domingo, enero 17, 2010

Tell USDA That You Care About GE Contamination of Organic Food!

In 2006, the Center for Food Safety (CFS) sued the Department of Agriculture (USDA) for its illegal approval of Monsanto’s genetically engineered (GE) Roundup Ready alfalfa. The federal courts sided with CFS and banned GE alfalfa until the USDA fully analyzed the impacts of the plant on the environment, farmers, and the public in a rigorous analysis known as an environmental impact statement (or EIS). USDA released its draft EIS on December 14, 2009. A 60-day comment period is now open until February 16, 2010. This is the first time the USDA has done this type of analysis for any GE crop. Therefore, the final decision will have broad implications for all GE crops.

CFS has begun analyzing the EIS and it is clear that the USDA has not taken the concerns of non-GE alfalfa farmers, organic dairies, or consumers seriously. USDA’s preliminary determination is to once again deregulate GE alfalfa without any limitations or protections for farmers or the environment. Instead USDA has completely dismissed the fact that contamination will threaten export and domestic markets and organic meat and dairy products. And, incredibly, USDA is claiming that there is no evidence that consumers care about such GE contamination of organic!

USDA also claims that consumers will not reject GE contamination of organic alfalfa if the contamination is unintentional or if the transgenic material is not transmitted to the end milk or meat product, despite the fact that more than 75% of consumers believe that they are purchasing products without GE ingredients when they buy organic.

USDA claims that Monsanto’s seed contracts require measures sufficient to prevent genetic contamination, and that there is no evidence to the contrary. But in the lawsuit requiring this document, the Court found that contamination had already occurred in the fields of several Western states with these same business-as-usual practices in place!

USDA predicts that the approval of GE alfalfa would damage family farms and organic markets, yet doesn’t even consider any limitations or protections against this scenario. Small, family farmers are the backbone and future of American agriculture and must be protected. Organic agriculture provides many benefits to society: healthy foods for consumers, economic opportunities for family farmers and urban and rural communities, and a farming system that improves the quality of the environment. However, the continued vitality of this sector is imperiled by the complete absence of measures to protect organic production systems from GE contamination and subsequent environmental, consumer, and economic losses.

Tell USDA That You DO Care About GE Contamination of Organic Crops and Food!

Tell me more

Talking Points

Please edit the letter below as you see fit. Once your email has sent, you’ll be given the opportunity to download and print your comments. Please print 2 copies of your comments and mail them to the docket before February 16th! Your email comments will be collected and submitted at the close of the comment period as well.

For a full list of talking points with references and links to the EIS, supplemental documents, and a link to file your comment online directly with USDA, click the “tell me more” link.

*Please be aware that this is a Federal docket and any personal information you share may be publicly posted by USDA or other government agencies. For this reason, we have not required your street address to participate in this campaign. Your email address will not appear in comments collected through CFS.


Ni para las ratas

Estudio científico revela que maíz de Monsanto genera daños en funciones renales y hepáticas de roedores

duración: 15:45 minutos
Descargar: MP3 – 10.8 MB

Un estudio publicado en la última edición de la revista científica Internacional Journal of Biological Sciences, que compara los efectos en ratas de tres variedades de maíz genéticamente modificadas, descubrió que los pesticidas utilizados sobre los transgénicos causan daños en riñones e hígado de dichos animales, así como también originan problemas en otros órganos de éstos.

El estudio, conducido por los científicos Joël Spiroux de Vendômois, François Roullier, Dominique Cellier y Gilles-Eric Séralini -de las universidades francesas de Caen y Rouen-, observó los efectos de las variedades de maíz transgénico NK 603, MON 810 y MON 863, los tres pertenecientes a la trasnacional semillera Monsanto.

Como parte del estudio, se alimentó a las ratas durante 90 días con las tres variedades del maíz transgénico de Monsanto, midiéndose sus efectos a través de exámenes de sangre y mediante pruebas que comprendieron aproximadamente 60 parámetros bioquímicos por órgano, comparándose estos resultados a su vez con las características que presentaban grupos de control a los que se alimentaba con variedades de maíz no transgénico.

Según los científicos, estos estudios constituyen un modelo para investigar los efectos que estas variedades de maíz genéticamente modificado tienen en otros mamíferos, para desentrañar las consecuencias para la salud que tiene para animales y humanos el someterse a una dieta sostenida a base de transgénicos, dado que el estudio sobre ratas indica que se produjeron daños sobre los riñones e hígado de éstas, pero también sobre el corazón, las glándulas suprarrenales, el bazo y el sistema hematopoyético.

Según los investigadores, su estudio señala “que esas variedades de maíz inducen un estado de toxicidad hepatorrenal.

Esto puede ser debido a los nuevos pesticidas (herbicidas o insecticidas) presentes en cada tipo de maíz transgénico, aunque efectos sobre el metabolismo no planificados debido a las propiedades mutagénicas del proceso de transformación del transgénico no pueden ser excluidas”.

Debido a esta evidencia, sugieren que se realice un estudio que compruebe los efectos sobre la salud a largo plazo de los transgénicos, que implique al menos dos años de investigación.

El estudio científico corrobora las críticas que movimientos sociales de todo el mundo han expresado con respecto a los productos de la transnacional del agronegocio, que además de dañar la salud de los consumidores perjudican la biodiversidad y privatizan las semillas.

Al respecto señaló David Sánchez, responsable de Agricultura y Alimentación de Amigos de la Tierra España: “Estos estudios demuestran que no es posible garantizar la seguridad de los alimentos transgénicos. Debemos aplicar el principio de precaución y retirar los transgénicos de nuestra agricultura y nuestra alimentación”.

GM corn causes organ problems in rats?


French investigators have published a reinterpretation of some feeding studies in small samples of rats. The studies were done originally by Monsanto to test three varieties of the company’s genetically modified corn. These investigators obtained the data from the feeding trials as the result of a court case in Europe, which Monsanto lost. They analyzed the data using their own statistical methods.

I found the paper extremely difficult to read, in part because it is written in exceptionally dense and opaque language, and in part because it presents the data in especially complicated tables and figures. I must confess to giving up trying to make sense of it and will simply present its conclusion:

our data strongly suggests that these GM maize varieties induce a state of hepatorenal toxicity. This can be due to the new pesticides (herbicide or insecticide) present specifically in each type of GM maize, although unintended metabolic effects due to the mutagenic properties of the GM transformation process cannot be excluded…All three GM maize varieties contain a distinctly different pesticide residue associated with their particular GM event (glyphosate and AMPA in NK 603, modified Cry1Ab in MON 810, modified Cry3Bb1 in MON 863). These substances have never before been an integral part of the human or animal diet and therefore their health consequences for those who consume them, especially over long time periods are currently unknown. Furthermore, any side effect linked to the GM event will be unique in each case as the site of transgene insertion and the spectrum of genome wide mutations will differ between the three modified maize types.

And here is Monsanto’s response. I would be most intererested to hear the opinion of animal toxicologists on these studies.

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