Tuesday, December 27, 2011
USDA deregulates two more GM seeds for their master, Monsanto
USDA deregulates two more GM seeds for Monsanto
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on Thursday its decision to deregulate two Monsanto genetically engineered (GE) seed varieties: a corn variety engineered to resist drought conditions and an herbicide-resistant soybean engineered to produce more fatty acids than regular soybeans.
Regulators legalized the seeds after reviewing risk assessments, public comments and data provided by Monsanto.
Monsanto is planning "on-farm trials" of drought-tolerant corn, known as MON 87460, during the upcoming planting season "to give farmers experience with the product" and generate commercial data, according to a statement from the company.
The corn contains a protein gene from a bacterium that reportedly limits yield loss when corn plants are stressed by drought conditions.
Earlier this year, Truthout exposed a controversial program in five African countries that involves putting Monsanto drought-tolerant corn in the hands of farmers facing drought conditions. The program is part of an effort funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is working to establish a "Second Green Revolution" in Africa.
Critics say such efforts could replace traditional and sustainable farming methods with American-style industrial agriculture and prevent African governments from effectively regulating GE crops.
Last week, Truthout revealed that the USDA is taking steps to speed up the approval process for GE crops after industry groups put mounting pressure on top officials in recent years.
The USDA also announced a public comment period for two additional GE crop seeds, including another Monsanto soybean that is engineered to provide omega-3 fatty acids. Regulators have submitted favorable assessments of the seeds and are expected to approve them sometime next year. The public comment period on both products runs until February 27, 2012.
And this is the Obama administration now doing this BTW for anyone who thinks he isn't deep in their pockets. One very good reason why I am not voting for him at this time nor any Republican. People who care about the environment simply cannot in my mind condone his acceptance of Monsanto monopolizing and KILLING agriculture as we know it! This is why this kind of information is also so important. People don't know about public comment periods for these mutant seeds that are deregulated by the USDA based on Monsanto's biased information because no one else is talking!
Perhaps we might make some headway if the public comment period was bombarded with comments from consumers saying they will BOYCOTT Monsanto and will not support this type of forced feeding upon Americans and peoples of the world without their knowledge and consent! And did you read this? "On farm trials." They just can't wait to contaminate and OWN EVERYTHING you eat, and this is where Democrats as well as Republicans FAIL US in Congress. Monsanto as well as DOW, Bayer and Syngenta are the death knell to agriculture. Time to pull this crap out of the ground!
Monsanto is also being sued in India for biopiracy and Bill Gates supports them! Any guesses as to where they pulled the drought resistant traits from they are putting in their mutant seeds? It's already in nature! We don't need them! This is just big $$$$$$$$$$$ for them.
"The USDA also announced a public comment period for two additional GE crop seeds, including another Monsanto soybean that is engineered to provide omega-3 fatty acids. Regulators have submitted favorable assessments of the seeds and are expected to approve them sometime next year. The public comment period on both products runs until February 27, 2012."
Where is the peer review of this? This isn't SCIENCE. "Regulators" have submitted favorable assessments based on MONSANTO's "tests" and being wined and dined by lobbyists!
OCCUPY THE USDA
Statement on this from the Union of Concerned Scientists:
NOTE: Despite all the hyperbole about the promise of GM drought resistant crops, it has taken until now for the first GM drought resistant crop to be approved for marketing anywhere in the world. That crop is a Monsanto GM drought resistant maize for cultivation in the United States - see below.
By contrast, non-GM plant breeding has achieved success after success in producing a variety of drought resistant crops, including a whole series of drought resistant maize varieties, and these have been made available in many countries, including developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to drought. Some interesting examples are listed here:
Monsanto Corn Unlikely To Help Drought-Stricken Farmers
Union of Concerned Scientists, December 22 2011
Drought resistant Gm corn
Statement by Doug Gurian-Sherman, Senior Scientist, UCS Food & Environment Program
Yesterday, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it would allow unlimited planting of a genetically modified variety of corn designed by Monsanto Co. to be resistant to certain kinds of droughts. The company and the USDA have both admitted the crop will fare only modestly better than current conventional varieties under low- and moderate-level drought conditions. This means that this corn will be useful only for a fraction of corn acres – just 15 percent by USDA estimates.
In addition, there are several types of new drought-tolerant corn, made through conventional breeding, in the United States and abroad likely to do as well or better than Monsanto's corn. Data from U.S. researchers suggest that conventional breeding is producing drought tolerance two to three times faster than genetic engineering.
Below is a statement from Doug Gurian-Sherman, senior scientist for the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Food & Environment Program:
"Monsanto's new corn will not be a silver bullet for farmers suffering from the kind of severe drought facing the Southwest right now. While the industry continues to say it'll do better, achieving substantially higher levels of drought tolerance with genetically modified crops in the foreseeable future is uncertain. Furthermore, it's unlikely this drought-resistant crop will actually save water as Monsanto would like everyone to believe. Classical crop breeding can produce drought-resistant crops that are cheaper and more effective than what Monsanto has come up with.
"Ultimately, the only way to address the water challenges that American farmers face every day will require readdressing how we farm, which crops we breed and grow, and how we allocate the water we use to farm. The biotechnology industry has been working on drought-tolerant and water-saving crops for more than a decade, and the results so far, while useful, are underwhelming compared to conventional techniques like breeding. At most, this crop is a Band-Aid, not a cure."