’s organic farm

Global biotech and agricultural giant Monsanto lent financial support to a West Australian farmer who was being sued by a neighbor over alleged cross-contamination...

Ethical scientific community rallies against GMOs

Biotechnology has long tried to paint the critics of genetic engineering as anti-science. A great effort has been made to convince the public that...

What can the world learn from Scotland about resistance to GMOs

Scotland says it will ban genetically modified crops on its soil. According to officials, the move will protect the environment. They are also taking...

Hypnotic Trance in Delhi: Monsanto, GMOs and the Looting of India’s Agriculture

We are about to enter August. And that's a special month in India. Each year, on the 15th, the country commemorates the anniversary of independence...

Nearly 100,000 German Beekeepers Demand a Ban on GMOs

Bees' importance cannot be overstated. As TrueActivist has shared before, the tiny, bumbling insects are responsible for a lot - making them essential in...

‘Corporate Influence Has Won’: House Passes Anti-GMO Labeling Bill

Legislation dubbed the DARK Act had backing of powerful groups who poured money into defeating state-level GMO-labeling efforts by Andrea Germanos The U.S. House of Representatives on...

Experimental GMO wheat crop devoured by aphids; written off as yet another total biotech...

A U.K.-based agricultural research organization recently threw away nearly $5 million on a failed field trial of experimental, genetically-modified (GM) wheat. Rothamsted Research says...

Who Will Bail Out Humanity If The GMO Evangelists Win?

The pro-GMO lobby likes to think it has the monopoly on truth. Anyone questioning its creed is attacked and smeared. GM Supporters claim to...

Biotech industry uses Roundup-contaminated GMOs as control group feed in fraudulent animal studies

The rodent feed used for control groups in laboratory studies -- including studies on the safety of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and pesticides --...

I Love GMO: The Warped World Of The Pro-GMO Lobbyist

There’s a massive spike in cancer cases in Argentina that is strongly associated with glyphosate-based herbicides. These herbicides are a huge earner for agribusiness. But don’t...

Capture, Smear, Contaminate: The Politics Of GMOs

When rich companies with politically-connected lobbyists and seats on public bodies bend policies for their own ends, we are in serious trouble. It is...

Stupidity and Intelligence: Science, GMOs and Our Food

Vandana Shiva (Common Dreams) - "Science" is derived from the scire — "to know". Each of us should know what we are eating, how it was produced,...

Neil Young is Starving the Poor! The Pro-GMO Lobby’s Latest Scapegoat 

“Not since the original Luddites smashed cotton mill machinery in early 19th century England, have we seen such an organised, fanatical antagonism to progress...

Ignoring Reality, Subverting Morality: GMOs And The Neoliberal Apologists

Monsanto is often called one of the most ‘evil’ companies on the planet. It has a history of knowingly contaminating the environment and food...
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Video: Proof The U.S. Can Have GMO Labeling

Quick shot of cozy cabin kitchen which contains food that is labeled as non GMO. Proof we could have the same thing in the...

BBC Panorama Programme: Promoting GMO and Cultivating Ignorance

  "There is no global or regional shortage of food. There never has been and nor is there ever likely to be. India has a...

GMOs – Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: The Silence From The Royal Society Is Deafening

In his recent book ‘Altered Genes,Twisted Truths’, US public interest attorney Steven Druker exposes the fraudulent practices and deceptions that led to the commercialisation...

Canadian Risk Assessment Finds GMO Salmon Susceptible to Disease

WASHINGTON - A never-before-seen draft environmental review of AquaBounty Technologies’ (ABTX) genetically engineered (GE) salmon reveals that Canadian government scientists disagree with the U.S....

Women and Biodiversity Feed the World, Not Corporations and GMOs

(Common Dreams) - The two great ecological challenges of our times are biodiversity erosion and climate change. And both are interconnected, in their causes and...

Interview: Challenging Corporations’ "Right" to Grow GMOs in Rural Oregon

Read the Dirt editor's note: Oregonians for Community Rights has filed paperwork to begin petitioning for a "Right to Local, Community Self-Government" state constitutional...
video

GMOs: The Fight For Our Future

Jeffrey Smith a leading anti-GMO activist talks about how we are winning the war against Monsanto. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MU7uT8GJIY

Hawaii Takes GMO Fight to Switzerland

A Hawaiian official has returned from Switzerland, where he asked Syngenta shareholders to urge the chemical giant to withdraw from its lawsuit against his...

Monsanto’s Glyphosate Blankets GMO Crops Near Schools

Genetically engineered crops, or GMOs, have led to an explosion in growers’ use of herbicides, with the result that children at hundreds of elementary...

Unmasking The GMO Humanitarian Narrative

Genetically modified (GM) crops are going to feed the world. Not only that, supporters of GM technology say it will produce better yields than...

Obama Fights to Spread GMO Foods Throughout Europe

Eric Zuesse (RINF) - One of the major barriers blocking U.S. President Barack Obama’s campaign for his mammoth international trade deals – the TTIP with...

Who Granted The GMO Evangelists The Monopoly On Compassion?

Apparently, I am a "nut job" because I adhere to anti-capitalist, socialist, human-hating ideology. Not only that, I am working to keep millions in...

Who Granted The GMO Evangelists The Monopoly On Compassion?

Apparently, I am a "nut job" because I adhere to anti-capitalist, socialist, human-hating ideology.  Not only that, I am working to keep millions in...

US Agribusiness, GMOs And The Plundering Of The Planet

RINF, Counterpunch, Countercurrents, Global Research

Small family/peasant farms produce most of the world’s food. They form the bedrock of global food production. Yet they are being squeezed onto less than a quarter of the planet's farmland. The world is fast losing farms and farmers through the concentration of land into the hands of rich and powerful land speculators and agribusiness corporations.

By definition, peasant agriculture prioritises food production for local and national markets as well as for farmers’ own families. Big agritech corporations on the other hand take over scarce fertile land and prioritise commodities or export crops for profit and foreign markets that tend to cater for the needs of the urban affluent. This process displaces farmers from their land and brings about food insecurity, poverty and hunger.

What big agribusiness with its industrial model of globalised agriculture claims to be doing - addressing global hunger and food shortages - is doing nothing of the sort. There is enough evidence to show that its activities actually lead to hunger and poverty - something that the likes of GMO-agribusiness-neoliberal apoligists might like to consider when they propagandize about choice, democracy and hunger: issues that they seem unable to grasp, at least beyond a self-serving superficial level.

Small farmers are being criminalised, taken to court and even made to disappear when it comes to the struggle for land. They are constantly exposed to systematic expulsion from their land by foreign corporations. The Oakland Institute has stated that now a new generation of institutional investors, including hedge funds, private equity and pension funds, is eager to capitalise on global farmland as a new and highly desirable asset class. Financial returns are what matter to these entities, not ensuring food security.

Consider Ukraine, for example. Small farmers operate 16% of agricultural land, but provide 55% of agricultural output, including: 97% of potatoes, 97% of honey, 88% of vegetables, 83% of fruits and berries and 80% of milk. It is clear that Ukraine’s small farms are delivering impressive outputs.

However, The US-backed toppling of that country’s government seems likely to change this with the installed puppet regime handing over agriculture to US agribusiness. Current ‘aid’ packages are contingent on the plundering of the economy under the guise of ‘austerity’ reforms and will have a devastating impact on Ukrainians’ standard of living and increase poverty in the country.

Reforms mandated by the EU-backed loan include agricultural deregulation that is intended to benefit foreign agribusiness corporations. Natural resource and land policy shifts are intended to facilitate the foreign corporate takeover of enormous tracts of land. (From 2016, foreign private investors will no longer be prohibited from buying land.) Moreover, the EU Association Agreement includes a clause requiring both parties to cooperate to extend the use of biotechnology, including GMOs.

In other words, events in Ukraine are helping (and were designed to help) the likes of Monsanto to gain a firm hold over the country’s agriculture.

Frederic Mousseau, Policy Director of the Oakland Institute last year stated that the World Bank and IMF are intent on opening up foreign markets to Western corporations and that the high stakes around control of Ukraine’s vast agricultural sector, the world’s third largest exporter of corn and fifth largest exporter of wheat, constitute an oft-overlooked critical factor. He added that in recent years, foreign corporations have acquired more than 1.6 million hectares of Ukrainian land.

Western agribusiness had been coveting Ukraine’s agriculture sector for quite some time, long before the coup. It after all contains one third of all arable land in Europe.

An article posted on Oriental Review notes that since the mid-90s the Ukrainian-Americans at the helm of the US-Ukraine Business Council had been instrumental in encouraging the foreign control of Ukrainian agriculture.

In November 2013, the Ukrainian Agrarian Confederation drafted a legal amendment that would benefit global agribusiness producers by allowing the widespread use of genetically modified seeds. Oriental Review notes that when GMO crops were legally introduced onto the Ukrainian market in 2013, they were planted in up to 70% of all soybean fields, 10-20% of cornfields, and over 10% of all sunflower fields, according to various estimates (or 3% of the country’s total farmland).

According to Oriental Review, “within two to three years, as the relevant provisions of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU go into effect, Monsanto’s lobbying efforts will transform the Ukrainian market into an oligopoly consisting of American corporations.”

It amounts to little more than the start of the US colonisation of Ukraine’s seed and agriculture sector. This corporate power grab will be assisted by local banks. Oriental Review says they will only offer favourable credit terms to those farmers who agree to use certified herbicides: those that are manufactured by Monsanto.

Interestingly, the investment fund Siguler Guff & Co has recently acquired a 50% stake in the Ukrainian Port of Illichivsk, which specialises in agricultural exports.

We need look no further than to Ukraine's immediate neighbour Poland to see the devastating impact on farmers that Western agribusiness concerns are having there. Land grabs by foreign capital and the threat to traditional (often organic) agriculture have sparked mass protests as big agribusiness seeks to monopolise the food supply from field to plate. The writing is on the wall for Ukraine.

The situation is not unique to Poland, though; the impact of policies that favour big agribusiness and foreign capital are causing hardship, impacting health and destroying traditional agriculture across the world, from India and Argentina to Brazil and Mexico and beyond.

In an article by Christina Sarich, Hilliary Martin, a farmer from Vermont in the US, encapsulates the situation by saying:
"We are here at the [US-Canadian] border to demonstrate the global solidarity of farmers in the face of globalization. The corporate takeover of agriculture has impoverished farmers, starved communities and force-fed us genetically-engineered crops, only to line the pockets of a handful of multinational corporations like Monsanto at the expense of farmers who are struggling for land and livelihood around the world."
The US has since 1945 used agriculture as a tool with which to control countries. And today what is happening in Ukraine is part of the wider US geopolitical plan to drive a wedge between Ukraine and Russia and to subjugate the country.

While the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is intended to integrate the wider EU region with the US economy (again 'subjugate' may be a more apt word), by introducing GMOs into Ukraine and striving to eventually incorporate the country into the EU the hope is that under the banner of ‘free trade’ Monsanto’s aim of getting this technology into the EU and onto the plates of Europeans will become that much easier.

US Agribusiness, GMOs and the Plundering of the Planet

Small family/peasant farms produce most of the world’s food. They form the bedrock of global food production. Yet they are being squeezed onto less...

New Report Debunks ‘Myth’ That GMOs are Key to Feeding the World

Study upholds value of traditional methods 'shown to actually increase food supplies and reduce the environmental impact of production' by Lauren McCauley The biotechnology industry "myth"...

The Pro-GMO Lobby In Retreat

RINF, Global Research, Countercurrents

It has been such a tough period for the pro-GMO lobby that it’s difficult to know where to begin. But let us start by looking at two pieces of recent research that strike at the very heart of the pro-GMO argument, namely:  

1)      GM crops are needed to feed the world.

2)      The GMO agritech industry is based on sound science and reasoned argument.

GM crops are not needed to feed the world

new report just released by Environmental Working Group has delivered a stinging rebuke to the argument that GM crops are the answer to future global food shortages (also see this, this and this). A thorough analysis of recent research conducted in the US and around the world shows that such crops have not significantly improved the yields of crops such as corn and soy. 

Author of the report Emily Cassidy says:

“Biotech companies and proponents of conventional, industrial agriculture have touted genetically engineered crops as the key to feeding a more populous, wealthier world, but recent studies show that this promise has fallen flat.”

While GM crops have been a mainstay in US agriculture for roughly two decades, they “have not substantially improved global food security” and have instead increased the use of toxic herbicides and led to herbicide-resistant ‘superweeds’. 

The report found that over the last 20 years, yields of both GE corn and soy have been no different from traditionally bred non-GM corn and soy grown in Europe. It argues that corn and soybeans account for roughly 80 percent of the global land area devoted to growing GM crops. Both are overwhelmingly used for animal feed and biofuels, not for food. This is unlikely to change in light of increased consumption of meat around the world and the US biofuels policy requiring production of millions of gallons of corn ethanol to blend into gasoline.

Gary Hirshberg, chairman of Just Label It says:

“Biotech companies and their customers in chemical agriculture have been attempting to sell the benefits of GMOs for two decades. Between exaggerated claims about feeding the world and a dramatic escalation in the use of toxic pesticides, it is no wonder consumers are increasingly skeptical.”

The report concludes that traditionally bred varieties have been the major source of improved crop yields in recent years and this trend is likely to continue. 

Emily Cassidy states:

“Seed companies’ investment in improving the yields of GMOs in already high-yielding areas does little to improve food security; it mainly helps line the pockets of seed and chemical companies and producers of corn ethanol. The world’s resources would be better spent focusing on strategies to actually increase food supplies and access to basic resources for the poor small farmers who need it most.”

Consider that by 2012, 59 percent of the area planted with GM crops were those resistant to glyphosate. Some 26 percent consisted of insecticidal Bt crops and 15 percent were crops carrying both traits. The organisation GRAIN says that is just two traits after 20 years of research and mega-millions of dollars invested. The real measure of what this technology has produced is according to GRAIN to be found in damaged ecosystems, potential health harms, farmer dependency and big profits for the companies.

But profits are and were always the bottom line, not addressing world hunger. If anything, the planting of GM crops is displacing peasants from their lands, depriving local communities of access to food production and increasing food insecurity. Any amount of genetic modification will not address the structural nature of poverty, inequality and hunger, including the geopolitical antecedents.

The GMO agritech industry is not based on sound science and reasoned argument

The second piece of research that strikes at the heart of the industry’s other major claim - that the case for GM agriculture is based on sound science and reasoned argument - is debunked in Steven Druker’s new book. Druker pulls the rug from beneath the GMO agritech industry and its apologists in academia and the media who ceaselessly trumpet their allegiance to discourse based on science. 

Altered Truth, Twisted Genes’ exposes the fraudulent basis upon which the GMO agritech sector is based. GM foods first achieved commercialisation in 1992 but only because the Food and Drug Administration covered up the extensive warnings of its own scientists about their dangers, lied about the facts and then violated federal food safety law by permitting these foods to be marketed without having been proven safe through standard testing.

If the FDA had heeded its own experts’ advice and publicly acknowledged their warnings that GM foods entailed higher risks than their conventional counterparts, Druker says that the GM food venture would have imploded and never gained traction anywhere. He also argues that that many well-placed scientists have repeatedly issued misleading statements about GM foods, and so have leading scientific institutions such as the US National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the UK’s Royal Society.

While Druker’s book serves to expose the sheer hypocrisy of the industry and its supporters who claim critics to be anti-science and ideologues (a case of projecting their own faults and failings on to critics), Emily Cassidy argues that what GMOs have done is to increase the use of glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. She concludes that, unfortunately, the only things popping up faster than herbicide-tolerant superweeds are the unsupported claims of GMOs’ benefits.

Even more bad news

And that neatly leads us on to glyphosate itself. 

On 20 March, the World Health Organisation reached a decision that strikes at the heart of the company. The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said that glyphosate was "classified as probably carcinogenic to humans." This is just one step below the risk designation of "known carcinogen." 

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, which was primarily responsible $5.1 billion of Monsanto’s revenues in 2014.  But that’s not all. The herbicide is used to support Monsanto's Roundup Ready crops, which comprise the vast bulk of the balance of its revenue stream.

Little surprise that with so much money at stake Monsanto is calling for a retraction of the IARC’s report. It remains to be seen if the WHO capitulates.

While the agribusiness sector has a long history of silencing science and scientistsit has now been alleged that USDA scientists are ordered to retract studies, water down findings, remove their name from authorship and endure long indefinite delays in approving publication of papers that may be controversial. Scientists who are targeted by industry complaints find themselves subjected to disruptive investigations, disapprovals of formerly routine requests, disciplinary actions over petty matters and intimidation from supervisors focused on pleasing stakeholders.

So much for open discourse based on sound science and reasoned argument.

And the bad news just keeps coming.

Bt brinjal has failed for the second year in Bangladesh resulting in hardship for farmers, and Monsanto has been forced to pay out $600,000 in fines for not reporting hundreds of uncontrolled releases of toxic chemicals at its eastern Idaho phosphate plant. It also paid out a string of lawsuit settlements totaling $350,000 as a result of its GMOs tainting wheat in seven US states. 

But there is some good news in all of this for Monsanto. Monsanto’s ‘discredit department’  now has more than enough on its plate and will certainly not be closing down any time soon. 

The only thing it will be attempting to shut down are studies that affect the company's profits.

The Pro-GMO Lobby In Retreat

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GMO critics vindicated: Biotech corporations were pushing fraud all along

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Want Some GMO Easter Candy, Little Girl?

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You’re being lied to – GMO labelling will NOT make food more expensive

Tomorrow morning, the House Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing on the impact of GMO labeling on food prices. Several witnesses will raise their hands...

The Great GMO Legitimation Crisis

Author of ‘Altered Genes, Twisted Truth’ Steven Druker recently talked of how back in the seventies a group of molecular biologists formed part of...

The Great GMO Legitimation Crisis

RINF, The 4th Media, Global Research, Countercurrents, The Nation (Sri Lankan newspaper), The Ecologist, CounterPunch

Author of ‘Altered Genes, Twisted Truth’ Steven Druker recently talked of how back in the seventies a group of molecular biologists formed part of a scientific elite that sought to allay fears about genetic engineering by putting a positive spin on it. At the same time, critics of this emerging technology were increasingly depicted as being little more than non-scientists who expressed ignorant but well-meaning concerns about science and genetic engineering.

This continues today, but the attacks on critics are becoming more vicious. Former British Environment Minister Owen Paterson recently attacked critics of GMOs with a scathing speech that described them as a self-serving, elitist “green blob” that was condemning “billions” to misery. Professor Anthony Trewavas has continued this theme by stating:

Greenpeace notably decides its opinions must prevail regardless of others, so it arrogates to itself the right to tear up and destroy things it doesn’t like. That is absolutely typical of people who are unable to convince others by debate and discussion and in the last century such attitudes, amplified obviously, ended up killing people that others did not like. But the same personality type the authoritarian, ‘do as I tell you’, was at the root of it all. Such groups therefore sit uneasily with countries that are democracies.”

According to this, critics of GMOs possess authoritarian personality types, are ignorant of science and unable to convince people of their arguments and thus resort to violence. 

Part of the pro-GMO narrative also involves a good deal of glib talk about democracy. In an open letter to me, Anthony Trewavas says:

“It would be nice if you could say you are a democrat and believe that argument is better than destruction but argument that deals with all the facts and does not select out of those to construct a misleading programme. Misleading selection of limited information is causing considerable problems in various parts of the world that leads some into very violent behaviour, particularly in religious belief. I am sure you agree that this is not a good way forward… Whatever their [farmers’] choice is… they must be allowed to make that decision… That is the nature of every democracy that I hope all will finally live under?”

Pro-GMO scientists have every right to speak on psychology, politics and democracy. However, let a non-scientist criticise GMOs and they are accused of self-serving elitism or ignorance. Indeed, let even a scientist produce scientific evidence that runs counter to the industry-led science and he or she is smeared and attacked.

Let a respected academically qualified political scientist, trade policy analyst or social scientist whose views are in some way critical of GMOs and the corporations promoting them express a coherent viewpoint supported by evidence from their specific discipline and they are attacked for being little more than ideologues with an agenda, or their evidence or sources are described as ‘biased’. Any analysis of the role of the IMF, World Bank and WTO and their part in restructuring agriculture in poor nations or devising policies to favour Western agribusiness is suddenly to be side lined in favour of a narrow focus on ‘science’, which the masses and ideologues could not possibly comprehend; by implication, they should therefore defer to (pro-GMO) scientists for the necessary information.

The pro-GMO lobby talks about choice, democracy and the alleged violence of certain environmental groups but says nothing about the structural violence waged on rural communities resulting from IMF/World Bank strings-attached loans, the undermining of global food security as a result of Wall Street commodity and land speculators, the crushing effects of trade rules on poorer regions or the devastating impacts of GMOs in regions likeSouthAmerica. To discuss such things is political and thus 'ideological' and is therefore not up for discussion it seems.

Much easier to try to focus on ‘the science’ and simply mouth platitudes about democracy and freedom of choice while saying nothing about how both been captured or debased by powerful interests, including agribusiness. By attempting not to appear to be ideological or political, such people are attempting to depoliticise and thus disguise the highly political status quo whereby powerful corporations (and some bogus notion of a 'free market') are left unchallenged to shape agriculture as they see fit:

“Anyone who’s seen the recent virally circulated Venn diagrams of the personnel overlap between Monsanto and USDA personnel, or Pfizer and FDA, will immediately know what I’m talking about… A model of capitalism in which the commanding heights of the economy are an interlocking directorate of large corporations and government agencies, a major share of the total operating costs of the dominant firms are socialized (and profits privatized, of course), and “intellectual property” protectionism and other regulatory cartels allow bureaucratic corporate dinosaurs… to operate profitably without fear of competition." Kevin Carson, Center for a Stateless Society. 

If certain politicians or scientists and the companies they support really do want to ‘feed the world’ and are concerned with poverty and hunger, they should forget about GMOs and focus their attention elsewhere: not least on how the ‘free market’ system that they cherish so much causes hunger and poverty, whether for example through food commodity speculation (see earlier link) by powerful banking interests or a US foreign policy that has for decades used agriculture to trap nations into subservience.

Rather than have the public focus on such things, such people try to mislead and divert attention away from these things with puerile notions of authoritarian personality types who reject some illusory notion of open debate, free choice and democracy.  

Failure is us

Even with this power and political influence at its disposal, the GMO agritech industry is far from being a success.  Much of its profits actually derive from failure: for example, Andrew Kimbrell notes that after having chosen to ignore science, the industry’s failing inputs are now to be replaced with more destined-to-fail and ever-stronger poisonous inputs. The legacy of poisoned environments and ecological devastation is for someone else to deal with. In his book, Steven Druker has shown that from very early on the US government has colluded with the GMO agritech sector to set a 'technical fix-failure-technical fix' merry-go-round in motion.

This system is designed to stumble from one crisis to the next, all the while hiding behind the banners of ‘innovation’ or ‘research and development’. But it’s all good business. And that’s all that really matters to the industry. 

There’s always good PR ground to be made from blaming critics for being ‘anti-science’ and money to be made from a continuous state of crisis management (‘innovation’ and bombarding farmers with a never-ending stream of new technologies and inputs).  Part of the great con-trick is that it attempts to pass off its endless crises and failures as brilliant successes.

For many promoters of the GMO cause, it is a case of not even wanting to understand alternative approaches or the devastating impacts of GMOs when their lavish salary or consultancy fees depend on them not wanting to understand any of it.

When it comes to labelling unsafe and untested GM food in the US, the pro-GMO lobby grasps at straws by saying too much information confuses the public or sends out the wrong message

When it says sound science should underpin the GMO issue, it does everything it can to circumvent any science that threatens its interests.

When it says its critics have a political agenda, it side lines debates on how it hijacks international and national policy making bodies and regulatory agencies.

When it talks about elite, affluent environmentalists robbing food from the bellies of the poor, its private companies are owned by people who form part of a privileged class that seek to turn their vested interests into policy proscriptions for the rest of us.

The pro-GMO lobby engages in the fraudulent notion that it knows what is best for humanity. Co-opting public institutions and using science as an ideology, it indulges in an arrogant form of exceptionalism.

The world does not need GMO food or crops, especially those which have not been proven safe or whose benefits are questionable to say the least. There are alternative ways to boost food production if or when there is a need to. There are other (existing) ways to tackle the impacts of volatile climates. 

However, the alternatives are being squeezed out as big agritech and its captured policy/regulatory bodies place emphasis on proprietary products, not least GMOs and chemical inputs. 

The pro-GMO lobby has a crisis of legitimation. No amount of twisted truths or altered genes, expensive PR or attacks on its critics can disguise this.

Science, Democracy and Choice: Responding To A Pro-GMO Scientist

Writer and researcher Colin Todhunter takes apart the arguments of pro-GMO lobbyist Anthony Trewavas below. There’s more about Trewavas here. The following is in response...

Stop Twisting Truth: Scientific Bodies Should Put The Record Straight On GMOs

Global Research, Countercurrents, RINF

The Royal Society acts as a scientific advisor to the British government. The Society is Britain's Academy of Sciences, which funds research fellowships and scientific start-up companies. A self-governing fellowship of many of the world’s most distinguished scientists drawn from all areas of science, engineering, and medicine, its purpose is according to its website to "recognise, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity."

The Society facilitates interaction and communication among scientists and disseminates scientific advances through its journals. It also engages beyond the research community, through independent policy work, the promotion of science information and communication with the public.

The Royal Society is a prestigious institution that feeds into policy formulation processes at national level.

US public interest attorney Steven Druker has written an open letter to The Royal Society calling on it to acknowledge and correct the misleading and exaggerated statements that is has used to actively promote GMOs and in effect convey false impressions. He cites specific instances where members of The Society have made false statements and where The Society’s actions were not objective or based on scientific reasoning but seemingly were little more than biased and stridently pro-GMO.

In his new book, ‘Altered Genes, Twisted Truths’, Druker has exposed the fraudulent practices and deceptions that led to the commercialisation of GM food and crops in the US as well as claims made by bodies like The Royal Society that have misrepresented the case for GMOs and which have effectively engaged in a campaign of disinformation (see here) . 

To coincide with the release of the book, he urges The Royal Society to confront the facts about GM foods and take time to take steps to set the record straight.

Druker states his book ‘Altered Genes, Twisted Truth’ has been praised for its soundness by several well credentialed reviewers, including five biologists (four of whom are molecular biologists). He asserts that, at minimum, this makes a prima facie case that it is a book of which The Society must take account. He states therefore that The Society cannot justifiably dismiss the book unless it can demonstrate that it is to a substantial degree factually or logically unsound.

If The Royal Society has not addressed pertinent issues by 20 April 2015, Druker claims that the world will have a right to assume that the book is as sound as the experts who reviewed it have affirmed – and that GM foods are therefore unacceptably risky and must be banned.

The text of the letter is provided below, courtesy of the Beyond GM website where the letter including references (which are not included below) can be found (a link to the pdf of the letter can be accessed here).

AN OPEN LETTER – AND A CHALLENGE TO THE ROYAL SOCIETY

From Steven M. Druker, JD Executive Director Alliance for Bio-Integrity

It’s Time to Confront the Facts about GM Foods, Acknowledge the Misleading Statements You Have Made in Your Effort to Promote Them, and Take Steps to Set the Record Straight -

Because clarifying the facts about GM foods is crucial for developing an intelligent, science-based policy on the future of agriculture, and because the Royal Society has significantly contributed to the confusion that currently surrounds this issue, it is imperative that remedial action be promptly initiated. This is especially so considering that:
  • The European Commission is about to approve substantial regulatory changes in regard to GM crops.
  •  The UK is seriously considering allowing them to be commercially planted.
  •  The Society and other proponents of GM foods have inculcated the widespread illusion that there is an overwhelming scientific consensus that the safety of these products has been established through rigorous testing.The following paragraphs (a) describe some of the ways in which the Society has been complicit in generating this and other false notions and (b) set forth specific steps it must take in order to start repairing the damage it has done.
1. Although for most of its august history, the Royal Society refrained from taking sides on issues or from even expressing an official opinion on a topic,  by the mid-1990’s, it had become a partisan defender of genetically modified (GM) foods and embraced a proactive policy on their behalf. This proactive stance was acknowledged in the President's Address in The Royal Society Annual Review 1998-99, which declared that “We have contributed early and proactively to public debate about genetically modified plants.” One of these contributions was a 1998 report that called for the rapid introduction of GM foods.

2. However, in pursuing this proactive policy, several individuals holding prominent positions within the Society – and even the Society itself – have issued misleading statements in regard to GM foods that have created significant confusion and illegitimately downplayed their risks.

3. Such regrettable incidents have been noted by journalists and other commentators, and many are also documented in the new book I have written, Altered Genes, Twisted Truth.

4. For instance, during a BBC interview in 2000, the Royal Society’s President, Sir Robert May (who for five years had served as the government’s chief scientist), declared that genetic engineering is “vastly safer” and “vast, vastly more controlled” than conventional breeding.  But although those bold claims were imbued with an aura of scientific respectability, they were not backed by solid scientific evidence.

5. Further, while these claims may have reflected an opinion shared by many other scientists, they clearly did not represent a consensus within the scientific community. By then, numerous well-credentialed scientists had expressed opposite viewpoints, including the majority of the experts on the US Food and Drug Administration’s Biotechnology Task Force. And early the following year, an expert panel of the Royal Society of Canada released an extensive report declaring that (a) it is “scientifically unjustifiable” to presume that GM foods are safe and (b) the “default presumption” for every GM food should be that the genetic alteration has induced unintended and potentially harmful side effects.

6. Accordingly, Dr. May’s unequivocal – and hyperbolic – claims imparted false impressions in the public mind, and it was irresponsible for someone in his position of authority to have issued them.

7. Not only did the Society’s President make assertions that were roundly refuted by the 2001 report of its Canadian counterpart, in 2002 the Society released its own report that failed to address the arguments of that preceding one – and essentially avoided even acknowledging them.

8. Moreover, that 2002 report illegitimately inflated the risks of conventional breeding. For instance, it alleged that such breeding methods could give rise to “unknown toxins, anti-nutrients or allergens.”   But because there’s no evidence this has ever happened, it had to prop its claim with a few inapt examples in which toxins that were already present became elevated, but in which not a single “unknown” toxin was produced. Further, not only did the authors employ these invalid examples to bolster their false assertion, they also used them to suggest that the risks of conventional foods are on a par with those produced through recombinant DNA technology, stating that this purported evidence “raises the question” of whether both sets of foods should be required to meet the same safety assessment criteria.

9. But the Society’s most deplorable actions in defense of GM foods were directed at the research on GM potatoes conducted at the Rowett Institute under the direction of Dr. Arpad Pusztai. That research study is still one of the most rigorous yet performed on a GM food, and it continues to be highly relevant because it controlled for the effects of the new foreign protein – which entails that the adverse results it registered were attributable to a broader feature of the genetic engineering process itself. A summary of some of the Society’s offenses against that research follows:

a. In 1999, The Guardian reported it had been informed that “an influential group within the Royal Society has set up what appears to be a ‘rebuttal unit’ to push a pro-biotech line and counter opposing scientists.”  Dr. Pusztai was one of the key scientists the group attempted to counter.

b. In February 1999, nineteen Royal Society fellows “attacked” Dr. Pusztai's work in an open letter.  But the research had not yet been published and the authors of the letter had not even seen all of the data.

c. The next month, the Society broke with its tradition of abstaining from acting as a peer-reviewing body and performed its first-ever review – on Pusztai’s research, even though it was still unpublished and the reviewers, like the authors of the open letter, had not seen the complete data package either. Nonetheless, they saw fit to strongly criticize the research in their report.

d. This highly irregular action prompted the editor of the respected journal The Lancet to publish an editorial rebuking the Society for its “gesture of breathtaking impertinence to the Rowett Institute scientists who should be judged only on the full and final publication of their work.”  He subsequently branded their action a “reckless decision” that abandoned “the principle of due process.”

e. The impertinence was aggravated by the fact that, according to Pusztai, none of the members of the review panel had expertise in nutritional studies, and therefore none was properly qualified to assess some important aspects of the research.  Consequently, several made comments about the quality of the research design that were erroneous. And one apparently failed to read even the abbreviated report in the panel’s possession, because every fact he or she recited about the study was wrong.

f. Having unfairly attacked the research, the Society then strove to prevent it from being published, an endeavor that was unsuccessful.

g. Moreover, after the research was published (in The Lancet in October 1999), the Society continued to unjustly malign it. For instance, in 2002 the Society’s Biological Secretary asserted in its journal, Science and Public Affairs, that the Lancet published Pusztai’s research “in the face of objections by its statistically-competent referees.”   But in reality, five out of the six referees voted for publication; so the assertion imparted the false impression that more than one objected – while also implying that no one with statistical competence voted for publication (which is almost surely false as well.)

THEREFORE, in light of the above facts, it is high time that the Society makes an earnest attempt to set the record straight and, to whatever extent possible, clear up the confusion it has caused. Consequently, I call on you to issue a formal statement acknowledging:

A. That there is not now nor never has been a consensus within the scientific community that GM foods are safe, that many well-credentialed experts do not regard their safety as having been established, and that a substantial number think that the research as a whole casts the safety of many of them in doubt.

B. That neither you nor any other scientific body has directly confronted and refuted the cautionary reasoning in the 2001 report issued by the Royal Society of Canada (which it has never retracted or revised) – and that this report stands as one of the compelling testaments that there is not a scientific consensus that GM foods are safe.

C. That the process of creating new varieties of food crops via genetic engineering is not more precise and predictable than conventional breeding in regard to food safety and instead entails a greater likelihood of unintended effects that could directly impact consumer health.

D. That although there are known instances in which genetic engineering has induced the production of a novel toxin or allergen, there are none in which conventional breeding has done so.

E. That Dr. Pusztai’s research was properly peer-reviewed and gained publication in The Lancet based on its merits, with five out of six referees voting in favor – and that, contrary to claims that the Society and other proponents of GM foods have advanced, the research has never been refuted or in any way discredited by subsequent studies – which entails that it is still relevant today.

F. Your statement should also contain a formal apology to Dr. Pusztai and his colleagues for the irresponsible manner in which the Society and several of its members have besmirched their reputations and derided the integrity of their research.

Unless you promptly take these steps, it will demonstrate that your commitment to promoting GM foods is stronger than your commitment to honoring the truth and upholding the integrity of science.

FURTHER, whether or not you own up to your irresponsible actions and take the steps specified above, I challenge you to read my book and specifically list any inaccurate statements of fact that you find in it, accompanied by an explanation of why the statement is erroneous and a reference to the evidence that corroborates your assertion.

To clarify, I am referring to simple assertions about concrete facts that can be conclusively verified or falsified, such as the erroneous statement in your journal indicating that more than one referee objected to the publication of Pusztai’s research. Further, although I do not expect you to agree with every conclusion I draw from the facts, especially those that make ethical judgments about the behavior of biotech promoters, you should note any instances of faulty logic, with an explanation of the flaw.

Altered Genes, Twisted Truth has been praised for its soundness by several well-credentialed reviewers, including five biologists (four of whom are molecular biologists). At minimum, this makes a prima facie case that it is a book of which you must take account; and you cannot justifiably dismiss it unless you can demonstrate that it is to a substantial degree factually or logically unsound.

If you have not done so by 20 April 2015, the world will have a right to assume that it is as sound as the experts who reviewed it have affirmed – and that GM foods are therefore unacceptably risky and must be banned.

Please note that I will readily acknowledge and correct any genuine errors you point out, and I assume that you will do the same regarding those of yours that I have specified.

Stop Twisting Truth: Scientific Bodies Should Put the Record Straight on GMOs

The Royal Society acts as a scientific advisor to the British government. The Society is Britain's Academy of Sciences, which funds research fellowships and...

Not Science, Just Lies And Propaganda: The Massive Fraud Behind GMOs Exposed

Counterpunch, RINF, Global Research, Countercurrents, The 4th Media, Morning Star

This is not what the GMO industry wanted to see: banner headlines in major newspapers and across the internet exposing the fraud behind GMOs. But this constitutes much more than a PR nightmare. The story behind the headlines shakes the very foundations upon which the industry is built.

‘Altered Genes, Twisted Truth’ is a new book by the US public interest lawyer Steve Druker. The book is the result of more than 15 years of intensive research and investigation by Druker, who initiated a lawsuit against the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that forced it to divulge its files on GM foods. Those files revealed that GM foods first achieved commercialisation in 1992 but only because the FDA covered up the extensive warnings of its own scientists about their dangers, lied about the facts and then violated federal food safety law by permitting these foods to be marketed without having been proven safe through standard testing.

If the FDA had heeded its own experts’ advice and publicly acknowledged their warnings that GM foods entailed higher risks than their conventional counterparts, Druker says that the GM food venture would have imploded and never gained traction anywhere.

He also argues that that many well-placed scientists have repeatedly issued misleading statements about GM foods, and so have leading scientific institutions such as the US National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the UK’s Royal Society.

Druker states that contrary to the claims of biotech advocates, humans have indeed been harmed by consuming the output of genetic engineering. The technology’s first ingestible product (a food supplement of the essential amino acid, L-tryptophan) caused dozens of deaths and seriously sickened thousands of people (permanently disabling many of them). Moreover, the evidence points to the genetic alteration as the most likely cause of the unusual contamination that rendered the supplement toxic.

He explains that laboratory animals have also suffered from eating products of genetic engineering, and well-conducted tests with GM crops have yielded many troubling results, including intestinal abnormalities, liver disturbances, and impaired immune systems.
Druker says:
“Contrary to the assertions of its proponents, the massive enterprise to reconfigure the genetic core of the world’s food supply is not based on sound science but on the systematic subversion of science – and it would collapse if subjected to an open airing of the facts.”
Eminent environmentalist and anthropologist Jane Goodall has written the foreword to the book and states that Steven Druker is a hero for exposing this massive fraud and is worthy of a Nobel prize for lifting the lid on the truth about GM.

She goes on to state that the industry worked to:
“convince the public and government officials, through the dissemination of false information, that there was an overwhelming expert consensus, based on solid evidence, that the new foods were safe. Yet this, as Druker points out, was clearly not true.”
Goodall adds that the companies have spread disinformation to try and win public support. 

She states:
“Druker describes how amazingly successful the biotech lobby has been – and the extent to which the general public and government decision makers have been hoodwinked by the clever and methodical twisting of the facts and the propagation of many myths. Moreover, it appears that a number of respected scientific institutions, as well as many eminent scientists, were complicit in this relentless spreading of disinformation.”
Jane Goodall is best known for her 55-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania. She holds many awards for her environmental and humanitarian work, including the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science, the French Legion of Honour, Japan’s Kyoto Prize and the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement.

She describes Druker’s work as one of the most important books of the last 50 years, and adds:
“It will go a long way toward dispelling the confusion and delusion that has been created regarding the genetic engineering process and the foods it creates. Although this book tells a story that’s in many ways distressing, it’s important that it has finally been told because so much confusion has been spread and so many important decision-makers have apparently been deluded.”
Steven Druker gave a press conference in London on Wednesday and has challenged Britain’s Royal Society to apologise for its pro-GM stance and its part in rubbishing scientists who have safety doubts over the crops and food. (Perhaps the likes of Owen Paterson and Anne Glover should too for their role in dismissing legitimate concerns about GMOs, especially Paterson for his recent tirade against critics see this and this.)

His work highlights research which has found tumours, liver and kidney harm in animals given GM feed in trials. And he complains, that researchers who dare to raise these problems have been pilloried.

He said:
“Contrary to the assertions of its proponents, the massive enterprise to reconfigure the genetic core of the world’s food supply is not based on sound science but on the systematic subversion of science – and it would collapse if subjected to an open airing of the facts.”
With the TTIP having the potential to open the floodgates to allow GMOs into Europe, Pat Thomas, director of the campaigning group Beyond GM, said:
“Steven Druker’s investigation into the history of fraud and deceit that ushered in the era of GM deserves serious consideration before we take actions that will irreversibly alter the European food supply.”

Not Science, Just Lies and Propaganda: The Massive Fraud Behind GMOs Exposed

This is not what the GMO industry wanted to see: banner headlines today in major newspapers and across the internet exposing the fraud behind...

Consumers Want GMO Labels, Not Barcodes

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GMOs And Green Blob Hallucinations: The Twisted World Of Mr Paterson


RINF, Global Research, Countercurrents, The Nation (Sri Lanka, on 8/3/2015)

Speaking last week in Pretoria, former UK Environment Minister Owen Paterson described critics of GMOs as comprising part of a privileged class that increasingly fetishizes food and seeks to turn their personal preferences into policy proscriptions for the rest of us. He called them backward-looking and regressive. He claimed their policies would condemn billions to hunger, poverty and underdevelopment because of their insistence on mandating primitive, inefficient farming techniques.

He called them:

“… the ‘Green Blob’ – a reference to a 1950s Sci-Fi movie starring Steve McQueen in which a blob-like alien attacks Earth and swallows everything in its path: the environmental pressure groups, renewable energy companies and some public officials who keep each other well supplied with lavish funds, scare stories and green tape. This tangled triangle of unelected busybodies claims to have the interest of the planet and the countryside at heart, but it is increasingly clear that it is focusing on the wrong issues and doing real harm while profiting handsomely.”

He went on to state:

“There are many impediments standing between the vision of agricultural progress and Africa, of course, but none is more pernicious than the Blob. It is supported by massive funding provided by the EU itself, as well as numerous church and humanitarian groups, and the well-meaning but misguided generosity of the privileged classes in Europe and elsewhere. It has undue influence in the media, government and international institutions. Unfortunately, few question either its credentials or motives.” (see the full text of the speech here)

Paterson then proceeded to proclaim the virtues of GMOs and laid out a series of slurs, falsehoods and cherry-picked proclamations that anyone would be forgiven for thinking had come straight from the pen of a GMO agribusiness employee. But it wouldn’t have been the first time would it? In the case of this bit of poetry that Paterson likes so much, it came courtesy of Syngenta.

No, such practices are commonplace. Indeed, across the globe uncaged corporate parrots seem to be perched on the highest of ledges:

“We have had the National Academies of Science give a clean chit of biosafety to GM crops — doing that by using paragraphs lifted wholesale from the industry’s own literature! Likewise, Ministers in the PMO who know nothing about the risks of GMOs have similarly sung the virtues of Bt Brinjal and its safety to an erstwhile Minister of Health. They have used, literally, 'cut & paste' evidence from the biotech lobby’s 'puff' material. Are these officials then, 'uncaged corporate parrots'?” Aruna Rodrigues, writing about the situation in India here in The Hindu.

Some points to consider for any rational thinking person

What would you do when presented with the option of sanctioning the commercialisation of genetically engineered food that is fundamentally different to conventional food? And have no doubt, it is: see this analysis by Steven Druker. Forget about those will try to confuse you that humans have always been tampering with food and genetic engineering represents more of the same. It doesn’t.

Would you engage in doublespeak about ‘substantial equivalence’ to try to convince people that it is just the same as conventional food in order to prevent public/scientific scrutiny (see this), and (as Druker shows to be the case) would you then ignore any fears, concerns and evidence in order to commercialise it?

You would if you are the US government, which has done exactly that, as described in Drukers new book 'Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government and Systematically Deceived the Public' (Clear River Press, March 2015).  

In fact, if you are among the pro-GMO lobby, you would dream up some ideology about giving consumers and people greater choice by offering them the option of GMOs. You would also forward the myth that the corporations behind GMOs have humanity’s best interests at heart and that critics are anti-science ideologues whose policies and attitudes would leave billions dead or at least impoverished and starving. As part of this deception, you would forward the lie that GMOs are safe, even though there has not been one long-term epidemiological study conducted to show this, and are needed to feed the world. (See these claims debunked here).

And if you are part of this lobby or so gullible to unwittingly become its foot soldier by propagating the ideology in the media or on website comment threads, you would be part of a $100-million-dollar PR campaign (that figure is for the US alone).

And back to Owen Paterson

These powerful and extremely wealthy corporations or their foot soldiers in a display of glaring hypocrisy accuse critics of being part of a lavishly funded conspiracy against them and indeed humanity.

Yes, the same corporations whose financial clout has bought them political influence in so far that they exert huge control over WTO (see this), have captured regulatory bodies and public research institutions (see this and this), have had a key role in driving trade policies (see this) and are the biggest lobbiers (see this) for the world’s largest (secretive, pro-corporate) trade deal, the TTIP, which will constitutionally hand over regulatory and economic policies to a cartel of lawyers, officials and high-level corporate executives (see this).  

So maybe it’s time to slightly rearrange parts of Paterson’s attack on his critics to provide him with a reality check. Paterson would have more truthfully presented the case by stating:

“It is these powerful corporations (not a ‘green blob’), whose owners are part of the privileged class that seek to turn their vested interests into policy proscriptions for the rest of us. It is this backward-looking and regressive class whose policies have already condemned tens of millions to hunger, poverty and underdevelopment. It is this privileged class (not a ‘green blob’) that has swallowed up everything in its path facilitated by public officials who are well supplied with lavish funds, scare stories and ‘green revolution’ rhetoric. This tangled triangle of unelected, unaccountable corporations claims to have the interest of the planet and the countryside at heart, but it is increasingly clear that it is focusing on the wrong issues and doing real harm while profiting handsomely. There are many impediments standing between the vision of agricultural progress and Africa, of course, but none is more pernicious than this group that is supported by massive profits often secured from fraudulent practices and by often well-meaning but gullible people who buy into its rhetoric. It has undue influence in the media, government and international institutions. Fortunately, there are many who question its credentials and motives.”

Readers are urged to read this to appreciate why Paterson has got is so wrong.

GMOs And Green Blob Hallucinations: The Twisted World Of Mr Paterson  

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So You Want To Help Africa Mr Paterson? Then Stop Promoting Ideology And Falsehoods...

Countercurrents and RINF 23/2/2015, Global Research and The 4th Media 24/2/2015, Il Cambiamento 25/2/2015, London Progressive Journal 21/3/2015

According to Mathew Holehouse in the UK’s Telegraph newspaper (here), former UK Environment Minister Owen Paterson will this week accuse the European Union and Greenpeace of condemning people in the developing world to death by refusing to accept genetically modified crops. Speaking in Pretoria, South Africa, on Tuesday, Paterson will warn that a food revolution that could save Africa from hunger is being held back and that the world is on the cusp of a green revolution, of the kind that fed a billion people in the 1960s and 1970s as the world’s population soared.

After talking about a growing global population and the pivotal role of GMOs in feeding it, Paterson will assert:

"This is also a time, however, of great mischief, in which many individuals and even governments are turning their backs on progress. Not since the original Luddites smashed cotton mill machinery in early 19th century England, have we seen such an organised, fanatical antagonism to progress and science. These enemies of the Green Revolution call themselves ‘progressive’, but their agenda could hardly be more backward-looking and regressive… their policies would condemn billions to hunger, poverty and underdevelopment. And their insistence on mandating primitive, inefficient farming techniques would decimate the earth’s remaining wild spaces, devastate species and biodiversity, and leave our natural ecology poorer as a result.”

Instead of parroting the corporate spin of the pro-GMO lobby, Paterson would do better to consider more viable options that he likes to denigrate as 'backward-looking and regressive' by listening to what Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev stated in April of last year: 

“We don’t have a goal of developing GM products here or to import them.  We can feed ourselves with normal, common, not genetically modified products.  If the Americans like to eat such products, let them eat them.  We don’t need to do that; we have enough space and opportunities to produce organic food.” (see here)

Or maybe Paterson would benefit from heeding a Statement signed by 24 delegates from 18 African countries to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization in 1998:

“We strongly object that the image of the poor and hungry from our countries is being used by giant multinational corporations to push a technology that is neither safe, environmentally friendly nor economically beneficial to us. We do not believe that such companies or gene technologies will help our farmers to produce the food that is needed in the 21st century. On the contrary, we think it will destroy the diversity, the local knowledge and the sustainable agricultural systems that our farmers have developed for millennia, and that it will thus undermine our capacity to feed ourselves.”

Perhaps he should also listen to Viva Kermani (here - supported by data) when talking about the situation in India:

“… the statements that they [supporters of GMOs] use such as “thousands die of hunger daily in India” are irresponsible and baseless scare-mongering with a view to projecting GM as the only answer. When our people go hungry, or suffer from malnutrition, it is not for lack of food, it is because their right to safe and nutritious food that is culturally connected has been blocked. That is why it is not a technological fix problem and GM has no place in it.”

Paterson has a history of engaging in the type of emotional blackmail and smearing of critics that comes second nature to the pro-GMO lobby. Anyone (usually portrayed as affluent Westerners – which is not true, given many of the critics are not ‘Western’, affluent or reside in ‘developed’ countries) who opposes GM crops or food is painted as an enemy of the poor because they take food from their bellies (see this). Paterson is using a rhetorical device deliberately designed to mislead and stir up emotion. His tactics are based on spurious claims about the efficacy of GMO technology and are intended to divert attention away from the true nature and causes of hunger and food poverty.

Proponents of GM crops constantly claim that we need such technology to address hunger and to feed a growing global population. We are told by the GMO biotech lobby that GM crops are essential, are better for the environment and will provide the tools that farmers need in a time of climate chaos. They claim that GM crops provide higher yields and higher incomes for farmers around the world. All such claims have been shown to be bogus.

For example, let us take one report from the many that could be cited to show the fallacious nature of these claims. The Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) last year released a report that concluded hunger is caused by poverty and inequality and that we already produce enough food to feed the world’s population and did so even at the peak of the world food crisis in 2008. The report went on to say that current global food production provides enough to feed ten billion people and the recent food price crises of 2008 and 2011 both took place in years of record global harvests, clearly showing that these crises were not the result of scarcity.

CBAN also noted that the GM crops that are on the market today are not designed to address hunger. Four GM crops account for almost 100 percent of worldwide GM crop acreage, and all four have been developed for large-scale industrial farming systems and are used as cash crops for export, to produce fuel or for processed food and animal feed.

The report also stated that GM crops have not increased yields and do not increase farmers’ incomes. GM crops lead to an increase in pesticide use and cause further harm to the environment. Pesticide reduction was the primary selling point for Bt cotton adoption in India, but overall pesticide use has not decreased in any state that grows Bt cotton, with the exception of Andhra Pradesh. Read the full report that contains over 100 references in in support of these claims.

Hunger, food security and ‘feeding the world’ is a political, social and economic problem and no amount of gene splicing is capable of surmounting obstacles like poor roads, inadequate rural credit systems and insufficient irrigation.

Paterson's talk about backward, regressive, primitive farming practices that would condemn millions to hunger and decimate the ecology is again playing on fear and emotion. What he says has no basis in reality.

Numerous official reports have argued that to feed the hungry in poorer regions we need to support diverse, sustainable agro-ecological methods of farming and strengthen local food economies: for example, see this UN report, this official report, this report by the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food and this report by 400 experts which was twice peer reviewed. 

See also see this report that indicates GMOs are not necessary to feed the world.

So from where and from who is Paterson getting his information from? I think we know the answer.

It is after all small farms and peasant farmers (more often than not serving local communities) that are more productive than giant industrial (export-oriented) farms and which produce most of the world’s food (see this report from GRAIN). The experience with GM crops shows that the application of GM technology is more likely to actually undermine food security and entrench the social, economic and environmental problems created by industrial agriculture and corporate control (see this other report from GRAIN and this article by Helena Paul documenting ecocide and genocide in South America due to the imposition of GM crops there).

“The problem is that the poor have no money to buy food and increasingly, no access to land on which to grow it… GM is a dangerous distraction from real solutions and claims that GM can help feed the world can be viewed as exploitation of the suffering of the hungry. GM crops do not increase yield. Nor are there any GM crops that are better than non-GM crops at tolerating poor soils or challenging climate conditions. Thus it is difficult to see how GM can contribute to solving world hunger… The two major GM crops, soy and maize, mostly go into animal feed for intensive livestock operations, biofuels to power cars, and processed human food – products for wealthy nations that have nothing to do with meeting the basic food needs of the poor and hungry.”

This above quote is from the Open Earth Source report GMOs Myths and Truths. The report provides specific details about GM crops that have been specifically promoted as helping small-scale and poor farmers in Africa. However, the results were the opposite of what was promised and all these projects failed.

Owen Paterson is a staunch supporter of GM technology, so staunch in fact that fellow Conservative Party MP Zac Goldsmith stated Paterson was little more than an industry puppet (see this in the UK’s Independent newspaper that quotes Goldsmith).

Paterson is ignorant of or at least content to side line the devastating, deleterious health, environmental, social and economic impacts of GMOs, which are outined in the 'GMO Myths and Truths' report. He acts as a mouthpieces for the GMO biotech sector and has made numerous false claims about the benefits and safety of GMOs that fly in the face of research findings.

In the recent past, he was keen to reassure the British public that safety concerns over GMOs are based on "humbug" and that GM food is completely safe to eat. See this article, which outlines Paterson’s stance and critiques his claims. 

When Paterson talks about 'enemies' of the 'green revolution' as being fanatical Luddites, he may also like to consider that the ‘green revolution’ was not the resounding success he likes to portray it as. Raj Patel provides some revealing insight into how the ‘green revolution’ took credit for many gains in Indian agricultural that were due to other influences (see this). And, of course, the ‘green revolution’ was based on, among other things, massive external inputs, violence, severe environmental and human health degradation and debt (see this – the entire text of Vandana Shiva’s book ‘The Violence of the Green Revolution’ - and this and this, which both highlight the current agrarian crisis in Punjab, the original ‘poster boy’ of the ‘green revolution’).   

It comes as no surprise that Paterson would state the things he does. As Environment Minister, his support for GMOs was being carried out in partnership with a number of pro-GMO institutions, including the Agricultural Biotechnology Council (ABC), which is backed by GM companies such as Monsanto, Syngenta and Bayer CropScience. Last year, despite government attempts to throw a veil of secrecy over meetings and conversations it had with the industry, GeneWatch UK uncovered evidence that GMO companies are driving UK government policy in this area (see here). 

So if you were still wondering from where and whom Paterson is getting his information from, it should by now be clear. 

His attacks on Greenpeace and others who advocate a shift away from petrochemical/GM agriculture towards sustainable farming are part of the wider media campaign to demonize scientists and prominent anti-GMO campaigners. A number of hatchet pieces have in recent months branded Vandana Shiva a liar and a charlatan and the GMO lobby has assembled all the ingredients (not least a massive amount of money) of a classic yet predictable propaganda campaign (see this and this). From the UK, to Ghana (see this) and India (see this), there is a concerted campaign by the GMO lobby and its political handmaidens to demonize critics of GMOs. 

Paterson plays his role well.

Such tactics are used because the pro-GMO lobby has a big problem. It cannot provide a convincing case for GMOs. It therefore resorts to populism, intimidation, character assassination, emotional blackmail, falsehoods, panic mongering and unfounded claims (see this to see how its rhetoric about ‘sound science’ and dispassionate reason informing the debate on GMOs contradicts how it acts in reality). In fact, it goes above and beyond such things by tightening its grip on countries on the back of coups, war and conflict (see this to understand how big agritech concerns benefit from and fuel the situation in Ukraine).

Yes, it is a time of great mischief as Paterson says – but not because of what his critics say or do – but because of what he and his backers do by turning their backs on the type of sound science and progress in the way that he falsely he accuses GMO critics of doing. 

Paterson belongs to the pro-big business Conservative Party which champions the type of privatisation, public expenditure reduction, deregulation, tax avoiding and ‘free’ trade policies that have ceded policy decision making to powerful corporate players. This has in turn led to a concentration of wealth (see this) and imposed ‘austerity’ and drives hunger, poverty, land grabs and the disappearance of family/peasant farms (see this analysis of food commodity speculationthis description of the global food system and this report by the Oakland Institute on land grabs) – the very bedrock of global food production (see this).

What Paterson and the agritech cartel offer is more of the same by tearing up traditional agriculture for the benefit of corporate entities. Paterson talks of critics of GMO as being Luddites, fanatics and condemning billions (yes, he does say billions!) to poverty and underdevelopment with regressive policies. He should look closer to home.

He should realise that elite interests in the West have condemned tens of millions to hunger and poverty in Africa by enslaving them and their nations to debt and that agriculture has for many decades been an important means by which US foreign policy creates dependence and subservience (see here). But such things are not to be debates by Paterson. Like all good (or should that be bad?) politicians, he twists the truth and turns deception and hypocrisy into an art.  

The current global system of chemical-industrial agriculture and World Trade Organisation rules that agritech companies helped draw up for their benefit to force their products into countries (see  here) are a major cause of structural hunger, poverty, illness and environmental destruction. By its very design, the system is meant to suck the life from people, nations and the planet for profit and control (see  here). Blaming critics of this system for the problems of the system is highly convenient. And forwarding some bogus technical quick-fix will not put things right. It represents more of the same.

So you want to ‘help’ Africa Mr Paterson?

Daniel Maingi works with small farmers in Kenya and belongs to the organization Growth Partners for Africa. Maingi was born on a farm in eastern Kenya and studied agriculture from a young age. He remembers a time when his family would grow and eat a diversity of crops, such as mung beans, green grams, pigeon peas, and a variety of fruits now considered ‘wild’. Following the Structural Adjustment Programmes of the 1980s and 1990s and a green revolution meant to boost agricultural efficiency, the foods of his childhood have been replaced with maize, maize, and more maize. He says:

 "In the morning, you make porridge from maize and send the kids to school. For lunch, boiled maize and a few green beans. In the evening, ugali, [a staple dough-like maize dish, served with meat]… [today] it’s a monoculture diet, being driven by the food system – it’s an injustice.” (see here  and here for the sources that quote Maingi and other commentators mentioned below).

As much of Africa is so dry, it’s not suited for thirsty crops, and heavy use of fertilizer kills worms and microbes important for soil health. Maingi therefore argues that the model of farming in the West is not appropriate for farming in most of Africa and that the West should invest in indigenous knowledge and agro-ecology.

Growth Partners Africa works with farmers to enrich the soil with manure and other organic material, to use less water and to grow a variety of crops, including some that would be considered weeds on an industrial farm. For Maingi, food sovereignty in Africa means reverting to a way of farming and eating that pre-dates major investment from the West.

Mariam Mayet of the African Centre for Biosafety in South Africa says that many countries are subsidizing farmers to buy fertilizer as part of the chemical-industrial model of  agriculture, but that takes money away from public crop-breeding programmes that provide improved seeds to farmers at low cost:

“It’s a system designed to benefit agribusinesses and not small-scale farmers.”

She adds because so many institutions, from African governments to the World Bank, have ‘embraced’ the ‘green revolution’ so much that alternative farming methods are getting short shrift.

Elizabeth Mpofu, of La Via Campesina, grows a variety of crops in Zimbabwe. During a recent drought, neighbours who relied on chemical fertilizer lost most of their crops. She reaped a bounty of sorghum, corn, and millet using what are called agro-ecological methods: natural pest control, organic fertilizer, and locally adapted crops.

There is also concern about the increased reliance on expensive inputs and the dramatic drop in price of crops. This has resulted in poverty for the small farmer.

Daniel Maingi:

“What the World Bank has done, the International Monetary fund, what AGRA and Bill Gates are doing, it’s actually pretty wrong. The farmer himself should not be starving”.

He added that what the Gates Foundation/big agritech backed Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) (see this) is doing is “out of sync with the natural process” by bringing in imported seeds, which are not adapted to the land and require excessive fertilizer and pesticides. 

In effect, giant agritech corporations with their patented GMO seeds and associated chemical inputs are working to ensure a shift away from diversified agriculture that guarantees balanced local food production, the protection of people’s livelihoods and environmental sustainability. The evidence provided by GRAIN and the Oakland Institute shows that small farmers are being displaced and are struggling to preserve their indigenous seeds and traditional knowledge of farming systems. 

Globally, agritech corporations are being allowed to shape government policy by being granted a strategic role in trade negotiations (see this). They are increasingly setting the policy/knowledge framework by being allowed to fund and determine the nature of research carried out in public universities and institutes (see this). They continue to propagate the myth that they have the answer to global hunger and poverty.

… take capitalism and business out of farming in Africa. The West should invest in indigenous knowledge and agro-ecology, education and infrastructure and stand in solidarity with the food sovereignty movement.” Daniel Maingi, Growth Partners for Africa.

Paterson and his corporate associates believe that the poor must be ‘helped’ by the West and its powerful corporations and billionaire 'philanthropists'. It harks back to colonialism. The West has already done enough damage in Africa as Michel Chossudovsky has described:

“The “economic therapy” imposed under IMF-World Bank jurisdiction is in large part responsible for triggering famine and social devastation in Ethiopia and the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, wreaking the peasant economy and impoverishing millions of people. With the complicity of branches of the US government, it has also opened the door for the appropriation of traditional seeds and landraces by US biotech corporations, which behind the scenes have been peddling the adoption of their own genetically modified seeds under the disguise of emergency aid and famine relief. Moreover, under WTO rules, the agri-biotech conglomerates can manipulate market forces to their advantage as well as exact royalties from farmers. The WTO provides legitimacy to the food giants to dismantle State programmes including emergency grain stocks, seed banks, extension services and agricultural credit, etc.), plunder peasant economies and trigger the outbreak of periodic famines.” See the full article (‘Sowing the Seeds of Famine in Ethiopia’) from which this extract is taken here


When Owen Paterson accuses critics of GMOs of being elitist and regressive, he is merely attempting to shift the focus from his own own elitist, regressive ideology. 

Hasn't the world had enough of the type of Western 'humanitarianism' that Paterson espouses?

So You Want to Help Africa Mr Paterson? Then Stop Promoting Ideology and Falsehoods...

Colin Todhunter RINF Alternative News According to Mathew Holehouse in the UK’s Telegraph newspaper (here), former UK Environment Minister Owen Paterson will this week accuse the...

Corporate Power Grab: The Wild Claims And PR Spin Of The Pro-GMO Lobby

RINF 21/2/2015, Countercurrents 22/2/2015, Global Research 23/2/2015

A recent report by US Right to Know (‘Seedy Business: What Big Food is Hiding with Its Slick PR Campaign on GMOs’, see here) outlines how agrichemical firms have spent more than $100 million since 2012 on political and PR campaigns to shift the media narrative on GMOs. The non-profit food research group is now calling on media to accurately report that the science on GMOs is contradictory and has been largely controlled by corporations that profit from GMO seeds and the pesticides that go with them.
Stacy Malkan, media director of US Right to Know says:

“Unfortunately, many members of the media, and even some scientists, have been snookered by PR firms about a supposed scientific consensus on GMOs that doesn’t exist.”

Part of the PR campaign takes place on prominent websites that forward the notion that the debate on GMOs has been settled. The claim is based on the premise that there is a consensus on GMO safety within the ‘scientific community’, which has been fuelled by the results of two much publicised ‘big list’ reviews that supposedly give GMOs the green light on safety.

According to the first review by Nicolia and colleagues, some 1,700 studies show GMOs are safe for human and animal health and the environment. The second review is promoted on the claim that trillions of GMO meals eaten indicate that there is no health risk to food producing animals or humans.

Despite the claims, those 1,700 studies do not indicate that GMOs are safe (see here to discover that many even indicate risks: GMO Myths and Truths (pp. 102–126.). Moreover, the methodology, evidence and conclusions from the ‘trillion meal’ review have been deconstructed to reveal that it too shows nothing of what the pro-GMO lobby claims it does (see here). In fact, the review has been described as ‘junk’. 

These ‘big list’ reviews are being used for the purpose of pro-corporate PR spin passed off as sound science by a lobby group that constantly attacks its critics for relying on emotion, ideology and lies. However, as documented here and here, it is the pro-GMO lobby that engages in such tactics by distorting and censoring science, capturing regulatory bodies, attacking scientists whose findings are unpalatable to the industry and bypassing proper scientific and regulatory procedures altogether.

Similarly, US Right to Know’s report ‘Seedy Business’ shows how science can be swayed, bought or biased by the agrichemical industry in many ways, such as suppressing adverse findings, harming the careers of scientists who produce such findings, controlling the funding that shapes what research is conducted, the lack of independent US-based testing of health and environmental risks of GMOs and tainting scientific reviews of GMOs by conflicts of interest.

The pro-GMO lobby is engaged in a propaganda crusade carried out on the web and in the print media by slick media communications personnel or scientists who promote themselves as ‘objective’ when nothing could be further from the truth in certain cases (for example, see this and this).

Making grandiose statements based on gross misrepresentations that are guaranteed to grab media headlines on the back of ‘big list’ reviews are designed to play on the public’s ignorance.

“Assembling big lists of studies supposedly providing overwhelming evidence of the safety of GMOs has become common practice by GMO proponents… The success of the tactic depends on the reading public failing to examine the actual studies and seeing what they say.” Claire Robinson (here).

In challenging the ‘scientific’ claims of the pro-GMO lobby, Claire Robinson adds:

“… authors should re-learn the basic scientific principle of citing a specific data point to support each claim they make about GMO safety. The problem for them is that doing so would cause their entire house of cards to collapse.”

US Right to Know urges people to read a January 24 statement published in the journal Environmental Sciences Europe, which has been signed by 300 scientists, physicians and scholars that asserts there is no scientific consensus on the safety of GMOs (see here).

This statement says that the claim of scientific consensus on GMOs frequently repeated in the media is “an artificial construct that has been falsely perpetuated” to propagate the belief that debate on the topic is “over.” That claim “…is misleading and misrepresents or outright ignores the currently available scientific evidence and the broad diversity of scientific opinions among scientists on this issue,” according to the statement.

The statement goes on to make numerous important points, including: 

1) There are no epidemiological studies investigating potential health effects of GMO food on human health. With no epidemiological studies, claims that “trillions of GMO meals” have been eaten with no ill effects have no scientific basis.

2) GMO studies are frequently mischaracterized as showing safety. For example, the EU Research Project, which has been internationally cited as providing evidence of GMO safety, was not designed to test safety and provides no reliable evidence of safety. Another example is the false claim that “hundreds of studies” listed on the biotechnology website Biofortified demonstrate GMO safety. In fact, many of the studies on that list do not address safety concerns at all and several of the studies raise serious concerns.

3) The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and UN’s Codex Alimentarius share a precautionary approach to GMO crops and foods, in that they agree that genetic engineering differs from conventional breeding and that safety assessments should be required before GM organisms are used in food or released into the environment.

4) Claims that government and scientific organizations endorse safety are often exaggerated or inaccurate. For example, an expert panel of the Royal Society of Canada said it is “scientifically unjustifiable” to presume that GM foods are safe without rigorous scientific testing. 

5) A report by the British Medical Association concluded that “many unanswered questions remain” about the long-term effects of GMOs on human health and the environment and that “safety concerns cannot, as yet, be dismissed completely on the basis of information currently available.”

6) There is no consensus on environmental impacts of GMOs, and many concerns have been raised about increased herbicide use, potential health impacts and the rapid spread of herbicide-resistant weeds.

The joint statement concludes:

“…the totality of scientific research outcomes in the field of GM crop safety is nuanced; complex; often contradictory or inconclusive; confounded by researchers’ choices, assumptions, and funding sources; and, in general, has raised more questions than it has currently answered… [Decisions on whether to continue and expand GMO crops should] be supported by strong scientific evidence… obtained in a manner that is honest, ethical, rigorous, independent, transparent, and sufficiently diversified to compensate for bias… [rather than based on] misleading and misrepresentative claims by an internal circle of likeminded stakeholders that a ‘scientific consensus’ exists on GMO safety.”

For a comprehensive overview of the myths and misrepresentations forwarded by the pro-GMO lobby and the actual reality of the situation, consult this report:


Also see from IndiaGMInfo: 

Corporate Power Grab: The Wild Claims and PR Spin of the Pro-GMO Lobby

Colin Todhunter RINF Alternative News A recent report by US Right to Know (‘Seedy Business: What Big Food is Hiding with Its Slick PR Campaign on GMOs’,...

Demonizing Scientists And Opponents Of GMOs: The Cheap Propaganda Of The Pro-GMO Lobby


RINF, Countercurrents 17/2/2015, Global Research, The 4th Media 19/2/2015

The pro-GMO lobby always demands that its opponents produce scientific evidence to back up their claims. Parts of this lobby smear and attack people like Vandana Shiva, Professor G.E. Seralini and others for supposedly being incompetent, ‘liars’ or ideological/politically motivated (for example, read this piece on Shiva that calls her a liar, especially the part on farmer suicides - then see the evidence that Shiva provides to back up her claims here).

In its view, anti-GMO campaigners or certain scientists are ignorant, engage in bogus science or are ‘demagogues’ who use emotion and ideological rhetoric to sway opinion.

Let us address these accusations.

The pro-GMO lobby demands its opponents back up their (wild) claims with peer-reviewed studies.


The pro-GMO lobby says the debate on GMOs is over because there is a scientific consensus on their efficacy among the ‘scientific community’.

Another bogus accusation. See here for evidence pertaining to a lack of consensus.

GMO supporters argue that GMOs can prevent hunger, while trendy 'elitist' activists are merely serving to steal the food from people’s mouths.

See here for the evidence that says GMOs are actually causing food insecurity, see here to discover that GMOs are not required to feed the hungry millions and see here to read that ‘eco farming’ is a much more suitable and sustainable strategy that could double food production within a decade. Also see this report based on the input of over 400 scientists that took four years to complete, which was twice peer reviewed, and states we must look to small-holder, traditional farming (not GMOs) to deliver food security in poorer countries through agri-ecological systems which are sustainable. Moreover, see here to read about the serious health impacts of GMO-driven agriculture and here to discover how GMO agribusiness is devastating communities and driving genocide and ecocide in South America.

The pro-GMO lobby asserts that it relies solely on peer-reviewed science and dispassionate reason.

While some contest the claims of Vandana Shiva pertaining to farmer suicides, which she supports with statistical evidence and correlations, they then call her a 'liar'. A liar is someone who deliberately sets out to deceive. The evidence she supplies may or may not stack up, but that is open to ongoing debate and interpretation. But the same can be said of many of the studies that the pro-GMO lobby puts forward, which have been contested, see here and in this report here (go to section three of the report), on the basis of conclusions overstepping the evidence or inconvenient findings being dismissed as not significant when they are.

Aside from emotive name calling, where else does emotion, ideology or falsehood play a part in the pro-GMO lobby's side of the debate? That's clear to see if we look at this on Owen Patterson, this on Anne Glover and this on Kevin Folta. In fact, these aspects are quite commonplace.

On a more general level regarding ‘dispassionate reason’ informing the debate, see what former Monsanto boss in India said in this piece in India Today 'Monsanto faked data for its approvals, claims ex-chief'. See here to discover what method it used in Indonesia to force its products into that country. See here and here  to find out how the industry restricts access to its own research conducted on its products. See here to discover how it sidesteps science when its interests are threatened and to gain wider insight into how the GMO agritech sector is distorting scientific practice and debasing the ethos of science.

It seems to be a case of peer-reviewed science to support the anti-GMO case but 'anything 
goes', including science that is anything but open to public scrutiny or peer reviewed (see here), from GMO agritech.

And yet the onslaught by the GMO agritech industry and its mouthpieces against those who legitimately and scientifically contest the claims about the efficacy of GMOs is relentless.

Just ask Arpad Pusztai, P. M. Bhargava, Judy Carman, Terje Traavik, Andrés Carrasco, Ignacio Chapela, Allison Snow, Marc Lappé, Britt Bailey, Bela Darvas and G. E. Seralini. These scientists have all either been threatened, smeared or hindered in their work because their research called into question the safety and/or efficacy of GMOs or associated products (see this ‘GMO researchers attacked, evidence denied and apopulation at risk’).

Such tactics appear to come easy to the pro-GMO lobby. For instance, see here for a revealing description of how the GMO sector sets up front groups and fake identities with the sole aim of attacking scientists and activists or promoting its propaganda.

This is what happens to scientists who attempt to engage with the GMO issue on a scientific or rational level. The hypocrisy of those from the pro-GMO lobby who call for sound science to inform the debate on GMOs is glaringly obvious.

When GMO supporters mount personal attacks and accuse prominent anti-GMO campaigners of being liars, it is useful to ask what credibility they themselves have: for example, bearing in mind the attack on Vandana Shiva mentioned at the start, see this by Tom Philpott on the author of that particular smear piece.

When the GMO agritech sector and its supporters set out to attack others in the ways outlined here, it is a blatant tactic of psychological projection: a self-defence mechanism that denies the existence of such characteristics in itself, while attributing them to others. In other words, those who argue against GMOs are accused of not having science or facts on their side and of engaging in propaganda and lying, while it is clear the pro-GMO lobby that hurls such allegations is itself guilty of such things.

This diversionary tactic of projection goes hand in glove with a strident populist agenda whereby the pro-GMO lobby portrays itself as on the side of the people, while its opponents are ‘elitists’ and are ‘stealing food from the bellies of the poor’. This is a typical tactic of corporate propaganda.

Reality is being twisted to make opponents appear guilty of the things the pro-GMO lobby is engaging in, not least 'elitism' (for example, see this and this on how elite interests are seeking to control global agriculture).

Lace the tactics of projection and populism with an unhealthy dose of cheap, fallacious character assassination and you have the basis for a very transparent and predictable propaganda campaign.


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GMOs, Corporatocentrism And Economic Plunder: The Right To Challenge And Refuse

Countercurrents 23/6/2013

The recently leaked report - ‘Impact of NGOs on Development’ - accuses certain activists and civil organisations in India of working against the national interest by colluding with foreign interests to undermine development and growth [1]. While seeking to cast individuals and groups in a negative light, the report itself is fully supportive of the model of development being pursued. The irony is that the model is based on officialdom working hand in glove with powerful foreign corporations [2], whose purpose is not just financial - to maximise profit - but in the case of the US-backed GMO sector - political: the destruction of traditional farming and the control of the entire food system and populations [3].   

Particular groups and activists are being portrayed as the ‘enemy within’, despite the fact they are exercising their lawful right to challenge and oppose. And they have every reason to challenge what is happening.


Since 1991, when India began to embrace economic neoliberalism, the ratio between the top and bottom ten percents of wage distribution has doubled. This doubling of income inequality over the past 20 years has made India one of the worst performers in the category of emerging economies [4]. Today, India’s top ten billionaires account for over 12 percent of the country’s GDP, while 7,850 High Net Worth individuals account for US$935 billion, half of India’s GDP [5]. Meanwhile illicit money has been accelerating into Swiss bank accounts [6], around half of children under the age of five are underweight [7] and much of rural Indiafaces economic distress with hundreds of thousands of farmers having committed suicide largely due to debt, reliance on (GM) cash crops and the impact of economic ‘liberalisation’ [8]. India’s high GDP growth figures have barely if at all positively impacted 80 percent of the population and hundreds of millions still live near or below the poverty line [9].


With corruption and violence a prominent feature of the ‘development’ model being forced through [10], should not the increasing destruction of livelihoods, inequality and the siphoning of wealth towards a relative few be regarded as the true ‘enemy within’? Is the type of ‘development’ that allows for this to happen not a form of extremism that is too often regarded as being anything but?  


All that stands between a corporate takeover of many nations’ seeds and agriculture is the committed work of the not-for-profit sector. Note the term ‘not-for-profit’. In India, the royalties accruing to Monsanto that have been expatriated are approximately $800 million in 12 years, which is serving “to hemorrhage India’s agricultural economy” [11].
The impact of global agribusiness and its relentless drive for profit and control across the globe has and continues to undermine food security by displacing the bedrock of food production - small farmers - while destroying cultures and stripping people of their independence [12,13]. Hundreds of millions depend on agriculture for a living throughout the world, yet many are being swept from their lands: to do what? Deemed ‘surplus to requirements’ in rural areas and deemed ‘surplus to requirements’ once in the cities? It’s no coincidence that GMO big biotech owns the Epicyte (sterility) gene and has deep historical links with powerful eugenicists who have conspired to shape modern agriculture with concerns about ‘third world’ overpopulation in mind [14]. Little wonder that in Russia GMO production and distribution is being likened to acts of bio-terror [15].
Before driving farmers from their lands, Noam Chomsky argues we should learn from our past:
“We can draw many very good lessons from the early period of the Industrial Revolution… independent farmers were being driven into the industrial system. Men and women… bitterly resented it… The people driven into the industrial system regarded it as an attack on their personal dignity, on their rights as human beings. They were free human beings being forced into what they called ‘wage labor,’ which they regarded as not very different from chattel slavery.” [16]

A similar process is occurring in many countries today and is underpinned by an arrogance that privileges the dominant mode of ‘development’ over indigenous knowledge and practices that have by and large allowed people to live sustainably with nature and the environment for thousands of years. Chomsky says:


This is the first time in human history that we have the capacity to destroy the conditions for decent survival. It is already happening. Look at species destruction. It is estimated to be at about the level of 65 million years ago when an asteroid hit the earth, ended the period of the dinosaurs and wiped out a huge number of species. It is the same level today. And we are the asteroid… There are sectors of the global population trying to impede the global catastrophe. There are other sectors trying to accelerate it. Take a look at whom they are. Those who are trying to impede it are the ones we call backward, indigenous populations - the First Nations in Canada, the aboriginals in Australia, the tribal people in India. Who is accelerating it? The most privileged, so-called advanced, educated populations of the world.” 

 

 
Underpinning the arrogance of such a mindset is what Vandana Shiva calls a Cartesian, patriarchal-based view of the world, which encourages humans to regard themselves as separate from nature and thus able to dominate and control it:
“Corporations as the dominant institution shaped by capitalist patriarchy thrive on eco-apartheid. They thrive on the Cartesian legacy of dualism which puts nature against humans. It defines nature as female and passively subjugated. Corporatocentrism is thus also androcentric - a patriarchal construction. The false universalism of man as conqueror and owner of the Earth has led to the technological hubris of geo-engineering, genetic engineering, and nuclear energy. It has led to the ethical outrage of owning life forms through patents, water through privatization, the air through carbon trading. It is leading to appropriation of the biodiversity that serves the poor.” [17]

And therein lies the true enemy: the system that facilitates such plunder, which is presided over by well-funded and influential foreign foundations and powerful financial-corporate entities and their stooges in the IMF, World Bank and WTO.

Yet it is activists and NGOs who advocate a different path that are attacked and smeared. We shouldn’t be surprised however because nation states have long been involved in the monitoring and subversion of legitimate democratic groups on their own soils that seek to challenge unjust hegemonic views and practices [18]. Legitimate protest poses a challenge to elite interests and that cannot be tolerated. In India, as has been the case elsewhere, a mass surveillance system is thus being rolled out, despite issues surrounding lack of oversight, transparency, legality and the violation of privacy safeguards [19,20,21].


In order to press ahead and open economies to private concerns, proponents of economic neoliberalism are always fond of stating that ‘regulatory blockages’ must be removed. The continued pursuit of such economic policies serves to widen the chasm between rich and poor and is putting the livelihoods of hundreds of millions at risk [22]. If particular ‘blockages’ stemming from legitimate protest and dissent cannot be dealt with by peaceful means, other methods will be used. When increasing mass surveillance or widespread ideological attempts to discredit and smear do not secure compliance or dilute the power of protest, beefed up ‘homeland security’ and paramilitary force is an ever-present option [23,24].


Across the globe, powerful corporations and their compliant politicians seek to sweep away peoples and their indigenous knowledge and culture in the chase for profit and control. They call this ‘development’. They will allow no one to stand in their way.     


Notes

[6] http://www.gfintegrity.org/report/country-case-study-india/

[12]http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2267255/gm_crops_are_driving_genocide_and_ecocide_keep_them_out_of_the_eu.html

[13]http://www.grain.org/article/entries/4929-hungry-for-land-small-farmers-feed-the-world-with-less-than-a-quarter-of-all-farmland

[14] http://www.globalresearch.ca/doomsday-seed-vault-in-the-arctic-2/23503

[17]http://www.spaziofilosofico.it/numero-07/2959/economy-revisited-will-green-be-the-colour-of-money-or-life/

[22]http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-transatlantic-trade-and-investment-partnership-a-thatcherite-revolution-free-trade-corporate-plunder-and-the-war-on-working-people/5386784


[24]http://www.globalresearch.ca/martial-law-and-the-economy-is-homeland-security-preparing-for-the-next-wall-street-collapse/5353267

Criminalising Dissent against GMOs and Monsanto

Colin Todhunter  RINF Alternative News Before being voted out of office this year, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance administration sanctioned open-field trials of 200 GM food...

Criminalising Dissent In India Against GMOs And Monsanto

Global Research and Countercurrents 20/6/2014, The 4th Media 22/6/2014

Before being voted out of office this year, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance administration sanctioned open-field trials of 200 GM food crops in India. Monsanto’s shares rocketed as a result (1). This decision prompted Rajesh Krishnan of the Coalition for a GM Free India to state that government was against the interest of citizens, farmers and the welfare of the nation. Instead, it has decided to work hand in glove with the multinational GM seed industry that stands to gain immensely from the numerous open field trails of GM crops.

Filmmaker Mahesh Batt called Minister Moily, who sanctioned the decision, a “corporate mole” and the Coalition for a GM Free India and Greenpeace condemned Moily's action as "unscientific, anti-people and reeking of vested interests."


Moily’s decision was set against the backdrop of the Supreme Court appointed Technical Expert Committee (TEC) recommending a ten-year moratorium on GM organism approvals till scientifically robust protocols, independent and competent institutions to assess risks and a strong regulatory system were developed. It recommended an indefinite stoppage of all open field trials of GM crops. The Committee insisted that the government bring in independence, scientific expertise, transparency, rigour and participative democracy into GMO regulation and policy.


Environmentalist Aruna Rodrigues points out the risks and drawbacks of GMOs by stating that there is increasing evidence of the health and environment risks from these crops; GM yields are significantly lower than yields from non-GM crops; and pesticide use, the great ‘industry’ claim on these GM crops, instead of coming down, has gone up exponentially. Rodrigues argues that in India, notwithstanding the hype of the industry, the regulators and the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), Bt cotton yield is levelling off to levels barely higher than they were before the introduction of Bt (2).


Rodrigues wants to know where is the advantage and why are we experimenting given all the attendant risks. We have hard evidence from every UN study and particularly the World Bank-funded International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge and Science for Development Report, which India signed in 2008. 

She adds:

“The IAASTD was the work of over 400 scientists and took four years to complete. It was twice peer reviewed. The report states we must look to small-holder, traditional farming (not GMOs) to deliver food security in third world countries through agri-ecological systems which are sustainable. Governments must invest in these systems. This is the clear evidence.”

The MoA strongly opposed the TEC Committee’s report. This, according to Rodrigues, was to be expected given the conflict of interests:

“The Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) promotes public-private-partnerships with the biotechnology industry. It does this with the active backing of the Ministry of Science and Technology. The MoA has handed Monsanto and the industry access to our agri-research public institutions placing them in a position to seriously influence agri-policy in India. You cannot have a conflict of interest larger or more alarming than this one. Today, Monsanto decides which Bt cotton hybrids are planted and where. Monsanto owns over 90 per cent of planted cotton seed, all of it Bt cotton.”


All the other staggering scams rocking the nation do have the possibility of recovery and reversal, but, as Rodrigues argues, the GM scam will be of a scale hitherto unknown:

“We have had the National Academies of Science give a clean chit of biosafety to GM crops - doing that by using paragraphs lifted wholesale from the industry’s own literature! Likewise, ministers who know nothing about the risks of GMOs have similarly sung the virtues of Bt Brinjal and its safety to an erstwhile Minister of Health. They have used, literally, “cut & paste” evidence from the biotech lobby’s “puff” material. Are these officials then, “un-caged corporate parrots?”

Arun Shrivastava notes that as early as 2003, when the first ever Bt cotton crop was harvested in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, Gene Campaign evaluated the performance of Bt Cotton (3). These studies proved that GE seeds don’t increase yield. He goes on to note that the impleadment to ban GMOs was backed by 6.5 million farmers through their respective associations. It was admitted by the Supreme Court in April 2007 and contains a long list of hard scientific evidences.


Shrivastava states that the Standing Committee on Agriculture in Parliament unanimously and unequivocally concluded that GE seeds and foods are dangerous to human, animal and environmental health and directed the Government of Manmohan Singh to ban GMOs. The 400-page report was submitted to Parliament in October 2012 (4).


As is the case in the UK (5), officialdom in India is working closely with global biotech companies to force GMOs into fields and onto the public, despite evidence pertaining to the deleterious impacts of GMOs on various levels (6,7,8). These companies are in fact playing a key role in determining the overall development agenda for India (9,10,11).


New report attacks anti-GMO activists and organisations


Given the evidence pertaining to the risks and efficacy of GMOs, organisations and activists opposing such crops are being singled out for putting a break on development and growth and for being in the pocket of foreign interests.

A recent Intelligence Bureau (IB) leaked report, ‘Impact of NGOs on Development’, has a special section on GMOs and is clearly supportive of the introduction of GM crops into Indian agriculture. The IB said foreign NGOs and their Indian arms were serving as tools to advance Western foreign policy interests in various areas, of which GMOs comprise one aspect.

In response to the report, Aruna Rodrigues, Vandana Shiva and Kavitha Kuruganti, who were all mentioned in the report, released a statement that turned the tables on the IB by saying that it is conspiring with global corporate interests to haemorrhage India's agricultural economy (12). The report quotes Dr Ronald Herring of Cornell University, who is a known promoter of genetically-modified organisms and Monsanto’s monopoly. Speaking to The Statesman newspaper in India, Aruna Rodrigues said:

"Here is a real foreign hand that informs the IB report. Cornell University, where Dr Herring works, was one of the main forces, along with USAID and Monsanto, behind the making of Bt brinjal in India." (13)
 


Their joint statement goes on to say:

“… the biggest foreign hand by ‘STEALTH’ and official ‘COVER-UP’ will be in GMOs/GM crops if introduced into Indian agriculture. All that stands between a corporate takeover of our seeds and agriculture is the committed and exemplary work by the not-for-profit sector… In conspiring with deeply conflicted institutions of regulation, governance and agriculture… to introduce GM crops into India, the IB will in fact aid the hand-over of the ownership of our seeds and foods to multi-national corporations. This will represent the largest take-over of any nation’s agriculture and future development by foreign-hands… (and)… will plunge India into the biggest breach of internal security; of a biosecurity threat and food security crisis from which we will never recover…. GM crops have already demonstrated no yield gain, no ability to engineer for traits of drought, saline resistance etc and have some serious bio-safety issues which no regulator wishes to examine.”
 


The statement says that India’s Bt cotton is an outstanding example of the above scenario:

“This ‘VALUE CAPTURE’ for Monsanto which was contrived and approved by our own government mortgaging the public interest has ensured that in a short 10 years, 95% of cotton seeds in the form of Bt cotton are owned by Monsanto… It is Monsanto now that decides where cotton should be planted and when by our farmers… The Royalties accruing to Monsanto that have been expatriated are approximately Rs 4800 Crores in 12 years, (excluding other profit mark-ups)… The IB is thus conspiring with global corporate interests to hemorrhage India’s agricultural economy… We call for an investigation on the foreign influence in writing the GMO section in the IB report.”
 


The statement concludes:

“If India’s intelligence agencies become instruments of global corporations working against the public interest and national interest of India, our national security is under threat. This IB report is deeply anti-national and subversive of constitutional rights of citizens in our country. It does India no credit.” 
Criminalising dissent

The leaked IB report has been sent to the Prime Minister's Office, the Home Minister, the National Security Adviser, the Finance Minister and others. Apart from attacking those campaigning against GMOs, the report accuses Greenpeace and other groups of receiving foreign funds to damage economic progress by campaigning against power projects and mining.

The IB is India’s domestic spy service and garners intelligence from within India and also executes counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism tasks. Its report attempts to portray certain NGOs and activists as working against the ‘national interest’ and being in the pay of foreigners. Discrediting certain sections of civil society as being ‘unpatriotic’, by working to undermine some bogus notion of the ‘national interest’, always sits well with ruling elites that are all too ready to play the nationalist card to garner support. Yet, in this case the report itself sides with powerful foreign corporations and, as far as GMOs are concerned, their agenda to secure control over Indian agriculture. Whose interest does that serve?

Those who are exercising their democratic right to challenge and protest corporate-driven policies that are all too often based on staggering levels of corruption and rampant cronyism (14) - and are thus non-transparent and secretive - are being discredited and smeared in the report. However, this should come as no surprise. Various nation states have used their intelligence agencies to monitor, subvert and undermine grass-root activists and civil organizations that have (by acting legitimately and within the law) attempted to hold power holders to account (15). Governments the world over have a tendency to dislike genuine democracy and transparency.  

Greenpeace India was singled out for particular criticism in the report and has responded by saying:

"We believe that this report is designed to muzzle and silence civil society who raise their voices against injustices to people and the environment by asking uncomfortable questions about the current model of growth." (16)
 


Massive human rights abuses, violent oppression and the trampling of democracy in order to push through various industrial projects have been a feature of various administrations in recent decades (17). The clamping down on funding for NGOs and attempts to dampen dissent is nothing new. But the leaking of the IB report is timely. The new Modi administration seeks to speed up projects and the opening of India’s economy to private interests and to more fully embrace the tenets of neo-liberal economic doctrine (18). The report signals that even tougher times lie ahead for civil society and ordinary people who seek to hold officialdom to account as it continues to acquiesce to powerful corporate interests.


Notes

4)      “Cultivation of Genetically Modified Food Crops,” Committee on Agriculture, 37th Report, August 2012. Summary of the report: http://www.gmwatch.eu/index.php/report-on-gm-crops-and-food-security-from-india-s-parliamentary-standing-committee-on-agriculture



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The GMO Biotech Lobby Is Kicking Open The Door To Europe

Global Research 6/6/2014, Countercurrents 7/6/2014

The proposal to hand back some decision powers to member states of the European Union regarding GMO approvals is currently being discussed (1). It will be voted on by member states on 12 June. According to Corporate Europe Observatory, biotech firms regard it as an opportunity to break the stalemate and finally get their GM crops growing in Europe's fields. The proposal has the biotech lobby's fingerprints all over it (2).


The proposal states that for a member state to ban a GMO, it would first have to ask the GM company itself not to market it in its territory. If the company does not agree, the member state's second option is to give certain policy arguments, from a limited set of possibilities. Apart from granting biotech companies the power to resist policies and decisions made by democratically elected governments, the fear is that the types of arguments that governments will be allowed to put forward will bring about legal uncertainty and may simply be swept aside when challenged in court (2). If the company doesn’t want its product to be banned, the concern is that the new system will be designed to work in its favour and sovereign governments will be powerless to act.


Documents obtained via Freedom of Information (FoI) acts by GeneWatch in the UK show how the biotech lobby group EuropaBio has been advocating this approach for two years. One of the documents obtained, 'A new strategy on GM issues', concludes that a fresh approach is needed to break the deadlock on GM crops inEurope. In short this involves:


i) An "amended nationalisation proposal" putting as a condition that member states can only apply for a national ban if they have first asked the company to refrain from marketing the GM crop in their country, and if the company has refused.


ii) Allowing a contamination threshold agreed on by member states to allow the presence of unauthorised GMOs in seeds (this is already the case for animal feed, but not yet for food and seeds).


iii) EU member states should no longer vote against a GM crop application (even when they are against it) at a European level if they can use one i) or ii) to gain a national ban.


Fearing that this strategy is merely an attempt to bypass and weaken the current regulatory framework and pick off countries individually, Liz O’Neill of GM Freeze states:

This is all about getting more GM crops into the ground more quickly. Collective decision making hasn’t allowed GM crops to be grown widely in the EU because the majority of EU countries don’t want them.”

Dr Helen Wallace of GeneWatch concludes that the UK Government has been working closely with the GM industry "to get a Monsanto-friendly version of the opt-out.” The industry and the UKgovernment are striving to break the deadlock in decisions on GM approvals for cultivation. She says:

“If member states back down from highlighting the environmental harms of RoundUp Ready GM crops, these could be fast-tracked into the ground in some parts of Europe… We need to be improving the GM risk assessments not facilitating contamination of food, feed and seed in the European market with GM crops that nobody wants.”
Collusion between the biotech lobby and government


The set of documents released to GeneWatch indicate a very cosy relationship between the lobby groups EuropaBio and the Agricultural Biotechnology Council (ABC) and the GM team within the UK Ministry of Environment DEFRA. They highlight a series of secretive industry-government meetings and agreements that the public was meant to remain in the dark over.  


The ABC is a UK-based lobby group whose membership only comprises the six largest agrochemical multinationals: BASF, Bayer, Dow AgroSciences, Monsanto, Pioneer (DuPont) and Syngenta. The ABC is a member of EuropaBio.


GeneWatch has published a detailed assessment (3) of the many emails released following their FoI request regarding the UK industry lobby’s dealings with the government. They show the extent of receptiveness of people inside the government to industry influence on issues like science and research funding, GM regulation and the pro-GM Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).


Owen Paterson is praised in one EuropaBio letter for his "vocal leadership" on GM issues. Paterson was appointed Secretary of State for the Environment in the same year, in September 2012. He has subsequently been accused of being an industry puppet and of totally misrepresenting the reality and efficacy of GMOs (4). Moreover, under Paterson’s leadership, the UK Government has changed its position on the national opt out from being opposed to being in favour.


On a European level, Chief Scientific Advisor to the EU President Anne Glover is also forwarding the case for the GM industry. LikePaterson, her ‘vocal leadership’ is also based on falsehoods and misrepresentations (5).


The GM sector - via DEFRA, the ABC, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Science and Technology in Agriculture (6), strategically placed scientists with their ‘independent’ reports (7) and the industry-backed Science Media Centre (8) - is mounting a full-fledged assault onBritain.


Contamination risks


Shifting from a Europe-wide ban on GMOs to national bans could not only lead to allowing GM crops into Europe, but could also pose other problems. GM Freeze recently launched a briefing that highlights the very real risk of cross-border contamination between GM and non-GM food crops.

The briefing ‘Contamination Matters - Why GM can’t be managed at a national level’ (9) has been published in advance of the EU vote on 12 June. It highlights the risks associated with cross-border contamination by examining three detailed examples of real contamination events that caused significant disruption to food supply, farmers’ livelihoods and the broader agricultural economy, including international trade. The contamination incidents detailed in the briefing involve experimental GM strains of American rice, Chinese rice and Canadian flax. All were supposed to be grown under tightly controlled trial conditions but ended up in food.


GM Freeze Director Liz O’Neill comments:

“The idea of individual countries being able to ban GM sounds appealing, but sadly it won’t work. Pollen and seed don’t respect national boundaries any more than they give way on a roundabout, and experience shows that once the GM genie is out there we cannot put it back in the bottle. The costs can be huge.”
Letting the ‘genie out of the bottle; is exactly what the GMO sector wants, though. Contamination works to its advantage (10), has worked to its advantage and is an issue that is affecting the entire globe (11,12).


Liz O’Neill is concerned that many people don’t understand what a ‘yes’ to this proposal on 12 June would mean:

“GM supporters, including our own Environment Minister Owen Paterson, are throwing away the whole concept of a common market to further their own support for a technology that raises far more questions than it answers. Their refusal to first put in place a reasonable, clear liability regime to protect the food system and the environment speaks volumes.”
Such concerns mirror what is happening elsewhere in the world, not least in India. There, 200 crops are to be open field tested, despite warnings from the Supreme Court appointed Technical Expert Committee and recommendations about risks, protocols and regulations (13).


As is the case with the UK, in India GMO biotech corporations are forming government backed ‘public-private partnerships’ to gain a financially lucrative, strategic stranglehold in agriculture, not least in setting the research and policy development agenda, in an attempt to force GM products into the country (14,15). And, as in the UK, the whole situation reeks of vested interests and the government working hand in glove with the GMO biotech sector (16)


Environmentalist Aruna Rodrigues may be speaking about India in the following passage, but her words could also easily apply to other countries, not least the UK:

“Ministries, least of all ‘promoting’ Ministries, should not have the authority to allow the novel technology of GMOs into Indian agriculture bypassing authentic democratic processes. Those processes require the widest possible and transparent consultation… After all, it is every woman, man and child, and our animals, an entire nation that will quite literally have to eat the outcome of a GM policy that delivers up our agriculture to it: if a GMO is unsafe, it will remain irreversibly unsafe. And it will remain in the environment and that is another dimension of impact.” (17)
From Indiato Europe, democratic processes are being bypassed, the public is being sidelined and lied to and agriculture is being delivered up to powerful biotech corporations. This issue is global. It affects everyone.


Be informed and take action:




Notes




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The Double Standards And Crumbling Myths Of The GMO Biotech Setor

Global Research 19/5/2014 and Countercurrents 20/5/2014

The GMO biotech sector is involved in a multi-pronged campaign to influence governments and the public about the benefits of its products. It uses various means.


It sets up or infiltrates institutions and co-opts prominent political and scientific figures to do its bidding (1). It hijacks regulatory and policy making bodies (2,3). With help from the US Government, it assumes strategic importance in international trade negotiations and is then able to set a policy and research agenda, as has been the case in India with the Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture and the funding of agricultural research within the country (4,5). It is shaping ‘free’ trade agreements to its own advantage (6). It mounts personal attacks on and tries to discredit key scientists who question its claims (7,8). And it arguably regards contamination as a means of trying to eventually render the whole debate about GMOS meaningless (9).


With its huge financial resources and the full backing of the US State Department (10), the sector is a formidable force. However, despite all its wealth and influence, it is turning out to be a bad week for the GMO biotech industry.


When is good science bad science and bad science good science? When the industry says so


In 2012, a study led by Professor Gilles Seralini called into question the safety of GMOs and Round Up herbicide. The paper that conveyed the results was last year retracted by a prestigious scientific journal (11). The publisher of Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT), Elsevier, has now compelled the journal editor A. Wallace Hayes to publish a right of reply by the Séralini team.


According to the Séralini team, the editor of FCT uses double standards when it comes to publishing in favour of the industry. Hayes retracted the study despite the fact that he found neither fraud nor conscious misinterpretation. In a new article published in FCT, the scientists explain why they do not accept his conclusion. They denounce the lack of scientific validity of the reasons given for the retraction, explain why the Sprague-Dawley rat strain used is appropriate and describe the statistical results in depth concerning the blood and urine parameters affected, proving that the liver and kidney pathologies and the mammary tumours are solidly based.


Hayes justified his retraction by arguing that it is impossible to conclude a link between GMO and cancer, even though the word cancer was never used in the paper. Not all the tumours were cancers but they nevertheless brought death through internal haemorrhages and compressions of vital organs. Hayes also argued that ten rats per group, of the Sprague-Dawley strain, did not allow the level of statistical strength to conclude about the toxicity of the GMO and Roundup. But FCT has published two studies (Hammond & al., 2004; and Zhang & al., 2014) measuring the same number of rats of the same strain, without calling into question the strength of the statistics, let alone their conclusion – that the GMOs tested were safe.


The recent study by Zhang et al, like the study by Séralini et al, measures the potential chronic effects of the consumption of a GMO (transgenic rice producing a modified Bt insecticide). It uses the same strain and measures the same number of rats. The only substantive difference was in the results: Zhang and colleagues concluded that the GMO under test was safe.


Professor Séralini says:

“We are forced to conclude that the decision to withdraw our paper was based on unscientific double standards applied by the editor. These double standards can only be explained by pressure from the GMO and agrochemical industry to force acceptance of GMOs and Roundup. The most flagrant illustration is the appointment of Richard Goodman, a former Monsanto employee, onto the FCT editorial board, soon after the publication of the NK603 study. Worse, this pro-industry bias also affects regulatory authorities, such as EFSA (European Food Safety Authority), which gives favourable opinions on risky products based on mediocre studies commissioned by the companies wishing to commercialize the products, as well as systematically dismissing the findings of independent scientists which cast doubt on their safety.”

Genetically modified crops and foods are neither safe nor necessary to feed the world


On the same day that the Seralini team issued its press release on the matter (19 May), a new report was released saying that genetically modified crops and foods are neither safe nor even necessary to feed the world.


The second edition of GMO Myths and Truths, co-authored by genetic engineers Dr John Fagan and Dr Michael Antoniou and researcher Claire Robinson, has been published as a free online download by the sustainability and science policy platform Earth Open Source (12).

John Fagan, one of the report’s authors, said: 

“The GMO debate is far from being over, as some GMO proponents claim. Instead the evidence of risk and actual harm from GM foods and crops to health and the environment has grown in the two years since we brought out the first edition. The good news is that GMOs are not needed to feed the world. The report shows that there are far better ways of ensuring a safe and sustainable food supply.”
The report’s main findings are as follows.

1) The report debunks the claims by pro-GMO lobbyists that 1,700 studies show GM foods are as safe. The studies show nothing of the sort. Many of them not only show evidence of risk, but the review also excludes or glosses over important scientific controversies over GMO safety issues. (See page102 of the new report.)

2) A review purportedly showing that GM foods are safe on the basis of long-term animal studies actually shows evidence of risk and uses unscientific double standards to reach a conclusion that is not justified by the data. (p. 161)

3) A laboratory study in human cells shows that very low levels of glyphosate (the main chemical ingredient of Roundup herbicide, which most GM crops are engineered to tolerate) mimicked the hormone estrogen and stimulated the growth of breast cancer cells. The level of glyphosate that had this effect was below the level allowed in drinking water in Europe and far below the level allowed in the USA. It was also below the level found in GM glyphosate-tolerant soy, which is imported into Europe for animal feed and human food. If confirmed in animal studies, this finding would overturn regulatory assumptions of safe levels of glyphosate. (p. 221)

4) Séralini’s study is far stronger and more detailed than many industry studies that are accepted as proof of safety for GMOs. The European Food Safety Authority had to reject the study in order to protect its own previous opinions on this and other GMOs, for reasons explained in the report. The findings of this study, if confirmed, would overturn regulatory assumptions of safe levels of glyphosate and Roundup. (pp. 94, 147)

5) Claims that an EU-funded research project shows GMOs are safe are not evidence-based, since the project did not even test the safety of any commercialized GMOs. Some animal testing data gathered by the project actually reveal health risks from the GMOs tested. (p. 166)


6) Claims that Europe is becoming a “museum” of farming because of its reluctance to embrace GM crops are shown to be nonsensical by research showing that Europe’s mostly non-GM agriculture out-yields the USA’s mostly GM agriculture with less pesticide use. The USA is falling behind Europe in terms of productivity and sustainability. (pp. 232–233)


7) Risks from an important new type of GMO that is designed to silence genes are not being properly assessed by regulators. (p. 78)


8) Contrary to claims by GMO proponents, the real reason GM golden rice isn’t available has nothing to do with anti-GMO activists and everything to do with basic research and development problems. (p. 197)


9) Conventional breeding continues to outstrip GM in delivering crops that yield well, resist disease, are nutritious and tolerate drought and other types of extreme weather. (pp. 284, 318–321)


10) Crop genetics are only part of the solution to our food and agriculture challenges. The other part is agro-ecological farming methods that build soil and focus on growing a diversity of naturally healthy and resilient crops. (p. 303)

Author Michael Antoniou said: 

“There is evidence that Roundup, even at the low levels permitted in food and drinking water, could lead to serious effects on health over time, such as liver and kidney toxicity. Based on this evidence, it appears that the levels of exposure currently held as safe by regulators around the world are questionable.”
Author Claire Robinson said: 

“The GMO industry is built on myths. What is the motivation behind the deception? Money. GM crops and foods are easy to patent and are an important tool in the global consolidation of the seed and food industry into the hands of a few big companies. We all have to eat, so selling patented GM seed and the chemicals they are grown with is a lucrative business model. GMO Myths and Truths offers a one-stop resource for the public, campaigners, policy-makers, and scientists opposing the GMO industry’s attempts to control our food supply and shut down scientific and public debate.”
The report’s authors are not alone in doubting the safety of GMOs. In late 2013, nearly 300 scientists and legal experts signed a statement affirming that there was “No scientific consensus on GMO safety.” (13)

It all raises the question: if there is no consensus, and there clearly is not, if double standards exist, and they certainly do, then why are we, the public, and for that matter the environment, being used as guinea pigs in a massive experiment?

We know why. It is an agenda that is based on arm-twisting, deception, false promises, duplicity and flawed science to benefit the bottom line of a handful of commercial enterprises and the wider geo-political aim of controlling the planet’s food supply.


Notes




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Global Research and Countercurrents 11/5/2014

British Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary Owen Paterson is a staunch supporter of the GM sector (1). Despite criticisms of him being an industry puppet (2) and content to ignore the devastating, deleterious health, environmental, social and agricultural impacts of GMOs (3), both he and other officials like the EU’s chief science advisor Anne Glover (4) have been more than happy to act as mouthpieces for the GM sector by making false statements and claims about the benefits and safety of GMOs that fly in the face of scientific findings.

Paterson’s support for GMOs is being carried out in partnership with a number of institutions, including the Agricultural Biotechnology Council (ABC), which is backed by GM companies such as Monsanto, Syngenta and Bayer CropScience (5).


Evidence recently emerged of meetings and briefings involving ministers and the ABC and its industry backers, despite no such meetings with groups worried about the impact of GM on human health and the countryside. In response, GeneWatch UK made a Freedom of Information request to find out what was said at the briefings.Paterson’s department refused to give details. GeneWatch lodged a formal complaint with the Information Commissioner in the hope that ministers will be forced to admit how GM companies are driving government policy. The evidence strongly suggested that the Government is colluding with the GM industry to manipulate the media and plot the return of GM crops to Britain.


Paterson’s department refused to provide details of a telephone conference between the department and the ABC on June 10 last year. Ten days later, Paterson made a speech calling for opposition to be dropped and claiming GM crops and food were ‘probably safer’ than the conventional equivalent. It also refused to release a “message on media suggestions” sent by the ABC to the ministry last April, or details of discussions between Monsanto and the ministry two months before. In addition, his ministry would not provide details of a meeting and emails between former environment minister David Heath and the ABC.


However, details of certain emails have now been made public. They reveal what the veil of secrecy is trying to hide and what many strongly suspected: collusion between the government and the GM sector is rife.


The emails between civil servants and the GM industry reveal how the two developed a media strategy to convince the public about the merits of GM food. Writing on the Mail Online website (6), Sean Poulter notes that the email contacts were part of a wider strategy designed to relax European regulations on growing GM crops and spend millions of taxpayers’ money on GM research in British fields. Owen Paterson has pushed for faster approval of new crops and lobbying for public support and has lobbied the EU to allow biotech crops to be planted in Britain even if they are banned elsewhere.


Poulter argues that such support represents a coup for the GM industry and follows a meeting with ministers and researchers in 2012 which came up with a series of ‘to do’ lists.


The GM sector is working to get its products into Britain by infiltrating or creating institutions and co-opting strategically placed politicians and officials in order to influence decision making and manipulate public perception about GM crops. The ABC has been central in influencing government policy. Indeed, Poulter notes that email exchanges often coincided with major announcements by ministers, which shifted government policy in support of GM crops.

Civil servants hosted a meeting with industry leaders in June 2013 to decide how to present the government’s agri-tech strategy. Officials at the Business, Innovations and Skills (BIS) department even emailed the ABC asking for advice on how to promote the policy. Poulter writes that one BIS official asked for “any ideas you may have that will showcase agri-tech – as you are aware it will need to be eye-catching but reflect the main themes of the strategy.”


BIS also created a list of journalists and influential people who should be targeted with information about the new strategy and asked the ABC if it wanted to add any names or flag up “potential pitfalls.” The ABC responded by adding some names, but it also highlighted a number of journalists on the list who had been critical of GM.


The GM sector - via Paterson and his Environment, Food and Rural Affairs department, the BIS, the ABC, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Science and Technology in Agriculture (7), strategically placed scientists with their ‘independent’ reports (8) and the industry-backed Science Media Centre (9) - is mounting a full-fledged assault on Britain.


Its strategy also involves an ongoing attempt to get GM food into the EU via the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP/TAFTA), which is also shrouded in secrecy. The negotiations for this treaty are backed by the US GM sector: it is aimed at dismantling regulations on behalf of big corporations, bypassing democratic procedures and threatening governments with legal action (10-14).


The majority of the British public who express a view on GM food do not want it (15). However, we are experiencing a consistent, multi-pronged attack on democracy that seeks to distort the debate over the GM issue, hijack institutions, co-opt so-called ‘public servants’ and pass off vested commercial interests as the ‘public good’.


The GM sector will only get its products into Britain (and elsewhere) if its institutions and mouthpieces in government, academia and the media are left unchallenged. Part of the strategy involves counting on a misinformed and easily manipulated public.


Be informed and take action:





Notes   



















Vermont governor signs nation’s first GMO-labeling law to go into effect

Vermont will become the first state to enact a law requiring labels on foods with genetically modified ingredients after the governor signed the bill...

EPA Approves Agent Orange For GMO Crops (VIDEO)

Meet the New Monsanto: Dow Chemical… and Their New ‘Agent Orange’ Crops EPA advances approval of powerful weed killer for Dow’s ‘Agent Orange’ GMO crops Is...

”As Consumers, We Are Guinea Pigs”: Vermont Set to Become First State to Require...

Vermont is poised to become the first state to require the labeling of genetically modified organisms in food products. Governor Peter Shumlin said he...

Science Media Centre Spins Pro-GMO Line

Rebekah Wilce  RINF Alternative News A new report commissioned by Prime Minister David Cameron suggests that GMOs have now been shown to be safe and that the United...

Vermont Law Makes It Official: GMO Food Must Be Labeled

In nation's most far-reaching law to date, passage makes it mandatory to label certain foods that contain genetically-modified ingredients Jon Queally  RINF Alternative News Vermont is being...

Pressure on Cargill & ADM to Dump GMO After China Rejects Corn Imports

Will trade barriers in China and beyond reign in GMO corn's grasp on American food?

GMO plants, GMO people, and cancer

GMO plants, GMO people, and cancer By Jon Rappoport April 22, 2014 http://www.nomorefakenews.com There is an extraordinary parallel between what biotech corporations are doing with food plants, and what cancer researchers are trying to do with humans. The comparison is not only instructive, it reveals what the future holds. The war against cancer has painted […]

Monsanto’s Dream Bill is a Nightmare for State GMO Labeling Efforts

Genna Reed RINF Alternative News Last week, Representative Mike Pompeo (R-KS) introduced the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014” (HR 4432), a brainchild of...

Today’s GMO Propaganda Message Brought to You by Your Friendly Neighborhood Wegmans

We can all breathe a sigh of relief about that whole GMO thing. Wegmans, vendor of aisle after aisle of artificial food-like substances, has debunked the terrifying myth we were so worried about.

GMO plants, GMO people

GMO plants, GMO people, and cancer by Jon Rappoport April 19, 2014 www.nomorefakenews.com The war against cancer has painted a picture of hope: genetic solutions. This, despite the fact that there are no successful genetic treatments for any form of human cancer. The focus on genes is a diversion from obvious causes of cancer in […]

Crowdsourcing Surveillance, Mainstream Conspiracies, No GMO Russia — New World Next Week

Welcome to http://NewWorldNextWeek.com — the video series from Corbett Report and Media Monarchy that covers some of the most important developments in open source intelligence news. This week: Story #1: Los Angeles Law Enforcement Looking To Cro...

Effective Immediately: France Bans All GMO Cultivation

The French National Assembly has made a sweeping declaration with a new bill, effective immediately. No more genetically modified crops.

Monsanto and Big Food Losing the GMO and “Natural” Food Fight

Ronnie Cummins After 20 years of battling Monsanto and corporate agribusiness, food and farm activists in Vermont, backed by a growing Movement across the country,...

Nation’s Boldest GMO Label Law Nears Passage in Vermont

Senators credit 'emails and calls' of voters for pushing legislation Lauren McCauley RINF Alternative News After a groundswell of support from state residents fueled by grassroots...

Russia Could Ban Import of Untested GMOs

The import of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into Russia could be prohibited should such products fail to pass inspections, according to a draft law...

Unlabeled GMO Salmon? Groups Call on FDA to Rein In Industry Claims

Food & Water Watch and Center for Food Safety called on FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg today to put an end to erroneous statements by...

The Major Problem with GMO Seeds Engineered to Solve 3rd World Vitamin Deficiencies

A recent Scientific American blog post blamed environmentalists for costing poor, malnourished people an estimated 1,424,000 life years in India alone. Why? Because they presumably kept...

New FDA Rules Ignore the GMO Elephant in the Room

Katherine Paul  RINF Alternative News On February 27, First Lady Michelle Obama launched a media blitz to tout the FDA's proposed new rules for nutrition labels on packaged...

Sunstein Infiltrates, Quakebot LA, GMO Pimps — #NewWorldNextWeek

Welcome to http://NewWorldNextWeek.com — the video series from Corbett Report and Media Monarchy that covers some of the most important developments in open source intelligence news. This week: Story #1: ‘Most Transparent’ White House...

Sale Of GMO Corn Seed Halted In Canada

Christina Sarich RINF Alternative News What happens when more people hear about the damaging effects of GMO? You run out of a viable market for your...

Evil Monsanto GMO Corn Banned – Temporarily

John Deike RINF Alternative News On Saturday, France’s agriculture ministry temporarily banned the sale, use and cultivation of Monsanto’s MON 810 genetically engineered (GE) corn–the only variety that had...

Why Is There GMO Sugar In Salt?

Great April Fools’ Day prank idea: Switch up your loved ones’ sugar with salt. When they spit out their coffee and comment on the...

Organic Farmers Pay the Price of GMO Contamination

Organic farmer: 'All the big boys care about is their bottom line. They have to be held accountable if their contaminates my crop!' Lauren...

“Not one case of harm from GMOs”

“Not one case of harm from GMOs” by Jon Rappoport February 26, 2014 www.nomorefakenews.com Here are two GMO quotes. I’ll let them speak for themselves, and then make a few comments. QUOTE ONE: “This compilation is a sample of the scientific references including over 1200 studies, surveys, and analyses that suggest various adverse impacts and […]

GMO Industry: Puppets In High Places

Global Research 23/2/2014

Anne Glover recently declared that there is no evidence pertaining to the adverse impacts of GMOs. This is an extremely disturbing statement. It’s extremely disturbing because it is not only patently wrong, but also because Anne Glover ischief scientific adviser of the European Commission.

In an interview with EurActiv on 24 July 2012, she stated:


"There is no substantiated case of any adverse impact on human health, animal health or environmental health, so that’s pretty robust evidence, and I would be confident in saying that there is no more risk in eating GMO food than eating conventionally farmed food." (1)


In a letter to Anne Glover, which is posted on the GM Watch webite, Dr Brian John says that her claim is a “lie”. John regards himself as a member of the global scientific community ad has a background in environmental research and a long list of contacts in academia and within environmental, health, and consumer NGOs. In the letter to Glover, he states that many of his colleagues are directly involved in research in the GM field, and between them they have contributed hundreds of articles to the peer-reviewed literature.


Anne Glover wrote in 2012:


"If we look at evidence from [more than] 15 years of growing and consuming GMO foods globally, then there is no substantiated case of any adverse impact on human health, animal health, or environmental health." (2)


In 2013, she wrote:


"There is no evidence that GM technologies are any riskier than conventional breeding technologies and this has been confirmed by thousands of research projects. Food produced with GM technology is very common in other parts of the world, without any evidence that this has been harmful to the people that consumed it or to the environment at large." (3)  


Brian John asks Glover:


“With all due respect, that is a repetition of the same lie. What literature do you read? And from whom do you obtain your scientific advice?”


John goes on to state:


“I wish to place on record that there is abundant and unequivocal published evidence, within and outside the peer-reviewed literature, of real harm to living organisms in the plant and animal kingdoms arising from the growing of GMO crops and the consumption of GMO foodstuffs.  This material is freely available to any scientist who chooses to examine it, and many of the key publications are found within a list recently compiled and published by GMO Free USA.” (4)


John then lambasts Glover for her one-sided approach:


“Of course, there are others lists of publications, some purporting to demonstrate harm associated with GMOs, and others purporting to show that they are safe. You refer to "thousands of research projects" and pretend that they all reach the same conclusion.  That is of course nonsense.”


Although Glover likes to argue there is a consensus within the ‘scientific community’ concerning the benefits and safety of GMOs, this is patently not the case.


John tells Glover:


“The fact of the matter is that there is a powerful case showing that GMOs are harmful, with the findings of many early papers substantiated and confirmed by subsequent research. To deny that case is to perpetrate a falsehood.”


He asks if Glover will now:


“… retract your 2012 statement and accept that there is abundant evidence showing adverse impacts (both direct and indirect) on human and animal health and on the environment arising from the growing and consumption of GMO products? And will you also issue an apology to those members of the research community whose publications (in peer-reviewed journals showing harm arising from the use of GMOs) you have so studiously ignored?”


In a December 2013 press release, the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER) stated that Glover’s GMO propagandising is “irresponsible” as she “chooses to listen to one side of the scientific community only – the circle of GMO producers and their allied scientists” (5). Based on a statement signed by 297 scientists and experts, Dr Angelika Hilbeck, chair of the ENSSER, which published the statement, said:

“We’re surprised and pleased by the strong support for the statement. It seems to have tapped into a deep concern in the global scientific community that the name of science is being misused to make misleading claims about the safety of GM technology.”

Glover has serious conflicts of interest that have led Member of the European Parliament and former French minister for the environment, Corinne Lepage, to call for her resignation. According to GM Watch, Glover is a shareholder in a biotech company (6), and her background is that of a business-savvy genetic engineer. Her track record includes setting up the firm Remedios, which was named Scotland’s “Best New Biotechnology Company” for Biotech Scotland by its industry peers (7).

Glover’s pro-GM propaganda mirrors that of Owen Patterson, British Environment Secretary (8). His British Conservative Party colleague Zac Goldsmith has called him a puppet of the biotech industry (9).

Although Glover’s views are of great concern, in many respects she is symptomatic of a much deeper malaise whereby a lack of independence from the biotech and food conglomerates is distorting regulatory practices and corrupting policies within the EU to the detriment of the public (10).    


Read the full transcript of Brian John’s letter to Anne G lover here:http://gmwatch.eu/index.php/news/archive/2014/15308-eu-chief-science-adviser-s-gmo-safety-claims-are-a-lie


Notes


4)  http://gmofreeusa.org/gmos-are-top/gmo-science/                                   



GMOs Are Killing the Bees, Butterflies, Birds and… ?

“It is ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray.” —...

New GMO Corn Could Be Pushed on Europe Despite Widespread Political Opposition

19 member states say no to Pioneer maize, but its cultivation could happen anyway Andrea Germanos RINF Alternative News  A majority of EU countries on Tuesday expressed...

The truth behind new GMO allergies, toxins and diseases

Colin Todhunter  RINF Alternative News The Deceptions and Falsehoods of the GMO Lobby: Acquiesce Or Europe Will Become “Museum of World Farming” British Environment Secretary Owen Paterson...

The Deceptions And Falsehoods Of The GMO Lobby: Acquiesce Or Europe Will Become “Museum...

British Environment Secretary Owen Paterson is a staunch supporter of the GMO sector. Despite mounting evidence pointing to the deleterious health, social, ecological and environmental impacts of GMOs, Paterson has a blind spot that lets him ignore reality and allows him to lend unconditional support to the biotech conglomerates, the very concerns that regard Europe as a massive potential cash cow from which their GM crops have till now mostly been barred or restricted.
Paterson recently told the Oxford Farming Conference that Europe is likely to become "the museum of world farming" because of its failure to embrace genetically modified crops. He went on to state that the longer Europe continues to close its doors to GM crops, the greater the risk that the rest of the world will bypass us altogether:
"Europe risks becoming the museum of world farming as innovative companies make decisions to invest and develop new technologies in other markets."
Paterson said there was "compelling evidence" that GM crops could benefit farmers, consumers, the environment and the economy.
Nearly 50 countries around the world have either banned GM crop production outright, or have put in place extremely tight restrictions on the production and use of GM products. However, EU member states will soon vote on whether to allow cultivation of a variety of maize that has been made insect-resistant through genetic engineering. If licensed, it would be the first GM food crop authorised for planting by the EU in 15 years.
Paterson said any decisions must be based on scientific evidence, in contrast to "politically motivated" delays and blocks to GM crops in the past.
He stated:
"I will continue to make the case for a regime that allows fair market access for products once they have passed Europe's rigorous, independent scientific assessment."

Paterson has previously indicated that he wants to relax British regulations on the cultivation of GM crops, and has said they have “environmental benefits”.

Owen Paterson has a track record of lending blind support to the GM sector with his factually incorrect statements. In 2013, he called concerns over the use of GM foods “complete nonsense” in an attack on public concerns about GMOs (1):

“I’m very clear it (GM) would be a good thing… The trouble is all this stuff about Frankenstein foods and putting poisons in foods. There are real benefits, and what you’ve got to do is sell the real environmental benefits. Those benefits include a reduction in the use of pesticides because some GM crops are pest-resistant.”

Paterson also said that consumers were already unwittingly eating GM food on a regular basis, so concerns about human health are misplaced and based on “nonsense” and “humbug.”

In another 2013 speech, Paterson stated that “seven million children” had gone blind or died over the past 15 years because “every attempt” to introduce a GM-rice fortified with sight-saving vitamin A had “been thwarted.”

Owen Paterson vs the reality of GMOs and petro-chemical agriculture

Paterson talks emotive, simplistic sound-bite stuff about dead children that might play well to sections of a wider misinformed public. It conveniently overlooks broader, more complex issues related to global poverty, the international system of finance, the ‘structural adjustment’ of local systems of agriculture that have destroyed indigenous food production, world trade policies and the corporate hijack of much of global farming by the West for its agribusiness industry (2).

Paterson’s stance typifies how powerful interests (or their mouthpieces) distort reality when faced with a situation that curtails their interests and profits. It is in their view their opponents who are ideologically or politically motivated and who engage in emotive scare-mongering, while it is they, the immensely rich and politically well connected, who have humanity’s interests at heart and are driven by science and altruism.

If the likes of Paterson are all too dismissive of those anti-GM/anti-MNC “disgusting enemies of the poor,” “ignoramuses” and “scientific jokers” (eg, Professor Seralni in France and Pushpa Bhargava in India) who supposedly engage in “lies,”, “nonsense” and “deceit” to counter scientific facts and the “safe frontier technology” of GMOs (3), perhaps they might be inclined to pay more heed to millionaire MP Zac Goldsmith, who is a member of the Conservative Party to which Paterson also belongs.

Hardly a dyed in the wool, anti-MNC leftie, Goldsmith last year claimed that Paterson is a puppet of the biotech industry and does not understand the dangers genetically modified crops pose to the ecosystem.

Speaking to The Independent newspaper on 3 July 2013, Goldsmith declared:

"He's swallowed the industry line hook, line and sinker without talking to anyone with a different view. When designing policy that's a dangerous thing, and I'm concerned big business is framing the debate for the government… The story so far suggests that GM is predominantly about the industry getting greater control over the food chain, rather than alleviating poverty or environmental concerns." (4)

Paterson displays blatant disregard for the political hijack of food and agriculture and its regulatory bodies by powerful agribusiness and the consequent lax regulations governing its activities. His stance indicates he is probably part of that very problem. His claim about the reduced levels of pesticides is but one instance of his ignorance. This can be placed alongside his range of ignorance on the actual documented lack of agricultural benefits derived from GMOs and their deleterious health impacts (5,6,7,8,9).

His outbursts persist regardless of the destruction of indigenous, traditional patterns of agriculture whose productivity is often far better than any petro-chemical based and/or GMO-based ’green revolution’. If he wants to talk about “museums” then he may like to look at historical evidence pertaining to traditional farming in India and its much better levels of productivity compared with modern methods (9).

It is such a travesty that a senior politician, a ‘public servant’, seems content to become part of the problem by kowtowing to the massive well-documented GMO industry pressures and its global PR machine, which receives full and active support from the US State Department (10,11).  

And whether the public wanted them or not in the US, GM crops are prevalent there, despite there having been significant concern from scientists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prior to the FDA allowing GM products into the food chain. The concerns of the scientists were ignored, and by the time the public became aware, the GM products were firmly embedded into the US food production chain (12).

FDA scientists had continually warned regulators that GM crops could create unpredictable and hard to detect side effects, including allergies, toxin production, nutritional problems, and new diseases. They recommended that long-term studies were needed to fully assess the effect of GM foods on other crops, the ecosystem, and animal and human health, but these warnings were ignored.

William F Engdahl has written on this and both he and the watchdog body Corporate European Observatory have raised serious concerns about deep-seated conflicts of interests within the European Food Safety Agency as well pertaining to the biotech sector and major food conglomerates (13,14).

As the GM food sector continues to push at India’s door, we should look to what the GM cotton sector has already ‘achieved’ there. The continued use of GM modified cotton has reduced yields, and the cotton bollworm has developed a resistance to the GM crops which contain the Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) toxin (15). This is resulting in an ever increasing barrage of profitable ‘innovations’ from the biotech sector. ‘Innovations’ and ‘R&D’ being trendy terms for attempting to keep on top of the damage being done to agriculture as each new 'frontier' product fails the farmer. More destined to fail technology replaces the older destined to fail products under the banner of ‘cutting edge’ developments (16).

The original ‘green revolution’ is now displaying its devastating long-term health and environmental impacts in Punjab (17). What price its potential ‘second coming’ in the form of GM food crops some years down the line? To answer that question, all we need to do is look elsewhere at the emerging outcomes referenced elsewhere in this article, not least five paragraphs further down through a recent article by Helen Paul on the impacts of GMOs in the Americas.    

Paterson’s claims that the use of GM crops reduce the use of pesticides do not hold up. Research by a WashingtonState University team found that the use of herbicides and insecticides has increased dramatically since GM crops were introduced in the US in 1996 (18). And researchers at the University of Arizona found that multi-toxin GM crops (which are the most technologically advanced crops in use) quickly lose their ability to fend off pests, which is likely to lead to a complete failure of the GMO (19).

Moreover, there has been no proper research or monitoring by the companies producing GM crops of the effects on humans consuming products made with GM crops. Scientists like Dr Arpad Pusztai in theUK and Professor Seralini in France, who have published findings critical of GM crops and food, suffered a wave attacks designed to undermine their work (or careers) by supporters of the technology.

Minister Patterson’s pro-GM attitudes come as little surprise, though. The cosy relationship between governments and the biotech companies is well known, especially in the US (20), where there has been legislation passed that allows biotech companies to be totally free of any legal ramifications if their products cause harm (21).

Perhaps Owen Paterson should take heed of mounting concerns about the terrible health impacts of glyphosate and how GMOs drive the sales of this weedkiller and the deleterious impacts of GMOs on plants and humans (22). He could also take note at the provincial government of Chaco province in Argentina issuance of a report on health statistics from the town La Leonesa, which showed that from 2000 to 2009, following the expansion of genetically-modified soy and rice crops in the region (and the use of glyphosate), the childhood cancer rate tripled in La Leonesa and the rate of birth defects increased nearly fourfold over the entire province (23).

Or maybe he should read Helen Paul’s recent piece in The Ecologist (24). She discusses the unfolding social, health, environmental and ecological disasters of GM agriculture/petro-chemical agriculture on a country by country basis in the Americas and argues that a powerful message should be sent to the EU (and Paterson) that GMOs are not wanted there and that Europe should stop buying and importing the products of GM-driven genocide and ecocide in the Americas. She reveals how repression and displacement, often violent, of remaining rural populations, illness, falling local food production have all featured in this picture. Yet, she argues, we currently face a desperate, almost farcical push for GM crops in the UK and Europe, characterised by hyperbolic and inaccurate claims of which the frequent claims byPaterson no doubt typify.

Far from being a "museum of world farming" as Paterson, likes to claim, Europe could show the way to a rich and varied GM free, organic-based agriculture that provides nutritious, healthy food and jobs. At the same time, Paul argues, we should address the profound degradation of soils and accelerating biodiversity loss, caused to a great extent by the industrial model of agriculture to which genetically engineered crops belong.

Maybe politicians such as Owen Paterson are (unwittingly) content to be fodder for the wider political and economic that GMOs (and big dam, debt-inducing, dollar supporting, oil-dependent chemical agriculture) are tied to. It’s an agenda encompassing an integrated strategy that involves the (near) monopoly ownership and control and ultimate weaponisation of all water, seeds, food and food retail, land and energy, which in turn both fuels and is fuelled by militarism, conflict, debt and dependency (25,26,27,28). Across the planet, we see this agenda being played out via violent conflict, ‘free’ trade agreements (29,30) and the shaping of political agendas (31).


Notes

A Conversation with Vandana Shiva - Question 5 - Patenting Life

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In the latest development in the ongoing fight to label GMOs in the state of Washington, State Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Grocery Manufacturers Association for illegally collecting millions of dollars in their campaign against GMO labeling.

(Photo via Flickr / Steve Rhodes / Creative Commons License) The GMA, the biggest processed food trade group in the U.S., has already set a record for the most money ever raised in Washington state to fight a public initiative—over $7 million so far—all in an effort to defeat Initiative 522, set for the ballot in November.

And that money, Ferguson argues, has been funneled through the GMA illegally.

As the Seattle Times reports, the lawsuit alleges that the GMA "solicited big money from its members specifically for the anti-GMO-labeling campaign, yet illegally concealed the identity of those donors from the public by failing to register and file reports as a political committee."

Seattle Times has more:

"GMA is now doing industry's dirty work by donating on behalf of its members and possibly violating Washington State's lobbying rules in the process." – Michele Simon, Eat Drink Politics

Ferguson said unless the GMA immediately discloses its donors, his office will ask a judge for a temporary restraining order to force the grocery association to register as a political committee and reveal its donors so that voters will have the information as they cast their ballots for or against I-522. He added the state will seek civil penalties and attorney’s fees from the group.

The state’s lawsuit cites internal GMA communications in which the group’s leaders planned their big-money effort to fight GMO labeling measures while protecting its corporate members from criticism.

In a Feb. 18 memo obtained by the Attorney General’s office, Pamela Bailey, CEO of the grocery association, discussed creating a new GMA fund, subsequently called the Defense of Brand Strategic Account, “to combat current threats and better shield individual companies from attack that provide funding for specific efforts.” That memo specifically mentioned the need “to fight Washington state’s ballot measure.”

As Michele Simon, who runs the Eat Drink Politics blog, explained earlier this week:

The main goal of a lobbying organization like GMA is to pool the massive resources of its members, which include heavy hitters such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and General Mills; each has a huge stake in this fight. While last year in California, these companies donated millions to stop Proposition 37, this year, the game plan has changed. GMA is now doing industry's dirty work by donating on behalf of its members and possibly violating Washington State's lobbying rules in the process.

“They don’t want to tell us whats in their food and they don’t want tell us who is paying for their ads,” said Delana Jones, campaign manager for the Yes on 522 campaign, adding that the GMA's campaign ads should be taken off the air until their donors are revealed.

“In our view it’s a clear violation. It’s an important violation, particularly given the size and amount of dollars that we’re talking about,” Ferguson said at a news conference in Seattle.

Earlier this month, the group Moms for Labeling lost a similar legal challenge against the No on 522 Campaign and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) for illegally concealing the identity of the campaign's donors.

In addition to losing the case, the group was fined $10,000 in a counter legal attack by the GMA.

_______________________

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