(NaturalNews) Glyphosate – the cancer-causing active ingredient found in Monsanto's Roundup weed-killer product – has been found to be present at "extreme" levels in soybeans, and is presumably also present at high levels in other foods, since glyphosate-based herbicides... [...]
That kind of staggering schism between scientific consensus and public opinion — mixed in with a deep mistrust of Monsanto, the company most publicly associated with the push to grow GMO food crops — makes it seem at times impossible to have a level ... [...]
(NaturalNews) If you think our genetic food chain has been royally screwed up by big bio-ag's like Monsanto and Syngenta, and massively over-processed by Big Food, things are just about to get a whole lot worse, and what's more, our own government is doing it to us – yet again... [...]
Many, if not most, of our regulatory agencies have a long history of protecting industry interests over public and environmental health. Most recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has come under increasing scrutiny following mounting charges of harassment and censorship.
In the first week of November 2015, Jonathan Lundgren, who spent the last 11 years working as an entomologist at the USDA, filed a whistleblower complaint against the agency, claiming he'd suffered retaliation after speaking out about research showing that neonicotinoids had adverse effects on bees.1
In the U.S., nearly all corn, about 90 percent of canola, and approximately half of all soybeans are treated with neonicotinoids. As the use of these pesticides has gone up, bee and Monarch butterfly populations have plummeted.
After publicly discussing his findings, Lundgren claims that "USDA managers blocked publication of his research, barred him from talking to the media, and disrupted operations at the laboratory he oversaw."
The Washington Post recently published an article that details Lundgren's complaints and the retaliation waged against him.2
According to Agri-Pulse,3 the Agriculture Department's inspector general, Phyllis Fong, has now received so many complaints about harassment and censorship, she's opening a broad investigation to assess "whether there is a systemic problem in the department."
Charges of Censorship Mount Against USDA
Food and Water Watch4 recently followed up on this issue, noting that "when independent, government scientists produce research that threatens corporate agribusinesses, the USDA — according to at least 10 government scientists — censors the results, waters down the findings and punishes the researchers."
Jonathan Lundgren is one of these 10 scientists. The other 9 have all chosen to remain anonymous for fear of even more reprisals.
Lundgren's research at the USDA shows that neonicotinoids are instrumental in the decline of bee and Monarch butterfly populations. But his work, and his criticism against factory farming, goes even deeper than that.
He has become convinced and has spoken out about the fact that toxic insecticides like neonics are not some sort of necessary evil. We don't actually need these types of chemicals at all in agriculture.
As he notes in the video above, organic or regenerative farming actually produces higher yields and requires less land. This, I believe, even more so than his critique of neonics, poses a major threat to corporate agribusinesses.
It does not, however, detract from the USDA's mission, which is why the agency's mistreatment of scientists like Lundgren is so revealing.
Whistleblower Sets Up Nonprofit Science Lab and Sustainable Farm
Fortunately, Lundgren has become very outspoken about his whistleblower suit. So much so, the Shafeek Nader Trust presented him with a civic courage award last November, for taking an open stand against the US [...]
The U.S. Department of Agriculture clarified its policy regarding the organic certification of industrial hemp production this week. Oklahoma and Tennessee are two of the 14 states that have laws permitting industrial hemp cultivation under restricted ... [...]
More "wonderful" news from the "people" who are supposed to protect us, BAN ALL GMOs
November 25, 2014 11:25AM
A new potato that's engineered with gene deletion doesn't have to be regulated by USDA.
The USDA’s deregulation of J.R. Simplot’s genetically engineered potatoes recently generated much publicity, but another biotech potato was quietly cleared for commercialization without undergoing that regulatory process.
Cellectis Plant Sciences, a subsidiary of a French pharmaceutical company, has genetically modified potatoes to experience less sugar buildup during cold storage, thereby helping to preserve their quality. The crop also contains less of a potentially cancer-causing compound.
These traits are similar to Simplot’s “Innate” potato but Cellectis’ product wasn’t subject to the same environmental assessments and public notice and comment requirements.
The difference is that Simplot used agrobacterium, a plant pest, to transfer genes from wild and cultivated potatoes, which causes the Innate variety to fall under USDA’s regulatory purview.
Under the USDA’s interpretation of federal law, which has been upheld in court, the agency’s authority over genetically engineered crops is limited to those that are potential plant pests.
In the case of Cellectis’ potato, the company did rely on a protein from a blight-causing bacteria to remove unwanted genetic material from the variety.
However, that bacterial protein wasn’t incorporated into the potato’s genes, which convinced the USDA that the variety isn’t a plant pest and doesn’t require a permit for field release or interstate movement, according to documents recently released by the agency.
“We knocked out DNA sequences that inactivated a gene,” said Dan Voytas, chief science officer for Cellectis.
Cellectis hopes the variety will gain broader market acceptance than [...]