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Archive for the 'Gen. Modified Foods' Category

EU PONDERS BAN ON GENETICALLY MODIFIED CORN

Posted in Eco Warriors, Gen. Modified Foods, Health Watch, News Brief, Sustainable Food on November 26th, 2007

SUCH A DECISION WOULD INTENSIFY THE CONTINUING BATTLE OVER GENETICALLY MODIFIED CORN

gen corn.jpgEuropean Union environmental officials have determined that two kinds of genetically modified corn could harm butterflies, affect food chains and disturb life in rivers and streams, and they have proposed a ban on the sale of the seeds, which are made by DuPont Pioneer, Dow Agrosciences and Syngenta.

The preliminary decisions are circulating within the European Commission, which has the final say. Some officials there are skeptical of a ban that would upset the powerful biotechnology industry and could exacerbate tensions with important trading partners like the United States. The seeds are not available on the European market for cultivation.

MORE….

Source: NYT

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FUDGING THE MEANING OF “NATURAL”

Posted in Corporate Greed, Corporate Polluters, Eco Thugs, Gen. Modified Foods, Health Watch, News Brief, Toxic Food on November 7th, 2007

FOOD GIANTS BATTLE OVER ‘NATURAL’ FOOD DESIGNATION

2007-09-19-national_debt1.jpgLooking to hitch their wagon to the estimated $13 billion-a-year “natural” foods and beverage market, food providers including Sara Lee, Farmer John, Cadbury Schweppes and Tyson Foods, are looking to Uncle Sam to broaden the rules and regulations that define the word “natural”.

This is bad news in todays food environment where products are quite commonly either genetically enhanced to fight disease and increase output, or zapped with radiation as a way to enhance their shelf life.

Essentially, the Agriculture Departments strict interpetation of what can and what cannot be labeled as “natural”, is all that stands between us and the previously mentioned practices. By definition, products can only be labeled “natural” “if such a claim is truthful and not misleading and the product does not contain added color, artificial flavors or synthetic substances”.

If the food providers have their way, chickens fattened with salt water and broth, soft drinks sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup, and sliced roast beef flavored with sodium lactate will be able to be labeled as “natural.”

The Huffington Post has a detailed look at the matter at this link.

-LIB

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SKIN DISEASE MAY BE LINKED TO GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOOD

Posted in Gen. Modified Foods, Health Watch, Toxic Food on October 13th, 2007

MANY PEOPLE—AND MOST PHYSICIANS—HAVE WRITTEN OFF MORGELLONS DISEASE AS EITHER A HOAX OR HYPOCHONDRIA. BUT NOW THERE IS EVIDENCE THAT THIS MYSTERIOUS DISEASE MAY BE REAL AND RELATED TO GENETICALLY-MODIFIED FOOD!

gen-corn1.jpgThe skin of Morgellons victims oozes mysterious strands that have been identified as cellulose (which cannot be manufactured by the human body), and people have the sensation of things crawling beneath their skin. The first known case of Morgellons occurred in 2001, when Mary Leitao created a web site describing the disease, which had infected her young son. She named it Morgellons after a 17th century medical study in France that described the same symptoms.

In the Sept. 15-21 issue of New Scientist magazine, Daniel Elkan describes a patient he calls “Steve Jackson,” who “for years” has “been finding tiny blue, red and black fibers growing in intensely itchy lesions on his skin.” He quotes Jackson as saying, “The fibers are like pliable plastic and can be several millimeters long. Under the skin, some are folded in a zig-zag pattern. These can be as fine as spider silk, yet strong enough to distend the skin when you pull them, as if you were pulling on a hair.”

Doctors say that this type of disease could only be caused by a parasite, but anti-parasitic medications do not help. Psychologists insist that this is a new version of the well- known syndrome known as “delusional parasitosis.” While this is a “real” disease, it is not a physically-caused one.

MORE….

Source: Whitley Streiber’s Unknown Country

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ANHEUSER BUSCH USING GENETICALLY ENGINEERED RICE IN BEER

Posted in Gen. Modified Foods, Health Watch, News Brief on October 9th, 2007

THE GE RICE STRAIN THE COMPANY USES WAS THE SOURCE OF THE 2006 CONTAMINATION OF AT LEAST 30 PERCENT OF RICE STOCKS IN THE UNITED STATES

bud.jpegGreenpeace released the results of analyses showing the presence of an experimental genetically engineered (GE) strain of rice at an Anheuser-Busch operated mill in Arkansas that is used to brew Budweiser. An independent laboratory test, commissioned by Greenpeace, detected the presence of GE rice (Bayer LL601) in three out of four samples taken at the mill.

Bayer LL601 rice was the source of the 2006 contamination of at least 30 percent of rice stocks in the United States. The GE contamination had a massive negative economic impact on the U.S. rice industry as many countries subsequently stopped or significantly restricted the import of U.S. rice.

The rice strain in question, Bayer LL601 rice, was retroactively granted approval by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in an effort to reduce public concern and company liability, despite 15,000 public objections. The European Food Safety Authority, however, stated that there was insufficient data to make a finding of safety. Greenpeace believes that U.S. consumers have a right to know if GE-contaminated rice is used to make Budweiser. Last Friday, the USDA released inconclusive results of a 14-month, 8,500 staff hour study into the contamination incident, providing little insight into how the contamination occurred, and showing no evidence that regulators or industry have any idea how to prevent future

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AS GM FOOD APPROACHES 75% OF ALL FOOD CONSUMED, IS THERE A CAUSE FOR CONCERN?

Posted in Gen. Modified Foods, Health Watch, Sustainable Food, Toxin Alert! on September 24th, 2007

AN OVERVIEW OF GENETICALLY ENGINEERED VS. NON-GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD INGREDIENTS

tomatoes.jpg The sides are drawn in the battle for your food dollar, with foods containing genetically modified ingredients on one side and foods free from genome manipulation on the other.

For those unsure of the difference, Genetically Modified foods are foodstuffs that have been produced from organisms, which have had their genome, or hereditary information, altered through a process known as genetic engineering.

Currently, the most common genetically modified foods are those derived from plants, with soybeans, corn, canola, cottonseed oil and wheat topping the list. According to Wikipedia, the source of most of the date in this posting, fully 89% of the planted area of soybeans, 83 percent of cotton, and 61 percent of maize are producing plants, which have been genetically modified.

Future plans call for the creation of bananas genetically modified to protect consumers against disease, fish metabolically engineered to mature more quickly, and plants which have had their makeup tweaked to produce new plastics with unique properties.

While all of this sounds very encouraging, there is something about consuming food, which man has messed with that just does not sit that well with me. Maybe I’m just old fashion on this point. But then, I also take issue with poultry that greedy factory farmers have injected with growth hormones to fatten up in the hope of increasing their return on investment.

While I’m pretty certain that I am not alone in wanting my food to be as pure as possible, and not the end result of millions of dollars worth of genetic experimentation, we are definitely in the minority. Currently better than 75% of all foods sold here in the United States contains ingredient that have been genetically modified.

So, as a haven for like minds, I have included a link to what I believe to be the most comprehensive list of what products are and what are not genetically modified. Consider printing this list and taking it with you the next time you go to the market.

Maybe, by combined action, we can forestall the day when all food is the product of genetic manipulation.

-LIB

JUMP TO THE LIST

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NOT ALL TOXIC FOOD COMES FROM CHINA

Posted in Cool Products, Corporate Carelessness, Corporate Polluters, Gen. Modified Foods, Health Watch, News Brief, Toxic Food on July 23rd, 2007

POISONS, PESTICIDES OR MERELY DIRTY OR DECOMPOSED WE NEED MORE FOOD INSPECTION, NOT LESS.

taintedFood_hmed1p.hmedium.jpg This story in a text book example of bad timing comes hot on the heels of the announcement several days ago that the FDA is planning to close at least half of the laboratories charged with ensuring the safety of our food supply.

If this so-called cost-cutting measure / thinly-disguised gift to the food industry is allowed to take place, the day will come, and it is not that far away, when we will only be sure of a product’s purity if we grew it ourselves.

Maybe this is why so many of my baby boomer friends have recently begun raising much of their own produce?

Think about it. Growing your own kills two birds with one stone, it guarantees a pretty consistent supply of poison- free, pesticide-free produce and it solves for once and for all the lingering carbon issue, which surrounds so much organic food today.

Now if I only knew the first thing about gardening. (SIGH)

-LIB

Mexican cantaloupe irrigated with water from sewage-tainted rivers. Candy laced with lead. Chinese toothpaste is not the only concern for U.S. consumers wary of the health risks posed by imported goods.

Producers in other developing nations are big violators of basic food safety standards, even as they woo consumers with a growing appetite for foods like pickled mangoes from India and winter-season fruits and vegetables from Mexico.

China, already under suspicion as the source of tainted toothpaste, contaminated fish and toxic medicine, had the largest number of violations in the past 12 months, with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration rejecting 1,901 shipments of food or cosmetics. But India and Mexico weren’t far behind, with inspectors rejecting 1,787 and 1,560 shipments, respectively.

The biggest reasons? Foods that are unapproved or contain poisons and pesticides. Some are simply dirty, with inspectors finding that the shipment “appears to consist in whole or in part of a filthy, putrid, or decomposed substance or be otherwise unfit for food.”

And those are just the problems that are caught. FDA inspectors only have the money and resources to check about 1 percent of the 8.9 million imported food shipments a year. Many of those inspections target problem products from problem nations, like Indian relishes or Mexican cantaloupe.

The FDA banned all cantaloupe from Mexico in 2002 after four salmonella outbreaks traced to the fruit killed two people in the United States and hospitalized at least 18 others

MORE BAD NEWS….

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INVOLUNTARY BIRTH CONTROL

Posted in Gen. Modified Foods, Health Watch, News Brief, Toxic Food on June 15th, 2007

STUDY: ‘GROWTH PROMOTER’ HORMONES IN BEEF TIED TO MALE INFERTILITY

beef.jpg As if we needed another reason to curtail our consumption of red meat, this is it. Sadly, this story, as regular readers of this space might expect, was buried by a mainstream press more concerned with angering their corporate benefactors than with helping you and I make informed decisions. What else is new? Should a friend or loved one be pregnant or considering becoming so, please forward this posting to them so that they may have a the opportunity of making an informed decision.

Thank you to reader, E.M, for forwarding the following posting to my attention.

- LIB

Scientists have produced evidence to suggest that Europe was right to ban the beef industry from using growth promoters to increase yield.

A US study has linked use of the chemicals to damage to human sperm.

The University of Rochester found men whose mothers ate a lot of beef during pregnancy had lower sperm counts.

The Human Reproduction study found they were three times more likely to have a sperm count so low they could be classified as sub-fertile.

The use of growth promoting chemicals was banned in Europe in 1988.

But although the US banned the use of some growth promoters in 1979, others, such as the sex hormones testosterone and progesterone, are still in use in the beef industry.

The Rochester team examined sperm counts among US men born between 1949 and 1983.

They found those whose mothers ate more than seven beef meals a week had an average sperm concentration of 43.1 million sperm per millilitre of seminal fluid.

In contrast, the sons of mothers who ate less beef had an average of 56.9 million sperm.

MORE….

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CALIFORNIA LEGISLATION WOULD REQUIRE LABELS ON CLONED FOOD

Posted in Gen. Modified Foods, Health Watch, Toxic Food on April 18th, 2007

PROPSED LAW COULD BE MORE STRINGENT THAN FEDERAL RULES

clonedcattle.jpeg Over time, a question I ask more and more is where did our society loose its way? When did we make the conscious decision to forgoe real for synthetic, to turn our back on the bounties of God’s green earth for those created in a petri dish?

Moreover, when did processed foods become more desirable than food picked from a tree, grown from seed, or raised from birth? More importantly, why?

Is it a matter of supply and demand? Is the proliferation of frankenfoods, man’s feeble attempt to supplement nature? With a worldwide population in the billions, there might be some validity to this.

Or it could be more sinister and be a manifestation of big businesses need to control things, not the least of which are cost and supply, that finds real food losing the battle for our food dollar?

Thankfully, for many of us, there are options, specifically the natural food/organic markets that are growing in number and sophistication in America today.

With names like Whole Foods, Wild Oats and Trader Joe’s, these markets, their shelves stocked with a variety of fresh, non-cloned, non-irradiated, or otherwise processed foods, provide a level of comfort and disclosure that many have come to count on when shopping for the family’s food, which is often not the case in the mainstream markets.

There is an ever-growing level of subterfuge in food marketing today. Equally complicit in this is the Federal Government, which in recent years has enacted policies softening the disclosure laws for cloned or otherwise scientifically enhanced foods.

It is ironic that it is the FDA, that same branch of government, which in recent years has proven ineffective at preventing toxins from making their way into the food supply, that is presently considering policy changes which would allow irradiated food products to be labeled as pasteurized.

The very same FDA, that as I write this, is poised to give final approval to policy changes that would allow meat and milk from cloned animals to be sold without any special labeling?

The FDA’s public position is that there is no evidence that eating meat from cloned cows, pigs or goats is harmful. But as animal cloning is a recent phenomenon, my fear is that there isn’t enough data to safely make this claim, and that the overburdened federal agency is merely bowing to pressure from the meat industry and their powerful friends inside the Beltway.

Reinforcing my position is evidence that the FDA’s above referenced finding concerning the safety of cloned pork was based on tests of just five pigs, while the findings about cows’ milk had a test sampling of 43 cows.

Thankfully, there is sanity at the state level. Most recently, the proposal before the California state legislature that if enacted into law would require that steaks, pork chops, milk and other products from cloned livestock be clearly labeled at point of sale.

Opposing this common sense legislation is the California Cattleman’s Association.

No surprises here!

-LIB

Steaks, pork chops, milk and other products from cloned livestock would have to be clearly labeled on grocers’ shelves under a bill pending in the California Legislature.

If passed, the requirement could be more stringent than federal rules. The
Food and Drug Administration is poised to give final approval to meat and milk from cloned animals without any special labeling, though a bill introduced in Congress would require it.

State Sen. Carole Migden said consumers deserve to know what they’re buying and to be able to decide if they want to eat food from cloned animals. That is especially true because the long-term consequences of eating artificially produced animals cannot yet be studied, she said.

Read On…..

RELATED STORIES: NATGEO on food cloning

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TOXIC PET FOOD TURNS PET OWNERS TOWARD ORGANICS

Posted in Consciousness, Gen. Modified Foods, News Brief, Toxic Food on April 7th, 2007

RECALL AFFECTS PREMIUM AS WELL AS BUDGET BRANDS

giving-treat-dog.jpg
Sales of organic and natural pet foods are getting a boost from the nationwide recall of more than 60 million packages with familiar brands.

As brands from premium to store labels begin crisis-management efforts, an additional concern is that upscale organics are getting at least a temporary bump in share of the $15 billion pet-food market. The recall has not only raised safety concerns, but has also pointed out that many big-name premium brands contain some of the same ingredients as bargain labels.

“People purchasing some of these brands on the recall list think they are buying premium brands,” says Kristen Levine, founder of Fetching Communications, a public relations firm for the pet industry. “When you find out the same wheat gluten is going into bargain brands, it’s very disheartening.”

Natural and organic pet-food sales already had been rising 46% in 2005 over 2004 and an expected 36% for 2006, according to the Organic Trade Association’s 2006 Manufacturer Survey.

Thanks to the recall, “I would be shocked if organic pet foods don’t see a banner year,” says brand image expert Katie Paine of KDPaine & Partners.

Seeking to contain the damage, Procter & Gamble ran a letter in 59 newspapers this week to reassure consumers that its Iams and Eukanuba dry foods are safe and not part of the recall. Purina is posting shelf cards in stores highlighting unaffected products.

Read On….

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